Washington Babylon — May 26, 2008, 10:39 am

Media Makes Shocking Discovery: McCain Surrounded by Lobbyists

Over the past few weeks, the media has finally begun reporting the fairly obvious fact that there are a whole bunch of lobbyists working closely with the campaign of Senator John McCain. As a result, a number of lobbyists with embarrassing ties to foreign governments have been forced out of the McCain camp, like Doug Goodyear, whose firm lobbied for the Burmese dictatorship a few years back.

Now, the Washington Post is reporting that Democrats are calling for the firing of Charles Black, a close McCain advisor who in the past has been involved with lobbying for a number of foreign dictators and miscreants. As I noted last month, Spy magazine once ranked Black’s then-firm, Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, as the “sleaziest” foreign lobbying entity, giving it a “blood-on-the-hands” rating of four.

Meanwhile, Harper’s has now posted my story from the May issue, which looks at McCain’s ties to the so-called “Reform Institute.” The Institute’s stated aim is to clean up Washington, which is somewhat ironic given that former top lobbyist Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, ran the joint for a number of years.

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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