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Congressmen Who Lobbied FCC Against Net Neutrality & Received Payoff

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the only-your-best-interests-at-heart dept.

Government 192

An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica published an article Friday highlighting the results from research conducted by a money-in-politics watchdog regarding the 28 congressmen who sent a combined total of three letters to the FCC protesting against re-classifying the internet as a public utility. These 28 members of the U.S. House of Representatives 'received, on average, $26,832 from the "cable & satellite TV production & distribution" sector over a two-year period ending in December. According to the data, that's 2.3 times more than the House average of $11,651.' That's average. Actual amounts that the 28 received over a two year period ranged from $109,250 (Greg Walden, R-OR) to $0 (Nick Rahall, D-WV). Look at the list yourselves, and find your representative to determine how much legitimacy can be attributed to their stated concerns for the public."

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US is an oligarchy, not a democracy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027259)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

Pretty much (5, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#47027397)

one of the nasty parts of our history they don't teach is that large sections of our Constitution and the basis of our Representative government were designed to keep poor people from voting themselves the land that the wealthy had already claimed. It's all right there is books and documents from the time. There really wasn't any reason to hide it since if you were literate you were probably rich.

Re:Pretty much (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027501)

Remember: http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com]
Move your ass, do something.

Re:Pretty much (1, Insightful)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#47027795)

I really think this is an over reaction. Basically the idea is to put a cap on the amount of picket signs and billboards people can put up based on an arbitrary dollar figure. Dollars do not win elections. Look at the John Morse campaign in Colorado...I mean they spent what, 11 times what the opposition spent? Yet they still lost. Sorry but I think the first amendment is much too important of a thing to forsake just because you don't like how much money some person spent on a campaign.

The wolf-pac proposal would also, for example, prohibit actions like those taken when SOPA was killed. (Also I like how they use made up statistics everywhere, like claiming that 96% of the country is behind them....if that was really the case, we wouldn't be having this discussion.)

In situations like the TFA describes, I think a better solution would be to force congressmen and senators to recuse themselves of voting on issues that major campaign contributors have a vested interest in. That would VERY quickly solve the problem that they're attempting to solve (lobbyists would effectively be punished for contributing campaign dollars,) and it wouldn't run afoul of any first amendment issues.

Re:Pretty much (1)

BilI_the_Engineer (3618871) | about 6 months ago | (#47027927)

if that was really the case, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I don't support that thing, but I don't think what you said is necessarily true. Many people vote for the 'lesser' of two evils, based on a select few policies that the 'less evil' party has. Other policies get ignored in favor of keeping the Great Evil from winning.

So while it's true that this probably isn't a top issue for most people, the fact that we're in this situation doesn't mean 96% of the country isn't behind them. Though, I do doubt that statistic.

Re:Pretty much (4, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about 6 months ago | (#47027951)

I actually look at what money candidates receive and who paid it. If the people lavishing money on them are my enemy then I tend to vote for the other candidate. All too often though the other candidate is also taking big payouts from the same bastards. It's hard to win when both candidates are bought.

Re:Pretty much (4, Informative)

knightghost (861069) | about 6 months ago | (#47028341)

Dollars do not win elections.

IMHO that statement is 100% false and the example is a cherry picked outlier. Dollars are by far the most important thing in an election - especially the bigger elections. They pay for strategy and marketing to craft the proper lie then buy commercials to brainwash the populace.

Re:Pretty much (5, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about 6 months ago | (#47028447)

According to Politifact, it's only mostly false [politifact.com] . The candidate who spends the most money wins 80+% of the time (98% for the house in 2004), but exactly how often they win varies by election.

Re:Pretty much (4, Insightful)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#47027675)

I don't think it was intended to protect the wealthy so much as it was intended to protect against mob mentality. Even in cases where it protects land you own, you didn't have to be wealthy to own land.

The most important thing was that they didn't like (and indeed just escaped from) a situation where lords and kings could just take anything you owned at any time they wanted because it was their "divine right." They certainly didn't want to replace that with a new government that was every bit as capable of doing the same thing, otherwise what the fuck was the point? Whether people voted you away from your land, or a king just demanded you relinquish it, is ultimately the same kind of injustice.

