thomas donlan has a great piece in today’s barron’s on the jack abramoff plea bargain. for those of you who missed it, abramoff plead guilty to funneling $25 million in ‘bribes’ to everyone from bush to a third of congress on behalf of indian tribes. what’s really funny is that he even plead guilty to ‘defruading’ the bribers.
donlan makes a great point that the republicans managed to reach the same level of corruption in just 11 months that the democrats had to develop over several decades. guess that makes the republicans more adept politicians, but we all knew that after watching the last two elections.
he also points to a website, capitaleye, that lists the names of everyone who accepted these bribes. it’s a veritable who’s who of our most famous politicians. included on the list is SF’s very own barbara boxer and diane feinstein. when donlan said there was a race amongst these politicians to give the money back which turned into a huge windfall for the american heart association and the boy scouts, i thought he was joking but it appears true.
i haight sounding so naive but here’s what i dont get, what’s the difference between a ‘lobbyist’ and ‘briber’? is it lobbying when nobody gets caught?
donlan finishes with a suggestion that’s near and dear to my heart. he wishes that all campaign contributions would be allowed so long as they’re made completely public on the internet. that way the public can decide for ourselves who’s the most corrupt.
i totally agree. in fact, it seems like a more efficient market if we can all have a shot at buying feinstein and the republicans. why not create an ebay like auction? maybe i can rally my fellow jews to bid on replacing indians as casino license recipients. think how much more money this might raise for worthy campaigns.
i for one love this idiot abramoff. in one fell swoop he has proven that both parties are equally corrupt. this isnt about the righteous democrats fighting the evil republicans. they’re all part of the same corrupt system.
now i havent followed the sentencing for abramoff but who wants to bet that he gets a slap on the wrist compared to poor old bernie ebers? why? because politicians have to protect their own. you never know when you’ll get caught so you better not set any dangerous precedants. throw away the key on those corporate titans. they dont have any more money to bribe you with anyway.
one last point. when you look at how little abramoff had to pay to buy our ‘leaders’, you realize that buying US government is probably the most undervalued investment there is. and what a great way to sustain patriotic giving! i say if groups like the indian tribes care enough to support our government, even both parties equally, they deserve a big reward. i mean, what have you apothetic slackers done for feinstein, the DNC or tom delay lately? nothing.