J Walking

J Walking


The non-existent voice of the poor in DC

posted by J-Walking

A story in The Washington Post this morning on Wal-Mart’s lobbying (and other federal lobbying) set me off on a research trail. The Center for Responsive Politics – a non-partisan group – has released a study about lobbying the federal government in 2006. The total for the year is $2.6 billion. How is that money spent?

  • Drug companies – $166,500,000
  • Insurance – $129,100,000
  • Electric utilities – $107,200,000
  • Business associations – $103,100,000
  • Computers/internet – $93,600,000
  • Real estate – $82,300,000

The rest of the list can be found here.

The poor? Well, they are all joined together in a group called “Human Rights” that includes groups as diverse as the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Taking out the ACS and the ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the poor probably had less than $5,000,000 in lobbying representation in Washington last year.

It is hard to fathom but out of the $2,600,000,000 spent on federal lobbying last year $5,000,000 was specifically about the (broadly defined) poor.

This doesn’t just ensure that the poor will be with us always but that there will be more and more of them as their voices are further and further away from the corridors of power.



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Donny

posted April 3, 2007 at 5:42 pm


And Barak Obama has “somehow” raised 20-million dollars. Now David, the voice of the poor is represented by MTV, HBO, NBC, ABC, CBS, Bravo, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair and so many other leftist media outlets I haven’t the time to list them all. Why is a poor person still poor? And David, are there any “poor in spirit” out there, in our inner cities? It’s hard to tell because they can’t hear my questions with their Ipods blasting in one ear and their Blue Tooth in the other. These “poor” in America, David, could you point to where they exist? Most have no problems filling their Depokote prescriptions, and last time I checked, psychotropics were expensive. The only true poor in America I have met are hard working family people in fear of what the Democrats will do to their taxes, if they rule the House, the senate AND the Whitehouse. It seems to make that making a person a poor person, is something Jesus wouldn’t do. Democrats on the other hand, seem hell-bent on the task. I dunna know, it’s just an observation.And I was taught to put great value on empirical evidences. One thing that secular schools get right.



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Anonymous

posted April 3, 2007 at 7:35 pm


This is a little long so I apologize in advance. It s no wonder how people who haven t actually been where David Kuo has been blindly believe in it all. David Kuo is evidence of how difficult it must be to come down from the mesmerizing notion that Washington D.C. is this grand and great place. How much clearer can the evidence be? Simply put, we all need to deeply believe our government is all that it s cracked up to be. There are a couple reasons why people don’t realize how mediocre our leadership in D.C. has been. The obvious is that upholding a consistent image is enough for a lot of people. What good reason do many people have to tamper with a mesmerizing feeling of an altruistic Washington D.C.? Many people are just wired this way. Many simply have too strong of a connection to something that conjures up so many big and important images. Thus, it s not worth taking a stern and critical look at what it actually might be.*But the other reason why things are not progressing is because political leadership can literally craft every word, every appearance. Competence is not an issue when you have an entire staff paid to make you look a certain way. Who couldn t easily step in to an atmosphere that gives one free reign to fight for his or her most profound opinions and/or issues? The usual business of shaping and controlling a message can t go on forever, however. If things look like they re spiraling out of control when you turn on your television it s because they truly are. The tide shifts every now and then. It s these times when only the most dynamic of leadership will work. Business as usual doesn t cut it. Here s my take on the voice in D.C. : The reality is that almost all of these people in Washington, think tank to think tank, are as qualified to lead as your white-collar neighbor down the street. They re excellent AT WHAT THEY DO whether the strand of thought is liberal or conservative. I m certain Kuo would agree with me. But in essence D.C. is just a giant think tank – a rigid structure when it comes to practical solutions for the common good. Washington D.C. is like an efficient business. Their spokespeople are paid great money to make it seem like they re fulfilling our needs. Every other sentence can refer to God and freedom. They can even deeply believe that what they re doing is of divine providence (extremely inviting). They can recite 80 different policies from memory and consolidate them down to two or three for one persuasive argument! However, in the end the question begs, WHAT SENSE DOES ONE TRUTHFULLY HAVE THAT THINGS ARE GOING OUR (AMERICAN) WAY? Simply put, it is not THEIR time anymore. This intricate network in D.C. in which everyone relies on everyone else is absurd. It s time to take the blinders off people! This is an operation not prepared, in a practical sense, to find out why our kids wake up to turmoil and chaos each morning. Am I wrong, David? Instead, it competes for the most intriguing rhetoric so the respective camp can package an intellectual position. Everything is just presentation, presentation, presentation talk, talk, talk banter, banter, banter games, games, games. They let us all believe there s some altruistic drama moving America forward day in and day out. This is a way of life that s constantly shopping for the best slogans and most prestigious insights an existence of perpetual theories not the precious images and solutions we re forced to believe. Nothing is really getting done on the outside In conclusion, the combination of personal and political illusions are steering everything in the wrong direction. We are all in the same nightmare together and we won t wake up until we allow the proper people to step in and lead. But first we have to speak out against this business as usual mentality in Washington. It is a citizen s responsibility to awaken consciousness, oppose apathy, and assert the duty of the citizen to defend democracy against those bent on subverting it knowingly or unknowingly. We ALL must have something better. We deserve a change. Then and only then will we ever move forward in this journey.



