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Well, you can tell the Democrats are in power again!


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usually much less. many are accomplished lawyers, some doctors, and all must give up their respective practices. kennedy comes from a ridiculously wealthy family, probably the closest thing to "royalty" we have in the US other than the rockefellers.

 

 

Or you could be like George Jr. and well....lose a bunch of money???

People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don't understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.

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he did own the texas rangers for a while... not sure what else he's done. compared to the elite of congress and the senate, however, the bush family is in the poorhouse.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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I don't want to sound like I'm averse to changing my mind on this, but my firm belief is that if you limit the terms you simply move power to the guys behind the scenes, who spend their whole lives in power. Haven't we seen this with the Bush administrations?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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lobbyists... if i had my way, trust me, there'd be no such thing as a lobbyist. take the government's hand out of the cookie jar, i.e. take away their power over corporate america, and there's no need to bribe politicians. of course, after that the vast majority of the stooges that actually run would plummet because there'd be no way to profit off of it. then we might actually get real leaders for a change.

 

taks

 

Agreed. Those things usually goes both ways, state + corporate = corporatism --> Fascism.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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For all its shadowy cabalitude (mark it, Webster) I really don't think all the holdovers from the Bush I presidency (and further back from there, the Nixon cabinet) intended to be executive officers for as long as possible. For the professional politician, after your term limits are up there are usually appointed positions, think tanks, NGOs, IGOs, and private enterprise to occupy you. No doubt they would do their part to ensure Republican control of the government, but I'd think Cheney and co. would be more than happy with desk jobs at the National Security Council. Tom Delay, on the other hand, there's a guy who won't go quietly into the night.

 

I'd be more concerned about string-pulling in Russia. I confess that I don't know much about the way Russian politics works (are the Chief Executives appointed, as in a parliamentary system, or are they elected?) but all signs point to Putin in effect hand-picking his successor once he leaves office.

 

And to say that lobbyists are controlled by the government seems a tad queer to me. I suppose it sort of makes sense in an S&M kind of way. The dom's the one making all the demands but it's the sub's choice whether or not he/she wants to indulge them, and thus it's the sub who has the power.

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I don't want to sound like I'm averse to changing my mind on this, but my firm belief is that if you limit the terms you simply move power to the guys behind the scenes, who spend their whole lives in power. Haven't we seen this with the Bush administrations?

Bush is already term limited. I (and Steve) was suggesting term limiting congressmen. But there is now way to keep Presidents from recycling the same cast of political hacks over and over. **** Cheney was the White House Chief of Staff under Reagan, the Sec Defense under George H Bush, and VP now. Rumsfeld was Nixons Secretary of Treasury (briefly), Fords Secretary of Defense, and of course George W Bush's Sec Defense. There are about 15-20 other names I can list right off the top of my head. Congressional Staffs tend to be much smaller and of course tend to be people the Congressmen actually know. People from their home district for example.

 

I favor term limits because as these the years pass and these guys accumulate seniority they accumulate tremendous power that can do real harm to the country and the economy. And they do not set out to do harm believe me. There is no one in Congress who wakes up and thinks, "I think I'll wreck the economy today". The screw up because they have spent their entire lives in "public service" and have no idea how the economy actually works.

 

Case in point, Charles Rangell is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He has been in Congress since 1971. Except for the Army he has never had a real job. But he is in charge of the Committee that determines tax policy (among many other things). He is a big advocate of "Surcharge Taxes" because he does not like to tax "little people". For example, he proposed the spectrum use tax (it's actually called something else, I can't remember it's exact name) on US Cellular carriers. He does this because he would rather tax "greedy cell companies" than tax citizens. But what he does not understand is that taxes on corporations means higher bills for the end user. Cell companies simply pass the cost of the tax to their subscribers as a surcharge in their bill. So the very people he does not want to tax end up paying the tax he created. This is what I mean about these people being so insulated from the real world they cannot even appreciate their own ability to screw it up.

 

There are 435 member of the US House. According to their website there are 237 of them that have served there more than 10 years. More than half. Taks was right. The founders never intended Congress to become a career.

Get off my lawn!

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lobbyists... if i had my way, trust me, there'd be no such thing as a lobbyist. take the government's hand out of the cookie jar, i.e. take away their power over corporate america, and there's no need to bribe politicians. of course, after that the vast majority of the stooges that actually run would plummet because there'd be no way to profit off of it. then we might actually get real leaders for a change.

 

taksAmerica

 

Agreed. Those things usually goes both ways, state + corporate = corporatism --> Fascism.

 

Actually most lobbyists operate on behalf of political groups. If a corporation wants to influence a congressman they usually do it by pretty direct means. For example, Guard Dog Construction Inc wants to build 5000 houses on a plot of land it owns near a military base. But that project requires an easement off of the land owned by the base. The Commanding Officer of the base refuses to grant me easement. Well, I would then go to the US Rep for that district and, at my expense, fly him down to actually see the land. I'd take him golfing, drinks at the country club, fancy dinner all the while trying to persuade him to help me with my problem. It is a LOT like buttering up a girl you want to sleep with. Anyway, he goes back to Washington and puts a rider to grant me an easement in a House Bill on Welfare (or something else that has nothing to do with me). The congressman takes credit for bringing more housing to the district in his next campaign, I make a donation to his campaign in case I ever need another favor.