Just because "the people" want it, doesn't make it any more right. Remember that "the people" also supported slavery, indeed certain items like California Prop 8 won with a majority of voters.

Re:Pretty much (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027689)

Nothing nasty in there. As the constitution was created, it was modern. Take europe of that time. The nasty thing is that it has not been updated since. Nowadays the european countries have very modern constitutions. Germany had two chances to make a democratic constitution, the USA only one.

Re:Pretty much (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028497)

Nothing nasty in there. As the constitution was created, it was modern. Take europe of that time. The nasty thing is that it has not been updated since. Nowadays the european countries have very modern constitutions. Germany had two chances to make a democratic constitution, the USA only one.

Ummm, Germany kinda NEEDED that extra chance...

Not really a good example there, dude.

Cultural Literacy (5, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 6 months ago | (#47028467)

Large sections of our Constitution and the basis of our Representative government were designed to keep poor people from voting themselves the land that the wealthy had already claimed... There really wasn't any reason to hide it since if you were literate you were probably rich.

A dangerous assumption to make.

In 1776, one book, written in complex language, sold over 120,000 copies in Colonial America.

First convert 120,000 into a fraction of the U.S. population in 1776: compared to the population at the time of 2.5 million, 120,000 is roughly 1 in 20, or 5%. Today's U.S. population is about 300 million --- of which 5% is 15 million.

Fifteen million copies today! More surprisingly, Common Sense by Thomas Paine sold this equivalent in just three months. In its first year, it sold 500,000 copies, or 20% of the colonial population.

Today's equivalent is 60 million copies.

Were Colonial Americans More Literate than Americans Today? [freakonomics.com] . ''Every Man Able to Read'' [history.org]

In the late colonial and early federal era, disputes over land ownership centered on the opening of the western frontiers to settlement and the abolition of feudal tenures. The Last Patroon [newnetherl...titute.org]

The Library of America's two volume "The Debate on the Constitution" can be found in most public libraries.

For Americans this is Shakespeare, and more. Not only is it wonderful writing, it is wonderful thinking. -- Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio

Re:US is an oligarchy, not a democracy (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#47028473)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

They're using the wrong word. It's a Plutocracy, not an Oligarchy.

Employees != lobbyists (2)

Enry (630) | about 6 months ago | (#47027265)

I'm in the healthcare and higher education industry, but my beliefs don't always match that of my employers. While I can understand employees of a company may want to keep their business going, I consider it a far cry from actual lobbyists or company executives doing the same.

Re:Employees != lobbyists (2)

hey! (33014) | about 6 months ago | (#47027529)

Well, you've never been in a position where your employer *required* you to attend fundraisers. Your views have nothing to do with it; your continued employment does.

In effect this is money laundering, but it occurs at a management level where nobody wants to rock the boat because the pay is so good.

Re:Employees != lobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027977)

...and, I will state that corporations do give large sums to political entities through their various foundations, etc as well, and this is way before Citizens United and other Supreme Court fuck-overs as of late opened the doors. So it is easy to pick on the Koch brothers (samuel adelson, token liberal george soros...), but at least they're open/not denying about some of their efforts...

Re:Employees != lobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027919)

When I worked at a certain pharma (Abbott) in the early 2000's, the emails to the employees from the company were heavy on us regarding some of the things Pharma (Pharmaceuticals manufacturing assn?), and that us employees could contribute to it... did not receive any other encouragements from my direct supervisors about it though.

Re:Employees != lobbyists (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 6 months ago | (#47028147)

On the other hand, employees are more likely to send money to sympathetic candidates.

If everyone in Cable gives to a cable-friendly candidate, and everyone in pharma gives to pharma-friendly candidates, the end result is going to be a large number of donations on the side of those who support it.

No one reports when the pro candidate got less money than the anti candidate... I expect it happens a lot, just because of this fact:

We are talking about a difference of $15k, per candidate, on an election that cost $300k or more. Next election cycle, cable is going to give to these guys again, because they support the industry. So which came first, big contributions or voting for cable?

If anyone is going to have any sort of point, they can't just throw out numbers and expect outrage back if they want to make some sort of coherent argument. It's easy to get people riled up because people are dumb. But that doesn't make an argument.

Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027267)

make it illegal.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#47027365)

While that sounds nice, the problem with it is what happens when *I*, Joe Consumer, wants to lobby my own Congressman on an issue that concerns me?

