Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ex-Googler Obama Appointee Gets Buzz'ed

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the mclaughlin-group dept.

Businesses 195

theodp writes "Hillicon Valley reports that Rep. Darrell Issa of the House Oversight Committee is pressing White House Deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin to explain his relationship with Google, where McLaughlin was employed as Google's chief lobbyist. 'The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops who formerly employed them,' Issa noted in the letter. 'The use of a Gmail account to communicate with lobbyists and evade transparency laws is at odds with President Obama's promises to limit the influence of lobbyists.' Concerns emerged after screenshots of McLaughlin's Google Buzz account emerged showing that a number of the search giant's top employees subscribed to the deputy Web chief's updates."

cancel ×

195 comments

No lobbyists ...except mine. (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812476)

How many former lobbyists have been exempted from the no lobbyist rule now?

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (1, Troll)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812644)

Maybe this one [huffingtonpost.com] Who does he represent?

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (3, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812700)

Come on man, that guy driving the Toyota was as likely as not lying about it. In any case Toyota doesn't seem to be a significant donor [opensecrets.org] . Neither is Google, which may be part of the problem. Microsoft, on the other hand, is, along with Raytheon.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812726)

Without a doubt, it would be very difficult to put someone into a position like CIO without the person having had much in the way of experience with large and successful companies. If they selected someone that was not of that sort, they would be asking some other very serious questions like "what makes you qualified for this position?"

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (4, Insightful)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813026)

And having seen that exact effect with FEMA, this really is a catch-22 situation. They have to hire someone qualified (with a proven track record) whose never worked for anyone before. That might be a problem.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (3, Insightful)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813940)

Without a doubt, it would be very difficult to put someone into a position like CIO without the person having had much in the way of experience with large and successful companies. If they selected someone that was not of that sort, they would be asking some other very serious questions like "what makes you qualified for this position?"

This argument might have merit except that he was employed by Google as a lobbyist. He will be aware of new technologies, but only those developed by Google.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31814266)

You mean like "What makes you qualified to be Commander in Chief?" or "What do you know about job economics when you have never had a real job?" that "makes you qualified for this position?". Those type questions?

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (3, Insightful)

delvsional (745684) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812782)

Come on man, that guy driving the Toyota was as likely as not lying about it. In any case Toyota doesn't seem to be a significant donor. Neither is Google, which may be part of the problem. Microsoft, on the other hand, is, along with Raytheon.

There is absolutely no reason that a company should be allowed to donate to a politician's political campaign or the government. Taxes are one thing but donations make obvious strings

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (3, Insightful)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812852)

I'm afraid that argument was lost when "they" decided corporations are people [wikipedia.org] , and more recently created a ruling that allows corporations to run for office. [current.com] I happen to agree with you, but there it is.

There's actually a corporate policy that prevents me from naming my employer publicly (LOL) but they shamelessly and regularly plug their PAC via company e-mail trying to raise donations. But frankly what's in the best interest of any large corporate is rarely in the best interest of the consumer; most corporations simply want to suppress the competition and dominate their respective markets to maximize profitability... economics 101 but the consumer pays when these corporations "win" and dominate their markets.
We live in interesting times when an entity is required by the document that creates it to conduct itself amorally, and by that I mean that ponderous bromide "maximize shareholder profits" which is used to justify all kinds of corporate misbehavior that would never be tolerated in individuals.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (5, Informative)

Immortal Poet (1048010) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813272)

"They... created a ruling that allows corporations to run for office"

Perhaps you should actually read the article before you link to it. A public relations firm announced they are running for office, true. Also true is that it is part of a publicity stunt to A) call attention to the potential implications of corporations gaining personhood from Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and B) raise their own public image as an effective PR firm. No one created a ruling - whatever that means - and quite probably, no one is going to allow Murray Hill, Inc. to run for the House, no matter how hilarious it might be.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813426)

I would vote for them.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (-1, Troll)

zhgtkwyy (1781410) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813628)

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813736)

To be honest, I'd much rather trust my public policy to the Fortune 500 than Sierra Club, Code Pink, MoveOn.org, Focus On the Family, NRA, etc. True, they may work to stifle competition, but they also push to remove ineffective or counterproductive regulations. I include Sierra Club in that group deliberately to note that I don't really care what issue organizations with one track agendas push, regardless of the trade offs.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812984)

It wouldn't make a difference. If companies couldn't donate to campaigns, wealthy individuals would take their place. There's always someone with a purse who is willing to influence government. As far as direct donations go, the campaign donations from individual companies are not that huge. If a thousand or so blue collar workers got together to form an organization, they could easily out-donate the biggest donor to Mr Issa, which this year was $17,000 [opensecrets.org] . That would only be $17 each, very doable.

