Big Money

Big Money

2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and A Pimp-- on the Trail of the Ultra-rich Hijacking American Politics

Book - 2014
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Mark Hanna--the turn-of-the-century iron-and-coal-magnate-turned-operative who leveraged massive contributions from the robber barons--was famously quoted as saying: "There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can't remember what the second one is." To an extent that would have made Hanna blush, a series of developments capped by the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision effectively crowned a bunch of billionaires and their operatives the new kings of politics.

Big Money is a rollicking tour of a new political world dramatically reordered by ever-larger flows of cash. Ken Vogel has breezed into secret gatherings of big-spending Republicans and Democrats alike--from California poolsides to DC hotel bars--to brilliantly expose the way the mega-money men (and rather fewer women) are dominating the new political landscape.

Great wealth seems to attach itself to outsize characters. From the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson to the bubbling nouveau cowboy Foster Friess; from the Texas trial lawyer couple, Amber and Steve Mostyn, to the micromanaging Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg--the multimillionaires and billionaires are swaggering up to the tables for the hottest new game in politics. The prize is American democracy, and the players' checks keep getting bigger.
Publisher: New York :, PublicAffairs, a member of the Perseus Books Group, , [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781610393386
Characteristics: xiii, 304 pages ; 25 cm

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StarGladiator
Nov 08, 2017

The way I judge a book, no matter how crappy, is by the standard of fact accumulation: have I come across at least one new fact or factoid? I have read plenty of garbage books, containing just ONE single fact which was the key to a bounty of knowledge and data.
Unfortunately, this book was a complete no-go, thoroughly mediocre, quite convoluted and disjointed - - not remotely in the same category as Jane Mayer's outstanding book, Dark Money.
The author avoids many perfect examples of Koch brothers' control or influence on the media, and ditto others of the super-rich he mentions (Soros, et cetera).
Take Seattle [my town] for example: the ABC affiliate, KOMO, will feature a guy from the Washington Policy Network [part of the Koch-financed State Policy Network] without mentioning its funding and underlying agenda.
Then the local NPR radio show, Week In Review [one-hour long] will feature the same guy from the Washington Policy Network, never hinting that he's a Koch lobbyist!
Speaking of NPR, there was no mention in Vogel's book of the Koch-financed WGBH Educational Foundation, owner of PRI [provides the bulk of NPR programs], and PBS and Frontline [which has had documentaries spiked by the Kochs].
So, that's simply several conduits of influence and control of many Koch-financed entities!
But - - if the readers has been in a coma for the past decade, or in solitary confinement, or abducted by space aliens and just released - - this may be the book for you!
[To review the official American Fake News Network: the same people who own the major five corporations which own the majority of news outlets also fund the vast number of so-called think tanks, foundations and trusts which provide all those shills and stooges who are called // experts \\ and spew forth the official consensus over CNN, Fox, CBS, PBS, ABC, NPR, MNBC, et cetera! [Cato Institute is Koch borthers.]

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