Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pay to Play

Greetings good citizen,

Sometimes it’s just too funny! Didn’t I go off the rails in yesterday’s post on the issue of ‘access’ and today we have this story which I assume I’m not alone in being totally ignorant of until it was scrubbed…

So, once again, I fall victim to ‘foot in mouth disease’…you CAN get ‘access’, all you need is a quarter of a million bucks and a politically ‘neutral’ issue.

Or have I been ‘spared’ the humiliation of being ‘wrong’ because the Washington Post has withdrawn its ‘pay to play’ offer?

WaPo cancels paid White House-Congress-lobbyist hook up

Submitted by Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more questionable in Washington, along comes this (hat tip Tom).

Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was canceling plans for an exclusive "salon" at her home where for as much as $250,000 the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to "those powerful few" — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors.

This is not a joke, it was a serious plan whereby the Washington Post was set and ready to use its publisher’s home to bring together lobbyists on the one side and White House and congressional people on the other. Boy, I wish I had that kind of access. But, then again, I would have to pay a lot of money. On second thought, maybe it’s not a good deal. But, hey, if you are a health care lobbyist (the type of lobbyist this event was designed for), then you’ve got the dosh. Why not? Apparently, not every lobbyist felt that way.

The astonishing offer was detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he felt it was a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff."

To sum up, the Washington Post, which lost nearly $20 million in the first quarter, has made bringing people together another proposed revenue source. In this case, it was to bring together lobbyists and government and was to be paid by the lobbyists for doing so. When some invited lobbyists felt this was a conflict of interest, Politico was able to get its hands on an invite. As a result, the Post cancelled the event. [snip]

Somewhere down the line, I strongly suspect you don’t need the Washington Post’s ‘connections’ if you’re dripping in cash and want an audience with a powerful politician.

The higher up the ‘food chain you are, the likelihood it will cost you a red cent for such access diminishes geometrically.

Naturally, access is not nor has it ever been a ‘problem’ for the connected…it’s not the ‘fuckers’ but the ‘fuckees’ that lack access or anything that even remotely resembles ‘the protection of representation.’

I need to include a different dimension here that makes the lack of access thing simultaneously less urgent and more disturbing at the same time.

You may not be able to gain ‘access’ to your elected representative but that doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination mean he’s ignorant of the ‘conditions on the ground’ on his or her ‘turf’.

Just because she/he won’t talk to you doesn’t mean they aren’t watching…and again I don’t mean watching you specifically! (Although they might be, depending on how vigorously you’ve pursued ‘access’…) They may not return your calls but they do keep tabs on who is pushing for what, in case ‘something’ happens.

Bizarrely, when a ‘fuckee’ finally achieves access/recognition by their elected representative, it has usually become a ‘police matter’.

In the rarest of cases, the fuckee gets his/her ‘fifteen minutes’ of fame (usually ‘posthumously’, which defeats the whole idea of gaining access…)

Yes, our elected representatives are not ‘required’ to communicate with us either directly or individually…then we encounter that very fuzzy line between ‘confronting’ someone and ‘attacking’ them, with our elected representatives having the upper hand when it comes to deciding between one or the other.

So, how ‘participatory’ is our fine political system now?

Which is to ask what the point is of electing someone that has no compunction or desire to communicate with you (even before they’re elected?)

If they won’t hear your views, why should you permit them to make laws you must obey?

There’s a simple solution to this conundrum too and it is part in parcel with a plan to eliminate the rampant corruption that has infested every level of our society.

Let those who must live under the laws, make the laws.

Legislatures exist to cheat the public and execute the will of the elite (along with unjustly enriching the legislators themselves in the process.)

While that’s a pretty cynical point of view, it sure passes the ‘sniff test’ of truth as well as being ‘verified’ repeatedly by history, the gage against which all ‘truths’ are tested.

It is a concept whose time has come. The system we have been using has failed repeatedly and the corruption gets worse with each passing day.

If you truly want freedom good citizen then you must vote to free yourself from the tyranny of a form of government that is neither responsive nor attentive to either your requirements or your plight.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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