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(Politico)   Quantum scale violinist needed, apply within   (politico.com) divider line
    More: Amusing, Barack Obama, Advocacy, National Rifle Association, trade groups, Lobbying, International Franchise Association, Advocacy group, U.S. Travel Association  
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3754 clicks; posted to Politics » on 23 May 2020 at 3:05 PM (6 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



43 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
7 days ago  
oh no! people whose job it is to screw the rest of us to get more money for the 1% aren't being paid. that is horrible
 
7 days ago  
womp womp
 
6 days ago  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
6 days ago  
The whole practice should be abolished
 
6 days ago  

west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished


How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.
 
6 days ago  
Those people were my clients years ago. Most were okay, but a few were assholes on a cosmic scale. Those were the ones who were lauded and rewarded. Just one reason I moved the fark away from DC. Terrible people in much higher concentrations than most other places I have been.
 
6 days ago  

Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.


Not sure about your number 1, but OK - do that - all of it.

Just do something where giant non-people, corporations, with unlimited financial resources pay to get whatever they want and the normal human people don't have effective access.
 
6 days ago  

Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.


Or you could have publicly financed elections
 
6 days ago  

Harlee: 1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),


Most are quite wealthy already.
 
6 days ago  
A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Association Executives - essentially a trade group for who lead trade groups - found that 35 percent of trade groups estimated they would lose at least a quarter of their revenue because of canceled events and conferences.

Which means, mathematically, that the revenues of a trade group for trade groups is down... 1... Carry the 5... Remainder 3... Approximately "who gives a shiat let them all rot point 3". Huh. Can't lie with the math there.
 
6 days ago  
So economic anxiety will actually be a real thing now?
 
6 days ago  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
6 days ago  

koder: A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Association Executives - essentially a trade group for who lead trade groups - found that 35 percent of trade groups estimated they would lose at least a quarter of their revenue because of canceled events and conferences.

Which means, mathematically, that the revenues of a trade group for trade groups is down... 1... Carry the 5... Remainder 3... Approximately "who gives a shiat let them all rot point 3". Huh. Can't lie with the math there.


Math, it's brutally real. Can't contest those results.

Will the WSJ start publishing articles on how to economize on a paltry $500k/yr?
 
6 days ago  
We should start a go fund me for them, I think the cat has a few turds in his box for them.
 
6 days ago  
Thoughts and prayers to the NRA
 
6 days ago  
Oh no. We need to help. Let's send a lot of thoughts and prayers immediately.
 
6 days ago  

Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.


Simply making it illegal isn't possible.  Let me quote something for you:

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.

All lobbying is is the bolded part.  They're doing it like assholes, but it's pretty cut and dried that they can do it.
 
6 days ago  

Harlee: 1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),


I've been arguing this unpopular opinion for a while. If a CEO makes $50M+ per year, they could theoretically buy half the Senate at $1M/senator on one year's salary alone. That asymmetry is problematic and is why we have a plutocracy. It's not so much direct bribes, but the "simplified equation" is that the political equilibrium disproportionately favors a handful of fringe rich voices by default, needing vast cash from tens of thousands countervoices to overturn it.

The general idea for me is that you want Any Given Citizen to be able to find his way into power, then be paid enough that he can either straight up retire, forever, after only one term or easily finance his own reelection without needing outside money. Presumably, this would allow everyone to vote their conscience, prevent suicide-cult party lines, and make it far more expensive to bribe politicians, such that corporations would have difficulty justifying the added expense to shareholders (whereas now it's just pocket change).
 
6 days ago  

Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.


Revisit the job requirements for POTUS and legislators.

1. Ethical exams and clauses.
2. Background checks / requirements like corporations do for their personnel at all levels. 
3. Redraft the lobbyist and related "influence" rules.
4. Term limits for Congress.

I know it sounds unrealistic, and I acknowledge it wouldn't be an overnight change, but #1 and #2 should weed out a significant chunk of the sociopaths, narcissists, con artists, and extremists.

Once enough ethical, service-focused legislators are in office, either through attrition or term limits, our public servants will not confuse responsibility for authority nearly as often as they do now.

Again, pie-in-the-sky, but the lessons of the 45th* President of record will endure and hopefully shape our Second Reconstruction next year, plague-willing.  

Because voting trump* out in November won't slow the spread of COVID-19. Its gonna keep shaking things to their core, and if lobbyists can't make money, well, let's strike while the iron's hot. 

Oh, and grumpycatgood.jpg
 
6 days ago  
My friend owns a bar on K Street. Really feeling for him right now. Also, had no idea all of that was on that street.
 