Complaining about corporate donations is really just a complaint about lack of citizen participation. The fact is, in a democracy, if the citizens don't pay attention, the people who are paying attention will get what they want. This is what's happened in America.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813058)

So, according to your link, Issa got $6000 from Microsoft for 2009-2010. Sorry, but if you want to point out this guy for his connections to Google, your (Issa's) connection to Microsoft is worthy of just as much question. Hell, it makes me wonder if they have a hand in this coming up and Issa is just willing enough to be their government pawn. To be fair, AT&T also gave him $5000, and AT&T is just as questionable.

This is why I forget sites like that. I already know not to trust anyone in government, but sites like that just make me want to vote for Mickey Mouse.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (2, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813794)

"If companies couldn't donate to campaigns, wealthy individuals would take their place. There's always someone with a purse who is willing to influence government."

In many countries that isn't true. Hell McCain and Obama supported a bill pushing 'clean elections' where you aren't allowed to accept campaign donations and instead the government gives you a set allowance. So it isn't impossible to change or anything.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813830)

There's always someone with a purse who is willing to influence government.

The corollary of that statement is also just as true; There will always be someone with power willing to take the money when the fat purses open.

There is only one real solution. Don't give any part of government or politicians too much power over too large a portion of the nation. If you have a very small and limited national government that has little power to do too much harm and/or affect the economy, society, or individual freedom, then corruption has little reason to exist as it's simply too much risk for far too little reward.

Many if not most of the nations' core domestic, economic, and even foreign problems are the result of the Federal Government abrogating State & individual rights and powers in clear violation of the Constitution, using them to grow out of control while seizing ever-more power and wealth from the nation and increasingly restricting individual freedoms including the right to disagree. Just ask Kenneth Gladney.

Strat

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813206)

The way out would to be public funding.
Then make any gifts to a politician a criminal, police matter.
Great for grass roots democracy as any local issue at a state or federal level would have the same weight as the military industrial complex lobby.
Arms dealers, oil, drug laundering, military contractors, software providers and big pharma would move to safer parts of the world where trading in the dark is welcomed.
The problem with a clean up like that is a fiat currency, pensions and savings would be wiped out.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (3, Insightful)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813548)

People always claim that if such-and-such would happen, 'x would move'. Or 'capital would flee; Well, sure, if you only change one thing, in your quest to reform the world. The reason the pro-corporate faction is always "Rah, rah free trade" is exactly so they have that option. to hold no allegiance to any country, and to flee if the People get uppity. If, at the same time you enact your other reforms, you reenact the capital controls that used to exist and you embargo trade with any corporation that pulls up stakes and leaves, then they're stuck. The megacorps need access to the largest (by dollar value) economy in the world. They'll fold like Glass Joe if we stand up to them. But people are surprisingly cowardly when it comes to the moneyed classes.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813810)

Lots of countries have done this and haven't been doomed. The US is far LESS likely to be affected than european countries. The US is the largest economy they can't just abandon the place totally. Plus it is easier to abandon European countries, physically more options around.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813742)

replying to kill bad mod.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813992)

I would probably rethink the [colincochrane.com] Google connections [wired.com] if I were you.

If you were to tally up all of the time spent campaigning for Obama and the value of Eric Schmidt's endorsement, that donation amount would be quite a bit higher. But with Eric Schmidt doing the campaigning himself instead of Google doing it officially, then the rewards to Google (the company Eric Schmidt heads up) wouldn't be seen as benefiting as much from their donations.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812762)

or this one?

"Bill Gates gives me money, but that does not make me a Microsoft apologist," Issa said"

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-6236239-503544.html [cbsnews.com]

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812770)

Unless he is a member of the Administration, his status as a lobbyist is irrelevant to the OP.

But you go ahead and try to distract anyway.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813158)

wow, talk about a pot meet kettle of him giving scrutiny to the google apointee.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (3, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812888)

He didn't say he'd hire zero lobbyists. He said he wouldn't hire a lot of lobbyists. As in, of the field of lobbyists, most would not be getting a job offer in the Obama administration. Depending on how many positions there are to fill, he could hire 100% lobbyists and still fail to hire the vast majority of them.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813516)

Also, one would argue the only lobbyist a Democrat can see is the one giving money to a Republican.

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (5, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813758)

He didn't say he'd hire zero lobbyists. He said he wouldn't hire a lot of lobbyists.

Weaselese...

As in, of the field of lobbyists, most would not be getting a job offer in the Obama administration.

Meaningless. There are tens of thousands of lobbyists in the US. Even if Obama staffed (stuffed?) his White House only with lobbyists, most of the the lobbyists would not have a job offer from him.

Here is [nytimes.com] , what he declared on the first day in the office though — already a change of tone from the election campaign:

In what ethics-in-government advocates described as a particularly far-reaching move, Mr. Obama barred officials of his administration from lobbying their former colleagues "for as long as I am president." He barred former lobbyists from working for agencies they had lobbied within the past two years and required them to recuse themselves from issues they had handled during that time.

That policy was immediately violated:

Mr. Obama's nominee for deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, has been a lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon, and his nominee for deputy secretary of health and human services, William V. Corr, lobbied for stricter tobacco regulations as an official with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

And the list [city-data.com] keeps growing...

It would've all been fine, of course — the President is entitled to pick anyone for his Administration (save for a few posts, which must be approved by Congress), but his pre-election grandstanding is now hurting him — despite your and yours best efforts.

change in his pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31814088)

yea so obama's definition of not many is like 50% right?

Re:No lobbyists ...except mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813674)

Ropes and Chains you can believe in Commi's.

I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812482)

The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops

*snicker*

Re:I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (3, Insightful)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812718)

The sad thing is people don't expect this at all. They hope for it, but they certainly (mostly) know better than to expect it. Obama's brand of change is no different than the brand of change pushed by any politician who's ever promised "change." The only difference is more people are willingly allowing the proverbial wool to be pulled over their eyes.

Re:I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (0, Flamebait)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813484)

not really, the media is at least reporting on the matter... because Obama isn't putting out weekly "scripts" like the last guy was. The Bush Administration was the peak of lobby shops being officially part of the cabinet.... and if the President didn't like the department, he simply didn't appoint anybody to it... or worse somebody to "neuter" it... as a matter of policy..... the media NEVER QUESTIONED it in 8 years.

Re:I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (2, Insightful)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813842)

Not only is this President putting out scripts just like the last President (and quite honestly, every President since before FDR), but a good chunk of the press not only prints it, but eats it up. I've never seen as much press love for a President as I've seen with the current one. The same people that are supposed to help hold the government accountable and keep them at least semi-honest are really just reporting what the talking heads are saying. You want to talk about the media questioning anything. First off, the media was all over Bush for most of the 8 years. The boy didn't do a thing without people questioning his motives, for better or worse. Some of it was well warranted questioning, and some of it was just smear campaigns run by the opposing party. This time around it's much different. Almost all of the reporting about Obama on virtually all of the news networks is basically how the mean Republicans are being mean to him and how he's just trying to be a nice man. Some things Obama is getting attacked on by the conservatives are justified, and then some is typical bias smear. But really, you don't see many people honestly and openly questioning anything this current government does, and the ones that are, mainly conservative news outlets, are getting smeared for trying to keep people at least semi-honest, regardless of their own motives (it's well documented that media outlets themselves are only semi-honest at best and have their own agendas, so let's not have that argument). I miss the days when the media was a watchdog against abusive government, and not a cheerleader for it. Those days are long gone, obviously.

Please don't try to pretend that somehow the media is being fair and aggressive in keeping the current administration honest, and also don't try to pretend that the media wasn't all over Bush pretty much from day one, but especially after the Iraq invasion. The man could've saved puppies from a burning tree, and the media would've tried to make him out to be a tyrant for it. The man fucked up plenty, and he did plenty that he was also made to appear to fuck up on and really didn't deserve flak for, but for all of the media reporting you'd have to be really kidding yourself to think that somehow the media gave him a pass on anything. I mean, seriously, please tell me you aren't that naive, are you?

Re:I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813892)

First off, the media was all over Bush for most of the 8 years.

Dear God, you really believe that, don't you?

Re:I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813956)

Dear God, you really believe the msm doesn't lean left, don't you?

Re:I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (2, Interesting)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31814084)

Sadly, there are many people who think of them as an honest unbiased source of news. I think of them as a new age Benny Hill show. Funny to watch, grows old after a while, but added absolutely nothing of value to my life.

Re:I have a right to expect a pony for christmas (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31814076)

Dude, I don't have to believe anything. I was alive and had good vision and hearing tests over the last 8 years. Love him or hate him, but the Bush Administration, for at least the last 5-6 years of his stay in office, was all over the news, and most of it was highly inflammatory. Or do you just get all of your news from WhiteHouse.gov?

Personal account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812492)

The big question is whether or not this is his personal account. Many lobbyists might be people with their own lives (maybe).

Re:Personal account? (2, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812712)

No, the big question is whether he used his personal account to circumvent rules regarding communications made in his official capacity.

