Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Like Amway for crooks

Andrea and I have been watching the Sopranos first season and then this morning stories about the Abramoff saga have been acccompanying my first cup of coffee. Call it a motif. (Where do the ducks figure in, I'm wondering.)

This administration is like ice nine. If you're not rotten already, you will be after it touches you. The Post has a little illustration of Abramoff and cronies that really does begin to resemble an Amway diagram of some kind. And Leibovich's piece about "Washington's hottest literary form: the charging document" did make me laugh out loud for real:
Has there ever been such a deluge of mass-consumed legalese in a condensed period? Indeed, this is a golden age for the turgid and stultifying, a wave of indictments, plea bargains and "informations" interspersed with three Supreme Court justice nominations in a five-month period, with all of the poetic briefs, memos and opinion-writing those can yield.
(Ed, are you reading this?)

So yes, I am even a bit gleeful this morning as I read stories like this one:
Abramoff cut a wretched figure as he shuffled into the courtroom of Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle. The once-athletic lobbyist was slouching, his newly overweight frame wrapped in a double-breasted suit. His hand shook when he took his oath. After his plea, he closed his eyes and looked as if he were going to cry. He accepted soothing pats on the back from his lawyer. He clasped his hands together and rubbed fingers as if attempting to thumb-wrestle himself. Only the cufflinks and sharp blue tie hinted at the vast wealth and power Abramoff had amassed.
I'm sure I'm going to hell or in line to reap some sort of hideous karmic payback for feeling such joy at the public humiliation of Jack. The Post's coverage is great--as Andrea pointed out, they are always at their best when they latch on to a story that is at once groundbreaking national news and local scandal. She was misty-eyed this morning (not really) in her remembrance of the Jenrette coverage in which WaPo was "like a cat with a ball of string."

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