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Rod

posted April 3, 2007 at 8:25 pm


David, I have been plagued by this realization as well. I came across some statistics that shocked me and I wonder what can be done? Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Stats say that it would cost approximately 9 billion dollars to provide water and sanitation for in all developing countries. Yet America spends an estimated 8 billion dollars in cosmetics a year. How do we fight this? I understand it is about the Church stepping up and really doing something not just saying something but how much do we hold the government responsible to do something as well. Just a question? BTW stats can be found at http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Facts.asp Rod



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Donny

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:44 am


How many of these starving people live in Islamic countries? Christians slaughtered help no one. Aren’t the Suadi’s super rich? A few billion here or there and poverty is gone. But we see Christians (mostly middle-class or lower), ponying up the most dough to help poor people, that once they are fed and happier, hate Christians.



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Rod

posted April 4, 2007 at 2:59 pm


Donny, I am sorry but are you a Christian? How often does Christ say to good to those who hate you? What does it matter who they are? They are created in the image of God and they should be treated as such. The rhetoric you use often disturbs me. I know you will not change your opinion by what I say. But I ask, if you are a Christian, please pray and ask God how you should think about some of these things. I pray that you will have a renewing of your mind. BTW, that is not a slam I need a renewing of my mind daily as well. Rod



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Doug

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:21 pm


A question, though: Is lobbying for ‘human rights’ really the best measure of how the poor will and do fare? It seems to me that how we treat our neighbors, including the distant ones should be more important than who says what to government with how many bills. I’d think a better indicator would be how many communities of faith have how much in their building funds versus their mission funds.



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RJohnson64

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:30 pm


Forget their mission funds. How about how much they have in their benevolence funds, or their humanitarian aid funds? When Christ fed the multitiude with a few fish and loaves, he didn’t ask if they were believers or not. He fed all…believers and unbelievers. Why should we do differently?



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Thinker

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:34 pm


An old friend of mine was a missionary priest in Korea right after the Korean War. Up until the time he arrived, relief food was given only to those who were Catholics. He arrived and stopped that practice. He fed everyone. And was attacked by other missionaries, but soon they had forgotten their old ways and the norm across all the missions was simply to feed the hungry. Sometimes, it takes one courageous soul to be what Jesus asks us to be.



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Thinker

posted April 4, 2007 at 5:38 pm


Resentment underlies much of what Donny says – being left out, resenting the good fortune of others, and needing an enemy is the reason for all of our violence. I keep quoting St. Therese’ – “If I am willing to serenely bear the burden of being displeasing to myself, I will be a pleasant place of shelter for Jesus.” It is my mantra in prayer and I’m not that good at doing it most of the time, but I do get inspired to do better at times when I see what my own resentments must look like. So I thank Donny for that.



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Anonymous

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:16 pm


Thinker I think that’s good advice to live by if you’re ever to communicate with Donny. Enough said bout that. Maybe someone else can add to that in a more artful way. I tend to use though only on real special occasion. Obviously, I don’t like Donny and his relentless commitment to the likes of a fundamentalist preacher. It takes it all way from me too. Donny my boy what we want you to see is a helpful friend -not Superman or the Popee.



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Anonymous

posted April 4, 2007 at 6:17 pm


*The Pope.



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Doug

posted April 4, 2007 at 9:28 pm


RJohnson, I agree. A lot of Churches I’ve been involved with call their philanthropic arms their Mission fund, as opposed to the softer pew/pastor’s discretion funds. I think we’re coming from the same place.



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Donny

posted April 5, 2007 at 4:12 pm


Rod, I am a Christian as defined by Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, Jude, James et al. The guidelines and qualifications are easily understood from the New Testament. I am a Christian in action and spirit. Am I not being “Christian” on these blogs and warning people of hellish consequences for following evil people? While we are praying, what about the Waxman/Davis Bill HR 984, which, if it weren’t for the Alliance Defense Fund people, would be closer to outlawing and/or regulating Christian Churches and Christians from out of the political arena? We pray for these enemies of the Church (Waxman and Davis) too? While David Kuo is telling us to fast from politics (something he refuses to do), our enemies are working hard to outlaw us, and have made great strides towards that goal. Have you ever noticed what Democrats are doing? How many prayers Rod?I do have to go to work sometime? God, Caesar and all.



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