Hey, Kay, I think maybe burning at the stake would suit the case on the lobbyists. They are our incarnation of witches--magically converting public good into private gain. And, heck, they don't even need anything more exotic than plain old money. No eye of newt, or dragon's blood.
I had a moment of mental whiplash last night during a news cast. The story started out with the statement that Americans, as a whole, waste 40% of the food produced or processed. I wanted to hear how and where it is wasted but instead the story went into an account of rising levels of hunger in the country. With rising unemployment and underemployment many who were solidly middle class are having difficulty finding affordable food consistently. If we, as a group, waste that much food why is anyone going hungry? Who is wasting it? Where in the journey from farm to table is it being wasted? That is much more interesting to me than that pair of idiots who crashed the White House state dinner hoping to catapult notoriety into a reality show gig.
This article from the Discovery Channel online answers some of that question. Much of the waste the researchers found came in the field as some farmers responded to drops in commodity prices by plowing under their crops. A second big loss occurred with large supermarkets and fast food chains. Families, according to the study, waste about 14% of what they buy or $600/year.