Unable to agree on major lobbying and ethics legislation, Senate and House leaders have made plans to adopt vastly scaled-back versions of the measures as part of their rules so that lawmakers can claim that they responded to recent congressional scandals.
Congress promised fast action on lobbying reforms in January, but the two chambers cannot agree over a number of provisions, including one in the House bill that would rein in independent organizations that have spent millions of dollars, mostly on behalf of Democrats, to sway federal elections. House Republicans are insisting that the groups, nicknamed 527s, be curtailed, but Democratic senators and a handful of Senate Republicans have vowed to oppose the change as part of the lobbying bill.
As a result, Congress may adjourn this year without agreeing on legislation to tighten restrictions on lobbyists’ dealings with lawmakers. The House has not yet named negotiators to work with the Senate to devise a compromise package, even though its bill passed May 3. “It’s on life support,” Jan W. Baran, a leading Republican ethics lawyer, said of the final bill.
In line with an extravagant game of spectering I don’t think that Republicans ever meant for these to go through. This and other charades (see, Pat Roberts’s phantom Phase II intelligence hearings) will peter out into nothing or worse than nothing if they find a way to actually loosen the rules (again well within the rules of spectering), until Democrats retake Congress.
If we tighten restrictions on lobbyists, we are giving in to the terrorists.
And there will be man-on-dog sex.
The GOP could hardly be more brazen about these things. When the Dems proposed a ban on lobbyist-funded travel, the Republicans responded with a watered-down ban that expires this December – that’s right, once the election is over, the reform ends! They do this because they know the media is lazy and will never report the cynical details. This particular aspect of GOP mock reform was satirized by Rahm Emanuel on the House floor:
To say nothing of the gay marriages and hot man-on-box turtle action…
The fact that even the Dems have stopped talking about this means I don’t expect much reform even if we do win back Congress.
When the Republicans talk about “lobbying reform” the first thing they do is grab the name of every Democratic lobbiest in the capital building and say, “Let’s ban these people!”
It’s no surprise that the top “reform” just happens to be the 527 groups like MoveOn, and next on the list are all those cursed internet contributions.
Curtail corporate kickba… er donations? Crack down on soft money contributions? Put a crimp on Congressman-to-Lobbiest turnovers? Whoa, whoa, whoa. One thing at a time, folks. Once we handle those nasty Democratic money markets, we’ll get around to the Republican cash cows. In December maybe.
Remember when Kerry asked Bush to condemn the Swift Boat ads, and Bush’s response was “yes, let’s get rid of ALL those 527 ads!”
Another big agenda item for Republicans is preventing union dues from being used for political activity. Of course, it’s motivated by genuine concern for the rights of union members, not by any desire to limit the political power of unions.
You will all be much calmer if you just come to the realization that the Republicans are genetically challenged to do the right thing in every aspect of their jobs.
527s were used by retired operations officers to start goups like MoveOn, etc. Specter(yes, like the specter in the movie) is a pal of Plame’s, who is a pal of those. These are all trained to overthrow countires, coups, politics, etc.
The NSA scandal- like alot of other classified work Americans had to put up with – and Plame may be related as she was investigating domestic political groups from Brewster’s Millions. She may have become upset.
The need to get rid of thses may be who is using them and there prior training and goals in the US. Most say they are democrats when they go after government officials like Bush and Cheney.
^ Now that’s some concentrated stuff. I recommend that people don’t try to take it all in at once.
/me grabs the tin foil and the pop corn
Whoa, yeah. But we need more of this kind of material here, it even trumps an incomprehensible two-sentence drive-by rant from BIRDZILLA.
Yes, because it’s their motiviations that are important, not unfairness of forcing union members to pay for candidates they don’t necessarily support.
I love this ‘reality based’ idea that so many of you leftists have, that “if only Dems were in charge”, all the corruption would disappear, or close to it.