Am I not allowed to tell him/her what I want done on by behalf?

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

mellon (7048) | about 6 months ago | (#47027427)

That argument would make more sense if it were the case right now that you have the same access as a lobbyist. The point the OP is making is that if I ask you do to X, and pay you Y, that could be seen as bribery. If I just ask you to do X, and don't pay you, that's not bribery.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027449)

Yes, but you probably shouldn't be allowed to pay them off to care about what you care about.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027461)

As long as your lobbying doesn't include giving money or favours, fine. Lobbying should amount to a written letter explaining your reasoning for changes in law and how they benefit society.

Re: Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027587)

I assume you wouldnt bring a briefcase with 100k in it.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47027597)

"Lobbying" is "paid lobbying", so there's no problem with you writing a letter or scheduling a meeting. The problem is when someone pays $$$ for "special access". That is bribery and should be illegal. But paying for "access" and hinting at a preferred outcome is currently legal. It's only illegal to link the payment for a vote. Payment for "consideration" is legal (though still bribery).

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#47028187)

There is a fine line on this.

Suppose your neighbor is going to install a swimming pool and in order to do it, they will have to tear up your yard to install the plumbing. Now suppose your late wife, mother, sister or whatever planted some rose bushes at the fence line and you do not want them disturbed at all because of the sentimental value attached to them. The contractor says- don't worry about it, we will plant new ones. You say that is not good enough, the originals must not be disturbed and protected else you cannot enter my property. So your neighbor decides to file for a right of way onto your property.

Now you have a few choices. You can fight this on your own, possible winning or possible being out maneuvered by their legal team. Or you can obtain legal representation and leave it to them. If you get legal representation, they will be able to petition the judge directly and argue your case in a way that is likely more effective then you can. He goes in and tells the judge that these flowers were the last thing done between you and the lost loved one and losing the flowers would be like losing the loved one all over again. It would break your heart and crush your will to live. And this will happen year after year when they fail to come back up in the spring. The just decides that if your neighbor cannot guarantee the safety of the flowers, they need to move the pool so that it's installation will not encroach your property or endanger the flowers.

So in this scenario, did you just bribe the judge or legal system by using a lobbyist (lawyer) who went and made your case through channels not open to you on your behalf in ways you couldn't make on your own so convincingly that you prevailed?

That's one of the things lobbyist do. They make cases in ways that would influence the politicians though avenues not directly available to most people. 10,000 letters all saying do X would likely get somewhat ignored because it is so monotonous to read all of them. The thought of there being 10,000 of them probably doesn't register. But someone who can say I have 10,000 voters who want me to point this out is memorable in both what is pointed out and that 10,000 voters are behind it. And it is more likely that one person representing 10,000 voters can make this case in person than it is for 10,000 people individually.

So while I agree that yes, payment for consideration is bribery, I disagree that all lobbying is bad or should be illegal. Even when that lobbyist gets access that you or I cannot.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47028339)

So in this scenario, did you just bribe the judge or legal system by using a lobbyist (lawyer) who went and made your case through channels not open to you on your behalf in ways you couldn't make on your own so convincingly that you prevailed?

In theory (and practice) you have no fewer rights if you represent yourself. So, no, that's not bribery.

That's one of the things lobbyist do.

No, they don't. They have access you don't have. Because they pre-bribed the Congressman. It's not a bribe to pay someone money for "future consideration" (so long as that's not explicitly a vote). They have access *you* will never have. Thus, it's bribery.

And it is more likely that one person representing 10,000 voters can make this case in person than it is for 10,000 people individually.

If that's what happens, I might change my mind, but the "one person" is representing one company, and lying about the people they represent (there are not 10,000 people who want it, and if there were, they certainly didn't send letters to a lobbyist to take the issue to the Congressman).

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#47028553)

No, they don't. They have access you don't have. Because they pre-bribed the Congressman. It's not a bribe to pay someone money for "future consideration" (so long as that's not explicitly a vote). They have access *you* will never have. Thus, it's bribery.

No, most of the lobbyist have pre-existing relationships with Congressmen which gives them more access than you or I have. But tell me, would you be more inclined to visit with me who you do not know, or your cousin that you met 4 or 5 times at family functions? How about your neighbor or someone who worked with you or played golf with you?

