Abramoff and DeLay. More. Again.

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It just keeps coming. Here's a good take from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone on the Abramoff/DeLay Russian connection (excuse the language):


Take the infamous Naftasib scheme of 1997-98. The short version of this story is that Abramoff and Tom DeLay met with a bunch of shady Russian oil executives in 1997; the Russians then sent $1 million to a British law firm called James and Sarch; James and Sarch then sent a million to the pompously named nonprofit "U.S. Family Network," which in turn sent money to numerous destinations. It went to a lobbyist agency called the Alexander Strategy Group that was run by DeLay's ex-chief of staff, Edwin Buckham; the agency would subsequently hire DeLay's wife at a salary of $3,200 a month. It went toward the purchase of a luxury D.C. town house that DeLay would use to raise money. And it went toward the purchase of a luxury box at FedExField, which Abramoff used to watch the Redskins. If you follow the loop all the way around, the quid pro quo probably involved DeLay's 1998 decision to support an IMF loan to Russia, whose economy collapsed that year and would rely on an IMF bailout to survive. A Maryland pastor named Christopher Geeslin, who briefly served as the U.S. Family Network's president, would later say that Buckham told him that the $1 million from the Russians was intended to influence DeLay's decision regarding funding for the IMF. DeLay ended up voting to replenish IMF funds in September of that year, right at the time of the bailout.


Is this smart? Sure, if you're fucking ten years old. If your idea of smart is turning an IMF loan into Redskins tickets, then, yeah, this is smart. But another way to look at it is that these assholes got themselves Redskins tickets by giving $18 billion to one of the most corrupt governments on Earth. I'd call that buying at a premium.