6 days ago  

koder: The general idea for me is that you want Any Given Citizen to be able to find his way into power, then be paid enough that he can either straight up retire, forever, after only one term or easily finance his own reelection without needing outside money.


I also like the idea of paying legislators MUCH higher salaries to make them more resistant to legalized bribery.

That said, there is an issue. Any Given Citizen who gets elected to the Senate is virtually certain to already have the money to "straight up retire" by your standards and mine. Or, which is the same thing, to have a guaranteed non-corrupt income stream after the fact. (Bill Clinton's net worth when he came into office was pretty low, but that's not counting the fact that he'd be able to charge $10K a night for the rest of his life speaking at rubber chicken dinners.)

So why do we still have this kind of legalized corruption? Because the people who tend to be susceptible to lobbying don't want "comfortable retirement" money, they want "fark you" money. Nine or ten figures, not the mere seven you and I are scraping to get to so we can catch our breath before we die.

And as for being re-elected, the Senate is already the world's greatest eldercare assisted-living community. Which gets us to the other problem. "Enough money to retire on" is about 2% of what you'd spend in a contested Senate race. If you actually gave senators $50 million every cycle, you'd either be driving up the price even higher, or you'd be effectively guaranteeing they didn't need to spend a dime of it, since the barrier to compete with any incumbent is so high.

Nothing that my preferred magical cure-all for society's ills wouldn't fix (maximum wealth caps in the $20-50M range, yeah, come at me wannabe billionaire bros) but oh well.
 
6 days ago  

Rann Xerox: [Fark user image image 306x400]


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
6 days ago  
Kinda hard to "convince" people when they're not face to face.

The whole smoozing industry in DC and any major capital will go under.
Including the great restaurants they have 2 martini lunches in.
 
6 days ago  
Those firms have started laying off congressmen.  It's that bad.

Perhaps Devin is out hawking apples pineapples on a street corner, trying to make up for the shortfall.  I don't get out much so I couldn't say I'd seen the man.
 
6 days ago  

koder: then be paid enough that he can either straight up retire, forever, after only one term or easily finance his own reelection without needing outside money. Presumably, this would allow everyone to vote their conscience,


This has never, ever, ever, worked. it's literally the basis of GOP election campaigns, too. It's how they make their Dem opponents from poor neighbourhoods look corrupted and cowardly, and themselves look unassailable and stable in times of stress.
 
6 days ago  

phalamir: 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.

All lobbying is is the bolded part.  They're doing it like assholes, but it's pretty cut and dried that they can do it.


I'm certainly no lawyer or constitutional expert, but I feel like "to petition the government for a redress of grievances" isn't fully interchangeable with "to ply the government with money and gifts into doing what you want them to."  Surely there's a way to allow people their right to petition while also preventing lobbying that is bribery in all but name.  Especially considering bribery is already technically illegal.
 
6 days ago  

semiotix: I also like the idea of paying legislators MUCH higher salaries to make them more resistant to legalized bribery.


What the likes of Gates, Buffett, Zuckerberg, Bezos, et alia have displayed is that there is no upper bound of greed. There is no such thing as "Enough" to the psyche. Humans apparently are by nature insane. 

Mitch McConnell entered public life at the beginning of his working life and has while a public servant amassed millions. He wasn't hindered  -- or apparently even influenced -- by his salary.
 
6 days ago  

semiotix: koder: The general idea for me is that you want Any Given Citizen to be able to find his way into power, then be paid enough that he can either straight up retire, forever, after only one term or easily finance his own reelection without needing outside money.

I also like the idea of paying legislators MUCH higher salaries to make them more resistant to legalized bribery.

That said, there is an issue. Any Given Citizen who gets elected to the Senate is virtually certain to already have the money to "straight up retire" by your standards and mine. Or, which is the same thing, to have a guaranteed non-corrupt income stream after the fact. (Bill Clinton's net worth when he came into office was pretty low, but that's not counting the fact that he'd be able to charge $10K a night for the rest of his life speaking at rubber chicken dinners.)

So why do we still have this kind of legalized corruption? Because the people who tend to be susceptible to lobbying don't want "comfortable retirement" money, they want "fark you" money. Nine or ten figures, not the mere seven you and I are scraping to get to so we can catch our breath before we die.

And as for being re-elected, the Senate is already the world's greatest eldercare assisted-living community. Which gets us to the other problem. "Enough money to retire on" is about 2% of what you'd spend in a contested Senate race. If you actually gave senators $50 million every cycle, you'd either be driving up the price even higher, or you'd be effectively guaranteeing they didn't need to spend a dime of it, since the barrier to compete with any incumbent is so high.

Nothing that my preferred magical cure-all for society's ills wouldn't fix (maximum wealth caps in the $20-50M range, yeah, come at me wannabe billionaire bros) but oh well.


