- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2011

USING THE H-WORD

“This is going to be tough. But I just want to remind all of you that you didn’t decide to support Barack Hussein Obama because it was going to be easy.”

(President Obama, at a campaign event Tuesday)

POST-POTUS


“Midas Mouth, Obama U., Chairman of the Board, Bill Clinton 2.0, Obama 2016, Chief Justice Obama, Bestselling Scribe, Stay-at-Home Dad.”

(Eight suggestions for President Obama’s “post-Potus career” suggested by Daily Beast political contributors Nick Summers and McKay Coppins, who suggest Mr. Obama “would make a pretty damn good ex-president” and that his re-election is “down to a coin toss.”

BOTTOM DWELLERS

Alas, members of Congress dangle at the very bottom of the honesty and ethics food chain - behind car salesman, telemarketers, lawyers and even those pushy journalists. So says Gallup, which asked Americans to reveal who has the most sterling character in a spate of professions. In first place were nurses, followed by pharmacists, doctors, high school teachers, clergy, funeral directors and accountants. In very last place were our lawmakers.

“This year’s ratings of members of Congress are the worst for them on record, with 7 percent rating them as high and 64 percent as low,” observes Gallup analyst Jeffrey M. Jones. “That is consistent with Americans’ poor views of Congress in general, as both its job approval rating and broader trust in the institution are also at record lows.”

VIC AND TRENT

The K Street universe is a crowded place indeed. This year, 12,792 professionals lobbied for influence in the nation’s capital, according to First Street Research Group in an analysis that tracks those who finesse their way along hushed corners and hallowed hallways. And there are those who do it better than everyone else: The top 30 lobbyists each average 50 clients who shell out an average of $144,737 each for lobbying services. Former members of Congress or ex-Hill staffers are particularly deft.

“Being an ex-member of Congress pays, and pays big: The average amount received by ex-members of Congress per client topped $178,000 in 2011, while ex-staffers received $147,526, and professional lobbyists brought in $108,076,” the analysis reveals. “Ex-members are selective about whom they represent, and their clients pay accordingly.”

Uber-lobbyists include former Democratic Sen. Victor H. Fazio, now a senior adviser at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, proprietor of Breaux Lott Leadership Group, the report says.

“Lott left the Senate in December 2007 and opened his lobbying firm a month later with a former like-minded colleague and fellow ‘First Street 30’ member - Louisiana Democrat John Breaux. It has become one of Capitol Hill’s powerhouse shops, pulling in nearly $8 million in just its first year.”

See the First Street 30 report here: firststreetresearch.cqpress.com.

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