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When you ask your kid, “What do you want to be when you grow up, honey?” and she responds, “a lobbyist!”, here’s a t-shirt of that moment.

Keith Olbermann, in his rant/impassioned invective on Health Care Reform, which I posted earlier today on Suzie-Q, cited evidence of campaign contributions from Big Pharma to both Republican and Democrat (“Blue Dog”) Congressmen opposing Health  Care Reform, collated by a body known as Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org). Their daily blog, Capitol Eye Blog, provides daily news plus a daily article, Capitol Eye Opener, “Your morning article on the world of money in politics…”.

I have posted today’s Capitol Eye Opener below, together with the opening paragraphs of the most interesting article they have dug up today, which is from The Boston Globe.

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Capital Eye Opener: Tuesday, August 4

Published by Dave Levinthal on August 4, 2009 10:00 AM | Permalink

Your morning digest of of the world of money in politics

  • Like your generic drugs and the often cheaper prices they offer vesus the name brand stuff? Big drug companies don’t necessarily agree — and they’re spending millions of dollars to convince Congress to taylor health care legislation to their interests, the Associated Press reports.
  • When you ask your kid, “What do you want to be when you grow up, honey?” and she responds, “a lobbyist!”, here’s a t-shirt of that moment.
  • The Center for Responsive Politics found itself in the news throughout the nation today. We bein in Minnesota, where Pat Doyle of Minneapolis’ Star-Tribune writes about how the health care industry is funneling signifncant amounts of money to lawmakers. In Rhode Island, the Providence Journal’s Steve Peoples notes our research in writing about an increasingly hot congressional race. And Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson discusses how health care lobbyists are attempting to influence the Blue Dogs — conservative Democrats who, in many cases, haven’t made up their minds on how to reform the nation’s health care system.

Who will stand strong in heat of healthcare fight?

By Derrick Z. Jackson | Boston Globe | August 4, 2009

HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi flashed some mighty sharp fangs last week at the insurance industry. The industry, along with drug companies, hospitals, and medical associations, is trying to torpedo government insurance options to insure all Americans. Saying the industry is conducting a “shock-and-awe carpet bombing’’ to “perpetuate the status quo,’’ she went so far as to say the insurance companies “are the villains in this,’’ with their “exorbitant profits.’’ She charged, “they have been immoral all along how they have treated the people that they insure.’’

But considering insurers’ campaign contributions to Democrats, including Pelosi, who is actually going to bite the health industry in the leg on behalf of the American people? Is it really going to be Pelosi? Senate majority leader Harry Reid? President Obama?

SOURCE

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by Robert Naiman | CommonDreams.org, June 21, 2009

In March, President Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the United States must have an “exit strategy” in Afghanistan.

At least eighty-eight Members of Congress agree. They’re supporting H.R. 2404, a bill introduced by Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) whose text is one sentence long: “Not later than December 31, 2009, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Congress a report outlining the United States exit strategy for United States military forces in Afghanistan participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.”

Continued >>

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By Dennis Kucinich | Information Clearing House, May 15, 2009

WASHINGTON – May 14 – Speaking on a Supplemental Appropriations bill that would continue to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

“America went to war against Iraq based on a lie. We were told back in 2002 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The previous administration even pursued torture to try to extract false confessions in order to justify the war. It is time to tell the truth. The truth is we should not have prosecuted a war against the Iraqi people. The truth is the Democratic Senate could have stopped the Iraq war in 2002. The truth is we Democrats were given control of Congress in 2006 to end the war. The truth is this bill continues a disastrous war, which has cost the lives of thousands of our soldiers. The truth is the occupation has fueled the insurgency. The truth is the Iraq war will cost the American and the Iraqi people trillions of dollars and as many as a million innocent Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of this war.

“Don’t tell the American people that you are ending the war by continuing to fund the war. Don’t tell the American people that the war will end when their plans leave 50, 000 troops in Iraq. Don’t tell the American people that the way out of Afghanistan is to escalate our presence.

“Get out of Iraq. Get out of  Afghanistan. Come home America.”

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Well, as you probably already know, Fox News makes me feel like losing my groceries, but I had to show this video attack on Congressman Alan Grayson. This repulsive dude, Neil Cavuto, is attempting to take on the appearance of authority to trick him into giving him an absolute number on an argument that doesn’t really call for anything but a relative example.

What Alan is dealing with here is known as The “Cavuto mark”. Following a satirical segment proposing it on The Daily Show on September 13, 2006, the word “Cavuto” is sometimes used to refer to a question mark “used to turn any statement, no matter how outrageous, into a simple, seemingly fair, question.”

Barney Frank: “This is presumably a psychological disorder”

Huffington Post

April fools day, 2009

House Republicans did their best Wednesday to battle Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on the House floor and wound up on the receiving end of some classic Frank jabs.

The bill at issue, authored by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), would cap executive compensation at bailed-out financial institutions and it puts the GOP in a tough spot: after expressing outrage over the AIG bonuses, it’s tough to vote against the bill.

