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"They frankly own the place"
April 30, 2009 10:25 AM   Subscribe

The second most powerful United States Senator admits, "And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place."

Glenn Greenwald discusses.
posted by Joe Beese (55 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Where's the NoShit tag?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:26 AM on April 30, 2009


Hmm, I thought he was considered the second most powerful Senator, at least ceremonially anyway.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:30 AM on April 30, 2009


Gore Vidal has been saying this for close to half a century now.
posted by WPW at 10:33 AM on April 30, 2009


He who has the gold makes the rules.
posted by mrt at 10:34 AM on April 30, 2009


They must be timesharing with the insurance, telecom, copyright, agriculture and defense industries.
posted by DU at 10:34 AM on April 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I get kind of tired of Greenwald's articles, really. He includes gems like this:

Former Barney Frank staffer now top Goldman Sachs lobbyist

So what? Did we honestly expect that a financial firm would hire someone with no D.C. experience as a lobbyist? I'd honestly be a lot more concerned with the appointments and hires that go the other direction, as we've seen things like Cheney's continued ties to Halliburton. But seriously, do you expect Goldman Sachs to hire nobodies, or for former political staffers to just leave politics behind?
posted by explosion at 10:34 AM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another senator, who would only be quoted anonymously, added, "People who donate large sums of money to our perpetual campaigns tend to have more influence. If the American people knew this, their heads would explode. We have absolutely no desire to develop the social system beyond its current rudimentary skeleton, and will continue to bend over backwards to keep the superwealthy happy. Also, I stir mayonaisse into my coffee."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:36 AM on April 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


Bankers are evil and all, but do the people who bought into the stupidly inflated housing market not bear some responsibility at some point?
posted by Artw at 10:39 AM on April 30, 2009


This is getting tired.
posted by grobstein at 10:46 AM on April 30, 2009


I don't know, ArtW, why don't the people who stupidly buy into what-should-be-obvious confidence schemes not bear some responsibility? Con Men are nothing but savvy marketers with really good profit margins, right? Why should a guy be prosecuted for selling something worth nothing for $100 when others get away with selling something worth $10,000 for $1,000,000???
posted by wendell at 10:54 AM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is getting tired.

That's why it works. The fashion in outrage moves on, and our attention along with it, with most of us never actually doing anything but complaining impotently. Which is one of the reasons we, as a whole if not in all individual cases, probably deserve to be as fucked as we are.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:58 AM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have never figured out how to get rid of lobbies without violating free speech. Pity. I think there's an angle to take with dissolving corporate personhood.
posted by adipocere at 11:04 AM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if banks are a major reason our politicians still maintain the necessity of the Drug War and all its social failures. Money laundering is very profitable.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:06 AM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about every politician gets a fixed amount to run a campaign. No gifts, trips, meals, food, services or ANYTHING is to be supplied for the duration of the senatorial service.

Gotta figure out something for post-government non-competition. I'd recommend a 10 year no-work provision where you continue to pick up your government salary but cannot work or do anything for private industry afterwards.

Or something suitably severe.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:10 AM on April 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


> Did we honestly expect that a financial firm would hire someone with no D.C. experience as a lobbyist?

Well, this can also signal to the organization couriering favors through the staffer before he was hired on. As in "hey, since we can't actually bribe you, when you get tired of your staffer position, we just want to remind you that we will always have a place for you here at Gi-Ganto-Corp".
posted by mrzarquon at 11:12 AM on April 30, 2009


How about every politician gets a fixed amount to run a campaign. No gifts, trips, meals, food, services or ANYTHING is to be supplied for the duration of the senatorial service.

FUCKING COMMIE! GO BACK TO MASSACHUSETTS!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:15 AM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


not bear some responsibility at some point?

The general public are not real estate or financial "experts".

The National Association of Realtors was propagandizing the boom will not bust as late as 2006.

If banks were willing to lend me money to buy that house, especially in a no-recourse state, who am I to argue with their professional judgment?

