The First Stage Is Denial

And then they go on to anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance that John McCain will never be President.

Christy sent along this article catching McCain’s lobbyist friends denying that their lobbying interests have any importance on the campaign.

McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, co-founded a lobbying firm though Davis on leave from the firm at the moment. Charlie Black, an unpaid senior adviser to McCain, is chairman of the Washington lobbying firm BKSH & Associates. Both of their firms have represented telecommunications companies whose business falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Commerce Committee on which McCain is the senior Republican member.


A McCain campaign aide who asked not to be identified said Davis has not been a registered lobbyist for two years. The aide said Black “is an unpaid volunteer and does not and will not lobby Senator McCain.”

John McCain would have you believe that lobbyists are in the business of donating their time for worthy causes, with no strings attached. And that Black’s promise not to lobby "Senator McCain" will extend to complete disinterest in policy issues that affect his clients if McCain were to be President. And that Davis’ two-year leave from lobbying with a firm he still has financial ties to somehow frees him of all interest in the success of that lobbying firm–or its clients’ interests.

This is why it’s so important to point out how false similar claims were when Bush cronies made them. Telecom lobbyist Ed Gillespie came in–refusing to recuse himself outright from issues pertaining to Quinn Gillespie’s clients. And voila, just weeks later, the Administration was awkwardly and belatedly weighing in against net neutrality. To say nothing of the fact that they’re now willing to let entire surveillance programs lapse in an effort to make sure Gillespie’s clients get immunity for having illegally wiretapped Americans.

The Bush Administration’s lobbyist-in-chief has made sure his clients’ interests take precedence over the privacy and free speech of Americans. And there’s no reason to think it would work differently with McCain’s lobbyists-in-chief.

92 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    When a lawyer goes to bed a night, he/she is still a lawyer. When a lawyer wakes up in the morning, he/she is still a lawyer.

    Lobbyists are no different, except that you can always find politicians in bed with them when the lights go out.

    Lobbying is the grease covering the machinery of politics and Saint John McBush’s has been a mechanic all his career.

    That he washes his hands sometimes in public has never meant that he doesn’t get right back to greasy hands-on political tinkering as soon as the cameras are off.

  2. Loo Hoo. says:

    Brian Rogers, a spokesman for McCain said that Obama is “trying to divert attention from the issues the American people care about. John McCain has been a champion of reform and change in Washington.”

    Guy must eat his Wheaties.

  3. Hugh says:

    ABCNews had a story a day or two ago in which they noted that Clinton had 19 lobbyists on her camaign staff, Obama 9, and McCain 59. Lobbyists sell lines. The fundamental line they sell is, of course, that they don’t sell lines. Like sincerity, if you can fake that, you can fake anything. McCain and the lobbyists are a prime example of that. We are once again being told not to believe our lying eyes. The 800 lb gorilla in the room is a lie. First, it may not be a gorilla. Second, since it has never been weighed, it is misleading under the circumstances to say it weighs anything. Third, it may not be exactly in the room or not completely in the room or not in the room all the time. Fourth, it seems a gross simplification to call the enclosed space in question a room, and even if you did there are many different kinds of rooms and you are being unnecessarily vague. Fifth, the building industry is crucial to the nation’s economy and your implied criticism of it as your room remarks show is unwarranted if not slightly suspicious. American capitalism is the best thing that ever happened to us and your outdated appeals to command economies smacks of rank socialism. Finally, if you put on these rose colored glasses, even if there is an 800 lb. gorilla in the room, it looks better.

    • Mnemosyne says:

      Excellent assessment, Hugh. Made me laugh out loud, even as I was cringing to realize how skillfully we have been manipulated for these last, seemingly endless years.

    • Leen says:

      sounds logical …. as a theme for a group of socio-paths.

      I was at a rally for Hillary in Dayton Ohio yesterday with my 80 year old mother (who is a devotee of Hillary’s. Hillary drew a very large crowd (700 made it in) thousands of working class Americans waited outside at least for a while.

      The crowd was impressive! I think HIllary is going to sweep Ohio. (I am not on her bus yet, but hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are). Many older women were crying at the Hillary rally…this was moving!

      • bmaz says:

        You know, both Clinton and Obama are excellent candidates and only marginally distinguishable on the issues. With the exception of the experience card, which both have decent arguments on (her that she has far more real experience, and he that its time to move away from that past), their “attacks” on each other have been so ticky tacky and lame they are embarrassing, and they have done nothing but give the press something to shamelessly exploit. I wish both would stop it, and they should have long ago (and this goes for the things said by, and against, Bill Clinton too). They are both really inspirational and impressive, albeit it in different ways. The Democrats are running a black and a woman for President, and they are both fantastic, capable and worthy candidates. Wow. That is a way cool and incredibly good thing. The Republicans are running the absolute best they got, and its McCain. How pathetic and what a difference. The Democrats are in great shape; time for the candidates, and us their supporters, to quit sniping at each other. Something is happening here, and on this front it is all good.