Re:Personal account? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812988)

No, the real difference is we've finally collectively realised that no matter what we're fucked so from now on we're going by what color we feel like decorating with for 4 years.

Re:Personal account? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813518)

You mean like Bush/Cheney advocated in their administration? It was a matter of "official" unwritten policy that much of the behind the scenes work was "off the books". The guys in the White House now are kids compared to the last administration with many non-elected "administrators" that served every republican since Nixon.

Re:Personal account? (3, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813664)

If Bush/Cheney did it, does that somehow make what McLaughlin allegedly did okay?

That's mighty Republican of the WH (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812504)

Ronald Reagan would be proud!

Yawn (4, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812510)

> ... is at odds with President Obama's promises

Reality is at odds with (many of) President Obama's promises.

Details at 11.

Re:Yawn (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812654)

You know its funny how outraged people get over appointments. Guess what. Each party has its set of 'experts'. Many have been around for 20-60 years in various positions in the government and private industry. When their party is out of favor they get cushy jobs at some company and wait for the tide to come back around.

These dudes are professional politicians.

When the republican party is back in favor (and it will be) they will trot out their group of experts to fill all those positions. Just as the Democrats have done in the past year or two.

What do people honestly think these guys do while they are not in some sort of official office? They are helping some company weave its way thru the corridors of power. They are helping write up bills that they can give to their buddies in congress to get passed.

I think it is funny that people are actually shocked that this is going on. The American government is about favors. Not about actually helping anyone... That gigantic healthcare bill that just passed? You dont think it was 1200 pages just because it was that hard to do? No. I would be large portions of it is little 'I will vote for it if you put my pet project in' type things. The reason you didnt see any republicans voting for it was because the Democrats didnt want to owe any favors to them, not because they were actually listening to their constituents. Just as the republicans did in 2001 with the tax bill.

Re:Yawn (5, Insightful)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812738)

I think it is funny that people are actually shocked that this is going on.

I'm not at all shocked.
I am fucking pissed though, and you should be too.

Re:Yawn (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812746)

The American government is about favors. Not about actually helping anyone... That gigantic healthcare bill that just passed? You dont think it was 1200 pages just because it was that hard to do? No. I would be large portions of it is little 'I will vote for it if you put my pet project in' type things.

This sort of thing doesn't bother you at all?

Re:Yawn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812786)

I think it is funny that people are actually shocked that this is going on.

Maybe people expected something better than they got under the last administration. Maybe they didn't like billions of tax-payer dollars being funnelled into companies associated with folks in the administration? Maybe that's why they voted for "Change"?

OK, this is several orders of magnitude less corrupt than the Cheney/Halliburton relationship, but what's wrong with a little disclosure? What's wrong with consciously disassociating yourself from ex-colleagues where such association might reasonably raise concern of undue influence? At least for the time you hold high office?

It's the jaded attitude of people like you that have allowed politics to descend into the quagmire it is in today. Raise your expectations!

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813020)

Before anyone thinks that 'i like it this way' you couldnt be more wrong.

My expectations used to be much higher. Until I realized I was being played by both sides. In a power game.

I have my reasons for being cynical. I show others how they are being played now.

One day I realized something. Even though I didnt vote for someone they are still my representative. Honestly 'i did/didnt vote for you' holds very little sway with them after they are in office. My uncle once had some 'tax problems'. A small 2000 dollar contribution to his local congressman and the 'tax problems' 'went away'. Straight up bribes are what runs our country. They call them 'campaign contributions'.

The lobbyists currently run our country and states (as they have the most money to throw around). The most egregious one I saw last year was in my state. A rep for the state senate here didnt even pretend that he wasn't acting for a corporation. The lobbyist paid someone to answer the phone for him (at his office) and do the talking points. He later resigned 'for family issues'. But this sort of crap goes on all the time at ALL levels of government and if you dont think it is you are ignoring facts or have not seen them yet. Until this is fixed you are taking sides in a battle that was already decided in some board room. I have many examples of this from both Republicans and Democrats.

There is little hope that it will be fixed. Term limits do not seem to be the answer as we end up with people who have no political power or experience to represent you. Funding has been set free by the highest court in the land, so lobbyists can turn up the money spigot even higher. So yeah I am a bit cynical that our government has been corrupted on all levels by people with 'agendas' instead of helping everyone as best as they can.

To your points. Yes people expected change. But instead they got even MORE of the same things that the people were voting against. That change campaign will totally hurt the Democrats in the next round of elections. Especially the way they acted in the past few months.

I just think its funny that people cover their eyes and ears when their party is in favor. Looking the other way, and making excuses for them to somehow prove that 'their vote counted more than others'. Just remember 'i did/didnt vote for you' means jack squat at this point. They are in charge. Also in this case it seems he wasnt 'consciously disassociating' himself. Quite the opposite. I dont care who he is. I am glad he got called out on it. I want less of these lobbyists in our government not more.

