In The Foreign Policy Auction: Foreign Lobbying in America, Freeman unpacks the ways in which governments from around the world attempt to use finance capital to ensure that the sausage factory on Capitol Hill churns out American foreign policy in their favor. The book is unrelentingly thorough, engaging, and sober. “There is no arch-villain here,” Freeman warns at the start, “no dark lord, no one to unmask at the end of the show. There are only politicians seeking reelection, lobbyists seeking more revenue, and foreign governments competing for influence over the most influential government the world has ever known.”
|By: Michael K. Busch Sunday December 2, 2012 1:59 pm|
|By: David Dayen Thursday November 8, 2012 11:39 am|
In case you were wondering what all those retiring and defeated lawmakers do with themselves once banished from Capitol Hill, I have a simple answer for you: they get paid.
|By: David Dayen Thursday November 1, 2012 10:37 am|
The new report that campaign spending in the 2012 cycle will reach $6 billion has come as depressing news to many despairing over the purchasing of our democracy. Some have held out hope that the sheer numbers will provide a wake-up call to all Americans that something must be done to take this democracy back. I think that’s highly unlikely.
|By: David Dayen Thursday October 4, 2012 12:30 pm|
Before last night’s debate, Jeff Connaughton, former chief of staff to Senator Ted Kaufman and longtime aide to Joe Biden and President Clinton, offered some advice to Mitt Romney. He thought Romney should go after Barack Obama’s biggest weakness: the failure to prosecute Wall Street crimes.
In actuality, Romney only submitted a glancing blow with respect to Wall Street, claiming that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law “designates a number of banks as too big to fail, and they’re effectively guaranteed by the federal government… There’ve been 122 community and small banks have closed since Dodd- Frank.”
Here is an edited transcript of our conversation, which covered financial reform, money in politics, and the insidious grip of Big Money over Washington.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 20, 2012 12:00 pm|
The not-as-funny way to make the point Jon Stewart made about the Republican conception of the entitlement society and where it fails to intersect with reality comes from Simon Johnson. The true “moochers” in American life are, not surprisingly, the ones with all the political power and influence, who can grab themselves gifts and goodies from the political class.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 20, 2012 7:30 am|
Pawlenty isn’t being chosen by the Financial Services Roundtable for his vast knowledge of financial services. He was chosen because he has a familiar name to members of Congress and he can get into offices and lobby them with relative ease. This is the whole point of the revolving door – find someone with contacts and name recognition and use that as a lever to get your lobby’s goals into the Congressional consciousness.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 19, 2012 6:30 am|
Apparently the above anti-union ad played non-stop on television in Chicago throughout the strike. It’s the product of Education Reform Now, a group that also sometimes goes by Democrats for Education Reform, depending on what pot of money they want to use. Formed in 2005, Education Reform Now has spent millions of dollars over the past few years, whether massaging public opinion or lobbying state legislatures or intervening in school board races.
|By: David Dayen Monday September 17, 2012 2:55 pm|
Four years later, we have not seen a systematic dismantling of the conditions that created the crisis. We’ve seen trillions in emergency support thrown at the banks that survived the crash, all of whom have grown bigger and more indispensible, even more “Too Big to Fail” than before. We’ve seen cosmetic regulatory changes, many unrelated to the crash at all, which have not yet been tested and in many not yet implemented. And the core problems of a massive financial sector have not been resolved.
|By: David Dayen Thursday September 6, 2012 2:33 pm|
The American Bankers Association, a trade group for thousands of banks headed by former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, voted to start a legal entity for this federal campaign cycle, adding millions of dollars into an already overstuffed election.
The ABA entity would reportedly donate to existing Super PACs, so that the member banks can keep their donations secret.
|By: David Dayen Thursday August 9, 2012 5:00 pm|
Basically, then-Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Cass Sunstein met with a bunch of oil and chemical lobbyists, Sunstein sent around objections to the rule from the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable, and even quotes from House Republicans opposed to the standards, and all that was enough to make the case for delay. Lucky for the White House, Cass Sunstein was hyping business community attacks to help them make their decision.
In addition to passing around oil industry talking points inside the White House, Sunstein also forwarded along more obscure industry talking points.