Posts Tagged ‘Lobbyists’
a private weekend on Maryland’s Eastern Shore…. . lobbyists for large banks, pharmaceutical firms, insurance companies, and big-ticket trade groups. However, 28 were members of Congress, and 29 were legislative staffers, all part of a coalition of House Democrats
Chris Hedges on the Liberal Class: “The World Liberal Opportunists Made“
Jurassic Ballot: When Corporations Ruled the Earth By Rebecca Solnit
They’ve invaded; they’ve infiltrated; they’ve conquered; and a lot of the most powerful people on Earth do their bidding, including five out of our nine Supreme Court justices
Fool Me Twice? American multinationals have about $1 trillion in profits stashed abroad
Understanding America’s Class System By Joe Bageant
the truth is that when we are looking at the political elite, we are looking at the dancing monkey, not the organ grinder who calls the tune.
dismissing the real left (what’s left of us) by the so-called left (the Vishy Dems). Note: s/b Vichy- (those ever-practical French who caved to the Nazis)
Today the country is looking for ways to cut spending and borrowing. Yet military spending, the biggest spending item in the budget, is barely part of the discussion — obviously because of the amount of campaign and lobbying dollars it generates.
The corrupting influence of lobbying money is clear: the fact that the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 has not yet penetrated the bubble around the country’s capital. In fact, military spending has soared in recent years:
(Source http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/ Includes DOD, Veterans, Foreign military aid, Foreign economic aid. Does not include military share of debt interest.)
Because of this application of lobbying dollars our military spending vastly surpasses the amount spent by the rest of the world, and dominates our country’s budget:
Now a bipartisan commission is willing to take this on. Commission outlines ways to cut defense spending by $1T over the next decade,
The Sustainable Defense Task Force, a commission of scholars from a broad ideological spectrum appointed by Frank, the House Financial Services Committee chairman, laid out options the government could take that could save as much as $960 billion between 2011 and 2020.
U.S. lawmakers and watchdog groups on Friday called for a dramatic revamp of the defense budget to reverse widening U.S. deficits, including termination of the $382 billion Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 fighter.
This should be a litmus test to determine the seriousness and honesty of any deficit cutters. Do they take on the big lobbying interests, or do they take it out on the poor and elderly. We’ll see. The record so far is not good.
*** See also:
by Dr. Mercola | May 18 2010 | Mecola.com
Dr. Beatrice Golomb, Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Diego, masterfully exposes the corruption that has metastasized like a tumor throughout the pharmaceutical and medical industries, in the video above.
If you have any doubt about drug companies being riddled with conflicts of interest, those doubts will be shattered after seeing the evidence she presents.
The corruption has become so prolific that it has literally debased medical science.
In the above linked Chicago Breaking News article, Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is quoted as saying:
“Science is not a democracy where people’s votes decide what is right. Look at the data, look at science and make a decision based on science that has been published.”
What he is really advocating is for you to blindly believe in “facts” that may have been produced in the midst of MASSIVE conflicts of interest.
Before you assume the science in medical journals is credible, let’s take a look at what is going on behind the scenes of editing and publishing in medical science.
See full article for more on:
Bias #1: Unwanted Results are Not Published
Bias #2: Bad Results are Submitted as Good
Bias #3: A Favorable Study is Submitted Multiple Times
Bias #4: Follow-Up Reviews Done by Biased Experts
Bias #5: Ghostwriting
Bias #6: Journal Bias
Bias #7: Drug Companies Masquerading as Educators
Hell Hath No Fury (for whistleblowers)
“Too Big to Nail”
Ralph Nader writes in Craven Democrats:
President Obama said that he and the Democrats had pushed back against the “special interests.”
In fact, the bill that was passed by the House Sunday night was a result of a deal President Obama and the Democrats cut last year with the pharmaceutical industry.
And it was written with the help of former insurance industry lobbyists.
Or as the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne put it – the Democrats are fighting for a Republican health plan.
Last year, former CIGNA executive turned whistleblower Wendell Potter called the bill “a joke” and “an absolute gift to the insurance industry.”
Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program called the bill “a step backwards.”
“This bill further enriches the industries that are the problem,” Dr. Flowers said.
Chris Hedges put it this way:
“This bill is not about fiscal responsibility or the common good.”
“The bill is about increasing corporate profit at taxpayer expense,” Hedges wrote.
“It lavishes hundreds of billions in government subsidies on insurance and drug companies.”
“The some 3,000 (corporate) lobbyists in Washington, whose dirty little hands are all over the bill, have once more betrayed the American people for money.”
“The bill is another example of why change will never come from within the Democratic Party. The party is owned and managed by corporations.”
Written by laudyms
March 23, 2010 at 9:50 am
from the People’s Email Network:
Friends, our premise from the beginning has been that we must first speak out for policy change to our elected officials. For unless we are in fact speaking out, only then can we know if they will listen to us or not. AFTER we do that, it becomes clear who is listening and who is not, and THEN we have the base to hold them to account accordingly, and to remove from office those who will not listen.
