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What happens in Congress stays in Congress....they wish. Unfortunately there's been a leak, and the blanket of sleaze that covers that institution has seeped out. Bill Moyers just had a two hour special which took us step by step through the working of the Republican right. Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist started as high school boys together. They were out to get rid of big government and hand the country over to it's rightful owners. Them. They were joined by Tom Delay and the ideology of making government smaller was quickly replaced by making their bank accounts bigger.

For two hours we watched them rip off Indian tribes, highjack Chinese Girls tell them they were going to America and instead in the middle of the night dumping them onto the Island of Saipan where they were turned into slave workers, making clothes for stores like The Gap and Jones of New York. Abramoff was the lobbyist who funded Norquist's operation of developing the Republican agenda. Together they threatened industries which gave contribution to Democrats. Abramoff bankrolled DeLay who made sure that only Republicans got jobs as lobbyists. They in turn paid him off so he'd swing the votes their way. DeLay did a great job. He kept the votes coming for Insurance Companies, sweatshop manufacturers, Pharmaceutical companies...you know the list.

Meanwhile, back in the religious right, Ralph Reed started the Right Hand of God, an evangelistic organization dedicated to ending the evil of gambling.

What funded them?

Gambling money of course, arranged by Abramoff through the Coushatta tribe which made its money in casinos. Of course the millions of evangelists in the Right Hand of God didn't know that. Only their peerless leader did. Reed turned out to be the con man's con man. Eventually he out-conned Abramoff but that's a whole other story.

All of them were regular guests at the White House, in constant touch with Rove and Cheney and as much in touch with Bush as it's possible to be, what with the world of his own our president inhabits.
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The Abramoff-DeLay operation came apart in 2005 with Abramoff getting nailed and DeLay getting picked up by the FBI. He declared his devotion to Jesus Christ while they were taking his mugshot. Timing is everything.

So here we are in 2006 with Congressman Mark Foley the six term pedophile whom the Republican leadership chose to put in charge of the House Committee on Child Sex Offenses. What does that tell you about their respect for us, the people who put them in office? They have none. Contempt yes. Respect no. Now we have John Boehner, Congress' new Republican hammer. New name. Same operation. Boehner is a button down DeLay.

We've seen this morally bankrupt Congress privatize war. We've seen them vote hundreds of billions of dollars to corporations like Halliburton, CACI, Titan, Blackwater, Becktel. Their job is to protect our troops and repair Iraq. They've done neither. We see the Republicans revving up for war with Iran. And last week we watched helplessly while they plunged the dagger into the heart of our Democracy. This sleazy Republican Congress voted that any one of us can be locked up, tortured, and never heard from again. 254 Republicans outvoted 177 Democrats to obliterate the 13th century Magna Carta from our legal system. Last week, this criminal Republican Congress sanctioned the right to wiretap us...any of us, all of us. With that vote Big Brother grew up. The entire country is living in his shadow.

Right wing pundit Joe Scarborough, admitted on the air that the Republican party can no longer be called "conservative". He didn't say what they should be called, so pick your own word. If it's the same one I have in mind, get them out on Nov. 7th. Election day. Be there.

Lila Garrett is an Emmy Award winning writer and host of KPFK Pacifica Radio's popular weekly broadcast, "Connect The Dots." Lila can be reached at Lgartt@aol.com
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Lila Garrett is an Emmy Award winning writer and host of KPFK Pacifica Radio's popular political talk show, "Connect The Dots," which airs on 90.7 FM in Los Angeles.

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