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(Visual.ly)   How lobbyists run Washington DC. Translation: we're screwed, and will continue to be screwed for a long, long time   (visual.ly) divider line 359
    More: Scary, Washington DC, lobbyists  
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13419 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Mar 2012 at 10:11 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-06 08:50:40 AM  
Not particularly surprising that the average person is vastly outnumbered, but looking at the bit on how just the pharmaceutical lobbyists alone have legislators outnumbered 2:1 is really disturbing. They're like locusts eating the fields.
 
2012-03-06 09:02:07 AM  
You're telling me that the government is operated for the benefit of large businesses and the well connected instead of the American people?

get outta here!
 
2012-03-06 09:09:36 AM  
All of the little troll faces in the margins of the graphic made me laugh
 
2012-03-06 09:32:33 AM  
Heh, that was good.
 
2012-03-06 09:32:55 AM  
This is overly simplistic, but more people need to get a handle on special interest groups, lobbying, ideological motivations and $ and how it works on out political situation. Theres too much talk on people trying to "boil down" what is a complex interaction.

At any rate, its funny and accessible. Work on the content some more.
 
2012-03-06 09:38:34 AM  
static.happyplace.com
It's funny because it's true?
 
2012-03-06 10:02:32 AM  
Is there a more scumbag farking occupation than a lobbyist? They make Mexican drug cartel lords look like volunterrs for Habitats for Humanity.
 
2012-03-06 10:12:41 AM  
Wow, it must really suck to be a politician. Hated by the public and owned by the lobbyists. Why would anybody want to go into politics? Oh yeah, because the perks are sweet.
 
2012-03-06 10:17:41 AM  

Via Infinito: Wow, it must really suck to be a politician. Hated by the public and owned by the lobbyists. Why would anybody want to go into politics? Oh yeah, because the perks are sweet.


That article pretty much explains why politicians spend millions obtaining a job that pays a fraction of that.
 
2012-03-06 10:20:05 AM  
Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.
 
2012-03-06 10:20:58 AM  
Yes. And?

This is why I have been saying that nothing short of an armed rebellion is going to really change things. It is utterly corrupt, and we've allowed them to draft laws to make it utterly legal. They have complete control and they are not going to give it up.

Welcome to the future, William Gibson and Phillip K. Dick called it.

/Actually several scifi authors called it before them, but they just made it a popular.
 
2012-03-06 10:22:01 AM  

TsarTom: [static.happyplace.com image 550x752]
It's funny because it's true?


Oh god, that's so fantastic.
 
2012-03-06 10:22:09 AM  
This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.

You wouldn't fly an airline where the maximum pilot seniority and experience is 8 years would you?
 
2012-03-06 10:23:38 AM  

lohphat: This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.

You wouldn't fly an airline where the maximum pilot seniority and experience is 8 years would you?


That has nothing to do with what is really happening and what the real problem is.
 
2012-03-06 10:23:57 AM  
That would be much improved if not for the multiple recurrences of "Congress Critter", besides that it's a pretty good take on that mess in DC.
 
2012-03-06 10:24:24 AM  
Very occasionally, one will see a porn clip in which some degrading, messy act is being performed and the simulated ecstacy of the receiving end of the degrading act is replaced by a look of horror, just for a second, that reveals all the abusive steps that led from an innocent child to "cum dumpster".

This is like that.
 
2012-03-06 10:24:36 AM  
That was nicely presented.
 
2012-03-06 10:25:01 AM  

ichiban: Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.


I think the thing is people don't know how very real it is. I know I've talked to a lot of people who were floored to realize that DC is completely corrupt when faced with actual data and facts. It's one thing to joke about it on late night television, its another to actually see it. makes it more real.
 
2012-03-06 10:25:08 AM  

TsarTom: [static.happyplace.com image 550x752]
It's funny because it's true?


Not quote. Step three should be, "Rich White Person has lobbyist write bill for them and give to representative."

Most bills these days are written by lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 10:25:16 AM  

lohphat: This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.


And it makes getting your name out much more important while simultaneously taking away many traditional forms of fundraising - people don't know who you are if you're a new guy, so why would they donate to you? It would do nothing but increase corporate whoring for the chance to make it big.
 
2012-03-06 10:25:52 AM  
OK, the Dwayne graphic made me flaugh.

/flatulent laugh
 
2012-03-06 10:26:20 AM  
kil the white man. kill de ;landlord
 
2012-03-06 10:29:12 AM  
live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it
 
2012-03-06 10:29:34 AM  
Ya... Politics is the way we are going to fix things????? LOL

How can anyone really question that big money runs this country (and probably a few others...)?
 
2012-03-06 10:30:58 AM  
You folks who claim that the system is unfixably corrupt are terrible.

Lobbyists are influential because they are literally on top of legislative business EVERY DAY.

Anyone can be a lobbyist if they take the time to get involved. If you don't have the time, then donate some your money to a group that lobbies on your behalf.

Even if you can't match the big corporations in spending, you can overpower them with an army of volunteers, angry petitions, and numbers. Legislators always care when a big group of angry people from their district start making a bunch of demands. Voting is the absolute minimum as far as responsible citizenship is concerned. Coporate lobbyists would not be so if Americans were more involved in the affairs of their state and congressional legislators.
 
2012-03-06 10:31:13 AM  
Oh come off it. It's nothing a few high-profile assassinations of key lobbyist figures wouldn't solve.

Not that we would endorse that sort of thing.

Ever.

/we know you're watching us, FBI
 
2012-03-06 10:31:26 AM  

beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it


RTFA.

Nothing to do with expanded government, you neocon twit.
 
2012-03-06 10:32:05 AM  
Christ, are people just waking up to this?
 
2012-03-06 10:32:09 AM  

beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it


Came for partisan upchuckery.
Leaving smug.
 
2012-03-06 10:33:00 AM  
Rampant cynicism will solve our political problems!
 
2012-03-06 10:33:22 AM  

Valiente: Very occasionally, one will see a porn clip in which some degrading, messy act is being performed and the simulated ecstacy of the receiving end of the degrading act is replaced by a look of horror, just for a second, that reveals all the abusive steps that led from an innocent child to "cum dumpster".

This is like that.


There's usually one such moment in most videos. That crushing defeat is what I search for. Not the other falseness of those videos.

That and boobies.

/ and that is why amateur is better
\ I've said too much
 
2012-03-06 10:34:08 AM  
is this really news? Our laws come from corporations and special int. groups like the NRA and MADD? I am shocked. How did this happen?
 
2012-03-06 10:34:30 AM  
Solution to lobbying power? Hard term limits on all elected positions. When there are no more career politicians, buying one will be at least considerably more difficult (it will also give a fighting chance for a lobby controlling act to pass).
 
2012-03-06 10:34:38 AM  

ichiban: Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.


Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Would you like to know more? (new window)
 
2012-03-06 10:35:14 AM  

beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it


That made absolutely no sense on any conceivable level.
 
2012-03-06 10:35:53 AM  

lohphat: This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.

You wouldn't fly an airline where the maximum pilot seniority and experience is 8 years would you?


Experience is desirable if you are flying a plane. Experience is the last thing that I want in my elected officials, because it means they have been part of the system for a longer period of time and are more likely corrupted by it at that point.

/Crappy analogy is crappy.
 
2012-03-06 10:36:59 AM  

SandmanEsq: When there are no more career politicians, buying one will be at least considerably more difficult (it will also give a fighting chance for a lobby controlling act to pass).


If you want to get into politics, what's more important? Connections and money, or having good ideas?
 
2012-03-06 10:37:38 AM  
The solution is to kill lobbyists. I don't care what they advocate, anyone who has any contact with a politician of any level who isn't another politician should be killed. They should not even be allowed to speak with their own families. Upon leaving office, all politicians are to be killed. If no one runs for office, a random citizen will be forcibly appointed. If they refuse to serve, they are killed.

Problem solved.
 
2012-03-06 10:38:02 AM  

SandmanEsq: Solution to lobbying power? Hard term limits on all elected positions. When there are no more career politicians, buying one will be at least considerably more difficult (it will also give a fighting chance for a lobby controlling act to pass).GET MORE INVOLVED IN LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS BY VOLUNTEERING FOR A FRIENDLY PAC, DONATING TO A PAC, WRITING LETTERS, CALLING YOUR LEGISLATOR AND ORGANIZING PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO DO THE SAME, farkTARDS

 
2012-03-06 10:38:12 AM  

Protricity: Rampant cynicism will solve our political problems!


I doubt it.
 
2012-03-06 10:39:01 AM  
If you work for the government as an elected official or civil servant, you cannot cross over and work for a lobbying firm or PAC when your tenure is over.

If you work for a lobbying firm or PAC, you cannot cross over and work for the government as an elected official or civil servant when your tenure is over.

If you work for the government as an elected official, you shall have all of your expenses paid for, but all of your public meetings with lobbyists shall be completely disclosed, and receiving a gift of any value from a lobbyist shall be defined as a felony and grounds for impeachment from office.

All election campaign funds shall be maintained in blind trusts to prevent elected officials from knowing who donated to their cause.

Watch the problem disappear overnight.
 
2012-03-06 10:39:33 AM  

Farkn Yaj Yenrac: That would be much improved if not for the multiple recurrences of "Congress Critter", besides that it's a pretty good take on that mess in DC.


Wholeheartedly agree. Used even once, that makes me cringe.
 
2012-03-06 10:39:51 AM  
Don't vote for people who take bribes (see lobbyists for money).

Don't vote for people with powerful corporate connections.

Otherwise, yeah, we're gonna get screwed a lot.
 
2012-03-06 10:39:55 AM  

wedun: SandmanEsq: Solution to lobbying power? Hard term limits on all elected positions. When there are no more career politicians, buying one will be at least considerably more difficult (it will also give a fighting chance for a lobby controlling act to pass).GET MORE INVOLVED IN LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS BY VOLUNTEERING FOR A FRIENDLY PAC, DONATING TO A PAC, WRITING LETTERS, CALLING YOUR LEGISLATOR AND ORGANIZING PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO DO THE SAME, farkTARDS


So, basically, by becoming a lobbyist. Got it.
 
2012-03-06 10:40:22 AM  

ichiban: Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.


Destroy the federal budgets and return power back to the states, constitutional amendment for an incredibly simple tax code. It certainly won't end lobbying, but in the current system the lobbyists need to be basically in one spot for all the power/purse-holders. Forcing them to do it at the state level means they'll be much less efficient in their efforts and you will be geographically closer to the people making the decisions that affect you.
 
2012-03-06 10:40:25 AM  
 
2012-03-06 10:41:24 AM  

Serious Black: If you work for the government as an elected official or civil servant, you cannot cross over and work for a lobbying firm or PAC when your tenure is over.

If you work for a lobbying firm or PAC, you cannot cross over and work for the government as an elected official or civil servant when your tenure is over.

If you work for the government as an elected official, you shall have all of your expenses paid for, but all of your public meetings with lobbyists shall be completely disclosed, and receiving a gift of any value from a lobbyist shall be defined as a felony and grounds for impeachment from office.

All election campaign funds shall be maintained in blind trusts to prevent elected officials from knowing who donated to their cause.

Watch the problem disappear overnight.


boom! goes the dynamite
 
2012-03-06 10:41:29 AM  

wedun: Anyone can be a lobbyist if they take the time to get involved. If you don't have the time, then donate some your money to a group that lobbies on your behalf.


Effective lobbying = massive amounts of CASH.

Saying "anyone can be a lobbyists" is like saying "Anyone can own the Bellagio Casino."

Even if you can't match the big corporations in spending, you can overpower them with an army of volunteers, angry petitions, and numbers. Legislators always care when a big group of angry people from their district start making a bunch of demands. Voting is the absolute minimum as far as responsible citizenship is concerned. Coporate lobbyists would not be so if Americans were more involved in the affairs of their state and congressional legislators.

We have an entrenched system in which lobbyists own the representatives and candidates of BOTH parties (at every level (city, state, and federal). And candidates who want to buck that system, like Buddy Roemer, are literary ignored off the political map and have not a chance in hell of being elected while the participating voters are distracted with political theatre of the church trying to invade the state.

And most legislation passed further entrenching them in power, the public never votes on.

Mr. Smith left Washington thirty years ago. Grow up.
 
2012-03-06 10:41:42 AM  

Danger Avoid Death: Protricity: Rampant cynicism will solve our political problems!

I doubt it.


I promise it will!

We're just not being jaded enough!
 
2012-03-06 10:42:00 AM  
But remember to vote in November! Make your voice heard! Your vote counts! Civic duty! Meaningless platitude!

The more I pay attention to this election, the more I think about just sitting the farking thing out.
 
2012-03-06 10:42:40 AM  

Aarontology: You're telling me that the government is operated for the benefit of large businesses and the well connected instead of the American people?

get outta here!


The 'American People' are also a lobbying group except they pay in votes instead of money (although they do pay in money as well, donations and all). If politicians want to be elected they have to either 1. represent roughly the general wishes of the people. or 2. Reasonably fake that they do. That the government is like this is because America itself is like this, not because of some sinister plot by 'The Man' to wizz in your cheerios.
 
2012-03-06 10:43:11 AM  

xalres: But remember to vote in November! Make your voice heard! Your vote counts! Civic duty! Meaningless platitude!

The more I pay attention to this election, the more I think about just sitting the farking thing out.


That.

Is why you fail......
 
2012-03-06 10:43:18 AM  

KiplingKat872: Mr. Smith left Washington thirty years ago. Grow up.


More like 70.
 
2012-03-06 10:43:28 AM  

wedun: You folks who claim that the system is unfixably corrupt are terrible.

Lobbyists are influential because they are literally on top of legislative business EVERY DAY.

Anyone can be a lobbyist if they take the time to get involved. If you don't have the time, then donate some your money to a group that lobbies on your behalf.

Even if you can't match the big corporations in spending, you can overpower them with an army of volunteers, angry petitions, and numbers. Legislators always care when a big group of angry people from their district start making a bunch of demands. Voting is the absolute minimum as far as responsible citizenship is concerned. Coporate lobbyists would not be so if Americans were more involved in the affairs of their state and congressional legislators.


5/10

For keeping a straight face.
 
2012-03-06 10:43:52 AM  

Lost Thought 00: The solution is to kill lobbyists. I don't care what they advocate, anyone who has any contact with a politician of any level who isn't another politician should be killed. They should not even be allowed to speak with their own families. Upon leaving office, all politicians are to be killed. If no one runs for office, a random citizen will be forcibly appointed. If they refuse to serve, they are killed.

Problem solved.


Your ideas are intriguing, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
 
2012-03-06 10:43:54 AM  

Iniamyen1: lohphat: This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.

You wouldn't fly an airline where the maximum pilot seniority and experience is 8 years would you?

Experience is desirable if you are flying a plane. Experience is the last thing that I want in my elected officials, because it means they have been part of the system for a longer period of time and are more likely corrupted by it at that point.

/Crappy analogy is crappy.


Experience is also valuable if you're navigating the ins and out of the US legal code. Folks who know what ways to achieve compromise on the bills so that the populace is served while each side can claim a victory. Otherwise you get a bunch of Freshman congressmen who think they can change everything in one term because they watched Mr. Smith goes to Washington.
 
2012-03-06 10:44:01 AM  

wedun: GET MORE INVOLVED IN LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS BY VOLUNTEERING FOR A FRIENDLY PAC, DONATING TO A PAC, WRITING LETTERS, CALLING YOUR LEGISLATOR AND ORGANIZING PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO DO THE SAME, farkTARDS


I write letters to my Representatives all the time. Even if their staffers can be arsed to answer, all I get is the farking party line as dictated by lobbyiests.

Get a clue. Once they are in office, they do not give a rats ASS what their constituents want. Period.

And no grass roots PAC has ever been able to much entities like the Koch brothers in spending. Ever.
 
2012-03-06 10:44:08 AM  

beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it


Republicans: lets get energized and take back our country!

Democrats: the government is evil and corrupt so stay home and don't vote!

but will it work?
 
2012-03-06 10:44:20 AM  
Yeah but lobbyists are ok when they are writing legislation or bribing politicians over a piece of legislation that we agree with.


Just like everyone wants government to cut spending somewhere, just not in an area that affects them personally or ideologically..

We the People ...can be bought and sold just like politicians....we are also part of the problem.
 
2012-03-06 10:45:37 AM  

Serious Black: If you work for the government as an elected official or civil servant, you cannot cross over and work for a lobbying firm or PAC when your tenure is over.

If you work for a lobbying firm or PAC, you cannot cross over and work for the government as an elected official or civil servant when your tenure is over.

If you work for the government as an elected official, you shall have all of your expenses paid for, but all of your public meetings with lobbyists shall be completely disclosed, and receiving a gift of any value from a lobbyist shall be defined as a felony and grounds for impeachment from office.

All election campaign funds shall be maintained in blind trusts to prevent elected officials from knowing who donated to their cause.

Watch the problem disappear overnight.


Now, given the control lobbyists have over the representatives, how do you think you are going to get those laws passed in the first place?
 
2012-03-06 10:47:04 AM  
I think "assistant jizz mopper" is a more dignified profession than "lobbyist".
 
2012-03-06 10:48:39 AM  

KiplingKat872: Effective lobbying = massive amounts of CASH.


Did you not see the part where i wrote that community organizing and involvement can compensate for a lack of cash?

If you can organize a large group of people to make their voice heard on an issue, you can challenge the influence of massively funded special interest groups. If you don't have time from your important life to volunteer or organize people, then you can give some of your money to a group that will. Just because you don't have millions of dollars doesn't mean that you don't have a chance.
 
2012-03-06 10:50:52 AM  

wedun: KiplingKat872: Effective lobbying = massive amounts of CASH.

Did you not see the part where i wrote that community organizing and involvement can compensate for a lack of cash?

If you can organize a large group of people to make their voice heard on an issue, you can challenge the influence of massively funded special interest groups. If you don't have time from your important life to volunteer or organize people, then you can give some of your money to a group that will. Just because you don't have millions of dollars doesn't mean that you don't have a chance.


Yeah. You have two chances. Slim and none.
 
2012-03-06 10:53:19 AM  

Protricity: xalres: But remember to vote in November! Make your voice heard! Your vote counts! Civic duty! Meaningless platitude!

The more I pay attention to this election, the more I think about just sitting the farking thing out.

That.

Is why you fail......


And that.

Is the only reason I vote anymore. It's a self preservation thing. I don't want to go to jail for shoving my foot up the ass every moron who pulls that "Well...if you don't vote then you're part of the problem and have no right to complain." shiat.

Seriously, that's the only reason I vote. Not even a little kidding.
 
2012-03-06 10:55:30 AM  

Lost Thought 00: The solution is to kill lobbyists. I don't care what they advocate, anyone who has any contact with a politician of any level who isn't another politician should be killed. They should not even be allowed to speak with their own families. Upon leaving office, all politicians are to be killed. If no one runs for office, a random citizen will be forcibly appointed. If they refuse to serve, they are killed.

Problem solved.


BOY AM I GLAD YOU'RE NOT IN CHARGE OF THINGS, TOUGH GUY!

/though I kind of obliquely suggested a similar course of action in my post.
 
2012-03-06 10:55:53 AM  

KiplingKat872: wedun: GET MORE INVOLVED IN LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS BY VOLUNTEERING FOR A FRIENDLY PAC, DONATING TO A PAC, WRITING LETTERS, CALLING YOUR LEGISLATOR AND ORGANIZING PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO DO THE SAME, farkTARDS

I write letters to my Representatives all the time. Even if their staffers can be arsed to answer, all I get is the farking party line as dictated by lobbyiests.

Get a clue. Once they are in office, they do not give a rats ASS what their constituents want. Period.

And no grass roots PAC has ever been able to much entities like the Koch brothers in spending. Ever.


How many of your neighbors have you convinced to do the same? Imagine if you were all working together to get the rest of your community involved. Sending one letter/phonecall is not going to make a difference. try 1000. You can't do this unless you find people who are willing to volunteer and work with you. And if they still don't listen? Find a candidate to replace him. Someone who supports the views of you and your friends. This will probably require that you work in conjunction with a political party (which in and of itself is a daunting, but necessary task). Your vote is only a very small tiny tiny tiny miniscule part of what you should be doing to have your voice heard.
 
2012-03-06 10:56:23 AM  

Aarontology: You're telling me that the government is operated for the benefit of large businesses and the well connected instead of the American people?


Its more than that, if a smaller group gets a large following they will garner influence since politicians view that as a voting block of people that they can do something "nice" to guarantee support.

I give you MADD as an example, it started out innocently enough, make DUI laws and enforce them for dangerous drunk drivers, that has grown into such a huge organization that seems to be wanting to outlaw drinking and has veered so far off course the lady who founded it now disowns it and speaks out against it.

Lobbyists should be put to death.
 
2012-03-06 10:56:37 AM  

wedun: KiplingKat872: Effective lobbying = massive amounts of CASH.

Did you not see the part where i wrote that community organizing and involvement can compensate for a lack of cash?

If you can organize a large group of people to make their voice heard on an issue, you can challenge the influence of massively funded special interest groups. If you don't have time from your important life to volunteer or organize people, then you can give some of your money to a group that will. Just because you don't have millions of dollars doesn't mean that you don't have a chance.


Yeah, I addressed that. Name me one grass roots organization that has been able to come up with 1/10th the cash just the oil industry or big pharma has thrown at politics.

I have volunteered, spoken out, written my representatives.

They do not give a fark.

And the lobbyists own both entrenched parties which the sheer amount of cash ensures that anyone running as an independent never gets the exposure they need to have a fighting chance. Hell, even when Buddy Roemer was running for the GOP ticket, his anti-corruption platform ensured he was never even seen at a debate.

And because the lobbyists control the representatives and everyone has a vested interest in the status quo, I can pretty much guarantee that no laws will be passed that will chance it in favor of putting more power back in the hands of the people. The lawmakers are the ones that are owned after all.

It's too late. This shiat is legally entrenched as part of the system. Citizens United vs. FCC was just the most obvious end game move of the very confident industry-government complex that has been building for decades.

Like I said, armed rebellion is the only thing that will chance the system as is stands now. Tearing down the government in order to cleanse it.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
 
2012-03-06 10:57:03 AM  

TsarTom: [static.happyplace.com image 550x752]
It's funny because it's true?


Awesome.
 
2012-03-06 10:57:08 AM  
Both parties are guilty of this. Every politician that has served in congress for God knows how long is guilty of this. If you blindly vote R or D, you are part of the problem.
 
2012-03-06 10:57:20 AM  

Lost Thought 00: The solution is to kill lobbyists. I don't care what they advocate, anyone who has any contact with a politician of any level who isn't another politician should be killed. They should not even be allowed to speak with their own families. Upon leaving office, all politicians are to be killed. If no one runs for office, a random citizen will be forcibly appointed. If they refuse to serve, they are killed.

Problem solved.


I would ask for your newsletter, but I'm too afraid of being killed.
 
2012-03-06 10:59:39 AM  

Farkn Yaj Yenrac: That would be much improved if not for the multiple recurrences of "Congress Critter", besides that it's a pretty good take on that mess in DC.


For some reason, to me "critter" is a word that pegs you as a senior citizen.
 
2012-03-06 10:59:57 AM  

Lost Thought 00: The solution is to kill lobbyists. I don't care what they advocate, anyone who has any contact with a politician of any level who isn't another politician should be killed. They should not even be allowed to speak with their own families. Upon leaving office, all politicians are to be killed. If no one runs for office, a random citizen will be forcibly appointed. If they refuse to serve, they are killed.


Just a little over the top but a nice thought.

The simple solution is to just have term limits, once you remove powerful influence the lobbyists have lost their ability to force laws through, without term limits I fully believe this nation will be done in under 100 years.

Its the one thing the founding fathers didnt think through.
 
2012-03-06 11:01:35 AM  

KiplingKat872: Like I said, armed rebellion is the only thing that will chance the system as is stands now. Tearing down the government in order to cleanse it.


Armchair Tea Party ITG.jpg
 
2012-03-06 11:02:10 AM  
"And we keep waiting, waiting on the world to change...."

www.guitarshoptv.com
 
2012-03-06 11:04:13 AM  

wedun: How many of your neighbors have you convinced to do the same? Imagine if you were all working together to get the rest of your community involved. Sending one letter/phonecall is not going to make a difference. try 1000. You can't do this unless you find people who are willing to volunteer and work with you. And if they still don't listen? Find a candidate to replace him. Someone who supports the views of you and your friends. This will probably require that you work in conjunction with a political party (which in and of itself is a daunting, but necessary task). Your vote is only a very small tiny tiny tiny miniscule part of what you should be doing to have your voice heard.


We can't even get 50% on the same boat when it comes to women's rights. We have much of the middle class voting against their own economic interests as they deny reality in favor of ideology to watch the political theatre.

I watched this nation re-elect Bush when we KNEW he had lied to get up into a quagmire of a war that was ruining this naiton.

