Monthly Archives: January 2010

Lobbyists invited to the Republican retreat?

Oh yes, of course they are! From ABC:

The day after President Barack Obama urged members of Congress to be more transparent about their interactions with lobbyists, the House Republican Caucus headed up Interstate 95 for a retreat where they will be able to mingle privately with… lobbyists.

The annual retreat, sponsored by a non-profit group called the Congressional Institute, is meant to be a chance for members to escape the Beltway to talk about big ideas, hear from rising stars in the party, media pundits, and even visit with President Obama, who will address the caucus Friday.

In between these work sessions, though, there will be less formal gatherings involving several of the Institute’s 14-member board of directors. The vast majority of the Institute’s board is made up by top Capitol Hill lobbyists whose clients include leading drug manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and such major corporations as American Express and Verizon.

Institute Executive Director Mark Strand said the entire event has been scrubbed for potential ethics problems, and everything will be done above board. He explained it this way:

“The institute’s supporters, who include lobbyists, do not plan, attend or participate in any session of the annual conference. They are invited to a reception and dinner and depart the next morning,” he said.(emphasis mine)

“Such a courtesy for a tax-exempt organization’s supporters is commonplace and within ethical rules,” Strand added. “All members of Congress who participate in the conference pay their own expenses. The Institute does not employ a lobbyist nor does it engage in lobbying.”

Oh…and there will be no “transparency” during the reception and dinner, meaning the press will not be allowed to attend. Chew on these facts regarding lobbying Congress:

Last year Washington lobbyists netted $3.2 billion, a 13.7 percent increase from 2007, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, aka OpenSecrets.org

And it’s the industries most affected by the economic downturn that seem to be doing much of the spending: finance, insurance and real estate, the group found. 

Fucking carpetbaggers. Nothing turns my stomach more than lobbyists. Nothing. They are the hyena pack, ready to surround and consume whatever they see as a threat to their bottom line, regardless of the consequences to Main Street and the average Joe and Jill American. Below is a list from OpenSecrets of the top 20 corporations and what they spent to lobby Congress in 2009:

US Chamber of Commerce                                                    $73,899,200
Exxon Mobil                                                                           $27,430,000
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America                                $26,150,520
General Electric                                                                       $21,470,000
AARP                                                                                     $21,010,000
American Medical Assn                                                           $20,830,000
Chevron Corp                                                                         $20,815,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                            $20,067,939
Pfizer Inc                                                                                $19,669,268
National Assn of Realtors                                                        $19,477,000
Verizon Communications                                                         $17,820,000
FedEx Corp                                                                            $17,000,000
Boeing Co                                                                               $16,850,000
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn                            $15,980,000
Northrop Grumman                                                                 $15,180,000
Lockheed Martin                                                                     $13,533,782
Business Roundtable                                                                $13,410,000
ConocoPhillips                                                                         $13,382,079
American Hospital Assn                                                           $13,230,696
Altria Group                                                                             $12,770,000

Ain’t that some shit?  Makes me wanna beat someone about the head and shoulders with a Louisville Slugger.

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Howard Zinn dies.

Howard Zinn died yesterday at the age of 87 of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California. Mr. Zinn was a wonderful voice, and activist, for the left and he will be missed. From The Nation:

Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and the author of the seminal A People’s History of the United States, died today at the age of 87 of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California. He was in a swimming pool doing laps and was spotted immediately by lifeguards but died instantly.
Zinn’s brand of history put common citizens at the center of the story and inspired generations of young activists and academics to remember that change is possible. As he wrote in his autobiography, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train (1994), “From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.”

I heard him speak on several occasions during the Vietnam War. He was a moving orator and a damn fine human being.

 

Our F*ckwit of the week.

Paul Shirley is an athlete. More precisely he was an athlete. He writes for ESPN and occasionally DeadSpin, a sports blog/site that I frequent.

Paulie is also an ignorant fuckwad and our Fuckwit of the Week. If you read his little OpEd I think you just might agree with me.His glaring lack of knowledge regarding Haiti, and their history, is quite obvious. Below is a short piece of his rant:

I haven’t donated a cent to the Haitian relief effort. And I probably will not.

I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don’t give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads “Need You’re Help” is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.

As a general rule, most sports nuts aren’t that into politics, current events or anything outside the sphere of sports.

I also agree with most of the points in this article, which tears down his laughable and pathetic logic. The site is a sports blog.

People have been hounding ESPN (Paulie writes there) to shitcan his worthless ass.

So they did. Here is their statement on it. It’s short and somewhat sweet. 😉

Don’t let the door hit ya in the ass there Paulie!

It’s about time!

This asshole, has finally been jailed.

Sadly, it wasn’t for his fuckery regarding ACORN, where the white guy played a pimp of all things.

Trying to bug a senator’s office is a federal offense right? I can’t wait to see how the DOJ deals with James O’Keefe and his co-conspirators. One of his buddies sure has some explaining to do, as his father is an acting US Attorney, one Bill Flanagan.

Wonder how all the rightwing nutters will process these newest developments. They think James O’Keefe is a hero because of his ACORN ‘undercover’ videos.

I think he is just another rightwing nutter who see’s nothing wrong with using WaterGate-type tactics. I have no love for Mary Landrieu..none. But that said:

I hope he looks good in prison orange. Fucking douche nozzle.

A ‘macaca’ moment for Lt. Gov of SC

This asshole really takes the cake. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer wants to run the state of SC as their governor. He also refuses to apologize for what he said. Comparing people to stray animals doesn’t usually help you get elected. From C&L’s video site, the video and audio: