Posts Tagged ‘The Lobby’
Some sage once remarked that it was both time consuming and intellectually tiring when you have to explain the nature of antisemitic myths, time after time.
The CST’s latest post American Nazi “Prophecy” and Dr Daud Abdullah: Deja Vu? reminded me of the “Franklin prophecy” which I ran across years and years back.
Like many other twisted pieces of antisemitism it sticks in the mind.
Why, I can’t say, as I tend to forget even elementary facts nowadays and I have a short-term memory that a Goldfish would be proud of, or supposedly so.
But what is surprising is that it still in usage nowadays, read more at the CST.
Dave Rich at the CST takes the trouble to read it carefully, and he doesn’t like what he finds:
“Hasan clearly understands the pitfalls of writing on this subject, and he has genuinely tried to avoid producing an antisemitic article. The problem is that his article is basically just another conspiracy theory. It offers a simplistic argument that completely ignores the hopes, fears, needs and goals of Israelis and Palestinians themselves, or of any other actors in the region, and imagines that the whole problem could be solved by a wave of America’s magic wand (or a shake of its big stick).”
Whilst we are at it we shouldn’t forget this one from 2010, The New Statesman Praises Iran’s President For Not Denying the Holocaust.
There is often talk about “the Lobby”, and those words have a certain resonance and conjure up an unpleasant mental picture for most of us, however, I am going to argue that the real lobby in the world is hardly ever discussed, in any meaningful way.
That is the extent of its power.
Clearly, we hear bits about it, in a broad sense, yet it is rarely analysed for its component parts, wider geopolitical influence and negative effect on human rights.
It spans the globe.
Nevertheless, much of the discussion relating to it comes across in a rather crude materialistic fashion, lacking subtlety and depth
There is seldom any piercing critique of the countries involved, the powerful players, the governments, the vested interests, the paid lobbyists, the various parliamentarians on the payroll, etc and above all, the oil companies.
Yes, that is the Lobby I am talking about, the oil lobby.
Dan Froomkin at HuffPost has a good article, which touches upon some of the issues:
“With so much public opposition, why do subsidies remain? You might as well ask why there is no carbon tax, or why there was no significant reform legislation passed after the BP oil spill.
The answer is that one of the many things the industry can do with its fat pocketbook is hire a veritable army of sharp lobbyists and back them up with big wads of cash in the form of campaign donations and spending. The end result is that the industry has a remarkable ability to get its way on Capitol Hill.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ website, the oil and gas industry has spent more than $1 billion on lobbying since 1998, including a jaw-dropping $147 million just last year.
For comparison’s sake, $147 million is about equivalent to the total budget of 100 congressional offices. That’s more than the $103 million spent in 2010 by the financial service industry, another potent lobbying force — but considerably less than the $240 million spent by the pharmaceutical industry. Among major industries, Opensecrets.org ranked Big Oil fifth in terms of lobbying dollars spent, behind only Big Pharma, electric utilities, business associations and insurance.
The oil and gas industry used its $147 million to employ 788 individual lobbyists in 2010 — some 500 (or almost two thirds) of whom, according to Opensecrets.org, are former federal employees who came through the revolving door particularly well versed in the ways of government.
All told, that’s well more than one oil and gas lobbyist per member of Congress out there on the Hill arming allies with talking points and briefing books, spinning the undecided and pressuring the opposition.
And there’s more of them every year. Consider the trendlines. As recently as 2004, the oil and gas industry spent about $52 million a year in lobbying; by 2009, that figure was up to $175 million — or a 300 percent increase in just five years.
The industry backs up its extraordinary lobbying effort with lavish spending on political campaigns. Candidates associated with oil and gas companies made about $15 million in direct campaign donations during the 2010 mid-term election cycle ($26 million during the 2008 presidential cycle).
The industry was also responsible for more than $10 million in donations through its political action committees, or PACs, in the 2010 cycle. “
This time the FT, not the Guardian, and rather typically the letter goes on about the American Jewish lobby.
The author, Joseph Cari, doesn’t even disguise his contempt with the euphemistic usage of the “Zionist lobby”, and the fact that the FT saw fit to print it is somewhat telling.
Something for Walt & Co during the holidays, over at Engage, the line about any left overs sums up the dish, but what is surprising is how many people cook like that nowadays, for real.
The word “lobby” has probably crept up the list of most used words in the last three to five years.
The tentacles of this pressure group spread across the world from the Middle East, to America, Africa and even the Netherlands.
This pressure group is well-connected in all major Western European capitals and beyond. The slightest shift by them causes politicians to come running. Past US vice presidents were in the pocket of his lobby. The handiwork of this nefarious lobby can be seen within every city.
What is more surprising, is that we don’t discuss the overall influence of this lobby, so who are they?
The Oil lobby, that’s who.
From Texas to the Gulf Coast, to oil rigs scattered around the coast of Africa and the mass wealth accumulated in the Middle East, the Oil Lobby exerts fantastic influence, but they are rarely discussed.
From swaggering Texas oil executives to Middle Eastern potentates and their paid lobbyists scurrying around Washington, the power and the influence of the Oil Lobby is seldom touched upon.
Until now, Left Foot Forward discusses some of the Oil Lobby’s connections with the Tory Party, it is well worth a read.
So the next time, someone lowers their voice and starts to discuss the “Lobby”, please remind them who has the most money (oil companies), the most power (oil rich countries of the Middle East) and the most influence:
The Oil Lobby, that’s who.