Date: Thu Jan 29 2009 17:59:03 EST
Subject: Obama Policies Bordering on Socialism?
Body: Response to Journal Posted on Subject:
I am sorry to take a little time to reply to your questions regarding the new President's policies and programs. Sorry I tend to write long answers!
In your 13-Jan question you cited what is concerned as concerns of the President's reversal on the Lobbyist role in his administration.
Here is my response that he first 'banned' lobbyists:
Date: 2009-01-23 14:34:05
First in response to above, I am not sure where you receive your information because it appears to me to be a bit skewed! From what I have been able to research on all the cabinet appointees to date I believe the individuals to whom you refer are Secretary of Commerce nominee Bill Richardson, Governor of Nevada and Secretary of Human Services the former Senator Tom Daschle.
Of course we know that Richardson has since removed his name from consideration due to an investigation into alleged kickbacks from State contracts. In the matter of Senator Daschle, the controversy surrounding his nomination actually concerns his wife who held a position where she may have received contributions or favors from the airline industry lobby. Her job is in no way related to the one her husband is now being considered for Human Services where the President hopes to initiate health care reforms or new programs.
Remember that the President revised the Lobbyist criteria for his Executive Staff to one where a nominee could not have worked for or received contributions from any organization that has an obvious link to the position for which they are to be appointed.
I find the need to “revise” this policy rather amusing. President Obama probably shortly learned that in going over the list of names of the best potential staff found very few that had not received contributions from any Lobbyist!
The number of lobbyists in Washington D.C. from the AMA to say the Union for the preservation of National Zoo has grown tremendously since former President Dwight D. Eisenhower left after eight years of service with the often quoted statement: “Beware of the rise of the Military-Industrial Complex.” He was Commander in Chief of the Allied forces that successfully freed Europe and defeated Hitler in WWII. Even with that prestigious background President Eisenhower during his tenure saw the rapid rise and tremendous influence of corporate lobbyists especially those from representing anything connected in the manufacture of weapons or items sold to the Pentagon over many the years of World War II and then the Cold War immediately following with our break from Stalin and the U.S.S.R. These lobbyists grew in the ensuing years in order to keep the government contracts coming and thus making their own fortunes.
It is said that in the latter years of the fifties and the sixties to follow there existed maybe 500 lobbyists representing 50 interests in Washington. Today that number exceeds 50,000 lobbyists knocking at the door of 100 Senators all looking to ‘grease the palms” to gain new business while making cash contributions to o tempting for an official desperate to obtain the bankroll to run a successful campaign for re-election. With this great influx of money coming into the campaign coffers of politicians on both sides of the aisle it is no doubt difficult for their staff to discern from where the money came as I am sure some was unsolicited. It is not unusual for a Lobby to contribute to both candidates running for office so that no matter who wins, they retain at least an ‘inference’ of a favor to be returned if not direct in the drafting of legislation for a Senator or House member!
This practice took on epic proportions of abuse in the eight years of the Bush Administration and a Republican domination in Congress until two years ago when Democrats were finally able to gain enough seats in the mid-term elections.
Prior to that the Republican controlled Congress utilized their power of seating various Committee Chairman where Democratic minority found themselves uninvited or locked out of Committee meetings where legislation such as the Medicare Part “D” was drafted and later passed. I found it outrageous when I learned that representatives and lawyers from the Insurance Industry not only were invited to participate but actually drafted the legislation for which their companies would benefit!
Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, you may recall made the remark that there is a “plantation mentality on Capitol Hill” in reference to this highly unethical if not illegal practice by the majority party directed by the Executive Office by a President and Vice-President who often wavered on the point of what branch of the government he was assigned since he held the position as president over the Senate and cast a vote whenever a tie occurred.
I report this with a great deal of confidence of its accuracy as I heard it discussed at length in a radio interview by a Michigan Public Radio show where the Honorable House Representative John Dingell who has the longest running term of service now in his 53rd year at that time. I respect the man’s integrity and honor as he is not threatened in any fashion of being defeated in an election and will no doubt retire when ready.
With the possible exception of Secretary of the Treasury there is no one on the list of nominees for his Cabinet that is questionable in character or lacks the credentials of the position to which they are nominated. In fact they include one Republican, Ray Latford for Transportation who has a strong record of consensus building on many projects that are vital such as the rebuilding of bridges, highways and the nation’s infrastructure.
There are other candidates that are new to the political scene but possess the highest record of achievement in their fields such as the Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Chu to head up the Department of Energy. Who better than this candidate who no doubt possesses a greater knowledge of nuclear and alternative energy than he does the standard fall-back: gasoline. At least Mr. Chu will also speak to nuclear alternatives as well as be able to correctly pronounce the word as demonstrated time and again by the former Commander-in-Chief!