Truth About Lobbyists and Interest Groups

“One study of eighty-three (primarily liberal) public-interest groups found that one-third of them received half or more of all their funds from foundation grants; one-tenth received over 90 percent from such sources. In one ten year period the Ford Foundation alone contributed about $21 million to liberal public-interest groups. Many of these organizations were law firms that, other than staff members, had no members at all. The Environmental Defense Fund is supported almost entirely by grants from foundations such as the Rockefeller Family Fund. The more conservative Scaife foundations gave $1.8 million to a conservative public-interest group, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest.” [Wilson, DiIulio 2008]

The concept of using public interest groups to promote the agendas and ideals of a movement is, by this source, not exclusive to the liberal movement but heavily favored by it thus far.

President-elect Barack Obama may ultimately isolate himself from major liberal movement members if the proposed audit of Washington politics were to take a lasting toll on the liberal lobbies. The next four years will certainly answer just how far this coming administration is willing to go to remove corruption in public interest group finance and practice, but four years from now there will also once again be a national referendum on the highest office.

Should the effort ultimately take power from once strong lobbies for popular liberal agendas, the informed American Democratic Voter could potentially face a struggle at the polls when considering a vote for the incumbent President.

The power of an interest-group, in a classic design, should expand as the number of members and contributors expands. The ‘funded & unoccupied lobby’ described in quote above as a law firm is a critical element of what causes the real disruptions in Washington politics.

The figures and organizations that form the American lobbies and public-interest groups of today are not necessarily the root of the problem so much as the agendas of the highest funded public interest groups overriding the highest agendas of the wills of the people.

If the National Legal Center for the Public Interest (a weak lobby) were to receive a large increase in both number of members and in contributions. they should rightly increase in the voice and recognition in Washington and receive foundation grants in turn.

If the Environmental Defense Fund (a strong lobby) were to lose both member and public support their voice as a lobby should rightly decrease and even though they do not receive a majority in foundation grants they should be kept from taking them if they lacked any significant support in the public domain.

This is all within a classic definition of how the public interest groups should work. Any number of factors can increase or decrease the power of a single lobby and for this reason most of us limit our discussion on public-interest groups, or lobbies, to the number of members that are well-known or outspoken and the money behind the group.

Lobbyists are not are always motivated by ill or by good, despite the fact the lobby they work for is focused on a critical social issue or an important national matter that concerns you–or perhaps for a group with which you disagree strongly.

To speak broadly, they are like salesmen of political stances a person in Washington should take.

They are not invested into the case they are making in every single case but rather deliver the best argument in favor of the lobby that they can devise.

Politicians and lobbyists are very much the same, in many ways.

Without means to search the hearts of others to know for sure if they really believe what they contend or if they are simply going with the popular ideology to gain your favor, we will never know for certain if they stand for the people or if they stand for their own private interests.
We can only judge their actions in office as solid statements of policy.

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com/

December 2008

Hit Glenn Beck Where it Hurts

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The left loves to hate him and the right loves to worship him, but Glenn Beck has crossed a line and only those who fail in supporting racial equality continue to support him past this point.

The way to get race baiting off the airwaves is not screaming into the phone nor creating a blog.

It is to go after the advertisers.

ColorOfChange.org has a petition to stop the race baiting on FOX News.

I encourage you to join me in signing it.

Bipartisan Blogging Dies at Birth

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When I first set forth to imprint myself upon the wildly evolving beast of the blogosphere I held with me a tenuous goal: to create a fully bipartisan blog.

A place that would be both policy and ideology neutral, yet dealt in real news topics.

While the value of this concept in itself still appears quite sound in my mind, I discovered through personal experience that throwing that concept away was the best thing I ever did for my blog as a rank amateur in the mix. (Still working on that.)

Blogger tis I:

My posting entitled “Ann Coulter Still Sucks” was one of first impressions unto this wild animal of internet-posting that I can claim to my credit. Every word of that is partisanship, I am completely unashamed.

My posting entitled “The Libra-Scorpio Cusp” is enjoyed by many. I point out an internet inconsistency between websites and briefly address my feelings on Astrology.

Recently I was honored to have received an Editor’s Pick on Open Salon for what accounts to the end result of these bipartisan efforts of mine.

I thank the Editors of Open Salon for the honor in being selected.

In course of presenting the issue of Jimmy Carter’s words concerning race in America, I unconsciously fell into my routine of trying to revive the lost art of bipartisanship.

I presented the words of Alan Wilson rebuking the words of Carter directly as to any racial motives in his father Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst.

I withheld the words of what I view as righteous indignation and retained myself to news-commentary.

However, my truly Bipartisan Blogging is dead. I fully intend to address every issue that I view as significant regardless of the possible offense drawn from that perspective.

