December 23, 2009
From little acorns:
“I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race … I don’t take a dime of their money, and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House.”
- Barack Obama, November 2007
Main Street has had a tough year, losing jobs and seeing little evidence of the economic revival that experts say has already begun.
But K Street is raking it in.
Washington’s influence industry is on track to shatter last year’s record $3.3 billion spent to lobby Congress and the rest of the federal government — and that’s with a down economy and about 1,500 fewer registered lobbyists in town, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
.... “It is the most active time that I have ever seen in the advocacy business — from 1973 on,” Thurber added.
“We’ve never had as good a year,” said one lobbyist whose shop deals mostly with financial services and health care issues. “It’s been a tremendously busy year, and it’s going to keep getting that way,” the lobbyist said, noting that both health care and financial reform will remain active as congressional action moves from drafting legislation to implementation to the inevitable fixes.
...And the lobbying expenditure figures don’t include the heaps of cash interest groups are throwing at advertising, coalition-building, grass-roots and Astroturf outreach — all of which don’t get reported in the figures.
I remember listening to Obama go on and on about how his administration was going to change Washington. And I remember thinking to myself, "I don't think you have the first idea how our government really works, much less why it works that way." It's not surprising that Obama's much lauded "tough ethical standards" weren't too effective in reducing the influence of special interests on policy making. After all, even he found it impossible to get anything done without using lobbyists.
On the plus side, we now have evidence that all that federal spending is creating wealth. In the words of a great man, "I hope that you are satisfied."
Posted by Cassandra at December 23, 2009 07:11 AM
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Obie has tough ethical standards only in the sense that it's kinda tough trying to decide if he has either ethics *or* standards.
As our token contrarian has noted over at the Castle, Teh Won has surrounded himself with "lobbyists, union bullies, Mao worshippers, eugenics enthusiasts, pedophiles, Liberation Theologists, Marxist terror bombers, and Self-Avowed Tree-Hugging, Truther, Communist greenies..."
Posted by: BillT at December 23, 2009 09:16 AM
One of my swabbie buds sent me this....
And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America, having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as "The One."
He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you. My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. I shall save you with Hope and Change. Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed."
And the people rejoiced, for even though they knew not what "The One" would do, he had promised that it was good; and they believed. And "The One" said, "We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!" And the people said, "Hallelujah! Change is good!"
Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich fat-cats." And the people said "Sock it to them!" "And redistribute their wealth." And the people said, "Show us the money!" And then he said, "redistribution of wealth is good for everybody."
And Joe the plumber asked, "Are you kidding me? You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??" And "The One" ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized. One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?" And she was banished from the kingdom!
Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?" And "The One" said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!" And the people said, "Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"
Then "The One" said, "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes." And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes." So "The One" said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!" And the people said, "Hallelujah! Show us the money!" Then "The One" said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!" And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed. And He said, "I shall mandate employer-funded health care for every worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall give every person unlimited health care and medicine and transportation to the clinics." And the people said, "Give me some of that!" Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas." And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"
Then "The One" said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!" And the people said, "Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates." So "The One" said, "Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with the ACORN and you troubles are over!"
Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing..." And the people said, "Hallelujah!" and they made him king!
And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of support.
Then "The One" said, "I am the "the One"- The Messiah - and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!" But our foreign trading partners said unto Him. "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more... And "The One" said, "Wait a minute. That is unfair!!" And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!"
And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?" But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon The One and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung. And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change "The One" had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.
And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, "give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!" But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.
You may think this a fairy tale, but it's not. It's happening RIGHT NOW!!!
Posted by: Kbob in Katy at December 23, 2009 01:12 PM
If it was not for the video you linked to at the end of your post, I'd be crying like a baby.
I'm just so disgusted with the Obama Presidency. How much longer can he continue to blame Bush for everything, how much longer can he just out and out lie?
I guess forever, since the Lame Stream Media backs him up no matter what he does.
Can we make the Castle a sovereign nation?
Posted by: Beth Donovan at December 23, 2009 02:35 PM
Maybe Castle Arrrrgggghhhh and all the residents and denizens could relocate to the (hopefully soon) independent Republic of Texas!
We have lots of room....its the SECOND biggest state. I was born in Alaska, so I have rights either way.
Posted by: Kbob in Katy at December 23, 2009 02:50 PM
You have criticized Obama, and are therefore clearly racist. After all, Obama came to heal racial divisions.
Posted by: a former european at December 23, 2009 03:20 PM
After all, Obama came to heal racial divisions.
And to stop the rise of the seas.
And to bring rainbow unicorn ponies farting gold dust over your kitchen utensils.
And to make spiral swirlies in the night sky for a wonderment...
Posted by: BillT at December 24, 2009 12:30 AM
And to give swirlies to people who cannot see the gold dust dispensed from the Rainbow Unicorns or the Sky-Swirlies and who wonder where they are...
Speaking of sky swirlies...isn't that your job, Bill?
I didn't find any such dust on my kitchen utensils. Mine are well-used and I have had to replace a coupla wooden spoons.
Posted by: Cricket at December 24, 2009 09:03 AM
...isn't that your job, Bill?
I'm going into a new line of work -- selling the carbon I produce to companies that don't produce enough of their own, which will enable them to buy carbon offset credits from Al Gore while his stock is on the downslide...
Posted by: BillT at December 24, 2009 09:34 AM
"From little acorns:"
I saw what you did there. Well done.
Happy New Year. I hope there will be some change in the right direction this year, that will reverse the fairy tale described above.
Posted by: Grumpy Old Ham at January 1, 2010 04:57 PM