The boom 2003-2007 was mostly lending-driven. Every dollar of increased consumer purchasing power -- be it the Bush income tax cuts, interest rate declines courtesy of Greenspan, 80/20, negative-am / interest-only/ pick-a-payment, stated-income/stated-asset underwriting -- served to pump the bubble.

It is the nature of bubbles to think it's different now.
posted by mrt at 11:19 AM on April 30, 2009


Gotta figure out something for post-government non-competition. I'd recommend a 10 year no-work provision where you continue to pick up your government salary but cannot work or do anything for private industry afterwards.

If this covers all staffers, it could be very, very expensive. The idea appeals to me, though. I think "public service" is way too attractive right now.
posted by grobstein at 11:19 AM on April 30, 2009


wendell - well, that rather seems to be assuming that the boom consisted entirely of the mentally feeble but hard working and honest folk throwing their money to evil black top hat wearing moustache twirling con-men. Which undoubtedly happened sometimes, but wouldn;t be the full story.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on April 30, 2009


I was all excited to read about 10 things that are going better than they ever have before. Really.
posted by lesChaps at 11:21 AM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have never figured out how to get rid of lobbies without violating free speech.

Make them ineffective. Continue to draw attention to them, regardless of how "tired" it may seem. Make the PR cost, and thus the vote cost, of siding with lobbyists greater than the financial advantage they receive from them. Then, when enough spotlights are shining on the system that it is temporarily sane, make sure the system gets fixed.

If the U.S. public can be bothered to start turning against high fructose corn syrup, it certain can do something about lobbyists.
posted by JHarris at 11:22 AM on April 30, 2009


From the Greenwald article:
The only way they could make it more blatant is if they hung a huge Goldman Sachs logo on the Capitol dome and then branded it onto the foreheads of leading members of Congress and executive branch officials.
Hmmm ... Angie, get Marketing in here!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:23 AM on April 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


How about every politician gets a fixed amount to run a campaign. No gifts, trips, meals, food, services or ANYTHING is to be supplied for the duration of the senatorial service.

Say hello impenetrable incumbency. The studies in this area will tell you that challengers suffer under such a system. Spending large sums of money by an incumbent is inversely proportional to the incumbent's chance of success, whereas spending large sums of money by a challenge is directly proportional to a challenger's success. The reason is that the spending of money is the primary causative agent in overcoming the incumbent's name recognition and influence.
posted by dios at 11:27 AM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have never figured out how to get rid of lobbies without violating free speech.

Easy: Make public records of every penny spent or given to elected representatives. Make every minute of their schedule public knowledge. Publish every phone call, every email, every letter they send. Make them sign an agreement that they will have no privacy during their term in office, EXCEPT with members of their immediate family.

It shouldn't be illegal for McDonalds to give my senator $1,000,000 to push steroid-injected-radioactive beef. But I do want to know about it. And I will make him understand that the only currency he should care about is my vote.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:32 AM on April 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Why should a guy be prosecuted for selling something worth nothing for $100 when others get away with selling something worth $10,000 for $1,000,000???"

'Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason." - Harrington
posted by Smedleyman at 11:36 AM on April 30, 2009


For the sake of clairification, the studies I referred to include: Gary Jacobson, Money in Congressional Elections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1980); Stephen E. Gottlieb, "The Dilemma of Election Campaign Finance Reform," Hofstra Law Review 18 (1989); Stephanie D. Moussalli, Campaign Finance Reform: The Case for Deregulation (Tallahassee, Fla.: James Madison Institute, 1990), among others.
posted by dios at 11:38 AM on April 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Don't get me wrong — I think transparency is important to keep politicians and corporations in their place. The issue is frequently one of complexity. The memo line on the McDonald's check does not read "for glowing SuperBeef."

