The Corner

A Snooze? Are You Insane?

Jonah, Derb, are you guys mental? Here are some of the details of the Abramoff story. He made more money as a lobbyist than anyone had ever even imagined making. He bilked two Indian tribes out of $82 million by representing both of them — as they waged a fight against EACH OTHER. The longer they fought, the more money he made off BOTH OF THEM. He bought off libertarian newspaper columnists. It appears he owned at least one congressman who was willing to do his bidding by using the Congressional Record as a weapon in his private business dealings. In the course of those dealings, he bought a casino cruise-ship company with a mobbed-up former owner of the Dial-A-Mattress concession in Washington, D.C. Less than a year after that transaction, the original owner of the casino company was shot to death on a Fort Lauderdale street, and three members of the Gambino crime family have now been arrested for the murder. Those three Gambino-ites were put on the company’s payroll by the Dial-A-Mattress guy. Meanwhile, in Washington there was Abramoff’s partner, the former chief of staff to the House Majority Leader. This guy, Michael Scanlon, had set up a “think tank” at his beach house in Delaware to launder lobbying money — a think tank run by a bartender and a yoga instructor who might well have been “more than friends” of Scanlon’s. SNOOZE? This is like a really bad novel. An Orthodox Jewish lobbyist stealing money from Indian tribes, funneling it through a yoga instructor at the beach, and being a possible accessory to a gangland hit in Florida? And it’s all true. It’s the best Washington story in years!

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