Once you mix an opinion with a platform, you get punditry. Once the opinion is interjected into the Left versus Right Debate, it is already too late.

What remains within me though are the principals of striving toward fair play and equal consideration of alternative perspectives, and still with my own case intact. The value of this bipartisanship effort is lost, but the spirit remains intact. The reason being for this loss, in my view, has to do this the source from which it comes.

Despite all reports to the contrary, I am not a big deal.

The person to revive journalistic standards in the United States, is not I.

I instead must cry out into the wilderness to capture this beast, while those within the press need only touch a laptop. So is the way of things. But while ‘truth’ can be subjective, the facts are not.

“You can have your own opinion, but you don’t get to chose your own facts.”

I make a great many declarative statements in the course of blogging, formed primarily from simple political and media analysis, which accounts to online punditry.

But I believe strongly in full disclosure of the fact that I am a liberal and freely admit it may alter my world view in some cases.

But the facts don’t lie, and I believe in the growing majority of cases the facts are on my side.

Pointing Fingers:

It could be said that I am extremely critical of the right wing in US Politics.

If one were to ever take the time to read backwards into my blog it can be found that I have tried to draw a line between “Thinking Conservatives” and “Limited Conservatives“.

Other times I have directly defended the specific quotes of both Carrie Prejean and Rick Warren.

Treading this line in not some political game on my part, but rather my honest opinion on those matters.

I believe that is what we have escaped from in the madness of mass computing and super-fast news-cycles. Partisanship sells books as much as it moves blog-hits, so perhaps some of these political shock jocks like Ann Coulter would rather be reasonable in her arguments, but it simply doesn’t pay the bills.

The truth being what is lost in this exchange, and I think that sort of thing is a shame.

I would much rather have a discussion in disagreement than just label others as “tools”, “fascists”, “un-American”, or “racists”.

But that creation of mine that might cross party lines, and maybe bring sanity to the mix to see what happens will have to wait for a another day. The raw truth of opinion should not replace factual evidence. Such is the road to tyranny.

So I have taken another road. I drew a line in the sand that allows me to say what I will of Republicans, or Democrats.

For instance, the Republican Party is currently self-destructing and the Democratic Party has dropped the ball on health care reform.

Such statements embody my current stage in blogging evolution.

Finale:

The spirit of political bipartisanship and the need for balance remains within me, but the middle ground is now mainly unattainable without the acceptance of false claims and baseless assertions. Any critical review of facts debunks most conservative mantras.

There is much to be said for ideological differences enhancing a debate but when the debate is centered around misrepresentations and sweeping accusations of assumed wrong-doing there simply to no room in which to move in.

I will most likely continue to be mistaken for a conservative by both machines that dictate ad banners and internet users alike, but this just a by-product of my attempt to split everything down the middle.

To me, most these differences are best settled in the voting booth at election time.

But if the accuracy of the information we receive is suspect and unverifiable then we have a responsibility as citizens to recognize this fact.

This tense political and social division has forever been an element of American Life, but I believe that the situation is amplified by media-giants who profit from the repetition of partisan smears of any person or group.

I can only pray for a day of more a more honest and non-biased form of journalism catching the eye of the American public, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Eric Lightborn

http://ericlightborn.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/EricLightborn

September 29th 2009

Chris Wallace and Fox News are Lying to You

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(Image: The Osterley Times)

Chris Wallace and The FOX Broadcasting Company have proven to me personally that not only do they work in a direct effort to both intentionally under-report and under-disclose vital information to the stories they cover, but also to outright lie in the name of presenting their case.

Wallace attempted to defend the ACORN slander artist, James O’Keefe III, by repeating false claims that have irrefutable evidence stating otherwise.

As is the par for the course, nobody cares to speak out against these truth-spinners and defenders of McCarthyism in the US.

MediaMatters.org has covered the story far better than I ever could hope to, but I think it needs to be understood that when Fox News reports via Megyn Kelly that O’Keefe and Giles were in fact asked to leave ACORN offices, while O’Keefe and Giles have previously denied these claims on the air of FOX News, it is the obvious responsibility of Chris Wallace to inform you of this lack of credibility native to these people along with any other claims or assertions he would like to make.

That failure to report this information, and the failure of FOX News to hold their employees responsible, is an affront to American democracy as much as it is to journalism in the modern age. If these people continue to lie to the public there may need to be some serious consideration made toward the goal of civilly disrupting and peacefully dismantling an agency dedicated to spreading misinformation, racist sentiments and un-American propaganda.

This video is pertaining to another matter entirely but I draw your attention to the FOX News-ticker at approximately 2:10 in this clip:

.. Carter, who said racism accounts for most criticism of Obama, but says “That’s not what’s driving” Obama’s detractors ..