Instead, Corp A gives a twenty grand to Senator X's campaign. Three years later, Senator X pushes for a bill which contains, buried in hundreds of pages of legalese, an unrelated line redefining "organic" as the FDA considers the term for various meats. Drawing a line between cause and effect here is rough. Riders are a hassle.
posted by adipocere at 11:42 AM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Easy: Make public records of every penny spent or given to elected representatives. Make every minute of their schedule public knowledge. Publish every phone call, every email, every letter they send. Make them sign an agreement that they will have no privacy during their term in office, EXCEPT with members of their immediate family.

It shouldn't be illegal for McDonalds to give my senator $1,000,000 to push steroid-injected-radioactive beef. But I do want to know about it. And I will make him understand that the only currency he should care about is my vote.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:32 PM on April 30


blue_beetle comes close to nailing it. Full disclosure is the only sane and constitutional way to solve the problem.

The whole campaign finance reform debate misses the point. The problem is not money in elections. The problem is corruption. That is, the problem is that elected officials vote a particular way, against the interest of the constituency, only because of money.

Limiting money in campaigns is arguably an unconstitutional restriction on freedom of speech, but beyond that, it has undemocratic consequences (favors incumbency; favors interest groups over individual grassroots activity; favors parties and the elite; creates inefficiencies in ballot access). Moreover, it does not do anything to really address the problem of corruption; corrupting influence is not only the result of money.

The cure for corruption is the great disinfectant: sunshine. Full disclosures of money collected to see if an elected official allowed contributions to corrupt their votes.
posted by dios at 11:46 AM on April 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


I have never figured out how to get rid of lobbies without violating free speech.

IMO, the most important thing is to take the mercenary lobbyists out of the game--that is, the guys and gals who are making careers out of lobbying not on behalf of their own political convictions but to get rich.

Single issue lobbyists are not the real problem (they still shouldn't be allowed to offer gifts in exchange for influence either, nor should they be allowed to have more access to legislators than any other citizen).

It's the guys who are really only opportunists, leveraging their familiarity with the ins-and-outs of Washington and their political connections to make themselves more marketable as guns-for-hire that are spoiling things. It's not a free speech issue in those cases, I'd argue, because those lobbyists aren't really exercising free speech rights on their own behalf, they're speaking on the behalf of whoever they represent. Why don't those individuals speak for themselves? If for some reason our system no longer allows private citizens access to the political process on equal footing with lobbyists (ha!), and that's a state of affairs we've deemed acceptable, then we've already decided it's not a free-speech issue.

Are lobbyists entitled to have their particular form of free speech more vigorously defended than the equivalent free speech rights of private citizens?

In any case, maybe a simple fix that skirts the free-speech issue would be to strictly limit or even ban compensation for lobbying activities. Then the only ones left in the lobbying game would be activist volunteers and private citizens who are willing to lobby on behalf of political causes in which they have an immediate personal stake. Corporations, effectively, wouldn't have the power to lobby at all except insofar as their stakeholders or representatives engage in lobbying activities as uncompensated private citizens.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:57 AM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think "public service" is way too attractive right now.

And you think giving people 10 years of salary for doing absolutely nothing will make it less attractive?
posted by adamdschneider at 11:58 AM on April 30, 2009


It shouldn't be illegal for McDonalds to give my senator $1,000,000 to push steroid-injected-radioactive beef.

Yes it should. That's a bribe, not free speech. How is that not glaringly obvious? Under the law, if it's quid pro quo, it's a bribe. Sure it's hard to prove, but that doesn't mean "it shouldn't be illegal."
posted by saulgoodman at 12:01 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


The cure for corruption is the great disinfectant: sunshine.

dios, my man, If we ever meet, you just won a free beer.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:03 PM on April 30, 2009


I have never figured out how to get rid of lobbies without violating free speech.

The Supreme Court recognizes few contradictions in regulating advertising, for example, while allowing free speech. When corporate lobbyists are finally understood to represent commercial interests and therefore are not expressing political speech, lobbyists can and should be regulated on the same basis.

The only "contradiction" exists when for-profit lobbyists confuse the public as to those on whose behalf they operate. By mistaking private interests for those of the public's, by permitting ourselves to be misled, we grant private entities undue -- and unchecked -- influence on our political process.

