— "Fucking Abramoff! I think we’re fucked."
— "Yeah. Gimme some fucking lube."

Atrios alluded to this earlier: the whole Republican Party is an organized crime syndicate.

From Wikipedia (emphasis added):

Organized crime is crime carried out systematically by formal criminal organizations. The Organized Crime Control Act (U.S., 1970) defines organized crime as "The unlawful activities of … a highly organized, disciplined association…". Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are politically motivated. Mafias are criminal organizations whose primary motivation is profit. Gangs sometimes become "disciplined" enough to be considered "organized". The act of engaging in criminal activity as a structured group is referred to in the U.S. as racketeering.

Sound like anyone we know?

Wait, there’s more (emphasis added):

Criminal organizations keep their illicit actions secret, and members communicate by word of mouth or telephone. Many organized crime operations have substantial legitimate businesses, such as licensed gambling, building construction, trash hauling, or dock loading enterprises, which operate in parallel with and provide cover for drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, extortion, hijacking, fraud, and insider trading, among many other possible criminal activities.

To which list we can now add many other organizational structures, campaign PAC’s and charities, like this one from Rick Santorum:

Santorum’s charity got a $25K check from a real estate developer at the same time that he was working to win as much as $8.5M in federal aid for one of the donor’s projects.

Charity begins at home, eh? That’s just one of a jillion possible examples. But Wikipedia has even more illuminating stuff (emphasis added):

In order for a criminal organization to prosper, some degree of support is required from the society in which it lives. Thus, it is often necessary to corrupt some of its respected members, most commonly achieved through bribery, blackmail, and the establishment of symbiotic relationships with legitimate businesses. Judicial and police officers and legislators are especially targeted for control by organized crime via bribes, threats, or a combination. Financing is made easier by the development of a customer base inside or outside the local population, as occurs for instance in the case of drug trafficking.

Now that’s a mother lode of information!

The GOP crime racket buys support from the public through fraud. These fuckers distract large swaths of the electorate with their lies and bogus non issues, like the existential threat of Jake and Ennis settling down, and then run a cash and carry operation raiding the public till.

The latest attempt at distraction? Why, the line item veto, of course!

The game has long been to use the fundamentalists (one "customer base" as described above) as get out the vote shock troops while selling government to the highest corporate bidder (the other "customer base"), with kickbacks to all the GOP pols who grease the skids. When pesky pissants like Hagel and Snowe threaten to blow the lid off, their arms get turned into pretzels behind closed doors, and presto!, the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold no hearings on presidential assumption of the power to ignore the law. Though of course, it’s quite possible Snowe and Hagel did not cave to pressure, but that they just maximized their leverage to shake down the company for the best deal. Entrepreneurialism, and all that.

And speaking of fraud, though we do not have the smoking gun to prove ballot box fraud yet, we sure do know how dirty voter supression works in the GOP Crime Family Playbook, now don’t we?

Wikipedia further observes:

In addition, criminal organizations also benefit if there is social distrust of the government or the police.

In the Republican case, the fifty year effort to discredit and demonize the government itself has provided the cover the crime organization has needed to gain sufficient support from the public. But with Patrick Fitzgerald’s efforts to blow the lid off the organization over the Plame leak, w’ve had Crime Bitch Barbara Comstock attacking the "out of control prosecutor." Seems police and the "rule of law" are no longer sunny topics for a crime family under serious pressure.

And make no mistake, they are under serious pressure.

Though they hold the keys to the media, what with Time Warner going along for the deregulatory ride, and they can fix some election results, they still need a majority of the public to remain duped to hang on to power. But poll after poll shows us the public is catching on. The public is way ahead of the war profiteers and tinkerbell-clap-harder-for-unreality crowd. John Murtha, God bless ‘im, keeps pointing this out.

The GOP is weakening. Later this month, when Abramoff is sentenced, he will sing and name names as part of his plea agreement. In fact, he’s already begun to sing to Vanity Fair (pdf alert!).

Are you looking forward to HBO’s sixth season of The Sopranos? As amazing as that series is, reality has it beat. Get your popcorn and stay tuned.

The entire Republican Party is an organized crime racket, and it’s about to get a lot more exposure. But I sure as hell would like to hear our elected Dem leaders talk about the Republican Party as an organized crime racket, repeatedly, without apology or qualification.

Can you hear me, Nancy Pelosi? How about you, Harry Reid? Ready to draw some fire again, Governor Dean? (Ready to STFU, Joementum? Or are your still playing smoochie with John McCain?)

In the end, the only way the GOPpi (not "Gotti") Crime Family will truly be held accountable will be for us to change the country. More on that, perhaps, tomorrow night, here on Late Nite FDL.

Photo by Craig Blankenthorn



Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.