Daily Archives: July 17, 2006

New, legal, and secretly funded venues for lobbying: the Congressional “pseudocaucus” clubs.

If you are like me, you wonder what this laziest of all Congresses is doing during their many breaks, vacations, and vapid debates on wedge issues. Here is one answer: the pseudo-caucus. Unlike real caucuses, that have legitimate legislative agendas eg, say, the Black Caucus, the pseudo-caucus exists only as an organizing point for lobbyists, who can give unlimited and anonymous contributions to provide whatever slush funds, gifts, outings, sluts, limos, hookers, Guckerts, poker games, shooting tournaments, boondoggles, junkets fact-finding programs they like. Some congressmen belong to dozens of these clubs.

There was no public accounting for the special interest money. No talk about votes or hearings back at the Capitol. Just the hollers of “pull” and the pop, pop, pop of shotguns aiming for clay targets flying through the sun-filled sky.

The sportsmen’s caucus is one of hundreds of informal lawmaker clubs that have sprung up in the Capitol to advocate special causes with little public accountability.

Congress has allowed the caucuses to be affiliated with foundations that can raise unlimited amounts of money from special interests to finance social events and activities without having to disclose expenses or donations – as lawmakers must for campaigns, political action committee and other groups.

That means no scrutiny by ethics enforcers, campaign finance regulators or the public.

The Associated Press surveyed Congress, identifying more than 500 such clubs and their members. Caucus events financed by special interests ranged from golf tournaments to Caribbean trips, AP found.

Bagman’s paradise. Tom DeLay must have dreamed up this beauty.

Barf.

LINK

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5 mo, 20 days left till Biff’s solution for global warming

Yipes….TV says it’ll be 106 degrees here tomorrow.

Not to worry.

A few days ago Biff revealed to Murcan Peeple People Magazine that he has a plan to solve global warming…might take him six months to work it out… so I wasn’t too worried when nothing was done on this issue at the G8 meeting:

At a summit in St. Petersburg, the leaders of the G8 approved a statement that acknowledged divisions among the world’s top economies on promoting nuclear energy and tackling climate change.

LINK

I used to think that Biff’s solution to global warming/climate change was just to put the facts in the deep freeze. Some hack even came up with a snarky “Top Ten” list of Bush’s plans to deal with the issue.

But now Biff is on the job. He’s workin hard. I’m excited. That’s why I have started the countdown. Let’s call it 170 days. I can hardly wait.

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Wherein Biff puts his mind to the Israel-Lebanon conflict

Biff my Man met a pieman
Going to the fair;
Says Biff my Man to the pieman,
“Let me taste your ware.”

Says the pieman to Biff my Man,
“Show me first your penny.”
Says Biff my Man to the pieman,
“The ironic thing is what they need to do is to get Syria, to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it’s over.”

WWWWokay….would you like to invite Syria to come back in to Lebanon?

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What happened to anti-war demonstrations? Our mercenary army

Many have commented on the anemic nature of the few recent anti-war demonstrations. To some extent, demonstrations are now made more difficult by law enforcement ploys. But for those of us who remember the Vietnam era, there is another obvious reason.

From the Rolling Stone’s piece on our endangered military:

Charlie Moskos, a professor of military sociology at Northwestern University, says the volunteer system also limits the political fallout of unpopular wars. “Without a draft, there’s really no antiwar movement,” Moskos says. Nearly sixty percent of Americans believe the war in Iraq was a mistake, he notes, but they have no immediate self-interest in taking to the streets because “we’re willing to pay people to die for us. It doesn’t reflect very well on the character of our society.”

Since neither party will risk the political fallout that would result from re-institution of the draft, I don’t imagine we will ever again see those unique vehicles of political expression that we witnessed (and participated in) in the 60′s and 70′s.

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News you can use: How to make the Bible fit your viewpoint

Here’s something that should help millions, via J-Walk Blog: How to make the Bible fit your viewpoint. (and yes, it is snark.)

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Taliban’s Department of Vice and Virtue being re-instated

How’s this workin for ya, Biff? Afghanistan’s president Karzai, bowing to the resurgent Taliban, has announced that the Department of Vice and Virtue the intolerant religious persecution arm of the Taliban, will be revived. Hmmm. Why?

With the Taliban making considerable gains in the south the Karzai government has been keen to establish a more conservative Islamic profile and to appear more critical of Western military operations.

Over the weekend violence continued across southern Afghanistan with British, American and Canadian troops mounting their biggest combined operation since the Korean War. British paratroopers mounted a cordon and search operation in Sangeen on Saturday night. A British base in the town has been under daily attack for more than two weeks.

Can Osama be far behind?

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Politics