And you think we are all going to come together in a single force strong enough to overthrow the entire government system through legislation?

HA!

Hahahahahaha!

Not until the majority is starving. When the majority of Americans are living below the poverty line and have nothing left to loose, then, and only then, will the majority of this nation work together to overthrow the system as it stands.

And it is going to be ugly. You saw the reaction of the Right to the Occupy Movement just bringing attention to this problem through the banking bail outs. The government keeps pushing back peaceful protests with violence, and eventually those protests won't be so peaceful.
 
2012-03-06 11:05:16 AM  

wedun: Did you not see the part where i wrote that community organizing and involvement can compensate for a lack of cash?


[oh_wait_youre_serious.jpg]
 
2012-03-06 11:05:20 AM  

ichiban: Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.


Here you go

paladinarmory.com

/Hot like a spinning barrel.
 
2012-03-06 11:06:52 AM  
What's that face peaking out behind all the lobbyist explanations? There should be a name for it. It looks pretty cool, I propose we call him Cool Face. Anyone else agree?
 
2012-03-06 11:07:28 AM  

wedun: KiplingKat872: Like I said, armed rebellion is the only thing that will chance the system as is stands now. Tearing down the government in order to cleanse it.

Armchair Tea Party ITG.jpg


A. I lean Left.

B. I'm a history major. As the Right bleats about "class warfare" and blocks all attempts at ameliorating the situation, they are driving more and mover people in this coutnry into poverty. And the end result of a majority of a population living in poverty has been played out many, many, many times before.

Very, very bloodily.
 
2012-03-06 11:07:56 AM  

abrannan: Iniamyen1: lohphat: This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.

You wouldn't fly an airline where the maximum pilot seniority and experience is 8 years would you?

Experience is desirable if you are flying a plane. Experience is the last thing that I want in my elected officials, because it means they have been part of the system for a longer period of time and are more likely corrupted by it at that point.

/Crappy analogy is crappy.

Experience is also valuable if you're navigating the ins and out of the US legal code. Folks who know what ways to achieve compromise on the bills so that the populace is served while each side can claim a victory. Otherwise you get a bunch of Freshman congressmen who think they can change everything in one term because they watched Mr. Smith goes to Washington.


I think "navigating the US legal code" should be the job of the lawyers. I honestly don't think the framers of the constitution envisioned "career politicians." As soon as someone has been away from their constituents long enough to not know/remember/care what their constituents need, then they've served their term and should go the fark home.

I think some are really failing to grasp just how entrenched some interests are.
 
2012-03-06 11:08:05 AM  

steamingpile:
The simple solution is to just have term limits, once you remove powerful influence the lobbyists have lost their ability to force laws through, without term limits I fully believe this nation will be done in under 100 years.

Its the one thing the founding fathers didnt think through.


I think the tenured guys are LESS beholden to lobbyists. They can skate through elections mostly on name recognition and incumbency. They are just trying to avoid shiatting the bed so hard that they lose the next election. They don't need the soft money, and when they get it, they typically funnel it to less established candidates in competitive districts. It's the new guys who rely more on soft money.
 
2012-03-06 11:08:32 AM  

KiplingKat872: Not until the majority is starving. When the majority of Americans are living below the poverty line and have nothing left to loose, then, and only then, will the majority of this nation work together to overthrow the system as it stands.


Because that's the only thing that's going to separate your ass from the desk chair.

We're going to all suffer and die because people like you are too lazy to get off their ass and volunteer their time to change it.
 
2012-03-06 11:09:30 AM  
i.imgur.com


Lisa already taught me about this when I was twelve.
 
2012-03-06 11:09:33 AM  
And if we somehow could fix the system? The vermin would just pull up stakes and leave Washington for places like Albany, Sacramento, Harrisburg, Austin, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Springfield, Columbus, Richmond, so on and so forth. Exchange one large den of venality and corruption for 50 smaller, arguably more corrupt and venal, and certainly less scrutinized ones. Huzzah.
 
2012-03-06 11:12:35 AM  
and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE
 
2012-03-06 11:13:51 AM  

GentDirkly: steamingpile:
The simple solution is to just have term limits, once you remove powerful influence the lobbyists have lost their ability to force laws through, without term limits I fully believe this nation will be done in under 100 years.

Its the one thing the founding fathers didnt think through.

I think the tenured guys are LESS beholden to lobbyists. They can skate through elections mostly on name recognition and incumbency. They are just trying to avoid shiatting the bed so hard that they lose the next election. They don't need the soft money, and when they get it, they typically funnel it to less established candidates in competitive districts. It's the new guys who rely more on soft money.


This x1000.

I never understand the obsession with term limits. Inexperienced people and people with no name recognition who therefore have a hard time raising money from individuals and require other sources of campaign financing are EXACTLY the people who are most vulnerable to lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 11:14:19 AM  

wedun: Because that's the only thing that's going to separate your ass from the desk chair.

We're going to all suffer and die because people like you are too lazy to get off their ass and volunteer their time to change it.


Fark you little punk arsehole. I have been at this, writing letter, blogging, marching in protests probably a LOT longer than you.

I marched in two of the largest protests ever held against the invasion of Iraq.

What did they change?

Nothing.

"Oh, that would be as if I listened to a focus group." ~ G.W. Bush

Of 300,000 Americans that cared enough to get up off their asses to keep this nation from making a colossal mistake. (Not to mention the million plus around the planet.)

And it changed nothing.

Because they do not care anymore. get a clue, they really do not give a shiat what you have to say. They listen to their corporate masters who own the entire farking system, inside and out.

So don't tell me I'm lazy you little shiat.
 
2012-03-06 11:19:13 AM  

KiplingKat872: Serious Black: If you work for the government as an elected official or civil servant, you cannot cross over and work for a lobbying firm or PAC when your tenure is over.

If you work for a lobbying firm or PAC, you cannot cross over and work for the government as an elected official or civil servant when your tenure is over.

If you work for the government as an elected official, you shall have all of your expenses paid for, but all of your public meetings with lobbyists shall be completely disclosed, and receiving a gift of any value from a lobbyist shall be defined as a felony and grounds for impeachment from office.

All election campaign funds shall be maintained in blind trusts to prevent elected officials from knowing who donated to their cause.

Watch the problem disappear overnight.

Now, given the control lobbyists have over the representatives, how do you think you are going to get those laws passed in the first place?


I won't lie; getting these laws passed would not be easy. Fatalism is not the solution though. Look at how the Seventeenth Amendment, electing Senators by popular vote, got passed. It was a grassroots effort. People pressured their county-level political parties to support the policy. County-level political parties pressured their state-level political parties to support the policy. Political parties nominated candidates who supported the policy. People voted into state offices candidates who supported the policy and changed the laws to the extent possible. Eventually, the pressure became so high that the states were about to clear the threshold for calling an Article V convention. That's when Congress finally gave up and sent the Seventeenth Amendment to the states.

Or, you know, we could just nuke the whole damn thing from orbit if we want to be sure.
 
2012-03-06 11:20:38 AM  
What is it called when a legislator introduces a bill, "for the benefit of the people," with no intention of it ever passing? They introduce it extremely close to the deadline for voting, with no time for debate or even much movement through the legislative process, then crow about how "they tried" when it fails.

Not a poli-sci type, but I'm thinking there's probably an actual name for that kind of hoodwinkage.
 
2012-03-06 11:21:31 AM  

GentDirkly: steamingpile:
The simple solution is to just have term limits, once you remove powerful influence the lobbyists have lost their ability to force laws through, without term limits I fully believe this nation will be done in under 100 years.

Its the one thing the founding fathers didnt think through.

I think the tenured guys are LESS beholden to lobbyists. They can skate through elections mostly on name recognition and incumbency. They are just trying to avoid shiatting the bed so hard that they lose the next election. They don't need the soft money, and when they get it, they typically funnel it to less established candidates in competitive districts. It's the new guys who rely more on soft money.


Good thinking, but that means if you get someone really crappy into office on a a fluke vote, you never have a chance of getting them out again. Lifetime terms also make it almost impossible for legislators to keep up with changing American social attitudes in policy as they never have to check in with how their constituents feel about issues with a vote.

It's just freezing the system, not freeing it from control.
 
2012-03-06 11:22:32 AM  

Spins4: This would be a lot less of a problem if Congress' power to make laws was restrained by some sort of document. It would be more difficult to pull this off if they had to have 50 armies of lobbyists instead of 1, and each army could only influence 1/50th of the nation.


Nah. All they need is one army focused on convincing one state to do their bidding. Why do you think so many corporations (at least 50% of publicly-traded corps and 60% of Fortune 500 corps) are headquartered in Delaware?
 
2012-03-06 11:22:47 AM  

PsiChi: What is it called when a legislator introduces a bill, "for the benefit of the people,"...?


It's called "bend over".
 
2012-03-06 11:23:06 AM  
Currently the government constantly pushes through legislation that favors certain businesses (see Obama and Bush's bailouts). Until that stops, the bribing lobbying will continue.
 
2012-03-06 11:23:17 AM  

KiplingKat872: It's too late. This shiat is legally entrenched as part of the system. Citizens United vs. FCC was just the most obvious end game move of the very confident industry-government complex that has been building for decades.

Like I said, armed rebellion is the only thing that will chance the system as is stands now. Tearing down the government in order to cleanse it.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


I hate to say it, but you're probably right. Incremental change becomes impossible when one side has to fight tooth and nail to accomplish 1/100 of what the other side can do with a single phone call. Things may be too far gone. The signs were there when Bush was reelected. They became obvious when Obama caved on issue after issue, and in some instances, made things worse (NDAA, drone killings, etc.). Our Republic has given way to feudalism.

Perhaps the only thing that can save it now is a systemic reset. Maybe it will come in the form of another economic collapse, followed by a new New Deal to right the scales, and maybe it will come in the form of clashes in the street, followed by violent uprising. One thing is certain- people on both sides of the political spectrum are starting to realize just how rigged the system really is, and they are getting very, very angry.
 
2012-03-06 11:24:43 AM  
Isn't it heart warming to know that something in Washington actually works? I agree it is the private sector, but it is working.
We are getting the best politicians that money can buy, who could ask for more? I'm sure that the politicians would never put their personal agenda ahead of something that's good of the country.
Reminder, Vote early and often.
 
2012-03-06 11:27:45 AM  

Serious Black: I won't lie; getting these laws passed would not be easy. Fatalism is not the solution though. Look at how the Seventeenth Amendment, electing Senators by popular vote, got passed. It was a grassroots effort. People pressured their county-level political parties to support the policy. County-level political parties pressured their state-level political parties to support the policy. Political parties nominated candidates who supported the policy. People voted into state offices candidates who supported the policy and changed the laws to the extent possible. Eventually, the pressure became so high that the states were about to clear the threshold for calling an Article V convention. That's when Congress finally gave up and sent the Seventeenth Amendment to the states.

Or, you know, we could just nuke the whole damn thing from orbit if we want to be sure.


America was not facing the system we have now in 1912. The current system is purposefully designed to keep the voice of the American voter as minimal as possible, infecting every level of government, from city on up. You saw what happened to Buddy Roemer in this GOP primary. That was death by determined neglect. Most people still have not heard he was ever running for the GOP ticket. That is the way it will play out for anyone trying to threaten the system as it stands, in both parties.

It says a lot when the only man who came the closest to cracking the two party system for presidency was a billionaire in his own right (Perot).
 
2012-03-06 11:28:59 AM  
Community organizing and responsible citizenship will always be fighting an unequal and losing war, even if winning the occasional battle, if they take on corporate lobbying power on an issue-by-issue basis. The lobbies responsible for regulatory capture and other ills tend to be relatively small groups of people with very focused and narrowly defined shared interests that they pursue with the single-minded dedication of hunting lionesses and heaps of money.

Any group of the electorate large enough to be effective is more like a milling herd of cats. Look at large protests and the madcap multitude of pet issues and inchoate nonsense all clamoring for attention. You'd have to pick issues at the heart of the problem, hit hard and make it count. Like if the Occupy protests had been exclusively focused on and dedicated to demanding a specific set of expert-reviewed, toothed, and good public policy vetted campaign finance and lobbying reforms in some non-hypothetical, legislation ready to be submitted format.
 
2012-03-06 11:29:41 AM  

Mugato: beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it

That made absolutely no sense on any conceivable level.


Well, given that you're retarded, makeway for ducklings makes no sense to you either.
 
2012-03-06 11:30:53 AM  

InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE


Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.
 
2012-03-06 11:31:02 AM  

wedun: Did you not see the part where i wrote that community organizing and involvement can compensate for a lack of cash?


Damn, I wish I lived in your McWorld.
 
2012-03-06 11:32:53 AM  

wildstarr: wedun: Did you not see the part where i wrote that community organizing and involvement can compensate for a lack of cash?

Damn, I wish I lived in your McWorld.


We have the power to bring back the McRib!
 
2012-03-06 11:32:55 AM  

Rashnu: Like if the Occupy protests had been exclusively focused on and dedicated to demanding a specific set of expert-reviewed, toothed, and good public policy vetted campaign finance and lobbying reforms in some non-hypothetical, legislation ready to be submitted format.


That was why I bowed out: They refused point blank to create a set of concrete realistic demands while they had their little surrealist "Wee, we're making a statement by not making a statement" party. I think it is great that they created the awareness, but in the end they did nothing with the momentum they created.
 
2012-03-06 11:33:20 AM  

ichiban: The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-03-06 11:35:58 AM  

wedun: KiplingKat872: Effective lobbying = massive amounts of CASH.

Did you not see the part where i wrote that community organizing and involvement can compensate for a lack of cash?

If you can organize a large group of people to make their voice heard on an issue, you can challenge the influence of massively funded special interest groups. If you don't have time from your important life to volunteer or organize people, then you can give some of your money to a group that will. Just because you don't have millions of dollars doesn't mean that you don't have a chance.


I bet you were the first to laugh at the Occupy Movement.
 
2012-03-06 11:36:39 AM  
But Occupy was good on two levels: It put the spotlight at the root of so many problems in government and why we can't move forward on so many issues, opening a national discussion about it, and the reaction to the movement shows us what concentrated efforts by Americans to change the system would face.
 
2012-03-06 11:38:06 AM  
People actually think term limits will help with lobbying problems? Well, you need only look at the Florida state legislature to see how wrong you are.

/new legislators have no expertise, and ex-legislators become the lobbyists that write the bills
//if you're for term limits, you're for increasing lobbyist influence, plain and simple
 
2012-03-06 11:38:42 AM  

xalres: Protricity: xalres: But remember to vote in November! Make your voice heard! Your vote counts! Civic duty! Meaningless platitude!

The more I pay attention to this election, the more I think about just sitting the farking thing out.

That.

Is why you fail......

And that.

Is the only reason I vote anymore. It's a self preservation thing. I don't want to go to jail for shoving my foot up the ass every moron who pulls that "Well...if you don't vote then you're part of the problem and have no right to complain." shiat.

Seriously, that's the only reason I vote. Not even a little kidding.


Yep. In my experience (obviously not all encompassing) the "If you don't vote you're part of the problem" crowd tend to have the least say about issues one way or another. It's as if the act of voting gives them a pass on actually having to form thier own opinion on the matters at hand. When the conversation reaches a level where they can't, or simply don't want to engage in discussion, you get slapped down w/ this high and mighty rhetoric.
 
2012-03-06 11:39:51 AM  

odinsposse: InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE

Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.


It's just as stupid as saying "Yeah, your vote doesn't count because the system is rigged, but you should get out and vote anyway." You know that old trope about the definition of insanity? How exactly will participating in a corrupt and broken system, yet again, do anything to change what's wrong with the system?
 
2012-03-06 11:42:12 AM  

spacelord321: xalres: Protricity: xalres: But remember to vote in November! Make your voice heard! Your vote counts! Civic duty! Meaningless platitude!

The more I pay attention to this election, the more I think about just sitting the farking thing out.

That.

Is why you fail......

And that.

Is the only reason I vote anymore. It's a self preservation thing. I don't want to go to jail for shoving my foot up the ass every moron who pulls that "Well...if you don't vote then you're part of the problem and have no right to complain." shiat.

Seriously, that's the only reason I vote. Not even a little kidding.

Yep. In my experience (obviously not all encompassing) the "If you don't vote you're part of the problem" crowd tend to have the least say about issues one way or another. It's as if the act of voting gives them a pass on actually having to form thier own opinion on the matters at hand. When the conversation reaches a level where they can't, or simply don't want to engage in discussion, you get slapped down w/ this high and mighty rhetoric.


That

has got to be the worst strawman I've ever heard

in at least a week.

Speaking of which: I've noticed that gay rights activists tend to be the same kinds of people who think 'marriage is just a piece of paper'. Like, what a bunch of f*n hypocrites, right? I mean why are they even fighting for gay rights if they don't care about marriage?
 
2012-03-06 11:43:11 AM  

beta_plus: Mugato: beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it

That made absolutely no sense on any conceivable level.

Well, given that you're retarded, makeway for ducklings makes no sense to you either.


Okay, how much higher are taxes now under Obama? You can just ball park it. As for expanded gov't powers, you do know who was in office when the Patriot Act was passed, right?
 
2012-03-06 11:43:36 AM  

spacelord321: Yep. In my experience (obviously not all encompassing) the "If you don't vote you're part of the problem" crowd tend to have the least say about issues one way or another. It's as if the act of voting gives them a pass on actually having to form thier own opinion on the matters at hand. When the conversation reaches a level where they can't, or simply don't want to engage in discussion, you get slapped down w/ this high and mighty rhetoric.


I'd vote, but nobody motivates me in a way that makes me want to vote for them. The only reason I would vote is to vote for the person who would destroy this country the least in the next 4 years. And I love when people tell me what my civic duty is, because I've never done anything patriotic.
 
2012-03-06 11:43:53 AM  

xalres:

It's just as stupid as saying "Yeah, your vote doesn't count because the system is rigged, but you should get out and vote anyway." You know that old trope about the definition of insanity? How exactly will participating in a corrupt and broken system, yet again, do anything to change what's wrong with the system?


Have you ever read The Myth of Sisyphus?
 
2012-03-06 11:45:05 AM  

Danger Avoid Death: PsiChi: What is it called when a legislator introduces a bill, "for the benefit of the people,"...?

It's called "bend over".


Oh, good, the technical term!
 
2012-03-06 11:48:26 AM  

jagec: xalres:

It's just as stupid as saying "Yeah, your vote doesn't count because the system is rigged, but you should get out and vote anyway." You know that old trope about the definition of insanity? How exactly will participating in a corrupt and broken system, yet again, do anything to change what's wrong with the system?

Have you ever read The Myth of Sisyphus?


Sad to say I haven't. I just know about the end where that poor bastard spends eternity pushing a rock up a hill.
 
2012-03-06 11:52:00 AM  

xalres: odinsposse: InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE

Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.

It's just as stupid as saying "Yeah, your vote doesn't count because the system is rigged, but you should get out and vote anyway." You know that old trope about the definition of insanity? How exactly will participating in a corrupt and broken system, yet again, do anything to change what's wrong with the system?


Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.
 
2012-03-06 11:52:02 AM  

odinsposse: InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE

Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.


Then tell us all how continuing to vote for the same thing over and over is going to change anything?

Where is that definition of insanity? Must have lost it somewhere.
 
2012-03-06 11:56:14 AM  

Iniamyen1: Experience is the last thing that I want in my elected officials


.....why? You'd prefer that unelected staffers and lobbyists be the ones with legislative experience?
 
2012-03-06 11:58:00 AM  

InfrasonicTom: odinsposse: InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE

Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.

Then tell us all how continuing to vote for the same thing over and over is going to change anything?

Where is that definition of insanity? Must have lost it somewhere.


Tell us all how continuing to not vote over and over is going to change anything?
 
2012-03-06 11:58:14 AM  

InfrasonicTom: odinsposse: InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE

Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.

Then tell us all how continuing to vote for the same thing over and over is going to change anything?

Where is that definition of insanity? Must have lost it somewhere.


Yeah, your continued not voting has completely rocked the system.
 
2012-03-06 11:59:54 AM  

Rashnu: Community organizing and responsible citizenship will always be fighting an unequal and losing war, even if winning the occasional battle, if they take on corporate lobbying power on an issue-by-issue basis. The lobbies responsible for regulatory capture and other ills tend to be relatively small groups of people with very focused and narrowly defined shared interests that they pursue with the single-minded dedication of hunting lionesses and heaps of money.

Any group of the electorate large enough to be effective is more like a milling herd of cats. Look at large protests and the madcap multitude of pet issues and inchoate nonsense all clamoring for attention. You'd have to pick issues at the heart of the problem, hit hard and make it count. Like if the Occupy protests had been exclusively focused on and dedicated to demanding a specific set of expert-reviewed, toothed, and good public policy vetted campaign finance and lobbying reforms in some non-hypothetical, legislation ready to be submitted format.


This has been my biggest grievance with the Occupy movement. It is fantastic that people are getting involved and participating in political discussions, and it is great that people are realizing that there are more forms of government than representative democracy, but they have been completely unable to settle on a small set of goals they want to get passed into law or the Constitution. I've been pushing my local Occupy group to settle on a list of the biggest ones and push for those, but consensus is damn difficult to find.
 
2012-03-06 12:00:11 PM  

lohphat: This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.

You wouldn't fly an airline where the maximum pilot seniority and experience is 8 years would you?


Bah. Limit the ROI and asshats looking for a big payday wouldn't be ITP.
 
2012-03-06 12:01:29 PM  
In The Picture.

/for teh asshats
 
2012-03-06 12:01:31 PM  

odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.


THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 12:02:09 PM  
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Start a new party. The "people's party", let's say. Then start a website, that requires a small fee to join. On said website, individuals can propose ideas that they want to see implemented, things to change, etc...

Every so often have votes where all paying members can vote for what ideas they like the best, and after a consensus is reached, hire lobbyists with the money from the subscribers, to lobby for change.

Or something like that. Basically, We the People need our own lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 12:03:09 PM  

InfrasonicTom: odinsposse: InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE

Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.

Then tell us all how continuing to vote for the same thing over and over is going to change anything?

Where is that definition of insanity? Must have lost it somewhere.


The choices are:

1. Vote for (and support financially and via donating your time) the best candiate, especially in the primaries. Write them when a bill that you think is important comes up to a vote.
2. Armed revolution.
3. Do nothing.

Of those three choices, choice #1 is clearly the best and most realistic way to bring about change to the process.
 
2012-03-06 12:03:14 PM  

Serious Black: I've been pushing my local Occupy group to settle on a list of the biggest ones and push for those, but consensus is damn difficult to find.


Yet somehow they could immediately settle a set of silly hand signs and committees and generally playing power games within their midst.

I found outright refusal to settle on a set of specific goals at multiple levels of the movement.

"When are you going to.."

"We aren't. That isn't what Occupy is about..."

That's when I left.
 
2012-03-06 12:04:04 PM  

Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.


Basically if you see a TV ad for a candidate, they have already been bought by lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 12:04:58 PM  

Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.


You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?
 
2012-03-06 12:05:03 PM  

Geotpf: 1. Vote for (and support financially and via donating your time) the best candiate, especially in the primaries. Write them when a bill that you think is important comes up to a vote.


You still think they care what their constituents want!

How cute!
 
2012-03-06 12:06:23 PM  

Robo Beat: And if we somehow could fix the system? The vermin would just pull up stakes and leave Washington for places like Albany, Sacramento, Harrisburg, Austin, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Springfield, Columbus, Richmond, so on and so forth. Exchange one large den of venality and corruption for 50 smaller, arguably more corrupt and venal, and certainly less scrutinized ones. Huzzah.


Between the politicians and the murderers, we have enough vermin, thanks.

Foods good though, so there's that.
 
2012-03-06 12:06:37 PM  
As a lobbyist, I'm getting a kick out of these replies. . . except the ones advocating for my death, I could probably do without those.

I lobby on the state level, however, not the federal level, although there are quite a few similarities.

I can honestly tell you that this is absolutely not the case. Although lobbyists do wield an inordinate amount of influence, they are not the "end-all-be-all-OMG-we're-all-screwed" that seems to keep being reiterated. My industries have donated enormous amounts of money to politicians over the years and guess what - we still get screwed over on legislation all the time! Although I *know* that there is corruption, collusion, and the like (and yes I've written legislation, hell I just rewrote an amendment to a bill that will be on the floor tomorrow) it really isn't the cesspool that people assume it is. A LOT of legislation is still completely dictated by the elected official. Although we can draft "our" bills and things, once they are filed and in the process, they are "no longer ours."

/I do lobby for cool industries, however - gambling, alcoholic beverages (micro/craft brewers only), fireworks, etc.
//Funniest thing about being a lobbyist: one of my best friends (he's a geologist) asked me, "so do you just give big bags money to politicians in like a back alley or something? me: "no way. we give them checks in broad daylight."
///yeah, yeah, cool story bro
 
2012-03-06 12:07:27 PM  

Serious Black: Rashnu: Community organizing and responsible citizenship will always be fighting an unequal and losing war, even if winning the occasional battle, if they take on corporate lobbying power on an issue-by-issue basis. The lobbies responsible for regulatory capture and other ills tend to be relatively small groups of people with very focused and narrowly defined shared interests that they pursue with the single-minded dedication of hunting lionesses and heaps of money.