Re:Yawn (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813386)

Not shocked, but bothered. I would like to see the influence of lobbyists sharply curtailed, as a general part of reform in how elections are run. I'll grumble at anyone, regardless of party, when my grumbling might help.

That said, the healthcare bill is not actually private, and as far as I can tell any favours in it are not blatant.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813984)

I would like to see the influence of the American government be sharply curtailed.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813576)

I do enjoy the fact that you think it's funny how uninformed and clueless the american people are about the government, then proceed to speculate what's really in the healthcare bill while admitting you haven't read it.

(at least I assume you meant "I would [bet] large portions of it is...")

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813592)

Rofl, are you real? just hang yourself.

Re:Yawn (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813958)

    I can't think of a better place to repeat the old saying:

  "All this has happened before, and will happen again."

  Great post, Anon, whoever you were. ;-SB

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812808)

Every politician, regardless of gender, race, religion, political stance/party or country makes empty promises. Nothing new there. I do have difficulties in grasping how Obama has failed in so many ways, though.

First of all, I am not some right wing nutjob, quite the opposite. I am an atheist, bisexual, pacifist, far left political activist in an european country (and far left on european standards, not american. My vote will probably go to the communist party in the next elections). I was extremely happy that Obama got elected (though partially because the alternative was THAT bad). I still am: I still consider him to be the lesser evil Yet... He seems to screw up everything, at least everything in regards to left wing ideologies.

USA still has massive presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the government hasn't opened up (ACTA, etc.), the health care reform is a farse (I am all for socialized health care and would never live in a country without such. However, the socialized insurance thingy really manages to take the worst of both worlds), Abu Ghraib still hasn't been closed, the lobbyists are as strong as ever, the government spent loads of money to bail out banks and large companies (something that doesn't fit the left wing mindset OR the right wing mindset), he hasn't put that much effort to pressuring Israel and Palestine to peace (USA being the only country in the world that might have a chance to do that)... I'm nearly speechless. It is getting more and more difficult to support him for any other reason than that the alternative could have been even worse.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813672)

what the hell does abu ghraib have to do with anything? that prison has been under iraqi control for the last four years! are you suggesting that the obama administration should march in and force the current iraqi government to close it?!

what is with this modern fascination with communism? i'm in my early thirties and have noticed a startling number of people near my age wearing soviet-emblazoned shirts, buttons, etc. i've also seen the same with che gueverra, mao, and castro. noticibly absent are hitler, sar, mussolini. i just really don't understand how anyone in the modern era can be interested in such a political system.

the utopia that marx visioned is nothing like reality. people are, have always been, and will always be, corrupt. like smoke, that corruption permeates the halls of governing estates, eventually choking any hope of the original promise. unrestrained capitalism certainly has its flaws, but at least there exists an opportunity for advancement. hell, even i grew up in a trailer in the south that often went without electricity, but by legally navigating "the system" i've done really well and have been able to help others along the way.

finally, i have to congratulate you on constructing what is probably the least useful enumeration of generalizations i have _ever_ encountered.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813920)

the utopia that marx visioned [sic]

Strictly speaking Marx refused to envisage any future "utopia." In fact he cautioned against it, writing that it was not for our generations to envisage what a post-revolutionary world would look like. Admit it, you haven't even read the guy! Probably not even the Manifesto.

The most we can say about what he thought such a system would involve, was that individuals, as an act of pure self-expression (for Marx you are what you make), would produce goods in accordance with their creative abilities and consume those produced by others in accordance to their needs. He would have loved FOSS, but maintained that such a model could not escape the realm intellectual commodities until such time as humanity achieved the level of maturity to take ownership of the means of production unmediated either by private owners or the state. As you must know, under communism, (as opposed to "transitional" socialism) there exists neither a state nor private property. This is why the states set up by Communist Parties were always called socialist republics.

people are, have always been, and will always be, corrupt.

But not all people surely? And are you seriously arguing that levels of corruption are independent of the economic and political environment in which said people operate?! You don't even need to go back in history to see what nonsense that is.

unrestrained capitalism certainly has its flaws, but at least there exists an opportunity for advancement.

Hmm maybe you have read Marx, that's what he wrote, but maybe in the reverse order. ;)

What Marx, and apparently you too, missed, was how much could be achieved under restrained capitalism.

Re:Yawn (1)

GPSguy (62002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812994)

It's a bit problematical to be a politician. If you don't promise things, but rather say, "I'll try to get this past Congress", folks don't think you'll do anything. If you do promise something, it's subject to the whim of the folks in Congress, and who they're trying to curry favor with at the time.

