Mark Birnbaum

Mark Birnbaum

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Mark Birnbaum and Euegene Remm - Mark Birnbaum, Euegene Remm New York City, USA - 'The Hunger' book launch at The Waverly Inn Monday 11th May 2009

Mark Birnbaum and Euegene Remm

Estelle and Mark Birnbaum - Estelle and Mark Birnbaum New York City, USA - Estelle performs her song 'American Boy' at Tenjune Thursday 22nd May 2008

Estelle and Mark Birnbaum
Estelle
Estelle
Estelle
Estelle
Estelle

Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm - Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm The Giants defeated New England Patriots 17-14 at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona. New York City, USA - The Official New York Giants Super Bowl victory party at Tenjune Tuesday 5th February 2008

Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm

Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm - Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm New York City, USA - Wilhelmina models celebrate 40 years of fashion, beauty and style at the Angel Orensanz foundation Thursday 29th November 2007

Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm

Mark Birnbaum and DADDY YANKEE - Mark Birnbaum, Daddy Yankee and Eugene Remm New York City, USA - Tenjune nightclub celebrates its one year anniversary Wednesday 5th September 2007

Mark Birnbaum and Daddy Yankee

The Big Buy: Tom DeLay's Stolen Congress Review


OK
No matter how hard it shakes its fist or rails at the firmament, there's a feeling of dull inevitability to the litany of deceit and crookery laid out in Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck's documentary The Big Buy: Tom Delay's Stolen Congress, even though they seem to feel that they've produced a noble and inspiring story of the fight versus Republican corruption. They can think that because in their corner they've got Texas's Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earl, the ascetic prosecutor who finally brought down "The Hammer" for his many alleged instances of laundering illegal corporate contributions through the Republican Party. The Texas Ranger-like Earl, deeply religious and given to pronouncements of high moral dudgeon, is a refreshing counterpoint to the slick and perpetually grinning DeLay, who of course only appears walking sinisterly in slo-mo on news clips. The problem is, when all is said and done, even if DeLay goes to prison for a very long time -- one of the charges he's currently arraigned on carries a possible life sentence -- the damage he wrought during his time in office can't be easily undone. Thus, there's a letdown at the end of this well-meaning but somewhat scruffy film.

The filmmakers have a doozy of a subject on their hands, but there's only so much one can make of such a man when he refuses to be interviewed. Starting off in Sugar Land, Texas, the heart of DeLay's congressional district, the film follows a couple of local Republican women (one even an activist in the party) who talk about DeLay like he was some promising but wayward teenager who brought shame on them all, lumping him in with that "gang of thugs" he brought to Washington with him. Since this is a Texas political documentary -- and one that keeps things pretty local, which will hurt its chances for viewership outside the Lone Star State -- the ever-earthy authors Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower also show up to lob a few spears at DeLay, who provides his critics with a big fat target.

Continue reading: The Big Buy: Tom DeLay's Stolen Congress Review

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