Any group of the electorate large enough to be effective is more like a milling herd of cats. Look at large protests and the madcap multitude of pet issues and inchoate nonsense all clamoring for attention. You'd have to pick issues at the heart of the problem, hit hard and make it count. Like if the Occupy protests had been exclusively focused on and dedicated to demanding a specific set of expert-reviewed, toothed, and good public policy vetted campaign finance and lobbying reforms in some non-hypothetical, legislation ready to be submitted format.

This has been my biggest grievance with the Occupy movement. It is fantastic that people are getting involved and participating in political discussions, and it is great that people are realizing that there are more forms of government than representative democracy, but they have been completely unable to settle on a small set of goals they want to get passed into law or the Constitution. I've been pushing my local Occupy group to settle on a list of the biggest ones and push for those, but consensus is damn difficult to find.


Yup. They are protesting for the sake of protesting. Completely useless. To the average American, they just look like a bunch of hippies smoking weed in the park, which isn't far from the truth.

Compare that to the civil rights movement of the 1960's, or the recent anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, which had specific goals (which were accomplished).
 
2012-03-06 12:07:56 PM  

Aarontology: You're telling me that the government is operated for the benefit of large businesses and the well connected instead of the American people?

get outta here!


It's almost as if the people need to have some sort of representative body to speak on THEIR behalf......like...we need representatives to lobby our elected representatives and oh shiat did I just divide by zero?
 
2012-03-06 12:08:57 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: 1. Vote for (and support financially and via donating your time) the best candiate, especially in the primaries. Write them when a bill that you think is important comes up to a vote.

You still think they care what their constituents want!

How cute!


Well, go ahead and continue to not vote. I'm sure they care about non-voters a lot.
 
2012-03-06 12:09:17 PM  

odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?


I vote. I also know it's a farce (at least with regard to candidates).

So, you voted. Do you REALLY think it has a prayer of having an impact on this issue? Gonna vote that corruption right out of our government? I got a bridge to sell ya.............
 
2012-03-06 12:09:40 PM  

Geotpf: Compare that to the civil rights movement of the 1960's, or the recent anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, which had specific goals (which were accomplished).


You know, a funny thing happens when you google "goals of the occupy movement."

I won't do it for you, though. I'd hate to rob you of the pleasure of taking a half a second to actually check things out for yourself.
 
2012-03-06 12:10:02 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: 1. Vote for (and support financially and via donating your time) the best candiate, especially in the primaries. Write them when a bill that you think is important comes up to a vote.

You still think they care what their constituents want!

How cute!


They've still gotta run for re-election, so they can't piss off (on?) their constituents too much. Unless they're term-limited, of course - then they really don't care.
 
2012-03-06 12:10:09 PM  

beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it


I call bs. I am a conservative, but geebub started this shiat. Thank you Luba for carrying it on.

/cept for teh taxation thing.
// GW tax-breaked us into this mess.
 
2012-03-06 12:10:55 PM  

Strik3r: Do you REALLY think it has a prayer of having an impact on this issue? Gonna vote that corruption right out of our government? I got a bridge to sell ya.............


So, what's your solution?
 
2012-03-06 12:14:38 PM  

jda007: I can honestly tell you that this is absolutely not the case. Although lobbyists do wield an inordinate amount of influence, they are not the "end-all-be-all-OMG-we're-all-screwed" that seems to keep being reiterated. My industries have donated enormous amounts of money to politicians over the years and guess what - we still get screwed over on legislation all the time! Although I *know* that there is corruption, collusion, and the like (and yes I've written legislation, hell I just rewrote an amendment to a bill that will be on the floor tomorrow) it really isn't the cesspool that people assume it is. A LOT of legislation is still completely dictated by the elected official. Although we can draft "our" bills and things, once they are filed and in the process, they are "no longer ours."


Translation: WafflewafflewaflleYeah, we run the showWafflewafflewaffle

Your actions to do match up with your attempts to ameliorate what you do.

I saw a survey recently, looking for it now, that said that something like 90% of the bills on the floor of Congress are written by lobbyists. So no, you guys don't write *all* of them, just the majority of them.

"we still get screwed over on legislation all the time!"

As compared to who? Since you have more power than I do based on money, I'd say the American people are the ones being really screwed.
 
2012-03-06 12:15:09 PM  

Strik3r: odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?

I vote. I also know it's a farce (at least with regard to candidates).

So, you voted. Do you REALLY think it has a prayer of having an impact on this issue? Gonna vote that corruption right out of our government? I got a bridge to sell ya.............


Or get involved earlier in primary and party politics to get people you want nominated.

Seriously though I want an answer. If you think voting is a farce and the system is completely broken then what do you think people can do to change it? How can you complain about voting not fixing things if you don't have an answer to that?
 
2012-03-06 12:15:40 PM  

qorkfiend: Strik3r: Do you REALLY think it has a prayer of having an impact on this issue? Gonna vote that corruption right out of our government? I got a bridge to sell ya.............

So, what's your solution?


I never said I had one.

Part of finding the solution involves recognizing the problem and ceasing to do that. Kinda like alcoholics first start by acknowledging that they have a problem and seeking help.

I am worried that the only way left might be violence.
 
2012-03-06 12:16:47 PM  

Geotpf: Yup. They are protesting for the sake of protesting. Completely useless. To the average American, they just look like a bunch of hippies smoking weed in the park, which isn't far from the truth.

Compare that to the civil rights movement of the 1960's, or the recent anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, which had specific goals (which were accomplished).


The occupy movement has specific goals too. What they are lacking is a defined leadership and a media that doesn't go out of their way to portray them all as pot smoking hippies.
 
2012-03-06 12:18:07 PM  

Geotpf: Well, go ahead and continue to not vote. I'm sure they care about non-voters a lot.


Oh I do vote, and I write letters.

Which continue to be proof that they don't care. Of the four letter I sent out over NDAA, I only received two replies and both of them said, "I don't give a flying fark about civil liberties or what you want, we're voting for it as it stands to protect 'Merican Freedum!"

And of course, I voted for Obama because he was going to change things.

Ha!

It's doesn't matter, but I still do it.
 
2012-03-06 12:19:58 PM  

Mugato: The occupy movement has specific goals too.


No, they do not. They repeatedly refused to set them. I know becuase I was involved for a while. I kept asking when they were going to create a concrete set of demands, a "95 thesis" to nail to the door of Congress.

I was told, point blank, "That isn't what Occupy is about."
 
2012-03-06 12:20:09 PM  

odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?

I vote. I also know it's a farce (at least with regard to candidates).

So, you voted. Do you REALLY think it has a prayer of having an impact on this issue? Gonna vote that corruption right out of our government? I got a bridge to sell ya.............

Or get involved earlier in primary and party politics to get people you want nominated.

Seriously though I want an answer. If you think voting is a farce and the system is completely broken then what do you think people can do to change it? How can you complain about voting not fixing things if you don't have an answer to that?


Getting involved earlier is not worth doing unless you are fully bank rolled and prepared to buy yourself a candidate.

Since when must a solution be given in order to identify a problem?

I didn't come in here to tell you how to fix the system. I came here to tell you that the VOTE is a lie so long as money continues to buy political power.

I think maybe we should consider the pursuit of money to be a religion that MUST be separated from our government.
 
2012-03-06 12:20:42 PM  
less than half the people vote, (living and eligible that is...), showing that less than half even care.
as long as joe average has his beer, tube, meals, and a bed, he won't buck the system...

if you think having everyone vote would make a difference, remember, it isn't who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes that makes the difference...
 
2012-03-06 12:20:56 PM  

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Geotpf: Compare that to the civil rights movement of the 1960's, or the recent anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, which had specific goals (which were accomplished).

You know, a funny thing happens when you google "goals of the occupy movement."

I won't do it for you, though. I'd hate to rob you of the pleasure of taking a half a second to actually check things out for yourself.


Top result (from Wikipedia):

Goals

Some journalists have criticized the protests saying it is hard to discern a unified aim for the movement, while other commentators, such as Douglas Rushkoff, have said that although the movement is not in complete agreement on its message and goals, it does center on the problem that "investment bankers working on Wall Street [are] getting richer while things for most of the rest of us are getting tougher". According to Rushkoff, "... we are witnessing America's first true Internet-era movement, which -- unlike civil rights protests, labor marches, or even the Obama campaign -- does not take its cue from a charismatic leader, express itself in bumper-sticker-length goals and understand itself as having a particular endpoint".[28]

Some protesters want, in part, more and better jobs, more equal distribution of income, bank reform, and a reduction of the influence of corporations on politics.[28][29] Adbusters co-founder Kalle Lasn has compared the protests to the Situationists and the Protests of 1968 movements[27][30] and addresses critics saying that while no one person can speak for the movement, he believes that the goal of the protests is economic justice, specifically, a "transaction tax" on international financial speculation, the reinstatement of the Glass-Stegall Act and the revocation of corporate personhood.[31]

The General Assembly, the governing body of the OWS movement, has adopted a "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City," which includes a list of grievances against corporations,[32] and to many protesters a general statement is enough. However, saying, "'Power concedes nothing without a demand' " others within the movement have favored a fairly concrete set of national policy proposals.[33] One group has written an unofficial document, "The 99 Percent Declaration", that calls for a national general assembly of representatives from all 435 congressional districts to gather on July 4, 2012, to assemble a list of grievances and solutions.[34] OWS protesters preferring a looser set of goals have written another document, the Liberty Square Blueprint; an early version read: "Demands cannot reflect inevitable success. Demands imply condition, and we will never stop. Demands cannot reflect the time scale that we are working with."[35] The demand for demands itself has been criticized by figures like Judith Butler and David Graeber, who argue that issuing demands is counterproductive for the Occupy movement, as this legitimizes the very structures the movement seeks to challenge.[36][37]


Pretty damned vague, and apparently intentionally so.

Second result is a different Wikipedia article:

Goals

Initially, journalists such as Shannon Bond for the Financial Times said that discerning unified goals for the movement was difficult. Speaking on October 7, Kalle Lasn of Adbusters said that in the early stages demands and leaders were the "mysterious part" that allowed the movement to grow, but he believed that in the coming weeks clear demands would begin to come out of the general assemblies that the movement holds daily.[66] Then, commenting on October 17, Adbusters said, "Across the globe the 99% are marching! You have inspired more than you know. People are digging into Act One of the long Spring", and went on to suggest, "Its now time to amp up the edgy theatrics [ tactical frivolity ]...deviant pranks, subversive performances and playful détournements of all kinds".[67] By later October Adbusters had been trying to "rally it around a single, clear demand" for a Robin Hood tax, with a global march in support of the Robin Hood tax planned for October 29.[68][67] Naomi Wolf has argued that the impression created by much of the media that the protestors do not have clear demands is false. Wolf argues they do have clear demands including a desire to end what they see as the corrupting effect of money on politics. [69] The New Yorker magazine stated that the claims of Lasn and White were specific: tighten banking-industry regulations, ban high-frequency trading, arrest all 'financial fraudsters' responsible for the 2008 crash, and form a Presidential commission to investigate and prosecute corruption in politics.[39] According to Bloomberg Businessweek, protesters want more and better jobs, more equal distribution of income, bank reform, and a reduction of the influence of corporations on politics.[70] The movement has also been described as broadly anticapitalist.[71][72][73]

In late November, the London contingent of the Occupy movement released their first statement on Corporations, where they called for measures to end Tax evasion by wealthy firms. The reason for the delay in articulating a clear demand was given as the time it takes to reach a consensus with the sometimes slow processes of participatory democracy.[74] Efforts are still underway to reach consensus with other occupy groups around the world for a global statement.[75]

A November article published in the Financial Times argued that a lack of unified goals is still preventing the movement having much influence on the political mainstream, with recent events at the 2011 G-20 Cannes summit suggesting the banks will succeed in forestalling the implementation of a "Robin Hood" style transaction tax.[76]

The director of the Human Rights Coalition (Australia) believes the Occupy Movement must have a simple and ethical objective that can achieve mass support or it will fail. Namely the introduction of Swiss style direct democracy (citizen initiated referenda) to ensure governments are more democratically accountable. He believes the world needs more democracy to counteract fiscal irresponsibility, not socialism or fascism.[77] However others, such as Judith Butler and David Graeber, have criticized the idea that the movement have demands; they argue that issuing demands is counterproductive for the Occupy movement, because doing so legitimizes the very power structures the movement seeks to challenge.[78][79]


Also vague.

Third result:

Michael Moore Gives 10 Goals for Occupy Movement

News . by Anthony Kaufman | November 22, 2011 | 11 Comments

.


Michael Moore offers this platform for the Occupy Wall Street movement:

10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore


1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.

3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.

4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.

6. Reorder our nation's spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.

7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company's workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can't run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world's leading manufacturing exporter.)

10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:


a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a "second bill of rights" as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.


Decent, specific list, but despite the high profile of Michael Moore, he's basically just one guy.

Fourth result is a random forum post:


Suggestion: Three Overall Goals for the Occupy Movement and Likely Order of Achieving Them (1 post)

Topic tags: action, cohesion, corporation, demand, goal, movement, occupy, politics, principle, reform, tactic, Vision, wealth


Viewing post 1 to 1 (1 total posts)



Steven Rowat1p said 4 months ago:


Greetings,

I believe the Occupy movement's three central goals, in their logical order of unfolding, are:

#1: ALL MONEY OUT OF POLITICS: by a full overhaul of the electoral system.

#2: REDEFINE 'CORPORATION': legislate a new and radically limited definition of what 'corporation' means, and what it entitles people to do.

#3: REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH: take 95% of the private and corporate wealth over, say, 1 million dollars net worth and/or income, and use it to fund fair-waged jobs in major identified needs like health care and green power.

If a single goal is to be achieved at first, then I believe it best be #1, getting all money and money-influence out of politics; the others will likely follow.

I also believe that if #1 is not achieved first, then #2 and #3 can be attained for only a short period of time and then will revert to their current state; unless a very thorough job is done of #2, redefining corporations, which might allow a cleansing of politics as well - yet how can #2 be achieved unless #1 is already in place? And starting with #3, merely moving chunks of money around, is doomed I think. It would be like getting the New Deal of the 1930s: helpful in the short term, but the system stays intact and things eventually get worse.

In sum: only #1 and #2 are changes radical enough to achieve what the people and the Earth need now. And certainly together they could produce #3 in short order, as well.

Closing aside: if the above is accurate, it brings up some semantic and organizational issues. After reading documents and posts in the various NYCGA working groups concerned with the direction of the Occupy movement (in Demands, Vision and Goals, Structure, Politics and Electoral Reform, The 99 Percent Declaration, Tactics, Principles of Solidarity Consolidation, and others) I was unsure whether to call this list goals, demands, principles, visions, or tactics; in part they are all of these. I use the word 'goal' without meaning to disparage the other words, or those who use them. Yet I do believe these working groups and the movement as a whole needs to reach a joint agreement on these overall goals/demands/visions/tactics/principles/needs whatever: both on their exact wording and on their likely order of unfolding. Doing this would help the whole movement know where effort can be applied most effectively, and help preserve its cohesion.

Peace to all

Steven Rowat


Extreme lefty rantings of, again, one guy (who I've never heard of).

Um...what was your point? Doing that Google proved my point, which is that there is no agreed set of goals of the movement and that the movement is going out of it's way to not have a point. They are hippies smoking weed in the park, protesting for the sake of protesting.
 
2012-03-06 12:21:22 PM  

jda007: As a lobbyist, I'm getting a kick out of these replies. . . except the ones advocating for my death, I could probably do without those.

I lobby on the state level, however, not the federal level, although there are quite a few similarities.

I can honestly tell you that this is absolutely not the case. Although lobbyists do wield an inordinate amount of influence, they are not the "end-all-be-all-OMG-we're-all-screwed" that seems to keep being reiterated. My industries have donated enormous amounts of money to politicians over the years and guess what - we still get screwed over on legislation all the time! Although I *know* that there is corruption, collusion, and the like (and yes I've written legislation, hell I just rewrote an amendment to a bill that will be on the floor tomorrow) it really isn't the cesspool that people assume it is. A LOT of legislation is still completely dictated by the elected official. Although we can draft "our" bills and things, once they are filed and in the process, they are "no longer ours."

/I do lobby for cool industries, however - gambling, alcoholic beverages (micro/craft brewers only), fireworks, etc.
//Funniest thing about being a lobbyist: one of my best friends (he's a geologist) asked me, "so do you just give big bags money to politicians in like a back alley or something? me: "no way. we give them checks in broad daylight."
///yeah, yeah, cool story bro



Please quit your job and make all of your coworkers quit too, and get them to pass it along and so forth and so on until there are no more lobbyists. If that isn't too much trouble, that would be awesome.
 
2012-03-06 12:22:05 PM  

Iniamyen1: lohphat: This is why term limits will make a bad situation worse. You guarantee a novice legislature whie lobbyists and civil servants have tenure.

You wouldn't fly an airline where the maximum pilot seniority and experience is 8 years would you?

Experience is desirable if you are flying a plane. Experience is the last thing that I want in my elected officials, because it means they have been part of the system for a longer period of time and are more likely corrupted by it at that point.

/Crappy analogy is crappy.


governance is hard work just like being a good manager is hard work.

If you think novice legislators are better. You don't have a whit of insight to the daily workload of compromise, subject matter expertise, personality management, regulations, etc. it takes to be an effective, knowledgeable member of government.
 
2012-03-06 12:22:13 PM  

Crunch61: People actually think term limits will help with lobbying problems? Well, you need only look at the Florida state legislature to see how wrong you are.

/new legislators have no expertise, and ex-legislators become the lobbyists that write the bills
//if you're for term limits, you're for increasing lobbyist influence, plain and simple


You're absolutely correct. Term limits in Florida have increased the power and influence of lobbyists.

Some of us actually MISS the non-termed folks since they actually had institutional knowledge to really achieve compromise and wouldn't be hoodwinked by a large check. Newer legislators? Not so much.

And honestly, you want to see one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Florida? The trial bar. They dump a farkload of money into campaigns. And it shows. How do you think the PIP fraud and scams from 411-PAIN and 1-800-ASK-GARY are allowed to continue?!
 
2012-03-06 12:22:15 PM  

jda007: As a lobbyist, I'm getting a kick out of these replies. . . except the ones advocating for my death, I could probably do without those.

I lobby on the state level, however, not the federal level, although there are quite a few similarities.

I can honestly tell you that this is absolutely not the case. Although lobbyists do wield an inordinate amount of influence, they are not the "end-all-be-all-OMG-we're-all-screwed" that seems to keep being reiterated. My industries have donated enormous amounts of money to politicians over the years and guess what - we still get screwed over on legislation all the time! Although I *know* that there is corruption, collusion, and the like (and yes I've written legislation, hell I just rewrote an amendment to a bill that will be on the floor tomorrow) it really isn't the cesspool that people assume it is. A LOT of legislation is still completely dictated by the elected official. Although we can draft "our" bills and things, once they are filed and in the process, they are "no longer ours."

/I do lobby for cool industries, however - gambling, alcoholic beverages (micro/craft brewers only), fireworks, etc.
//Funniest thing about being a lobbyist: one of my best friends (he's a geologist) asked me, "so do you just give big bags money to politicians in like a back alley or something? me: "no way. we give them checks in broad daylight."
///yeah, yeah, cool story bro


An all-pervasive environment is impossible to perceive.

But really, how is lobbying different from bribery, aside from the fact that the criminal code treats it differently? I'm honestly curious.
 
2012-03-06 12:23:35 PM  

odinsposse: xalres: odinsposse: InfrasonicTom: and all the voting by us little people does is legitimize this process.

but hey, KEEP ROCKIN' THAT VOTE

Yes, politicians are totally terrified of your powerful not-voting.

I can understand being frustrated and choosing not to vote because of that. However, saying "you're not changing the system!" when your alternative is to be even less involved is just plain stupid.

It's just as stupid as saying "Yeah, your vote doesn't count because the system is rigged, but you should get out and vote anyway." You know that old trope about the definition of insanity? How exactly will participating in a corrupt and broken system, yet again, do anything to change what's wrong with the system?

Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.


I'm not saying I want to change anything, we're far beyond being able to do that at the ballot box anyway. I'm saying I no longer care. You want to know how I came to the conclusion that it's better for my sanity to just not give a shiat? By paying attention. By being informed. By watching, listening to and reading about what's going on with my country. I know how farked up everything is, I know what the issues are this election and I know more about the candidates than most of the people I know. I just. Don't. Care. At all.

But I'm voting. Not out of any sense patriotic duty or because I'm fired up about a candidate or issue, but because I'm tired of being lectured on civic responsibility by uninformed mouth-breathers who think having an opinion about politics comes with a little-oval-sticker-with-a-flag-on-it prerequisite.

/what really sucks is that they removed the ability to write-in a candidate on your ballot in my state
//sorry Vermin Supreme, best of luck anyway
 
2012-03-06 12:24:06 PM  

GentDirkly: I think the tenured guys are LESS beholden to lobbyists. They can skate through elections mostly on name recognition and incumbency. They are just trying to avoid shiatting the bed so hard that they lose the next election. They don't need the soft money, and when they get it, they typically funnel it to less established candidates in competitive districts. It's the new guys who rely more on soft money.


You would be wrong, teddy kennedy was deep into their pockets before he died and why would anyone go after the newer, less powerful guys? They have no influence at all and the more tenured people will make their lives hell..
 
2012-03-06 12:25:01 PM  
I appear to have angered a lobbyist in my circles in G+ when I posted a link to this.

"So one or two black sheep make it ok to incriminate all politicians and lobbyists? No, I say. This is trolling, nothing else. I shall report this article and anyone who distributes it. This is no matter of opinion or free speech any more, these are serious accusations of criminal behaviour and it is my professional ethical duty to fight this."

I guess. I pointed her in the direction of the wikipedia article on politicians convicted of crimes, largely fraud and corruption charges, both federal and state and local. There are hundreds of them. It would be different if it were one or two black sheep, but it isn't, and to claim such a thing is disingenuous.
 
2012-03-06 12:25:18 PM  

Strik3r: Since when must a solution be given in order to identify a problem?


Because otherwise you're just complaining. Why would anyone bother to listen to you if you don't have any solutions?
 
2012-03-06 12:31:09 PM  

KiplingKat872: jda007: I can honestly tell you that this is absolutely not the case. Although lobbyists do wield an inordinate amount of influence, they are not the "end-all-be-all-OMG-we're-all-screwed" that seems to keep being reiterated. My industries have donated enormous amounts of money to politicians over the years and guess what - we still get screwed over on legislation all the time! Although I *know* that there is corruption, collusion, and the like (and yes I've written legislation, hell I just rewrote an amendment to a bill that will be on the floor tomorrow) it really isn't the cesspool that people assume it is. A LOT of legislation is still completely dictated by the elected official. Although we can draft "our" bills and things, once they are filed and in the process, they are "no longer ours."

Translation: WafflewafflewaflleYeah, we run the showWafflewafflewaffle

Your actions to do match up with your attempts to ameliorate what you do.

I saw a survey recently, looking for it now, that said that something like 90% of the bills on the floor of Congress are written by lobbyists. So no, you guys don't write *all* of them, just the majority of them.

"we still get screwed over on legislation all the time!"

As compared to who? Since you have more power than I do based on money, I'd say the American people are the ones being really screwed.


Example: take a look at the auto insurance/PIP problems in the State of Florida. Even faced with overwhelming evidence that fraud from trial lawyers, PIP clinics, massage therapists, and chiropractors are costing the state over $1 billion in fraud and causing the auto insurance rates to skyrocket, politicians continually reject and/or water down legislation that will fix the problem, decrease fraud, and cause auto insurance rates to drop across the board. Why? Honestly.... because the American population doesn't necessarily send the best and brightest to hold political office and they don't always understand "what" will work....

/end soap box rant.
 
2012-03-06 12:32:26 PM  

odinsposse: Strik3r: Since when must a solution be given in order to identify a problem?

Because otherwise you're just complaining. Why would anyone bother to listen to you if you don't have any solutions?


Reminds me of women.

/**ducks**
 
2012-03-06 12:32:40 PM  
I picture D.C. (and the various state legislatures) as basically a daycare room full of toddlers running around screaming, dumping shiat onto the floor, throwing things at each other, etc. The lobbyists are the teachers trying to get the toddlers to stop throwing shiat at each other long enough to get them all to fingerpaint or quiet down for a nap or whatever.

The public are the parents who created and then sent the ill-mannered little bastards to the daycare. The same parents who biatch about what monsters OTHER people's kids are, but think theirs are wonderful.
 