In announcing their opposition, Republicans such as Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) took to the floor to decry the fact that the stimulus allowed the bonus payments to be made. They excoriated Democrats for not reading the full stimulus bill but said they objected to the bill on the floor that would fix the loophole that had been in the stimulus.

Frank had a field day with it.

“This is really extraordinary,” he said. “What you have just heard is a denunciation of something the Congress did a few weeks ago and a refusal to undo it. I’ve never seen people, Mr. Chairman, so attached to something they hate. This is presumably a psychological disorder which I am not equipped to diagnose. The objection of the gentleman from Texas was that when the recovery bill was passed, it was passed too quickly [and it] included a provision that shouldn’t have been in there. This bill takes it out.”

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Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, has urged the United States to “seize the moment” and lead the world out of recession in a speech to Congress in Washington.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington Photo: AP

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington Photo: AP

Mr Brown called for the same determination that saw the US drag itself out of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

But the Prime Minister also issued two strong messages and said America needed to reduce pollution and reject protectionism for the global economy to revive.

In a speech to a joint session of Congress, the Mr Brown said it was unusual for a British Prime Minister to address American legislators outside a time of war.

He said: “I come now to talk of new and different battles we must fight together, to speak of a global economy in crisis and a planet imperilled.”

Mr Brown made a plea for America not to slip into protectionism. He said that “an economic hurricane has swept the world.”

He added: “So should we succumb to a race to the bottom and a protectionism that history tells us that, in the end, protects no one? No. We should have confidence that we can seize the opportunities ahead and make the future work for us.” (more…)

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by Geezer Power


February 19th 2009

Brian Views Destruction in Gaza – Calls for Immediate Relief and Change in Policy

Washington, D.C. – Two members of Congress, Brian Baird (D-WA-03), and Keith Ellison, (D-MN-05), visited Gaza on Thursday to view firsthand the destruction from recent Israeli air and ground attacks and to meet with international and local relief agencies. This visit, which did not have the official sanction of the Obama Administration, is the first time anyone from the U.S. government has entered Gaza in more than three years.

Prior to Gaza, both Congressmen met with the chief negotiator of the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Saeb Erekat, as well as with Dr. Riad Malki Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority. On Friday, Baird and Ellison will tour the Israeli towns of Sderot and Ashkelon, which have been the target of numerous rockets before and throughout the recent attacks launched from within the Gaza strip.

“Staff from the U.S. State Department advised us of security concerns for our own safety, and we are well aware of the sensitive political issues involved in this visit,” said both Congressmen in an official release.

“We believe it is important to be here to see what happened for ourselves, to meet with people who have been affected, and to express our concern and support,” said Congressman Baird.

“We also want to better understand what can and must be done to recover from the destruction, address the underlying issues, and work toward a lasting, just and peaceful resolution,” added Congressman Ellison.

After spending the day visiting various locations within Gaza and meeting with civilians and relief workers, Baird and Ellison were deeply affected by what they had seen and heard.

“The stories about the children affected me the most,” said Ellison. “No parent, or anyone who cares for kids, can remain unmoved by what Brian and I saw here.”

“The amount of physical destruction and the depth of human suffering here is staggering” said Baird, “Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, schools completely leveled, fundamental water, sewer, and electricity facilities hit and relief agencies heavily damaged. The personal stories of children being killed in their homes or schools, entire families wiped out, and relief workers prevented from evacuating the wounded are heart wrenching – what went on here, and what is continuing to go on, is shocking and troubling beyond words.”

MORE

Congressman Baird interviews the principal of the destroyed American School in Gaza

~SEE VIDEO~

WHY was this school purposefully destroyed?

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by Geezer Power

So, you know about the Treasury’s $700 billion bailout plan. But you probably don’t know that the Federal Reserve has lent out about $2 trillion since September. Few do. And that is what’s irritating bulldog Congressman Alan Grayson. Will he be able to shed a light on the Fed’s secret spending?

Grayson raises voice, hackles in D.C.

Mark K. Matthews | Washington Bureau
February 9, 2009

“WASHINGTON – In just a few short weeks, freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, has delivered more memorable quotes than some members of Congress do in an entire career.”

“In interviews, the 6-foot-5-inch Grayson downplays his combative approach, bridling at a reporter’s use of the “abrasive” label and saying that he would not have been assigned to the House Science Committee — the “most bipartisan committee in Congress,” he said — if he wasn’t collegial.”

“Meanwhile, his Dylan-quoting, freewheeling stance has earned him liberal fans nationwide, including Darcy Burner, a failed Washington state congressional candidate who has already asked supporters to back Grayson’s re-election campaign.”

“He’s going to have a vicious re-election battle in two years, and he’s getting pressure to sell out to the lobbyists and corporations so that he’ll have enough money to fund his re-election. That, my friends, would be a real pity,” Burner wrote in a letter.

“Fundraising, however, is unlikely to be a problem. He is the 10th-wealthiest House member, with assets of more than $29 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”

The rest of the story

Here’s Grayson’s alter ego Steven Seagal as an abstract, reality TV, illustration of what should really happen to the major players in the shadow government that still hangs over the White House.

Youtube video

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