Regulation and oversight are clearly applicable answers, but obviously antithetical to the mostly unspoken manner in which our government has been corrupted. Attempts to regulate would be met with a strong media campaign professing the intrusion of "communist" or "socialist" values into public policy. We definitely have an uphill fight ahead of us, to try to regain control over our own country.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:03 PM on April 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


The issue is frequently one of complexity. The memo line on the McDonald's check does not read "for glowing SuperBeef."

Of course not. But that does not matter. If we have full disclosure, then we know all the essential elements needed to address the issue of corruption: received money from McDonalds; voted for glowing SuperBeef. We are free to decide if it was a corrupted vote and hold the representative accountable in the next election. Part of the concept of full disclosure is changing legislative rules to make votes more transparent so we know who voted for what.

I would note that stopping contributions from McDonalds is not the only way to stop their influence. It could be that McDonalds is a major employer in your district. Votes that McDonalds could influence is more important to you than their money because the only usefulness of a campaign contribution is to get votes. So at the end of the day, limiting money being spent by McDonalds is not the only way to stop their influence. Big employers and unions can corrupt a vote just by threatening a legislator. Having a union say, "all of my members will support your challenger unless you votes this way" is equally capable of being corrupting as "I'll give you $100,000 to vote this way." But surely no one would propose stopping collective action by the union. No one would dream of it because it is contrary to our principles.

The problem is corruption, so that is what we should be trying to limit. Limiting campaign funds does not directly effect corruption.

If I win the lottery tomorrow, and I decide to spend the $20 million on pushing for the election of candidates that support universal wi-fi, then I should be able to do that. That is political action. And it does not change or become inappropriate because I own a wi-fi company or because I give my money to someone who lives in DC and is good at lobbying to try to do it for me. None of those things is corruption. It only becomes corruption if a representative who ordinarily opposes the measure and does not believe it is in the best interest of his constituents changes his mind as a direct result of my money. But with full disclosure and sunlight, his constitutes will know about it. And they will have the ability to hold the representative accountable.
posted by dios at 12:13 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


And what Blazecock Pileon said about getting commercial interests out of the process, or at least, providing alternative, more tightly controlled mechanisms for individuals lobbying on behalf of commercial interests.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:14 PM on April 30, 2009


And it does not change or become inappropriate because I own a wi-fi company or because I give my money to someone who lives in DC and is good at lobbying to try to do it for me.

I disagree here. Much of the corruption in the process (and I don't mean that in the criminal sense, but in the same sense one talks about a database table or any other process being corrupted) is caused by the mere existence of lobbying as an industry and so the corruption is systemic.

This is not meant to be a value judgment, either. Look at this as a system engineering problem, more than a legal or ethical one, and you'll start to see what I mean.

The system dynamics are almost the exact legislative analog to payola in the record industry: Instead of DJs spinning records in return for fees paid them by big record labels, legislators introduce and promote bills through the legislative process in exchange for fees paid them by big interest groups. That's inherently regressive and undemocratic, because it privileges the speech rights of the exceptionally wealthy at the expense of others. There are already far more serious free-speech issues with the status quo than would be created by any attempt, no matter how draconian, to reform the lobbying industry, because, the fact is, lobbyists impacted by rule changes could still exercise their free speech rights unhindered as private citizens.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:34 PM on April 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


'Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason." - Harrington


It's funny how the pendulum has sung on that quotation: None Dare Call It Treason
posted by Pollomacho at 1:17 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe members of congress should be required to wear the logos of any companies that they've accepted money from. It would be like NASCAR.
posted by odinsdream at 1:24 PM on April 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


I have never figured out how to get rid of lobbies without violating free speech.

Donation caps would be a good start. I also think this administration is taking good steps in this direction with the proposal to put non-emergency bills online for five days for people to read and leave comments on.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:41 PM on April 30, 2009


...getting commercial interests out of the process, or at least, providing alternative, more tightly controlled mechanisms for individuals lobbying on behalf of commercial interests.

