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Old 03-14-2012, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lobbyists Call On Barack Obama To Tone Down Anti-Lobbyist Rhetoric

The American League of Lobbyists is calling on President Barack Obama to tone down his criticism of lobbyists.

In a letter addressed to "The Honorable Barak H. Obama" [sic], the group's president, Howard Marlowe, said Monday that Obama's statements are encouraging lobbyists to deregister themselves.

"For some time, the American League of Lobbyists (ALL) has been extremely critical of your words and policies affecting lobbyists," the letter reads. "You have attacked lobbyist as being a primary source of political dysfunction, yet you have embraced those lobbyists who choose to call themselves consultants, advisors, or any other name besides a lobbyist."

Marlowe also called on Obama to meet with lobbyists to discuss the attacks.

"While we may have significant differences with you about the role of lobbyists in our representative system of government, we would like to work with your Administration," the letter says. "Common ground exists to reduce the rhetoric and find ways to work together and develop a way to close the statutory loopholes which have justifiably created so much recent attention in the media."
Lobbyists Call On Barack Obama To Tone Down Anti-Lobbyist Rhetoric
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not for nothing, but most of them have always been soulless influence peddlers. But I at least gave them credit for owning their shit...but to whine about Obama being a meanie to them? Seriously?

And since average Americans can't afford lobbyists, why should we care their feelings are hurt? They make millions selling time and access to politicians. Me thinks someone is cranky about the STOCK Act.

If you're going to be a lobbyist, I say go for it, but at least own who you are.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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FREE BUSINESS TIP: When you write an open letter to the President representing your profession, spell his freakin' name right you bunch of amateurs
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Elected reps accepting money should be illegal. But they would simply do it at offshore banks via fake companies instead.

I can't believe these guys misspelled the President's name lol. Major points there hahahah.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Why would they bother spelling his name right? They barely recognize him as president... Let alone American... Let alone human... (=_=)
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Actually, they do kinda have a point. Yes, I know, "lobbyists r bad, mmkay" but what they are saying is that the Obama administration has hired people who were lobbyists in all but name after they left. Most public policy analysts have engaged in lobbying or at least worked with lobbyists or in environments where lobbying took place (ie conference calls discussing how best to present an issue to congressmen). So when the Obama administration says "our employees won't become lobbyists for two years after leaving", they really mean they won't be a part of subset of lobbyists who were the ones who were required under law to register as lobbyists.

Here's why Obama's policy is idiotic: Someone who worked for the administration, let's say as an undersecretary at HHS, wouldn't be allowed to then, after leaving, work to prevent legislators from passing these asinine restrictions on womens' health for two years. Or someone who worked at the Department of Energy wouldn't be allowed to advocate for subsidies for green energy or a higher tax on gasoline for two years after working there.

Or at least, that's what his policy says. Technically they can't register as lobbyists, but they can engage in lobbying in many different ways. So all that the policy amounts to is demeaning lobbyists without actually doing anything.

I think it's a major mistake for Obama to criticize lobbyists even while he works with and has friends and former employees who are lobbyists in all but name. I get that bashing lobbyists is hip and cool and all, but it's complete bullshit lip-service. It's like the old saying that a special interest group is any group whose views you don't like (in other words, groups you support, you don't consider to be "special interest groups").

I understand, politically, why Obama does this, but that doesn't mean that I think it's a particularly intellectually honest way of doing things. I don't think that he should place more restrictions on the political activities that his employees engage in after leaving, but the alternative is that he has to address the really prejudiced and unrealistic views that most people have about "lobbyists", and explaining a complex topic to the general American audience is pretty much impossible.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Your a shill Jahar... a shill. I really hope people know when they read Jahars posts on here that he's nothing but that.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jahar Aabye View Post
Here's why Obama's policy is idiotic: Someone who worked for the administration, let's say as an undersecretary at HHS, wouldn't be allowed to then, after leaving, work to prevent legislators from passing these asinine restrictions on womens' health for two years. Or someone who worked at the Department of Energy wouldn't be allowed to advocate for subsidies for green energy or a higher tax on gasoline for two years after working there.

Or at least, that's what his policy says. Technically they can't register as lobbyists, but they can engage in lobbying in many different ways. So all that the policy amounts to is demeaning lobbyists without actually doing anything.
Demeaning? I disagree, rather those restrictions have to be loose to even constitute reasonability or consideration in a contract. You can't very well hamstring a person's livelihood based on a policy consideration alone. Contracts, especially restrictive contracts that stipulate clauses like this, similar to non-competes must conform to certain exceptions that don't negate the entirety of a person's skill set.

