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Mitchell Wade, the man who bribed Randy “Duke” Cunningham and then did much to speed the congressman’s spectacular fall, is asking a judge to sentence him to a year of home detention for all the help he provided the government. Prosecutors don’t dispute that Wade was helpful, but they believe that four years in prison is more appropriate for $1.8 million in bribes….
A 42-page sentencing memo filed by Wade’s attorneys says he aided the government in its investigation “of at least five other members of Congress” who were under investigation for “corruption similar to that of Mr. Cunningham.” These no doubt include Virgil Goode and Katherine “Pink Sugar” Harris. Wade wanted to open facilities in their districts and made $78,000 in “straw” contributions to grease the wheels. Neither Harris nor Goode has been charged with wrongdoing.
Prosecutors drop tantalizing hints about an even bigger, ongoing investigation. Wade was debriefed in 2006 and provided “moderately useful” background information in another “large and important corruption investigation” that also has not yet resulted in any charges.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”