The NYT article about Jack Abramoff’s covert payments to a Cato Institute columnist, Doug Bandow, includes this interesting graf:

“A second scholar, Peter Ferrara, of the Institute for Policy Innovation, acknowledged in the same BusinessWeek Online piece that he had also taken money from Mr. Abramoff in exchange for writing certain opinion articles. But Mr. Ferrara did not apologize for doing so. "I do that all the time," Mr. Ferrara was quoted as saying. He did not reply to an e-mail message seeking comment on Friday.”

We were a little heartened by Ferrara’s damn the torpedoes attitude because.. and we say this with great sorrow in our hearts – LI, too, has been on, or can be construed by some pink liberal commentator as being on, Abramoff’s retainer. In our position as policy coordinator at the libertarian “Abolish taxes and borrow money until 2100 comes around” institute – known around D.C., affectionately, as the Raw Steakeaters thinktank and mudwrestling extravaganza – we, well, we had a little gambling problem developed when we were scientifically researching the exciting field of Public Choice theory in Reno at The Golden Spur. As a result of this unfortunate shortfall, we were more open than we perhaps should have been to Jack Abramoff’s suggestion that we rename our institute “Abolish taxes and make gambling illegal except on Indian Reservations and borrow money until the Year 2100.” By the way, we have now gone back to our old name. And we – or at least me – LI – is going to return every hot cent of that inducement that, in the new era of puritanical morality, is being called a bribe. Returning that money will require a brief trip, in the spring, to the Preekness, but we have a pretty good line on a couple of ponies recommended by Bill Bennett. In the meantime, we’d like to issue an apology, and assure our base of supporters that we will continue to issue our fine white papers, such as the one coming out: “How lowering the tax rate to 0 percent for incomes over 200 thousand actually increases government revenue: the latest napkin graph.” We are scotching the one entitled: “Much wampum, make woopee, why Ralph Reed is good for America.”

ps -- continuing on the corruption note:

If you wonder why the American perception of Iraq is confused, consider this: a minor candidate in Basra whose party leader just happened to go to Israel last year gets profiled as a sort of representative of Iraq not just by the Washington Post, but by the New York Times, too.

Neither article voices any criticism of him at all. Neither paper accompanies any non-secular candidates at all. Imagine two newspapers in France covering the American election in 2004 by concentrating on a socialist candidate for mayor in Burlington, Vermont, and you get the feeling for the propaganda outlets that the major media have become.

Amazing. No wonder the AEI crowd still thinks we “won the war’ in Iraq.

Our major newspapers can only become the garbage outlets for Bush propaganda for so long before they will simply disconnect from their readership altogether. I wonder if the journalists and editors think it is worth sacrificing the business in order to be counted among the movers and shakers in D.C. I guess I shouldn't wonder, though. The governing class has little interest in telling the truth to the governed, and every interest in keeping America confined in the bubble of its projection -- that projection that sees little wannabe Americas all over the world.