We’re facing really horrible corruption in our government; it’s getting so bad, we’re nearing like end-stage Byzantine Empire type corruption, with the rot of corruption undermining every government bureaucracy, every political appointment, and the decay reinforced by a corrupt people and the government feeding it back to people in this demonic loop.
This is how bad it’s gotten: it’s become so common for presidents to reward their biggest presidential campaign “donors” with cushy ambassadorships abroad, a study, “What Price the Court of St. James’s? Political Influences on Ambassadorial Postings of the United States of America,” published by two researchers (J.W. Fedderke and D. Jett) out of Penn State’s International Relations Dept. in partnership with Economic Research South Africa (ERSA) have now pinpointed the approximate price tags attached to ambassador appointments in the current system (quid pro quo is only illegal bribery if outside the campaign contribution system, kids!)
Fedderke and Jett discovered that big donors who directly contributed $550,000, or bundled contributions of $750,000, had a 90 percent chance of being posted to a country in Western Europe.
“What we can observe is data on contributions and postings,” Dr. Fedderke said in an interview. “And on the basis of that, we can infer an implicit valuation on postings in monetary terms — even if they haven’t contributed that much.”
When isolating a country’s wealth over other factors, Luxembourg came in at the top of the chart, with a posting there valued at $3.1 million in direct contributions, while an appointment to Portugal was predicted to have a value of $602,686 in personal contributions. The model suggests that bundlers can get the same posts for less: Portugal was valued at about $341,160 in bundled contributions, Luxembourg at $1.8 million.
When factoring in a country’s tourist trade, however, France and Monaco top the list, with the level of personal contributions at $6.2 million and bundled contributions at $4.4 million.
The prices, authors note, vary considerably depending on which factors to emphasize. And in some cases, the actual nominees appeared to “overpay” for their positions — raising or giving more than the model would suggest was necessary — and in some cases “underpay.” That is because some donors bargain poorly for their positions, the authors suggest, while others may possess attributes (business experience, a personal connection to the president) that aid their case. But regardless of the model, Dr. Fedderke and Dr. Jett found, political ambassadors are more likely to be appointed to those countries that are wealthy, popular tourist destinations and safe.
This year, the race to press the president for purchased ambassadorships is more intense than ever, due to the unprecedented flood of donations from billionaires to Obama and Obama’s “independent” (LOL LOL} Super PAC during the 2012 election cycle. Vogue editor Anna Wintour, one of Obama’s biggest bundlers, was pushing to be ambassador to Britain. But she was edged out by “someone who had done even more for Mr. Obama: Matthew Barzun, a genial former technology executive who spent 20 grueling months as finance chairman of the president’s national fund-raising operation.” “The president now has six years of relationships, not two years,” said Andy Spahn, a public relations and political consultant who, along with Jeffrey Katzenberg, the film producer, was Mr. Obama’s top Los Angeles fund-raiser. ‘So I expect that it will be a lot more competitive this time around.’” Source: Well-Trod Path – Political Donor to Ambassador – NYTimes.com
Of course, the salient point is missed, none of these people have diplomatic experience!! DUDE! What happens when delicate negotiations with Britain are needed? what if an EU Parliament meeting at the Espace Léopold in Brussels is bombed by terrorists? what if the French government falls amid nation-wide protests and general strikes? or if Spain is gripped by riots (again)? This isn’t your father’s Western Europe. A placid tourist destination can quickly turn into a global flashpoint of popular unrest and/or ground zero in the newest financial earthquake. Placing corporate donors in charge could be very self-destructive.
Now, it’s even worse. Obama has appointed the CEO of REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) and top Democratic Party fundraiser Sally Jewell to head the Dept. of Interior, which stewards our national parks, national lands, the resources on national lands and runs the widely-despised Bureau of Indian Affairs. Media coverage of Jewell is (so far) lauding her appointment, the overwhelming majority showing positive quotes; of course, the literal merger of corporate CEO and federal agency isn’t questioned.
President Obama is now expected to nominate Penny Pritzker “Chicago hotel scion and businesswoman and Obama mega-bundler” for Secretary of Commerce. Pritzker “ranks #255 in 2012 on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans” and “was reportedly in the hunt for that job back in 2008” but withdrew when predatory lending and toxic subprime mortgages perpetrated by the family zombie bank was exposed. That’s apparently A-okay for today’s cabinet! This is gross.
Source: Obama donor Pritzker for Commerce Secretary? – In the Loop – The Washington Post
The narrative I expect the media to spout is: “Gender equality WOO! Pritzker is the second female Commerce Secretary in U.S. history! Isn’t it great how wonderful the wonderful Obama Administration is, the greatest, most gender diverse administration evah!”
A cabinet of only uber rich people is not DIVERSE! it’s actually really awful, elitist, and undemocratic, and horrible!
It’s a very bad thing when your government won’t even consider candidates outside of the mega-wealthy 0.5% that
bribe donate to campaigns.
Damn, dude! That’s corrupt.