Pre-bribing congress is illegal. In fact, there was a big deal in which a lot of congress critters went to jail and/or lost their seats over it. There is of course William Jefferson who's probably most notable for sharing a name with Bill Clinton. But there is also Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham who promised policy positions to people who gave him gifts. And of course there was the Abscam and Abramoff scandals relating directly to bribery and what you consider pre-bribery.

If that's what happens, I might change my mind, but the "one person" is representing one company, and lying about the people they represent (there are not 10,000 people who want it, and if there were, they certainly didn't send letters to a lobbyist to take the issue to the Congressman).

One person representing one company does not exist in a vacuum. That company has share holders and employees and support businesses who have the same. If you own a business with 100 employees, when you lobby for that business to be profitable, you are lobbying for those 100 employees to keep their jobs. If your business has 50 shareholders, you are lobbying for them also. This is true because of your fiduciary duty even if independently, those employees and share holders carry contrary opinions about whatever you are lobbying for. This could even be extended to the businesses that supply yours with parts, materials and so on.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#47028353)

Actually your "fine line" is incorrect tot he scenario being discussed. It would be more like you paid your lawyer, when then paid the judge a campaign donation to rule in your favor, I mean help him get elected next time.

New Law (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#47027687)

you can only donate to candidates that you can vote for, and only so much money. Everyone gets the same amount of "Free Speech" then. All that's left after that is to enforce equal air time laws.

Re:New Law (1)

Titus Groan (2834723) | about 6 months ago | (#47028129)

the $ limit should be on the giver not the candidate i.e limit = $5k you cannot give $5k to two candidates, but you could give $2.5k to each. And you can only donate if eligible to vote. NB companies are not eligible to vote.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027993)

Yes, write a letter, spam its email & voice mail. You know, excercise speech.

Spending...er, donating, money is not speech (even if the Supreme court has equated it thusly). It shouldn't be the litmus test for access, etc.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#47028047)

Lets turn that around a bit.

What happens when you, Joe Consumer, decides you had enough and run for congress yourself in order to fix the issues personally. You then go out and campaign and say what you want to do. I hear you talking, let me introduce myself, I'm big evil coal company executive and I like your ideas so I throw some big time support behind you. I don't ask you to do anything other than stand on what you are campaigning for. I believe it will make a more free society and I think more freedom is beneficial to all of us.

So I donate to you directly, I donate to a few of the support pacs around you. I even encourage my employees to support you. You only know me as someone who donated to your campaign. So, how much legitimacy can be attributed to your stated concerns for the public? How much bribery actually took place? How much has the lobbyist influenced you? What chance would you have if you are just a common Joe and your opponents are millionaires if people cannot give you large sums of money?

Most of these "they were paid off" claims stems from people with a position attracting support not pandering their policy positions for the highest bidder. If a congressman held a position that was favorable to my livelihood, I sure as hell would give them money and try to keep them around. It's not that they are selling out to me, it's that I'm trying to keep what's good around.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#47028247)

I know this... If you're that big time coal company executive and you gave millions to my campaign, after I'm elected and you call me, I'll answer your call personally, everyone else can leave voicemail.

That's just how things work, and the problem with allowing the rich to have a larger say in things. And I say that as being, if not "rich", more well off than most.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#47028285)

And if that call is just to say "keep up the good word", does it really matter?

The entire point of that was to show that some of these bribery charges are actually the results of cheer leading more or less. If you support green candidates, does it mean they are holding positions because you gave them lots of money or does it mean you gave them lots of money because of the positions they already hold?

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028407)

So I donate to you directly, I donate to a few of the support pacs around you. I even encourage my employees to support you.

That's an important part of the campaign finance problem: simply preventing donations to candidates doesn't necessarily help because PACs can spend lots of money on advertising, perhaps without even directly mentioning a candidate, and have a lot of control over an election. Any solution has to limit their power as well.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027429)

When Obama was a senator one of the few pieces of legislation with his name on it was his version of campaign finance reform. He held that up as an example of his leadership. As it turns out, it was an example of his leadership.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47027535)

No, that's not right. The crime is accepting the bribe, not offering it. You should elect people who are capable of resisting temptation. And let them know you are watching them closely.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027563)

Let us know when you successfully pull out the greed gene from our DNA.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027767)

Hahaha, good one, but you can't elect people able to resist temptation. What reason to get into politics is there, then? None of the candidates gives a damn about improving the lifestyle of the American citizen (or any country whatsoever). They are only there for personal gain, and unless someone with power (aka not citizens) does something about it, that's what we get, no matter what the promises are.
Not to mention that they lie, specially when the time to elect comes.

