May 19, 2013
Capital Powerball: Scandals Grease Washington's WheelsBy Clarice Feldman
After running an errand at the Courthouse, I decided to pop into the Barrister Bar and Bistro for a quick bite. The place was packed and Charlie, the maitre d', shrugged his shoulders apologetically. "There's a huge party here this afternoon, but I can seat you at the bar if you don't mind."
I didn't mind and was happy to see that my favorite bartender, Joe, was at work,
I pulled out USA Today and read until he was free: "After February 2010, the IRS didn't approve a single Tea Party tax-exempt application until spring 2012, although it approved dozens of comparable applications from liberal groups." Some coincidence, I thought. Just after Citizens United, the President's outrageous temper tantrum about it at the State of the Union address, his constant demonizing of his opponents, the tea party in particular, and demands by key Democrats including Senators Baucus, Franken, Schumer, Reid, and Levin that the applications for 501(c)(4) status by the president's opponents be subject to harsh scrutiny.
"Place is jammed. I've never seen it so packed. What's up?" I asked as Joe placed my vodka tonic in front of me. "Looks like every former U.S. Attorney in town is here."
He pressed in closer so that he wouldn't be overheard.
"Celebration of the scandals. They are about to make more money defending these clowns than they ever dreamed of. Second terms are always more lucrative for them than first, but this is the ultimate jackpot. Like winning the Powerball."
The bar was mirrored so even with my back to the crowd I could see what was going on. In the center of the room at a round table sat one of the president's biggest campaign bundlers, an extremely well garbed man -- hand-tailored navy suit, lustrous silk tie, crisp shirt and glittering cufflinks -- with a great haircut. He was seated with a group of well-sloshed men and women all of whom were drinking heartily.
Suddenly everyone stood up for the toast.
"Here's to Joe," began his colleague. "We asked why we should support Obama after that disastrous first term and he said, 'Cast your crumbs upon the water and you'll get fig newtons back.'"
"And he was right!" came a shout from the rear and a wild round of applause followed.
Aside from the circular table in the middle where George and his cronies sat, there were seven tables.
"What are the colored badges for?" I asked.
"They signify which scandal defendants they are representing so they can exchange useful procedural and related information without disclosing who they are representing or breaching client confidentiality. The orange tag means the attorney is representing someone in the Benghazi scandal."
"I see seven -- probably Petraeus, Clinton, Rice, Donilon, Brennan, Nuland, Rhodes. And the blue badge?" I asked, sipping the drink.
"IRS scandal," Joe whispered, wiping the counter to appear more inconspicuous.
"Hmm," I thought, "Shulman, Ingram, Miller, Lerner, and some others to be named at a later date. And the red badge?"
"Small table -- must be Justice officials on the Associated Press scandal."
"Yeah, so far Holder and his deputy Cole. Will Cole cover for Holder who preposterously testified he recused himself because he speaks to the press, that he can't remember when he recused himself, and that he didn't follow the statutory mandate for recusal procedure?"
"You did notice," Joe laughed, "that the 'security breach' which Holder claims occasioned the wiretapping of reporters turns out to be AP waiting to publish until they got the CIA's approval but before the White House crowd could publicly pat themselves on the back for getting the underwear bomber?"
"Wasn't that something? The whole story is too flimsy to hold a drop of water and even the press can grasp this one."
Joe refreshed my drink and took my lunch order. "Yellow badges?"
"EPA -- selective fines and fees and fake e-mail accounts to avoid detection of secret coordination of the head of the agency and environmentalists."
He placed a tablemat and the silver setting down, and leaned in. "HHS, Sebelius strong-arming those who are being regulated by her to kick in and make Obamacare operable."
"And that very long table of purple badges?"
The toast having ended, Joe flicked on the switch for some music. It was Theodore Bikel, a suitable choice:
Waiters circled the room with platters of caviar, foie gras, filet mignon, and lobster.
Joe signaled to the maitre d', who allowed in a crowd that had been gathering expectantly outside -- architects, real estate agents, jewelers, furriers, interior designers, high end merchandisers, luxury auto salesmen -- all of whom surrounded the tables showing pictures of their wares and taking orders.
"Aren't the voters of America great to D.C.?" Joe asked. "They send these clowns here and the clowns, in turn, pay us to keep them out of jail."