Thursday, January 05, 2006


There was nothing on TV last night (still no new LOST episodes!)... So I flipped over to watch some C-span. I caught some interesting "hearings" about what is now being talked about on all the news stations (and internet). Jack Abramoff. I'm still unclear on all the details, and who was charged with what, and who did what, but the hearings that I saw were interesting. You can watch them on Cspan now There's a part one, and part two... Part two is the one I saw (and not all of it) as it was 3 hours long! But if you want to skip to the good part go to 1:29:00 to see the interview with Italia Federici (that's a woman's name). She was stuck in the hot seat and either she's very intelligent, or not so bright... I think she may be very intelligent because she was able to frustrate both Senators McCain and Dorgan and yet she never really said the "wrong" thing that would incriminate herself.
I wrote down some of the key players:
Senator John McCain - R - Arizona - Indian Affairs Committee Chairman
Senator Byron Dorgan - D - North Dakota - Indian Affairs Committee Vice Chairman
Italia Federici - Council of Republican for Environmental Advocacy - President
Jack Abramoff - Former Lobbyist
Steven Griles - Former Deputy Interior Secretary - Bush Administration
Michael Rossetti - Former Interior Department Counsel - Bush Admin.
Cspan commentators:
Michael Crowley - New Republic Senior Editor
Matthew Continetti - Weekly Standard reporter

whew... lots of people to keep track of...
In a nutshell here's what I got out of it... Abramoff was a lobbyist for a bunch of American Indian tribes who wanted to build Casino's. Abramoff was trying to help them get these casino's built (and at times hinder other Indian casino's who might compete with his clients). He would 'encourage' the tribes to donate/give LARGE sums of money to Italia's environmental group... and in return (this is the tricky part) She would speak to those in the Interior of Bush's Admin, to put in a word about certain issues.
Basically, here's some money, now see if you can make something happen in the gov, so that we can build some casinos. The whole thing just "stunk" of corruption. Each one on the hot seat would plead and swear that THEY were telling the truth, yet it was in direct conflict with what the other person would say was the truth. So obviously someone was lying.
Even if you are not interested in all the political mumbo-jumbo it's interesting to watch these people squirm on the hot seat. The one guy Griles, reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where George had eaten some spicy Kung-Pow Chicken, and was all red and sweating, when they asked him if he stole some baseball equipment :)

I wish I could give you the exact link to open the realplayer video off of the cspan website, but I can't figure out how. (if anyone knows post it in the comments). Just go to and look for: C-SPAN Special: Jack Abramoff & the Tribal Lobbying Investigation, Part 2

PS> You know you must be getting old, when the commentators on Cspan look like they just got out of high school. Even though they looked young, these guys knew their stuff!

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