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Dick Morris: America Is Mad As Hell!

Thursday, 14 June 2007 12:00 AM

Political strategist Dick Morris comes out swinging in his latest book and lands punches on a lot of individually named noses, many "do-nothing congressmen" who have, according to the author, joined a litany of other shameless rip-off artists like the United Nations and big drug companies.

Morris, who in tandem with co-author Eileen McGann, wrote "Outrage: How Illegal Immigration, the United Nations, Congressional Rip-offs, Student Loan Overcharges, Tobacco Companies, Trade Protection, Drug Companies are Ripping Us Off and What to Do About It," (HarperCollins, 351 pages) tells NewsMax what triggered the creative explosion:

"We watched Congress become more and more hedonistic, dedicated to their own pleasure and selling out to special interests which pay for their vacations, their campaigns, and, increasingly their families. Too little changed when Congress changed hands and somebody needs to say this, not from a partisan viewpoint, but to be free to say that both sides are corrupt."

With a cascading torrent of empirical data, charts and anecdotes, the pair of writers wades into not only the U.N. and big drug companies, but teachers' unions, insurance companies, big tobacco, liberals, special interests of all kinds, Fannie Mae – even pouncing on the American Civil Liberties Union for chilling the free speech of its own directors.

Morris is mad as hell and not about to take it anymore – and that runaway energy propels the reader through a lot of information, all of it the eye-popping type that makes for slack jaws in the faces of reasonable men and women.

Apparently, "Outrage" is touching a nerve with the American public and shot to the top of Amazon's bestseller list its first day out.

"We're angry. We're fed up with the way most institutions in our society operate, and we're appalled at the pervasive culture of corruption that's becoming more and more evident in all levels of government, in major corporations, and even in humanitarian organizations…." the authors write.

"Many senators and congressmen prefer to spend their time with lobbyists instead of with pesky constituents who just don't seem to know their place. But when powerful and rich special interests talk, Congress listens," is part of the book's credo spelled out in the fiery Introduction.

No salient point is made without driving it home with the sad facts.

Just one example of the scores and scores: "In 1948 the ‘Do-Nothing' House of Representatives denounced by Truman was in session 108 days. In 2006, that same body spent only 103 days in session!"

"So we've got to act – every one of us. We must fight and fight and fight to see these outrages reversed…" the authors rage at the conclusion of the book as the reader still pants from looking at so much ugliness up close and personal.

Morris calls it the way he sees it – especially when it comes to Congress, telling NewsMax:

"As our wealth as a nation increases and the disparity between the rich and the poor increases, public officials are increasingly chaffing at what they perceive to be their low pay. While their compensation is linked to the cost of living, the income of the wealthy is going up far more rapidly than is their pay.

"As a result, the members of Congress are doing everything they possibly can to increase their income, and they are cutting more and more corners. As they have to raise more money to compete politically, they find themselves in a world filled with temptation.

"And as Oscar Wilde said, ‘I can resist anything but temptation.'"

If the authors of "Outrage" resisted anything it was to hold back – anything.

And the authors spare nobody's feelings.

"We name names throughout the book," explains Morris. "We list all the congressmen and senators who have their family employed on their payroll and the ones who have lobbying firms hire their children. We list the drug companies and cigarette brands that are ripping us off and the insurance companies that are finding reasons not to help the Katrina victims. It is all about the individuals and the individual companies -- not the institutions. That's a dodge. The system is bad. The individuals are worse."

"Can any new chief executive in 2008 even begin to turn things around?" we ask.

"Yes, Morris relies, "we list some very simple steps that could make a very big difference: banning immigration from terror sponsoring or harboring countries, banning children of members lobbying congress, banning the hiring of family on congressional staffs, requiring generic drugs on Medicaid…"

The Dems started with a bang in the guise of the new majority, but there's been arguably a fizzle as the war drags on, earmarks are simply now hidden better, etc. "What's the deal?"

"It is the fact that most members of the party out of power are just the outs who want to get in," Morris fires back. "They use any argument and strike ethical poses, but when they get in, they don't fix anything."

Of all the great anecdotal stuff in the book, Morris has a personal favorite.

"It's the Wanda Baucus story, showing the arrogance of members and their families," he says without hesitation. [In May 2004, Wanda Baucus, the wife of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., was arrested for assaulting a woman in a garden center in the Washington, D.C., area. Apparently, Mrs. Baucus was annoyed because she had to wait while the garden center staff helped another, rather ordinary, woman to her car with heavy bags of mulch before they helped her, a senator's wife.]

When a reader digests your book, what should he or she be compelled to do?

Just when you expect a response about storming up the steps of the Capitol, Morris replies: "Follow the specific recommendations for action in each chapter."

These "specific recommendations" come in the form of "Action Agendas," and, sure enough, appear at the end of each explosive chapter.

By way of example: After lambasting most Americans for "turning the channel" when Congress considers trade legislation, Morris and his co-author suggest:

"If we realized that every time we drink orange juice, eat a cookie, buy shoes, build a home, apply cosmetics, buy a quart of milk, eat a bag of peanuts, purchase a pocketbook, or pay for practically anything, we're paying for these trade subsidies, maybe we'd wake up and start paying attention."

Dick Morris served as Bill Clinton's political consultant for twenty years. A Fox News political analyst, he is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including "Re-writing History" and "Condi vs. Hillary."

Eileen McGann, an attorney and consultant, is CEO of Vote.com and Legalvote.com. She works with Dick on campaigns around the world, specializing in using the Internet to win elections.

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Political strategist Dick Morris comes out swinging in his latest book and lands punches on a lot of individually named noses, many "do-nothing congressmen" who have, according to the author, joined a litany of other shameless rip-off artists like the United Nations and big...
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Thursday, 14 June 2007 12:00 AM
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