Telling: Comcast PAC cash accepted by every senator probing Time Warner Cable merger

Chuck Schumer

When you give the federal government more things to do, you give the men and women in charge more things to buy and sell at your expense. If you ever doubted the deleterious effect that growing the government has on the health of civil society, look no further than the Comcast-Time Warner hearings.

Every member of the committee — every one — has taken money from Comcast PAC. I now give you…crony capitalism:

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first congressional hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger Thursday, and every single member of the committee has taken money from Comcast PAC — even Democratic senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who is generally considered to be anti-Comcast.

Out of 18 committee members, 10 Democrats and eight Republicans, 17 got money from Comcast’s federal PAC, according to the database at OpenSecrets.org, technology website Ars Technicareported.

Ars Technica then confirmed with Mr. Franken’s spokespeople that he did accept $5,000 in Comcast PAC cash in 2009 for his recount fund, since OpenSecrets.org did not have that donation listed.

Why on earth would Comcast donate money to every single senator unless its top brass thought that it could influence every single senator with cash? Answer: Because that’s precisely what Comcast’s money men thought.

The full list of Senate Judiciary Committee members and the cash they’ve accepted from Comcast PAC donations are:

Comcast PAC donations to Democrats:

• Chuck Schumer, New York: $35,000

• Patrick Leahy, Vermont, Chairman: $32,500

• Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island: $26,500

• Chris Coons, Delaware: $25,000

• Dick Durbin, Illinois: $23,000

• Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota: $22,500

• Dianne Feinstein, California: $18,500

• Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut: $11,500

• Mazie Hirono, Hawaii: $5,000

• Al Franken, Minnesota: $5,000 (2009 recount fund)

Comcast PAC donations to Republicans:

• Orrin Hatch, Utah: $30,000

• Chuck Grassley, Iowa, Ranking Member: $28,500

• John Cornyn, Texas: $21,000

• Lindsey Graham, South Carolina: $13,500

• Jeff Sessions, Alabama: $10,000

• Mike Lee, Utah: $8,500

• Ted Cruz, Texas: $2,500

• Jeff Flake, Arizona: $1,000

The sad thing is that there are people out there who still blindly defend the idiocy of both parties. No matter what “their team” does, they’ll defend it it to the death, which is fitting, since that’s exactly the kind of mentality that is killing the freest nation ever created.

Think of all the issues that senators influence, either through legislation or their close relationships with bureaucrat overlords in Executive agencies manning the administrative state. Now think of all the companies that know that if they just cough up the right amount of cash, that the guy or gal “representing” you in the nation’s capital will bend over backwards to find a way to vote against your best interests while still managing to hold onto a job. Infuriating, isn’t it?

If you want to get the nation back on the right track, find your friends and family members who defend the the most boorish behavior and inflammatory rhetoric displayed by the losers in their favorite political party, and then convince them that they are doing the nation a grave disservice.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to sit and think about how pathetic our state of affairs must be for me to bite the bullet and end a blog post with Calloway’s “I Wanna Be Rich.”

Dick Durbin: If you have a tumor, letting it grow is always an option

Dick Durbin Debt Liver Tumor

Recently, Lee Doren of CEI covered the “Wealth Inequality in America” video that went viral. In the feedback section of my blog, a liberal drive-by commenter said that I appeared to be an “elitist” for suggesting that the makers of the video purposefully muddied the waters between “income” and “wealth” because I believe large swathes of the public doesn’t particularly make a distinction between the two.

I rejected that claim because the truth is not elitist. Likewise, politicians know this is the truth, which is why you have Sen. Dick Durbin talking about deficits when he was specifically asked about debt.

Liberals are masters at twisting and contorting language until people throw up their hands in frustration or simply go along with whatever definition they’ve come up with on that day.

Note this exchange on March 17 between Sen. Durbin and Chris Wallace:

Chris Wallace: Sen. Durbin, when candidate Obama said that [$9 trillion in debt was “unpatriotic”], our national debt was $9 trillion. It’s now $16 trillion. So the question is: If it was unpatriotic at $9 trillion, is it sustainable at $16 trillion?

Dick Durbin: “Chris, here’s the good news: We’ve reduced the long term deficit by about 2.4 trillion dollars. That’s included only $6 billion in new revenue [i.e., tax hikes] as part of the fiscal cliff. We still have to do more, but we’ve taken the edge off the crisis, I’ll concede that. What the president is pointing to is this: We need strong economic recovery. We need to put Americans back to work. That’s our first priority. Deficit reduction I would put as the second priority and one that is coupled with economic growth. So I think we can do both. Make sure we have deficit reduction, but don’t cut too much, too fast.

Take for example the sequestration. Seven hundred thousand American jobs will be lost. This is not the thing to do and not the right time to do it. We’ve got to phase this in and sequence it so that we have economic growth and Americans paying taxes.

As I’ve said before, when Washington officials lament “cuts,” what they’re really talking about is going into debt at a slower rate than they would like.

BL-sequestration-size-comparisonThink of the federal government or the national debt like a tumor. It grows and it grows and it grows. At some point, even the operation needed to save the life of the afflicted could end up resulting in death. The tumor gets too close or attached to vital organs. Too much blood loss would occur if it was removed by anyone except the most skilled surgeon. The body has grown too weak to survive attempts to excise the cancer.

That is where the United States finds itself today, and it’s precisely what men like Dick Durbin are counting on. If they can continue to play word games long enough, the tumor will grow. And in this tale Durbin plays a deranged doctor who knows he can keep prescribing the wrong medicine and collecting his patient’s cash because he will be long gone by the time the body goes into cardiac arrest.

Sen. Durbin has talked to all the actuaries. He has seen all the numbers by the CBO, OMB, etc. He knows the interest on the national debt alone will break us at some point in the not-to-distant future. And yet he continues to misinform the American people.

America is sick right now, and millions of citizens don’t realize that they’ve hired the political equivalent of Jack Kevorkian to heal the nation.

Barring some sort of technological breakthrough that changes the country’s fiscal trajectory, this will end badly. And when it does, history must note that men like Sen. Durbin willingly allowed it to happen.

Uncle Sam copy