Teabaggers Unite! (Video NSFW)

By now, you have probably heard of the very concerted and organized efforts by the lobbyist led-conservative groups wanting to have Teabag Parties across America, on April 15th, to protest higher taxes on less than five percent of all Americans.

So, with that in mind, I thought I would post this clarification of the Teabag movement.

h/t: AmericaBlog for the video

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Lobbyists Beware…Obama Has New Rules!

President-Elect Obama has New Rules for Lobbyists.  One of his promises on the campaign trail was that Lobbyists would not run the White House anymore and specifically his administration.

New Rule #1:  Lobbyists could serve in his transition so long as their activities do not involve areas of policy they have tried to influence in the past year.

John Podesta, a top transition aide to Obama, said federal lobbyists will be prohibited from any lobbying while they are at work on the transition.

New Rule #2:  Federal lobbyists could not contribute to the campaign.

“President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to change the way Washington works and curb the influence of lobbyists,” said Podesta in the transition team statement.

“During the campaign, federal lobbyists could not contribute to or raise money for the campaign…the president-elect is taking those commitments even further by announcing the strictest, and most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history.”

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McCain Campaign Has Ties to Gambling Industry

The New York Times

The New York Times outdid themselves with their beat down of John McCain and his campaign. They have put out an excellent article about McCain and Team and their ties to the Gambling Industry. Here are some excerpts.

Senator John McCain was on a roll. In a room reserved for high-stakes gamblers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, he tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings.

A lifelong gambler, Mr. McCain takes risks, both on and off the craps table. He was throwing dice that night not long after his failed 2000 presidential bid, in which he was skewered by the Republican Party’s evangelical base, opponents of gambling. Mr. McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain.

This spellbinding piece talks about Indian gambling, its history, and the lobbying that went on.

The visit had been arranged by the lobbyist, Scott Reed, who works for the Mashantucket Pequot, a tribe that has contributed heavily to Mr. McCain’s campaigns and built Foxwoods into the world’s second-largest casino. Joining them was Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s current campaign manager. Their night of good fortune epitomized not just Mr. McCain’s affection for gambling, but also the close relationship he has built with the gambling industry and its lobbyists during his 25-year career in Congress.

As a two-time chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, Mr. McCain has done more than any other member of Congress to shape the laws governing America’s casinos, helping to transform the once-sleepy Indian gambling business into a $26-billion-a-year behemoth with 423 casinos across the country. He has won praise as a champion of economic development and self-governance on reservations.

“One of the founding fathers of Indian gaming” is what Steven Light, a University of North Dakota professor and a leading Indian gambling expert, called Mr. McCain.

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McCain’s lobbyist-infested campaign: Put it in a bathtub and drown it..

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Can it get any better?

“The Maverick” said:

“At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” he said. “Using money and influence, they prevented reforms that would have curbed their power and limited their ability to damage our economy. And now, as ever, the American taxpayers are left to pay the price for Washington’s failure.” (emphasis added by me)

The New York Times:

One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The guy must have been reaping it just until you taxpayers had to bail out Fannie and Freddie. Plus/Minus a couple of days, maybe.

Of course, “the Maverick” lied about that, too. Again, The NYT, same article:

The disclosure undercuts a remark by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Davis needs to resign. Now. And McCain has a lot of splainin’ to do. Please go and vote them out of their misery in November!

Republicans Fiddle as MN and LA Burn

While protesters are tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed outside their convention, while one of the top independent journalists is arrested by riot police, while Gustav invades the Louisiana coast, the Republicans party with their lobbyists.

And to ensure that they remain classy, they are dancing the night away to a band called Hookers and Blow.

Honestly, you cannot make this stuff up!

John McCain’s banker problem

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John McCain’s campaign is in dire straits, nevermind the serious campaigning has just started. He has lost numerous advisors, two pastors and a campaign strategist, who wouldn’t take part in the upcoming campaign against Obama. Poll numbers show an Obama bump, not as dramatic as the latest Newsweek poll suggests, but a steady increase in approval for Barack Obama, as seen in the polls provided by RCP.

Admittedly short of knowledge when it comes to economics McCain turned to Phil Gramm the former Texas Senator. Gramm is the kind of economist Republicans profess to love most, budget balancing and anti government-spending and supply-side oriented. But Gramm is vice chairman of and a lobbyist for the Zurich based UBS (United Bank of Switzerland), too. The UBS is a major casualty of the subprime mortgage crisis and Gramm has lobbied on behalf of the bank to avoid stronger regulation and federal action in the mortgage crisis.

There is more. In Florida UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld has been arrested on allegations of having helped UBS customers in the US committing tax fraud, by funnelling money into Liechtstein. Initially refusing to cooperate, Birkenfeld caved in last week and pleaded guilty. The US asks the UBS to release bank details of 20’000 US customers. This has led to a sense of panic not only within the bank and among America’s rich, but in Switzerland, too, which sees its famed banking secrecy in jeopardy and sent a delegation of government officials to the US. To no avail. Now FBI agents will “assist” Swiss authorities in their research into the alleged tax fraud.

You can find this and some more, namely Gramm’s connection to Enron, here.

A worthy advisor for a Republican candidate indeed.