A shiny new tax year is here
Our own personal Wild Kingdom

Domino time?

Falling_dominoes GOP lobbyist extraordinaire-cum-criminal Jack Abramoff will plead guilty shortly after noon (Eastern time) today to three counts charging him with conspiracy, honest services fraud and tax evasion, according to the Washington Post. The New York Times lists the charges as fraud, public corruption and tax evasion. Glad to see that tax evasion accusation be consistent.

Whatever the technical terminology, the upshot is the same: prison time for Abramoff and concern time for his former pals on Capitol Hill. Part of the plea deal is expected to be Abramoff's cooperation as a witness against his former business and political colleagues.

You can check out the full 13-page indictment of Abramoff here.

Abramoff's plea comes just days before his scheduled Jan. 9 trial in a Florida court. A codefendant in that case pleaded guilty last month and agreed to finger Abramoff in those charges. In another case involving tribal Indian clients, yet another partner has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe members of Congress. (I'm shocked, shocked!)

I guess it's officially bare-the-soul-and-beg-for-forgiveness time among D.C. power brokers. The judicial mea culpas of Abramoff and associates come on the heels of former California Rep. "Duke" Cunningham's legal and ethical transgressions, not to mention his Congressional resignation.

Let's see. Lawmakers getting indicted. Lobbyists getting indicted. Lawmakers associating with shady lobbyists who then 'fess up to federal prosecutors. Do you think Tom DeLay's camp is a bit uneasy today?


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