Category Archives: Republican spinzone
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
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
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.
The new DNC ad goes after all the old farts that made the rounds of the Sunday morning shows. Is it 1996 or 2009? Hard to tell with the same ole white guys shooting off their pieholes.
From a NationalJournal writeup:
Meg Whitman, a McCain adviser and the former chief of eBay, told Fox News that she thought the press was pursuing legitimate questions about Palin
If Palin takes on the traditional role of No. 2 candidate as attack dog — and she flirted with that role in her speech — it might seem as though she was trying to provoke sexist attacks in a culture that is still uncertain how to assess aggressive women.
An inescapable question is whether the Republicans are playing the sex card the way they sometimes accuse black Democratic politicians of playing the race card. The answer is no more straightforward with gender than it is with black-white relations. Some measure of outrage at what Palin is facing is clearly genuine; some measure of political calculation is just as real. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And an emotional charge like an accusation of sexism can be a powerful distraction in a campaign.
Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown professor whose book, “You Just Don’t Understand,” was a best-seller, said yesterday that on some level women can’t escape their gender identity. Male politicians can be “neutral,” but female politicians will always be “marked” as women in people’s minds. The consequence of that, she said, is that “anything you say [as a woman or about a woman] is going to have extra meaning in it, and is going to get someone’s back up.”
Because the world is the way it is, there are no clear lines to guide political discourse. “Is it sexist to talk about women’s clothing? Yes. But it tells us something about them. And the same with their hair.”
They will use this issue up until voting commences in November…take it to the bank.
The GOP, and by proxy, John McCain are pointing to the wealthiest county in all of the U.S. as a means to prove our economy is just fucking ducky and NAFTA works. David Sirota’s “Trade Report” for OurFuture.org has some simply friggin amazing stuff in it. From the linkage above:
The New York Times Magazine this week publishes an article by David Leonhardt attempting to explain Barack Obama’s fundamental economic ideology. To echo Philip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous, “it’s a think-piece about a mid-level band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom.” And, indeed, many of its passages should make Wall Streeters wet themselves. Within the first nine paragraphs, for instance, Leonhardt bills Citigroup Chairman Bob Rubin the “center,” despite his deregulatory and pro-NAFTA policies lying far outside the center of American public opinion. That said, the article provides some interesting insights into what Obama will – and will not – do as president.
Another gem, The Roanoke Times has an article up that explores how Obama is stumping in one of the worst hit cities with regard to NAFTA in VA, and how the Rethugs are taunting him to come talk about the horrors of NAFTA in, of all places, Fairfax County.
I lived in Fairfax county. It IS the top rated city for rich folks, believe me. With it’s close proximity to DC, just over the river, Fairfax residents, for the most part, LOVE the shit out of NAFTA. Rethug Tommy Davis is retiring but lobbed out this tidbit with regard to Fairfax county and NAFTA:
“What would be courageous is to come to Fairfax County, where you have 362 foreign-owned companies and tens of thousands of employees with foreign-owned firms … and take the same stand up here,” said Davis, who is retiring from Congress. (emphasis mine)
The operative word there is ‘foreign-owned’. Not American-owned..fucking foreign. Evidently that irony escapes the Republicans..as Sirota notes:
Besides the tone deafness of holding up foreign-owned firms as proof of a solid domestic economy, Davis forgot to mention that according to Forbes magazine, Fairfax County has long been the wealthiest county in the United States – a place where the median (the median!) household income is over $100,000 a year. The county is home to many of the millionaire corporate lobbyists that have been instrumental in the passage of rigged trade deals. Davis citing Fairfax County today as proof that trade policies are working for the vast majority of the country would be like FDR citing the Rockefeller family during the Great Depression as proof that the economy was working for most Americans.
Love it, especially the last line. 😉 The next part is sure to jack some jaws. Obama is ass-kissing some of the worst of the worst on Wall Street, namely the same captains of industry that oppose changing NAFTA one iota. From Sirota again:
As reported last week, Obama’s campaign is quietly courting the same CEOs that oppose trade policy reform. While there are certainly huge differences on trade between Obama and McCain’s stated positions, the two campaigns are both being advised by top executives from UBS, one of the largest investment banks in the world. Indeed, the McCain campaign continues to solicit advice from UBS vice-chairman Phil Gramm, while the Obama campaign has long been shaped by Gramm’s UBS boss, Robert Wolf. That kind of Wall Street influence will likely make a fair trade agenda much more difficult in 2009.
Make it difficult? Hell, it will make change impossible dude. The final subject tackled by Sirota in his piece is the much-hated (by me anyway) DLC and their bullshit express:
Ripping a page straight out of George W. Bush’s playbook, the Democratic Leadership Council this week attempted to justify its corporate sponsors’ trade agenda by writing a Wall Street Journal op-ed insisting that NAFTA-style trade deals fight Islamic terrorism. Yes – you read that right, and the DLC wasn’t joking. They really want America to believe that passing trade deals that are unpopular both here and abroad is the way to stop Al Qaeda.
In fact, the BBC’s landmark 2008 poll undercuts the DLC’s fact-free rhetoric with hard data. The survey of international opinion shows widespread unease with the United States’ trade and globalization policies – and that unease is particularly acute in the Middle East, where the DLC claims that NAFTA-style policies will stop terrorism.
As I have said before and I will scream it again…the DLC is not our friend. Never has been and never will be people. To say NAFTA will stop terrorism is fucking outrageous and yes, George Bush-league material. One only needs to look at the economy in Mexico to see that NAFTA hasn’t done squat for the common man and woman there. Oh, but the drug cartels are flourishing.