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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 4, 2011 29 Adar II, 5771

Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Robert Gibbs's relationship status with Facebook: It's complicated.

It's complicated because mere weeks ago Gibbs left his job as White House spokesman, saying his primary work over the next couple of years would be President Obama's reelection. But then Facebook came calling — and with that friend request comes the potential for Gibbs to make millions by getting in before the hot company's expected initial public offering next year.

Now Gibbs has to choose: his president or his pocketbook? If he chooses the latter, he will be following many former colleagues in a rush to cash in after relatively brief tenures in the Obama administration. The West Wing has begun to resemble a corporate placement service.

Peter Orszag, Obama's former budget director, enhanced his own budget by taking a top job with Citigroup. Ron Klain, Vice President Biden's former chief of staff, has returned to making money taking care of Steve Case's money. The Chamber of Commerce announced last month that former national security adviser James Jones is advising its members. Obama's former deputy chief of staff, Mona Sutphen, staffs UBS Wealth Management. Former White House counsel Greg Craig counsels clients of a big corporate law firm. Former social secretary Desiree Rogers socializes with associates of the publishing company she runs.

And those are just a few.

Cashing in after a stint in government is certainly not new, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing that so many Obama administration officials are rushing to turn their public service into personal profit. The Center for Responsive Politics already counts 314 Obama administration officials who have passed through the revolving door between the public and private sectors, compared with 511 from George W. Bush's eight years and 348 from Bill Clinton's.

Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising, because political figures of all stripes seem to have shed their senses of shame as they convert their influence into wealth. Seven senators from the last Congress are already in lobbying-related businesses: Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.). Fifteen House members are in lobbying trades, too, including once-dignified committee chairmen such as Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.). A dozen other just-retired lawmakers went into the corporate world.

Not long ago, it was a rarity for a lawmaker to become a lobbyist. But for high officials, influence for hire has lost its stigma. Public service, once a civic virtue and an end in itself, has become a stepping stone to riches.

Sometimes they don't even wait until they leave government to tend to their balance sheets. After embarrassing publicity, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) recently paid more than $300,000 in back taxes related to a private airplane she invested in. McCaskill, whose husband is a multimillionaire, was discovered to have charged taxpayers nearly $76,000 for flights on the aircraft.

Across the Capitol, first-term Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) could be in even bigger trouble; investigators are reportedly looking into various Rivera financial oddities, including an undisclosed loan he received from a company co-owned by his mother that he says he later repaid.

Voters can choose to remove McCaskill and Rivera for their indiscretions, but once an official leaves government, the few ethics laws on the books do little to stop them from using their connections to make a killing. And current lawmakers aren't about to jeopardize their future earning power by putting meaningful obstructions in the revolving door's path.

So it continues to spin, transporting senior officials from the Obama administration, particularly from the Treasury, State and Justice departments, into choice corporate jobs. In the White House itself, it's a perpetual career day.

Top Obama advisers David Axelrod and Anita Dunn returned to consulting. The first lady's communications director went to Siemens. The White House media affairs director joined the Glover Park Group. The White House deputy political director decamped for Hilltop Public Solutions. One aide to the chief of staff joined Bloomberg L.P., while another chief-of-staff aide teamed with the deputy press secretaryin a consulting venture. Biden's administrative director became a law-firm partner. A staffer in the urban affairs office joined the lobbying firm Raben Group.

Then there's Marne Levine, former chief of staff at the National Economic Council, who became vice president for global public policy — at Facebook. If she and Gibbs end up counting their proceeds after the public offering, will they pause for a moment to consider that it was the American taxpayer who got them their corporate riches?

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Previously:



04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group