And to add insult to injury, people will keep defending their party as if they had anything to gain for it.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027789)

The crime is accepting the bribe, not offering it.

Perhaps in certain jurisdictions, but that statement isn't true in general.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47028019)

I'm not talking about what the law says.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (4, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#47028391)

Actually, although it is hardly ever prosecuted when it is openly and know, offering a bribe is against the law too.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/usc... [cornell.edu]

It seems that if you offer a bribe, you can be fined 3 times the monetary equivalent amount of the bribe and be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison as well as being disqualified to ever hold any pubic office or work for the government.

But Tom Steyer who recently announced he would give donations totaling 100 million dollars to candidates promising to support rejecting the keystone XL pipeline and support global warming efforts will likely never be prosecuted despite those acts specifically matching the first paragraph in the law

(1) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, or offers or promises any public official or any person who has been selected to be a public official to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intentâ"
(A) to influence any official act; or

This is because for some reasons, campaign donations don't seem to count as bribery. Maybe they should when they have purposely stated attachments to them instead of simply amplifying already existing convictions or the politicians. Maybe we should just accept it and move on knowing that there are problems.

patents (1)

mfh (56) | about 6 months ago | (#47027637)

While we're at it let's make patents illegal and force everyone to compete based on customer experience rather than who thought of something. Information wants to be free!

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027679)

How do you propose to get such a law passed?

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028543)

make it illegal.

Oh, great. ANOTHER bonehead who wants to gut the First Amendment [cornell.edu] :

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Jesus Fucking Christ, how the hell did you get modded +5?

What. The. Hell.

Citizens aren't allowed to bitch to their Congressmen about things they don't like? And tell them what they DO like? Because that's all lobbying is. "Petitioning the government for a redress of grievances." "My taxes are too high!" "His taxes are too low!" "That law kills my job!" "Pass this law to kill that guys business!"

And you want to make it ILLEGAL!?!?!?!

That's SCARY. No fucking wonder our government is totally out of control.

Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#47028559)

How about we reclassify businesses as "not persons" and don't let "not persons" make any sort of contribution towards a political cause?

I don't believe it! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027271)

All this is, is confirmation of what everyone already knew in their gut, but try to ignore on a daily basis. This is just for something as "small" as net neutrality, use your imagination for more important issues.

Re:I don't believe it! (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#47027497)

All this is, is confirmation of what everyone already knew in their gut, but try to ignore on a daily basis.

They have to ignore it. Otherwise they would feel stupid for reelecting them, and people don't like to be made to feel dumb.

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027277)

No problem, tonorow they can order Google to forget it.

News Flash! (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 months ago | (#47027281)

Lobbyists influence politicians! Who knew!

Re:News Flash! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027455)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-american football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and married -- and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured.

The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract? I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my hankerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom. I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

Re:News Flash! (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47027627)

Newsflash, Lobbyists pay for "consideration" not votes. The effect is the same, so buying votes is legal in the USA. So long as you pay *before* the vote and don't try to take it back if they don't vote how you "request" (don't worry, then never vote against you).

Re:News Flash! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028205)

Newsflash: You're a fucking joke!

Re:News Flash! (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#47027827)

I'm not sure whether to be more disgusted by the politicians who took a lot of money to vote against net neutrality, or by those who voted against it anyway.

Re:News Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027909)

Money influences politicians! Who knew!

FTFY.

Greg Walden (4, Insightful)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 6 months ago | (#47027289)

My congressman, Greg Walden, is in a rock solid Republican district. He gets re-elected no matter what he does. As long as he can stay out of jail and avoid a primary challenge he wins by 2 to 1 in every race. He can take money from the highest bidder and get away with it. He is "congressman for life".

