Monday, February 27, 2006

Hastert's Ethics Reform: Not So Fast, Fat Boy.

Lest we forget, have a read of Arianna's Salon column from three years ago.
Thanks to Denny Hastert and his pals in the House Republican leadership, lobbyists will now be able to pick up the tab for House members whenever the lawmakers attend charitable events, including golf outings and those all-important policy retreats held at lavish resorts. The new rules, which are hardly worthy of the term since it connotes constraint or restriction, also increase the amount lobbyists can spend to feed congressional staffers a yummy catered meal when they are working late.
Last year, for instance, while Hastert's staff was burning the midnight oil on a prescription drug bill, they enjoyed a dinner sent over by drug industry lobbyists whose mothers obviously taught them that the fastest way to an industry-friendly loophole or regulation is through a staffer's stomach. And if an antacid were needed to counteract the after-effects of the meal, I'm sure the drug flacks were only too happy to oblige.

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