2012-03-06 12:32:50 PM  

Party Boy: This is overly simplistic, but more people need to get a handle on special interest groups, lobbying, ideological motivations and $ and how it works on out political situation. Theres too much talk on people trying to "boil down" what is a complex interaction.

At any rate, its funny and accessible. Work on the content some more.


For the average internet user, that was already an essay approaching TL;DR territory, so I wouldn't get your hopes up. It's about as complex as it can reasonably get given the medium and audience. Besides, add in all the political nuances and you still end up with "oh shiat, we're farked".
 
2012-03-06 12:34:05 PM  

jda007: Why? Honestly.... because the American population doesn't necessarily send the best and brightest to hold political office and they don't always understand "what" will work....


I'm sure it has nothing to do with campaign contributions and lobbying from trial lawyers, PIP clinics, massage therapists, chiropractors, and auto insurance companies.
 
2012-03-06 12:34:36 PM  

jda007: Example: take a look at the auto insurance/PIP problems in the State of Florida. Even faced with overwhelming evidence that fraud from trial lawyers, PIP clinics, massage therapists, and chiropractors are costing the state over $1 billion in fraud and causing the auto insurance rates to skyrocket, politicians continually reject and/or water down legislation that will fix the problem, decrease fraud, and cause auto insurance rates to drop across the board. Why? Honestly.... because the American population doesn't necessarily send the best and brightest to hold political office and they don't always understand "what" will work....


That's not lobbyists of auto industry being screwed (since their rates are skyrocketing, they are doing just fine), that's the people and the state being screwed.
 
2012-03-06 12:36:01 PM  

Smelly Pirate Hooker: The lobbyists are the teachers trying to get the toddlers to stop throwing shiat at each other long enough to get them all to fingerpaint or quiet down for a nap or whatever.


The lobbyists would be the teachers indoctrinating the little brats to steal money from mommy and daddy's wallets and bring it to teacher.
 
2012-03-06 12:36:48 PM  

KiplingKat872: Smelly Pirate Hooker: The lobbyists are the teachers trying to get the toddlers to stop throwing shiat at each other long enough to get them all to fingerpaint or quiet down for a nap or whatever.

The lobbyists would be the teachers indoctrinating the little brats to steal money from mommy and daddy's wallets and bring it to teacher.


And giving them candy when they do.
 
2012-03-06 12:36:48 PM  

imontheinternet: jda007: As a lobbyist, I'm getting a kick out of these replies. . . except the ones advocating for my death, I could probably do without those.

I lobby on the state level, however, not the federal level, although there are quite a few similarities.

I can honestly tell you that this is absolutely not the case. Although lobbyists do wield an inordinate amount of influence, they are not the "end-all-be-all-OMG-we're-all-screwed" that seems to keep being reiterated. My industries have donated enormous amounts of money to politicians over the years and guess what - we still get screwed over on legislation all the time! Although I *know* that there is corruption, collusion, and the like (and yes I've written legislation, hell I just rewrote an amendment to a bill that will be on the floor tomorrow) it really isn't the cesspool that people assume it is. A LOT of legislation is still completely dictated by the elected official. Although we can draft "our" bills and things, once they are filed and in the process, they are "no longer ours."

/I do lobby for cool industries, however - gambling, alcoholic beverages (micro/craft brewers only), fireworks, etc.
//Funniest thing about being a lobbyist: one of my best friends (he's a geologist) asked me, "so do you just give big bags money to politicians in like a back alley or something? me: "no way. we give them checks in broad daylight."
///yeah, yeah, cool story bro

An all-pervasive environment is impossible to perceive.

But really, how is lobbying different from bribery, aside from the fact that the criminal code treats it differently? I'm honestly curious.


Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate. They point out things like "Don't do that, it'll kill my industry and won't even accomplish what you want to do!"

It was the failure of lobbyists from tech companies pointing out that PIPA/SOPA were retarded (because the movie/TV/music lobbyists were more powerful) that required the whole public protest thing in the first place, for example. If the tech lobbyists were more powerful, that wouldn't have been needed.
 
2012-03-06 12:37:48 PM  
There are few folks calling for violence to remove our corrupt government--but be careful what you ask for. A violent revolution would wreck this country and in the end, the bad guys would escape punishment. After all enourmous evil perpetrated in our name, against our will with the complicity of the media, I understand the rage many people feel. I say, put that anger to work, and learn to speak in a unified voice.

We know for an absolute, verifiable fact that voting isn't effective because the special interests control our system fundamentally. Any dirty politician removed will be replaced by another equally bad guy. If this were not so, we would not see rich people dropping thirty or forty million dollars of their personal funds to win an election.

There are maybe five thousand complete pieces of shiat (politicians who forsake the will of the citizens and the nation for their own benefit) and a few hundred thousand extremist, cowardly retards who support them.

That's pretty much the sum total of the evil in this country.

The other three hundred million people are generally good and make me proud to count them as my countymen. The voice of three hundred million American citizens bent on doing the right thing not just for our own country, but for the rest of the world cannot be ignored or silenced.

A truth comission with sharp and easily wielded teeth and claws will be more effective that a dozen iterations of violent revolution.
 
2012-03-06 12:37:52 PM  
Wiki just updated:

lobby·ist : 1.: a person who exploits the hospitality of the rich and earns welcome by flattery
2.: : something that resembles a biological parasite in dependence on something else for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return

Gimme a license and one Special Forces Team, for 2 days, and problem solved.
If I had to pick the worst political derpy practice of the day, I am afraid it is a tossup between Lobbying and Partisanship.
Both allow an elected candidate to escape all responsibility and misrepresent their victums constituants.
 
2012-03-06 12:39:10 PM  

Smelly Pirate Hooker: I picture D.C. (and the various state legislatures) as basically a daycare room full of toddlers running around screaming, dumping shiat onto the floor, throwing things at each other, etc. The lobbyists are the teachers trying to get the toddlers to stop throwing shiat at each other long enough to get them all to fingerpaint or quiet down for a nap or whatever.

The public are the parents who created and then sent the ill-mannered little bastards to the daycare. The same parents who biatch about what monsters OTHER people's kids are, but think theirs are wonderful.


I'm pretty sure the lobbyists in your analogy are handing out pixie stix and soda to the kiddies, and the public is the gerbil in the corner of the class, shaking and suffering from PTSD after being dropped on his head three too many times by the little tykes.

/Or we're the surly janitor with the bad liver and the heart of gold
 
2012-03-06 12:39:34 PM  

ll001: A truth comission with sharp and easily wielded teeth and claws will be more effective that a dozen iterations of violent revolution.


Say, like a ... Committee of Public Safety.
 
2012-03-06 12:41:12 PM  

ll001: There are few folks calling for violence to remove our corrupt government--but be careful what you ask for. A violent revolution would wreck this country and in the end, the bad guys would escape punishment. After all enourmous evil perpetrated in our name, against our will with the complicity of the media, I understand the rage many people feel. I say, put that anger to work, and learn to speak in a unified voice.


Not going to happen under the current media driven system. The cooperate-government structure has too much of vested interested keeping Americans divided and conquered.

I strongly suspect when violence does come, and unless a miracle happens it will in the next 20 years or so, that it will result in a Civil War.
 
2012-03-06 12:41:52 PM  

Danger Avoid Death: Committee of Public Safety.


*snrk*

Well played sir.
 
2012-03-06 12:42:13 PM  

ll001: There are few folks calling for violence to remove our corrupt government--but be careful what you ask for. A violent revolution would wreck this country and in the end, the bad guys would escape punishment. After all enourmous evil perpetrated in our name, against our will with the complicity of the media, I understand the rage many people feel. I say, put that anger to work, and learn to speak in a unified voice.

We know for an absolute, verifiable fact that voting isn't effective because the special interests control our system fundamentally. Any dirty politician removed will be replaced by another equally bad guy. If this were not so, we would not see rich people dropping thirty or forty million dollars of their personal funds to win an election.

There are maybe five thousand complete pieces of shiat (politicians who forsake the will of the citizens and the nation for their own benefit) and a few hundred thousand extremist, cowardly retards who support them.

That's pretty much the sum total of the evil in this country.

The other three hundred million people are generally good and make me proud to count them as my countymen. The voice of three hundred million American citizens bent on doing the right thing not just for our own country, but for the rest of the world cannot be ignored or silenced.

A truth comission with sharp and easily wielded teeth and claws will be more effective that a dozen iterations of violent revolution.


I have been studying revolution for some decades now.
Often up close and personal.

Unless you handle this like you handle the 5 year old cutting the drinking fountain line, and KEEP ON ENFORCING ORDER, sociopathic asshats float to the top.
"Best and Brightest" my sorry ass. Another fairytail for the sheep.

Violent revolution is the last best chance for this country.
And you can take that to the bank.
 
2012-03-06 12:42:56 PM  

KiplingKat872: ll001: There are few folks calling for violence to remove our corrupt government--but be careful what you ask for. A violent revolution would wreck this country and in the end, the bad guys would escape punishment. After all enourmous evil perpetrated in our name, against our will with the complicity of the media, I understand the rage many people feel. I say, put that anger to work, and learn to speak in a unified voice.

Not going to happen under the current media driven system. The cooperate-government structure has too much of vested interested keeping Americans divided and conquered.

I strongly suspect when violence does come, and unless a miracle happens it will in the next 20 years or so, that it will result in a Civil War.


My rich bastards can beat your rich bastards!
 
2012-03-06 12:45:30 PM  

sheilanagig: I appear to have angered a lobbyist in my circles in G+ when I posted a link to this.

"So one or two black sheep make it ok to incriminate all politicians and lobbyists? No, I say. This is trolling, nothing else. I shall report this article and anyone who distributes it. This is no matter of opinion or free speech any more, these are serious accusations of criminal behaviour and it is my professional ethical duty to fight this."

I guess. I pointed her in the direction of the wikipedia article on politicians convicted of crimes, largely fraud and corruption charges, both federal and state and local. There are hundreds of them. It would be different if it were one or two black sheep, but it isn't, and to claim such a thing is disingenuous.


Seriously?? What a bunch of children.

I'm a lobbyist and I laughed and promptly sent it to a ton of people I know.
 
2012-03-06 12:46:57 PM  
is anyone really surprised given how much power the federal government has claimed?

Consolidating power at the federal level also consolidates the power of lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 12:47:05 PM  
i1121.photobucket.com

Don't forget to vote!
 
2012-03-06 12:47:17 PM  

snocone:

My rich bastards can beat your rich bastards!


More like "My poor masses (which is including an increasingly number of military trained people) can beat your Dominionst/Evangelical farkwits sucking rich prick."
 
2012-03-06 12:47:30 PM  

Protricity: spacelord321: xalres: Protricity: xalres: But remember to vote in November! Make your voice heard! Your vote counts! Civic duty! Meaningless platitude!

The more I pay attention to this election, the more I think about just sitting the farking thing out.

That.

Is why you fail......

And that.

Is the only reason I vote anymore. It's a self preservation thing. I don't want to go to jail for shoving my foot up the ass every moron who pulls that "Well...if you don't vote then you're part of the problem and have no right to complain." shiat.

Seriously, that's the only reason I vote. Not even a little kidding.

Yep. In my experience (obviously not all encompassing) the "If you don't vote you're part of the problem" crowd tend to have the least say about issues one way or another. It's as if the act of voting gives them a pass on actually having to form thier own opinion on the matters at hand. When the conversation reaches a level where they can't, or simply don't want to engage in discussion, you get slapped down w/ this high and mighty rhetoric.

That

has got to be the worst strawman I've ever heard

in at least a week.

Speaking of which: I've noticed that gay rights activists tend to be the same kinds of people who think 'marriage is just a piece of paper'. Like, what a bunch of f*n hypocrites, right? I mean why are they even fighting for gay rights if they don't care about marriage?


Straw Fight!
 
2012-03-06 12:49:04 PM  

Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.


Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.
 
2012-03-06 12:49:44 PM  

pedrop357: is anyone really surprised given how much power the federal government has claimed?

Consolidating power at the federal level also consolidates the power of lobbyists.


State governments are immune from lobbying and consolidation of power?
 
2012-03-06 12:50:16 PM  

jda007: sheilanagig: I appear to have angered a lobbyist in my circles in G+ when I posted a link to this.

"So one or two black sheep make it ok to incriminate all politicians and lobbyists? No, I say. This is trolling, nothing else. I shall report this article and anyone who distributes it. This is no matter of opinion or free speech any more, these are serious accusations of criminal behaviour and it is my professional ethical duty to fight this."

I guess. I pointed her in the direction of the wikipedia article on politicians convicted of crimes, largely fraud and corruption charges, both federal and state and local. There are hundreds of them. It would be different if it were one or two black sheep, but it isn't, and to claim such a thing is disingenuous.

Seriously?? What a bunch of children.

I'm a lobbyist and I laughed and promptly sent it to a ton of people I know.


Hhut yer ole' address?
i wood like to looker up
 
2012-03-06 12:51:19 PM  

snocone: Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.

Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.


I disagree. Lobbying is a natural extension of the rights to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances; there's no reason a group of people shouldn't be able to get together to advance a common interest. The problem is the money and the amounts available at the sole discretion of lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 12:51:42 PM  

ichiban: Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.


VOTE OUT THE INCUMBENT

In every election. It doesn't matter whether you like the opposition or not, this article makes it pretty clear that NONE of them are worth a damn. Vote out the incumbent until things go the way you want them to.
 
2012-03-06 12:52:10 PM  

KiplingKat872: jda007: Example: take a look at the auto insurance/PIP problems in the State of Florida. Even faced with overwhelming evidence that fraud from trial lawyers, PIP clinics, massage therapists, and chiropractors are costing the state over $1 billion in fraud and causing the auto insurance rates to skyrocket, politicians continually reject and/or water down legislation that will fix the problem, decrease fraud, and cause auto insurance rates to drop across the board. Why? Honestly.... because the American population doesn't necessarily send the best and brightest to hold political office and they don't always understand "what" will work....

That's not lobbyists of auto industry being screwed (since their rates are skyrocketing, they are doing just fine), that's the people and the state being screwed.


Of course the auto insurance lobby is being screwed! What industry - especially one that is required by law to be actuarially sound - wants fraud/corruption to proliferate so that rates must be continually increased??!! For the average citizen who isn't committing fraud, they are suffering by paying increased rates and the auto company looks like the bad guy. I can assure you no one wants to run a business where they are forced to look bad by fraudsters/trial lawyers/etc.
 
2012-03-06 12:52:57 PM  

qorkfiend: State governments are immune from lobbying and consolidation of power?


Not by a long shot. But, it seems that the federal lobbying is always the most effective, and consequently, the best financed.

But, when one government can set policy for all 50 states, that's where the lobbyists head to do their work. They would have a harder time if they had to fight 50 state legislatures.
 
2012-03-06 12:52:58 PM  

jda007: I'm a lobbyist


Ugh. Is there a class in "lobbyist school" that teaches you how to say that sentence and not want to kill yourself?
 
2012-03-06 12:54:32 PM  

snocone: Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.

Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.


I did say "some". Outright bribery is, um, bad. But the problem is drawing the line while also preserving freedom of speech and association.
 
2012-03-06 12:55:26 PM  

qorkfiend: pedrop357: is anyone really surprised given how much power the federal government has claimed?

Consolidating power at the federal level also consolidates the power of lobbyists.

State governments are immune from lobbying and consolidation of power?


Just like first year hockey players, they see the Big Show get away with it, and they must emulate.
Next thing, 9 year olds are high sticking and throwing punches.
O, and there is that nice jucy, sweet BRIBE(call it correctly) money to spread around.

Simple truth: You must keep electricity/water away from each other.
Also applies to Politicians/Money.
 
2012-03-06 12:56:37 PM  

odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?


I won't say that your vote is meaningless, but it is pretty damed close to meaningless. Not only do the same people who hire the lobbyist manipulate the electorate, they have already bought and paid for the people you are voting for. People have been trying to either eliminate lobbying altogether or, at the very least, put some rather draconian restrictions on it. All efforts have failed and there is bipartisan opposition to real reforms. So those clowns we vote for can (and do) tell us what we want to here to get our vote, but they know who they really work for. It ain't you, partner. Face it. We've lost our government. That isn't cynicism; that's a fact.
 
2012-03-06 12:56:45 PM  

qorkfiend: snocone: Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.

Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.

I disagree. Lobbying is a natural extension of the rights to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances; there's no reason a group of people shouldn't be able to get together to advance a common interest. The problem is the money and the amounts available at the sole discretion of lobbyists.


Exactly.

And people forget that all lobbying groups aren't run by powerful corporations.

Greenpeace is a lobbying group.
The ACLU is a lobbying group.
AARP is a lobbying group.
Moveon.org is a lobbying group.
 
2012-03-06 12:57:05 PM  

jda007: I can assure you no one wants to run a business where they are forced to look bad by fraudsters/trial lawyers/etc.


Sure they do, the industries that don't care. You think BP Chemical's gives a damn about it's public image when they walked away from the Deepwater Horizon disaster practically scott free?

Since states mandated that everyone has to have auto-insurance, instead of driving rates down, they automatically went up becuase the auto-industry now has a captive client base. They don't give a damn what people think, they're going to be in the money regardless.
 
2012-03-06 12:57:09 PM  

Serious Black: Rashnu: Community organizing and responsible citizenship will always be fighting an unequal and losing war, even if winning the occasional battle, if they take on corporate lobbying power on an issue-by-issue basis. The lobbies responsible for regulatory capture and other ills tend to be relatively small groups of people with very focused and narrowly defined shared interests that they pursue with the single-minded dedication of hunting lionesses and heaps of money.

Any group of the electorate large enough to be effective is more like a milling herd of cats. Look at large protests and the madcap multitude of pet issues and inchoate nonsense all clamoring for attention. You'd have to pick issues at the heart of the problem, hit hard and make it count. Like if the Occupy protests had been exclusively focused on and dedicated to demanding a specific set of expert-reviewed, toothed, and good public policy vetted campaign finance and lobbying reforms in some non-hypothetical, legislation ready to be submitted format.

This has been my biggest grievance with the Occupy movement. It is fantastic that people are getting involved and participating in political discussions, and it is great that people are realizing that there are more forms of government than representative democracy, but they have been completely unable to settle on a small set of goals they want to get passed into law or the Constitution. I've been pushing my local Occupy group to settle on a list of the biggest ones and push for those, but consensus is damn difficult to find.


Have you considered that perhaps there's a lot to be upset about? A lot of issues that nobody is paying attention to?
 
2012-03-06 12:58:15 PM  

robbiex0r: Have you considered that perhaps there's a lot to be upset about? A lot of issues that nobody is paying attention to?


I haven't really noticed.
 
2012-03-06 12:58:20 PM  

Geotpf: snocone: Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.

Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.

I did say "some". Outright bribery is, um, bad. But the problem is drawing the line while also preserving freedom of speech and association.


What farking line?
That is the whole issue behind morality.
Not a little, not even a smidge. It is black and white.

Association gives no special rights to access nor influence and should not be abused in that fashion.
 
2012-03-06 12:58:32 PM  

Geotpf: Greenpeace is a lobbying group.
The ACLU is a lobbying group.
AARP is a lobbying group.
Moveon.org is a lobbying group.


And I bet you that combined they can not match the contributions made by just the Koch brothers.

So yeah, I'm fine with doing away with lobbyists altogether.
 
2012-03-06 12:58:36 PM  

DeadGeek: ichiban: Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.

VOTE OUT THE INCUMBENT

In every election. It doesn't matter whether you like the opposition or not, this article makes it pretty clear that NONE of them are worth a damn. Vote out the incumbent until things go the way you want them to.


Incumbents aren't the problem because guess what? The lobbys infect the nw guy day one. Then guess what? He's an incumbent now.

Senior lobbyists. Freshman legislators. Guess how that ends up?
 
2012-03-06 12:59:36 PM  

jda007: KiplingKat872: jda007: Example: take a look at the auto insurance/PIP problems in the State of Florida. Even faced with overwhelming evidence that fraud from trial lawyers, PIP clinics, massage therapists, and chiropractors are costing the state over $1 billion in fraud and causing the auto insurance rates to skyrocket, politicians continually reject and/or water down legislation that will fix the problem, decrease fraud, and cause auto insurance rates to drop across the board. Why? Honestly.... because the American population doesn't necessarily send the best and brightest to hold political office and they don't always understand "what" will work....

That's not lobbyists of auto industry being screwed (since their rates are skyrocketing, they are doing just fine), that's the people and the state being screwed.

Of course the auto insurance lobby is being screwed! What industry - especially one that is required by law to be actuarially sound - wants fraud/corruption to proliferate so that rates must be continually increased??!! For the average citizen who isn't committing fraud, they are suffering by paying increased rates and the auto company looks like the bad guy. I can assure you no one wants to run a business where they are forced to look bad by fraudsters/trial lawyers/etc.


This is true, but the standard remedy - voting with your wallet - isn't usable when it comes to auto insurance. You could think all of the auto insurance companies are the bad guy, but you're still required by law to have an auto insurance policy with one of them. So there's one industry that's technically being "screwed" (even though they aren't; they aren't losing any business) while the others are cruising along.

DeadGeek: ichiban: Does anyone not know this? The only thing lacking is any actual plan to change the entrenched system.

VOTE OUT THE INCUMBENT

In every election. It doesn't matter whether you like the opposition or not, this article makes it pretty clear that NONE of them are worth a damn. Vote out the incumbent until things go the way you want them to.


How would voting blindly like that affect any sort of change at all?
 
2012-03-06 12:59:40 PM  
Oh, joy. More useless lobbying regulations piled on top of useless lobbying regulations.

ecx.images-amazon.com

Read ^^this instead. Then you'll figure out why we - every last one of us - are the problem, not the lobbyists. (Because those lobbyists... they all work for someone.)
 
2012-03-06 12:59:58 PM  

Geotpf: qorkfiend: snocone: Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.

Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.

I disagree. Lobbying is a natural extension of the rights to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances; there's no reason a group of people shouldn't be able to get together to advance a common interest. The problem is the money and the amounts available at the sole discretion of lobbyists.

Exactly.

And people forget that all lobbying groups aren't run by powerful corporations.

Greenpeace is a lobbying group.
The ACLU is a lobbying group.
AARP is a lobbying group.
Moveon.org is a lobbying group.


So farking what???

Who makes the judgement call?
What is porn and what is art?
No!
No influence peddling.
 
2012-03-06 01:00:02 PM  

robbiex0r: Have you considered that perhaps there's a lot to be upset about? A lot of issues that nobody is paying attention to?


Yeah, but by dissipating focus, you lose momentum.

You have to pick a specific goal and aim for it.
 
2012-03-06 01:00:43 PM  

JackieRabbit: odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?

I won't say that your vote is meaningless, but it is pretty damed close to meaningless. Not only do the same people who hire the lobbyist manipulate the electorate, they have already bought and paid for the people you are voting for. People have been trying to either eliminate lobbying altogether or, at the very least, put some rather draconian restrictions on it. All efforts have failed and there is bipartisan opposition to real reforms. So those clowns we vote for can (and do) tell us what we want to here to get our vote, but they know who they really work for. It ain't you, partner. Face it. We've lost our government. That isn't cynicism; that's a fact.


You can't ban lobbying, or even restrict it heavily.

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Lobbying involves the freedom of speech and of assembly (IE, people from group A meeting with politician B), and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.
 
2012-03-06 01:01:44 PM  

jda007: sheilanagig: I appear to have angered a lobbyist in my circles in G+ when I posted a link to this.

"So one or two black sheep make it ok to incriminate all politicians and lobbyists? No, I say. This is trolling, nothing else. I shall report this article and anyone who distributes it. This is no matter of opinion or free speech any more, these are serious accusations of criminal behaviour and it is my professional ethical duty to fight this."

I guess. I pointed her in the direction of the wikipedia article on politicians convicted of crimes, largely fraud and corruption charges, both federal and state and local. There are hundreds of them. It would be different if it were one or two black sheep, but it isn't, and to claim such a thing is disingenuous.

Seriously?? What a bunch of children.

I'm a lobbyist and I laughed and promptly sent it to a ton of people I know.


Yeah, seriously. When I pointed out that the system is rigged by the people running it, and that loopholes were being exploited, she said that she was reporting the post and a friend of mine who commented on it, but that she would be merciful and not report me for abuse. Instead, she would only block me.

I could swear we were being polite too.
 
2012-03-06 01:02:01 PM  

Mugato: jda007: I'm a lobbyist

Ugh. Is there a class in "lobbyist school" that teaches you how to say that sentence and not want to kill yourself?


I went to law school.

Yes I'm opening that one up but as you can imagine, being a long-time fan of fark, I've learned to laugh about a lot and have a sense of humor.

All the anti-lobbyist WHARRGARBL is entertaining at best, scary due to the ignorance of it all at worst.
 
2012-03-06 01:02:02 PM  
We are so thoroughly screwed!e efforts of

BTW, I'd like to remind you that the legality of Pot was squelched due to the efforts of ONE lobbyist, who was famous in his time. He had no real opinion on the subject either way until Randolph Hearst hired him to make the 'evil weed' go away.

