Saturday, February 11, 2006

Self-Interested Boehner & His Web of Lobbyists

Self-Interested Boehner & His Web of Lobbyists

New House Majority Leader is
Pampered by the Lobbyists
For Whom He Writes Legislation

Rich man Dives, he lived so well,
Don't you see?
Rich man Dives, he lived so well
Don't you see?
Rich man Dives, he lived so well
When he died he found a home in hell

From the spiritual song I Got a Home in Dat Rock which was based on the parable found in Luke 16, also told in the spiritual Poor Man Lazarus
For those who take the Bible seriously, men like Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who happens to be the selection of the GOP House reps to lead them in our House of Representatives, may have the secret directions to Lucifer - - the map straight to hell. And he's taking the American people's democracy with him.

Wa Po - Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who was elected House majority leader last week, is renting his Capitol Hill apartment from a veteran lobbyist whose clients have direct stakes in legislation Boehner has co-written and that he has overseen as chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee..The relationship between Boehner, John D. Milne and Milne's wife, Debra R. Anderson, underscores how intertwined senior lawmakers have become with the lobbyists paid to influence legislation.

The working poor in America have people like the new House Majority Leader to thank for keeping them in the poorhouse because of his self-interest. What Boehner has done is apparently not illegal, mind you. What is clear, however, is that he does not have the interests of the working poor at heart when he pushes legislation in the people's name.
The restaurant industry has long fought minimum-wage increases, seeking instead to augment restaurant wages with tips that become more valuable if they can avoid taxation. Despite numerous attempts by Democrats and some pro-labor Republicans, the minimum wage has not been raised since 1997, when it was lifted from $4.75 to $5.15. Since then, inflation has eroded its value to near-record lows. That such companies would hire Milne is no mystery. His firm overtly promotes its connections to influential lawmakers.
I was a waitress at a time when I was a student - just trying to make ends meet while I studied. I worked my tail off and the pay for waitresses was shameful. Waitstaff were left to fend for themselves to fight for their tips like whores or slaves, doing stressful and hard work just to meet the already-disgustingly low minimum wage. At times, it was very demeaning and thankless work for meager pay. That was over twenty years ago, and nothing has changed. Luckily, it was not meant to be my permanent line of work - yet I know that for many men and women, it is their sole profession. They are forced to depend on tips to put bread on the table for their children.

To think that there's been someone like Rep. Boehner who was supposed to be looking out for the interests of all Americans - heading up Committees on Education and Workeforce issues while looking out for "Numero Uno" rather than the men and women who wait tables today, and knowing that he is now the House Majority leader, is disconcerting to say the very least.

He is the man who is addicted to the fine life - free golfing trips at luxury retreats around the world; addicted to Barclay cigarettes - the chain-smoker who passed out Big Tobacco lobbyist's bribes on the floor of our House. If you call him on all the perks he receives, he'll tell you that you're treating him like a child.

His lobbyist/landlord says that he's an "excellent tenant" who pays his rent on time.Obviously, "the Good Tenant" passes the Landlord's business wishes and ideas on in the form of legislation in the People's name, too.

Some might call that "The American Way" - and they'd be right. The Abramoff/GOP scandal proves that there ain't no flies on these legislators. They know how to work the system, all in the name of self-interest, to maintain the elite lifestyle for themselves while screwing the American worker.

These are the same politicians who claim to be from the party of God, but I'll wager you won't hear the parable of Lazarus and Dives at any D.C. prayer breakfast anytime soon.

this is an audio post - click to play

Listen to this song (which is sung by a group which happens to include my son) about Poor Man Lazarus and Dives. Lyrics include:
Rich man Divies he lived so well,
Dip your finger in the water, come and, cool my tongue,
'Cause I'm tormented in the flame.
And when he died he went straight to hell,
Dip your finger in the water, come and, cool my tongue,
'Cause I'm tormented in the flame

The story goes..:
"There was once a rich man, who dressed in purple and the finest linen, and feasted in great magnificence every day. At his gate, covered with sores, lay a poor man named Lazarus, who would have been glad to satisfy his hunger with the scraps from the rich man's table. Even the dogs used to come and lick his sores. One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up; and there, far away, was Abraham with Lazarus close
beside him. "Abraham, my father," he called out, "take pity on me! Send Lazarus
to dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue, for I am in agony in this fire." But Abraham said, "Remember, my child, that all the good things fell to you while you were alive, and all the bad to Lazarus; now he has his consolation here and it is you who are in agony. But that is not all: there is a great chasm fixed between us; no one from our side who wants to reach you can cross it, and none may pass from your side to us

Coulter Says Islam's Not a Real Religion

Coulter Says Islam's Not a Real Religion

Ann Coulter is well known for pulling no punches about what she believes. She believes that Islam is filled with hate. She insinuates that Islam is not a "real religion", but instead a car-burning cult.

Even if you are disgusted by that gutter level of insult, I think you should read her words carefully, understanding that she employs the visceral at the cost of complete ignorance. She fails to entertain the truth of Identity Politics as we see them playing out today in the Middle East. If anyone would feel politically disenfranchised, marginalized or disadvantaged relative to the wider global society, it would be the people who are hitting the streets in the Middle East. Why are they hitting the streets? Because some idiot editor in Denmark (who knew better) sent them a brash insult that confirmed to them - especially after the unilateral actions of America and its occupation of Iraq - that their societies were targets of a racism and Islamophobia at levels never before seen (at least not since the friggen Crusades).

Coulter is contributing to that rampant Islamophobia, whose push toward hatred and fear of over a billion people of Islam who live all around the world will serve to shape their social identity in ways that work against our national security interests. What brain trusts! What great Americans! I wonder - is all of that worth a few jabs at "liberals?" Some of the people in right wing journalism seem to have lost their sense about what it means to be an intelligent American patriot coexisting with many others in one nation (they consistently write in favor of two Americas- regardless of the cost).

Ann goes for "the gut" (see Idiot America by Charles P. Pierce) in order to bypass the intellect that so many Americans are missing. That's her style. She is the Queen of the Dunces. But she's fairly pretty and she's got good legs.