        • freepatriot says:

          what bmaz said, and this:

          Turnout Surges at Nevada Conventions

          Americans are waking up. The repuglitards are offering “More Of The Same”, while the Democrats are conducting a true nationwide primary election

          what happens if Obama wins Texas and Hillay wins Ohio ???

          on to Pennsylvania ???

          so just about EVERY STATE had a meaningful say in the nomination of the Democratic Candidate. The repuglitards don’t offer opportunity like that

          I don’t have a problem with hillary, or her political ideas. My problem with hillary are related to her past history with the repuglitard slime machine

          if hillary is the Democratic nominee, we see a rehash of the 1990s, and nobdy really takes notice

          if Obama is our candidate, the repuglitards gotta come up with a whole new slime campaign

          America ain’t gonna like seeing the true repuglitard nature, and the repuglitards aint got a way to hide it

          the repuglitards are all about “SMEAR AND FEAR”

          look what happened at the second stage of Nevada’s caucus

          anybody ever seen anything like that before ???

          America’s watching

          john mccain is lying and smearing his ass off, and it ain’t pretty

          by november, even the most blind-stooopid repuglitard will know his party is morally and ethically bankrupt

          and Obama is the candidate who highlights that best

          anybody wanna take bets on when the repuglitards start talking about a “Slaughter” rule ???

          Is it supposed to burst into flames like that ???

        • Leen says:

          I agree both incredible candidates. Just wish Hillary would have not voted for the Kyl Lieberman amendment in Oct 2007 (she scares me on Iran) Obama just “happened” to be out of town the day of this critical vote. He could have proved that he is an “anti- unnecessary war candidate” by voting no on this amendment.

          In Dayton the only thing that Hillary said that bothered me was when she referred to the war in Afghanistan. She said we have to “tell the world that you can not get away with bombing the U.S.” Did Hillary forget that the majority of the people who hi-jacked those planes were from Saudi Arabia?

          My friend Haroon from Afghanistan has made it clear to me that many people in Afghanistan feel that we are occupying that country and doing a piss poor job of it. Increased poppy cultivation, increased Taliban control etc.

  4. bigbrother says:

    Elba the Island of no immunity.
    Somewhere in the annals of history another famous short proponent of eternal war, the Little General that bankrupted the national cofers,was sent to live out the rest of his life. Banished. Navy…‘McConnell the intelligence contracts through McCain and the telecoms’, McTorture…Trent coast Guard pork A Lott. Mississippi docks, gambling casinos.
    These Rethugs have have partied hard on the taxpayers for 7 + years. You know the ones that were flooded out of their homes while Bushco did fly-overs… and the ones that are living in poverty…the one without health care… the dead ones with no body armour…the ones losing their homes maybe 100 million at risk from prime and subprime… the ones that had their jobs sent overseas…the ship wreck of the American/world economy

    When all pork roads lead through a committee headed by a presidential candidate with huggies for the sitting prezident… Is the Navy’s ship sinking? Like the fucked up Coast Guard ships that had such bad quality control a new oversight group had to be appointed?
    I could write a book on the difference between patriotism and pimping. Looks like Mr. McPain got payback for all that torture discomfort. Selling democracy for telecom profits then a cover up by telecom immunity…whoa back big boy what’s the hurry? Move over Nixon you are a punk next to George’Carlyle’Bush and his war industry.
    Meanwhile those commutes to the housing bubblr that ran the Bushco economy are making the oil companies richer than their wildest dreams.

  5. bmaz says:

    They’re all bozos on that bus. McCain just isn’t the magnanimous, charismatic and fun kind of guy that makes you want to hop on the bus and joyride for the hell of it. He is the diametric opposite of that in fact. He is dense, belligerent, self centered, angry and testy. The Straight Cock Talk Express ain’t On The Road with Kerouac and Kesey. These are greedy lobbyist assholes. When they say it isn’t about the money; IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY!

    • Mnemosyne says:

      This is the same kind of packaging by handlers and embraced by MSM that convinced a lot of people that Junior Bush would be someone they’d enjoy having a beer with–nothwithstanding his admitted alcoholism.

      If you can find a copy, read “The Boys On the Bus,” about the 1972 campaign and pack journalism. Someone I knew much later who was on that bus said the reporters learned, to their sorrow, that “Timmy Crouse takes notes.”

        • MadDog says:

          …Fear and Loathing On The Campaign Trail.

          To which Saint John and Cindy reply:

          Isn’t that about us? Oh, sorry we must have misunderstood you to say…

          Beer and Clothing On The Campaign Trail.