At this point, trying to pin the problem of corporate lobbying on politicians is like trying to cure a disease by treating the symptoms. Money accretes around power, regardless of what form it takes.

The disease is commercial speech being afforded the freedoms of political speech. Regulate or manage commercial speech directly. Get rid of loopholes that allow individuals to lobby on behalf of corporate interests under cover of political speech, and which punish non-profit and individual lobbying that is considered unfriendly or un-American by those same corporate interests.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:41 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


well, that rather seems to be assuming that the boom consisted entirely of the mentally feeble but hard working and honest folk throwing their money to evil black top hat wearing moustache twirling con-men.

That is a total manipulative misinterpretation of what I wrote.

If you look at the practice of "con men" you will see that they are most successful when they appeal to their victims' own greed. You want something for nothing and somebody will always give you nothing for something. It doesn't make fraud ANY LESS ILLEGAL in the eyes of the law.

And some of the most famous/infamous cons were perpetrated on people who are far from "mentally feeble"; it's called 'outsmarting the smart' and it happens every day. Blaming the victim is one of the most cancerous trends in American life for the last few decades and is helping victimizers to get away with murder.

dios: The cure for corruption is the great disinfectant: sunshine.

Greenwald: The only way they could make it more blatant is if they hung a huge Goldman Sachs logo on the Capitol dome and then branded it onto the foreheads of leading members of Congress and executive branch officials.

We have nearly all the sunlight we can possibly have on the situation. Anyone who wants to know already knows who is doing what. The only thing more we could do is force-educate the voting population and where's the freedom in that?

The "sunshine disinfectant" trope is one of the most dishonest metaphors being used today.

dios: If I win the lottery tomorrow, and I decide to spend the $20 million on pushing for the election of candidates that support universal wi-fi, then I should be able to do that. That is political action.

That is only political action in a political system of Rule By Those With the Most Money, and that is the OPPOSITE of Democracy (but then, I've never seen you declare your support for Democracy). MONEY IS NOT SPEECH and a system where money is the measure of speech is a system WITHOUT Free Speech, or what part of the word FREE do you not understand? "Freedom of the Press only belongs to those who can afford to own one"? Then IT'S NOT A REAL FREEDOM. It is ONLY Free Speech if you are NOT paying for it. PERIOD. How does winning the lottery make you better than someone who hasn't? It doesn't. It only makes you more powerful in a corrupt system.

And yes, I even believe that MetaFilter's measly $5 membership fee makes this place less than "Free" Speech. Just by a lot less than the cost of hiring a lobbyist.
posted by wendell at 3:32 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Since we're so close to it anyway, I don't see why we don't just auction off Senatorial votes. I mean, there are only 100 of them; they ought to be worth a few million bucks each, easy.

At least that way the money would go to the Treasury instead of just into the pockets of lobbyists and corrupt scumbags.

Was it Asimov who featured an "Industrial Senate" as a counterweight to a populist House in one of his books? At least that way it'd be clear whose side various people were on.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:40 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Three years later, Senator X pushes for a bill which contains, buried in hundreds of pages of legalese, an unrelated line redefining "organic" as the FDA considers the term for various meats.

This is a huge, huge problem. I simply cannot understand how it's permitted -- even standard operating procedure -- to stick riders into bills that have no relation to them.

If the law were changed such that all items in a bill had to be directly relevant to the stated and specific purpose of that bill, it would be a drastic improvement in how things are run.
posted by rifflesby at 4:19 PM on April 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


> And yes, I even believe that MetaFilter's measly $5 membership fee makes this place less than "Free" Speech. Just by a lot less than the cost of hiring a lobbyist.

Actually, I believe it is generally stated that if you really have trouble coming up with $5, you can send a letter to the mods for an exception (I believe jessamyn once got $5 worth of stamps in the mail from someone). It is really considered a speed bump, not a barrier, to entry. Also, since paying $10 doesn't grant you more speech (and they are pretty decent about regulating sock puppets), it works out fairly well.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:22 PM on April 30, 2009


I think there's an angle to take with dissolving corporate personhood.