Words are important. To lie about the words of a former United States President, even in a cable news-ticker, is an insult to this nation and there is no doubt to me that this is far from some minor accident.

Look carefully at that sentence.

The whole statement is designed to make Jimmy Carter look like he is talking in circles, when in fact the Fox News organization is using their own language “most criticism” to put words in Carter’s mouth. A shameful and un-American thing to do, in my view.

Now look carefully at Carter’s actual quote:

I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,

Carter was quite clear and not all ambiguous like the false and downright slanderous “Fox News-version” of events.

The words are “intense animosity“, not “criticism“. And “overwhelming portion“, not “most“.

Jimmy Carter can defend himself. I will not dissect every angle of this for the sake of this singular posting.

I am simply saying you look at the words someone spoke for what they are. Not twist them around until they say what you want them to say.

And it amounts to a simple, and for some hard to accept, fact:

Fox News appears to be in the business of promoting and advocating for racist ideals in the U.S.

Until I see clear examples of the end of their unwillingness to accurately report on fabricated-scandals like ACORN, the controversy over Jimmy Carter’s words or something to the issue of finally questioning the wisdom in keeping an avowed racist like Glenn Beck on the payroll, I see no reason to think or say otherwise.

There are some good people who work at Fox News. But there are good people who work at the IRS, too.

Doesn’t mean they’re not working in a cesspool.

Kudos to LiberalViewer of YouTube

Have you ever seen this YouTube Channel called "LiberalViewer"?

I personally would aspire toward having a blog more to the nature of the work of LiberalViewer in days to come.

See for yourself.

Mad as Hell about Health Care!

Mad as Hell Doctors

“This Fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.”

Find the MAHD on:

(Facebook)+(Twitter)+(YouTube)

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Dr. Paul Hochfeld on Ed Schultz.

Quoting from MadAsHellDoctors.com:

You CAN handle the Truth
There’s no nice way to say it. The financial cost of health care is killing our citizens, hobbling our economy, crushing small business, and threatening the solvency of our government. 
In the meantime, the Health Care Industry is spending almost two million dollars a day lobbying Congress and manipulating public opinion to accept “reform” legislation that leaves a vicious, for-profit system intact. The “public option” is a trap.  We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access. 
A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan!
 
If that doesn’t make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.

The “public option” is doomed.
Firstwe will still have a dysfunctional health care system designed around insurance companies.
Secondit will be impossible to cover everyone without raising taxes.
The Obama administration is already saying it is acceptable to leave out 15 million people. Which 15 million? Will you be one of them? Who gets to decide?
Third: in a “post-option” environment you can bet that the health insurance industry will manipulate the rules so that the sickest, most expensive patients will gravitate toward the public plan, which will cause it to fail. When it does, the opponents of real reform will point to the “public option” and scream: “See! Single Payer won’t work!”

There is a time for compromise – this isn’t one of them.
 
  
We believe there is only one way to control costs.
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This issue and it’s seriousness is severely under-reported or completely propagandized in some media outlets.

This is a map of the uninsured Americans and the percentage of those in your state who are uninsured.

 

Quoting Dr. Hochfeld from a radio-interview with Alan Colmes of FOX News:

“60% of doctors are in favor of government health insurance. The vast majority of primary care providers are in favor of it.”

“We are down to about 30% primary care providers in this country, we should be at about 50%. The more primary care providers you have, and the more resources you put into primary care, the better your health care outcomes and at a lower cost.”

“We are wasting 20% of our dollars on health care costs. It’s a threat to our security. We can’t afford to throw money at health care.”

“Once we get rid of the insurance companies we can have a health care system run by health care professionals.”

“The way ‘single-payer’ works is we take the money we are now spending on health care .. 60% of this 2.4 trillion dollars is already going through the government .. instead of calling it ‘insurance premiums’ it’s just called ‘health tax’. It’s not more money, it’s the same money. Because we cut out the insurance companies, we actually get more for our health care dollars.”

“I’m mad as hell about the political process.”

“I think he [Obama] learned that the industry is far more powerful than he could ever imagine and our political process is far more corrupt than he could ever have predicted.”

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This last quote is vital for me to point out.

 

I find it distrubing those on the left would find it easy to throw the man we elected to change things for the better down the stairs just because the system is broken.

 

That’s why we elected him.

 

Let the man work!

 

This is called ‘incrementalism’ and in my view President Obama should have just gone for the whole-nine-yards of single-payer but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. Mostly because they are all corrupt in Congress and hyper-corrupt in the GOP so it’s just plain outside of the list of options before Obama.

 

Or at least that’s my take.

 

I support Mad as Hell Doctors and all those fighting for Universal Health Care.

 

My heart is with you. Let’s keep making this case until the establishment will finally listen.