First of all, Clinton's speaking fee is ~$200k, not $10k.

Every industry has a legitimate need to represent its interests to members of Congress. They pass laws that affect those industries. Whatever industry you work in has a trade association that lobbies on behalf of your industry.

What kind of democracy would we have if citizens could not organize themselves to communicate with members of Congress?

Do you really think Congress should act in a void, with no input on the laws they pass?

Yes, the system gets corrupted, but you really don't want to to say that people cannot represent their interests to their representatives.
 
6 days ago  
Fun fact: if you work at a trade association, you can pay the American Society of Association Executives to take classes and a test to become a Certified Association Executive. No, you can't take just take the test, you have to pay for the classes first.
 
6 days ago  
The devil went down to K-street / Looking for a soul to steal / He was into bonds / And he really was fond / Of hi-yield limit deals / When he came across a man in pinstripes on a phone and calling longshots / So he jumped right up on a Metro sign and said, "Son, lemme tell you what: / I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a market player, too / And if you care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you / You make a pretty hard deal, I see, but I can make much more / I'll put ten bars of gold against your soul / My hedge fund's better than yours."

The man said, "My name's Jonathan, and I think that you'll fold / From stocks to stones, everything I own, has beat the price of gold..."

[/too much damned time in quarantine]
 
6 days ago  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
6 days ago  
"We need a national crash program if there is to be any hope for nanoluthiers to build an adequately small violin. I'm talking hard X-ray lithography, single-atom strings, the works."

Actually, about another asshole: https://twitter.com/Pinboard​/status/10​30528991038513153
 
6 days ago  

west.la.lawyer: Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.

Not sure about your number 1, but OK - do that - all of it.

Just do something where giant non-people, corporations, with unlimited financial resources pay to get whatever they want and the normal human people don't have effective access.


Number 1 is supposed to help end bribery
 
6 days ago  

phalamir: Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.

Simply making it illegal isn't possible.  Let me quote something for you:

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.

All lobbying is is the bolded part.  They're doing it like assholes, but it's pretty cut and dried that they can do it.


Exactly.

What if we make them do it out in the open?  No more secret bullshiat.
 
6 days ago  

Phins: First of all, Clinton's speaking fee is ~$200k, not $10k.

Every industry has a legitimate need to represent its interests to members of Congress. They pass laws that affect those industries. Whatever industry you work in has a trade association that lobbies on behalf of your industry.

What kind of democracy would we have if citizens could not organize themselves to communicate with members of Congress?

Do you really think Congress should act in a void, with no input on the laws they pass?


I'm not bothered by lobbying. I'm bothered by corruption that uses lobbying as a front. On the left we call it "wingnut welfare" but it's not an exclusively Republican sin.

That's what altering the salary equation would be trying to affect. And probably failing, would be my guess, but the status quo in that respect is disgusting enough to make it worth a shot.
 
6 days ago  
Most political platforms have planks not Plancks, but ok.....
 
6 days ago  

west.la.lawyer: Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.

Not sure about your number 1, but OK - do that - all of it.

Just do something where giant non-people, corporations, with unlimited financial resources pay to get whatever they want and the normal human people don't have effective access.


That first item, the huge salaries, are to minimize the attractiveness of bribes.

And one additional wrinkle I've been toying with for a while: acknowledge the power of "collectives" (defined as interest groups ranging from giant corporations to churches to stamp collecting societies to the Girl Scouts, to individual powerful families... whatever) by establishing a "Collection of Collectives" or some-such with representatives elected (by secret ballots) from each collective. They will have their own votes on all legislation - which MUST pass all three houses. There are lots of details to work out, but the main thing is that this would tend to place all the lobby interests in the spotlight... since that member of the legislative branch must debate and vote publically, just like the Senate (which could go back to being appointed by each State government) and a beefed up and non-gerrymandered House of Representatives elected by an Alternative Vote scheme rather than the current Weeners the post scheme (which inevitably devolves to two parties (see GGP Grey's YouTubve videos on voting in the animal kingdom). So: a three part Legislature: Senate, preserving the interests of the States; the House of Representatives, preserving the interests of the People, and the Collection of Collectives which preserves the interests of the various "contravailing power" GROUPS of the people who also as individuals elect the HoR.

Just a thought....
 
6 days ago  

cameroncrazy1984: Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.

Or you could have publicly financed elections


That too. Every candidate has "X" spots of "Y" time each to make their case, all paid by the government. Though I do wonder where you would draw the line. Do Guns-n-Pot Party or Technocracy Party or Scientology Party candidates get the same funding as the Dems and Reps?
 