We have now arrived at the latter point with regard to each and every sitting member of Congress of both major parties without exception, and the fake Independents can go too.
We are calling for all citizens of the United to declare that under no circumstance will they vote for any candidate associated with either the Democratic or Republican parties, and that we instead dedicate our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor, to electing worthy independents who can demonstrate a lifetime of public policy advocacy on behalf of the people, true citizen legislators.
Written by laudyms
March 18, 2010 at 10:59 am
The influential $42 billion-a-year payday lending industry, thriving from a surge in emergency loans to people struggling through the recession, is pouring record sums into lobbying, campaign contributions, and public relations – and getting results.
As the Senate prepares to take up financial reform, lobbyists are working to exempt companies that make short-term cash loans from proposed new federal regulations and policing. In state capitals around the country, payday companies have been fighting some 100 pieces of legislation aimed at safeguarding borrowers from high interest rates and from falling into excessive debt.
Last year, as the U.S. House drew up a financial reform bill, some lawmakers who were courted by the companies and received campaign contributions from them helped crush amendments seeking to restrict payday practices, a review by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund has found.
Written by laudyms
March 3, 2010 at 9:54 am
It’s nice to know that there are 8 lobbyists for each member of Congress.
If you take their money, you shouldn’t be able to vote on their damn bills. Maybe that’s the way to limit corporate influence- just pass a decent conflict of interest statute for Congress! What we have now amounts to legalized bribery.
But What Are Supporters And Opponents Getting For Those Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars?
1 Mar 2010 // It’s too early to say how the messy, protracted health care debate will end. But one thing is already clear: It’s generated record lobbying expenditures. And like health care itself, the lobbying battle over health reform just keeps costing more.
Health-care-related lobbying and TV advertising have easily cleared the half-billion mark, topping $700 million in 2009, according to political money and ad tracking experts. Much of that went to pay for an army of lobbyists that numbered 4,525 last year, reports the Center for Public Integrity — eight for every member of Congress.
The health care lobbying bonanza has raised uncomfortable questions, both for lawmakers and for industry players and activists……
A consumer watchdog group is giving President Obama’s bipartisan deficit-reduction commission a head start — a $1.4 trillion head start.
off shore tax havens add to the deficit
the government’s financial health. Obama named as co-chairs Clinton administration budget director Alice Rivlin and former GOP senator Alan Simpson.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group this week posted online in The First Trillion report – a new list of policy recommendations that would save American taxpayers more than $1 trillion.
None of the recommendations would cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or other social safety-net programs that many liberals worry will come under the commission’s fiscal knife.
To calculate The First Trillion, U.S. PIRG says it looked at existing tax code for loopholes, reviewed government reports on wasteful contracting practices and crunched the numbers. The group says that it came up with ways the government can save the first trillion dollars “by enacting common sense policy that is in the public interest.”
“To truly put everything on the table, the commission cannot ignore gaping corporate loopholes and tax breaks that have gone unchecked,” says Nicole Tichon, tax and budget reform analyst for U.S. PIRG. “There has also been ample evidence that all agencies need to undergo scrutiny when it comes to the money spent on contracts.”
A number of the recommended provisions were included in Obama’s proposed budgets last year and this year, but never made their way into final legislation, U.S. PIRG notes. Some of the largest potential revenues can be derived from closing loopholes that enable large corporations and individuals to make use of offshore tax havens for business or banking. Despite attenpting to make political hay out of the budget deficit, Republicans have already objected to ending at least some of these corporate giveaways.
The U.S. PIRG recommendations would collect duplicate payments made to federal contractors, as well as collect delinquent taxes from these contactors, and end student loan subsidies to private lenders.
“In addition to bailing out bankers now rolling in bonus money, taxpayers and small businesses on Main Street have had to assume the tax burden of those who use every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes,” Tichon says. “This has got to end, and enacting the policy recommendations in The First Trillion report are a good place to start.”
Written by laudyms
February 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Rasmussen Reports Feb 18, 2010
The founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, states that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Today, however, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% disagree and say the government does not have the necessary consent. Eighteen percent (18%) of voters are not sure.
However, 63% of the Political Class think the government has the consent of the governed, but only six percent (6%) of those with Mainstream views agree.
Submitted by Mary Bottari on February 2, 2010 Banksterusa.org
SPECIAL RECOGNITION FOR SIFMA’S TURN PITCHFORKS INTO PLOUGHSHARES CAMPAIGN
The Center for Media and Democracy and BanksterUSA are pleased to present our Golden Throne Award to T. Timothy Ryan Jr., President and CEO of the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). SIFMA is the leading behind-the-scenes lobby group representing big banks and investment firms, as well as broker-dealers and other peddlers of financial instruments, which Warren Buffett labeled “weapons of mass destruction.” SIFMA lobbies Congress and financial regulators, and handles securities-related press for some of the biggest players in the financial crisis–Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Fidelity Investments.
The Golden Throne Award salutes the lobbyists and spinmeisters who have managed to hold off meaningful financial services reform since the Wall Street meltdown. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by laudyms
February 2, 2010 at 10:32 am