Re:Greg Walden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027363)

I'll challenge him on the next run..I'll lose, but I can cause him to spend more money to do so.

Re:Greg Walden (2)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 6 months ago | (#47027801)

He gets a Democratic challenger in most elections. If it is a candidate with experience and solid credentials the Democrat gets 35% of the vote. If the challenger is an 18 year old high school dropout that lives in their mothers basement, they get 30% of the vote.

Run if you want, and you will get between 30 and 35 percent of the vote depending on your experience and funding. And, trust me, Walden will not care one bit either way.

Re:Greg Walden (1)

mellon (7048) | about 6 months ago | (#47027443)

I hope you are voting in the Republican primary and not being proud and voting in the Democratic primary.

Re:Greg Walden (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027521)

Submit him to Bill Maher's #flipadistrict.

Re:Greg Walden (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#47027533)

Hence the reason for term limits...

When the country was formed, the idea was to have citizen leaders who would go and make policy for a time, then go back to private life. It wasn't meant to be a career.

Re:Greg Walden (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#47027871)

It's reasonable to argue the opposite, that people should be able to vote for whomever they want and they should be able to reward representatives who do a good job with another term.

Now I would believe that, except I do not trust our electoral system to fairly represent the views of the constituency. This legal bribery we call campaign contributions, along with our plurality voting system, undermine the true will of the people.

Re:Greg Walden (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#47028279)

It's reasonable to argue the opposite, that people should be able to vote for whomever they want and they should be able to reward representatives who do a good job with another term.

Yes, that is reasonable, in theory... the challenge is that the system in actual practice hasn't worked out that way...

Congress has approval ratings so low it should be criminal, yet the majority of them keep getting reelected over and over...

Why is that?

Re:Greg Walden (2)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 6 months ago | (#47028591)

Walden raises enormous amounts of cash from corporate interests. In addition to the communication industry he collects from mining, timber, pharmaceutical, medical, finance, war, chemical, ranching, and agriculture industries. Since he can't even come close to spending it all on his own re-election, he doles it out to other candidates in exchange for committee appointments and extra votes on critical issues. In other words, he buys more power. Then he actually uses the fact that he has power to persuade people to vote for him. In a district that relies heavily on mining, timber, and ranching, his support of those industries seems persuasive to many voters, even if the people that work in those industries getting screwed by this votes. People don't seem to be able to distinguish support of an industry from support of the workers in a particular industry, and the two don't always go together.

Re:Greg Walden (1)

Cantankerous Cur (3435207) | about 6 months ago | (#47027883)

I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with being a career politician any more than managing to stay working for the same company all your life (albeit a rare feat these days). Being there longer means you know how things work and can get it done more quickly and efficiently. It's the greed messing everything up, as usual

Re:Greg Walden (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#47028231)

It's the greed messing everything up, as usual

Yes, and since you can't remove the greed part... :)

Statistics don't lie, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027335)

Notice the use of "average". Most of the congressmen who signed didn't really take that much; a few took a lot, but it makes a better headline to lump them all together.

Re:Statistics don't lie, but... (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#47027393)

Yes, what is amazing is how CHEAP they are to buy.

For $50,000 can I buy my own Congressman on an issue?

If I have a few million dollars to toss around, it seems that I can buy all kinds of public policy, without any real debate.

Sad, isn't it?

Re:Statistics don't lie, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027757)

On this issue there was no market, there was no higher bidder. If the topic is disputed between two industries I guess the amounts rise.

Re:Statistics don't lie, but... (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 6 months ago | (#47027777)

For $50000, Lincoln has bribed all democrats and buyed himself a new hat! And that for something good.

For taking zero dollars... (2)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#47027349)

does that mean that Nick Rahall is just an idiot for thinking that Net Neutrality is a bad idea?

Re:For taking zero dollars... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 6 months ago | (#47028511)

No, it means he's an idiot for not asking for cash up front.

Re:For taking zero dollars... (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 6 months ago | (#47028551)

does that mean that Nick Rahall is just an idiot for thinking that Net Neutrality is a bad idea?

I think it means that he took a lot more than the otherwise top guy. It just wasnt a campaign donation... it was a straight up bribe such as a promise of a position when he leaves office.

