Like synchronized swimmers in the media pool of spin, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have top stories in Friday’s papers about how the Plamegate scandal has affected the mood in the White House. Poor administration officials and staffers. Yeah – like we care. I hope they’re pissing in their high-paid boots until Fitzgerald is done with his investigation.

The NYT article, Jitters at the White House, is much ado about Karl Rove. Spare us NYT and get your asses onto writing the real story – what Judith Miller knows. We’re waiting.

The Washington Post article talks about the “toll” taken on Bush’s second term as a result of the culture of corruption. Most of us knew they were corrupt during the first term – where was the MSM then? Perhaps surprisingly though, what seems to have the White House most concerned isn’t Plamegate at all, according to former Republican congressman Vin Weber of Minnesota. It’s the Abramoff scandal.

“The one that people are most worried about is Abramoff because it seems to have such long tentacles,” said former congressman Vin Weber (R-Minn.), a lobbyist with close ties to the White House. “This seems to be something that could spread almost anywhere . . . and that has a lot of people worried.”

The Abramoff scandal has already resulted in two unanticipated casualties: David H. Safavian, a former Rove business partner serving as the top White House procurement official, recently resigned and was arrested on charges that he lied about and impeded an investigation into his dealings with Abramoff. And Timothy E. Flanigan, Bush’s nominee for deputy attorney general, the number two job at the Justice Department, withdrew last week after questions were raised about his interactions with the lobbyist.

“The Abramoff thing is a lingering nuisance to everybody,” said GOP lobbyist Charles Black. “I don’t know who else might be caught up in it.”

Twin investigations of Abramoff by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and a multi-agency federal task force appear likely to tar a host of lawmakers the White House has relied on for passage of critical legislative initiatives.

A “lingering nuisance”? That’s good to know.

So, even if Fitzgerald is unable to come up with some juicy indictments as a result of his investigation into Plamegate, we can hold out hope that this administration is crumbling to the ground in one way or another. With DeLay and Frist also entangled in their own legal problems, it looks like 2006 is going to be a very interesting election year indeed.

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