If you have a party bent on denying you any successes, using any of the arcane methods at their disposal through Roberts' Rules, or the Byzantine Senate and House rules, you suddenly look unsuccessful. If, un the other hand, you hold a solid majority and have leadership that whips you into line if you step out, you can pass whatever you want.

If you're the current Democratic leadership, you can manage to swap a supermajority for something less without getting legislation passed. If, on the other hand, you're Tom Delay or Newt Gingrich, you can keep your party in line and push through what your Party wants.

No one ever said politics at the National level was pretty, or subject to the rules of logic. In fact, while I'd like to have seen some of Obama's "promises" (I'm a bit more realistic in my expectations) passed and enacted, I'm pretty glad we're getting toward deadlock. That way, the Congress-critters can't break too many more things.

Re:Yawn (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813578)

Exactly, we didn't have these arguments in the Bush years because Cheney ruled the party with an Iron Fist. Republicans that spoke out were replaced... even Democrats that spoke out had their districts targeted for Republican PR during elections. Bush enjoyed a majority in both houses for 6 years... and used flag waving/soft on terrorist to constantly push a few Democrats to their side simply because they weren't going to win, and why burn the bridges.

Obama did exactly what he said he would... pushed through health care. It was mean and nasty but unlike the Clinton attempt Obama was able to flip a few Republicans to get it through. I often wonder if the Patriot act (and the massive Homeland security cabinet seat and department created) would have gotten this much scrutiny the rest of the press would be saying much worse about Bush.

Re:Yawn (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31814064)

> Obama did exactly what he said he would... pushed through health care.

Oh, I think that many of the things he has managed to do are good. I was just commenting on something another poster explained in more detail --- all politicians promise things which they don't manage to do. It's inherent in the current political culture.

This particular failing is small change in my eyes compared to Obama's failing to restore some of our fundamental rights at the cost of removing some of the security theater.

Re:Yawn (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31814154)

> (I'm a bit more realistic in my expectations)

Oh, I'm also realistic. Which is why I think the "outrage" on this issue is particularly farcical compared to, for example, the current administration's failure to work to restore basic liberties which we lost in the security theater after 9/11.

But, I suppose, everyone has their own priorities.

Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812570)

I love US politics. It is so hard to imagine that someone who had previously been employed in a role to further the advancement of one lobby group may consider a government position where you are advancing all kinds of areas and helping your fellow citizens a more challenging and rewarding position? Hasn't Andrew joined the "dark side" from Google's perspective?

News flash: I have friends from companies I've worked at previously. That hardly makes me unique. The same goes for Andrew.
News flash: I have a GMail account. I have Google Buzz. People I've worked with in the past follow me. This is also hardly unique.

Now, I'm all for stringing this guy up if he's been double-dealing, or passing on stuff to mates as 'favours'. But having friends (or gmail accounts) isn't illegal.

Disclaimer: I am not an American. I am not and have never been a Google employee.

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812652)

Now, I'm all for stringing this guy up if he's been double-dealing, or passing on stuff to mates as 'favours'. But having friends (or gmail accounts) isn't illegal.

I guess that's why they are simply investigating whether anything untoward is going on.

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813068)

If by "simply investigating" you mean "stringing him up without so much as a word in his defense" then yes, they are indeed simply investigating.

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (3, Insightful)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812704)

No one mentioned anything regarding illegal activities. The congressmen is simply asking Mr. McLaughlin to explain himself. There's no accusation of criminal activity at all in this case.

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (3, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812812)

On the contrary, doing that in a public, official way IS making such an accusation. Reporting it in this way is a means of making the current administration look corrupt. The entire thing is most likely going to come to naught (but hey, if it turns out the guy is dirty, great), but any time it can be stuck into the back of people's minds that "Obama is corrupt", there are many people who will attempt to do so. If there is nothing to it, nobody will ever hear about it again anyway.

This is not new, nor is it unique to Obama. For some reason people seem much more eager to jump on any potential issue, no matter how trivial, with him than most, but the principle is the same.

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (-1, Troll)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812910)

You're fooling yourself on two counts:
1) You seem to think that the current administration ISN'T corrupt.
2) The political news media types jump on any potential issue, no matter how trivial, and no matter who it's about, because scandal brings ratings

Nothing special about Obama here. Every administration gets the same shit, the only thing that changes is whether it's Fox or MSNBC throwing it, and in the same fashion every administration is corrupt, because they're all made up of politicians.

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (5, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813228)

"1) You seem to think that the current administration ISN'T corrupt.'