Mostly Democrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027351)

Interesting. They're also cheaper than Republicans.

congressmen who lobbied fcc - paid off (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about 6 months ago | (#47027381)

Didn't we already know this?

Net Neutrality == Less money in politics? (1)

thule (9041) | about 6 months ago | (#47027383)

I have my doubts that more FCC control over the Internet will cause less money to flow into politics. I also have doubts that just because the government is involved that there will be less playing of favorites. I can see the disaster coming when the FCC has their say in peering because of the Netflix deal. If a company gave to the right party in power, then that company gets their peering arrangements approved faster than ones that do not. Yeah, right, the government is *never* corrupt.

Oh great... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027409)

More crap coming from the legal bribing in the US... thanks a-holes for ruining everything for the rest of us.

like being in a 'civil' war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027473)

seems civil enough to the wmd on credit corepirate nazi depopulation band of 85 inbred crown royal spiritless mutants http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wmd+on+credit+cabal+civil+war+instigation we pay for all of that too,, not to mention having to overlook the last of our innocents starving all over the world 1000s dying daily by our 'unwitting' neglect,, no wonder our honor & integrity appears a another falicy in our fictional heritage leaving our spirits paralyzed by constant deception

And yet this is not considered bribery. (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 6 months ago | (#47027479)

The connection is so obvious, but somehow this is not considered bribery. Is what the USA needs another truly devastating depression, which seemed to result in more evening out of wealth distribution after the "gilded age"?

Re:And yet this is not considered bribery. (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 6 months ago | (#47027573)

We all know it's bribery. Every system of government suffers from it. Given that, I doubt many are in favor of scorched earth to fix the problem. What would we end up with? Another system of government run by people which inevitably will lead to more corruption. At least with "lobbying", it's done in the open.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47027493)

I'm not sure how to answer when Dewy, Cheatem and How is the only congressmen that has a vote.

Campaign contributions != payments (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#47027511)

Republicans signing the letters against Title II reclassification of the internet as a public utility have received, on average, $59,812 from the cable industry, 5 times more than the average for all members of the House, $11,651.

That makes it sound like those Republicans can take that money and spend it any way they want. The Members of the House did not receive the money their campaign funds did. They are campaign contributions and can only be spent on re-election campaigns. While that may seem a fine distinction it is an important one.

Re:Campaign contributions != payments (1)

taz346 (2715665) | about 6 months ago | (#47027583)

So if I'm a certified public accountant whose job depends on me taking classes every two years to remain certified and someone gives me cash to spend any way I want to fudge their books, it's a bribe; but if they pay for my classes and recertification to fudge their books, it's not a bribe? Sorry, I'm not seeing the distinction there.

Re:Campaign contributions != payments (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 6 months ago | (#47027745)

The distinction here is that opposing Net Neutrality isn't illegal.

If congressmen want to support it and their constituents continue to reelect them, then the congressmen are fulfilling their duty as elected representatives.

Re:Campaign contributions != payments (2)

taz346 (2715665) | about 6 months ago | (#47028193)

While it may be legal for a representative to vote a certain way, if they're voting that way because they're getting a payoff to vote that way, it's a bribe in my book. Calling it a campaign contribution is just semantics. Our system of unlimited spending on political campaigns enhances the likelihood that votes on issues such as net neutrality will go the way the highest bidders want it to go.

double standard (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#47028425)

You seem to have a problem with unlimited spending. The problem with campaign spending limits is that it becomes a Freedom of Speech issue. By limiting the amount of money that can be spent one is limiting the amount of communication that can be done. This is from a supreme court ruling [howstuffworks.com] ;

A restriction on the amount of money a person or group can spend on political communication during a campaign necessarily reduces the quantity of expression by restricting the number of issues discussed, the depth of their exploration, and the size of the audience reached. This is because virtually every means of communicating ideas in today's mass society requires the expenditure of money.

What is your alternative? It is easy to point out problems and much more difficult to come up with solutions.

Re:Campaign contributions != bribes (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#47028317)

This is where similes are not always similar. Whether giving you money directly or someone pay for your classes they are both bribes. In the case of an accountant, you are supposed to make enough income to cover the expense of certification classes. In the case of politicians it has been shown that the cost of running a campaign far outweighs the income of most people. To allow non-billionaires to compete, others (more commonly known as supporters) have been allowed to pay for the campaigns through campaign contributions. This allows anyone who has enough supporters to run for office.

