Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Okay, okay. I get it, I get it! Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!

This interesting but ultimately tedious documentary was created to show compelling evidence that Jack Abramoff and his cronies were crooks. Even though Abramoff was sentenced to an egregiously short prison term, I think that point has already been made.

As I sat through this thing I was trying to envision who it was for: Politics is boring for the average American, sad to say; the trial is already over; the topics aren't interesting enough for an after-school special; it's too long for a political convention, although it is clearly anti-Republican. Of course, here on the Left Coast it was already preaching to the choir....

Some of the elements in the trial were amusing. The former lifeguard who was asked to head a money-laundering front organization was funny and wry. When asked about his credentials that made him an appropriate choice, he laughs and admits that he isn't qualified to run a Ben and Jerry's, let alone an international corporation (it was in a tiny beachfront cabin and he lived upstairs). This particular front was used by Abramoff so he could lobby Congress for Malaysia without registering as a lobbyist for a foreign country.

The e-mails used for the part of the trial which involved bilking Indian tribes while ostensibly lobbying for their casinos, are noteworthy for their blatant racism and utter contempt for the clients. The Pennsylvania Avenue address in DC where the tribes mailed their checks was actually a Mail Boxes, Etc.!

Some of Abramoff's background, e.g., his conversion to Judaism and his college campus days, is interesting, but this whole thing could have clocked in at under an hour. Yawn...