The “review of government regulations” is a ploy to gin up campaign contributions and bundling efforts. Nothing will be done, but money will be raised. It’s “How To Succeed In
Business Politics Without Really Trying”. The more dead on arrival proposals proposed, the more lobbyists will contribute. It’s a slush fund by another name. “Deficit reduction” to Obama is an R.S.V.P. invitation for lobbyists to an Obama contribution party.
Obama simply cannot be trusted. Obama cannot be trusted on any issue. Obama cannot be trusted by his friends. Obama cannot be trusted by his enemies. Obama cannot be trusted.
To its credit Politico noted the Obama lies about lobbyists in January of 2009:
“President Obama promised during his campaign that lobbyists “won’t find a job in my White House.”
So far, though, at least a dozen former lobbyists have found top jobs in his administration, according to an analysis done by Republican sources and corroborated by Politico.
Obama aides did not challenge the the list of lobbyists appointed to administration jobs, but they stressed that former lobbyists comprise a fraction of the more than 8,000 employees who will be hired by the new administration. And they pointed out that before Obama made his campaign-trail promise, he issued a more complete – and more nuanced – policy on former lobbyists.
Formalized in a recent presidential executive order, it forbids executive branch employees from working in an agency, or on a program, for which they have lobbied in the last two years.
Yet in the past few days, a number of exceptions have been granted, with the administration conceding at least two waivers and that a handful of other appointees will recuse themselves from dealing with matters on which they lobbied within the two-year window.”
Among the lobbyists Obama appointed: Eric Holder (Global Crossing), Tom Vilsack (NEA), William Lynn (Raytheon), William Corr (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids), David Hayes (San Diego Gas & Electric), Mark Patterson (Goldman Sachs), Ron Klain (Coalition for Asbestos Resolution, U.S. Airways, Airborne Express and drug-maker ImClone), Mona Sutphen (Angliss International), Melody Barnes (American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Constitution Society and the Center for Reproductive Rights), Cecilia Munoz (National Council of La Raza), Patrick Gaspard (SEIU), Michael Strautmanis (American Association of Justice). Lobbyists are not necessarily “evil” and many work for worthwhile causes – but when Hillary Clinton said this Obama and his thugs jumped up and down and attacked.
Likewise, Hillary Clinton was attacked by Obama thugs and Big Media JournoListers for her (to our eyes exemplary) work with Wal-Mart. Now Michelle Obama chortles because she has worked a deal with Wal-Mart on a project she likes. Now Michelle Obama brags that so powerful is Wal-Mart that it will exert a monopoly style effect on pricing schemes of other retailers. The hypocrisy is staggering.
A few days ago Politico did a follow-up article on Obama and lobbyists. The article was called Obama administration’s revolving door:
“Candidate Barack Obama repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail that working in his administration would not be “about serving your former employer, your future employer or your bank account.”
But with his administration at its midpoint, a traditional time for personnel turnover, it’s clear that despite Obama’s avowals, a longtime truism of Washington life — that a prestigious-sounding administration post can be a lucrative career enhancer — remains unchanged.
In recent months, officials have quietly left the White House, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Highway Administration and the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security for high-paying gigs on K Street and Wall Street, for top PR firms including the Glover Park Group and VOX Global and to work or lobby for powerful media and telecom companies including Facebook, Comcast, Bloomberg L.P., DirecTV, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.”
Peter Orszag, the Budget Director who got so much money to banks is now raking in that cash at Citigroup. The hypocrisy is staggering:
“On his first day in the White House, Obama announced that all his appointees would be required to sign an ethics pledge barring those who become lobbyists from “lobby[ing] my administration for as long as I am president” and — more broadly, for all former employees, not just lobbyists — “from any attempt to influence your former government colleagues for two years after you leave.”
The pledge, he boasted, “represents a clean break from business as usual” and will “help restore that faith in government” by “clos[ing] the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely and lets them use their time in public service as a way to promote their own interests over the interests of the American people when they leave.” [snip]
The pledge doesn’t bar outgoing Obama aides from lobbying Congress or from helping employers or clients influence the administration by charting strategy or even supervising lobbyists. [snip]
Feinberg, whose husband is White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, joined Bloomberg in June, charged with boosting the company’s Washington profile. She wouldn’t comment on her salary.