6 days ago  

beezeltown: Those people were my clients years ago. Most were okay, but a few were assholes on a cosmic scale. Those were the ones who were lauded and rewarded. Just one reason I moved the fark away from DC. Terrible people in much higher concentrations than most other places I have been.


Power and population density are the two biggest factors in people being assholes. The further away from London you get in the UK the less assholes you meet, a significant factor is house price. The more a person's house costs in the UK seems to be a high modifier in assholeness.
 
6 days ago  

koder: Harlee: 1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),

I've been arguing this unpopular opinion for a while. If a CEO makes $50M+ per year, they could theoretically buy half the Senate at $1M/senator on one year's salary alone. That asymmetry is problematic and is why we have a plutocracy. It's not so much direct bribes, but the "simplified equation" is that the political equilibrium disproportionately favors a handful of fringe rich voices by default, needing vast cash from tens of thousands countervoices to overturn it.

The general idea for me is that you want Any Given Citizen to be able to find his way into power, then be paid enough that he can either straight up retire, forever, after only one term or easily finance his own reelection without needing outside money. Presumably, this would allow everyone to vote their conscience, prevent suicide-cult party lines, and make it far more expensive to bribe politicians, such that corporations would have difficulty justifying the added expense to shareholders (whereas now it's just pocket change).


Well put.

If a corporation is going to bribe a Senator, it is going to be far easier to do if the Senator is making, say, a half million a year, as opposed to a hundred million a year. Add it up for all Senators and Representatives. $100,000,000 x 535 = $53.5 billion  Our federal budget is in the 3-4 trillion dollar range. Expensive, but your "incorruptability" index increases by orders of magnitude. Add in some laws rewarding/protecting snitches and coming down hard on people who try to bribe and I cannot help but think that it would be cheap at the price.

You create a "ruling structure" that takes advantage of human nature, as opposed to ignoring it and hoping it goes away.
 
6 days ago  

YabbaDabbaDouchebag: Harlee: west.la.lawyer: The whole practice should be abolished

How?

Seriously, the only way I can see lobbying being abolished is to:
1) pay legislators ridiculously high salaries (millions per year),
2) pass a law paying snitches (even if they are the legislators) some serious scratch,
3) pass another law saying that snitches who make shiat up get prison,
4) pas another law making bribery and lobbying capital offenses.

Simply making it illegal will accomplish diddlysquat.

Revisit the job requirements for POTUS and legislators.

1. Ethical exams and clauses.
2. Background checks / requirements like corporations do for their personnel at all levels. 
3. Redraft the lobbyist and related "influence" rules.
4. Term limits for Congress.

I know it sounds unrealistic, and I acknowledge it wouldn't be an overnight change, but #1 and #2 should weed out a significant chunk of the sociopaths, narcissists, con artists, and extremists.

Once enough ethical, service-focused legislators are in office, either through attrition or term limits, our public servants will not confuse responsibility for authority nearly as often as they do now.

Again, pie-in-the-sky, but the lessons of the 45th* President of record will endure and hopefully shape our Second Reconstruction next year, plague-willing.  

Because voting trump* out in November won't slow the spread of COVID-19. Its gonna keep shaking things to their core, and if lobbyists can't make money, well, let's strike while the iron's hot. 

Oh, and grumpycatgood.jpg


I agree with everything except, possibly, term limits. Term limits are great if you have self-serving incompetents. But what it you have competent and uncorrupted public servants?
 
6 days ago  

Gpzjock: beezeltown: Those people were my clients years ago. Most were okay, but a few were assholes on a cosmic scale. Those were the ones who were lauded and rewarded. Just one reason I moved the fark away from DC. Terrible people in much higher concentrations than most other places I have been.

Power and population density are the two biggest factors in people being assholes. The further away from London you get in the UK the less assholes you meet, a significant factor is house price. The more a person's house costs in the UK seems to be a high modifier in assholeness.


Is it the opposite in the US?  Because I meet more assholes the further into rural areas I get.
 
6 days ago  

austerity101: Gpzjock: beezeltown: Those people were my clients years ago. Most were okay, but a few were assholes on a cosmic scale. Those were the ones who were lauded and rewarded. Just one reason I moved the fark away from DC. Terrible people in much higher concentrations than most other places I have been.

Power and population density are the two biggest factors in people being assholes. The further away from London you get in the UK the less assholes you meet, a significant factor is house price. The more a person's house costs in the UK seems to be a high modifier in assholeness.

Is it the opposite in the US?  Because I meet more assholes the further into rural areas I get.


That could be due to educational and belief differences, we have a less diverse schooling system that turns out moderately similar levels of behaviour until self promotion and egotism raises their heads, then the snobbery takes hold.
 
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