Those mean ungrateful telecoms! According to Paul Kiel at TPMMuckraker, Roll call reports that despite everything the Republicans have done to allow them to break the law with complete impunity, they aren't expressing their gratitude in the, um, concrete forms the Republicans seem to have expected:
“It’s quite discouraging,” said one GOP leadership aide, referring to the disparity in giving from the telecommunications industry in light of the FISA debate, but also the broader lack of support for Republicans from the business community in general.
“These companies just won’t do anything,” the aide said. “Even when you have the Democrats working against their bottom line.”...
[A Republican lobbyist said] “There’s no question that from time to time staff, and maybe some Members, say to fellow travelers: ‘Are you giving us some air cover? Are you helping us help you?’”
I love that last bit: "Are you helping us help you?" It makes the quid pro quo so delightfully explicit.
"The news is not all bad. The telecoms still give more money to Republicans than to Democrats, Roll Call reports; "Of the four major phone companies, only Sprint is now favoring Democrats overall." The other three, AT&T, Verizon and Qwest, still know their bread and butter, but are favoring Republicans "by slimmer margins than in years past." The reason is clear: with the Dems in power, of course, the telecoms need to spread the wealth. (...)
Perhaps, as one GOP leadership aide puts it, the telecoms will find religion again when they realize “these guys are not good for business.”"
Personally, I don't think the Republicans are good for business. They are great at handing out favors to particular businesses, but their fiscal mismanagement hurts business as a whole. And let's not even get started on their failure to exercise any oversight at all over mortgages and their derivatives. That might have looked "good for business" a couple of years ago, but it doesn't look that great now.
In other news: CTV reported that an Obama staffer called the Canadian Ambassador to warn him that he was about to criticize NAFTA, but that "the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value." The Obama campaign responds:
“The news reports on Obama's position on NAFTA are inaccurate and in no way represent Senator Obama’s consistent position on trade. When Senator Obama says that he will forcefully act to make NAFTA a better deal for American workers, he means it. Both Canada and Mexico should know that, as president, Barack Obama will do what it takes to create and protect American jobs and strengthen the American economy -- that includes amending NAFTA to include labor and environmental standards. We are currently reaching out to the Canadian embassy to correct this inaccuracy."
The Canadian Embassy weighs in:
"A spokesman for the Canadian Embassy to the United States, Tristan Landry, flatly denied the CTV report that a senior Obama aide had told the Canadian ambassador not to take seriously Obama's denunciations of Nafta.
"None of the presidential campaigns have called either the Ambassador or any of the officials here to raise Nafta," Landry said.
He said there had been no conversations at all on the subject.
"We didn't make any calls, they didn't call us," Landry said.
"There is no story as far as we’re concerned," he said."
And while I'm posting, let me just say that Matt Drudge is a jerk for posting that Prince Harry is serving on the front lines in Afghanistan. I refuse to link to his story, which has to set some sort of horrible new record for irresponsibility.