Most of congress didn't care either way also. Pot was mainly used for hemp rope, which was used in great quantities at the time. However when it turned out the plant made a great and cheaper substitute for pulp paper without all of that logging needed and shredding of the nations trees, Hearst got upset.

So, not only did he own nearly every major newspaper in the US, he also had extensive interests in the pulp paper companies that provided the paper and in the logging industry which got the trees.

So, if Farmers were to raise tons of hemp (pot), he would loose profits. Huge profits and he didn't like that. Even though it would have saved vast acres of the nations valuable trees.

So he hired the lobbyist (whose name I can't recall right now) to make the growing of any form of hemp illegal and a key subject was that a portion of the plant could get you stoned.

This was during the era when you could buy cocaine and paregoric OTC, patent medicines often had morphine or heroin in them and even iconic Coke was served up with a bit of 'coke'. Plus, if you didn't smoke tobacco in some form, you weren't a REAL man.

The lobbyist accepted the commission and well paid, promptly presented legislators with a host of bad things hemp/pot could do. Smoking pot was made to look like the road to hell. The fact that most of his dire warnings were made up didn't matter.

He passed around generous 'gifts', which was allowed back then, pointed out dangers to the economy -- even if there were none and within a very short time, everything related to pot was illegal.

Today, we spend billions in fighting pot. Congress, once paid off, tends to remain paid off and rarely changes major laws. So, instead of growing hemp in the US, we started importing it, which cost us even more money. (Remember, hemp, the non-drug part of pot, was used for rope making, linens and cloth, as well as being used as materials for things like baskets and rugs.)

Hearst went on to happily strip hundreds of thousands of acres of trees for his pulp paper plants, which would later contribute heavily to the deforestation of America, which would then require new laws to stop and cost billions more for replanting programs.

Not to mention disaster relief. It seems when you stripped the hills of old growth trees, rainy seasons tended to move the hills down on surrounding villages and towns.

All of this, and more, simply because of one man's greed and the persuasive powers of basically an expert bullshiatter.

(Look it up.)
 
2012-03-06 01:02:32 PM  

Geotpf: JackieRabbit: odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?

I won't say that your vote is meaningless, but it is pretty damed close to meaningless. Not only do the same people who hire the lobbyist manipulate the electorate, they have already bought and paid for the people you are voting for. People have been trying to either eliminate lobbying altogether or, at the very least, put some rather draconian restrictions on it. All efforts have failed and there is bipartisan opposition to real reforms. So those clowns we vote for can (and do) tell us what we want to here to get our vote, but they know who they really work for. It ain't you, partner. Face it. We've lost our government. That isn't cynicism; that's a fact.

You can't ban lobbying, or even restrict it heavily.

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Lobbying involves the freedom of speech and of assembly (IE, people from group A meeting with politician B), and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.


Fine, send them a letter.
Snail mail.

YOU MUST KILL THE MONEY.
So simple.
 
2012-03-06 01:02:46 PM  

Amos Quito: [i1121.photobucket.com image 631x615]

Don't forget to vote!


"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." -- unknown
 
2012-03-06 01:03:30 PM  
Was the obvious tag off lobbying congress for a tax break?
 
2012-03-06 01:04:04 PM  

Geotpf: The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.


True, that's why they have to go after the money. Money should not be considered "free speech."

But unfortunately, thanks to Citizen United vs, FCC this can only be done with a constitutional amendment and how likely is that going to be passed under the current system?
 
2012-03-06 01:04:15 PM  

robbiex0r: Serious Black: Rashnu: Community organizing and responsible citizenship will always be fighting an unequal and losing war, even if winning the occasional battle, if they take on corporate lobbying power on an issue-by-issue basis. The lobbies responsible for regulatory capture and other ills tend to be relatively small groups of people with very focused and narrowly defined shared interests that they pursue with the single-minded dedication of hunting lionesses and heaps of money.

Any group of the electorate large enough to be effective is more like a milling herd of cats. Look at large protests and the madcap multitude of pet issues and inchoate nonsense all clamoring for attention. You'd have to pick issues at the heart of the problem, hit hard and make it count. Like if the Occupy protests had been exclusively focused on and dedicated to demanding a specific set of expert-reviewed, toothed, and good public policy vetted campaign finance and lobbying reforms in some non-hypothetical, legislation ready to be submitted format.

This has been my biggest grievance with the Occupy movement. It is fantastic that people are getting involved and participating in political discussions, and it is great that people are realizing that there are more forms of government than representative democracy, but they have been completely unable to settle on a small set of goals they want to get passed into law or the Constitution. I've been pushing my local Occupy group to settle on a list of the biggest ones and push for those, but consensus is damn difficult to find.

Have you considered that perhaps there's a lot to be upset about? A lot of issues that nobody is paying attention to?


The problem with the occupy movement is they're trying to draw attention to the fact that the fundamental building blocks of society are completely skewed in favor of enriching the very wealthy at the expense of everybody else. It's hard to boil a concept like that down into something that'll fit on a bumper sticker, which, sadly, is the only way to sell an issue to the average person.
 
2012-03-06 01:04:15 PM  

KiplingKat872: robbiex0r: Have you considered that perhaps there's a lot to be upset about? A lot of issues that nobody is paying attention to?

Yeah, but by dissipating focus, you lose momentum.

You have to pick a specific goal and aim for it.


That reminds me. I gotta go pee.
 
2012-03-06 01:04:48 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.

True, that's why they have to go after the money. Money should not be considered "free speech."

But unfortunately, thanks to Citizen United vs, FCC this can only be done with a constitutional amendment and how likely is that going to be passed under the current system?


The same holds true for any sort of lobbying ban.
 
2012-03-06 01:05:02 PM  

jda007: Mugato: jda007: I'm a lobbyist

Ugh. Is there a class in "lobbyist school" that teaches you how to say that sentence and not want to kill yourself?

I went to law school.

Yes I'm opening that one up but as you can imagine, being a long-time fan of fark, I've learned to laugh about a lot and have a sense of humor.

All the anti-lobbyist WHARRGARBL is entertaining at best, scary due to the ignorance of it all at worst.


You need an attitude adjustment.
You are not going to enjoy it.
 
2012-03-06 01:06:03 PM  

mod3072: Was the obvious tag off lobbying congress for a tax break?


Watching the unelection results on Fox.
 
2012-03-06 01:07:03 PM  

odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?


By keeping myself informed and discussing political issues w/ anyone who listens. The vote is only part of the social contract. Active political discourse is a responsible citizen's obligation and I believe the more important step. Voting is the act of realizing the ideas reached through said discourse.
 
2012-03-06 01:07:59 PM  

jda007: Mugato: jda007: I'm a lobbyist

Ugh. Is there a class in "lobbyist school" that teaches you how to say that sentence and not want to kill yourself?

I went to law school.

Yes I'm opening that one up but as you can imagine, being a long-time fan of fark, I've learned to laugh about a lot and have a sense of humor.

All the anti-lobbyist WHARRGARBL is entertaining at best, scary due to the ignorance of it all at worst.


You stole our government.

There is no way around that, you guys have WAY more power in money than any group of American voters. I'm sure you all play the victims amongst yourselves to rationalize what you do, but honestly? Out here in the real world? Fark you.

Eat shiat and DIAF.

We're know what you have done and we're more than slightly pissed.
 
2012-03-06 01:08:15 PM  

Geotpf: JackieRabbit: odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?

I won't say that your vote is meaningless, but it is pretty damed close to meaningless. Not only do the same people who hire the lobbyist manipulate the electorate, they have already bought and paid for the people you are voting for. People have been trying to either eliminate lobbying altogether or, at the very least, put some rather draconian restrictions on it. All efforts have failed and there is bipartisan opposition to real reforms. So those clowns we vote for can (and do) tell us what we want to here to get our vote, but they know who they really work for. It ain't you, partner. Face it. We've lost our government. That isn't cynicism; that's a fact.

You can't ban lobbying, or even restrict it heavily.

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Lobbying involves the freedom of speech and of assembly (IE, people from group A meeting with politician B), and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.


You damn sure can restrict it when there is a compelling state interest behind that narrowly tailored restriction. I'd say that banning lobbyists and public officials from crossing over is a legitimate exercise of federal power.
 
2012-03-06 01:10:16 PM  

sheilanagig: jda007: sheilanagig: I appear to have angered a lobbyist in my circles in G+ when I posted a link to this.

I'm a lobbyist and I laughed and promptly sent it to a ton of people I know.

Yeah, seriously. When I pointed out that the system is rigged by the people running it, and that loopholes were being exploited, she said that she was reporting the post and a friend of mine who commented on it, but that she would be merciful and not report me for abuse. Instead, she would only block me.

I could swear we were being polite too.


Reporting you to who?? They crybaby police? Wamp, wamp.
 
2012-03-06 01:10:43 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.

True, that's why they have to go after the money. Money should not be considered "free speech."

But unfortunately, thanks to Citizen United vs, FCC this can only be done with a constitutional amendment and how likely is that going to be passed under the current system?


But what if money buys speech? TV ads aren't free.

(Different, but related, topic.)

Basically, I think to have serious reform of this sort, one would have to limit freedom of speech (which I'm against on general principles), and would require a constitutional amendment (which will never happen).

But the counter is to lobby back. The ACLU, Greenpeace, AARP, NRA, etc. aren't (mostly) funded by big corporations, they are funded by indidividual donors.
 
2012-03-06 01:10:58 PM  

Rik01: We are so thoroughly screwed!e efforts of

BTW, I'd like to remind you that the legality of Pot was squelched due to the efforts of ONE lobbyist, who was famous in his time. He had no real opinion on the subject either way until Randolph Hearst hired him to make the 'evil weed' go away.

Most of congress didn't care either way also. Pot was mainly used for hemp rope, which was used in great quantities at the time. However when it turned out the plant made a great and cheaper substitute for pulp paper without all of that logging needed and shredding of the nations trees, Hearst got upset.

So, not only did he own nearly every major newspaper in the US, he also had extensive interests in the pulp paper companies that provided the paper and in the logging industry which got the trees.

So, if Farmers were to raise tons of hemp (pot), he would loose profits. Huge profits and he didn't like that. Even though it would have saved vast acres of the nations valuable trees.

So he hired the lobbyist (whose name I can't recall right now) to make the growing of any form of hemp illegal and a key subject was that a portion of the plant could get you stoned.

This was during the era when you could buy cocaine and paregoric OTC, patent medicines often had morphine or heroin in them and even iconic Coke was served up with a bit of 'coke'. Plus, if you didn't smoke tobacco in some form, you weren't a REAL man.

The lobbyist accepted the commission and well paid, promptly presented legislators with a host of bad things hemp/pot could do. Smoking pot was made to look like the road to hell. The fact that most of his dire warnings were made up didn't matter.

He passed around generous 'gifts', which was allowed back then, pointed out dangers to the economy -- even if there were none and within a very short time, everything related to pot was illegal.

Today, we spend billions in fighting pot. Congress, once paid off, tends to remain paid off and rarely changes major laws. So, instead of ...


BTW, hemp also makes a very fine paper.
Predating papyrus?
Hearst had a lot of help from Big Cotton(not so big now) and our butt buddy, Anslinger.
A perfect con job.
 
2012-03-06 01:11:01 PM  

jda007: All the anti-lobbyist WHARRGARBL is entertaining at best, scary due to the ignorance of it all at worst.


Nothing personal, but the work you do is pretty much paramount to evil, taking power away from the American voter to put it in the hands of big business.
 
2012-03-06 01:11:25 PM  

jda007: sheilanagig: jda007: sheilanagig: I appear to have angered a lobbyist in my circles in G+ when I posted a link to this.

I'm a lobbyist and I laughed and promptly sent it to a ton of people I know.

Yeah, seriously. When I pointed out that the system is rigged by the people running it, and that loopholes were being exploited, she said that she was reporting the post and a friend of mine who commented on it, but that she would be merciful and not report me for abuse. Instead, she would only block me.

I could swear we were being polite too.

Reporting you to who?? They crybaby police? Wamp, wamp.


That's pretty much what I replied with, but in prettier words. I told her that she was free to block anything she didn't like, and I couldn't stop her if that was how she wanted to be.
 
2012-03-06 01:11:42 PM  

hitlersbrain: Don't vote for people who take bribes (see lobbyists for money).

Don't vote for people with powerful corporate connections.

Otherwise, yeah, we're gonna get screwed a lot.


So, you're saying don't vote? I'm not sure that will fix the problem.
 
2012-03-06 01:12:10 PM  

Serious Black: Geotpf: JackieRabbit: odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?

I won't say that your vote is meaningless, but it is pretty damed close to meaningless. Not only do the same people who hire the lobbyist manipulate the electorate, they have already bought and paid for the people you are voting for. People have been trying to either eliminate lobbying altogether or, at the very least, put some rather draconian restrictions on it. All efforts have failed and there is bipartisan opposition to real reforms. So those clowns we vote for can (and do) tell us what we want to here to get our vote, but they know who they really work for. It ain't you, partner. Face it. We've lost our government. That isn't cynicism; that's a fact.

You can't ban lobbying, or even restrict it heavily.

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Lobbying involves the freedom of speech and of assembly (IE, people from group A meeting with politician B), and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.

You damn sure can restrict it when there is a compelling state interest behind that narrowly tailored restriction. I'd say that banning lobbyists and public officials from crossing o ...


You can have a "narrowly tailored restriction". You can't "restrict it heavily".
 
2012-03-06 01:12:46 PM  

Geotpf: But what if money buys speech? TV ads aren't free.


Limited air time given to all candidates allotted from the FCC. Everyone gets the same amount of airtime they can use as they see fit.
 
2012-03-06 01:13:45 PM  

Geotpf: JackieRabbit: odinsposse: Strik3r: odinsposse: .....Because the only method that change will realistically come through is voting. Unless you want to sit on your ass waiting for a revolution to erupt you need to get involved politically if you want political change.

THIS is the lie. The VOTE is a lie. ALL the candidates are already neatly in the hands of these lobbyists.

You're right. What a fool I've been. Tell me, without voting how are you changing things?

I won't say that your vote is meaningless, but it is pretty damed close to meaningless. Not only do the same people who hire the lobbyist manipulate the electorate, they have already bought and paid for the people you are voting for. People have been trying to either eliminate lobbying altogether or, at the very least, put some rather draconian restrictions on it. All efforts have failed and there is bipartisan opposition to real reforms. So those clowns we vote for can (and do) tell us what we want to here to get our vote, but they know who they really work for. It ain't you, partner. Face it. We've lost our government. That isn't cynicism; that's a fact.

You can't ban lobbying, or even restrict it heavily.

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Lobbying involves the freedom of speech and of assembly (IE, people from group A meeting with politician B), and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.


Of course. The first amendment gives us the right of redress. But if we put money in a politician's pocket for his vote we have committed a felony. Lobbying is just a pretty word for bribery. We go to jail; they get bonuses. Don't you just hate that our own constitution is being used to subvert the constitution?

There really is only one solution: political campaigns must be 100% publicly financed and giving anything of more value than a beer and a sandwich to a politician is illegal, with a zero-tolerence approach.

Actually, there is another solution. Originally, members of Congress were not elected. They were appointed by the governors of the several states to serve a term of one year. Maybe we should get back to this.
 
2012-03-06 01:13:47 PM  

Geotpf: KiplingKat872: Geotpf: The First Amendment encourages lobbying, especially in the "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances" part.

True, that's why they have to go after the money. Money should not be considered "free speech."

But unfortunately, thanks to Citizen United vs, FCC this can only be done with a constitutional amendment and how likely is that going to be passed under the current system?

But what if money buys speech? TV ads aren't free.

(Different, but related, topic.)

Basically, I think to have serious reform of this sort, one would have to limit freedom of speech (which I'm against on general principles), and would require a constitutional amendment (which will never happen).

But the counter is to lobby back. The ACLU, Greenpeace, AARP, NRA, etc. aren't (mostly) funded by big corporations, they are funded by indidividual donors.


What?
Speak all you want.
Just NO MONEY!
You can't hide that chit these days. Enforcement is not difficult if you actually do it instead of just theatre.
 
2012-03-06 01:14:42 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: But what if money buys speech? TV ads aren't free.

Limited air time given to all candidates allotted from the FCC. Everyone gets the same amount of airtime they can use as they see fit.


We tried thet once. They raped it in a year.
 
2012-03-06 01:15:24 PM  

snocone: KiplingKat872: Geotpf: But what if money buys speech? TV ads aren't free.

Limited air time given to all candidates allotted from the FCC. Everyone gets the same amount of airtime they can use as they see fit.

We tried thet once. They raped it in a year.


Seriously? When?
 
2012-03-06 01:17:25 PM  
JackieRabbit-You can't do anything you want to do without completely eliminating the constitution and starting over. You want a benevolent dictator, which usually just turns into a straight out dictatorship.
 
2012-03-06 01:17:27 PM  

imontheinternet:

But really, how is lobbying different from bribery, aside from the fact that the criminal code treats it differently? I'm honestly curious.


How is lobbying different from donating to a campaign and writing your congress person? Other than the amount donated, not much. That makes it regulating it more difficult than just banning it. Set limits on amounts? no corporations? What about non-profits?

The sad news is that policymakers (congress people, staffers, and some other appointees) rely on lobbyists for information as much as money. Say a piece of legislation comes up and a Congressional staffer has no clue about the subject matter (e.g. Internet piracy). Staffer has 3 choices:

1. Go to relevant gov agency (if they know it exists and who to ask) and asks for info. Wait for weeks to get some answer, maybe. If the gov folk who know the answer can get a response approved through their management chain.

2. Post some public request of information, wait for weeks to get a flood of answers (maybe) - some of which are trolls and cranks pimping their pet theories/businesses. Staffer has little knowledge to sort good from bad info.

3. Go to the local lobbyist for the subject matter, get a full color report and presentation a few hours later.

I've seen this happen lots of times to the point that staffers don't even bother asking folk other than lobbyists anymore.
 
2012-03-06 01:17:59 PM  

Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate. They point out things like "Don't do that, it'll kill my industry and won't even accomplish what you want to do!"

It was the failure of lobbyists from tech companies pointing out that PIPA/SOPA were retarded (because the movie/TV/music lobbyists were more powerful) that required the whole public pr ...


The system of government you're describing is feudalism. The serfs have no real power, so they hope that some lord or lady will be arguing their case to the decision-makers.
 
2012-03-06 01:18:16 PM  

robbiex0r: Serious Black: Rashnu: Community organizing and responsible citizenship will always be fighting an unequal and losing war, even if winning the occasional battle, if they take on corporate lobbying power on an issue-by-issue basis. The lobbies responsible for regulatory capture and other ills tend to be relatively small groups of people with very focused and narrowly defined shared interests that they pursue with the single-minded dedication of hunting lionesses and heaps of money.

Any group of the electorate large enough to be effective is more like a milling herd of cats. Look at large protests and the madcap multitude of pet issues and inchoate nonsense all clamoring for attention. You'd have to pick issues at the heart of the problem, hit hard and make it count. Like if the Occupy protests had been exclusively focused on and dedicated to demanding a specific set of expert-reviewed, toothed, and good public policy vetted campaign finance and lobbying reforms in some non-hypothetical, legislation ready to be submitted format.

This has been my biggest grievance with the Occupy movement. It is fantastic that people are getting involved and participating in political discussions, and it is great that people are realizing that there are more forms of government than representative democracy, but they have been completely unable to settle on a small set of goals they want to get passed into law or the Constitution. I've been pushing my local Occupy group to settle on a list of the biggest ones and push for those, but consensus is damn difficult to find.

Have you considered that perhaps there's a lot to be upset about? A lot of issues that nobody is paying attention to?


Sure, there are a huge number of issues to be concerned about. The problem is that many of these issues are leaves on the proverbial tree. Whacking those off (no pun intended) will do nothing to stifle the growth of other issues. You have to strike the root of the problem to make other solutions possible. Health care costs and coverage, college tuition costs, Robin Hood taxes, controlling financial speculation, developing renewable energy sources, all of these and many more issues are all fundamentally the result of people with tons of money collaborating together to capture the legislative agenda of local governments, state governments, and the federal government. Nothing will get effectively solved until those roots are destroyed. That's what Occupy should be focusing on IMO: striking at those roots.
 
2012-03-06 01:19:21 PM  

syberpud: I've seen this happen lots of times to the point that staffers don't even bother asking folk other than lobbyists anymore.


They don't consider "4. Get on the internet and research the subject yourself?"
 
2012-03-06 01:19:37 PM  

qorkfiend: snocone: Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.

Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.

I disagree. Lobbying is a natural extension of the rights to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances; there's no reason a group of people shouldn't be able to get together to advance a common interest. The problem is the money and the amounts available at the sole discretion of lobbyists.


This. Well put.
 
2012-03-06 01:21:30 PM  

JackieRabbit: Originally, members of Congress were not elected. They were appointed by the governors of the several states to serve a term of one year. Maybe we should get back to this.


Eh? When was this?

Under the original Constitution, Senators were appointed by the states (in whatever manner the state decided) for terms of 6 years.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the states chose delegations of between two and seven people, who collectively had one vote, and individuals may not serve more than three out of any six years.
 
2012-03-06 01:21:43 PM  
There is one elected official in DC who doesn't pander to lobbyists.
 
2012-03-06 01:21:51 PM  
Sucks how all the recommendations on how to fix the *broken system are unconstitutional...
 
2012-03-06 01:23:12 PM  

syberpud: imontheinternet:

But really, how is lobbying different from bribery, aside from the fact that the criminal code treats it differently? I'm honestly curious.

How is lobbying different from donating to a campaign and writing your congress person? Other than the amount donated, not much. That makes it regulating it more difficult than just banning it. Set limits on amounts? no corporations? What about non-profits?

The sad news is that policymakers (congress people, staffers, and some other appointees) rely on lobbyists for information as much as money. Say a piece of legislation comes up and a Congressional staffer has no clue about the subject matter (e.g. Internet piracy). Staffer has 3 choices:

1. Go to relevant gov agency (if they know it exists and who to ask) and asks for info. Wait for weeks to get some answer, maybe. If the gov folk who know the answer can get a response approved through their management chain.

2. Post some public request of information, wait for weeks to get a flood of answers (maybe) - some of which are trolls and cranks pimping their pet theories/businesses. Staffer has little knowledge to sort good from bad info.

3. Go to the local lobbyist for the subject matter, get a full color report and presentation a few hours later.

I've seen this happen lots of times to the point that staffers don't even bother asking folk other than lobbyists anymore.


Exactly. Legislation is so complex these days nobody really knows WTF is going on other than people who really, really care about a specific portion of it. Your average Joe doesn't really, really care about most issues. Most of the people that really, really care about something have a financial interest in the outcome.
 
2012-03-06 01:23:20 PM  

PAPASandBEER: Sucks how all the recommendations on how to fix the *broken system are unconstitutional...


Or very bloody.
 
2012-03-06 01:24:02 PM  

DrPainMD: There is one elected official in DC who doesn't pander to lobbyists.


Who?
 
2012-03-06 01:24:10 PM  
The "Revolving Door" issue is a problem that needs to be addressed with lobbying money since it contributes to the lack of industry regulation.
 
2012-03-06 01:25:26 PM  

KiplingKat872: Like I said, armed rebellion is the only thing that will chance the system as is stands now. Tearing down the government in order to cleanse it.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


I agree that at this point the system is unsalvagable in so far as the average citizen is concerned. But I think we should preface any armed uprising with a mass-mailing campaign to every politician at every level consisting of:

The above snippet of the Declaration,
Detailed accounts of events and legislation that have effectively made the government 'destructive to these ends',
and in as strong of language as can be managed without violating existing laws, the public will exercise their right as stated above if these shenanigans continue.

Even if only half a percent of the population did this, that would be 1.5 million pieces of mail to each and every politician's office, and that might be enough to start the change.
Before you ask, yes, I am compiling a list of the addresses I need to send this to now, and calculating the postage. (Would this count as real economic stimulus?)

Remember there are four boxes with which to defend freedom: Soap, Ballot, Jury, Ammo. They are meant to be used in that order. In this situation, the soap box is being subbed out for the mailbox.
 
2012-03-06 01:26:03 PM  

Geotpf: Exactly. Legislation is so complex these days nobody really knows WTF is going on other than people who really, really care about a specific portion of it. Your average Joe doesn't really, really care about most issues. Most of the people that really, really care about something have a financial interest in the outcome.


But you know, if I can take the time to read through a bill before voting on it (and in CA they would provide the full text of the propositions as part of the voting pamphlet, or at least they used to), why can't lawmakers? I mean, that is why we hired them.
 
2012-03-06 01:27:33 PM  

Geotpf: Serious Black: You damn sure can restrict it when there is a compelling state interest behind that narrowly tailored restriction. I'd say that banning lobbyists and public officials from crossing over is a legitimate exercise of federal power.

