December 1, 2009

how can one ever think anythings permanant

Lisa Law, Nico, 1967

* The lobbyist new gravy-train? High-speed rail. excerpt:

"High-speed rail is Washington’s latest potential bonanza, it seems, and that $8 billion dollars — just for starters — is attracting lots of attention. In fact, an examination by The Center for Public Integrity found that more than 50 public and private groups explicitly lobbied on high-speed rail policy last quarter — a three-fold increase from a year ago. Even that number fails to capture dozens of other actors likely lobbying on high-speed rail that keep their specific lobbying targets as vague as Washington does its spending plans."
"But for K Street, it’s “all aboard.” General Electric turned heads this summer by hiring Linda Hall Daschle, previously the Federal Aviation Administration’s Deputy Administrator — and wife of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle — to lobby on rail. Signing up such an influential Washington player — just last month the Daschles hosted a fundraiser for House Transportation chairman James Oberstar’s political action committee — suggested one of the world’s largest companies sees real opportunities. Last week the firm announced an agreement with China that would allow GE to pursue American projects using Chinese rail technology.

“'There will be a lot of consultants all over this stuff,' says consultant Gillespie, who got his rail start while working for Republican Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and then Amtrak. 'There already are.'”

"The 50-plus groups that filed last quarter as explicitly lobbying on high-speed rail include labor unions such as the AFL-CIO and big freight railroads such as BNSF Railway, as well as supply companies, transit agencies, 15 cities and counties, and even the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Law and lobby firms Patton Boggs and Ball Janik represent many of the local governments, while others, such as Kelley, Drye & Warren lobby, for specific rail-interested niche groups such as the steel industry."

* NFL films' Steve Sabo says the wiring of Lions' QB Matthew Stafford was most dramatic ever. Watch the clip, Sabo would know.

* "Dance is the hidden language of the soul." -- Martha Graham


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