There’s something deeply troubling about the notion that, with sufficient money for lawyers and lobbyists, corporations can pressure government officials to undo legislation. The bi-partisan Dodd-Frank financial reform laws were drafted, debated and approved in 2010. As I’ve written in a few recent posts, Section 1504 of this legislation requires oil and gas companies to disclose the amount of money they pay to governments in the countries where they operate (including the U.S.). The idea behind this law is simple: transparency can help those who are working for accountability.
I managed to sit through several speeches from the Conservative Political Action Conference. With each speaker aiming to demonstrate that he was more conservative (read extremist) than his predecessor, it was a painful spectacle. “Throwing red meat to the base,” as the pundits say. And at every toss the hungry crowd erupted in raucous applause and cheering.
I don’t usually write about U.S. politics, but I’m making an exception for the completely over-the-top speech by Newt Gingrich. (Don’t you love how this ethically impaired candidate has become a sort of Tea Party darling?) He didn’t talk about his moon colony, but many of his proposals were just as outrageous.