            • phred says:

              bmaz — I’ve seen you using Gluehorse recently, but missed the reference. Care to enlighten me?

              EW, what I find most interesting about this is not just the indictment of McCain and the lobbyists in general, but the obvious connection with the MSM. The media needs legislation from Congress to skew the playing field sufficiently to keep growing, to hit their quarterly growth targets, to keep Wall Street happy. McCain and his lobbyist chums may have been directly benefitting the conservative media such as Sinclair, but they were indirectly helping the likes of the NYT, WaPo, ABC, etc. The major media players held their tongues about what media consolidation would mean for the public interest, because they needed to for their own bottom line.

              All this ties into something else I have mentioned before and will likely mention again: that the economic growth model shoved down everyone’s throat by Wall Street is fundamentally unsustainable. I’ve thought about this in terms of the environment in the past, but it certainly seems to apply to the news media as well. IIRC the problems at the LA Times were not that they were unprofitable, but that their profits were not growing fast enough to keep Wall Street happy.

              I’m not sure that we can truly fix our political system until we also address the failures of our economic system.

              • bmaz says:

                Phred, its a local thing here coined back in 2000 by one of my friends, another native here, who is a Republican by the way. The longtime natives here were never all that enthralled with the Great St. McCain, even the Republicans.

                By the way, a few threads back a couple of us delved briefly back into this thread regarding corporate reform that you were deep in the middle of. It is something we ought to keep our mind on in the future. It is hard to get to stuff like that when you are just struggling to to keep fundamentals of the Constitution intact and trying to keep the DOJ from totally falling off the cliff of conflict and corruption.

                • masaccio says:

                  Calling McCain gluehorse is a way of saying he is really old: in earlier times, when horses got old, they were sent to the glue factory, where their carcasses were turned into dog food, gelatin, and glue. See this link. Apparently this is still done.

                  • phred says:

                    Thanks masaccio — I was thinking gluehorse referred to things sticking to McCain. Now I get it… I would add that horses bound for the glue factory weren’t just old, they were considered useless. I’m just sayin’…

                    bmaz @20, thanks for the link back to that thread. That was a fun conversation : ) FWIW, I completely agree, that first we must preserve the Constitution. After that, undoing the pervasive damage to our system of government and economy is going to require a pretty thorough re-evaluation of truths we once thought were self-evident…

                  • bmaz says:

                    Oh, absolutely, and that was eight years ago we were calling him that…..

                    BigBrother @22 – You know, I understand what you are saying; and, ion one sense, don’t disagree. But in the larger sense, I dunno. I am an attorney, so is masaccio. We have been here, and I can’t speak for him, but at least for myself, doing things you don’t see in our own community to try and better our government and bring accountability. Am I what you complain or? I wasn’t kidding when I said above that the system depends on even the ugly voices being heard. A lawyer is simply a path and a megaphone for the voices of others. What you complain of is more the effect of legislatures and the rules and preferences that have been laid over the years; lawyers only operate within the framework they are given. The real problem is the uninformed, uneducated and unmotivated lazy citizenry; that is the root. Heaving it all on attorneys is a cop out.

                • bigbrother says:

                  I went by McTorture’s office many times. I was an anti war activist in Arizona. My dad lived within a mile of his office. It seemed somehow evil.
                  It is part of the evil political culture that AZ is famous for. My dad loved it as a John Birch Society member, an alcoholic and a car dealer. My step-mother and half bother still are comfortable in that moral vacuum.
                  I am 71 today about the age of McCain…I live in honest poverty…I sleep well.

              • NCDem says:

                that the economic growth model shoved down everyone’s throat by Wall Street is fundamentally unsustainable.

                Our nation has been using this meme on other countries for decades. Please read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins. You can trace how our World Bank, the IMF, State Department, and the Pentagon has created a control and expand the power and wealth of multinational corporations. It hasn’t created the consumption boom in the world that they predicted or needed but it continues to work in the US. Now, the economy is ready to free fall as the consumer’s tank is full and his pockets empty. Consumption will drop by 3-5% this year and China will begin to call in its loans and Saudi Arabia will agree to switch currency away from the dollar. I hope Obama has some very smart advisers to help him otherwise he will be a one term President and we all will be in the tank.

        • Mnemosyne says:

          With this much passage of time, I’m guessing that a re-read will show more similarities than differences in the books. Got copies around here somewhere, on the back of the shelf . . .

  6. Neil says:

    This is why it’s so important to point out how false similar claims were when Bush cronies made them. Telecom lobbyist Ed Gillespie came in–refusing to recuse himself outright from issues pertaining to Quinn Gillespie’s clients…. they’re now willing to let entire surveillance programs lapse in an effort to make sure Gillespie’s clients get immunity for having illegally wiretapped Americans.

