John McCain is going to dodder on stage and give a repeat of Sarah Palin's speech from last night (Summary: Kids, get off my lawn! My lawn called....America.), and so it will be easy to miss the real news about he who knows how to keep it real, Republican-style.

Jack A. Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican super-lobbyist, was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for his role in a corruption scandal that rocked Congress and the Bush administration.

U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle pronounced the sentence as a tearful Abramoff stood before her with his lawyers this afternoon in a courtroom that included both victims and family members.

Tears are entirely inappropriate to this situation, Jack, you big weenie. This is far more appropriate:

No tears! Feed some ducks!

No kidding, it makes me angry that he cries. I mean, I should be glad to see him wallow in shame and misery. And it does. And there's no doubt that justice was actually served here, at least until "someone" pardons him. (Which McCain should be asked about every time he shows his head.) But still, it makes me angry. It's like he actually feels sorry for himself, and Abramoff is such a decrepit piece of shit, morally speaking, that no one should feel sorry for himself, including himself.

I knew he was a piece of shit, but seriously, Thomas Frank's book The Wrecking Crew took my understanding to a whole new level. I was especially impressed by the fingerprints Abramoff left all over the last ditch attempts to preserve apartheid in South Africa, and then his role in making sure the transition after apartheid fell protected the financial and political interests of wealthy white Afrikaners. Oh, but there's so much more, including the role he played in reinventing conservatism to be a right wing idealist philosophy that merges nicely with the fascistic right wing "populism" that's on full display during the RNC. Frank even lays the blame for the most annoying of political creatures---the smarmy libertarian---at the feet of Abramoff and his compadres. Unfortunately, his role in the establishment of libertarianism as a viable political force turns out not to be criminal, but nonetheless, the groundwork was laid for doing criminal things. Which he did. With relish and with ketchup. So good riddance and let's hope his ass stays gone.