As we share compassion for our fellow man being mugged in a bad economy, save your tears for one profession cashing in at the bank of the ruined economy. The misery being spread by our elected “leaders” is funneling millions into the lobbying shops of Washington and state houses.
To be a lobbyist when nothing is getting done and there is heightened tension and partisanship is like being a pig in slop. Fear brings out the checkbooks of the big forces in our down economy, health and pharmaceuticals, banking and financial institutions, manufacturing and public works, labor unions and big business… and it never stops.
If you are a really top-flight lobbyist, you’ve scared the hell out of your fat cat clients and convinced those without representation that they need to be on the inside through your contacts and influence in high circles. So, you rake in the loot while copying and pasting daily reports from Capitol Hill are receiving pay back from those staffers that you’ve fattened up over lunch or if not allowed by spending limits (even better for lobbyists bottom line), at the bar.
One thing we must credit Obama for is knowing that the world of the lobbyist is a hidden, dark and scary place, where moles of the system have junior clerks or former agency staff crank out the sheets of legislative language that serve those who pay them most. The paper walks it way into the capitol and suddenly bills and amendments appear. Oh, they didn’t teach you that part in civics?
How can that be? I’ve heard lobbyists boast in some cigar clubs that they have one airline, five manufacturers, one railroad, several cities and a country. It’s like monopoly on a grand scale. There are few rules and, if you want to hear a snicker, ask for their rate sheet. That is usually determined by the fear index, right?
So what do you think the rate sheet is for our current financial crisis, where nothing good will come to any of us? What do you think the rate sheet was for creating the language for laws that lead to hedge funds and the financial meltdown? What do you thing the rates were for keeping the Iraqi war in gear and adding two more wars to boot?
We are in trouble, folks, while a cynical gang of Republicans and Democrats find glee, often together in the same firms who really want it all, and toast their good fortunes of our bad fortunes.
So, get smart and put the puzzle pieces together in an age of billion dollar campaigns, manipulation of election finance laws to allow multiple ways of bringing big bucks into incumbent campaigns, and the toxic waste of partisanship that undermines the American dream.
Meanwhile, the Frog is boiling.