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Here's another major Republican name who blames Americans first for the problems in Iraq — and will explain why. Tom DeLay, appearing on Hannity and Colmes last night to promote his new on-and-off blog, took square aim at the real culprits for problems in the war in Iraq. "It's the fault of the liberals and the media and the Democrats, that from the very beginning have tried to undermine the will of the American people to fight this," DeLay said.

After Alan Colmes, in a moment of bravery, reminded DeLay that Democrats were out of power during the course of this war, DeLay nevertheless set out to explain in detail just how the problems in Iraq are the fault of liberals and other war critics. "It has nothing to do with power," DeLay said. "It has everything to do with perception, Alan, and you know it as well as I do."

The new slogan for Fox News and the Bush Administration: "It has everything to do with perception."

You probably don't know the name of Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), but you should.

One of the richest lawmakers in Washington (and allegedly one of the most corrupt), reporters have been digging into him for months. Today the Los Angeles Times delivers a punishing combination of allegations from former aides -- and most appear to be violations of federal law.

First, there's the possible attempted bribery (which has Miller trying to land a local pawnbroker a seat on a presitious federal panel). Then there's illegal "self-enrichment" -- in this case, Miller appears to have trumped up "rent" fees for his campaign in order to give himself a cut of his political donations.

But our favorite allegation is his apparent abuse of federal funds. Miller seems to have a habit of using his taxpayer-funded congressional staff to do personal errands for him -- like check his stock prices, help his son register for college classes -- or score him sweet tickets to a Rolling Stones concert:

Miller learned in May 2002 that the band was coming to Edison Field in Anaheim that October.

"Per his instructions, we are checking with city officials, Edison contacts, etc., to see what we can come up with," an e-mail written by an aide to Miller's chief of staff states.

A few days later, the staff was told by Miller's chief of staff to look for tickets to a Staples Center concert as well, according to e-mails. By May 29, a Miller staffer had prepared a memo outlining four options for getting tickets. The most promising was for the Edison Field show.

What should the Democrats do about Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)? Today's Washington Post seems to hold Nancy Pelosi's final answer.

Last year, of course, Nancy Pelosi, backed by a majority vote from the Democratic caucus, yanked Jefferson off of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. But now that New Orleans-area voters have spoken with one voice that they don't mind if their rep keeps thousands of dollars of intended bribe money in his freezer, the Congressional Black Caucus has been pressuring Pelosi to reinstate Jefferson.

Today's Post quotes "a source close to Pelosi" as saying that she won't reinstate his powerful seat, but won't shut him out altogether. He'll get a spot on "a lower-profile committee" instead. Compromise! The source adds that Pelosi hopes "the controversy dies down" with such a solution.



Fat chance. For months, Jefferson has been on the cusp of indictment for bribery charges. The only thing that's saved him was the FBI's raid of his congressional office, which, because it involved the seizure of possibly Constitutionally protected materials, ignited a litigation battle that still rages on. Until that gets sorted out, there will likely be no indictment. And when will that be? The Post piece does some inside baseball figuring as to what the prosecutors options are -- but the bottom line is the indictment will come down "probably in the first half of 2007." Meanwhile, prosecutors continue to fatten their case against Jefferson: the Post reports that they're "looking at about a dozen business deals in the United States and Africa in which Jefferson allegedly used his official position for financial gain." About a dozen? Not so long ago, it was in the neighborhood of eight.

When that indictment comes down, of course, the controversy will fire back up again. And Jefferson's been very clear that he won't be stepping down when that happens. We may very well have a trial of a sitting congressman.

Dems Will Eliminate Pork Projects "Democrats tidying up a cluster of unfinished spending bills dumped on them by departing Republican leaders in Congress will start by removing billions of dollars in lawmakers' pet projects next month.

"The move, orchestrated by the incoming chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, could prove politically savvy even as it proves unpopular with other members of Congress, who as a group will lose thousands of so-called earmarks.

"'There will be no congressional earmarks,' Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., said Monday in a statement announcing their plans, which were quickly endorsed by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev." (AP, WSJ)

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This is just a test of our system. Sorry for any inconvenience.

"A 16-year-old kid was entrusted by his parents to the U.S. House of Representatives, and Congress has a responsibility," Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Chicago Tribune in October.

"The most important questions are, 'What did the Republican leadership know, when did they know it and, if they knew something, why didn't they do anything to protect the child?'"

Now, Emanuel's questions are boomeranging back on him and his Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. A House report revealed last week that he and the DCCC knew of Foley's emails during the 2005 period but did not bring them up with the House Page Board or other groups.

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A bit more about John Solomon, the long-time Associated Press investigative reporter who's been hired away by the Washington Post.

As we've catalogued here on TPMm and at TPM, Solomon -- a Washington-based muckraker -- likes to do hard-hitting pieces that expose corruption and wrongdoing among the government's elite. That much we applaud. However, a number of his pieces feature key distortions and omissions that serve to pump their conclusions up to the edge of what may have been supportable by the facts.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has been a favorite target of Solomon's this past year. In February, Solomon wrote a story pulling the senior Democrat into the Abramoff mess. The piece repeatedly mentioned that an Abramoff associate lobbying Reid. Yet he did not mention that Reid voted against the measure Abramoff's team was pushing.

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As Josh just noted, John Solomon will be moving to The Washington Post, according to an internal AP memo leaked to TPM. The memo, which comes to us from a reliable source, reads:

John Solomon is departing at year's end for the Washington Post, where he will run an investigative unit. John has been a reporter, a news editor and investigative editor here over the last 15 years. His own reporting and his work with other Washington reporters has won awards and praise for the AP. We wish him well in his new challenge.


Our calls to the Post, the Associated Press, and John Solomon were not immediately returned.

For those who need reminding as to Solomon's curious predilection for chasing Democrats, here's an earlier TPM post explaining. And another.

Update: AP spokesman John Stokes confirms. "John Solomon is departing at year's end for the Washington Post," he wrote to us in an email that reproduces verbatim the memo we posted above.

Uh-oh, you just got a subpoena from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) in the mail. What do you do?

As we've noted here before, a Democratic Congress means big business for those who make their living defending big business. And law firms have done what they can to whip their corporate clients into a panic over the coming investigations.

In today's Washington Post, Jeffrey Birnbaum reports that "just about every company on K Street is vying for a piece of the soon-to-thrive 'crisis management' business" -- and offers a glimpse of what costly (and sometimes contradictory) opinions from legal eagles, publicity consultants, and lobbyists will look like. The result is a rough primer for targetted corporations:

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