    Never a clearer example of how the special interests that finance campaigns take priority over the most basic functions of government at the expense of the people who grant that authority to the governemnt.

    OT – Bob Bennett on Late Edition

    #1 Questions about the meeting with Paxson and Iseman.
    RB: “It’s much to do about nothing.” “I think this McCain thing…”
    Does this put at question his status as a reformer?

    #2 Bennett about his representation of Jose Rodriguez.
    Is he in legal jeopardy? “No.” and paraphrased: It’s too bad a man who protects our country by going face to face with terrorists had to go get an attorney to defend himself.

    #3 Bennett’s Book “In The Ring”
    Question about how Bennett was hired to represent Clinton.

  7. kspena says:

    just saying…..

    America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

    The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
    Alexis de Tocqueville

  8. bigbrother says:

    Follow the money…find the crimes. Marcy finds the PAC money…the telecom lobby all through the Commerce committee. It is time for the congressional investigations to begin.
    McConnell is on talking heads to cover this treason. It is so deep and so wide and ooooh si corrupt. Just look at them.

  9. bmaz says:

    Ah, in honor of the Oscars, ESPN SportsCenter has announced their Best Picture Of The Year. And the winner is “No Country For Old Men” starring Brett Favre; which barely beat out “Michael Clayton” the hard hitting tale of corruption starring Bill “SpyVideo” Belichick. Sorry EW, the Pats finish second again….

  10. TheraP says:

    When it comes to ethics, the big problem begins with “dual relationships” and “conflicts of interest.”

    Now sometimes a “dual relationship” is not such a big deal. Being a parent and a spouse, for example, is generally unavoidable. And mostly doesn’t lead to harm.

    But when a person is beholden to clients in two spheres, one as a business relationship and another as an adviser to a politician, then you have a big potential for conflicts of interest creeping in.. for the dual relationship to lead to unethical behavior of one type or another.

    That’s why it’s always important to take a look at any kind of “dual relationship” one might be heading toward and simply avoid it, if there would be a potential or even the appearance of conflict of interest.

    We psychologists think about this kind of thing all the time. It’s part of our training. Maybe lawyers do – or they should. You almost wonder if some people are hired as lobbyists because they don’t draw careful ethical boundaries.

    Apparently it’s not something that McCain does. And he seems to surround himself with others who also are involved in multiple and conflicting relationships.


    You folks deserve an award for all your hard work! I’m sure I speak for many.

    • bmaz says:

      Maybe lawyers do – or they should.

      He heh, are you talking about the lawyer that lives and works at this blog, or the guy that goes to court with clients? Because, and I hate to burst any bubbles, in the latter case there is a fine line between symbiotic efficiency and corrupt conflict of interest; and that line is where the client places their signature on the checks paying your fees. As long as you can do your job as a lawyer within the ethical rules, everybody is entitled to access and advocacy in the courts, and to deny that undermines what our system is about.

      • TheraP says:

        Not sure exactly all of what you mean there, bmaz. But here’s an example from my work that dovetails with yours: Long ago some lawyer wanted me to do an eval for his client. I asked about “payment” and was told something like when the suit settles in the client’s favor, then I’d get paid. I viewed that arrangement as subtly (maybe not so subtle) trying to influence the outcome of my eval. I told the lawyer, no…. I get paid for my time, and that I certainly could not guarantee that my eval would go in the client’s (or lawyer’s) favor. As it was I didn’t do the work. The guy seemed amazed that my “opinion” was not for sale!

        So, I do gather that your comments here, of course, are free of conflict of interest. As are mine. Your professional work is different that mine in one significant way. I often describe this to people if they need a lawyer. I, as a therapist, am like a coach in the corner. The client/patient is in the ring… fighting. And I’m there like an adviser. With an attorney, however, in my view, the roles are reversed. You’ve hired a fighter. To go into the ring for you. And you, the client, are on the outside, observing your attorney fight for you.

        Not sure how that fits with your comments. But I’m guessing the roles are quite different in our professions. I’m more on the sidelines. You’re more engaged in the nitty gritty your clients are facing.

  11. bigbrother says:

    The SEC regulatory was put on a leach…Chris Cox…
    Renzi just one of Arizona’s corrupt political culture (Gauntlet, Eastwood)
    Arizona where you legally have a loaded gun on the front seat.

    Attorneys…people who have been parsing the theft of the taxpayers dollars,. People who swore to uphold the constituion which says you shall impeach. Which of these five letters do you not understand? Shall is used to denote a requirement especially in legal lingo.

    I had a lot of grammar in my family from Phi Beta Kappa Phds. I know what SHALL means and so do you attorneys. But instead of following the law you play the game of politics. n doing so you ALL are in violation of the constitution and put yourselves above the law much like the president.

