But Josh Marshall's got the real deal:
Now, do you notice what gets left unsaid in all this?
What did Reid do in response? That's really the key issue.
Did he intervene on behalf of Abramoff's Marianas clients? The gist of the whole narrative is that Reid was Team Abramoff's go-to guy to kill the bill that would have hurt the Marianas sweatshop owners.
But did he actually rise to the bait?
I rung up Reid spokesman Jim Manley. He said Reid was a "cosponsor of Sen. Kennedy's bill; he spoke in favor of the bill on the Senate; he was a strong supporter of the bill." When I pressed Manley on whether Sen. Reid took any action adverse to the bill or made changes in timing that lead to the bill's demise, he said, "No."
Then I got hold of Ron Platt, the lobbyist referenced in the passage above, on his cell phone while he was down at a conference in Florida. I asked him whether, to the best of his recollection, Reid had taken any action against the Kennedy bill. "I'm sure he didn't," Platt told me.
According to Platt, the purpose of his contacts was to see what information he could get about the timing and status of the legislation. Reid's position on the minimum wage issue was well known and there would have been no point trying to get his help blocking it. That's what Platt says. "I didn't ask Reid to intervene," said Platt. "I wouldn't have asked him to intervene. I don't think anyone else would have asked. And I'm sure he didn't."
Now, obviously, both Reid's office and Platt are interested parties on this question. If there were evidence to the contrary you wouldn't necessarily want to take their statements at face value. But as far as I can tell there is no evidence to the contrary. And that's after speaking with supporters of the legislation who would probably know. They don't seem to think Reid had anything to do with tanking the minimum wage bill. Nothing.
In this case, despite the AP story's narrative of lobbyist contacts, there doesn't seem to be any evidence whatsoever that Reid ever took any action on behalf of Abramoff's Marianas clients.
Wasn't that worth a mention?
Now evidently Reid did get money from Indian tribes, which I guess was Abramoff's way of getting somebody who was going to support them anyway appear, you know, to do what they wanted. ("See? Reid did what you wanted because you gave me money for my services!" the fraudster Abramoff no doubt said.)
But clearly the Marianas thing shows that Reid was - unlike the Bush folks- not being a lapdog for Abramoff.
Evidently there's a big bullshit spin-dry cycle over the fact that it's being report that Bush met with Abramoff many times, and attempting to drag Reid into it is an attempt at a "balance" that obscures the truth.
Our media is contemptible.