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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 38,044

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U.S. senators seek LIFETIME BAN on ex-Congress members lobbying

The only negative I see to this bill is we might have trouble finding ONE candidate in either party to run for each seat if it's enacted.

Maybe Trump would even sign because he wouldn't understand what it's about, "Why would someone want to take a job working as a lobbyist for companies they already own?"

A bipartisan bill introduced on Thursday would prohibit members of the U.S. Congress from ever working as lobbyists after they leave the Senate or House of Representatives.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner with Democratic Senators Michael Bennet and Al Franken in introducing the Senate legislation to stop the lucrative "revolving door" practice that has drawn the ire of watchdog groups for decades.

"By banning members of Congress from lobbying when they leave Capitol Hill, we can begin to restore confidence in our national politics," Gardner said in a statement.


The Center for Responsive Politics has noted that former members often score large-salaried lobbying jobs, sometimes of $1 million or more.


What do Republicans gain by keeping Trump in power rather than Pence?

They clearly aren't going to pick up any swing votes with him in office and will be get their clocks cleaned in 2018 midterms.

If they replaced him with Pence, he would rubberstamp most if not all of the same things Trump would, it would take most of the steam out of the calls for special prosecutors and other investigations, and Pence is boring enough that it could deflate a lot of protests.

Are they just afraid of his hardcore base of low information voters? Are there some big fish donors that insist on keeping him? Is it that he is so damn stupid, they can get him to do reckless things and not realize how he could end up paying for it himself?

What is their calculus that makes keeping Trump look like a good idea?

Al Gore could unite business & progressive Democrats in 2020.

I just watched the trailer for the sequel to AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.

Al Gore was part of the DLC team, but has progressive credibility because of his work on climate change.

Bernie or someone like him could win, but the business wing of the party would fight tooth and nail to keep them from reaching the nomination.

Hillary would have the unqualified support of the business wing, but her ties to Wall Street and the neocons and their cruel, destructive foreign policy would mean progressives might vote for her, but not have an infectious enthusiasm that gets people to the polls who otherwise wouldn't go.

Al Gore is the only candidate with credibility in both wings of the party.

Of course whether someone like him or further left gets the nomination depends of the Democratic Party leadership realizing they ain't going to win over the Republican base, or to the extent that they do, it won't be by aping Republican policies.

After Trump, the only way GOP could win presidency is if Democrats screw up

I suspected they were trying a variation of the Schwarzenegger grift they pulled on California, to get low information voters to polls to vote for a celebrity.

After Arnold, Republican candidate Meg Whitman won about as many votes as you would expect the GOP to against Jerry Brown.

The celebrity gimmick seems like something that should only work once, or maybe once a generation.

If the Republicans go back to their usual sort of extremists, the can't get close enough to winning for voter suppression and vote rigging to credible even if it could put them over the line.

How could they hope to win after this, at least at the presidential level?

If private ISP's want to sell our data, it's time to revive PUBLIC run internet

and put these assholes out of business.

Add the internet to the list of things the private sector can't be trusted with without them blackmail or screwing us.

How many places in America do this?

Borrowers 'Chilled to the Bone' as DOE Reneges on Student Loan Forgiveness

What if you took a low paying public sector job and arranged for lower payments on your student loans based on the promise of public service loan forgiveness, and a new administration breaks that promise?

This is an opportunity for Democrats to remind voters what they do better, and once back in power, we need to devote at least as much the time, money, and effort to bail out student loan borrowers and others crapped on by the financial sector as we do to bailing those who did the crapping.

In a troubling development for the countless people saddled with student debt, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) may be reneging on a promise made to over 550,000 such borrowers who were led to believe that their loans would be forgiven after ten years of work in the public service.

Responding to an ongoing lawsuit from four borrowers, the DOE has given no explanation but says that approval letters sent to individuals who signed up for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program are not in fact "binding," the New York Times reported Thursday.

Times reporter Stacy Cowley wrote:

In a legal filing submitted last week, the Education Department suggested that borrowers could not rely on the program's administrator to say accurately whether they qualify for debt forgiveness. The thousands of approval letters that have been sent by the administrator, FedLoan Servicing, are not binding and can be rescinded at any time, the agency said.

The filing adds to questions and concerns about the program just as the first potential beneficiaries reach the end of their 10-year commitmentóand the clocks start ticking on the remainder of their debts


TOON: Trump gets behind GOP elephant

Props to http://caglecartoons.com/

Democrats Exploring Deal With McConnell On Gorsuch Nomination

I hope this story isn't true because

A) They have no reason to believe McConnell will keep his word

B) The truck case alone shows that Democrats should oppose him as an anti-worker extremist.

Democrats might lose anyway if they filibuster Gorsuch, but at least they will have stood for something, which might inspire more people to stand in line to vote for them.

WASHINGTON ― Democratic senators are quietly contemplating cutting a deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): giving him an up-or-down vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch if he restores the 60-vote requirement for advancing district and circuit court nominees.

Thatís just one proposal being floated as part of ongoing conversations between more than half a dozen Senate Democrats, according to two Democratic aides familiar with the talks. Another proposal is offering to confirm Gorsuch in exchange for a commitment from McConnell to preserve the 60-vote threshold just for future Supreme Court nominees, a source told The Huffington Post, and which Politico also reported on Wednesday.

So far, the talks remain very preliminary. Leadership isnít a part of the group exploring such an arrangement, and there havenít been any conversations with McConnell himself or other GOP senators. Instead, it is more of an organic dialogue among rank-and-file Democrats looking ahead to Gorsuchís confirmation vote in the next two weeks.

But the objective among these Democrats is to preserve the filibuster ― the partyís only real leverage while in the minority, with the fear being that McConnell will remove it if Gorsuchís nomination is blocked. The thinking among the group is that McConnell will end up just shy of the 60 votes he needs to advance the Gorsuch nomination, with all 52 Republicans likely to vote for him and a handful of moderate Democrats likely to join. McConnell has hinted that heís prepared to nix the filibuster rule altogether if he canít hit 60 votes. That would mean that going forward, it would only take 51 votes to advance a Supreme Court nominee.


a thought on surveillance state & mind of financial elites

Whites in the South in the Jim Crow era feared black men raping white women because they had raped black women with impunity for centuries and expected retribution.

Likewise, as Wall Street tries to take over public education, they think they can win over teachers with competition and "merit pay." A variation of this was just proposed in California, with tax relief for teachers to prevent them from taking jobs in other states.

In both instances, the very wealthy imagine the rest of us think and act exactly as they do.

So it is with the surveillance state that we find out more and more about with each new leak.

The intent of the mass surveillance is likely as much to catch us plebes plotting to storm the castle and take over through elaborate secret machinations because that is exactly what they would do.

However, the vast majority of us, even those who want change, don't want to take the place of the wealthiest individuals in the country and have no secret plans.

We would like to have a decent standard of living, a safe place to live, education and health care for ourselves and our kids, and a reasonable chance of decent world for our descendants to live in.

That aint no secret, and most of us don't have the time or means to plot to disrupt the Bilderburgers or whatever.

What will happen is what is already happening. People are refusing to cooperate here and there in increasing numbers, including the middle managers for the financial elite, both in and out of government. And those middle managers are the ones leaking the stuff that is ruining things for the ruling class.

What those at the top should really be worried about is all that surveillance infrastructure being turned on them.

If they cannot plot, and threaten, and buy politicians out of public view, much of their power is gone--especially if they depend on the rest of us buying stuff their company makes or borrowing money from them.

And I say, the sooner we turn the cameras and bugs the other way, the better.
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