The Note: Economics 101

Scot Lehigh of the Boston Globe writes in his op-ed, "Back during their long years in the minority, Republicans pledged lean, honest, efficient, responsive government when and if they ascended to power in Congress. Instead, they've offered up a Roman orgy of arrogance, excess, and indulgence." LINK

There's a race to come up with the best lobbying reform package among members of the both parties in Congress, and the New York Times' Carl Hulse predicts the sentiment will hold and some form of lobbying legislation will be passed this year. LINK

Writing on the New York Times editorial page, Byron York questions the rush to pass new lobbying reform. LINK

Abramoff: the politics:

In an ominous sign for Tom DeLay, Jeff Flake tells the Los Angeles Times that he expects a letter calling for new Republican leadership elections to be circulated within days. LINK

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing that K Street will always be with us, Michael Barone writes that Abramoff's testimony "could end the careers of some members of Congress and could threatens the Republicans' House majority."

Charlie Cook is not yet ready to declare winners and losers in the Abramoff saga. In his National Journal column, Cook writes that much of the impact may hinge on Tom DeLay.

"If DeLay is directly implicated in Abramoff's criminal activities, the scandal could acquire a Republican tinge in the minds of the public. So far, the vast majority of voters have no earthly idea who Abramoff is, and they don't see his troubles as primarily a Republican problem. The chances of this becoming a GOP scandal rather than a bipartisan congressional scandal would go up enormously if DeLay were indicted or were to plead guilty to a serious crime."

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne mines Roll Call, The Hill, and National Journal for a decade-old glimpse of Abramoff's GOP ties. LINK

For the Washington Post's Style section, Robin Givhan writes that with his black fedora and too-tight trench coat Abramoff "could not have appeared more guilty, more menacing and more unsympathetic." LINK

Abramoff: shedding tainted cash:

The New York Times looks at the windfall accruing to charities as politicians dump (donate) their Abramoff-related contributions, but asks why random charities, instead of Abramoff's victims, should be the beneficiaries of the money. LINK

The Des Moines Register's Jane Norman reports that three of the four member of the Iowa delegation to Congress who received campaign dollars from the scandal-plagued Abramoff or his clients are moving to give up the cash. Between Sen. Harkin, Rep. Nussle, and Rep. Latham, more than $22,000 will be donated to various charities. LINK

The Wichita Eagle writes up Sen. Brownback's shedding of Abramoff-related money. LINK

The Boston Globe reports that Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) is just one of many Democrats not giving back Abramoff-associated dough. LINK

Abramoff: DeLay:

Bloomberg's Michael Forsythe looks at the Alexander Strategy Group's ties to three scandals. LINK

DA Ronnie Earle appears to be after an Abramoff/DeLay link. Earle issued subpoenas for records related a large advocacy group donation with links to Abramoff, reports the Houston Chronicle. LINK

The Washington Post's R. Jeffrey Smith on the widening DeLay inquiry involving the US Family Network. LINK

Abramoff: news of day:

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