- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 5, 2006

70 or less

Abbe Lowell, an attorney for corrupt ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, crossed paths with Inside the Beltway upon his return from Miami, where a judge last week sentenced his client to 70 months in prison for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials.

We asked the lawyer, who has counseled everybody from Bill Clinton to former California Rep. Gary A. Condit, how satisfied he is with Abramoff’s nearly six-year prison sentence.

“The media always gets it wrong. He’ll serve less than that,” replied Mr. Lowell, who is convinced that his client will receive a reduced sentence once he finishes “cooperating” with prosecutors, who are continuing to sort through the wide-reaching scandal.

That said, Abramoff is not required to report to prison for at least three months, or until the court is satisfied he’s revealed all he knows surrounding their investigation, which stretches from impoverished Indian tribal lands to the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill.

Indian givers

Speaking of hoodwinking Indians, we’ve just read in the April issue of Harper’s about Kelly Hearn, a South American correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, obtaining an outrageous list of donations to be made by Agip Oil Ecuador to the indigenous Huaorani tribe in eastern Ecuador’s Amazon region, in return for releasing Agip from any liabilities when carrying out oil exploration on Huaorani ancestral land:

Two buckets of lard

One sack of salt

100 pounds of rice

100 pounds of sugar

One chalkboard

One Ecuadorean flag

Fifteen plates

Fifteen cups

Fifteen spoons

Two pots

Two ladles

Two soccer balls

One stopwatch

One referee whistle

So he assumed

“The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I’m still very much alive.”

Or so the embattled former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, whose resignation from Congress was announced yesterday, insisted in this column barely one month ago.

Comedy of errors

“The Democratic Party just sits and waits, and they wind up getting these amazing opportunities to do the exact same things that the Republicans do. The Republicans are just more focused and organized.”

—Hollywood actor Seth Green, appearing with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, as a guest on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

Pull up a camel

Jordan’s ambassador to the United States, Karim Kawar, and his wife, Luma, probably will have an Arabian tale or two to tell this evening while hosting Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman and Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser at the Jordanian chancery.

The occasion actually celebrates Friday’s premiere of “Walking the Winds: Arabian Tales,” a musical play jointly created and produced by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Performing Arts Center of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation in Amman, Jordan.

Considered a groundbreaking collaboration between Jordanian and American artists, the play runs April 7-16 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater. It includes song, dance and drama, intermixed with Jordanian folk tales, Bedouin tales and Arabian legends and myths.

Friends of Scotland

Reps. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., Tennessee Republican, and Mike McIntyre, North Carolina Democrat, will put aside their political differences long enough today to offer a toast to their Scottish heritage.

The pair of lawmakers last year co-sponsored the House Tartan Day resolution, which made possible today’s inaugural luncheon of the Friends of Scotland Caucus.

Guests are expected to include a delegation from the Scottish Parliament, including First Minister Jack McConnell, Finance Minister Tom McCabe and Presiding Officer (Speaker) George Reid. British Ambassador David Manning is also expected to appear.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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