I've seen nothing to credibly indicate that it is particularly corrupt. Corruption is nearly universal to social constructs, including governments, businesses, clubs, schools, consortiums, and even informal groups of friends... it is, in some form, almost omnipresent. The question isn't whether or not the current administration is corrupt, it is to what extent it is corrupt, and to what extent it is more or less corrupt than others. In my opinion, there is insufficient credible evidence to conclude that it is notably more corrupt than other presidential administrations I can recall. This is not even remotely the same thing as concluding that there is no corruption.

"2) The political news media types jump on any potential issue, no matter how trivial, and no matter who it's about, because scandal brings ratings"

Yes, that was pretty much what I said... How am I fooling myself again?

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813552)

Of course a large number of people want to stick it to him -- and far beyond any other partisan or previous personal prejudice... He is black. Millions of people are still far too ignorant and prejudiced to give him the due criticism that has been applied to every white president before him for the usual reasons.

Socialist? Try JFK and FDR. Corrupt? Try Nixon, Reagan, Cheney. Fool? Try Bush Jr. and Ford.

----But being black makes it so much worse for many. Every day I love and appreciate the youth because race is fading fast, especially in denser populations; and yet every day I am embarrassed by the blatant racism and ignorance of my peers and elders.

One piece of advice for the racist: Racism is only making your life more negative; you're making your life worse by maintaining those beliefs.

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (4, Funny)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812734)

I am not and have never been a Google employee.

So you are saying you are evil?

Re:Not everyone has a hidden agenda! (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813596)

No, we need somebody from the "moral majority" action group to act as Federal CIO... preventing moral foibles and preventing federal offices from looking at "bad things" is much more important than somebody that was part of setting up one of the fastest growing companies in the US right now. That would be like appointing radio engineers or broadcast owners to the FCC... instead of a lobby for "moral content". (Oh wait... that was the last guy)

Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (3, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812586)

Maybe the automatic opt-in of Buzz isn't so evil after all!

--Kim

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (0, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812648)

In case there was any doubt in the mind of anyone, and lest people think this guy is actually trying to fight corruption, the right honorable Rep. Darrell Issa is a Republican. You would not find him making such comments about a Bush appointee.

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (2, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812664)

You would not find him making such comments about a Bush appointee.

He wouldn't have to; a Dem would do it.

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812728)

Very true, very true. Strange how the division of labor is split so equitably.

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (1)

Carl.E.Pierre (1223962) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812896)

He wouldn't have to; a Dem would do it.

Correction: He would not, period. A Dem would certainly do it though.

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812964)

this is the attitude that has led to a republican party where if you get two of them in the room the odds are you'll get a criminal conspiracy.

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813118)

this is the attitude that has led to a republican party where if you get two of them in the room the odds are you'll get a criminal conspiracy.

While I'm sure this is true, it's the kind of one-sidedness that led to the creation of FNC.

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (4, Insightful)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31812752)

Let's be fair. The Bush administration got raked over the coals (rightly so) for using private webmail accounts to keep a lot of internal discussions off of public records. That's a big no-no. The Obama administration doing it is no more right than any other administration doing it. Keep the personal email for personal use. But it shouldn't be used for government business. Chances of him not using it at all for business related to his position within the Obama administration: Probably greater than 50% is what I'm guessing. If he's got nothing to hide, he should let a private auditor go over his gmail account to ensure that nothing government business related is on the gmail account, and if there is anything there government business related, he should disclose this and make those emails part of the White House document chain.

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (3, Insightful)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813488)

No doubt, but from the description, there doesn't really seem to be any indication that he's done anything bad.

It reads more like grand-standing by some random Republican trying to smear by insinuation ("the Bush administration intentionally used private email accounts to bypass public accountability laws ... therefore if someone in the Obama administration merely has a private email account, they must be doing the same thing!").

Re:Maybe Google Buzz automatic opt-in isn't evil! (2, Interesting)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813792)

There is a difference between having a private email account and using it to avoid the scrutiny of the public eye when doing business as a representative of the people of the United States of America. If he has nothing to hide as a representative of the people, have a private audit conducted to determine if there is anything that would need to be entered into the public log on his private email. That way if he has nothing that needs to be documented, then his personal email isn't aired out like dirty laundry, and he's kept looking honorable.

And if he has emails that should be documented, then honestly, it shows he has something that he shouldn't be hiding. The whole point of making all email created while doing business under the hat of the US White House public knowledge is to keep the accountability ever present. You just assume that everything done on a private email is private business without at least doing due diligence and it creates a problem with the accountability, even if it's only the appearance of impropriety.

