Political Web, page A1 … for 1:55 PM ET, January 4, 2006
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Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
GOP Leaders Seek Distance From Abramoff  —  Hastert to Donate Money Given by Lobbyist's Clients  —  With a House Republican committee chairman implicated in the criminal case and the highest echelons of the Republican Party increasingly vulnerable to charges, GOP leaders moved yesterday …
Washington Post:
Case Bringing New Scrutiny To a System and a Profession  —  The biggest corruption scandal to infect Congress in a generation took down one of the best-connected lobbyists in Washington yesterday.  The questions echoing around the capital were what other careers — and what other familiar ways of doing business — are endangered.
Ace / Ace of Spades HQ:
Abramoff's Plea Deal Requires He Dress Like B-Movie Heavy For Rest Of Life  —  Either that his public relations consultant is Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  —  Yeah, that's a good look for a man accused of serious crimes.  Now all he needs to do is complete the ensemble by burning …
Los Angeles Times:
Lobbying Plan Was Central to GOP's Political Strategy  —  Abramoff was key to the 'K Street Project,' designed to extend the party's influence.  Changes are urged to avoid 'huge black eye.'  —  WASHINGTON — The corruption investigation surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff shows …
New York Times:
Tremors Across Washington as Lobbyist Will Aid Inquiry  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - As a high-flying Republican lobbyist, Jack Abramoff has long been known as a mover and shaker in Washington.  But when he cut a deal with federal prosecutors on Tuesday, he shook up this town as never before.
Juan / Informed Comment:
Abramoff and al-Arian: Lobbyist's "Charity" a Front for Terrorism
Sam Rosenfeld / TAPPED:
COLLATERAL DAMAGE.  This passage caught my eye in Sheryl Gay …
Discussion: Democratic Veteran
Anne E. Kornblut / New York Times:
Lobbyist Accepts Plea Deal
Discussion: Gay Patriot and Power Line
Hastert donates Abramoff-linked money
Discussion: IntoxiNation-News …
Joby Warrick / Washington Post:
Safety Violations Have Piled Up at Coal Mine  —  Time and again over the past four years, federal mining inspectors documented the same litany of problems at central West Virginia's Sago Mine: mine roofs that tended to collapse without warning.  Faulty or inadequate tunnel supports.
Washington Post:
Twelve Found Dead in W.Va. Coal Mine  —  SAGO, W.Va., Jan. 4 — Great joy turned suddenly to deep sorrow Wednesday morning when stunned family members were told that 12 of the 13 miners trapped 13,000 feet into a mountainside since early Monday were dead rather than alive, as they, and the world, had been told hours earlier.
Greg Mitchell / Editor and Publisher:
Media Reports Miracle Mine Rescue — Then Carries the Tragic Truth  —  NEW YORK In one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of this type in recent years, television and newspapers carried the tragically wrong news late Tuesday and early Wednesday that 12 of 13 trapped coal miners …
John Cole / Balloon Juice:
The Mining Tragedy  —  If there is any way to make a disaster worse, it happened last night.  I went to bed listening to the general euphoria of Rita Crosby as she interviewed family members, and woke up this morning and listened to those same family members dealing not only with tragic loss, but anger and a sense of betrayal.
Jennifer C. Yates / Associated Press:
Jubilation Turns to Anger, Outrage
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
William McQuillen / Bloomberg:
Mine Where Explosion Occurred Was Cited for Hazards (Update2)
Discussion: Think Progress
New York Times:
On the Subject of Leaks  —  Given the Bush administration's appetite for leak investigations (three are under way), this seems a good moment to try to clear away the fog around this issue.  —  A democratic society cannot long survive if whistle-blowers are criminally punished for revealing …
Cassandra / TigerHawk:
NY TimesWatch: The False Whistleblower Meme Rides Again
Discussion: News Blog and Macsmind
New York Times:
Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - The National Security Agency acted on its own authority, without a formal directive from President Bush, to expand its domestic surveillance operations in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to declassified documents released Tuesday.
Dafna Linzer / Washington Post:   Secret Surveillance May Have Occurred Before Authorization
Charlie Savage / Boston Globe:
Bush could bypass new torture ban  —  Waiver right is reserved  —  WASHINGTON — When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.  —  After approving the bill last Friday …
Washington Post:
Wonkette's Sex Change  —  Wonkette is dead — long live Wonkette.  —  Ana Marie Cox, the writer who made Washington politics irresistibly naughty, is giving up her job as a full-time, pajama-clad blogger to become a full-time, pajama-clad author.  Cox, who just signed a contract for her second book …
Josh Meyer / Los Angeles Times:
CIA Gave Iran Bomb Plans, Book Says  —  The nuclear designs were intentionally flawed, but Tehran was tipped off and could have made use of them, the writer contends.  —  WASHINGTON — In a clumsy effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran …
Secret services say Iran is trying to assemble a nuclear missile
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
From Cabinet Rooms Past, a Gathering to Assess Iraq  —  WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - It will be an unusual sight on Thursday in the Roosevelt Room of White House, and deliberately so: President Bush will engage in a consultation of sorts with a bipartisan collection of former secretaries of state and defense.
Discussion: Charging RINO and ParaPundit
Peter Carlson / Washington Post:
Quote Cuisine  —  Everybody wants some of Marshall Wittmann's wisdom.  People keep calling, asking him to explain the mysteries of Washington.  —  USA Today wants to know the state of Dick Cheney's status.  The Albany Times Union wants to know if the administration is getting serious about the deficit.
Discussion: Bull Moose

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