1. Anonymous says:

    Good post. There are endless examples of payoffs to cronies and foxes in charge of the henhouses, but don’t forget the population of the â€Coalition Provisional Authority†by youngsters from a Heritage Foundation job advertisement list who had no idea what they were doing, in lieu of recognized experts who had been blackballed by Doug Feith and Dumsfeld, in the crucial first year of the Iraq Occupation.

    Here’s hoping the revolving door hits every last one of them hard on their way out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here’s hoping the revolving door hits every last one of them hard on their way out.

    Amen to that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The reason all this profiteering needs to be investigated and shut down is that any defense or government contract that’s awarded to someone with connections rather than the best qualified is selling out our country for personal gain. Plain and simple. The country is not getting the best, and anyone who does this is no patriot.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You mention subverting the democratic process, which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. There was a time when people in public service considered fair elections important enough that they would defend the process, even if it meant losing. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I don ’t think many politicians look at democracy as an end in itself, with inherent value. This scares the shit out of me.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Boy, howdy did you nail this scandal! And it is endemic, it is not just national politics, it is everywhere. At the Texas Democratic convention a few weeks ago, a speaker from New Mexico was flown in, given a speaking honorarium to speak at length with maximum visibility, and feted nicely. I was scratching me head, wondering why the top of our own ticket was not given such a good speaking slot. After a talk with a state-wide cadidate, I was enlightened. You see, the current TDP executive director invited the New Mexico politician from whom he was hoping to get a job. He was using TDP money to grease the skids for his own next step up the ladder, and at the same time, screwing our own Texas candidates out of a chance to connect with party activists. Political work has become a career path now, with even very young 3rd stringers cynically playing the system for employment. Screw America, I need that job!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Excellent points, both by Arkin and you, ew.

    As disturbing as the stories of those individual drops in the Niagara are – like this one describing Chief of the Joint Chiefs General Richard Myers’ move into an 8-day-a-year, $200,000 job at Northrup-Grumman less than six months after his departure from government service – the corrosive nature of the revolving-door culture dates back to somewhere around Eisenhower’s farewell warning of a military-industrial complex. Today, it’s the military-industrial-congressional complex and a whole lot of offshoots.

    Mister Bush & Cronies have ratcheted up the interconnections and given us throughgoing incompetence and a higher level of corruption than previously, it is true, from DHS to Iraq, from energy to the pharmaceutical industry. But that slap on the butt of their pals by the revolving door will do next to nothing to dig out the roots of this matter.

    These days, â€revolving door,†against which there are weak and scarce protections, hardly describes the reality, which is, in so many arenas, a thoroughgoing merger of business and government. All the checks and balances inscribed into our governance by the Founders have been made increasingly irrelevant as the business and political domains have become less and less distinguisable, interlaced in a Gordian knot of corporatism.

    Follow the money? Of course. But it will take an army to do it. I wish we could count on a new Democratic Congress to tackle that job come January 2007.

  7. Anonymous says:

    In regard to the â€revolving door,â€isn’t there supposed to be a definite period of time between leaving office and taking a job in the sector of industry your former agency dealt with?

    I remember that it was at least 3 years between â€engagements.â€

  8. Anonymous says:

    margaret, the law requires that officials in contract-decisive posts wait a year before signing up with a military contractor. Two loopholes: First, they can immediately work for a contractor in a division of supposedly unrelated to their government work. Second, the law doesn’t apply to most officials at the highest levels.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I saw a program on C-SPAN where the head of Northrop-Grumman introduced Negroponte by his first name! The iron triangle has been transmuted into gold.

  10. Anonymous says:

    One thing our era has done is glorify the free market and how it magically supposed to create the best society for all. It encourages the individual to look to their own self-interest to determine the right outcome. But what it really has done is create a meme of winners and losers with the moral authority belonging to the winners and the losers depicted as just a bunch of whiners who deserve what they get. And it is now enshrined in our culture and our government – whatever you can get is your due and if you pull a fast one on someone else, well, good on you. I think this philosophy is the underlying sickness in our society and the reason things are going to hell in a handbasket so fast.

    The Democrats signed up for this when they decided to see if they could get some of that good times money, but the Republicans have taken it to a whole new level. It is institutionalized in the Republican way of doing things. Here’s Grover Norquist’s description of our current model for public service: â€Democrats in Congress retire to universities. K Street is where Republicans go to retire.†You work in government because you want to rake in the big bucks after making your connections. It’s the culture of corruption writ large.

    And the worst thing of all? The cynicism of the public is something that works for the Republicans because, after all, government is the problem and they are just proving it to the Americans again and again. Democrats need people to believe that government can work, Republicans use hatred of government as the reason to vote for them. Nice little scam, that.