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Just viewed another great documentary: Casino Jack and the United States of Money. An excellent non-partisan investigation into the legalised bribery system called lobbying in the USA. The documentary goes over Jack Abramoff's (page worth the read if you can't see the doc!) political history from his College Republican days, to his time in prison for fraud. Abramoff had his dirty little so far up so many politicians' arses it is amazing! John McCain took great pleasure in taking his fellow GOP down as they were in opposing camps for the then coming electoral campaign. 12 people have been similarly convicted along with Abramoff, all among the highest ranked access to the presidential office, and maybe more to come. The doc ends on two very depressing commentaries on our times:
-In the year following Abramoff's fraud conviction, total lobby money spent went up by 1 billion dollars
-Under Obama, the courts decided to remove the cap on corporate contributions to electoral funds
According to most political pundits, the main drive, in addition to sheer power mongering, for more and more electoral money, is the spiralling costs of re-elections. The only way to put an end to spiralling campaign costs, and by the same token ending the need for a good deal of lobbying, would be to instigate public electoral funding, where all candidates have access to the same budget. Allowing for elections to be decided by quality of candidature instead of wealth. But this isn't about to happen. :(
Outside the financial institutions lobby, one of the other biggest lobbies is "Big Pharma", often handled by Phrma, maybe the topic of the next big documentary smack down... :)
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