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Dick Polman at the The Kansas City Star has an insightful piece about how the GOP faithful are rallying around their man, Tom DeLay, and what that means:

This Just In

The Associated Press reports that:

Retreating under pressure, Republicans on the House ethics committee said Wednesday they were ready to open an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing against Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The Tom DeLay Energy Bill

The New York Times reports that Tom DeLay is the main force behind a provision in the about-to-be-debated energy bill to funnel up to $2 billion over 10 years into research for recovering oil and gas from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Questions coming from the GOP rank-and-file

AP:

Republicans held ranks one day after a few lawmakers expressed concern at a closed-door meeting over the party's handling of the ethics issue.

Several officials said Rep. Dan Lungren of California cautioned fellow Republicans about using power arrogantly, invoking the example of former House Speaker Jim Wright and the Democratic majority he once led. Wright was brought down in an ethics scandal in 1989.

Absolute malarkey

Can you believe this guy?

But in an interview with The Washington Times, published Thursday, DeLay charged that Democrats had shut down the panel to prevent him from clearing his name.

"The only way I can be cleared is through the ethics committee," he said, "so they don't want one."

Local Republican takes on DeLay back home

KHOU has the story of Patricia Baig, a DeLay-district GOP member, who is fed up with DeLay's shenanigans. Way to go, Patricia!

Registration is required, but it's free and when you do, vote in the poll:

"Should Tom DeLay resign?"

Simmons = Kerry

Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT), from The Hill:

“I voted against Tom DeLay on changes to the House rules,” Simmons said in a release put out by his office, referring to the proposed rule changes that would have protected DeLay in the event that he is indicted by a Texas district attorney. The statement was released in response to Shays’s comments.

CNN Quick Poll

Lou Dobbs has a quick on-line poll about DeLay:

Do you believe House Majority Leader Tom Delay is the victim of a campaign by the “liberal” media to embarrass him?

Even with the bias in the question, the results are overwhemingly NO. As of this writing, it's 93% "No", 7% "Yes".

What the Post and Times found

The “Hammer” is being hammered by breaking stories in both the Washington Post and the New York Times.

DeLay losing it at home

The Houston Chronicle conducted a Wednesday to Friday poll of 501 voters in DeLay's district. Here are the highlights: