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Remember Dick Gephardt, the former House House Majority Leader, mortal foe of NAFTA and overall friend of the working class? He’s a lobbyist now of course, and his firm, Gephardt Group, has boomed following the Democratic takeover of congress. Revenues for the firm — which helps clients “improve Labor Relations, develop Political and Public Policy Strategies and enhance Business Results by gaining access to new markets or partners” climbed from $500,000 in 2007 to $1.5 million last year.
Gephardt’s clients include Boeing, Goldman Sachs and Waste Management Inc. and just two days ago he signed up the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The disclosure form doesn’t say how much Gephardt will be paid and only vaguely describes what issues he’ll be working on. But it’s interesting to note that the Chamber is one of the leading opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act, which is the top legislative priority of Gephardt’s old friends in the labor movement.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”