David Cay Johnston: Free Lunch

It arrived this morning, just as Mr. Johnston had promised- a free copy of his newest book, Free Lunch.  I must tip my hat to Midwestgirl for giving me a heads-up on this fantastic read.  By the way, he also sent me his first best seller, Perfectly Legal.  They are a dual expose’ of how the well connected, rich and powerful have discovered how to use the government and the minions of government for their personal aggrandizement.  A ‘free lunch,’ so to speak.

I had only a few minutes today to skim the book [because I was baby-sitting my two grandsons] but many of Mr. Johnston’s chapter headings reflect similar topics, issues and discussions that we have been discussing on this blog for the past two years. And the subject matter isn’t at all pretty!

As a left-handed, right-brainer, I naturally began at the back of the book in the conclusion section: What to Do? We, my fellow blogging companions, have been doing just that.  The last sentence of the book reads, “Reform begins with you.”  He is speaking of reforming the laws and loopholes of this government which, as the title suggests, are tilted much in the favor of the rich and well-connected- those well-connected to Congress.

Politico came out with a story today that warns Democrats that the fall election may be a blow-out for them and they may lose as many as 60 seats, giving control of that body to the GOP. Naturally, that thought sends chills down one’s spine, but, what the hell, if they couldn’t get decent reforms with the tremendous majority they had, then they must be incompetent and deserve to lose.  One may wonder if we need be punished by a House lead by John Boehner, but that may turn out to be a blessing.  He and his fellow right-leaning Republicans may demonstrate very clearly to the American people that they are even more incompetent than the Democrats were.

At that point, perhaps the electorate will be so disgusted with both parties, that they may press for a significant change in the way things are ‘done’ in Congress.  Who knows, it may even foment a mild revolution.

After all, the Constitution begins, We the People. “Reform begins with you.”

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7 thoughts on “David Cay Johnston: Free Lunch

  1. Yep, you can sit and complain, or you can get out and be active.

    The system allows for people to have a say, but they have to use that power. What Mr. Johnston shows is that the rich have figured out how they can pervert the system to meet their needs.

    One of the propaganda techniques is to control the flow of information to feed the public a message.

    The public voice, when it is truly public, can drown out the insane messages that we are hearing.

    Of course, that takes a lot of work.

  2. Correct analysis, Laci. Those propaganda techniques are working swell right now, so much in fact that even supposedly intelligent people are hoodwinked into believing the crap. Take the following paragraph from a local blog. It is from a post titled, “Land of the Free.”

    This does not mean that helping our fellow man is bad, but that getting government involved in the process turns such aid into a bureaucratic monstrosity, into panhandling, and into rampant fraud. It is charity for individuals to give to the needs of others out of their own generosity. It is armed robbery for the government to take from some under threat of imprisonment, only to give to others in little more than wealth redistribution.

    The blogmeister is also a contributor to a local newspaper, so one might suspect that his knowledge runs deeper than the most recent rant by Rush Limbaugh. Apparently it does not. In fact, the paragraph might have been spoken by that flash-in-the-pan celebrity [also of Toledo] Joe the Plumber. He’s the one, you may recall, who cornered Obama during the campaign and challenged him with that ‘redistribution of wealth’ canard. Naturally the right-wing and GOP ran with that demagoguery and Joe was invited onto the McCain-Palin bus tour.

    Laci, it is therefore very difficult to, as you say, drown out the insane messages that we are hearing. because we Americans love the one-liners much more than a 10 minute discussion of a topic. I suspect that the common distraction disorder ADHD is wide-spread throughout the land and is not limited to children.

    Referring back to the local blogmeister, I suggested that he read, Free Lunch, and then see if he changes his finger-pointing from the Welfare Queen to the corporate CEO. Unfortunately, however, his blog has ‘comment moderation’ and my comment may never appear.

  3. Those paragons of liberal virtue, the Koch brothers, funded Politico, you know.

    Just sayin’!

    Suzan

    Politico came out with a story today that warns Democrats that the fall election may be a blow-out for them and they may lose as many as 60 seats, giving control of that body to the GOP.
    __________________

  4. Laci writes, “Yep, you can sit and complain, or you can get out and be active.”

    Yep, very true Laci. This is what I have been saying for the last couple of months about the need for us to move on to a more active position.

    Now, that you have received these two books, M_R, it’s time to “crank up the lizzy and get busy,” lol. Maybe you can unearth that pic of lady liberty carrying the flag, huh…..

    There are many avenues we can pursue; we need to focus on one. Lets set a time table of having something decided by the time the leaves begin to fall in Toledo……

  5. “At that point, perhaps the electorate will be so disgusted with both parties, that they may press for a significant change in the way things are ‘done’ in Congress. Who knows, it may even foment a mild revolution.”

    Muddy, people already are fed up with both parties and how crap “gets done” in D.C.
    Those insane idiots as you call them in the tea partys have been demanding things be done differently for over 2 years now. You miss the messege because the msm is making the entire arguement about Obama as opposed to the actual issue at hand. It’s not and never was just an anti-Obama issue. It’s about the corrupt practices by the government!
    It’s about congressmen who have grown so comfy and complacent that they’ve stopped giving a damned long ago what the people sent them to D.C to do or, even why.
    Congress people like Marcy Kaptur who knows her district is a D stronghold have completely lost the fear of being jobless for shitty performance. I loved the townhall meeting she scheduled and, claimed she didn’t know about it…but, oddly her aids did and, set up a Charlie’s Angels style speaker to pontificate from…pretty danged good work for not knowing it was scheduled!

    The fact that our elected representitives say one thing before November and do another after the 2nd week of November might have people pissed off too.

    It seems to me that with all the bullshit going on, there are 4 kinds of people who go to the polls.

    The rightwingers who’s only worry is that the guv-mint might take away their guns.

    The liberals who are worried that a politician might believe in God.

    The leftys who want the government to control everything for everyone.

    And the people who want the government to obey the laws and constitutional provisions outlined for the government and just be left the hell alone to live their lives uninterupted.

    “Soft revolutions” don’t work. Soft revolts seem to leave the same people in power. The differnce is that they will temporariliy change their tune to placate the masses and then return to what they were doing when the winds change.

    Take a look at the democrats who are facing losing their seats as an example. Two months before the election and now they’re ALL sliding right in their rhetoric!
    Even John McCain has slid to the right in order to save his sorry ass!

  6. Sepp- I suspect that there is a 5th type of person who shows up at the polls. That would be the ‘type’ who comments on this blog. Perhaps we could call ourselves the ‘truth-seekers.’ That’s what Mr. Johnston’s book is all about-ferreting out the truth among the political smog.

    Sepp writes, It’s about the corrupt practices by the government!

    Yep! Exactly.

    What do you SEE as the top 5 most corrupt practices by the government, Sepp?

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