There are a lot of things about the Bush White House that are probably legitimately honorable but because of appearances, took away credibility. Not defending them, but just saying that a lot of things that the Bush White House got smeared about were probably not as big a deal as made out to be, but because of actions they did take that raised questions, a lot of things were looked at as improper. I'd be willing to bet that half of the crap the prior administration took would probably have been avoided if they had been more open with their communication and not all smoke and daggers. Or perhaps there would be indictments for crimes committed. Who knows? The point is, if the Obama White House really wants to be about change, they'll change the way that the White House shows itself to the American People. Because from where a lot of people stand, this WH is hiding itself from public scrutiny (or trying to anyway) just as much as the last one did. Having public staffers who are previous lobbyists, which is precisely what the President said wouldn't happen, already betrays a bit of the trust that voters put in him. But then finding out that this staffer has a lot of private communications with the people he previously lobbied for, whether honest private communication that in no way affects how he advises the President or dishonest private communication that helps to dictate policy advise, appears to be cloak and dagger stuff just like what was seen with Bush 43. And really, appearance is everything.

lolwut? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812640)

"Ex-Googler Obama Appointee Gets Buzz'ed"
That realy sound like babble from a far, far future...

"Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now."

COCK (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812780)

this m1stake or [goat.cx]

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812884)

Now can we apply it too the media companies, the pharma companies, the banks, the...

Oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31812922)

You mean their former co-worker who now holds a government position important to their jobs might be interested in what he has to say? Surely this is neo-islamic-communism at its worst!

Yeah, right (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813092)

'The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops who formerly employed them,' Issa noted in the letter.

  That's the funniest thing I've read all week. Is he serious? As other posters have noted, he has ties to lobbyists from other industries.

  Glass House, Issa.

  We really need sane contribution laws here in the US. Like, contributions from corporations are flat out illegal.

SB

I wonder if he cut off his friends on Facebook (5, Insightful)

OctaviusIII (969957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813106)

WTF? The fuss makes no sense for a number of reasons: 1) A former high-level Google official has emailed other high-level Google officials through his Gmail account, and is probably friends with them.
2) High-level Google officials will be interested to see what the CTO of the Executive Branch is up to, no matter who that CTO is.
3) This needs to be kept an eye on, but is not indicative of endemic corruption by any stretch. Get a grip, folks!

Uh - nobody has figured it out yet?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813156)

President O isn't Carter version 2 - he's simply a corrupt Chicago politician who said what he knew people wanted to get elected.

He has no plans on keeping any of these promises except those that fit his long term agenda.

For you, the reader, you must decide if his agenda matches what you believe or not.

He's a politician - plain and simple :(

Sad (0, Redundant)

ericdano (113424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813182)

You know, they said no lobbyists.....yet......

Change and hope was just a slogan huh? Marketing? I don't see any change at all.......

Perspective (1)

The Wooden Badger (540258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813250)

It's Google Buzz. It isn't that huge from what I'm seeing. It makes sense that current and former google employees are using google buzz. The closest I've come is noticing that there is a new icon when I check my gmail.

the irony is (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813352)

if, after the lengthy political and legal fight that would finally expose his google buzz messages to american officials, chinese officials, via their google hackers, would have already probably read them a long time ago

What about all the Justice Department (2, Interesting)

greenbird (859670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813366)

They're investigating this but not that pretty much every appointee to the Justice Department formerly worked for the entertainment industry in one form or another?

The Enemy of Humanity -- Barak Hussain Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813378)

Who will rise to save humanity from the Monster (Murderer) in Chief Obama.

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813424)

“The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops who formerly employed them,"

The irony is thick here when that kind of statement comes from a Congressman. It's too bad the self-realization will be lost.

CTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31813702)

Perhaps Obama should have chosen a CTO with more experience running an International Arabian Horse Association [wikipedia.org] instead of some technology insider?

Do no evil vs Evil (-1, Troll)

xs650 (741277) | more than 4 years ago | (#31813862)

Obama hired a CTO from "Do no evil"

Bush routinely hired evil.

I know which one I prefer.

Re:Do no evil vs Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31814176)

I know which one I prefer: neither.

Bush isn't in office. This has nothing to do with what Bush has or hasn't done.

Let's try to judge our officials objectively, instead of praising them for being "less evil" than the last guy.

Don't be a fanboy.

Trying to see the line here.... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31814010)

"Obama's promises to limit the influence of lobbyists."

Wouldn't it just be simpler to hire oh, NO LOBBYISTS?

Or are you telling me that in a country of 330,000,000 there is not a single qualified person for this job who hasn't already Lewinski'd congress or the White House?

Utterly (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31814364)

'The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops who formerly employed them,'

In US politics this an utterly preposterous proposition.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...