 

Now a lobbyist operates a little differently. Suppose there is a Bill in the House for the government to sell timber rights to a section of Federal land in Montana. A local environmental group wants to stop it. The would then hire Guard Dog Lobbyists Inc to meet the rep for that district and express to him (over a fancy dinner and drinks the Congressman does not pay for) the views of the group. And of course make promises of campaign support, votes, donations, etc. Political advocacy groups like the ACLU, NRA, PETA, PAY, etc field armies of lobbyists, schmoozing, arm twisting, threatening, and cajoling every congressman nearly every day.

 

There you have it folks, that is how the US government really works. Disillusioned yet?

 

By the way, did you guys know the Lobbyist is a British term? It comes from the days when the British MPs would meet with their constituents in the lobby of the Parliament building. I just read that in the Wiki. Pretty interesting.

Get off my lawn!

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I always assumed it came from when members of Parliament gathered to lob things at peasants.

 

I don't know if your Rangell example is him being ignorant, or merely playing the game to the voters. The voters are more likely to perceive it that way than a guy who sits on tax committees, surely?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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For example, he proposed the spectrum use tax (it's actually called something else, I can't remember it's exact name) on US Cellular carriers. He does this because he would rather tax "greedy cell companies" than tax citizens. But what he does not understand is that taxes on corporations means higher bills for the end user. Cell companies simply pass the cost of the tax to their subscribers as a surcharge in their bill. So the very people he does not want to tax end up paying the tax he created.

"corporate taxes" are another fraud perpetrated on the people. it insulates those that propose such taxes because they can claim "well, the greedy corporations are paying the bill." no, they're not. the people that buy their services are paying the bill, but indirectly. such taxes create unreasonable accounting headaches for the corporations, which also adds to the bill. the result is an end-run around the tax law looking for loopholes and ultimately, fraud, waste and scandal. take the government out of their pockets and many of these problems go away (not all, mind you).

 

that's another thing i'd like to see eliminated.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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I don't know if your Rangell example is him being ignorant, or merely playing the game to the voters. The voters are more likely to perceive it that way than a guy who sits on tax committees, surely?

both, probably.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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I don't know if your Rangell example is him being ignorant, or merely playing the game to the voters. The voters are more likely to perceive it that way than a guy who sits on tax committees, surely?

both, probably.

 

taks

 

I've never met him. But based on the two career politicians I do know, I would bet he really does not understand.

Get off my lawn!

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But wouldn't the corporate lobbyists have made the case?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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maybe... ultimately a lobbyist's power is dependent upon what the congressman's view of the voters is. i.e., even the best lobbyist in the world won't gain traction if the congressman thinks siding with the lobbyist will hurt his chances for reelection.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

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Or they could just outright bribe them. Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) was just arrested for accepting bribes from a company wanting a contract to set up business in Africa. They wanted him to use his influence to arrange eveything. When the FBI arrested him he had $90,000 in cash wrapped up in plasic, hidden in his freezer. He was indicted and is awaiting trial. Ironicly enough he was reelected last year despite all that.

 

I am reminded of a quote by the great American, Homer Simpson "When are people going to lean? Democracy does not work!"

:lol:

Get off my lawn!

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90 000$ in the freezer?! What lousy crook. Where are the offshore bankaccounts in zurich or cayman islands? How can someone be re-elected if they can't even be a good crook? :lol:

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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90 000$ in the freezer?! What lousy crook. Where are the offshore bankaccounts in zurich or cayman islands? How can someone be re-elected if they can't even be a good crook? :lol:

He represents New Orleans. As corruption goes in Louisiana, that is little league. Look at hat happened to the New Orleans Police. Over 40 police officers drawing paychecks who only existed on paper?

Get off my lawn!

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90 000$ in the freezer?! What lousy crook. Where are the offshore bankaccounts in zurich or cayman islands? How can someone be re-elected if they can't even be a good crook? :verymad:

He represents New Orleans. As corruption goes in Louisiana, that is little league. Look at hat happened to the New Orleans Police. Over 40 police officers drawing paychecks who only existed on paper?

 

 

I heard an interesting story from an officer who had worked in a 'certain' African state. On his instigation they had a single day pay parade nationwide, and discovered that 20% of the persons involved in the lists was fraudulent. In fact the Minister for the Armed Forces or what have you was actually listed as KIA and thereby producing a pension for his wife! Even better, when he was taken off the list, he rang up to complain! :lol:

 

This story sounds straightforward, but so many people were involved that the mission did not remove everyone immediately, because there were plenty of families depending on the cash who would have starved.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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What happened in N.O. came to light after Katrina. The Governor mustered all of the N.O. police then noticed about 30-40 had not showed up. So much to do was made in the media about the missing officers. Then suddenly no one was talking about it any more. It turns out that those "officers" were actually fictitious city employees whose salaries were being paid into funds that certain city officials had access to. I know at least one was indicted but I never heard what happened from it. The Mayor who presided over this debacle was just recently re-elected too. Once again proving Homer Simpson is not so dumb. :verymad:

Get off my lawn!

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