Saturday, November 22, 2003

And the Sun Rose Today. So This Is News?

This was on the front page, top of the fold in today's Washington Post.
2 Bills Would Benefit Top Bush Fundraisers
Executives' Companies Could Get Billions

More than three dozen of President Bush's major fundraisers are affiliated with companies that stand to benefit from the passage of two central pieces of the administration's legislative agenda: the energy and Medicare bills.

The energy bill provides billions of dollars in benefits to companies run by at least 22 executives and their spouses who have qualified as either "Pioneers" or "Rangers," as well as to the clients of at least 15 lobbyists and their spouses who have achieved similar status as fundraisers. At least 24 Rangers and Pioneers could benefit from the Medicare bill as executives of companies or lobbyists working for them, including eight who have clients affected by both bills.
Is this something new? Compare with this two-and-a-half year-old, March 17, 2001 article about repeal of the federal ergonomics regulation and passage of the bankruptcy bill by Washington Post columnist David Broder.
The clear winners in both fights are the business interests that supported Bush and lobbied hard for these actions. Banks and credit card companies have been pressing for the bankruptcy law changes for five years, eager to stem their losses from people who accept the "easy credit" these same companies market with 3 billion solicitations a year, and then get in over their heads.

The ergonomics battle drew a broad coalition of business groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. They argue that the regulations would be costly to satisfy and might expose them to a new wave of lawsuits.

The losers are the same groups that supported Gore over Bush, notably organized labor, consumer organizations, advocates for women's and children's causes. Their spokesmen were the iconic liberals, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, Paul Wellstone and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Fights like these expose the true economic and social differences between the parties. Calls for civility and bipartisanship may fill the air, but when regulatory issues affecting business, workers and consumers are at stake, Republicans and Democrats heed different constituencies


In both cases, money interests prevailed over the public interest.
So, it all seems like business as usual to me. I guess its nice that the Post has managed to maintain some sense of outrage after all of this time while the rest of us risk sinking into some state of depressed fatalism.

And who knows, if the Post prints this stuff on the front page, maybe other newspapers will pick it up, and then television and people will read it and see it, and finally believe that they are really getting screwed, and vote by the millions against greed and gluttony, and throw the bastards out by a landslide.