Re:Campaign contributions != payments (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#47027659)

They launder the money into other accounts, and they "campaign" however they want, whenever they want. They can "campaign" by taking a trip around the world to increase their "visibility" or whatever they want to say, staying in the best hotels or whatever they want. They just have to keep it on separate books, unless they've already laundered it.

What ? (1)

SteveWP (1845840) | about 6 months ago | (#47027547)

Oh My Gosh ! You mean to tell me that politicians are corrupt douchnozzles Thank you I would never have known without this story.

Why bother? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 6 months ago | (#47027733)

...and find your representative to determine how much legitimacy can be attributed to their stated concerns for the public."

And what would that accomplish? It's not like anything is going to be done at the sudden revelation of who is and is not involved in influencing the FCC on the corporations' views.

You would think the popularity of Netflix would cause the general public to be strongly on the Net Neutrality side, but for them this whole thing is still "nerd politics". They care about it about as much as they care about the wage gap -- not enough to truly do anything more than stay the current course and take it in the rear.

um (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47027761)

So... donating to the campaigns of congressmen that'll vote for things you want is now bribery?

Look at their own god damned quoted data: http://maplight.org/us-congres... [maplight.org]
They donated to 397 members of the house out of 435 members which is 91%

Letter 1 was signed by 4
Letter 2 was signed by 20
Letter 3 was signed by 4
So we have a total of 28 signers.
So just random statistical chance would mean 91% * 28 = 26 of them would have received contributions.
27 received contributions, so the total is only off by 1 member or 3%.
Give me a break. Arstechnica is worse than FoxNews. Why does anyone even read that garbage?

I despise ALL politicians, and I fully support net neutrality, but this "story" is a joke.

Re:um (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#47027809)

My belief is that all campaign donations can potentially constitute bribery. You're right that this story isn't particularly special in that regard.

um (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028197)

I think the point wasn't the representativeness of the sample, but the amount received (2.3 times the average), so statistically, you may have missed the point.

lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028027)

Aren't there individual limits (2400 for 2010, 2500 for 2012 and 2600 for 2014)? There seems to be a pattern of double payments on the same day which I might contribute to faulty data but then I see

3/26/09 $400
3/26/09 $2,400
2/17/09 $2,000

to the same senator from the same guy with the same occupation/employer at the same address. I didn't think the limit was for a single check...

The Money Primary (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 6 months ago | (#47028123)

The issue is not just that lawmakers are given money by corporate interests and then vote for their benefit. It's that someone cannot even participate in the election process without getting vetted by monied interests. Long before a politician runs for office, or even in a primary, he has to present himself to a roomful of rich people who will then determine that the politician will work on their behalf. The party doesn't matter, the process is the same. I don't care if they ran as a left-leaning democrat or a tea party Republican, they have to be vetted by the $30,000/plate club before they can take the first steps toward holding office.

By the time they get into office, it's already assured that they will find a way to make sure the 1%'s interests are taken care of. Whether they take the extra step like writing a letter to the head of the FCC or sponsoring a bill, well, that's negotiable later for a price, but you already know for sure that they're predisposed to protect the wealthy and powerful.

As someone above has pointed out, the US Constitution was founded as a plutocracy, and despite all the flowery language about liberty and equality, we were designed to be a country that was run by the wealthy.

Depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028265)

I don't know which is more depressing, the fact that everyone can be bought, or that the price is always so low. Sigh.

What amazes me most... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47028529)

Is how cheaply some of them can be bought...

Yeah, (4, Insightful)

rayk_sland (791740) | about 6 months ago | (#47028535)

Industry lobbyists exert control over Congress through bribery, Congress exerts control over the US through law, US exerts control over as much as the world as possible through sheer bullying. Americans unimpressed by the lack of voice in Congress? What about all the rest of us that have to put up with a world marred by industry lobbyists? America's lack of democracy poisons the planet. -- Guess we'l have to start teaching our children about Anthropogenic Global Insanity...

Two wrongs don't make a right (1)

thrashertm (3658029) | about 6 months ago | (#47028601)

Anyone checked if the Congressmen pushing for net neutrality have received contributions from Netflix and Google?
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