I took my time to get around to writing about this. Thomas Frank's The Wrecking Crew is about a lot of things. It does a great job laying out the (new) culture of lobbyist's living in outlandish homes near DC and showering the capital in money. It traces how the deregulation and outsourcing push has shoveled piles of cash to favored contractors. It got to the conservative mailing-list-of-lies profit center before Rich Perlstein. The comedy highlight is the "no really, that wingnut you remember in college always writing awful conservative editorials for the paper? He's in DC now on wingnut welfare." It's dumbfounding to recognize the names. What's really interesting about it, whoever, is what amazing monsters the lobbyists produced by the conservative movement. Abramoff is the most noteworthy, but there's no shortage, because the ones you thought were just your usual hired guns, like Norquist, and Phillps have an entirely different level of dirty history no one talks about. Mostly, this is about unbelievably evil behavior in the late Cold War. For example, check out page 66 where Young Republicans publish multiple fanzines about freedom fighters struggling against the yoke of communist oppression. They loved RENAMO, overlooking the little details. Then there's the International Freedom Foundation, which was an honest to god propaganda outlet secretly funded by the South African government to prop up apartheid. You know, the sort of thing conservatives though the USSR was doing at the time, and the reason the FBI was keeping a careful eye on leftist student groups. The IFF got friendly meetings with the FBI director William Sessions and a tour.