Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Want To Visit With Bush? That'll Be $1.2 Million, Please

I remember the old days, when the Republicans were outraged that Clinton was “selling the Lincoln Bedroom!” and how upset they were that Gore had been phoning potential donors from the White House. Those Democrats were so dishonorable it was amazing God hadn't struck them dead. And so on.

Now we know that selling access and favors goes with the territory, at least these days. The Abramoff scandals are gross, certainly as gross as semen stains on a dress...but the stains just stayed the same size; the Abramoff blot just gets bigger and bigger. Now, one of our loyal royal allies—or loyal tyrannical allies, as the case may be, reveals he and his pals coughed up $1.2 million to have a visit with our president.

The best thing about crooks is they just won’t stay bought.

Feb. 20, 2006, 11:05PM

Ex-Malasian Leader Says He Paid Abramoff
© 2006 The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to organize his 2002 meeting with President Bush, but denied the money came from the Malaysian government.

Mahathir told reporters he was aware a payment was made to Abramoff, but he didn't know who made it. He said he had been persuaded by the U.S. think tank Heritage Foundation to meet with Bush at the time.

"It is true that somebody paid but it was not the (Malaysian) government," Mahathir said. "I understood some people paid a sum of money to lobbyists in America but I do not know who these people were and it was not the Malaysian government."

Mahathir said the Heritage Foundation believed he could help "influence (Bush) in some way regarding U.S. policies."

Mahathir visited the White House at a time when this Southeast Asian country had emerged as a key U.S. ally in the war on terror, following Mahathir's crackdown on suspected Islamic militants although he had been consistently critical of Bush's foreign policies.

Abramoff, once among Washington's top lobbyists, pleaded guilty last month to charges that he and a former partner concocted a fake wire transfer to make it appear they were putting a sizable stake of their own money into a 2000 purchase of casinos.

Abramoff also has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an investigation into his ties to members of Congress and to the Bush administration.

This article is: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/3673369.html

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