Just treat corporate personhood more literally. Like, Pintos get you manslaughter, Ford can't do business for 5 to 10.
posted by rodgerd at 5:08 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


The disease is commercial speech being afforded the freedoms of political speech. Regulate or manage commercial speech directly.

I don't think that "commercial speech" means what you think it means here. When a business lobbies the government, that is not commercial speech any more than it is when I lobby the government. When a business advertises, that is commercial speech.

It is ONLY Free Speech if you are NOT paying for it. PERIOD.

Then, there is no such thing as free speech at all, beyond what the homeless guy on the corner has. Speech, like any other human activity, has a cost, if no more than an opportunity cost. Writing a letter to your Senator requires paper, a stamp, a pen, and the ability to write - all of which cost someone money. So your definition of free speech strikes me as so narrow as to exclude practically all speech.

If the law were changed such that all items in a bill had to be directly relevant to the stated and specific purpose of that bill, it would be a drastic improvement in how things are run.

Sounds good, but some bills are very broad, like omnibus spending bills. It's easy enough for the bill to be broad enough to cover lots of things. It seems like the only solution to that problem is ... the line-item veto?

Just treat corporate personhood more literally. Like, Pintos get you manslaughter, Ford can't do business for 5 to 10.

Yeah, that'll work, except for all the hapless employees who're out of a job. We're apparently not willing to let the Big Three sink or swim as it is - you think we'd put them out of business?
posted by me & my monkey at 7:09 PM on April 30, 2009


When a business lobbies the government, that is not commercial speech any more than it is when I lobby the government. When a business advertises, that is commercial speech.

me & my monkey: but in what real way does business lobbying represent anything more than a particular class of very narrowly targeted commercial speech? the purposes for both are precisely the same--to increase sales or otherwise further the strategic business aims of a commercial enterprise. in fact, on reflection, i can't think of a single substantive difference between marketing and commercial lobbying, except that one targets ordinary consumers and one targets the influential and politically well-connected.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:08 PM on April 30, 2009


Thomas Frank: Why Congress Won't Investigate Wall Street
posted by kliuless at 3:03 AM on May 1, 2009


heh. A couple of years ago he was forced to apologize for calling our "detainment" policies a "gulag"
posted by delmoi at 3:04 AM on May 1, 2009


I think the happy talk that disclosure solves the problem is poppycock. Most voters have no idea who supplies the money now, even though much is already disclosed about campaign contributions. The problem is those contributions can influence voting just as surely as an out and out bribe. And the canard that money=speech is just a mechanism to argue that you can't regulate the rampant bribing for fear of regulating "speech". It is true that eliminating all funding would favor the incumbent.

There is no perfect system; it has to keep evolving with the technology and social habits. For right now, I would say a public financing system (no choice) coupled with equal access to media is the fairest way to proceed. May not be for long, but let's keep the circle turning.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:09 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is true that eliminating all funding would favor the incumbent.

Unless there was a handicap, with challengers getting most of the campaigning budget and incumbents getting only enough funding to run a minimal, grass-roots campaign, forcing them to stand chiefly on their records.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:57 PM on May 1, 2009


Ah, sorry, Mental Wimp. I think my last comment involved a slight misreading of yours. On closer read, it looks like your comment meant to single out the scenario in which all campaign funding, including public funding, is eliminated.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2009


Ah, sorry, Mental Wimp.

I like the idea of a handicap, though. It's like probabilistic term limits, where merit has to overcome increasingly larger funding deficits.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:25 AM on May 3, 2009


How They “Own” Us: Banks Prevent Credit Card Customers from Testifying
posted by homunculus at 4:05 PM on May 6, 2009


Senate Dumps On Credit Card Interest Cap
posted by homunculus at 10:21 AM on May 14, 2009


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