Not even two weeks into this crucial midterm election year, the nation has seen plenty of political drama: Last week GOP |ber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials, and within days his friend Tom DeLay dropped his bid to regain his majority leader post. An embattled President Bush is embroiled in a domestic spying scandal that's awakened a slumbering Congress, and on Monday Samuel Alito shambled into his Supreme Court confirmation hearings without the cloak of inevitability John G. Roberts wore just four months ago. Looming in November: A nationwide referendum on the imperial yet often impotent Bush presidency. It's going to be a fascinating year, and if you don't want to miss a moment of political intrigue, you should join Salon Premium today.
We began gearing up for 2006 months ago: In November we announced our hiring of Walter Shapiro as our Washington bureau chief, and he joined us last week, stepping up to cover the Alito hearings. Meanwhile, Washington correspondent Michael Scherer was all over the Abramoff indictment (and while others mistook the lobbyist's black hat for mobster garb, we were the only ones to tell you what it really meant). And in War Room, Tim Grieve brings you all the news -- on Alito, Abramoff, indictments, nominations, resignations -- often before you'll find it anywhere else.
But in this election year Salon also brings you the stories that get hidden behind the big-news headlines: Mark Benjamin's latest installment on how the Pentagon fails Iraq veterans, for instance, revealed that soldiers aren't being quickly diagnosed and treated for the troublesome brain injuries unique to the unpredictable, explosive nature of the Iraq war. And Michelle Goldberg caught the hypocrisy in past allies of white supremacists gathering in a conservative black church in Philadelphia for so-called Justice Sunday.
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