The Highest Bidder?

Ok, so we have lost the Fourth Amendment. But take heart! In light of yesterdays wildly successful Dharmathon to help a friend in need, and the fact that McCain will undoubtedly continue Bush’s policy of selling off America with the help of impoverished Democrats like poor Jay Rockefeller, all we have to do is be the highest bidder for the rest of The Constitution!!! Start saving your pennies Dharmaniacs!

McCain’s EBay Model


One of the benefits from the protracted battle over telecom amnesty is that it is a perfect microcosm for how our government institutions work. And a casual review of the available evidence regarding how telecom amnesty is being pursued demonstrates what absurd, irrelevant distractions are the pro-amnesty justifications offered by the pundit class and the Bush administration.

Just in the first three months of 2008, recent lobbyist disclosure statements reveal that AT&T spent $5.2 million in lobbyist fees (putting it well ahead of its 2007 pace, when it spent just over $17 million). In the first quarter of 2008, Verizon spent $4.8 million on lobbyist fees, while Comcast spent $2.6 million. So in the first three months of this year, those three telecoms — which would be among the biggest beneficiaries of telecom amnesty (right after the White House) — spent a combined total of almost $13 million on lobbyists. They’re on pace to spend more than $50 million on lobbying this year — just those three companies.

Top Verizon executives, including CEO Ivan Seidenberg and President Dennis Strigl, wrote personal checks to Rockefeller totaling $23,500 in March, 2007. Prior to that apparently coordinated flurry of 29 donations, only one of those executives had ever donated to Rockefeller (at least while working for Verizon).

Democrats who switched from opposing to supporting legal amnesty to telecoms that aided the government’s warrantless wiretapping program received twice as much money, on average, from telcom political action groups than Democrats whose opposed the idea in March…


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  1. Photobucket

    • Edger on July 9, 2008 at 20:17

    I guess we’d better take up a collection?

    • brobin on July 9, 2008 at 20:19



    • robodd on July 9, 2008 at 20:27

    is nothing compared to what their friends and family get–and what they will get when they leave (or are escorted from) “public service.”  

  2. Are we only a step away from selling off the naming rights to the Constitution? Imagine… we could have the “Verizon Constitution,” or maybe even the “AT&T Bill of Rights.”  

  3. I’d like to bid five bucks for the fancy “We the People” at the beginning. It would look great on the wall behind the bar in the rec room, just under the Budweiser sign.

  4. are bought and sold routinely, and will always be, unless they are all replaced, throughout the system, with a different class of people.

  5. In a comment I made on GreyHawk’s essay. I wrote a comment, linking this report: Domestic spying Quietly Goes On:

    “…With Congress on the verge of outlining new parameters for National Security Agency eavesdropping between suspicious foreigners and Americans, lawmakers are leaving largely untouched a host of government programs that critics say involves far more domestic surveillance than the wiretaps they sought to remedy…”

    The report quotes “intelligence historian and fellow at the National Security Archives”, Matthew Aid, as saying:

    There’s virtually no branch of the U.S. government that isn’t in some way involved in monitoring or surveillance,

    When I first read the quote, I supposed that Aid actually meant:

    “there’s virtually no” agency “in the” Executive Branch of the “Government that isn’t in some way involved in monitoring or surveillance”…

    But what if he did mean “virtually No Branch of Government”?  What if at least a few members of Congress, probably in tandem with the Executive Branch, are involved in some of these data mining exercises?  You know, so (at least some members of) the House & Senate Intelligence Committees & the Senate & House “Leadership” could verify those “national security” issues, etc?  If they are involved in the lawbreaking, lord knows, they certainly wouldn’t want that to come out in any way. The few extra $$’s from the telecoms just sweeten the deal.  

  6. that looks like a $50 for a $10?

  7. one of the top categories on the right side of the home page?  


    You guys must not party…..heh.

    • RUKind on July 10, 2008 at 03:46

    They’re worth more than their face value for their element content. Copper, zinc and nickel are going up at a fast rate.

    Dimes and quarters are still worth donating.

    The Fourth of July is behind us and so is the Fourth Amendment. We’re gonna just have to deal with it. It sucks but it is what it is. It’s time to start adjusting to it. Hell, even if the non-immunity version of the FISA bill had passed Bush would have just issued a blanket pardon on the way out the door. Nothing has really changed that much. The big development was Pbama displaying just how pwned he is. And that’s actually good news. Now it’s out in the open.

    Nothing really new has happened. Same Shit, Different Democrat. They all dance to the same tune – red or blue – it just doesn’t matter. Guys like Waxman and Leahy do still give me hope, tho.

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