So the President pursues the only path that's really available to him legally in these separations.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Demeaning? I disagree, rather those restrictions have to be loose to even constitute reasonability or consideration in a contract. You can't very well hamstring a person's livelihood based on a policy consideration alone. Contracts, especially restrictive contracts that stipulate clauses like this, similar to non-competes must conform to certain exceptions that don't negate the entirety of a person's skill set.

So the President pursues the only path that's really available to him legally in these separations.
Yeah, but that's part of my point, why does he need to go down that path in the first place? All that he's doing is perpetuating ignorant misunderstanding of what lobbying is, pandering to...well to people like Ritchie, for example.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You're a shill Jahar... a shill. I really hope people know when they read Jahars posts on here that he's nothing but that.
It was driving me nuts.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, but that's part of my point, why does he need to go down that path in the first place? All that he's doing is perpetuating ignorant misunderstanding of what lobbying is, pandering to...well to people like Ritchie, for example.
Because it reflects policy? The idea being that at least at separation there is no direct lobbying action even though someone with a modicum of contract law understands that it can be worked around. Its a token gesture in my opinion.

As to the issue of lobbyists, I agree that there is a large misunderstanding of what lobbies do for America, though I don't think there is any misunderstanding in how its turned policy into a corporate shark tank. Personally, I'd love to see the practice of cash for policy votes go the way of the dodo but I'm realistic enough to believe that sort of legislation will ever come from the top offices.

And so, they make a token gesture like this.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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US Politics | AMERICAblog News: "Selling out pays"—When a Congressman becomes a lobbyist, he gets an average 1,400% raise

This is, ultimately, the problem. People are using their time in a public office as a stepping stone to more lucrative work down the road. It's not about serving your country, or even your constituents; it's about sucking whatever you can from a role in order to make more money when you finally get voted out.

That sort of job-jumping is frowned at even in the corporate world (suggesting your interest in a position is only for what it can do to get you a better one is the fastest way to not get hired) so it's pretty shameful to be the only objective when you work in government too.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm almost beginning to believe that public office should be treated similarly to jury duty.
If your SSN gets drawn from the hat, you get to spend a year in Washington as a representative with your employer being compensated from the public purse. A plan like this may be unworkable but holding office needs to be treated as a duty and an honour, not a prize trip to the hog trough.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm almost beginning to believe that public office should be treated similarly to jury duty.
If your SSN gets drawn from the hat, you get to spend a year in Washington as a representative with your employer being compensated from the public purse. A plan like this may be unworkable but holding office needs to be treated as a duty and an honour, not a prize trip to the hog trough.
I think that you are dramatically overestimating the intelligence of the average person.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think that you are dramatically overestimating the intelligence of the average person.
Probably but I'll take my chances with stupidity vs knowing, deliberate, avarice any day.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm frankly more worried about intelligent people in office than idiots.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm more worried about True Believers in office, regardless of intelligence...
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Han, are you implying lobbying is a religion?
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cory Edo View Post
FREE BUSINESS TIP: When you write an open letter to the President representing your profession, spell his freakin' name right you bunch of amateurs
Maybe the post office should have returned it marked that there was no such person at that address?

Or does him having a letter with that big a goof make them lose even more credibility?
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I just found another goof. When addressing the president, ESPECIALLY formally, you do not address him by name but by title. Like "Mr. President, "Dear Mr. President", or "The President of the United States of America". Lobbyists are paid to know things like that.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:32 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Probably but I'll take my chances with stupidity vs knowing, deliberate, avarice any day.
I think that the Bush administration demonstrated fairly well how avarice will easily take advantage of stupidity and ineptitude. Additionally, at least one would think that a greedy but intelligent person would at least try not to fuck things up too badly, on the grounds that it would hurt those people too.

I'm not saying that greed is good, only that it's got nowhere near the destructive power of pure unadulterated incompetence. Look at it this way, regardless of whether greed was one factor in getting us into the war in Iraq, it took incompetence of astronomical proportions to then begin the invasion without any plan at all for postwar occupation. The result turned a horrific event into a decade-long orgy of destruction, violence, and instability.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:42 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I'd have to vote for malevolent dictator over incompetence too.

At least the bastard will respect his investments; and likely has the intellectual chops to make the most of it.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm more worried about True Believers in office, regardless of intelligence...

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Old 03-18-2012, 11:36 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'd have to vote for malevolent dictator over incompetence too.

At least the bastard will respect his investments; and likely has the intellectual chops to make the most of it.
Usually the competent ones don't go the route to becoming a malevolent dictator, though. It's the incompetent ones whose biggest fear is someone smarter than them. The Khmer Rouge even went as far as imprisoning and/or killing people who wore eyeglasses because it was seen as a sign of being intellectual.

Mao probably holds the record for most subjects killed via incompetence, although I doubt his record will hold forever. I doubt that Bush's death toll, even if one includes non-Americans, would come close, but I wouldn't be surprised if a Palin presidency challenged the record.
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