Jack Abramoff, at least superficially, appears like a contradiction.Its a fusion of political ideology and religion. He manages to brainwash himself. An ostensibly religious and devout man immersed in the world of political lobbying at the highest level or the lowest. Jack is an exemplar of how wacky and wild Washington can get, but ultimately he’s a rather small player in a more insidious and and deep-rooted problem. He was scapegoated to some degree; people are still trying to hang all the problems with influence peddling on him. Its the odd theory of a man collapsing the walls of religion onto himself as a form of repression. He used god as a form of metaphor for a business partner. There is something deeply neurotic in psychologically repressing the spirit which results in totally dysfunctional behavior; religion as a substitute for and proxy for a material god, who can be lobbied to and pieced off as the situation requires it. How would he act if he was an atheist?
It seems Abramoff did not really see how he was “possessed” by the grip of ideas. These ideas, waffling in the breeze affect us more than reality. He hardened into the archetype developed by Sholom Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer of the religious-thief, perhaps less a contradiction than plausible juxtaposition. …”Disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has landed a new job at a kosher pizzeria in Baltimore soon after his release from prison. Abramoff began working Monday at Tov Pizza, Ron Rosenbluth, the restaurant’s owner, said Tuesday. The former Washington power broker, whose activities led to the conviction of a congressman, is learning about the business and will eventually be helping with its marketing, Rosenbluth said….
Abramoff was released from a minimum-security prison camp in western Maryland on June 8 after serving about 3 1/2 years for fraud, corruption and conspiracy. He reported to a halfway house in Baltimore and remains under the supervision of the Bureau of Prisons until his Dec. 4 release date. Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/23/jack-abramoff-pizza-shop_n_622635.html a
James Harding: Where to begin examining the extraordinary career of Jack Abramoff? His work trying to secure a visa for the great Zairian kleptocrat Mobutu Sese Seko, perhaps, or the bilking of an estimated $66 million out of Native American tribes, clients he described as “monkeys,” “troglodytes,” and “idiots”? Or his leadership of a 1980s think tank financed, unbeknownst to him apparently, by the intelligence arm of South Africa’s apartheid regime? …
…He signed up as a lobbyist in 1994, catching the Gingrich wave. He started at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, which boasted of his connections to the Hill’s conservative leadership. Later Greenberg Traurig poached him, let him loose to trawl for millions, and then, after his troubles began to unfold, let him go….
…Abramoff’s defining innovation on K Street—the Avenue of the Lobbyists—has been to wear his political and business hats at the same time. He is an operator and also an ideologue. Take, for example, his success in getting part of the fortune he siphoned off the Indian gambling interests into conservative coffers. This is how the game worked: Abramoff’s biggest client was the Coushatta Nation of Louisiana. The deal he delivered for the tribe was congressional support for tax exemptions and opposition to efforts by other tribes to set up rival casinos. In return, Abramoff got an estimated $32 million, a chunk of the $66 million he made all together from Indian gaming clients. The money was paid in lobbying fees and contributions to Abramoff-selected charitable organizations and nonprofit groups with strong Republican ties. For example, Abramoff helped get the chief of the Coushatta invited to a meeting with President George W. Bush in early 2001, set up by Grover Norquist, once Abramoff’s executive director at the College Republicans and now Washington’s pre-eminent conservative lobbyist. It was suggested that a donation to Norquist’s think tank, Americans for Tax Reform, might be appreciated. Abramoff pressed the Coushattas. The $25,000 check was sent to ATR. Read More: http://www.slate.com/id/2116389/ a
…Abramoff is an orthodox Jew and DeLay is a committed Christian; their relationship is r
d in their parallel faiths. They were introduced more than a decade ago by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, the South African-born radio talk-show host who established Toward Tradition, a nonprofit coalition of Jews and Christians that aims to advance the agenda of the devout. Read More: http://www.slate.com/id/2116389/ a
“it is my belief that the more we repress the god in us, the more “religious” we become. the god in us is a call to existential action. but the path of i-thou dialogue is very arduous, fraught with disappointments and the goal is uncertain. the god in us is an existential call to action, but we can’t stand that, and we don’t know how to handle it. therefore we take that inner presence and we divert it into the temples, the rituals, the reverence for the imagery of clergy and the holy status of books. all safe places where we can deposit our inner god for storage and safe-keeping. and we believe we have answered the call by becoming religious in that sense. but i believe that all we have done is avoid answering the call.” ( Hune Margulies) Read More: http://dialogicalecology.blogspot.com/2011/01/it-is-my-belief-that-more-we-repress.html