    We citizens depend on you…we are indeed most usually dissapointed.
    Take Lam the San Diego DOJ attorney did a fine job and was canned politically. You should all be standing up for her and the rest of the orincipled lawyers have stood for justice no matter the consequences.

    Freedom has a price…you may never be rich…but you can be proud.

  12. masaccio says:

    TheraP: I am a lawyer also. The new rules of professional responsibility describe several roles lawyers can take, two of which are advocate and advisor. I am in the latter category. I advise people as to how they should deal with their financial problems, including the possibility of bankruptcy. One part of my work is basically helping people deal with the problems that financial failure brings with it, which range from handling bank accounts to depression. We think of bankruptcy as similar to baptism: your financial sins are forgiven and you start over. The key is making sure they achieve the benefits of the proceeding, and that they have a plan for going forward.

    Bmaz is apparently more of an advocate, and many of his comments are coming from that posture.

    • bmaz says:

      All I did for most of my career was trial work in criminal defense, plaintiff’s civil rights and torts. We turned away a few people that were capable of paying our fees, but not many, and most of those were because the individuals were such assholes we didn’t want to deal with them, not because of who they were or what they had done. I don’t have to like a client, or even believe he is innocent, to go into court and argue that a search and seizure was illegal and unconstitutional and that the charges must therefore be dismissed. Did it all the time, and yes, it put guilty criminals back on the street. But that wasn’t my doing, that was the direct result of bad, malicious and unconstitutional police work; and if you don’t go do that, the next time the bad cop is doing it to an innocent person like you. And I am flat out here to tell you that if a lot of these type of had not have been eroded to the point of near extinction over the last 25-30 years, we would not be in the police state position that we have been placed in. When some of us “criminal coddlers” were screaming “slippery slope” a couple of decades ago, we weren’t kidding; now that we are near the bottom of the hill, everybody is catching on. So, yes, attorneys are hired guns; but everybody is entitled to one, and if that wasn’t the case, you personally might not be when you needed one. It is the system; and it is the worst in the world. Except for all the other ones; which are light years worse.

      • bmaz says:

        Masaccio, only the first sentence was really directed at you. The rest was a general rant. Back as to lawyers for a second. Take Bob Bennett for example. He has taken some hits here recently, and I may even have landed a couple myself; can’t remember, the last couple of days have been fast and furious. At any rate, other than that it is all kind of helping to shill his book, I have no gripes about what Bennett is doing. He is doing his job, and he is pretty damn good at it. His clients, on the other hand, are a different matter; to hell with them. And the Gluehorse some of them are riding in on….

      • phred says:

        An excellent rant bmaz. That’s the whole point isn’t it? To make sure the system is fair and the laws are adhered to. It’s based on a presumption of innocence, a presumption which is almost gone in our police state where we are all assumed to be guilty until we prove to the authorities that we are innocent, whether via our shiny new REAL IDs or our appropriately benign biometrics at the airport or our carefully inspected phone calls, emails, and web transactions, etc. etc. etc.

    • TheraP says:

      Very helpful information, massaccio. I appreciate knowing that. I wonder if others in the advisory role, such as the campaign advisers who also dabble in “intervention” as lobbyists… could ever see the distinction! Right there is one nodal point of the problem.

      bmaz @ 30:

      We once “hired” a “hired gun.” It was money well spent. He was better than the attorney a college had hired! And let my husband work with him when he wrote up briefs, which kept the fees down as naturally my husband knew the circumstances better than the lawyer and that saved time. The guy also allowed us to do some “intervening” on our own (like going to the press, best thing I ever did!).

      I don’t have a problem with the “hired gun” aspect of your legal work. Not at all. And it does make sense that police etc. also have to follow the law.

      In your case, however, I doubt that you were scratching the backs of the police/judges while simultaneously confronting them on behalf of your clients, even those who clearly may have committed the crime, but got “off” on a technicality.

      And it’s the conflicts of interest that are the subject here, it seems to me. McCain’s. And his associates’.

      Sometimes conflicts are inevitable. If so, you try to thread the needle, think carefully about the options, do what you feel is in the best overall interests of society. Like when you work to get a criminal off on a technicality, you are working for principles of fairness and justice, Rule of Law, … even for criminals.

      That’s why we oppose torture, erosion of habeas corpus, letting the govt spy on us without warrants etc.

      Boy do we need ethics! And ethical people.

      MadDog @ 32: Duly noted. I agree.

