Source: The Vancouver Sun

Obama meets "Senator Bulworth"

One of the most important steps Barack Obama has made to reduce
corruption in U.S. politics (and by extension help the rest of the world)
has received little coverage in the media.

Obama has started to clean up what some consider the root cause of the
sleaze that directly led to the economic devastation that is emanating from
the U.S.

What is Obama doing that could end up being revolutionary -- ethically? He
is tightening up the rules on corporate lobbying of U.S. politicians, including
by campaign donors.

I don't know if it will be enough, but Obama appears to be prepared to
reform this area of government that observers from across the political
spectrum believe has been at the heart of that country's and the world's
financial breakdown.

You can get a hint of the negative power of lobbyists from the movie,
Bulworth. Corporate lobbying forms the dark thematic core of the brilliant
political satire and black comedy.

Astute Warren Beatty was the star, director and co-screenplay writer of
Bulworth, which is among the most edgy, penetrating (and funny) political
films ever produced.

Bulworth (1998) tells the story of fictional U.S. Democratic Party Senator
Jay Billington Bulworth, who grew so depressed about being beholden to
corporate lobbyists and campaign financiers that he outrageously risked
everything to do something about it.

The results of Bulworth's rebellion (with Halle Berry) against the backroom
bagmen who often control U.S. politicians is both hilarious and sinister.
Bulworth is a cautionary tale that's extremely relevant to the globe's current
financial meltdown.

The disaster caused by unregulated lobbying has been noted in recent
months by figures of both the left and right, including John Talbott, one of
North America's most highly placed investment bankers, formerly of Goldman

The author of Contagion: The Financial Epidemic that is Sweeping the Global
Economy says deregulation of banking and financial institutions directly led
to the current recession.

"Why wasn't there any any regulation? The answer is {U.S. politicians} were
being paid to deregulate. They were accepting enormous campaign
contributions from corporations, banks, hedge funds and Wall Street
institutions," Talbott said in a January interview.

The entire system has to change, said Talbott, who in 2003 wrote The
Coming Crash in the Housing Market. It correctly warned about the dangers
of subprime loans and the coming credit crisis.

"They have to get big-business lobbying and corporate campaign
contributions out of Washington. It's not that the U.S. government is
ineffective. It's just not effective working for the American taxpayer. It has
a different boss. It's working for its biggest contributors," said in an interview
with John Heinzl.

"And let me tell you if Obama wants to move on and talk about health care
and pharmaceutical prices and global warming, you can't solve any of these
problems either until you solve the corporate campaign contributions."

In past months most media coverage of Obama has focussed on his persona,
image and racial healing. This substantial policy change has been largely
buried in the media.

Here is a short news story about the measures Obama is taking. I'm no
expert on whether they'll be enough to stem the tide of scandal in American
lobbying. But they seem like a step in the right direction if, as even an
investment banker says, American politicians are to ever again actually serve
the people, not just their campaign donors.