Rich Galen

  • If you held a hundred dollar bill up to your ear last week on K Street - the home of many lobbying firms - I swear you could hear the machine-whine of paper files being shredded prior a federal prosecutor coming a'calling and ordering that of their records must be preserved.

  • Similarly, I suspect there have been required lobbying-firm-wide classes on the use of CTRL-A (select all) followed by judicious use of the "delete" key to erase as many fishy-smelling e-mails as possible, as quickly as possible.

  • All of the wink-wink-nudge-nudge deals which have been struck between lobbyists and Congressman - Republicans and Democrats - are now going to be heavily scrutinized.

  • Every earmark in appropriations bills (see the MULLINGS, "Earmarks") is going to be looked at by the two political parties, the news media and Federal prosecutors to see whether any suspicious donations showed up about the time the earmark was inserted.

  • Speaking of donations, this business of sending tainted Abramoff donations to charities is not cutting any mustard with me. If there was nothing wrong with the donation, then keep it. If there WAS something wrong with the donation - when was that something discovered and why did it take until now to decide the money was dirty?

  • Finally, we should keep in mind these are campaign donations. Elected officials are attempting to purchase decency by sending campaign donations - other people's money - to charities. I guarantee you that the accountants who oversee those campaigns will claim a charitable deduction from Federal income taxes next year to offset the taxes the campaigns have to pay on earned interest.

  • If the officials were serious about this, they would match the contaminated donations with a similar amount from their own checkbooks.

  • As I wrote earlier: Yeah. Right.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A Mullfoto contributed by someone who has figured out the whole "Taking Down the Christmas Tree" thing; Gorbachev; a link to the Washington Post piece and the "wink-wink-nudge-nudge" line; and another, timely, Separated at Birth.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at