You can have a "narrowly tailored restriction". You can't "restrict it heavily".


Narrowly tailored laws can still heavily restrict an activity. I would classify the outright ban on polygamy as a restriction that is both narrowly tailored to address a problem and a heavy restriction considering it allows nobody to engage in that activity legally.
 
2012-03-06 01:27:40 PM  
Yeah, that's the ticket. Let's start an armed revolution to overturn the First Amendment!

Oh wait, that's an absolutely horrible idea.
 
2012-03-06 01:29:00 PM  

KiplingKat872: syberpud: I've seen this happen lots of times to the point that staffers don't even bother asking folk other than lobbyists anymore.

They don't consider "4. Get on the internet and research the subject yourself?"


No. They don't - mostly using the "don't have time" excuse to even do a basic Google search. It also goes back to knowing what is good info and what is bunk. Lobbyists develop working relationships with staff/congress people that helps them more than just some webpage.
 
2012-03-06 01:30:37 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: Exactly. Legislation is so complex these days nobody really knows WTF is going on other than people who really, really care about a specific portion of it. Your average Joe doesn't really, really care about most issues. Most of the people that really, really care about something have a financial interest in the outcome.

But you know, if I can take the time to read through a bill before voting on it (and in CA they would provide the full text of the propositions as part of the voting pamphlet, or at least they used to), why can't lawmakers? I mean, that is why we hired them.


Cause they spend up to 70% of their time calling individuals and corporations asking them to donate money to their reelection fund rather than sitting in committee meetings and general assemblies of their house.
 
2012-03-06 01:30:45 PM  

spacelord321: qorkfiend: snocone: Geotpf: Some of what lobbyists do is very legitimate.

Sorry, I think you are wrongo.
There was a reason the Rebels had this one man/one vote thingie in their heads.
This be it.

Do you really want more super-pac-my-ass-full-o-lies?
Do you really think corporations deserve protection from civil laws and the rights of personhood?
The lobby door is where your Liberty leaves the building.

I disagree. Lobbying is a natural extension of the rights to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances; there's no reason a group of people shouldn't be able to get together to advance a common interest. The problem is the money and the amounts available at the sole discretion of lobbyists.

This. Well put.


That I totally agree with.
Speak, assemble, demonstrate.
All well and good.
NO FARKING BRIBES!
Kill the money!

Money trumps all logical debate
Only morality can check it.
 
2012-03-06 01:30:48 PM  

Saberus Terras: KiplingKat872: Like I said, armed rebellion is the only thing that will chance the system as is stands now. Tearing down the government in order to cleanse it.

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

I agree that at this point the system is unsalvagable in so far as the average citizen is concerned. But I think we should preface any armed uprising with a mass-mailing campaign to every politician at every level consisting of:

The above snippet of the Declaration,
Detailed accounts of events and legislation that have effectively made the government 'destructive to these ends',
and in as strong of language as can be managed without violating existing laws, the public will exercise their right as stated above if these shenanigans continue.

Even if only half a percent of the population did this, that would be 1.5 million pieces of mail to each and every politician's office, and that might be enough to start the change.
Before you ask, yes, I am compiling a list of the addresses I need to send this to now, and calculating the postage. (Would this count as real economic stimulus?)

Remember there are four boxes with which to defend freedom: Soap, Ballot, Jury, Ammo. They are meant to be used in that order. In this situation, the soap box is being subbed out for the mailbox.


Maybe, but only if we had actually started prepping and were ready to make good on any ultimatum in a very short time frame. I think the reaction from the lawmakers and industries to a mass mailing like that would be mass arrests (now legal under NDAA) and putting down any protest or rebel groups with violence.
 
2012-03-06 01:31:17 PM  

KiplingKat872: Sure they do, the industries that don't care. You think BP Chemical's gives a damn about it's public image when they walked away from the Deepwater Horizon disaster practically scott free?


As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.
 
2012-03-06 01:31:47 PM  

syberpud: No. They don't - mostly using the "don't have time" excuse to even do a basic Google search. It also goes back to knowing what is good info and what is bunk. Lobbyists develop working relationships with staff/congress people that helps them more than just some webpage.


No, it doesn't because they are being fed biased info.
 
2012-03-06 01:32:29 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: Exactly. Legislation is so complex these days nobody really knows WTF is going on other than people who really, really care about a specific portion of it. Your average Joe doesn't really, really care about most issues. Most of the people that really, really care about something have a financial interest in the outcome.

But you know, if I can take the time to read through a bill before voting on it (and in CA they would provide the full text of the propositions as part of the voting pamphlet, or at least they used to), why can't lawmakers? I mean, that is why we hired them.


Um, you vote on 10 propostions once every two years.

Legislators vote on 10 bills every week.

Plus, there's no way you are going to tell me you actually read (and fully understand) that dictionary the California Secretary of State sends you each election time (I live in California). At best, you scan it and read the summaries, and the bits written by the lobbyists (the "for" and "against" statements in that packet). At worst, you vote how the TV ads (or your barber or next door neighbor or priest or child's teacher or mother) tell you to.
 
2012-03-06 01:33:33 PM  

KiplingKat872: snocone: KiplingKat872: Geotpf: But what if money buys speech? TV ads aren't free.

Limited air time given to all candidates allotted from the FCC. Everyone gets the same amount of airtime they can use as they see fit.

We tried thet once. They raped it in a year.

Seriously? When?


Back in the 60's. Candidates had "equal time" on National TV.

"We're Mass Communicatin' here, Boy."
 
2012-03-06 01:34:27 PM  

syberpud: How is lobbying different from donating to a campaign and writing your congress person? Other than the amount donated, not much. That makes it regulating it more difficult than just banning it. Set limits on amounts? no corporations? What about non-profits?


The difference is that lobbying comes with an implicit quid pro quo. If I donate money to a candidate, it is because I already support his or her stated positions. If a lobbyist gives a candidate money, he or she is buying influence over those positions.

Plus, as you just said, lobbyists are the ones providing information to politicians and their staffs, just as media outlets provide information to the public. Whether the politician listens to Fox News or MSNBC on any given issue depends upon who paid the most. And more importantly, people who know what they're talking about, but hold positions contrary to the lobbyist, get drowned out.

It's a rigged, corrupt system, and lobbying plays a huge role in that corruption.
 
2012-03-06 01:35:36 PM  

pedrop357: As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.


The Senate Investigative Committee basically found all parties at fault for trying to work the rig as cheaply as possible. All the decisions from the top down contributed to the failure.
 
2012-03-06 01:38:26 PM  

Danger Avoid Death: PAPASandBEER: Sucks how all the recommendations on how to fix the *broken system are unconstitutional...

Or very bloody.


If this were my computer, I would reboot in a heartbeat.
Sorry, about that data(but not for the applications clogging my directory that I never wanted in the first place and loaded themselves "for my convienence"). You naturally backed up!

Let it go, baby, it is gone.
 
2012-03-06 01:38:46 PM  

Geotpf: Legislators vote on 10 bills every week.


Well, considering how much time they take off now, maybe they can work a regular 40 or 50 hours a week like the rest of us with only two or three weeks paid leave and national holidays.

Plus, there's no way you are going to tell me you actually read (and fully understand) that dictionary the California Secretary of State sends you each election time (I live in California).

When I was living there? Yes, I did. There were a lot of propositions I changed my mind about voting for once I saw the riders on the bill. I used to work in non-profit housing, so I was taught very well to read exactly what I was voting for and if I did not understand, ask.
 
2012-03-06 01:40:28 PM  

pedrop357: KiplingKat872: Sure they do, the industries that don't care. You think BP Chemical's gives a damn about it's public image when they walked away from the Deepwater Horizon disaster practically scott free?

As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.


BP paid the upfront money and expected to PROFIT from actions leading up to and creating the "accident".
They really do own the blame.
 
2012-03-06 01:41:11 PM  

KiplingKat872: Geotpf: Legislators vote on 10 bills every week.

Well, considering how much time they take off now, maybe they can work a regular 40 or 50 hours a week like the rest of us with only two or three weeks paid leave and national holidays.

Plus, there's no way you are going to tell me you actually read (and fully understand) that dictionary the California Secretary of State sends you each election time (I live in California).

When I was living there? Yes, I did. There were a lot of propositions I changed my mind about voting for once I saw the riders on the bill. I used to work in non-profit housing, so I was taught very well to read exactly what I was voting for and if I did not understand, ask.


You mean you educated yourself about what you were voting for, and made an informed decision based on that? You Californians get all the breaks; I think that's illegal in New York.
 
2012-03-06 01:42:17 PM  

KiplingKat872: pedrop357: As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.

The Senate Investigative Committee basically found all parties at fault for trying to work the rig as cheaply as possible. All the decisions from the top down contributed to the failure.


I stand corrected.

This does mean that the outrage should be directed at Halliburton, TO, SWACO, etc. equally and not just BP. I get this impression that BP was the easier target being British and/or an oil company. Although, I would have loved to see people excoriate Halliburton over the disaster.
 
2012-03-06 01:42:42 PM  

KiplingKat872: Plus, there's no way you are going to tell me you actually read (and fully understand) that dictionary the California Secretary of State sends you each election time (I live in California).

When I was living there? Yes, I did. There were a lot of propositions I changed my mind about voting for once I saw the riders on the bill. I used to work in non-profit housing, so I was taught very well to read exactly what I was voting for and if I did not understand, ask.


Well, you were probably one voter in a thousand that did that, unfortuantly. I must admit that I typically only scan the actual text of the propositions.
 
2012-03-06 01:43:01 PM  

snocone: pedrop357: KiplingKat872: Sure they do, the industries that don't care. You think BP Chemical's gives a damn about it's public image when they walked away from the Deepwater Horizon disaster practically scott free?

As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.

BP paid the upfront money and expected to PROFIT from actions leading up to and creating the "accident".
They really do own the blame.


There were also some safety decisions made at their level which put the rig at risk too.
 
2012-03-06 01:43:25 PM  

KiplingKat872: wedun: GET MORE INVOLVED IN LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS BY VOLUNTEERING FOR A FRIENDLY PAC, DONATING TO A PAC, WRITING LETTERS, CALLING YOUR LEGISLATOR AND ORGANIZING PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO DO THE SAME, farkTARDS

I write letters to my Representatives all the time. Even if their staffers can be arsed to answer, all I get is the farking party line as dictated by lobbyiests.

Get a clue. Once they are in office, they do not give a rats ASS what their constituents want. Period.

And no grass roots PAC has ever been able to much entities like the Koch brothers in spending. Ever.


AARP is one of the biggest lobbys in Washington.
 
2012-03-06 01:46:02 PM  

DrPainMD: There is one elected official in DC who doesn't pander to lobbyists.


dl.dropbox.com

dl.dropbox.com

dl.dropbox.com

Yea, right.
 
2012-03-06 01:46:03 PM  

pedrop357: This does mean that the outrage should be directed at Halliburton, TO, SWACO, etc. equally and not just BP. I get this impression that BP was the easier target being British and/or an oil company. Although, I would have loved to see people excoriate Halliburton over the disaster.


True. But BP walked away this with a 10 billion (with a "b") dollar tax credit due to the spill, so people are slightly more pissed at them at the moment.
 
2012-03-06 01:48:53 PM  
You know and I know lobbying is basicly WRONG in anything like it"s present form.

I see the usual assembly of defenders and protagonists on display in place.
They know their positions which is an ipso factoido that both sides understand the LIES perfectly.

Calling it "lobbying" instread of BRIBERY is just an agreement between theives.
And we allow them to do this.

Are you farking crazy?
 
2012-03-06 01:49:01 PM  

BullBearMS: DrPainMD: There is one elected official in DC who doesn't pander to lobbyists.

[dl.dropbox.com image 640x194]

[dl.dropbox.com image 640x149]

[dl.dropbox.com image 640x123]

Yea, right.


He could be referring to Joe Biden, who no one lobbies because he has no power and can't do anything...
 
2012-03-06 01:49:13 PM  

nelsonal: AARP is one of the biggest lobbys in Washington.


Maybe in number of lobbyists, but certainly not in the amount of dollars or social security would not keep coming under fire.

Yeah, 22 million vs. hundreds of millions "donated" by the financial industry (new window)
 
2012-03-06 01:51:34 PM  

KiplingKat872: snocone: pedrop357: KiplingKat872: Sure they do, the industries that don't care. You think BP Chemical's gives a damn about it's public image when they walked away from the Deepwater Horizon disaster practically scott free?

As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.

BP paid the upfront money and expected to PROFIT from actions leading up to and creating the "accident".
They really do own the blame.

There were also some safety decisions made at their level which put the rig at risk too.


Profit has become an entitlement just as entrenched as Social Security for the "too big(and corrupt) to FAIL' gang.
Profit is supposed to be an elusive reward for successful risk taking.
 
2012-03-06 01:52:59 PM  

snocone: KiplingKat872: snocone: pedrop357: KiplingKat872: Sure they do, the industries that don't care. You think BP Chemical's gives a damn about it's public image when they walked away from the Deepwater Horizon disaster practically scott free?

As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.

BP paid the upfront money and expected to PROFIT from actions leading up to and creating the "accident".
They really do own the blame.

There were also some safety decisions made at their level which put the rig at risk too.

Profit has become an entitlement just as entrenched as Social Security for the "too big(and corrupt) to FAIL' gang.
Profit is supposed to be an elusive reward for successful risk taking.


Well, BP et al certainly took a risk in search of profit there...
 
2012-03-06 01:56:10 PM  
Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

But you knew that and are okay with it, because 95% of them support Democrats.

Dumbass hippies.
 
2012-03-06 01:56:46 PM  

Geotpf: Well, BP et al certainly took a risk in search of profit there...


As did the financial industry when it started playing fast and loose with mortgages and investment banking. But like BP, so far they have not paid the price. In fact, they have been rewarded.

That was one of the thing the Occupy Movement *did* make clear: This nation privatizes profits for industry, but socializes their losses.
 
2012-03-06 01:57:16 PM  

Geotpf: snocone: KiplingKat872: snocone: pedrop357: KiplingKat872: Sure they do, the industries that don't care. You think BP Chemical's gives a damn about it's public image when they walked away from the Deepwater Horizon disaster practically scott free?

As I understand it, BP didn't have much to do with that explosion. They leased it from Transocean (whose employees made up the majority of those on board), and Transocean, Halliburton, and SWACO operated it.

BP paid the upfront money and expected to PROFIT from actions leading up to and creating the "accident".
They really do own the blame.

There were also some safety decisions made at their level which put the rig at risk too.

Profit has become an entitlement just as entrenched as Social Security for the "too big(and corrupt) to FAIL' gang.
Profit is supposed to be an elusive reward for successful risk taking.

Well, BP et al certainly took a risk in search of profit there...


Key word, "successful". Fail and you should go down w/ the ship.
 
2012-03-06 01:57:24 PM  

Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.


Prove it.
 
2012-03-06 02:01:01 PM  
Ron Paul
 
2012-03-06 02:01:30 PM  

Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

But you knew that and are okay with it, because 95% of them support Democrats.

Dumbass hippies.


Huh, here is a list of the companies and organization that have spent the most money since 1998...and not one single workers union on it. (new window)

I do see the AARP has donated a hell of a lot tho'.
 
2012-03-06 02:03:46 PM  
Look at that, unions don't even make the top twenty. (new window)
 
2012-03-06 02:03:46 PM  

KiplingKat872: Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

Prove it.


Seconded. I'd also like to mention that more Democrats voiced disapproval at the decision in Citizens United v. FEC than independents and Republicans, so if your claim is true, they hate a policy that lets one of their prized interests spend even more money than they already have been spending in the last umpteen years. Now why would they do that?
 
2012-03-06 02:06:30 PM  

Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

But you knew that and are okay with it, because 95% of them support Democrats.

Dumbass hippies.


Financial institutions generally spend the most on lobbying, and they tend to give almost equally to both parties, but that's besides the point.

It's wrong when insurance companies do it, and it's wrong when unions do it. The system itself is set up to undermine the Republic in favor of the interests of the wealthy few. The fact that some lobbyists may do something decent occasionally does not change the fundamental problems with the system, and the startling lack of transparency.
 
2012-03-06 02:08:12 PM  

imontheinternet: It's wrong when insurance companies do it, and it's wrong when unions do it. The system itself is set up to undermine the Republic in favor of the interests of the wealthy few. The fact that some lobbyists may do something decent occasionally does not change the fundamental problems with the system, and the startling lack of transparency.


This. I don't care if Nature Company's lobbyists get chucked out on their ears with the Exxon. Our government is broken and we can't do anything by the will of the people until it is fixed.
 
2012-03-06 02:12:54 PM  
The LESS power the Federal Government has, the LESS corruption there will be as there is less favoritism to hand out to the lobbyists and their masters.

There will be more power at the State governments, but people will have the ability to leave a corrupt state for one less corrupt all while still living under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

It's a brilliant plan. One that you would think the Founding Fathers would think of. Oh, wait...
 
2012-03-06 02:14:40 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: There will be more power at the State governments, but people will have the ability to leave a corrupt state for one less corrupt all while still living under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.


You really think there are no lobbyists or legalized corruption at the state level? Really?

Really?
 
2012-03-06 02:19:53 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: There will be more power at the State governments, but people will have the ability to leave a corrupt state for one less corrupt all while still living under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.


California (new window)

Arizona (new window)

Wisconsin (new window)

North Carolina (new window)

I could go on but the fact is lobbying and legalized corruption is in action all the way down to the municipal level.
 
2012-03-06 02:22:38 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: The LESS power the Federal Government has, the LESS corruption there will be as there is less favoritism to hand out to the lobbyists and their masters.

There will be more power at the State governments, but people will have the ability to leave a corrupt state for one less corrupt all while still living under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

It's a brilliant plan. One that you would think the Founding Fathers would think of. Oh, wait...


There are two problems with your hypothesis. One, many of the individuals and organizations that lobby Congress do so specifically because they WANT the federal government to intervene in their industry, if only a tiny amount. That gives them more hooks on which they can hang campaign contributions. Two, the nature of capital being exceedingly easy to move has led to states like Delaware and Nevada to become corporate havens because of lobbying to pass laws that benefit them while allowing them to engage in commerce in the other 48 states.

/I cannot recommend enough that everyone read Republic, Lost
 
2012-03-06 02:32:41 PM  

KiplingKat872: You really think there are no lobbyists or legalized corruption at the state level? Really?

Really?


Not what I'm saying at all. In fact, I specifically said "leave a corrupt state for one less corrupt". What percentage of the population would be willing move out of the US (and no longer have the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution) because of corruption at the Federal level? What percentage of the population would be willing to move to another state? See how that would help? Having 50 options all under the same basic set of rights allows people to try different methods and if nothing else, move to a different state if you don't believe yours is working for you.
 
2012-03-06 02:34:23 PM  

Serious Black: There are two problems with your hypothesis. One, many of the individuals and organizations that lobby Congress do so specifically because they WANT the federal government to intervene in their industry, if only a tiny amount. That gives them more hooks on which they can hang campaign contributions. Two, the nature of capital being exceedingly easy to move has led to states like Delaware and Nevada to become corporate havens because of lobbying to pass laws that benefit them while allowing them to engage in commerce in the other 48 states.


I'm not sure I understand why that would affect my point. Specifically your second problem. Can you expand on that?
 
2012-03-06 02:35:36 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: KiplingKat872: You really think there are no lobbyists or legalized corruption at the state level? Really?

Really?

Not what I'm saying at all. In fact, I specifically said "leave a corrupt state for one less corrupt". What percentage of the population would be willing move out of the US (and no longer have the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution) because of corruption at the Federal level? What percentage of the population would be willing to move to another state? See how that would help? Having 50 options all under the same basic set of rights allows people to try different methods and if nothing else, move to a different state if you don't believe yours is working for you.


It in ALL states. You are not going to be able to get away from it by moving state to state. They ALL operate that way.
 
2012-03-06 02:37:35 PM  

KiplingKat872: Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

Prove it.


A Conservative said it, therefore it is true. QED.

/the earth isn't round either
 
2012-03-06 02:52:37 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Serious Black: There are two problems with your hypothesis. One, many of the individuals and organizations that lobby Congress do so specifically because they WANT the federal government to intervene in their industry, if only a tiny amount. That gives them more hooks on which they can hang campaign contributions. Two, the nature of capital being exceedingly easy to move has led to states like Delaware and Nevada to become corporate havens because of lobbying to pass laws that benefit them while allowing them to engage in commerce in the other 48 states.

I'm not sure I understand why that would affect my point. Specifically your second problem. Can you expand on that?


Sure. I'll go with an example. Through the 1970's, banks that operated in multiple states had to ensure that they followed not only federal anti-usury laws but also the anti-usury laws of the states in which they operated. The decision in Marquette v. First of Omaha was that this was against the intent of the National Banking Act, and now, nationally chartered banks only have to follow the usury laws of the state where they got their charter. Obviously, this means that a national bank needs to only follow two sets of regulations to operate in every state rather than fifty-one sets of regulations. The problem is that these banks figured out that they could lobby a single state legislature to pass laws favorable to their operations; South Dakota repealed all of their anti-usury laws after Citibank lobbied the state legislature to repeal their anti-usury laws.
 
2012-03-06 02:54:55 PM  

wedun: You folks who claim that the system is unfixably corrupt are terrible.

Lobbyists are influential because they are literally on top of legislative business EVERY DAY.

Anyone can be a lobbyist if they take the time to get involved. If you don't have the time, then donate some your money to a group that lobbies on your behalf.

Even if you can't match the big corporations in spending, you can overpower them with an army of volunteers, angry petitions, and numbers. Legislators always care when a big group of angry people from their district start making a bunch of demands. Voting is the absolute minimum as far as responsible citizenship is concerned. Coporate lobbyists would not be so if Americans were more involved in the affairs of their state and congressional legislators.


5/10

When citizen-oriented lobbies can contribute tens of millions of dollars to buy a legislator or arrange for his/her post-govt. employment, then those lobbies will matter for more than 2 weeks at a time.
 
2012-03-06 03:10:14 PM  

KiplingKat872: wedun: Because that's the only thing that's going to separate your ass from the desk chair.

We're going to all suffer and die because people like you are too lazy to get off their ass and volunteer their time to change it.

Fark you little punk arsehole. I have been at this, writing letter, blogging, marching in protests probably a LOT longer than you.

I marched in two of the largest protests ever held against the invasion of Iraq.

What did they change?

Nothing.

"Oh, that would be as if I listened to a focus group." ~ G.W. Bush

Of 300,000 Americans that cared enough to get up off their asses to keep this nation from making a colossal mistake. (Not to mention the million plus around the planet.)

And it changed nothing.

Because they do not care anymore.


Anymore?

Has the ruling class ever cared? EVAR?

I submit to you the answer is no, they have never cared. The only thing that changes is the amount we care which usually corresponds to how well or poorly the economy is doing. That is, how much we hurt. Then the Government Pantomime does things to help us feel a bit better, so long as it's at no real cost to them, and we pipe down and it goes on as before.
 
2012-03-06 03:13:58 PM  

beta_plus: live by expanded government powers and taxation, die by expanded government powers and taxation.

/you made your bed libs
//now you have to lie in it


Stupid or trolling? Either way...goodbye
 
2012-03-06 03:20:14 PM  

Rik01: We are so thoroughly screwed!e efforts of

BTW, I'd like to remind you that the legality of Pot was squelched due to the efforts of ONE lobbyist, who was famous in his time. He had no real opinion on the subject either way until Randolph Hearst hired him to make the 'evil weed' go away.
.
.
.
The lobbyist accepted the commission and well paid, promptly presented legislators with a host of bad things hemp/pot could do. Smoking pot was made to look like the road to hell. The fact that most of his dire warnings were made up didn't matter.


But it will give you the reefer madness. Make you stay up all night playing piano and dancing. Oh it's evil stuff.
 
2012-03-06 03:31:16 PM  

Geotpf: JackieRabbit-You can't do anything you want to do without completely eliminating the constitution and starting over. You want a benevolent dictator, which usually just turns into a straight out dictatorship.


What are you talking about? Do anything I want? I made two suggestions, both of which are possible within the framework of the current constitution. Gubernatorial appointment of members of the Congress was the way it was originally done. I should clarify my statement, though. Actually, members of the House of Representatives, who are supposed to be closest to the people were elected by the people. Article I, § 3 of the constitution provided that the state legislatures would elect Senators, with gubernatorial approval. The 17th Amendment allowed for the direct election of Senators. Even today, the governor still appoints a replacement member to Congress if a member from his delegation dies, resigns or is impeached/removed. In some states it is for the remainder of the unexpired term; in others it is until a special election can be called. The constitution cedes this authority to the states.

And who said anything about a "benevolent dictator?" Not me. You shouldn't smoke so much of that thiat this early in the day. You're not tracking.
 
2012-03-06 03:33:18 PM  

KiplingKat872: jda007: All the anti-lobbyist WHARRGARBL is entertaining at best, scary due to the ignorance of it all at worst.

