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January 05, 2006

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Possible winners:
John Boehner (R-OH), who probably gets to be Majority Leader as DeLay falls and Blunt is already too tangled in tentacles.

Ray LaHood (R-IL), among others, who might be tapped as Speaker when the big chair splinters under Denny Hastert's scandal-laden posterior.

Losers:
Doc Hastings (R-WA), stuck in the ethics committee Chair while a mammoth mudslide inexorably makes its way downhill toward his position. Feds won't make provable criminal cases on 3/4 of Abramoff's kids. They'll leave a shitload of unpopular workload for the committee in the form of provable House Rules violations.

Does Bush not appearing on this list mean you think he is not tainted, or just not directly?

Other small winner: the American Heart Association, where Bush dumped his dirty Jack money (maybe they will keep the vp ticking along until '08).

I think it hurts the Repubs in general, and in that regard it hurts Bush. But I think, from what I know so far, that the direct damage will be more focused on the Congressional Repubs, especially in the House.

By causing havoc in the House, it will hurt Bush. I just don't know how it plays out with him directly. The bigger problem is the entire Republican infrastructure, especially the linkages between the lobbyists, Norquist, etc.

Anybody know how this might impact Norquist (other than the fact that his 'machine' will have been compromised)?

But Newt won't have his old friend Arianna on his side this time around. Yikes and a half. When my wife and I took our one and only trip to the Big Island in Hawai'i during the government shutdown a decade ago, Volcanoes National Park was closed up tight. Now, normally, I'd just climb a fence and pitch a tent out of sight of the road. But climbing around unguided in the terrain of an active volcano could end you up in a lava tube. I've never forgiven Newt for this. So the thought of calling him Mr. President has a personal irk in it for me as well as all the usual political ones.

Ron, I'm surprised you mentioned LaHood as Speaker material. It would be keeping with a standard practice of the House GOP finding leaders from Illinois (after Hastert and Michel), but I've never had the impression he would be embraced by the hard right types. He'd be a good choice for the Repubs in terms of public image, but I don't know if the internal politics would lead to him.

Frankly, I'd see Boehner as more likely in the speaker's chair than LaHood.

Abramoff told one of his clients, Tyco, that he was close with Rove. Maybe some of Jack's emails reference Rover?

DH --Boehner may have his sights on Speaker, but DeLay has demonstrated that Majority Leader can be the more powerful position.

Second, LaHood is a reliable party man and a skilled parliamentarian. He wouldn't set the agenda, but he could grind it out.

Third, LaHood does double duty as a sop to the less conservative R's (who might be tempted to stray as they hold the caucus together ... possibly a more critical survival factor to the GOP enterprise than hard right embrace) and a potential continuity component in a post-Bush leadership.

I saw Newt on C-Span the other morning and pondered whether Americans would vote for him for president. What I noticed is that Newt has aged tremendously in the past few years. He used to have a boyish look about him, but he's not looking boyish any more. In two more years he look even worse.

I am actually less concerned with who assumes open leadership positions than with how we use new information so as to defeat at least 16 Republicans next fall -- or at least turn over that number of seats. Democrats need to learn to play a Corruption Plus game and not just depend on the matter of Republican Sinfullness.

I agree that Reid and P. Kennedy's stance in defending their donations from Indian Country is helpful. In one of the Mass local papers I read a fascinating Patrick Kennedy interview in which he traced the relationship between his family, begun with Robert Kennedy's trip into Mississippi to find the poverty and all -- and his own first visit as a family rep when he was still in his teens to Mississippi Reservations. He has a long term family relationship -- and now that some of his friends are better off, he is not going to turn back against their money. Abramoff was still in diapeers when he first started asking what he could do for Indian Country.

I am still trying to sort out an effort by Abramoff and Scanlon to get into our local situation. They tried to buy a defunct dog track just across the St. Croix from Minnesota and convert it to Indian land -- but the Minnesota and Wisconsin tribes opposed the competition, but refused to deal with them because Minnesota Indians are historically DFL. They tried to make it an issue in the 2000 race for President. If one could dig in, I think the Presidential Race could be incriminated. Anyhow, the proposal failed, and Wisconsin and Minnesota stuck with Gore-and then Kerry.

re Lahood, would the Republican party really want to go with an Arab (albeit Christian) as their Speaker? I wonder.

Granted, the Dems have had similar as Senate Majority Leader (George Mitchell) but that was a different time.

Please note, it dosn't bother me in the least. I have met Lahood, when I was attending Congress in the Classroom at the Rirksen Institute several summers ago. He seemed like a nice enough man. But I just wonder how his ethnicity might fly with much of the Republican base?

I don't see Newt getting the nomination. Too compromised for the fundies.

Keep your eye on George Allen -- he's the establishment candidate this time around.

I don't see Newt getting the nomination. Too compromised for the fundies.

I think that abramoff may have changed the whole "fundie" dynamic -- that the fundies will be much more cynical about all politicians who claim to represent their interests. Fundies don't see things in terms of gray...its all "black and white", "good and evil", etc. And since there isn't anyone who doesn't have a few skeletons in their closets (or who can't be smeared by implication), Newt can't be counted out.

Anyone know how David Dreier is sitting through all this? I mean both the Abramoff tentacles and the leadership elections.

Newt's wife couldn't count on him, why would the repuglicans ???

telling your wife that you filed for divorce while your wife is in the hospital is almost as bad as announcing your divorce in a press conference

hi rudy

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