Adam Weinstein · 07/23/14 01:52PM

Today is National Hot Dog Day! Unfortunately, the president of the National Pork Producers Council is unavailable to celebrate, since he was arrested this afternoon in Washington trying to enter a Capitol complex office with his unlicensed 9mm pistol. He's probably being grilled by police.

Citigroup Suddenly Has Grave Fears for the Constitution

Jim Newell · 01/12/12 01:13PM

Most of the big banks have kept quiet after President Obama controversially recess-appointed Richard Cordray to his throne atop Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We still don't know how much this new bureaucracy will annoy the banks, but one can assume they were just fine with the previous arrangement, in which congressional procedural gimmicks were used to block it from ever taking formation. But then yesterday, something wonderful happened: Citigroup's lobbyist chimed in with a passive-aggressive blog post about the whole issue!

Swag Industry Furious Over Government's Swag Cuts

Jim Newell · 11/11/11 04:27PM

President Obama continued his series of small tweaks to the broken system via executive order this week by asking agencies "to cut about $4 billion per year from the federal government's budget for travel, cellphones, conferences and 'swag' like agency-branded mugs and clothing." This sounds painfully modest. But, like everything else, not modest enough to keep major trade groups from raising hell in its wake.

Despised Washington D.C. Is Now Richer Than Silicon Valley

Jim Newell · 10/19/11 11:43AM

It's a proud day to be an American, as our nation's capital has overtaken San Jose as the country's wealthiest metropolitan area. Isn't this inspiring, to see the most hated city on Earth sucking up the remaining few dollars in America's cash pool by attracting more and more lawyers and fixers to do the hard work of ruining the rest of the country? Throw your beloved diamond-shaped federal office park of a capital a celebratory parade, you other, poorer people!

Mercenary Lobbyists Moving to DC Suburbs

Jeff Neumann · 07/26/11 05:24AM

The criminal enterprise formerly known at Blackwater USA, Xe Services, is perhaps best known for murdering civilians and ripping America off for hundreds of millions of dollars and getting away with it. Now, after rebranding itself as a "peacekeeping and humanitarian" force (ha), the company is moving up to the D.C. area to kiss some ass and win some contracts. According to the AP: "Xe Services says 20 people will move from Moyock, N.C., to Arlington to foster relationships with customers in and around Washington." Oh God.

Future of Nation Depends on Grover Norquist's Definition of 'Tax Increase'

Jim Newell · 07/21/11 11:19AM

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, is the guy who makes most Republican members of Congress sign a pledge never to raise taxes, making him one of the more powerful people in Washington. But today he's confirmed that there's a loophole in his pledge — one that's potentially worth $4 trillion in new tax revenue! Washington is too weird.

Making Lobbyists Wear Badges: The New Holocaust?

Jim Newell · 07/01/11 01:18PM

In an effort to tweak its ethics rules following a spate of corruption, the Massachusetts House is considering among other things a requirement that lobbyists wear ID badges in the statehouse if they're "seeking access to House members or staff." This doesn't seem controversial. Then again, maybe it's the Holocaust?

Evan Bayh Sucks

Jim Newell · 06/07/11 12:23PM

Former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh simply had to resign from Congress last year, as our polarized politics were preventing him from singlehandedly saving the world in his role as a mere public servant. "At this time," as he said in his powerful resignation speech, "I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning, or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor." Got it? He would sacrifice his sizable political power to help America, by creating jobs, giving to charity, and advancing higher education.

Robert Gibbs Might Go Work at Facebook

Max Read · 03/27/11 11:00PM

Get ready for some truly horrible jokes from our nation's least funny people, political pundits: Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs may be joining Facebook in "a senior role in helping to manage the company's communications."

House Republicans' Next Target: The Old Peoples' Lobby

Jim Newell · 03/25/11 02:31PM

The masters of legislative oversight who currently make up America's House Republican majority has another little beef to settle, this time with that most sinister of Washington special interests: The American Association of Retired Persons, a.k.a. the lobby for old people things. If only these geriatrics hadn't endorsed last year's health care reform law, maybe Republicans could've turned a blind eye to such corrupt practices as bribes that ensure Matlock reruns never disappear from daytime television programming. But they did endorse it, so House Republicans are planning hearings.

Protests Follow Wisconsin Republicans to Washington Lobbyists' Office

Jim Newell · 03/17/11 03:55PM

Top members of the Wisconsin Republican party went to pick up their checks for crushin' those unions at a Washington lobbyists' fundraiser yesterday. The event had been planned for a week, so pro-union protesters were ready to greet them. Here's a solid clip, via Salon, of the good-size crowd occupying the lobby of DC's Homer Building, headquarters of the firm Barbour, Griffith & Rogers. And yes, that "Barbour" does refer to the one and only Boss Hogg.

White House Official's Wife Found Dead in Burning Car

Jim Newell · 01/10/11 12:52PM

Ashley Turton, a lobbyist and ex-Hill staffer whose husband, Dan Turton, is the White House's legislative liaison to the House of Representatives, was found dead in a burnt car inside a Capitol Hill garage this morning.