Everybody Hates Jack Abramoff

Who doesn't hate Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist who ripped off clients and bought Congress?

Well, we don't. Jack Abramoff is just the one who got caught. One catch in a sea of sharks. Meanwhile the same ole buy your Congress representative techniques are alive and well in Washington D.C. That's why this CBS 60 minutes segment is a must see. Jack spills the beans on how to buy a Congressional representative.



CBS also has the Abramoff interview transcipt, for those video disabled.

One of the things Abramoff describes is how legislation is crafted to put in corporate lobbyist's wish lists, agendas without anyone realizing it.

The below section is from S.2611, otherwise known as Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which was a wish list of multinational corporations with a mix of special interests agenda items. Here is some text from the bill:

NUMERICAL LIMITATIONS.—Section 214(g)(1) (83 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)) is amended—
(1) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end and inserting ‘‘; and’’; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:‘‘(C) under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(c)
may not exceed 200,000.’’.

EXCEPTION TO NONDISCRIMINATION REQUIREMENTS.—Section 202(a)(1)(A) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)(1)(A))is amended by striking ‘‘201(b)(2)(A)(i)’’ and inserting ‘‘201(b)’’

Literally, the bill text refers to other laws, which in turn, like a rats maze, reference additional laws and clauses. Like hunting for cheese, one transverses the references, finds the period, inserts the space and then analyzes. After hours upon hours putting together the actual changes to existing law like a jigsaw puzzle, only then, it dawns on you, the Senate just allowed corporations to displace any U.S. worker with a foreign guest worker through another backdoor loophole buried in the bill. Yes this legislative bait -n- switch is done daily, often by one semi-colon and one existing law sub-clause reference switch.

In other words, Abramoff ain't lying. When you see large bills in Congress with legislative text like the above, you can almost bet some lobbyist wrote the actual bill. It's guaranteed these immoral legislative drafters are hiding hordes of loopholes, corporate/special interests' wish lists and the lobbyists' client agendas into actual law.

There is a way Abramoff can redeem himself and that is by once and for all exposing just how corrupt our government and politics and especially the legislative process really is. He ain't alone. He just went to jail alone.

To that effect, Jack wrote a book and has some suggestions to clean up D.C., which of course will never be passed. The foxes, after all, are guarding the hen house.

He proposes that anyone who lobbies the government, receives federal contracts or benefits from public funds should be entirely prohibited from making campaign contributions or giving any gifts at all to public officials.

To end the revolving door, "the lure of post-public service lobbying employment needs to be eliminated," he writes. So: "If you chose to serve in Congress or on a congressional staff, you should be barred for life from working for any company, organization, or association which lobbies the federal government. "

He also supports term limits. (As a lobbyist, "I didn't want to have to build relationships with new members constantly," he writes.) He furthur proposes that senators no longer be elected directly -- but rather by their state houses -- and that no representative be allowed to propose, lobby for or even vote on projects in their own districts.

In case you haven't heard about it, there is a petition for you to sign to get money out of politics.



Plebiscite: K Street for the Rest Of Us

A saner fairer republic, not this one, would create a formal plebiscite. Without changing federal or state Constitutions, a citizens lobby with power players running the Plebiscite Committee,
could lobby Congress or Statehouses. That would be too much of a power shift for this oligarchical system,but it would work politically. It would cleanse the filth from this system better than anything.

In a way, OWS may be the plebiscite, or it may evolve into something bigger and more radical.
I would not want to push, or handicap OWS the way so many do. OWS is doing just fine. They do not need ideology, planning and rest of the nonsense suggested by the ineffectual Left. OWS just needs the convenient target inequality, corruption, and gridlock.

Burton Leed

What about George Soros'

What about George Soros' Center for American Progress staffing the Obama White House? Nobody else comes even close to such a money/influence-peddling feat.
Soros is by far the world's biggest lobbyist, active in over 70 countries, according to his own website, giving money to over 500 organizations per year. That's happening to this day.

What about Soros?

Hmm. What about Soros? Of course, I recognize the name and I know a little of the reputation, about besting the Bank of England a few years back in a high-stakes currency game.

More recently, I read something that he wrote where he makes recommendations for resolving the Euro crisis, which I didn't consider fundamental enough to amount to a true progressive reform of the system. But what the heck? He lives in Europe ... and what do I know? Along the same lines, Soros is sometimes identified with the House of Rothschild and, thus, he's probably a globalist such that I wouldn't get along with him at all. But again, he's worth billions of Euros and probably lives on top of a vault filled with gold ... and who am I with my piddling stash of silver?

Anyway, I associate CAP with ThinkProgress.org, and it seems to me that I have occasionally been directed there to find something of value, coming from a link at some website that I frequent (which would not be ThinkProgress). So, to check my overall 'okay' impression, I have just now gone to the ThinkProgress front page, where I find good-to-pretty-good coverage of the Occupy phenomena. For example, from TP article by Zaid Jilani, 18 November 2011 --

In one of the greatest signs yet that the 99 Percenters are having an impact, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all.

Deutch’s amendment, called the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment, would overturn the Citizens United decision, re-establishing the right of Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance laws, and to effectively outlaw the ability of for-profit corporations to contribute to campaign spending.

I have this worrisome feeling that I am supposed to have a knee-jerk reaction to the name Soros, just like I am supposed to have a knee-jerk reaction to the name Rockefeller or the name Kennedy or the name Warren Buffet or the name Steve Jobs.

I guess Soros is identified with Obama ... but so was Steve Jobs ... and Steve even was identified as a major reason Barack has gone all out for outsourcing. If I knee-jerk negative toward George, won'tl I have to knee-jerk negative toward Steve?

In the case of Warren Buffet, my knee jerks mostly positive, but much more positive for the other Buffet -- Jimmy Buffet ....

Mother, mother ocean, I've heard your call.
Wanted to sail upon your waters
Since I was three feet tall
You've seen it all, you've seen it all.


from LyricsFreak.com

What is the diagnosis for lack of a knee-jerk response? Am I already dead?