      • bmaz says:

        No, we didn’t scratch too many backs, we were often pretty much at war with the world. thats okay, that was our job. You mentioned the time an attorney tried to hire you earlier. That sounded like a weird deal. Who was this idiot? First off, it isn’t particularly ethical to make expert’s opinions contingent based; we just payed their flat or hourly fees up front and as necessary. Sounds to me like this was a PI/tort case contingent fee case and this chump didn’t even have the wherewithall to cover one stinking expert. Secondly, confirming the chump status, good trial lawyers that know what the hell they are doing know who to go to, on what kind of case, for a friendly expert opinion; they don’t jerk around in the dark with someone they don’t know. Bizarre.

        • TheraP says:

          And some poorly trained people would be dumb enough to bite! I have no idea who the person was. I wouldn’t touch these things anyway. Not my specialty. But there are bozos everywhere – and they’re generally happiest with other bozos!

  13. bigbrother says:

    An agreement under which we are governed. Attorneys operate under “the rule of law” which emanates from the constitution as a body of common law decisions and the Statutes which I regret I am not in command of.
    The pain for me is that as we read the Bill of Rights and the Articles of the Constitution we cannot justify the actions of our elected representatives.
    The “Corporate Culture” has overlain the political culture and the government. Justice has been slain by corruption. Expediency has been used to implement the abuse of our rights.
    A corporate fascism has grown to control our democratic process. Casually ridiculing these events does not address the crimes against the American people.
    In the criminal justice system, when an alledged crime is commited it is charged or investigated by a grand jury of a District Attorney. When high crimes and misdameanors are alleged a similar investigation is called for. Nixon was impeached and removed from office for far far less than has occurred under the Bush/Cheney administration.
    To whom do we turn for justice if not the legal community?

  14. bigbrother says:

    OK. So “We The People” are ignored by the Legal community in part, but not all. Here is a link to The National Lawyers Guild Resolution to Impeach……..lution.pdf
    There are some very fine attorneys that have come together Novemebr 5, 2007 in Washington to vpte unamously to Impeach our elected leaders in the White House.
    I ask that this site make such a resolution or support this one.

  15. masaccio says:

    Most lawyers are lime me and bmaz and the others who comment here; we just handle the everyday problems that people bring us. We are just the grease that gives people some level of confidence that the system can work for them. Then there are the slugs whose principle interest is selling out the system for the benefit of their clients.

    Years ago I was a state securities administrator, and was involved in drafting rules for specialized kinds of limited partnerships, where I had to deal with an American Bar Association committee, men (all men) who were supposedly providing helpful technical advice, pro bono and disinterested. In fact, they were on the committee for the sole purpose of representing their clients, large broker-dealers. These are emblematic of the sell-outs. They have completely given up on the principle of professionalism which is at the root of the work that both bmaz and I do.

    So, try to aim your wrath at sell-outs, rather than lawyers in general.

    And, bmaz is almost too nice, contingent fees for experts are not ethical, and are stupid besides. Suppose the other side asked about the fee arrangement? The jury would assume the opinion was purchased.

    • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

      just saw your new comment – I’m so glad you said that. I’m resuming work as an expert witness (PTSD/trauma/psych) and I’ve always been even-handed.

      Meeting with an attorney to discuss the apparent needs in my area, I was surprised to learn that ANY expert witnesses (esp MD’s) would enter into contngent arrangements. It screamed unethical (to both of us).

      He also described that some physician experts took delayed payment (on verrry) flexible time frames from plaintiff’s counsel – even this seemed squicky to me. How can I in good faith say I’m an independent witness if I have a vested interest in the attorney’s cash flow?

      Thanks to you and bmaz and the other ethical attorneys here for fighting the good fight and staying ethical.

      • bmaz says:

        For an expert? No way. I will say, however, that for treatment I have negotiated such delayed payment arrangements (and sometimes had the unfortunate task of later negotiating a compromised lesser amount if things did not go well). But that was so that the client could get treatment he/she needed, not for an independent expert opinion. As masaccio said, it isn’t proper and you would get absolutely killed in your case in chief. And the blow wouldn’t just cut your expert off at the knees, it would wound your whole case and make it suspect. Very bad; very stupid.

  16. Hmmm says:

    Semi-OT: “Hours after chiding Congress for not finishing a wiretapping bill and leaving the nation ‘vulnerable to terrorist attack,’ officials acknowledge all requested information is being received.”…..7112.story

    Glenn’s gonna have a field day with this one.

  17. Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

    Marcy, thanks for another excellent incisive post.

    And thanks to the commenters – esp Hugh’s gorilla analogy.

    (Wish I’d thought of that in talking with my dear friends from Frankenfood….may I use it with attribution?)

  18. Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

    Thanks bmaz – and totally agree with you on expediting treatment (vs expert opinion). For me the former was (and is) simply the right thing to do – as McCoy would say “Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor.”

    When I did that I severed myself from all but treatment; counsel and I both thought that entangling emergent tx with subsequent expert witness services was too squicky to contemplate. Of course, we then had to deal with the patient/client’s displeasure at seeing two shrinks – but that was the only way counsel(s) and I could imagine structuring it.

