Op-Eds Speaking Truth to the Powers-That-Be
Casino Jack is back. He’s having that post-prison epiphany that heals both the soul and his bank account. He’s doing the talk show circuit with his mea culpa dunk booth, BUT… Just as Frank Abagnale Jr. became useful to the FBI after his long check kiting run, it sometimes takes a bad guy to get others. If they make a movie about the second act of Jack Abramoff’s life, it has to have this title: “To Catch A Schmuck.”
Abramoff’s new autobiography, “Capital Punishment” actually contains a few acts of contrition that have real application, particularly as we watch the “Super” committee melt down into another useless attempt at governing.
We also had the shocking revelation via 60 Minutes that members of congress, including high ranking pols on both sides of the aisle like past House speaker Nancy Pelosi and current speaker John Boehner, can engage legally in insider trading. This alone should cause all of them to resign.
The problems are simple: Money and power. Congressmen on both sides of the aisle hold power, gain money from special interests, then want to keep both for a very long time. If they can’t do it in office, they wait the prescribed period and then become part of the nightmare of K Street lobbying of their friends on the Hill.
So what prescription does the Dr. Frankenstein of K Street have to fix our broken government? In an interview with the NPR show “Tell Me More” Abramoff identified some real concrete steps to change the routing of the money road from K Street to Capitol Hill and back.
We’ll add a couple of additional ideas to Casino Jack’s:
It is the tidal wave of money coming by way of K Street and post-Citizens United giving that is causing the gridlock in Washington and killing our economy. Many of Casino Jack’s prescriptions are exactly what the doctor ordered for those angry members of the 99% marching for the Occupy Wall Street movement and elsewhere around the country and the globe.
Sometimes it takes killing one cockroach off to learn how to end the infestation. It’s time that we fumigate Capitol Hill and K Street.
My shiny two.