Monday, January 23, 2006

War on Christmas 

Does Bill O'Reilly know about this?
As details poured out about the illegal and unseemly activities of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, White House officials sought to portray the scandal as a Capitol Hill affair with little relevance to them. Peppered for days with questions about Abramoff's visits to the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said the now disgraced lobbyist had attended two huge holiday receptions [sic -- S.] and a few "staff-level meetings" that were not worth describing further. "The President does not know him, nor does the President recall ever meeting him," McClellan said.

The President's memory may soon be unhappily refreshed. TIME has seen five photographs of Abramoff and the President that suggest a level of contact between them that Bush's aides have downplayed. While TIME's source refused to provide the pictures for publication, they are likely to see the light of day eventually because celebrity tabloids are on the prowl for them. And that has been a fear of the Bush team's for the past several months: that a picture of the President with the admitted felon could become the iconic image of direct presidential involvement in a burgeoning corruption scandal like the shots of President Bill Clinton at White House coffees for campaign contributors in the mid-1990s . . . .

Abramoff was once in better graces at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, having raised at least $100,000 for the President's re-election campaign. During 2001 and 2002, his support for Republicans and connections to the White House won him invitations to Hanukkah receptions, each attended by 400 to 500 people. McClellan has said Abramoff may have been present at "other widely attended" events. He was also admitted to the White House complex for meetings with several staff members, including one with presidential senior adviser Karl Rove, one of the most coveted invitations in Washington.
So the White House -- the White House, mind you! -- insults and belittles Christians, who comprise more than three-quarters of the population, by placing its imprimatur on a third-string holiday celebrated only by Jews, a religious sect comprising under two percent of the population, that openly questions the divinity of Jesus. And, as if this rebuke to our Lord were not outrage enough, it comes each year during the season of His nativity, when retail sales are, by the grace of God, at their apex.

There's a scandal here. Trust us, dear reader, there's a scandal here. It just happens to be buried amid all this impenetrable blather about bribery and corruption at the highest levels of government.

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