    I never even imagined physician experts were doing the verrrrry deferred payment thing until I heard of it here in the SF Bay Area. Glad to know I’m not alone in finding it unethical.

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not crazy (about this, anyway).

    • TheraP says:

      You sound sane to this psychologist!

      I too would be willing to assist in treatment. And have. But yet, that is totally separate from acting in any “expert” capacity.

  19. bmaz says:

    I thought I read somewhere that Vicki Iseman had lawyered up, but I can’t remember where or quickly find anything on it. Anybody able to refresh my recollection or tell me who said lawyer is if this is true?

  20. bmaz says:

    By the way, Jane thinks McCain and Lieberman are two Wild and Crazy Guys out on the shag circuit like in one of those manly “buddy movies”. My question (and I was kind of proud of it) is which one is Butch and which one is Scumdance?

  21. Minnesotachuck says:

    EW: Larisa at-Largely has this post up triggered by your post the other day entitled “Did Vicki Iseman ‘Steal Honor’ . . “, suggesting that she may have been intentionally planted into McCain’s inner circle by Sinclair and Paxson. Any thoughts?

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks for the link.

      That’s precisely what I was wondering when I asked the two questions:

      1) Why didn’t Rove use this in 2000?
      2) Why did her actions end up perfectly serving Bush in 2004?

      That said, I’m not sure I’d say it was a corporation. Or rather, I’m not sure you can separate the Republican party from the way they set up corporations designed to benefit the party first, and profit second (and that model is definitely true for Sinclair, which in the face of a financial disaster still insisted on screening some of Stolen Honor).

  22. freepatriot says:

    the first stage is denial ???

    denial is the only stage repuglitards have

    they’re MONOSPEED

    all denial, all the time

    I personally got three speeds; talk, rant, stop

    repuglitards ain’t got that range

    remember when mccain was hitting Obama about public financing ???

    the DNC filed a complaint

    I got twenty bucks that says the repuglitards DENY that this is a problem

    and suckers, er, takers ???

    and ain’t this a sweet quote:

    In short, this is an issue of integrity — and John McCain’s lack of it. What the DNC is asking the FEC to do is fairly simple: Require McCain’s campaign to abide by the legally binding contract it created with the federal government to enjoy the benefits of the public financing system — benefits his campaign has already used — in return for abiding by the program’s spending limits. Soon the ball will be in the FEC’s court. Let’s see where they go from here.

    that’s a real nice campaign ya got there senator mccain, is it supposed to burst into flames like that ???

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      John Dean, in his book on the religious right entitled Conservatives Without Conscience, drew heavily on the work of the U.S.-born social psychologist Bob Altemeyer who has made a career at the University of Manitoba out of studying right wing authoritarians. At Dean’s suggestion, Altemeyer has written a book length encapsulation of his work for a lay audience, and published it for free on the web. Here’s the URL to the site from which you can download it in PDF format. It’s a really good, readable and jargon-free presentation, and it provides a context that makes sense of the many infuriating yet hilarious posturings of the righties.

    • bmaz says:

      The only problem there is that the FEC may not be able to enforce, on this, or anything else for that matter because the Commission is effectively disbanded thanks to the Republicans. Remember HansFrans von Spakovsky? Well, since the Dems would not allow that puke’s nomination to go to the floor for a confirmation vote, the Repuglitards prevented all nominations from being considered and there are only two members active on a six member committee that requires at least four for action; or at least that is my understanding.

      • freepatriot says:

        we’re in a different arena now

        who cares what the FEC does

        Obama has a sound bite to kick mccain’s ass on this issue

        I don’t like beating a dead horse

        but that’s all the repuglitards got this year …

        I repeat:

        That’s a real nice campaign ya got there mr mccain, is it supposed to burst into flames like that ???

        reality is just KICKING THE REPUGLITARDS ASS

        and I wanna make sure everybody is up to speed on this train wreck

  23. pseudonymousinnc says:

    Charlie Black, like Ed Rogers, is one of those ‘Republican consultants’ who make up the shadowy cadre who, without ever subjecting themselves to the electorate, pull lots and lots of strings in Washington.

    The amount of power that bastard has is a dirty little secret, but all the hosts and pundits treat him with the deference they think he’s owed.

  24. Minnesotachuck says:

    OK, folks, if we can somehow keep from cooking ourselves in a globally warming stew, we’ve got 7.6 billion years left. This is according to Dr. Robert Smith, who has corrected his earlier calculations that led him to conclude that our planet would escape being vaporized by the dying sun. No such luck, sayeth the Emeritus Reader in Astronomy at the University of Sussex. He’d neglected to figure in the drag of the dying star’s expanding atmosphere.

