Sadly, the book confirms our worst suspicions of how our nation's capital works -- or rather, doesn't. It also reflects a news media failing in its watchdog function. Still, there is hope beyond the book's negative portrait, about which, more later.
We've seen how Washington insiders write the rules of politics and the economy to protect powerful special interests but now, as we enter the holiday season, and a month or so after the election, we're getting a refresher course in just how that inside game is played, gifts and all.
What reformers need is a Congress without conflict: Members who could not benefit from the bonus of being a lobbyist, and thus who could vote honestly and fairly about any proposals for reform. Enter the No Lobbying Pledge.
The influence business is no longer about votes up or down on particular measures that may emerge in Congress or policies made in the White House. This is about setting agendas, deciding what should, and should not, be brought up for hearings and legislation.
The Supreme Court continues to insist that corporations are people and that money is speech. I just don't agree. I don't think the Tea Party movement agrees. And I definitely don't think the Occupy Wall Street movement agrees that Exxon is a person.
If you live in a state that has common-sense laws for the issuance of a carry permit, consider that only 35 states require some type of training, certification or time at the firing range to carry a loaded, concealed weapon.