Nothing personal, but the work you do is pretty much paramount to evil, taking power away from the American voter to put it in the hands of big business.


this is an example of the terrible ignorance that he was talking about. You're naive enough to think that voting once every couple years is sufficient to insure that your legislator works in your interest, and it's funny.
 
2012-03-06 03:41:19 PM  

qorkfiend: qorkfiend: JackieRabbit: Originally, members of Congress were not elected. They were appointed by the governors of the several states to serve a term of one year. Maybe we should get back to this.

Eh? When was this?

Under the original Constitution, Senators were appointed by the states (in whatever manner the state decided) for terms of 6 years.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the states chose delegations of between two and seven people, who collectively had one vote, and individuals may not serve more than three out of any six years.

Yeah, I wasn't clear, was I. I fixed it. Hey, it's only been 40 years since I learned this stuff. The memory ain't as good as it used to be. But at least I was taught it. I don't think that's true anymore.

 
2012-03-06 03:42:04 PM  

wedun: this is an example of the terrible ignorance that he was talking about. You're naive enough to think that voting once every couple years is sufficient to insure that your legislator works in your interest, and it's funny.


I hope you are being sarcastic. Otherwise: What's funny is that you have not read the rest of my posts in this thread before making assumptions about my political activism. I have marched in protests, I have written letters, I have made phone calls, I even had a political blog for two years.

I wrote four letters over NDAA 2012: Of the two staffers who felt obligated to reply, all I got was the farking party-line about "protecting American freedoms" and how it would not affect American citizens, swear to god, really, they would never think of using it on Americans (which is a load of crap as it most certainly does leave the door open for it to be used on Americans), and the president, whom was one of my addressees, signed off on it.

Legislators no longer work in the people's interest no matter what they do. I they do not have a boatload of cash, they do not have a political voice.
 
2012-03-06 03:48:50 PM  

KiplingKat872: I wrote four letters over NDAA 2012: Of the two staffers who felt obligated to reply, all I got was the farking party-line about "protecting American freedoms" and how it would not affect American citizens, swear to god, really, they would never think of using it on Americans (which is a load of crap as it most certainly does leave the door open for it to be used on Americans), and the president, whom was one of my addressees, signed off on it.


Perhaps your efforts would be better spent enlisting the help of like-minded individuals in your community. Working with a political party to find a new candidate who represents your views. Turning out the vote to get your candidate elected.

There's so much you could be doing, instead you decide that it's too hard and that you'll just cry that the system is broken. Like a baby.
 
2012-03-06 03:52:09 PM  

JackieRabbit: qorkfiend: qorkfiend: JackieRabbit: Originally, members of Congress were not elected. They were appointed by the governors of the several states to serve a term of one year. Maybe we should get back to this.

Eh? When was this?

Under the original Constitution, Senators were appointed by the states (in whatever manner the state decided) for terms of 6 years.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the states chose delegations of between two and seven people, who collectively had one vote, and individuals may not serve more than three out of any six years.

Yeah, I wasn't clear, was I. I fixed it. Hey, it's only been 40 years since I learned this stuff. The memory ain't as good as it used to be. But at least I was taught it. I don't think that's true anymore.


Yeah, sorry for being pedantic, I just didn't know if what you had said had actually happened at some point back in the day.
 
2012-03-06 04:01:13 PM  

wedun: Perhaps your efforts would be better spent enlisting the help of like-minded individuals in your community. Working with a political party to find a new candidate who represents your views. Turning out the vote to get your candidate elected.


Who are already owned by Lobbyists. Get a clue dude. Big Business owns both sides of the aisle and the independents (or even party members that stand against the system) are marginalized.

Look what happened to Buddy Roemer in this GOP primary run. He campaigned on a platform of of getting lobbyists out of Washington and bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and guess what? He never saw the inside of even a single televised debate. Most people are not even aware he exists. It says a lot when the only person to come close to cracking the two party system in a presidential run was a billionaire in his own right. If you see a campaign ad on TV, that candidate has already been bought. The system is fundamentally broken and the power of the American voter is nil.
 
2012-03-06 04:21:28 PM  

KiplingKat872: We have an entrenched system in which lobbyists own the representatives and candidates of BOTH parties (at every level (city, state, and federal). And candidates who want to buck that system, like Buddy Roemer, are literary ignored off the political map and have not a chance in hell of being elected while the participating voters are distracted with political theatre of the church trying to invade the state.


Buddy Roemer sounds like a made up name. Get serious, buddy. Vote MAX POWER
 
2012-03-06 04:35:09 PM  

KiplingKat872: Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

But you knew that and are okay with it, because 95% of them support Democrats.

Dumbass hippies.

Huh, here is a list of the companies and organization that have spent the most money since 1998...and not one single workers union on it. (new window)

I do see the AARP has donated a hell of a lot tho'.


Lobbyists do things other than give politicians money.

Heck, they usually don't give them money directly.

Lobbyists sit down, have a chat, and state their position on bills pending before Congress. In theory, that's their only job.

Now, while corporate lobbyists might pay for a golfing trip to do this (and provide the hookers and booze while there), that's not all they do. The guy from the ACLU (or NRA, or AIPAC, or AARP, or Greenpeace) who sits with the Congressman in his office and discusses the issue is also a lobbyist.
 
2012-03-06 04:39:53 PM  
Just a few thoughts.

1. lobbyists don't just get up in the morning and decide to advocate for oil/pharma/guns or AARP for that matter. They are the professional educators/communicators/petitioners that are hired by the industry, company or interest group. You are shooting the messenger. Be upset with Exxon, Koch or Acorn for having interests.
2. Money only allows politicians to drown out negative reputations or rehabilitate their image. It doesn't get them votes. That is why they do listen to well articulated messages from their constituents - because each of those messages represents voters that are engaged. They don't however listen to derp (well, some pander to it) and it is hard to know what a constituent wants if there isn't an "ask". So make sure your letter is clear and has an actionable objective that is clearly identified,
3. DC or your state capitol is less of a club than some of you think. Everyone has their own agenda and interests. Lobbyists help the government affairs departments of businesses and nonprofits navigate the maze of competing interests. Donations to politicians just lets them be at the table. It doesn't guarantee any success. It may be a cess pool, but its more like the mean girl table in high school than a smoke filled backroom where everyone is helping each other out.
4. Term limits results in a loss of institutional knowledge, puts power into the hands of unelected staffers/lobbyists (who are often going back and forth through a revolving door) and can often result in more partisan legislature. These term limited politicians see politics as a team sport rather than an adverserial process that inevitably includes compromise.

/worked in Albany
/now work for industry overseeing lobbyists
 
2012-03-06 04:42:25 PM  

KiplingKat872: wedun: this is an example of the terrible ignorance that he was talking about. You're naive enough to think that voting once every couple years is sufficient to insure that your legislator works in your interest, and it's funny.

I hope you are being sarcastic. Otherwise: What's funny is that you have not read the rest of my posts in this thread before making assumptions about my political activism. I have marched in protests, I have written letters, I have made phone calls, I even had a political blog for two years.

I wrote four letters over NDAA 2012: Of the two staffers who felt obligated to reply, all I got was the farking party-line about "protecting American freedoms" and how it would not affect American citizens, swear to god, really, they would never think of using it on Americans (which is a load of crap as it most certainly does leave the door open for it to be used on Americans), and the president, whom was one of my addressees, signed off on it.

Legislators no longer work in the people's interest no matter what they do. I they do not have a boatload of cash, they do not have a political voice.


In this case, there was absolutely no corporate money involved, nor any corporate lobbying. It's not like Wal*Mart has a big "kill American citzens who are accused of terrorism" contract. The legislators involved sincerely believe that having that power helps keep America safe.
 
2012-03-06 04:47:29 PM  

KiplingKat872: Look at that, unions don't even make the top twenty. (new window)


Lobbying is different than political contributions anyways. Lobbying is a guy talking about a bill to a Congressman.
 
2012-03-06 04:54:13 PM  

Geotpf: KiplingKat872: Look at that, unions don't even make the top twenty. (new window)

Lobbying is different than political contributions anyways. Lobbying is a guy talking about a bill to a Congressman.


If a Representative or Senator has a choice between meeting with any of hundreds of Americans who have donated no money to their election campaign and one American who has donated some money to their campaign, there is absolutely no question who they are going to talk to. If a Representative or Senator has a choice between meeting with any of hundreds of Americans who has donated a buck to their election campaign and an American who has donated hundreds or thousands of dollars to their election campaign, there is absolutely no question who they are going to talk to. You can't separate lobbying from donations.
 
2012-03-06 04:58:03 PM  

Geotpf: KiplingKat872: Look at that, unions don't even make the top twenty. (new window)

Lobbying is different than political contributions anyways. Lobbying is a guy talking about a bill to a Congressman.


Accept they can get an appointment to actually sit down with the legislator and I will only get a third rate staffer. And even *if* I got to talk to tje legislator I will be glad handed out of the office in ten minutes and then promptly forgotten.

Comparing the results and efforts of an individual voter with a professional lobbyist are disingenious at best.
 
2012-03-06 05:09:50 PM  

htotheova: Just a few thoughts.

1. lobbyists don't just get up in the morning and decide to advocate for oil/pharma/guns or AARP for that matter. They are the professional educators/communicators/petitioners that are hired by the industry, company or interest group. You are shooting the messenger. Be upset with Exxon, Koch or Acorn for having interests.
2. Money only allows politicians to drown out negative reputations or rehabilitate their image. It doesn't get them votes. That is why they do listen to well articulated messages from their constituents - because each of those messages represents voters that are engaged. They don't however listen to derp (well, some pander to it) and it is hard to know what a constituent wants if there isn't an "ask". So make sure your letter is clear and has an actionable objective that is clearly identified,
3. DC or your state capitol is less of a club than some of you think. Everyone has their own agenda and interests. Lobbyists help the government affairs departments of businesses and nonprofits navigate the maze of competing interests. Donations to politicians just lets them be at the table. It doesn't guarantee any success. It may be a cess pool, but its more like the mean girl table in high school than a smoke filled backroom where everyone is helping each other out.
4. Term limits results in a loss of institutional knowledge, puts power into the hands of unelected staffers/lobbyists (who are often going back and forth through a revolving door) and can often result in more partisan legislature. These term limited politicians see politics as a team sport rather than an adverserial process that inevitably includes compromise.

/worked in Albany
/now work for industry overseeing lobbyists


!. Shoot enough and they run out of messengers. Tried and true tactic.

2. Total BS. Money is the only voice in the room.

3. Divided and Conquered, they are. Fix it.

4. Term limits are obviated by a succesive replacement by draft.

Before you can imagine a sustainable, workable, system, you must cut down the deadwood to see the view.
Solve the problem, do not just negotiate incrementally. That is what got us here.
 
2012-03-06 05:24:51 PM  

htotheova: 1. lobbyists don't just get up in the morning and decide to advocate for oil/pharma/guns or AARP for that matter. They are the professional educators/communicators/petitioners that are hired by the industry, company or interest group. You are shooting the messenger. Be upset with Exxon, Koch or Acorn for having interests.


The system is the problem. ALL of it.

2. Money only allows politicians to drown out negative reputations or rehabilitate their image. It doesn't get them votes. That is why they do listen to well articulated messages from their constituents - because each of those messages represents voters that are engaged. They don't however listen to derp (well, some pander to it) and it is hard to know what a constituent wants if there isn't an "ask". So make sure your letter is clear and has an actionable objective that is clearly identified,

B.S. Money buys exposure which allows them to control the narrative of a campaign and gets them votes, "donations" swapped between representatives pet charities and such buys favors between lobbyists and lawmakers and lawmakers themselves.

My letters are very specific addressing specific bills, nor do I imagine I am the only one who writes to my Congressmen this way. As mentioned above, money is the only voice in the room.

3. DC or your state capitol is less of a club than some of you think. Everyone has their own agenda and interests. Lobbyists help the government affairs departments of businesses and nonprofits navigate the maze of competing interests. Donations to politicians just lets them be at the table. It doesn't guarantee any success. It may be a cess pool, but its more like the mean girl table in high school than a smoke filled backroom where everyone is helping each other out.

Waffling B.S. It guarantees them far more success than a group of voters without a large check would have, ergo the exclusionary nature of backroom dealings, which has been proven over and over and over again. See: The career of Jack Abrhamoff and all those like him.
 
2012-03-06 05:46:36 PM  
Been a busy day I see:

KiplingKat872: jda007: All the anti-lobbyist WHARRGARBL is entertaining at best, scary due to the ignorance of it all at worst.

Nothing personal, but the work you do is pretty much paramount to evil, taking power away from the American voter to put it in the hands of big business.


snocone: jda007: Mugato: jda007: I'm a lobbyist

You need an attitude adjustment.
You are not going to enjoy it.


KiplingKat872: jda007: Mugato: jda007: I'm a lobbyist

You stole our government.

There is no way around that, you guys have WAY more power in money than any group of American voters. I'm sure you all play the victims amongst yourselves to rationalize what you do, but honestly? Out here in the real world? Fark you.

Eat shiat and DIAF.

We're know what you have done and we're more than slightly pissed.


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Fark.com!

The language and diction in the comments against me indicate that there are many well-educated and enlightened individuals haunting the forums of Fark. The above are perfect examples of scary ignorance.

You have *no* idea what I do with the exception of admitting that I hold the title "lobbyist." Although I listed a couple of my client industries, what you do not know is that one of my major projects this year has been protecting items in the budget for Medicaid funding to a major hospital. Which, you know, will help ensure quality health care to those that can least afford it. Clearly I am the Dark Lord of Special Interest and deserve an attitude adjustment before I DIAF in my evil mountaintop lair.

htotheova: Just a few thoughts.

1. lobbyists don't just get up in the morning and decide to advocate for oil/pharma/guns or AARP for that matter. They are the professional educators/communicators/petitioners that are hired by the industry, company or interest group. You are shooting the messenger. Be upset with Exxon, Koch or Acorn for having interests.
2. Money only allows politicians to drown out negative reputations or rehabilitate their image. It doesn't get them votes. That is why they do listen to well articulated messages from their constituents - because each of those messages represents voters that are engaged. They don't however listen to derp (well, some pander to it) and it is hard to know what a constituent wants if there isn't an "ask". So make sure your letter is clear and has an actionable objective that is clearly identified,
3. DC or your state capitol is less of a club than some of you think. Everyone has their own agenda and interests. Lobbyists help the government affairs departments of businesses and nonprofits navigate the maze of competing interests. Donations to politicians just lets them be at the table. It doesn't guarantee any success. It may be a cess pool, but its more like the mean girl table in high school than a smoke filled backroom where everyone is helping each other out.
4. Term limits results in a loss of institutional knowledge, puts power into the hands of unelected staffers/lobbyists (who are often going back and forth through a revolving door) and can often result in more partisan legislature. These term limited politicians see politics as a team sport rather than an adverserial process that inevitably includes compromise.



On the other hand, htotheova, you must be new here since you are completely WHARRGARBL free. Thank you for your post - I agree with your description wholeheartedly. Heck, I might even borrow this explanation from you sometime.

Off to go sit on my throne of skulls while I make my politician puppets dance and drink the tears of infinite sadness to sustain my unholy life.
 
2012-03-06 05:52:37 PM  

jda007: The language and diction in the comments against me indicate that there are many well-educated and enlightened individuals haunting the forums of Fark. The above are perfect examples of scary ignorance.

You have *no* idea what I do with the exception of admitting that I hold the title "lobbyist." Although I listed a couple of my client industries, what you do not know is that one of my major projects this year has been protecting items in the budget for Medicaid funding to a major hospital. Which, you know, will help ensure quality health care to those that can least afford it. Clearly I am the Dark Lord of Special Interest and deserve an attitude adjustment before I DIAF in my evil mountaintop lair.



And you have said nothing to counter any of my other arguments, including the ones I made against you before I went here, so yeah you go sit on the pile of B.S. that makes you feel better about what you do.
 
2012-03-06 05:55:12 PM  
jda007:

As someone has already said on here, just because lobbyists do nice thing sometimes, that does not make the system right. You take power from American voters and put it in the hands of businesses.

That is not the way a republic (and certainly not a democracy) is supposed to work.
 
2012-03-06 06:02:23 PM  
What arguments? You just ranted and raved about how we are all evil. All sorts of points were made that lobbying isn't the system that you think it is.

Then I tell you I lobby for Medicaid funding and this is your response?

1/10. Weak.
 
2012-03-06 06:05:52 PM  
An outsider thinking the system is flawed does nothing to change the system. Advocating for murder and calling people all lobbyists evil is just asinine.

If you really want to fix the system, learn it, work it, and try to fix it from the inside. Don't get mad at me for pointing out that the system has very good aspects.
 
2012-03-06 06:16:49 PM  
1.) invent bullet-proof armor suit with masking technology(think Predator)
2.) sneak up on congress(you're invisible, how hard could it be?)
3.) declare martial law
4.) kill lobbyists and corrupt politicians
5.) put the military in charge
6.) sneak away unidentified(like the internets)
7.) start government over
8.) service guarantees citizenship.

/except for the killing, I'm not kidding
//marines get the executive branch, navy the judicial, army gets the legislative
///old politicians rounded up and sent to re-education camps and turned into walmart greeters
////lobbyists get turned into soylent green
 
2012-03-06 06:18:33 PM  
This is the 21st century. Hi-speed internet available in most cities of a certain size.
Companies do video conferencing all the time.

Tell me again why we have to send people to a special city basically for meetings?
I know. It makes it easier for the lobbyists to "contribute" to the campaign coffers.

Keep them in their districts so that they are actually available to the people that they allegedly represent.

/wish voting "None of the Above" was a viable option.
 
2012-03-06 06:22:52 PM  

jda007: What arguments? You just ranted and raved about how we are all evil. All sorts of points were made that lobbying isn't the system that you think it is.

Then I tell you I lobby for Medicaid funding and this is your response?

1/10. Weak.


Yeah, sure. Ignore everything I said before that, as well as everything else I have said on this thread. Typical neoconservative.

Yes, that is my repsonse. The system is broke and you are helping to keep it so by taking power from the hands of voter. Just because you do a nice thing occasionally (while working for an industry that pushed through and exploited a law that guaranteed them a captive client base), that does not make the system right.

jda007: An outsider thinking the system is flawed does nothing to change the system.


Yeah, thanks for showing your crap attitude.

I'm not supposed to be an "outsider." No voter is supposed to be an "outsider" to their own political system, you insular jerk.

As I have stated three farking times on this thread, I have written letters, voted, promoted candidates, had a political blog for two years, protested in marches, and you know what effect it has had on the system?

Nothing.

Why?

Because I'm broke. I can't afford to sling around the cash to get their attention in a system in which your employers and those like them have bought both sides of the aisle and no other candidate can afford to get enough exposure to challenge either of the major parties.

How are we supposed to "change it from the inside" when you and your paid for representatives have locked everything up? How many representatives are really going to vote for anything that takes cash from them, their pet charities, and their campaign war-chests? Really?

Citizen United vs. the FCC now mean that campaign finance reform has to be a constitutional amendment. How far is that really going to fly in the system as it stands?

Sling all the b.s. you want, people know how it works. They know the power they ave lost to you and your employers.

And they are pissed off.
 
2012-03-06 06:26:59 PM  
jda007:

For the fourth or fifth time in this thread: I point to Buddy Roemer, who campaigned for the GOP primary on a "remove legalized corruption from Washington" platform and never saw the inside of a single GOP debate, let alone got the funds to get the exposure so that enough people even knew he was there to vote for him.

So how are people supposed to "change things from the inside" when the inside won't have anything to do with anything that changes it, and makes every effort it can to ensure that nothing will?
 
2012-03-06 06:30:03 PM  

jda007: An outsider thinking the system is flawed does nothing to change the system. Advocating for murder and calling people all lobbyists evil is just asinine.

If you really want to fix the system, learn it, work it, and try to fix it from the inside. Don't get mad at me for pointing out that the system has very good aspects.


odd, you are advocating that your clients are helping the medicaid issue, yet they are trying to get something to be paid for by medicaid which is not currently covered. While for the few who actually need these services paid for, or item paid for by medicaid, much like the scooter-chairs we all see moving around; they were once in the same boat; they were not covered except in extreme cases. Now you can call a number, give your ss# and age,. answer some questions, and you have a new chair. Paid for by john q taxpayer. Whether you need it of not. This morning, I saw no less than 8 of those damn chairs motoring around, occupied by people who were grossly overweight. While I have no problem with someone who has lost a leg or appendage having a chair, if you've let yourself go that far, deal with it. We don't want to reward them for poor choices, and yet that is what happened, and the scooter industry lobbied congress and got the damn things approved for under medicaid.
Get your damn money out of my congress.

/when did being the best candidate come distant second to having the deepest pockets?
 
2012-03-06 06:32:21 PM  
The system is self-perpetuating and self-protecting. The American voter no longer has any say, and it is almost impossible for us to take power back through the system, especially when the media keeps the nation divided and conquered with church vs state political theatre while big business treats this nation and it's people as nothing more then a resource to be exploited.

Unless there is a near miraculous event, more and more people will have less and less to loose and this will come to violence.
 
2012-03-06 06:45:55 PM  

Trance354: jda007: An outsider thinking the system is flawed does nothing to change the system. Advocating for murder and calling people all lobbyists evil is just asinine.

If you really want to fix the system, learn it, work it, and try to fix it from the inside. Don't get mad at me for pointing out that the system has very good aspects.

odd, you are advocating that your clients are helping the medicaid issue, yet they are trying to get something to be paid for by medicaid which is not currently covered. While for the few who actually need these services paid for, or item paid for by medicaid, much like the scooter-chairs we all see moving around; they were once in the same boat; they were not covered except in extreme cases. Now you can call a number, give your ss# and age,. answer some questions, and you have a new chair. Paid for by john q taxpayer. Whether you need it of not. This morning, I saw no less than 8 of those damn chairs motoring around, occupied by people who were grossly overweight. While I have no problem with someone who has lost a leg or appendage having a chair, if you've let yourself go that far, deal with it. We don't want to reward them for poor choices, and yet that is what happened, and the scooter industry lobbied congress and got the damn things approved for under medicaid.
Get your damn money out of my congress.

/when did being the best candidate come distant second to having the deepest pockets?


LOL, scooters, wut?

No, I tried to ensure Medicaid funding would not be cut from the budget for a hospital.

KiplingKat good for you for wanting to fix things. I'm glad you've toned down the vitriol responses a bit, name calling aside. In light of that, let me give you my honest thoughts from working in politics:

Writing letters, promoting candidates, having a political blog, and protesting in marches does very little to change things. All of this demonstrates, however, that you are clearly very passionate - good. If you want to really make a difference is to throw your hat in the ring and run for office.

If you ever do run for office, I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
 
2012-03-06 06:48:35 PM  

jda007: Writing letters, promoting candidates, having a political blog, and protesting in marches does very little to change things. All of this demonstrates, however, that you are clearly very passionate - good. If you want to really make a difference is to throw your hat in the ring and run for office.

If you ever do run for office, I sincerely wish you the best of luck.


Fark you. I have seen what happened to people who run for office on a platform trying to change the lobbying system and end the influence of big business in government. It just happened to a former governor of Louisiana. You might as well advised me to try to fly by jumping off the roof.
 
2012-03-06 06:53:42 PM  

KiplingKat872:

Fark you. I have seen what happened to people who run for office on a platform trying to change the lobbying system and end the influence of big business in government. It just happened to a former governor of Louisiana. You might as well advised me to try to fly by jumping off the roof.


Wow, you're kindof a prick aren't you?

I'm not farking with you - I'm serious, run for office. Don't make lobbying reform your only platform but make it part of your overall platform and incorporate whatever else you believe. Be it local office, state office, or federal office, you can help make things better. That the beauty of a republican form of government.

Or just keep yelling at clouds. Whatever you think will work.
 
2012-03-06 06:54:04 PM  
@JDA007 I'm not new, I've been reading fark politics since 2005, I just don't post often. I also know better than to expect rationale discourse here, although there are some very educated farmers who often raise interesting perspectives on all sorts of issues and since I try to keep an open mind sometimes sway me.

That said, while this could be an opportunity for some who are interested in campaign finance reform, honest services fraud, corruption, etc to ask pointed questions about what we observe in our day to day jobs, it will probably devolve into a shoot the messenger thread. Oh wait, it already did.

@everyone I'd actually prefer to take money out of politics so that I could focus more on making the case (yeah I'm also a lawyer) for my company than have to give money at fundraiser just to be able to get meetings. It wold be nice to be able to just petition government for redress of grievances.
 
2012-03-06 06:59:02 PM  

jda007: I'm not farking with you - I'm serious, run for office. Don't make lobbying reform your only platform but make it part of your overall platform and incorporate whatever else you believe. Be it local office, state office, or federal office, you can help make things better. That the beauty of a republican form of government.


That you and your bosses took away from us!

