By now you know the Senate has passed Bush's terrorism bill, eroding still more of the sorts of liberties leaders back to George Washington held dear. Sen. Pryor voted for the bill. Sen. Lincoln, bless her, voted no, despite chop-licking Repubs ready to drag out the vilest of charges against anyone who dares stand up for our heritage of fairness and justice.
Bush needed some bullboy patriotism to wave like a bloody shirt. Because still more juicy stuff is leaking out about crooked Jack Abramoff's access to the White House. Remember when Repubs were fascinated with how many times Monica entered those portals? But of course that was about sex, important stuff, not hundreds of contacts by an influence-peddling crook with top White House officials, including 82 -- YES EIGHTY TWO -- with Karl Rove's office. Of course the lobbyists oiled the White House staff with drinks, meals and tickets to sporting events. And who knows how much legislative and administrative payback resulted. It's not a blowjob, true, but still.
PS -- We should have mentioned last night when we posted this that we were just back from a Political Animals Club talk by Tom Hamburger, the LA Times and former Arkansas Gazette reporter, who has a new book out, "One Party Country: The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century." It's a thoroughly reported book on Republicans' success at building Karl Rove's dream of a "durable majority." Hamburger's remarks were depressing. The GOP's perfection of voter mobilization, tenacity and idea-driven agenda add up to a formula that means Republicans will be hard to beat even this year, marked by disaster after disaster in Bush rule. One key element of the party's hold on power, Hamburger noted, is the unprecedented politicization of administrative policy. In this, Rove has knitted together lobbyists and administrative agencies in a mutual endeavor that produces money for the GOP, happiness for lobbyists and a government corrupt and incompetent, if not downright dangerous, at virtually every level. See: Abramoff. See Rove. See them meet.