There is something uniquely depressing about the fact that the National Portrait Gallery's version of the Barack Obama 'Hope' poster previously belonged to a pair of lobbyists. Depressing because Mr. Obama's Washington was not supposed to be the lobbyists' Washington, the place we learned to despise during the last administration.
Lobbyists are in many cases expert technicians and capable of explaining complex and difficult subjects in a clear, understandable fashion. They engage in personal discussions with Members of Congress in which they can explain in detail the reasons for positions they advocate. Because our congressional representation is based on geographical boundaries, the lobbyists who speak for the various economic, commercial, and other functional interests of this country serve a very useful purpose and have assumed an important role in the legislative process.
John F. Kennedy
Because the Second Amendment is an incomprehensible mess, because too many lobbyists have argued that it is an absolute protection of actions and items never considered at the time of our nation's founding, and because there is a clear state interest in protecting the lives of its citizens, the words must be removed from the Constitution.
Nowhere else in the world do the laws on firearms become the playthings of politicians and lobbyists intent on manufacturing cultural conflict. Nowhere else do elected officials turn the matter of taking a gun to church into a searing ideological question. But then, guns are not a religion in most countries.
E. J. Dionne
Some issues lend themselves to grassroots campaigns - homeschooling works well - but others require contrivance and connivance to whip up support. Often, lobbyists will hire vendors to dispatch blast emails and robocalls in the hopes of bombarding Congressional offices with citizen fury.
They've turned into begging lobbyists at best. Most of these guys for the entirety of their life have been the best athlete at what they have done. Now, they get in the NFL, and they are totally dependent on the offensive coordinator to call a pass play, choose you to be the primary receiver and then have the quarterback throw you the ball. They become salesman. After awile, they figure out how to get attention.
Factory-farm lobbyists are so powerful and so well funded and they do everything in their power to hide the truth about farming. They keep the farms and slaughterhouses in places that most people never visit; they execute huge marketing campaigns in an effort to make animal production look like a happy, nice, benign institution.
Welfarism and excessive spending and deficits and socialism divide us, because everybody has to go to Washington. Those who have the biggest clout, whose who are the best lobbyists, those who go and they grab. And whether it's the medical industrial complex, or the banking industry, or the military industrial complex, that's who ends up controlling our government.
We have depended on government for so much for so long that we as people have become less vigilant of our liberties. As long as the government provides largesse for the majority, the special interest lobbyists will succeed in continuing the redistribution of welfare programs that occupies most of Congress's legislative time.
The institution of the family has very few friends in Washington. There are lobbyists in Washington for every possible entity, from the possum-growers of America to every kind of crazy thing. There's somebody in Washington paid to advance the cause of that particular business, but there's not a lot of support for the family.
The Bankers' New Clothes makes a simple, powerful argument: that banks need to raise more capital. It is entirely persuasive that the extent of their leverage makes the financial system fragile, and it clearly and patiently demolishes all the counter-arguments made by the banks and their lobbyists.
Cap and trade generates special interests, lobbyists, and trading schemes, yielding non-productive millionaires, all at public expense. The public is fed up with such business. Tax with 100% dividend, in contrast, would spur our economy, while aiding the disadvantaged, the climate, and our national security.
The role of campaign contributions in our political system and the role of lobbyists have now reached levels that are quite unhealthy for the operations of our democracy. But the antidote, as in past eras of lobbyist excess, is for more involvement by citizens to build pressure on members of the House and Senate to serve the public interest.
The Prime Minister, a specialist in calling in the locksmith after the horses had fled - the whole herd in fact - and the barn in ruins, ended the week with a great raft of ethics proposals for cabinet, leadership candidates, backbenchers and lobbyists. I think it is more than fair to ask: Why wait for the middle of his third term to institute what the public would have welcomed at the beginning of his first?
If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves.
Policy is no longer being written by politicians accountable to the American public. Instead, policies concerning the defense budget, deregulation, health care, public transportation, job training programs, and a host of other crucial areas are now largely written by lobbyists who represent mega corporations.
President Bush insisted today that he was not caving in to big money contributors, big-time lobbyists, and overall industry pressure when he broke a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But the air was thick today with accusations from people who believe that's exactly what happened.
While big-business leaders and firms can be highly productive, servants of consumers in a free market economy, they are also all too often, seekers after subsidies, contracts, privileges, or cartels furnished by big government. Often, business lobbyists and leaders are the sparkplugs for the statist, interventionist system.
Despite the array of groups and organizations working on global warming, we are still missing a key element: the movement. Along with the hard work of not-for-profit lobbyists, environmental lawyers, green economists, sustainability-minded engineers, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs, it's going to take the inspired political involvement of millions of Americans to get our country on track to solving this problem.
What does a political revolution look like? It means that 80 percent of the people vote in national elections, not 40 percent. It means that billionaires can't make unlimited campaign contributions and buy and sell politicians. It means that the U.S. government represents the needs of all the people, not just the 1 percent and their lobbyists.
Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.
There is more to American politics than fat cats and their political friends. There are serious-minded liberals who fight the good fight on many issues, ecologically oriented politicians who remain true to their cause, and honest people of every political stripe who are not beholden to any wealthy people. But there are not enough of them, and they are often worn down by the constant pressure from lobbyists, lawyers and conventional politicians.
G. William Domhoff
When we don't pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day, when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, that's when democracy breaks down. That's when power is abused. That's when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. That's when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of power - because none of us are there to speak up and stop them.
Thor again tutored me in the seventh grade, when I was learning Algebra. Algebra was quite an experience for me. Thor spent countless hours with me, because it was very hard for me to grasp how to pull out a number from a letter. I thought it was an exercise in the absurd. Now I know how to get a number from a letter. The letter is K, as in K Street-where all the lobbyists are in Washington, and the number is billions of dollars.
Yesterday, John McCain actually said that if he's president that he'll take on, and I quote, 'the old boys network in Washington.' Now I'm not making this up. This is somebody who's been in Congress for twenty-six years, who put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign. And now he tells us that he's the one who's gonna' to take on the old boys network. The old boys network? In the McCain campaign that's called a staff meeting. Come, on!
The small stuff matters. The company that became the largest and most powerful in history isn't a military contractor or a car company. It isn't the result of savvy lobbyists in Washington, or the happenstance of controlling the supply of petroleum, or some kind of cabal that is beyond the understanding of ordinary people. The largest and most powerful company in history is built by each of us handing over three single dollar bills over and over again.
The beauty myth of the present is more insidious than any mystique of femininity yet: A century ago, Nora slammed the door of the doll's house; a generation ago, women turned their backs on the consumer heaven of the isolated multiapplianced home; but where women are trapped today, there is no door to slam. The contemporary ravages of the beauty backlash are destroying women physically and depleting us psychologically. If we are to free ourselves from the dead weight that has once again been made out of femaleness, it is not ballots or lobbyists or placards that women will need first; it is a new way to see.
I spent the beginning of my focus on activism by doing what most everyone else was doing; blaming other people and institutions. Don't like the war? Let's blame the president, congress, or lobbyists. Don't like ecological disregard? Let's blame this or that corrupt corporation or some regulatory body for poor performance. Don't like being poor and socially immobile? Let's blame government coercion and interference in this free market utopia everyone keeps talking about. The sobering truth of the matter is that the only thing to blame is the dynamic, causal unfolding of system expression itself on the cultural level. In other words, none of us create or do anything in isolation - it's impossible. We are system-bound both physically and psychologically; a continuum. Therefore our view of causality with respect to societal change can only be truly productive if we seek and source the most relevant sociological influences we can and begin to alter those effects from the root causes.
Say what you will of religion, but draw applicable conclusions and comparisons to reach a consensus. Religion = Reli = Prefix to Relic, or an ancient item. In days of old, items were novel, and they inspired devotion to the divine, and in the divine. Now, items are hypnotizing the masses into submission. Take Christ for example. When he broke bread in the Bible, people actually ate, it was useful to their bodies. Compare that to the politics, governments and corrupt, bumbling bureacrats and lobbyists in the economic recession of today. When they "broke bread", the economy nearly collapsed, and the benefactors thereof were only a select, decadent few. There was no bread to be had, so they asked the people for more! Breaking bread went from meaning sharing food and knowledge and wealth of mind and character, to meaning break the system, being libelous, being unaccountable, and robbing the earth. So they married people's paychecks to the land for high ransoms, rents and mortgages, effectively making any renter or landowner either a slave or a slave master once more. We have higher class toys to play with, and believe we are free. The difference is, the love of profit has the potential, and has nearly already enslaved all, it isn't restriced by culture anymore. Truth is not religion. Governments are religions. Truth does not encourage you to worship things. Governments are for profit. Truth is for progress. Governments are about process. When profit goes before progress, the latter suffers. The truest measurement of the quality of progress, will be its immediate and effective results without the aid of material profit. Quality is meticulous, it leaves no stone unturned, it is thorough and detail oriented. It takes its time, but the results are always worth the investment. Profit is quick, it is ruthless, it is unforgiving, it seeks to be first, but confuses being first with being the best, it is long scale suicidal, it is illusory, it is temporary, it is vastly unfulfilling. It breaks families, and it turns friends. It is single track minded, and small minded as well. Quality, would never do that, my friends. Ironic how dealing and concerning with money, some of those who make the most money, and break other's monies are the most unaccountable. People open bank accounts, over spend, and then expect to be held "unaccountable" for their actions. They even act innocent and unaccountable. But I tell you, everything can and will be counted, and accounted for. Peace can be had, but people must first annhilate the love of items, over their own kind.
Justin Kyle McFarlane Beau