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Oil Company Lobbyist/Interior Department Sex Scandal (Yawn)

And we wonder why we're losing our capacity to be shocked.

After the mens bathroom fetishes, the diaper fetishes, the Congressional page scandal, Client # 9, and on and on, yet another story surfaces at the intersection of sex and government service.

This one, though, is an especial jaw-dropper, as it involves sex, drugs, lobbyists, oil companies and the Bush administration. If scandalous corruption played poker, this one would be a royal flush.

From an AP story titled Interior Department Probe Reveals Oil-Related Corruption, "Culture Of Substance Abuse And Promiscuity":

The alleged transgressions involve 13 former and current Interior Department employees in Denver and Washington. Their alleged improprieties include rigging contracts, working part-time as private oil consultants, and having sexual relationships with -- and accepting golf and ski trips and dinners from -- oil company employees, according to three reports released Wednesday by the Interior Department's inspector general."

Drill baby drill indeed.

And which companies, you ask, might be behind this latest payola scheme?

Between 2002 and 2006, nearly a third of the 55-person staff in the Denver office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, including Chevron, Shell, Hess Corp. and Denver-based Gary-Williams Energy Corp. the investigators found. Two oil marketers who received gifts and gratuities on at least 135 occasions displayed no remorse when confronted with their activities, Devaney said. He singled out Chevron as refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

I really do think sometimes that the Bush administration hired only the least competent, most ethically twisted people in order to destroy once and for all the faith of the American people in their government.

Postscript: Did you know that former Arabian horse breeder and FEMA Director Michael Brown, who oversaw his agency's completely ineffective response to Hurricane Katrina, went on to start a disaster preparedness consulting firm?

"If I can help people focus on preparedness, how to be better prepared in their homes and better prepared in their businesses because that goes straight to the bottom line then I hope I can help the country in some way," Brown told the Rocky Mountain News for its Thursday editions.

File under: outrage fatigue.

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