Thursday, November 17, 2005

How government REALLY works

Do you recall the "How governmnet works" chapters from your high school civics course? You know, all those lovely charts and diagrams showing the intricacies of our tri-partite government.

I have a suggestion. We could save a lot of money on textbooks by simply having a brief chapter entitled: "How government REALLY works" followed by excerpst from this email exchange between lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Republihack go-between Italia Federici (from the NYT):

"Hi Jack: I hate to bother you with this right now, but I was hoping to ask about a possible contribution for CREA," Ms. Federici wrote on Jan. 9, 2003. "As usual, we budgeted and spent all of our money from last year, on last year, and have started out the new year with practically nada."

Mr. Abramoff, who represented several wealthy Indian casino operators including the Coushattas of Louisiana, replied: "Absolutely. We'll get that moving asap. The Coushattas are coming to DC next Thursday so I'll hit them immediately."

He continued with a request that Ms. Federici contact her friend J. Steven Griles, then a senior official at the Interior Department, for help batting down a contract that had been recently signed by the Louisiana governor and would have helped a rival Indian tribe. "Can you make sure Steve knows about this and puts the kibosh on it?" Mr. Abramoff asked.

Mr. Griles, who was the deputy secretary in the Interior Department, resigned earlier this year. His close relationship with Ms. Federici has been a focal point for investigators, who are assessing a broad range of lucrative Indian casino work performed by Mr. Abramoff. The Interior Department, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was an important business stop for Mr. Abramoff because of its control over many aspects of Indian governance.

See how simple it is? No boring lectures on checks and balances. No windy discussions of how a bill becomes a law. Nope, government is much simpler.

As long as the checks don't bounce.

1 comment:

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