All the news stories about corruption, the articles like this one, the documentaries, the websites tracking lobbying funds, and you think people still don't know how how the political landscape in this country is shaped?

Fark you and your condensing lies arsehole. Campaigns come down to one thing and one thing only: MONEY, and very few businesses or wealthy people are going to donate to a candidate who has ideas of threatening the amount of power they have over the government.

The prick is you for participating in and perpetuating in a system that takes power away from the American voter and then lying/rationalizing to yourself about what you are doing.
 
2012-03-06 06:59:22 PM  
htotheova:

I'm sorry, I just guessed by your recent signup date and your rational arguments. I see the usual fark meme of "you must be new here" periodically whenever someone appears especially cogent.

Also, I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Glad to see there are a few other lawyer/lobbyists on fark.
 
2012-03-06 07:03:24 PM  
Ok, have it your way.

images2.fanpop.com
 
2012-03-06 07:05:42 PM  

Trance354: 1.) invent bullet-proof armor suit with masking technology(think Predator)
2.) sneak up on congress(you're invisible, how hard could it be?)
3.) declare martial law
4.) kill lobbyists and corrupt politicians
5.) put the military in charge
6.) sneak away unidentified(like the internets)
7.) start government over
8.) service guarantees citizenship.

/except for the killing, I'm not kidding
//marines get the executive branch, navy the judicial, army gets the legislative
///old politicians rounded up and sent to re-education camps and turned into walmart greeters
////lobbyists get turned into soylent green


So, you would remove our republic and replace it with a military dictatorship, then liquidate their vendors (you don't think the defense industry doesn't lobby do you?). I don't think you thought your cunning plan all the way through.
 
2012-03-06 07:07:13 PM  

htotheova: That said, while this could be an opportunity for some who are interested in campaign finance reform, honest services fraud, corruption, etc to ask pointed questions about what we observe in our day to day jobs, it will probably devolve into a shoot the messenger thread. Oh wait, it already did.


What are we supposed to ask that he hasn't rationalized about already?

All he has tried to do is paint a picture, of "Really, lobbyists aren't that bad, even though I do work for an industry that pushed though legislation that mandated having car insurance and then jacked up the prices on their new captive client base, and am writing legislation for lawmakers."

What has he said that refutes anything this article?

He thinks everyone has power because he does, because he sits next to the river of money and gets to pull on the puppet strings.

We don't.

What else do we need to know other than the system is broken, and without literally hundreds of millions of dollars to compete with the oil and finance lobbies, we haven't a chance in hell of changing anything from within the system.

Like I said, it is telling that the only person that has come lose to cracking the two party system (at least at the presidential level) in the last three decades was a billionaire is his own right.
 
2012-03-06 07:09:32 PM  
I just forgot my password and couldn't remember what email account I used when I got my old account in 2006 or so.

So I saw you get called a neo conservative prick. Is this a case of two guys with different political views but the same observations on how the system works? Or was that just good old fashioned fark name calling.
 
2012-03-06 07:11:11 PM  

jda007: Ok, have it your way.

[images2.fanpop.com image 265x199]


More like: You are the kind of person the phrase, "first against the wall when the revolution came" was made for.

This nation has no cultural memory of an uprising by the poor like France does, Russia.

Unless something near miraculous happens, 50 years from now, it will.
 
2012-03-06 07:12:54 PM  
htotheova:

Probably just good old fashioned name calling.

Ironically, I never said I represented the auto insurance industry. I just pointed out a topical problem.
 
2012-03-06 07:14:25 PM  

htotheova: I just forgot my password and couldn't remember what email account I used when I got my old account in 2006 or so.

So I saw you get called a neo conservative prick. Is this a case of two guys with different political views but the same observations on how the system works? Or was that just good old fashioned fark name calling.


One condescending jerk who rationalizes being involved in a system that takes power from the American voter by thinking that because he has power, everyone does, and another poster who isn't afraid to call him on his B.S..
 
2012-03-06 07:23:43 PM  

jda007: htotheova:

Probably just good old fashioned name calling.

Ironically, I never said I represented the auto insurance industry. I just pointed out a topical problem.


True, you did not.

But nothing you have said disproves any of my arguments about the amount of influence big business, through lobbyists wields in this nation's government and how legally entrenched it is. How is it next to impossible for someone from outside that system to be elected.

No, you just turned to a very condescending suggestion I run for office. The former governor of Louinsana can't even get into a GOP primary debate while running on a platform that includes lobbying reform. You think Jane blow is going to?

Mr. Smith left Washington a long time ago my friend. Trying to tell us otherwise it like trying to tell a teenager the Easter Bunny is real.
 
2012-03-06 07:37:16 PM  

htotheova: I just forgot my password and couldn't remember what email account I used when I got my old account in 2006 or so.

So I saw you get called a neo conservative prick. Is this a case of two guys with different political views but the same observations on how the system works? Or was that just good old fashioned fark name calling.


I was probably unclear. I was really just asking if jda007 was actually conservative (as ascertained through previous posts) since I am moderate/liberal. If jda007 is in fact conservative then it is interesting that two people with divergent political views have similar takes on the interplay among politicians, lobbyists, the interests they represent and the voters.

I'll discuss issues of reform (because you have to have a clear view of the status quo and where the problems are to suggest changes) but I'm not going to get involved in any arguments tonight.
 
2012-03-06 07:55:29 PM  

htotheova: (because you have to have a clear view of the status quo and where the problems are to suggest changes)


You mean like the the fact that campaigns cost too much for a level playing field and Citizen's United vs. the FCC ruling and PAC's make sure it never will be, lobbyists writing legitimation, funds donated to pet charities, the fact that often only lobbyists get access to lawmakers, lawmakers who do not even read the legislation they vote on but instead rely lobbyists tell them what it is about (thereby putting their own slant on it, if not outright misrepresenting it), the lobbying revolving door that let people who were staffers and even lawmaker themselves become lobbyists and back again (we currently have one trying to get the GOP nomination), the fact that non profit lobbies simply can't compete with big business so many issue of public interest are simply left to rot, that the financial industry lobbyists pushing for deregulation is a large part of the caused the financial crash?

Stuff like that?

Even lobbyists themselves have admitted this is influence pedaling that empowers the wealthy and disenfranchises the rest of us.
 
2012-03-06 07:57:54 PM  
I was not being condescending. I meant what I said. This is one of the huge problems with reading text on the internet. Elected officials are the ones making the decisions.

But... it's been a long day and I forget my 'arguing on the internet' guidelines.

And yeah, I am conservative. I think a lot of folks on our side of the aisle would agree there is too much money in politics. I think Citizens is a poor decision and the less money in the system the better.
 
2012-03-06 08:03:08 PM  
htotheova:

The worst part of it all is that it is legally entrenched now.

Candidates to trying to reform it have funds and airtime denied to them while the opposing side is practically smothered in money and exposure. Legislation is blocked by influence or loopholes around it are found and set in legal stone.

The only way to limit campaign finance by big business now is a Constitutional amendment. How far is that really going to get in the current system where 95 % of congress is in the pocket of various lobbyists? I mean, even if they are lobbyists who are completely opposed on key issues, they will come together, rally all their pet legislators, to protect their power.
 
2012-03-06 08:05:41 PM  

jda007: Elected officials are the ones making the decisions.


No one can get elected without large campaign donations. Those large campaigns donations are going to come from businesses and the wealthy that want their interests protected. They are not going to donate to someone who's goal is to limit the power they have over the government.

They have power, and they are not going to give it up easily.
 
2012-03-06 08:13:08 PM  
jda007:

You have to understand people are waking up to how much power they have lost to the system you participate in.

They are mad. Really mad.

And if the system continues to push them in the economic direction it has been, it's going to get very, very ugly.

Seriously dude, I would give myself another five years to make my money and get the hell out of that line of work because you guys do have a target painted on you for public rage.
 
2012-03-06 08:48:13 PM  

KiplingKat872: htotheova: (because you have to have a clear view of the status quo and where the problems are to suggest changes)

You mean like the the fact that campaigns cost too much for a level playing field and Citizen's United vs. the FCC ruling and PAC's make sure it never will be, lobbyists writing legitimation, funds donated to pet charities, the fact that often only lobbyists get access to lawmakers, lawmakers who do not even read the legislation they vote on but instead rely lobbyists tell them what it is about (thereby putting their own slant on it, if not outright misrepresenting it), the lobbying revolving door that let people who were staffers and even lawmaker themselves become lobbyists and back again (we currently have one trying to get the GOP nomination), the fact that non profit lobbies simply can't compete with big business so many issue of public interest are simply left to rot, that the financial industry lobbyists pushing for deregulation is a large part of the caused the financial crash?

Stuff like that?

Even lobbyists themselves have admitted this is influence pedaling that empowers the wealthy and disenfranchises the rest of us.


Yeah, some of those things.

I'm not a big fan of Citizen's United either. Although I don't think it was presented well in the media. Given the fact pattern, I'm not sure that the justices should have ruled differently - but that just creates the opportunity for Congress to write a better law. The question was whether a nonprofit who made a documentary that was critical of HIllary Clinton was violating campaign finance law if they made it available on demand via cable in the lead up to the election. The court ruled that it was an unconsitutional abridgment of the first amendment to prohibit anyone (including a company) from voicing their views (for or against) a candidate for office.

While I share your views that there is too much money in politics, I am cautious in looking for a solution that would limit public discourse. My voice as an individual is also often muffled and I'm limited to personal exchanges, facebook, twitter and now fark.

The MT supreme court recently ruled (in an opinion that ignored the supremacy clause) that due to a history in their state of undue corporate influence that they had a compelling interest in banning corporate speech. This goes back to the copper kings who had bought the legislature. As a result of the ruling, there may be a chance for the Supreme Court to rehear citizens united as some justices have hinted.

Stephen Colbert and his lawyer have brillantly satirized the way in which one can exploit the ruling. As much as one can try to place the blame on lobbyists, we do have three branches of government and unconsitutional laws do get overruled, new legislation is constantly passed and elected officials get voted out.

I firmly believe as I mentioned earlier that each capitol is full of competing interests and it is not nearly as clubby as some think.
 
2012-03-06 08:52:34 PM  

jda007: I was not being condescending. I meant what I said. This is one of the huge problems with reading text on the internet. Elected officials are the ones making the decisions.

But... it's been a long day and I forget my 'arguing on the internet' guidelines.

And yeah, I am conservative. I think a lot of folks on our side of the aisle would agree there is too much money in politics. I think Citizens is a poor decision and the less money in the system the better.


I do retract and apoligize for the DIAF comment. That was wrong, way not cool and major bad karma. I'm sorry.
 
2012-03-06 09:01:40 PM  

KiplingKat872: jda007:

You have to understand people are waking up to how much power they have lost to the system you participate in.

They are mad. Really mad.

And if the system continues to push them in the economic direction it has been, it's going to get very, very ugly.

Seriously dude, I would give myself another five years to make my money and get the hell out of that line of work because you guys do have a target painted on you for public rage.


And the anger should be directed towards reforming the system. We don't need Robbespierre 2.0, we just need voters that demand accountability and remain engaged between elections,

The reform that is needed:
Real time disclosure of donations for the public to see or a blind donation system where politicians can't know who gave them money (even if someone claims they gave, they could be lying)

public calendars of who politicans meet with in their offices and who their lunches/dinners are with.

disclosure of who their spouses and children work for and when they were hired.

Feel free to add to the list.
 
2012-03-06 09:08:11 PM  

htotheova: KiplingKat872: htotheova: (because you have to have a clear view of the status quo and where the problems are to suggest changes)

You mean like the the fact that campaigns cost too much for a level playing field and Citizen's United vs. the FCC ruling and PAC's make sure it never will be, lobbyists writing legitimation, funds donated to pet charities, the fact that often only lobbyists get access to lawmakers, lawmakers who do not even read the legislation they vote on but instead rely lobbyists tell them what it is about (thereby putting their own slant on it, if not outright misrepresenting it), the lobbying revolving door that let people who were staffers and even lawmaker themselves become lobbyists and back again (we currently have one trying to get the GOP nomination), the fact that non profit lobbies simply can't compete with big business so many issue of public interest are simply left to rot, that the financial industry lobbyists pushing for deregulation is a large part of the caused the financial crash?

Stuff like that?

Even lobbyists themselves have admitted this is influence pedaling that empowers the wealthy and disenfranchises the rest of us.

Yeah, some of those things.

I'm not a big fan of Citizen's United either. Although I don't think it was presented well in the media. Given the fact pattern, I'm not sure that the justices should have ruled differently - but that just creates the opportunity for Congress to write a better law. The question was whether a nonprofit who made a documentary that was critical of HIllary Clinton was violating campaign finance law if they made it available on demand via cable in the lead up to the election. The court ruled that it was an unconsitutional abridgment of the first amendment to prohibit anyone (including a company) from voicing their views (for or against) a candidate for office.

While I share your views that there is too much money in politics, I am cautious in looking for a solution that would limit public discourse. My voice as an individual is also often muffled and I'm limited to personal exchanges, facebook, twitter and now fark.

The MT supreme court recently ruled (in an opinion that ignored the supremacy clause) that due to a history in their state of undue corporate influence that they had a compelling interest in banning corporate speech. This goes back to the copper kings who had bought the legislature. As a result of the ruling, there may be a chance for the Supreme Court to rehear citizens united as some justices have hinted.

Stephen Colbert and his lawyer have brillantly satirized the way in which one can exploit the ruling. As much as one can try to place the blame on lobbyists, we do have three branches of government and unconsitutional laws do get overruled, new legislation is constantly passed and elected officials get voted out.

I firmly believe as I mentioned earlier that each capitol is full of competing interests and it is not nearly as clubby as some think.


We know that there are competing interests, but none of them are ours. It's clubby to us, to over 90% of American citizens who have almost no say in what happens in our federal and state capitols. Saying "but there are competing lobbies in Washington" is like pointing out that the Lancasters and Yorks don't get along that well to a 14th century English peasant. Do you think he really gives a shiat? It doesn't matter who is bickering with whom when modt Americans have been locked out of the decisions of the government that creates the policies we have to live under.

We'd be happy to stop all lobbyists bickering over power by telling all of them to fark off and take our government back.
 
2012-03-06 09:14:07 PM  

imontheinternet: Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

But you knew that and are okay with it, because 95% of them support Democrats.

Dumbass hippies.

Financial institutions generally spend the most on lobbying, and they tend to give almost equally to both parties, but that's besides the point.

It's wrong when insurance companies do it, and it's wrong when unions do it. The system itself is set up to undermine the Republic in favor of the interests of the wealthy few. The fact that some lobbyists may do something decent occasionally does not change the fundamental problems with the system, and the startling lack of transparency.


Who spent the most money in the 2010 elections? A union, AFSCME , 87.5 million for Democrats only.

"We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations. "But we don't like to brag."

President Barack Obama has criticized the Supreme Court decision that opened the door to more spending by corporations and unions. When asked about AFSCME's ramped up campaign efforts following the court's decision, the White House focused on largely anonymous campaign spending by what it termed "special interests."

So here we go, exceptions already being made :)
 
2012-03-06 09:15:00 PM  

htotheova: KiplingKat872: jda007:

You have to understand people are waking up to how much power they have lost to the system you participate in.

They are mad. Really mad.

And if the system continues to push them in the economic direction it has been, it's going to get very, very ugly.

Seriously dude, I would give myself another five years to make my money and get the hell out of that line of work because you guys do have a target painted on you for public rage.

And the anger should be directed towards reforming the system. We don't need Robbespierre 2.0, we just need voters that demand accountability and remain engaged between elections,

The reform that is needed:
Real time disclosure of donations for the public to see or a blind donation system where politicians can't know who gave them money (even if someone claims they gave, they could be lying)

public calendars of who politicans meet with in their offices and who their lunches/dinners are with.

disclosure of who their spouses and children work for and when they were hired.

Feel free to add to the list.


Dude, we know most of this stuff. That's how we know how little power we have.
What difference does it make that we know exactly who is farking us and how much?

None. Knowing that does not stop a single dime from flowing into the pockets of the Democratic and Republucan parties and any new canidate they and their contributors deem worthy.

You are part of the system, and the system has insulated itself against reform. You guys are the ones with the power, and if *you* do not change the system, we do not have the chance to without resorting to violence.
 
2012-03-06 09:19:15 PM  

Thunderpipes: imontheinternet: Thunderpipes: Unions are the largest group of lobbyists and spend the most money.

But you knew that and are okay with it, because 95% of them support Democrats.

Dumbass hippies.

Financial institutions generally spend the most on lobbying, and they tend to give almost equally to both parties, but that's besides the point.

It's wrong when insurance companies do it, and it's wrong when unions do it. The system itself is set up to undermine the Republic in favor of the interests of the wealthy few. The fact that some lobbyists may do something decent occasionally does not change the fundamental problems with the system, and the startling lack of transparency.

Who spent the most money in the 2010 elections? A union, AFSCME , 87.5 million for Democrats only.

"We're the big dog," said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME's political operations. "But we don't like to brag."

President Barack Obama has criticized the Supreme Court decision that opened the door to more spending by corporations and unions. When asked about AFSCME's ramped up campaign efforts following the court's decision, the White House focused on largely anonymous campaign spending by what it termed "special interests."

So here we go, exceptions already being made :)


Dude, the financial industry alone tops that in a couple hundred million spent in lobbying every year.

And that does not negate the basic point that influence peddeling is bad no matter who does it.
 
2012-03-06 09:34:00 PM  

htotheova: KiplingKat872: htotheova: (because you have to have a clear view of the status quo and where the problems are to suggest changes)

You mean like the the fact that campaigns cost too much for a level playing field and Citizen's United vs. the FCC ruling and PAC's make sure it never will be, lobbyists writing legitimation, funds donated to pet charities, the fact that often only lobbyists get access to lawmakers, lawmakers who do not even read the legislation they vote on but instead rely lobbyists tell them what it is about (thereby putting their own slant on it, if not outright misrepresenting it), the lobbying revolving door that let people who were staffers and even lawmaker themselves become lobbyists and back again (we currently have one trying to get the GOP nomination), the fact that non profit lobbies simply can't compete with big business so many issue of public interest are simply left to rot, that the financial industry lobbyists pushing for deregulation is a large part of the caused the financial crash?

Stuff like that?

Even lobbyists themselves have admitted this is influence pedaling that empowers the wealthy and disenfranchises the rest of us.

Yeah, some of those things.

I'm not a big fan of Citizen's United either. Although I don't think it was presented well in the media. Given the fact pattern, I'm not sure that the justices should have ruled differently - but that just creates the opportunity for Congress to write a better law. The question was whether a nonprofit who made a documentary that was critical of HIllary Clinton was violating campaign finance law if they made it available on demand via cable in the lead up to the election. The court ruled that it was an unconsitutional abridgment of the first amendment to prohibit anyone (including a company) from voicing their views (for or against) a candidate for office.

While I share your views that there is too much money in politics, I am cautious in looking for a solution that would limit public discourse. My voice as an individual is also often muffled and I'm limited to personal exchanges, facebook, twitter and now fark.

The MT supreme court recently ruled (in an opinion that ignored the supremacy clause) that due to a history in their state of undue corporate influence that they had a compelling interest in banning corporate speech. This goes back to the copper kings who had bought the legislature. As a result of the ruling, there may be a chance for the Supreme Court to rehear citizens united as some justices have hinted.

Stephen Colbert and his lawyer have brillantly satirized the way in which one can exploit the ruling. As much as one can try to place the blame on lobbyists, we do have three branches of government and unconsitutional laws do get overruled, new legislation is constantly passed and elected officials get voted out.

I firmly believe as I mentioned earlier that each capitol is full of competing interests and it is not nearly as clubby as some think.


I do not think it would limut public discourse the limit campaign spending (including allotments of tv airtime), strictly limit *all* donations made by coporations and the wealthy to individuals and groups closely associated with elected officials, to revoke corporate "personhood" and disallow money as freedom of speech, and to end the revoling door.

Elected officials get voted out, but the new officials are just as bought and paid for. If you see a campaign ad on TV now, that person has already taken corporate donations. Its the only way they can afford it. And they will only get the support of the major party if they play the game. Its not one crop of senators, it is an entire entrenched system that perpetuates itself.
 
2012-03-06 09:42:57 PM  

KiplingKat872: , to revoke corporate "personhood" and disallow money as freedom of speech, and to end the revoling door.


If we revoke corporate personhood, would that mean corporations lose all rights? If so, can we pass a law allowing the government to seize all assets of any corporation it wants?

I really don't think you "corporations aren't people" people have thought this stuff through at all. Corporations are made of people. I suppose you think it's fine to strip people of their rights when they assemble as a corporation?
 
2012-03-06 09:58:21 PM  

pedrop357: KiplingKat872: , to revoke corporate "personhood" and disallow money as freedom of speech, and to end the revoling door.

If we revoke corporate personhood, would that mean corporations lose all rights? If so, can we pass a law allowing the government to seize all assets of any corporation it wants?

I really don't think you "corporations aren't people" people have thought this stuff through at all. Corporations are made of people. I suppose you think it's fine to strip people of their rights when they assemble as a corporation?


Enjoy that slippery slope, its fun on a little plastic saucer.

Coporations had property rights long before Citizens United and they can still have them afterwards.

But they are not the same as a person. Each individual in a groups has their rights to freedom of speech, but a corporation should not be treated the same way under the law.
 
2012-03-06 10:24:07 PM  

KiplingKat872: But they are not the same as a person. Each individual in a groups has their rights to freedom of speech, but a corporation should not be treated the same way under the law.


Why not? If I own a corporation with two other people and a politician wants to come along and change how we do business in a way we disagree with, why can't we run ads criticizing him or even support another politician?
 
2012-03-07 12:34:47 AM  

xalres: But remember to vote in November! Make your voice heard! Your vote counts! Civic duty! Meaningless platitude!

The more I pay attention to this election, the more I think about just sitting the farking thing out.


If voting changed anything, we wouldn't be allowed to do it.

/derp
 
2012-03-07 04:08:23 AM  
You're all fools and that's one of the primary reasons the world works as it does. The stupid masses will follow any stupid coont to their deaths.

You want to enact a political system that goes against human nature, hahahahaha, look at ALL cultures and societies throughout history. It's all pretty much some sort of elitist dictatorship but with slight subtleties.
 
2012-03-07 08:39:35 AM  

odinsposse: Strik3r: Since when must a solution be given in order to identify a problem?

Because otherwise you're just complaining. Why would anyone bother to listen to you if you don't have any solutions?


Right....... because FARK is SEEERRRIOUSSS business !! We're solving WORLD problems in here!
 
2012-03-07 08:40:48 AM  

Strik3r: odinsposse: Strik3r: Since when must a solution be given in order to identify a problem?

Because otherwise you're just complaining. Why would anyone bother to listen to you if you don't have any solutions?

Right....... because FARK is SEEERRRIOUSSS business !! We're solving WORLD problems in here!


OH! and thanks for listening ;-p
 
2012-03-07 12:39:56 PM  

pedrop357: KiplingKat872: , to revoke corporate "personhood" and disallow money as freedom of speech, and to end the revoling door.

If we revoke corporate personhood, would that mean corporations lose all rights? If so, can we pass a law allowing the government to seize all assets of any corporation it wants?

I really don't think you "corporations aren't people" people have thought this stuff through at all. Corporations are made of people. I suppose you think it's fine to strip people of their rights when they assemble as a corporation?


Pretty much.
It is all about Personal Rights.

You are free to assemble and communicate, but not to impose your will on other Persons.
You are free to con other people into making you rich with their labor, but that wealth is not for imposing your will on other Persons.
 
2012-03-07 12:45:58 PM  
Key component to raising a crop of humans is instilling a feeling of Hope.
W/o that Hope, there is no freedom of choice, no joy in Muddville, no purpose driven human behavior.
Maintain Hope and you can control masses of humans.

Start w/ chickens. Raising people is hard work.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am off. I just won my trip to the Island.
 
2012-03-07 05:45:09 PM  
The answer to the problem of lobbyists is actually as simple as just paying our politicians more than our corporations can afford to buy them out from under us.

For example, if we paid all 100 senators $5 million per year, it would only cost us $500 million per year (pocket change), but would net each senator $35 million per term. Because of this, they'd never have to keep the promises they make to lobbyists, they'd be able to vote their conscience, they'd never have to worry about re-election campaign financing, and there's significant disincentive to getting kicked out of office for actual corruption.

Rinse and repeat for members of the House and the President. The president should get $15-20 million or so per year.

Taken in concert, it finally makes it cost-prohibitive to actually buy the entire government (like is currently done). In comparison, if each senator makes $200k per year, it only costs $20 million dollars + election campaign costs to effectively buy the entire senate. Worse, as it stands today, it can be easily hidden from shareholders as miscellaneous expenses. $1 billion, on the other hand, is a lot more difficult to hide from shareholders, and dumping that much money into buying Washington with no guarantee of return is disproportionately risky.
 
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