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Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets Hardcover – 22 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (22 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544103343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544103344
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,421,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By G.F. on 4 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always had a healthy distaste for politicians, we all say they're corrupt. But to see it detailed in black and white and see the actual 'legalised extortion' and 'legalised corruption' in this book really opened my eyes.

Congressmen and women refusing to indicate how they'll vote on a bill until donations flow into their office to push them in one direction or another, literally tens of thousands of dollars in some cases in one or two days.

Politicians loaning themselves funds to run their campaign, then charging their campaign 18%+ interest and taking that interest back each year, without ever taking back the initial load, this allows them to continually dig into their campaign funds.

Golf weekends costing upwards of $10,000, all paid for from campaign funds.

Politicians relatives being hired as lobbyists by defence companies (at salaries around $60,000 for three months) to lobby the politician for defence contracts for example.

The icing on the cake for me were the SOPA and PIPA bills when Obama, short on support and funding for re election, used these bills to play Hollywood studios against Silicon Valley, in this example he let the bill die, just so he could have a 'Double Milker' to return to milk them all again for funding down the road.

The Left (I consider myself Libertarian Anarchist, neither Left nor Right) like to say the corporations are controlling the politicians. This book exposes the politicians as being as corrupt if not more so. This book exposes both the Democrats and Republicans as been equally corrupt when it comes to feathering their own nests and Schweizer details both Harry Reid and Roy Blunts families and their dubious stronghold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 208 reviews
86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Every American Should Read This Book 28 Oct 2013
By anireader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An easy, fast read which is supported by a comprehensive set of footnotes supporting all the painful facts. If you make the investment in this book, you will quickly learn the realities of our "raise campaign funds or loose" political system and how it has evolved into a "donate or get screwed" extortion system where the fundamental purpose of government is being lost in the seemingly unavoidable quest to capture power and money. This brilliant book finally explains the universal attacks on the tea party and Sarah Palin: The real reason they are portrayed by both parties as a radicals is because they are a huge threat to the current old guard methods of milking of donors by deliberately drafting threatening legislation, only to kill it when the coffers are refilled by another round of $30,000 a plate dinner guests. Nothing is sacred under the new system - intellectual property, high tech, the film industry, airlines, banking, telecommunications, energy, and, of course, health care. Every industry can be extorted for more political donations... at the expense of the American economy. Even more shocking is the revelation that neither you or I can bribe a politician - no surprise - however, it is perfectly legal for politicians to pass out the checks to other politicians right in the Capital building after a successful vote. Who pays? You do. If you ever had your suspicions about your local two faced Senator or House member, this book will confirm what was really going in by delivering hard, documented facts. Every American, regardless of party or political viewpoint, should read this book. Even if you are as critical of conspiracy theory allegations as I was, you will probably come to the same conclusion - it is time for some change in the way work in Washington gets done. Perhaps this is the one thing all Americans except for a minority DC elite can agree on.
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Fact Based Report 23 Oct 2013
By Two Mirrors - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fact based complete with over a thousand pieces of direct evidence of corruption. Moreso, further documentation is available for readers to overview what their politicians are doing in their state or neck of the woods and how in DC they funnel money to special interests that is funneled back to the politicians so they can buy homes all over the world and party like there is no tomorrow.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Do Rich Tycoons and Corporations Have Politicians in Their Pocket, or is it the Other Way Around? 5 Nov 2013
By Alastair Browne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
It is generally known that rich and powerful people and corporations have Congressmen in their pocket. They ask a Congressman for "favors" and tell them to vote a certain way on a bill, and that entity, whatever it is, will take care of that politician, donating money for his or her campaign to insure that he or she will be reelected.
What if, in reality, it's the other way around? What if it's the politician that has the corporation, or some other powerful entity in his pocket, and it's the politician, be it a senator or congressman, that tells that entity to donate to his campaign, how much to donate, and that congress will insure that the corporation will remain in business with handsome profits to boot.
