The lobbying reform that enriched Congress

Lobbying is the big prize at the end of the line for many members of Congress. If one is already rich one can stick around as Senator or Representative. If however one is not rich K Street and the life of Gucci Gulch is always there. No one (it seems) leaves. No one quits. They shift, and they shift from Capitol Hill to Downtown a few blocks to the south and west.

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Dem Congresswoman: People warned me against endorsing Sanders

It stinks but that’s Washington for you. It’s like a junior high lunchroom with money and power. Play ball with the “popular kids” or be shunned in all sorts of ways.

In the words of Rush “Be cool or be cast out!” 

I should put “cool” in quotes though. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is anything but cool.

(From Politico)

“I’ll be very honest with you, a lot of people warned me against doing what I did,” Gabbard said.

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About half of retiring senators and a third of retiring House members register as lobbyists

Washington DC is a company town. In Washington money and power flow back and forth in a strange double helix of back scratching and back stabbing. We shouldn’t be surprised that people latch onto Capitol Hill. It’s a seductive place.

Willie Sutton was once asked, “Why do you rob banks?”

The reply, “Because that’s where the money is.”

A similar question could be asked of many a congress person, “Why don’t you go back to the area you once represented?

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Battle lines drawn over Ex-Im renewal

The Export-Import Bank’s charter was not renewed earlier this summer. The vehicle for blatant crony capitalism, “Boeing’s bank,” closed its eyes. But it is not dead – yet.

Most Dems and a good number of particularly corporate inclined Republicans in the Senate and the House would like to see the bank resurrected. Ex-Im means big bucks to some very large companies. As such the lobbyists have descended on Capitol Hill en masse.

Put this thing into the ground.

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Justin Amash keeping watch on House floor in case Boehner tries to sneak through Patriot Act extension

Again, constant vigilance. Good to have someone like Justin Amash in the House keeping an eye on things, but we need to be watching too. So much bad legislation seems to slip through at Christmas time or around Summer Recess.

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Congress tells court that it can’t be investigated for insider trading

Many people may have thought that the STOCK Act – spurred by a book by Peter Schweizer author of Clinton Cash by the way – put a stop to officially sanctioned Congressional insider trading. There was a story on 60 Minutes about it and everything.

But no.

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Comcast Lobbyists Hand-Out VIP Numbers (to “influential Washingtonians”) to Fast Track Customer Service

I had a neighbor who had an orange above ground line running off of the back of his house for a couple of months thanks to Comcast. Sure they could install the cable line, but burying it? That you see takes a whole different team and they will be by sometime before the apocalypse.

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Farm Bill Rewards Rich Farmers, And The Rest Of Us Pay

Some thoughts below on the Farm Bill from the always interesting Stephen Moore.

It’s a bumper crop this year for farmers, lobbyists, and members of Congress in rural districts. But we are the ones being reaped like so much wheat.

The bill is good for the farmers, you know, the salt of the earth, who on average are far wealthier than the average taxpayer so we can feel good about that.

Sorry Mr. Cubicle Worker,

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Pentagon ‘big winner’ in $1T omnibus bill (Defense contractors too, Taxpayers lose)

Everyone is dancing around up in DC today. The defense contractors, the Pentagon, the members of Congress with boondoggle weapon system projects in their districts. (Which is to say nearly every member of Congress.) Happy days are here again! Down with the sequester say the Republicans.

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Politicians’ Extortion Racket

Why are so many bills introduced in Congress if only 5% will ever become law? One of the reasons is that these floating bits of legislation can be used to compel companies to give money to politicians.

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