Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where Does Changing Washington's Ways Stand?

From: Rob Shattuck <>
Date: Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 3:53 PM
Subject: Re: Further about my draft
To: Anthony Cook <>
Cc: "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, Scott Beason <>, "" <>

Thanks, Anthony.  I think it is likely I will basically go with the draft I sent you.  I will do some final editing on it and put in a link as I suggested. You will have to decide whether that is OK. I will get the final version to you on Monday.

In the meantime, I wish to continue to develop my answers, at least for the benefit of the Editorial Board. Let's talk about:

Where Does Changing Washington's Ways Stand?

Let's do a little history lesson.

In the WERC forum, I said that, just that morning, I had posted on my campaign website information about a book called So Damn Much Money, by Robert Kaiser  Take a look at my posting here

In speaking to the fourm, I used from my posting Kevin Phillips' book review terminology of lobbyists having "hijacked" the government.  I think it would be useful for the Editorial Board to read all the book review squibs on the aforesaid posting, which come from many well known names.

Next, the Editorial Board should review the K Street Project, which was initiated by the Republicans in the mid-1990's.  Wikipedia article is here.

Next, consider Jack Abramoff, who became the poster boy of K Street corruption, and, who, after serving prison time, published in 2011, Capitol Punishment. The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist.  Wikipedia links for Abramoff and the book are here and here

Further, consider how Republican corruption scandals played a role in the Republicans losing control of the House in the 2006 elections. Wikipedia article is here.

In the 2008 election, both McCain and Obama made corruption and earmarks issues in their campaigns. (I believe I have copy and pastes in my files from the McCain and Obama 2008 campaign websites, which show this, but I have not yet found them.).

Many thought Obama would try to bring about reform in Washington.  Kaiser's book was published in 2009, and note the Carl Bernstein squib referring to "glimps[ing] a path toward reform–as a new president and Congress take office.”

Lessig wrote in 2010 of Obama essentially doing a "bait and switch" on reform. See his article in The Nation here.

Then there is Lessig's article in Atlantic this month, which is here.

I have said the other candidates have been fatuous and stupid and serving Kool Aid in what they have been saying to the voters about changing Washington's ways, and I continue to say that.

The little history which is set forth above helps frame the following question:

What, if anything, should the candidates in the 6th Congressional district race be saying to the voters about changing the ways of Washington?

[Also, think "what should The Birmingham News be saying, in an editorial, to the voters about the same, if anything?"]

Once these questions are noodled around, then comes the "hardie" question:  Does this subject have anything to do with a Congress that has stopped functioning for the American people?

If so, is there anything that can be done about it?  Or are the American people just stuck with the situation?

Toodaloo for today.



On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 10:26 PM, Anthony Cook <> wrote:
These are all interesting thoughts, and I certainly see why you feel a need to be thorough with your response.
Please feel free to continue thinking it through, and then send me a final version on Monday.

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