This is what this book is about, a role reversal of the two entities, and how it is the politician who has the power, not the corporation, company, or rich tycoon, for lack of a better phrase.
This book has been thoroughly researched by the author, and what you will find here may surprise you.
The congressman, or senator, is the one who has the power to vote on a bill that will affect corporations and individuals, and he knows this. Because of this, they will use their leverage to get what they want, mostly money, for reelection, but also to put in their own private bank accounts, and even the accounts of their fellow officeholders, and all this is legal. I'll give you a few examples. When a bill is passed that will affect an entity, that will cost it money to adjust their company, be it environmental or otherwise, that politician can go to this entity (corporation) and tell them how it will affect them, what they will have to pay for, and how much money it will cost them. However, since the politician has the power to vote against this bill (or for it), to work in their favor, the individual or corporation can "donate" to the congressman's campaign, and in return, he will insure that the bill is or is not passed into law. Yes, this is extortion, and they can get away with it.
This is not an isolated case, but this happens all the time, with BOTH parties, and it doesn't stop there. Sometimes bills will be passed, knowing that they will be killed, for the purpose of getting the company that will be affected by that law to cough up more money, for the bill to fail. Again, deliberate extortion, like a protection racket. Laws are deliberately made to be so complex, that they cannot be understood when they are read, so any executive will end up breaking three laws a day without even knowing it. If caught, a congressman can get him the best lawyer, or get the other congressman to let this go, for a price.
There are entire families, like the Mafia, that run these rackets, with the politician in office being a "godfather" and his family members working under him.
There are incidents where there are strong influence of both sides of a bill, whether or not to pass it, and these politicians will pander to both sides, for his own benefit. Both sides will contribute money to help pass it, or not pass it. i.e. the law on video and audio piracy, where people would download music and movies for free. Hollywood would back these congressmen to pass this bill, to protect the artists from theft, while internet companies would back these very same congressmen to vote against it, and money starts pouring in on their coffers. Whichever side gives the most money will determine how that congressman will vote, and the losing side does not get their money back.
Coffers and slush funds are created, for the reelection campaigns for the congressmen to insure his reelection, his peers to insure his party will remain in power, political action committees, and, through loopholes, into their own pockets to live luxuriously.
Yes, all this goes on and more, in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and all of this is perfectly legal. What the author says about politicians who do break the law and get caught, such as Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, who tried to sell Obama's senate office after becoming president, is that he was simply careless and sloppy. There was ways to do this legally.
As stated, a lot of this goes on and more, invoking privileges and position, and power to affect the political environment, or not to affect it. Should any individual or corporation fail to pay their "dues" a lot can happen to make their lives miserable, such as not helping them when they get in legal trouble, and they will, since they will be watch.
At the end of the book, the author Peter Schweizer does give a summary on how all this can be avoided, and what laws should be pass to protect the individual from being extorted.
As of right now, this continues to go on, and these politicians continue to get away with it.
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Compelling and Eye-Opening 22 Oct 2013
By Maria Duffus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book nails what is wrong with Washington. A phenomenal, heavily researched look at why change needs to happen. A must read.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Important Book, Good Price! 28 Oct 2013
By American - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely important book for Americans in these troubled times. There are few things more dangerous to We The People than corrupt politicians abusing the awesome and deadly power of government to enrich themselves, even as they neglect our interests, the very interests we elected them to represent us for, and trusted them to protect. This book explains in detail how they do it and how widespread it is, up to the highest levels and across party lines.

I rate this book five stars for content, but if it were possible I would give this best-selling book six stars based on its bargain price. Consider that it could not be researched and written by most individuals in many lifetimes. Yet some malcontent cheapskates (who likely pay hundreds per month for just their Internet, cell phone and cable TV) have given it one star based on its "high" price which, at $13/$16, is actually about average for most other books of its type.
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