"What's black and white and read all over?"

Saturday, April 01, 2006
Posted 6:07 PM by

The fool who follows

Who's the more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him? That seems a great question to ask on this of all days.

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy...

Tony Rudy, Rep. Tom Delay's former chief of staff, leaves court Friday after pleading guilty to helping convicted briber Jack Abramoff in exchange for perks and money.Take for example Tony Rudy, Rep. Tom DeLay's former deputy chief of staff. He pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff while working for the Texas congressman and after he left to become a lobbyist.

He is the second former DeLay staffer to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the lobbying probe. Rudy faces up to five years in prison but could get less based on cooperation.

Beginning in 1997, Abramoff, his clients and others plied Rudy with expensive meals, trips, sports tickets, golf games and clubs, according to the plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Rudy also received payments through Abramoff to a consulting firm that he created and his wife, Lisa, ran. Liberty Consulting received $86,000 in payments from or at the direction of Abramoff and others while Rudy worked for DeLay.

In exchange, Rudy worked to get federal money for the Northern Mariana Islands, got DeLay to oppose a postal rate increase that was opposed by magazine publishers who were represented by Abramoff, persuaded DeLay and other leading Republicans to defeat legislation that would have restricted Internet gambling.

Dean of cover-ups calls for Bush censure

John Dean, President Richard Nixon's former White House counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday that President Bush's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program exceeded the wrongdoing of his former boss.John Dean, Richard Nixon's White House lawyer who served four months in prison for his role in the Watergate break-in coverup, told senators Friday that President Bush's domestic spying exceeds the wrongdoing that toppled his former boss.

"Had the Senate or House, or both, censured or somehow warned Richard Nixon, the tragedy of Watergate might have been prevented," Dean said. "Hopefully the Senate will not sit by while even more serious abuses unfold before it."

The hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee was held in conjuction with Sen. Russell Feingold's censure resolution. Republican members chalked it up to posturing in a year of midterm elections.

"If we in the Congress don't stand up for ourselves and the American people, we become complicit in the lawbreaking," Feingold, D-Wis., told the panel. "The resolution of censure is the appropriate response."

Feingold summoned Dean to the hearing because after The New York Times revealed the NSA program in December, Dean wrote that "Bush may have outdone Nixon" and may be worthy of impeachment.

"Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope," Dean wrote in a column for in December.

In another column last week, Dean wrote, "In some two hundred and seventeen years of the American presidency, there has been only one President who provides a precedent for Bush's stunning, in-your-face, conduct: Richard Nixon."

He told the Senators on Friday, "The president needs to be reminded that separation of powers does not mean an isolation of powers."

Bush lackeys on both sides of Pa.

Gen. Michael Hayden, deputy national intelligence director, told a crowd in Pittsburgh Friday that some civil liberties have to be weighed versus the need to know infomation in a time of war.In Pittsburgh, Gen. Michael Hayden, deputy national intelligence director, told a crowd Friday, "We want to be safe and free. This is a tension all democracies wrestle with."

But Hayden lamented that open discussion was difficult given the "super-heated" nature of American politics.

Across the state in Kutztown, former Secretary of State Colin Powell warned a crowd Thursday that the country should not lose its sense of openness and still welcome both newcomers and foreign students to its shores.

"Terrorists can bomb our buildings and down airliners in Pennsylvania fields, but they cannot change us," he said. "Only we can do that.

"We must remain the open, embracing country the world wants to believe that is still America. If we do that, we will win over terrorism."


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