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Oh, and here's a question...

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Message Jayne Stahl
Here's a question for you: now that Mark Foley has caused such a stir, does anyone remember Jack Abramoff? Or, more to the point, does anyone care about Jack Abramoff, and his misadventures with the White House?.

Last week, a congressional report was scheduled to be released that confirms "hundreds of contacts between the White House and the now disgraced Abramoff and his colleagues" including nearly 100 with the president's right hand, Karl Rove. (LA Times) With all the fuss and focus on e-mails and instant messages sent by a Florida congressman to an underaged male page, nobody seems to have noticed the findings of a report by the House Government Reform Committee which comes after scrutiny of no fewer than "14,000 pages of e-mails and other documents obtained from Abramoff's law firm" that document that the fallen lobbyist had 400 contacts with Bush's inner circle between 2001 and 2004. (LA Times).

Capping their months' long investigation by the Republican-controlled House, the report offers "an unusually detailed glimpse into a sordid subculture of fraud and attempted influence peddling." (LAT) Indeed, but who cares about a "sordid subculture" that tries to corrupt, subvert, and buy elections when we have more captivating "sordid," and salacious things to contemplate, and salivate over, like an attempted seduction in cyberspace,

Yes, yes, yes, instant messaging 16 year old boys is scandalous, and in this land founded, and peopled, by card-carrying Puritans, one is not at all surprised that the corruption that gets the most spin is the kind that sells the most newspapers.

But think about this for a minute: this entire Foley debacle has managed to deflect attention away from the crucial disclosure of irrefutable evidence that this president lied about his acquaintance with Jumping Jack Abramoff... why isn't anyone talking about that? And, more importantly, why is the Democratic Party sitting on its hands and allowing the Repugs to manipulate what this country will, and will not, talk about only weeks before a critical election? Once again, the Republicans have stolen the ball, and are working overtime to make it to home base.
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Widely published, poet, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter; member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Jayne Lyn Stahl is a Huffington Post blogger.
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