    Anyway, it’s off to the Oscar Party. We always have a contest to see who comes in the closest to the actual awards. Last year I came in third with purely random guesses.

    • freepatriot says:

      7.6 billion years ???

      yer off your slide rule there dude

      we got 5 billion years, tops

      I know

      I got a guy on the inside …

      so don’t sign any long term leases

  25. bmaz says:

    I agree with pretty much all of that. I don’t know that I was for Afghanistan, but I wasn’t against it. My real beef was that it needed to be done right and, like everything else Bush and Cheney have touched, it was fucked up. Unlike Iraq, there was a good result at least possible in Afghanistan; we just didn’t really try.

    • freepatriot says:

      is it bad ettiquite to fix someone else’s link ???

      so shoot me

      Israel’s Mossad, Out of the Shadows

      I might not agree with your link, but I’ll defend your right to post that link, and even help ya if I have to

      I like links …

      mmmmmmm, data …

      I don’t know, it just came out of nowhere …

  26. freepatriot says:

    McCain: The ‘Anti-Lobbyist’ Who Works With Lobbyists

    “We understood that he [McCain] did not speak directly with him [Paxson]. Now it appears he did speak to him. What is the difference?”

    I’m thinking the repuglitard plan is that anybody paying attention to the repuglitards will have died of laughter long before November

    I could be wrong, or suffering from oxygen deprivation, due to excessive laughter …

    better call 911 before I read the blogs, just in case …

  27. masaccio says:

    So, are we live-blogging the Oscars? Costume design to Elizabeth the Golden Age? Another costume drama, when Atonement had those perfect outfits, and,

  28. Neil says:

    The First Stage Is Denial: The first stage of the stages that have become well-known as the “Five Stages of Grief” a model introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying”.

    1. Denial: The initial stage: “It can’t be happening.”
    2. Anger: “Why me? It’s not fair.”
    3. Bargaining: “Just let me live to see my children graduate.”
    4. Depression: “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”
    5. Acceptance: “It’s going to be OK.”

    I can’t wait for stage two. We’ve heard so much about Saint John’s hair-trigger temper. This stage will resenble freepatriots remarks @ 65 “Is it supposed to burst into flames like that ???”

    Then Bargaining. I bet we get that stage in spades. McCain does contrite and reform better than anyone. All he has to do is tie it to deal and we’re onto #4 Depression.

    • MadDog says:

      Parts of “60 Minutes” Broadcast Blocked in Alabama…

      We are now being told that it was a technical issue with CBS in New York:

      We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring “The Prosecution of Don Siegelman.”

      It was a techincal(sic) problem with CBS out of New York. We are working with them right now to see if we can re-broadcast the segment.

      Please be patient with us during this time. We are doing our best to correct the problem.

      Excuse me? Are they trying to tell us that a glitch in New York ONLY happened in Alabama — which is the topic of the 60 Minutes broadcast — and ONLY during the Don Siegelman segment? Are you kidding me? We have selective prosecution and now we have selective news delivery?

      Methinks Larisa has a very good point…like usual!

      • MadDog says:

        More from Larisa:

        Okay, people from Northern Alabama and Mobile – very southeast – are letting me know that the show was blocked – black screen – during the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes ONLY. I also got one email from Florida saying that they had strange GOP “Dem’s are soft on terror,” commercials. People, let me make myself clear here. If it is indeed true that so many people were blocked from viewing a show about DOJ corruption, then we are well into the arms of fascism.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      With a link to CBS about continuing the investigation. Also contacts for the Northern Alabama station that wouldn’t show that portion of 60 Mintues:

      CBS out of New York.” I contacted CBS News in New York and was told that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19, which had the signal and had functioning transmitters.” I was told that the decision to blacken screens across Northern Alabama “could only have been an editorial call.” Channel 19 is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, who can be contacted through Rhonda Barnat, 212-371-5999 or [email protected].

  29. Neil says:

    This is an opportunity for CBS. They can rebroadcast it for everyone who missed it. Someone should be full page ads in Alabama,

    Why is Channel 19 trying to keep you from watching 60 minutes?

  30. Loo Hoo. says:

    From Larissa’s commenter:

    According to Left in Alabama Blog, WHNT says they will air the Siegelman segment during the 10 pm news tonight (Sunday). It might actually reach more people then.

    Posted by: Melissa | February 24, 2008 at 11:13 PM

  31. freepatriot says:

    Consumption will drop by 3-5% this year and China will begin to call in its loans and Saudi Arabia will agree to switch currency away from the dollar.

    and Hugo Chavez is using his petrodollar windfall to create a replacement for the World bank/IMF

    we’ll be seeing the results of bush’s economic incompetence soon

    welcome to Wiemar America

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