Colin Crowell, who in June stepped aside as a top aide to Obama FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, entertained offers with salaries as high as $1 million a year from leading telecommunications companies and lobbying firms seeking to tap the connections and expertise he developed at the FCC and, before that, in 21 years as a congressional staffer.
Though Crowell turned down those offers and, instead, started his own consulting and lobbying shop, he’s still likely to earn substantially more money than he did in his years in government, while leaning on the expertise he developed there.
Since December, he’s registered to lobby for T-Mobile, Cablevision, DirecTV, Earthlink, the Consumer Electronics Association and modem-maker Zoom Telephonics. [snip]
Early last year, for example, Damon Munchus left his post as one of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s top liaisons to Congress and in March joined the Cypress Group, a financial services lobbying and consulting firm, as an executive. [snip]
At Cypress, he registered to lobby Congress on behalf of firms affected by the financial regulatory overhaul on which he worked at Treasury. Lobbying disclosure forms show he’s been part of teams paid at least $470,000 to lobby the Treasury, the White House, Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission by clients including Citigroup, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Advantage Capital Partners, offshore credit derivative company Primus Guaranty Ltd. and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. [snip]
No former official’s new job has generated as much controversy as former Office of Management and Budget Director Orszag’s move to Citigroup, which The New York Times Dealbook reported could pay him as much as $3 million a year to “draw on his deep knowledge of public-sector financial issues and his experience overseeing the federal budget to counsel Citi’s clients on various policy actions” and “be something of a corporate rainmaker.” [snip]
When lobbyist Kevin Joseph in September hired Chani Wiggins, formerly Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s top liaison to Congress, he declared that Wiggins’s “experience as head of congressional affairs at one of the largest departments in the federal government has given her the breadth and depth that few in Washington ever achieve.”
Tonight we watched a documentary about Joni Mitchell entitled "Joni Mitchell: Woman Of Heart & Mind." Joni's a great musician but the main reason we were watching is because my oldest son can't take anymore lessons.
His guitar teacher said there's not a great deal left and most of it is stuff my son will discover on his own. C.I. introduced him to the guitar years ago and gave him a guitar and then we went home and he started lessons in Georgia. And when we moved out to California (and into C.I.'s huge home), his lessons only increased. He started doing five a week and then dropped to three after a few months (because he'd made friends) and then stayed with that. And he's just a little genius on the instrument. He can also play bass because C.I.'s taught him that.
And he can play a few songs on the piano that C.I.'s shown him.
But my son decided he wanted to try writing songs. And he talked to C.I. about that Saturday and, she's so great, she'd just gotten back from the airport, just landed in California and come straight to the house. But she said, "Come on, let's go shopping." She got him some DVDs to record on, a tiny tape recorder (micro?) to record on and a binder of blank sheet music to write on. C.I. said, "The big thing is, you will forget. You'll think you won't, but you will. So write it down or record it so you have something to remember it when suddenly you realize how to fix it or what it element it needed." And she also bought him a number of books that are published lyrics. Including Joni's.
When she left Monday morning, she had a list for him of movies that might help him understand other people's writing process while he finds his own.
So one of the movies is this film we watched tonight. And he was kind of nervous because he was going through Joni's lyrics. He knew Blue because we all play that one constantly. And he knew Shine because that's another we play constantly. And sometimes he sings along but just reading over all of Joni's lyrics and sensing her vocabulary and style intimidated him a little. I didn't realize that. He was hinting to me that we could watch the Joni documentary together. I didn't get that. And I was about to say, "Honey, I'm really tired and I've promised your brother I'll help drill him for his vocabulary test."
Then I thought, "Betty, shut up. This is your oldest who you lean on so much and who doesn't make a point to ask for much so you're going to watch it with him." And I did and, during the movie, I found out why he'd been nervous about watching it by himself. (I did drill my other son on vocab. And I read my daughter a story and got her to bed. Then we watched the movie.)
It's a really good movie, by the way. It's really illuminating about her life and art. I could watch it again just for enjoyment sake.
And my son loved it. Joni talks about songs, about the chords she uses and about words and about melodies and he really felt jazzed and inspired by it.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):