Quote of the day: What Bob Ney would've said if he hadn't had to shuffle off suddenly to Republicrooks Anonymous (Plus: Bob Novak is a VERY odd guy)
"Ferchrissakes, how friggin' much does a guy have to friggin' steal to make the friggin' front page of the friggin' New York Times when he finally cops his friggin' plea?"
Unfortunately, owing to his sudden urgent call to rehab (see Howie's report, below), our Bob is unavailable for comment.
If it's any consolation, our Bob did make the "INSIDE" box on the bottom corner of the front page of this morning's Times. It's item no. 1 there, in fact. And we know how important it is for him to be No. 1. It's been kind of his lucky number ever since he established himself as federal prosecutors' more or less permanent Representative No. 1. Anyway, there it is in boldface down near the bottom of page 1:
Congressman From Ohio
Is Said to Agree to Plea
But then you have to turn to page A14! Imagine, for Republicrook No. 1! It's an outrage!
After all, doesn't the story (on friggin' page A14) say, "Before he became entangled in the Abramoff scandal, Mr. Ney was seen by colleagues as positioning himself to rise in the House Republican leadership"? Apparently, the crimes to which No. 1 is pleading guilty--not to mention all the others the feds rolled in in exchange for the plea--would have been no impediment to his rise in the leadership. The only hitch was that small inconvenience of getting caught.
True, there's always tomorrow. Maybe the actual announcement of No. 1's plea will make the front page, especially since it will presumably include his rather-belated resigntion from Congress. (Remember, all he's done so far is announce that he won't run for reelection.) But by tomorrow, this could be "old news."
(Say, once No. 1 purges himself from the House, do you suppose Ohio Gov. Bob "No Contest Already, Will You Leamme Alone Now?" Taft gets to appoint someone to fill out the term? Like, for example, No. 1's hand-picked successor, Republicrook-in-waiting Joy Padgett, who just won the special primary to become the official GOP nominee for the seat.)
Meanwhile, we trust the feds took No. 1's likely unavailability to appear at his plea announcement into account in figuring out how he will satisfy the surely nonnegotiable requirement that he issue a Duke Cunninghamly tearful apology for all those oh-so-indignant but oh-so-lying protestations of his innocence. It's not enough for him just to say a Jerry Lewis-style "KIDDING!"
Lest there be any misunderstanding, we're thinking of the Jerry Lewis who's America's funnyman, not the powerful California Republicrook who we imagine is pooping in his pants while he flips to page A14.
ALSO TALKING--It's official: "Bob Novak is a very, very odd guy" (and we don't mean just those teethlike things in his mouth)
"It's a very odd way to treat a source that you've protected publicly for the last couple of years, but again it explains why a lawyer in this case told me that if there's anything any of us have learned in this entire episode, it's that Bob Novak is a very, very odd guy."
--correspondent David Shuster, talking to Keith Olbermann ("MSNBC's David Shuster keeps trying to get out of this story," Keith explained, "but they keep pulling him back in") on last night's Countdown, about Novak's insistence that his now-acknowledged No. 1 source for the Valerie Wilson-CIA story, then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, is lying about their meeting, in which Armitage, insists Novak, was clearly trying to plant the Wilson story in Novak's column
Pointing to the fact that super-Cub Scout "Prosecutor Pat" Fitzgerald cleared Armitage [left] early on, while "so many people in this case seem to believe that Bob Novak was under deeper investigation by prosecutors than has been publicly acknowledged," Shuster says, "That suggests to a number of lawyers in this case that prosecutors had more problems with the actions of Bob Novak in this entire episode than they did with Richard Armitage."