Stand by Los Angeles, Obama’s on the way. Again. But I’m really not complaining. At least he knows we’re here. Unlike Dubya Bush, who acted like he wanted us to shut up and go away after his right wing buddies in the power business sucked all the money they could from our local economy and much of the rest of the West, while the FERC was ordered to stand down. No, at least Mr. Obama, is giving us our due and treating us like constituents that matter. A whole lot of constituents.
This time, the Prez will be stopping by George Clooney’s house in Studio City for dinner. 150 high rollers including Robert Downey, Jr., Barbara Streisand and Jeffrey Katzenberg, will sit down to a dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck. You could be there too, for $40,000 a plate. That would have been the up front money. After that, someone, Clooney, or maybe the White House, or probably both, would have had to deem you to be an acceptable dinner companion for the President. It’s Clooney’s home after all, and he seems to be a nice guy. I like the fact that his father comes from journalism. I also like his acting and the fact that he’s not a right wing mammoth hunter. However, the way money dominates our political process is something I don”t care for. It’s at the root of all political evil. Having to fork out $40 thousand a plate for a sit down with Barack Obama, only makes that all the more apparent. To be fair, four common folk are being allowed in. Somebody came up with the idea of letting commoners enter a raffle on the Internet. For a small campaign donation (the average was $23), you could buy a chance at getting yourself and a guest on the list for the big event. “Tens of thousands” reportedly went for it. Their donations will represent about two-thirds of the money the dinner is raising for Mr. Obama. All that beautiful money rolling in. And yet, this is better than getting it from a handful of billionaires and corporations, isn’t it? Of course it is.
When you have the best government money can buy, it takes a lot to keep it going. We need campaign finance reform. We need it now and we need it badly. I seriously doubt anyone at Clooney’s house will be talking about it. The dinner is expected to bring in $15 million.