Think the Donald Can Get Us a Better Deal on Porter Goss?

 

live-auction-ideasI’m on everyone’s mailing list for “News from Turkey,” so this morning I received an excited missive about a piece in the Huffington Post. It revealed the non-news that Turkey spends a lot of money lobbying the United States:

… within days of starting its war on the Kurds, Ankara hired Squire Patton Boggs for $32,000 a month, as a subcontractor to the powerful lobbying firm, the Gephardt Group. Squire Patton Boggs includes former Senators Trent Lott and John Breaux, and retired White House official Robert Kapla. The Gephardt lobbying team for Turkey consists of subcontractors Greenberg Traurig, Brian Forni, Lydia Borland, and Dickstein Shapiro LLP; the latter recently added to its lobbying staff former CIA Director Porter Goss. Other lobbying firms hired by Turkey are: Goldin Solutions, Alpaytac, Finn Partners, Ferah Ozbek, and Golin/Harris International. According to U.S. Justice Department records, Turkey pays these lobbying/public relations firms around $5 million a year. Furthermore, several U.S. non-profit organizations serve as fronts for the Turkish government to promote its interests in the United States and take Members of Congress and journalists on all-expense paid junkets to Turkey.

Among the U.S. lobbyists for Turkey, perhaps the most questionable is Porter Goss, CIA Director from 2004 to 2006, who has agreed to sell his soul and possibly U.S. national secrets for a fistful of Turkish Liras.

None of this is news. Turkey’s not even among the top ten spenders, as far as foreign lobbies go. (That honor usually goes to Canada, although apparently in 2013 it went to the UAE.)

But here’s the thing that chaps my hide. I’m fine with selling our politicians to foreign governments. We’re running a $43.8 billion trade deficit, after all. We can’t afford to be fussy.

But aren’t you insulted that we’re selling them so cheaply? We’re the United States of America. Shouldn’t Porter Goss be worth more than a measly 32,000 bucks a month? We borrow more than that every minute, so why should we sell him for less than 32,000 dollars a second? What kind of superpower do these people take us for?

And if we’ve already established that, and we’re just haggling over the price, we need to get serious about dollars and cents. Because that’s peanuts, and it’s not going to pay the bills.

So here’s my question for Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, can you convince me that when you’re president, you’ll sell our has-been CIA directors for a sum that says, “America is Great Again?”

I don’t want any more empty campaign promises, either. I want to see it. Live, on prime time.

First, I want to hear how much Trump thinks they’re worth. Then I want to watch him auction them off, one by one. That would certainly be more entertaining than watching another dreary debate about policy, wouldn’t it? Ratings would go through the roof, I bet. And if Trump makes enough from the Goss sale to pay for an F-35, I’ll stump for Trump forthwith.

You with me, Ricochet? Get me a better deal, and show me the money. Live. Because we’re worth it.

There are 12 comments.

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  1. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    I think it said $32K per month, not day. I paid more than that for my divorce.

    Our Retired Generals charge far more than that to act as Senior Mentors to our Active Duty Generals (generally $300 per star per hour-ish).

    That kind of money won’t even keep John Kerry in ketchup.

    • #1
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Instugator:I think it said $32K per month, not day.I paid more than that for my divorce.

    Our Retired Generals charge far more than that to act as Senior Mentors to our Active Duty Generals (generally $300 per star per hour-ish).

    That kind of money won’t even keep John Kerry in ketchup.

    It did say a month. I think he should be worth more that per day. Per minute, even. Maybe I should rewrite that so it’s clearer.

    • #2
  3. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    It’s the old unequal bargaining power between many buyers competing with each other and just a few sellers that drive up the price buyers must pay.  Would we get more if we held an open auction?.   I don’t think so, because Congress gets to sell the same thing multiple times and each customer thinks he’s getting an exclusive.   Since these are mostly public goods in which there is joint consumption and exclusion is difficult, costly or impossible an open auction might lead to a free rider problem and drive the price down that  buyers of favors must pay.  Now we’ve got this market divided between two cartels we call political parties.  it would help if one cartel would buy the other out. (I’m not sure there wasn’t a secret deal)   moreover  we don’t let the largest group participate, citizens, because they are so hard to organize.  Probably we should consult the Clintons, they seem to be able to cordon off specific favors and charge more.  It’s all very complicated and my head hurts..  

    • #3
  4. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Maybe Porter Goss really believes in Turk–

    No, sorry couldn’t do it. I think lobbyists should demand to be paid in exotic currency instead of vulgar cash.

    Porter Goss should demand his weight in frankincense or myrrh per week. Think of the spectacle! Trump holding the weigh-in in the Capital rotunda.

    “Only 215 lbs this week Porter? What a loser! I could weigh 300 lbs and only get the finest of frankincense! Turkey’s cleaning our clock, look at them beat us when our crooks can’t even command high prices! You’re going to need all that frankincense because you stink! Erdogan, tell him he’s fired!”

    • #4
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Among the U.S. lobbyists for Turkey, perhaps the most questionable is Porter Goss, CIA Director from 2004 to 2006, who has agreed to sell his soul and possibly U.S. national secrets for a fistful of Turkish Liras.

    Geez. Couldn’t he at least hold out for a real currency or gold for Blood Money?

    • #5
  6. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: First, I want to hear how much Trump thinks they’re worth. Then I want to watch him auction them off, one by one. That would certainly be more entertaining than watching another dreary debate about policy, wouldn’t it? Ratings would go through the roof, I bet. And if Trump makes enough from the Goss sale to pay for an F-35, I’ll stump for Trump forthwith.

    The way to go is Dynamic Pricing. Like airline seats.  That way the more critical the need for a lobbyist, the closer to whatever deadline you have, the $$$$$$$.

    • #6
  7. John Hendrix Thatcher
    John Hendrix
    @JohnHendrix

    John Penfold: Probably we should consult the Clintons

    I think I know a wise idea when I read one. We’re not going to have a whored-out caste of retired elites that will make a self-respecting superpower proud until we elect a pimp who knows how to get the marks to overpay.  John Penfold is correct: we cannot ignore the Clintons demonstrated prowess in getting overpaid for their corruption.

    The Clinton brand of creative corruption has set such lofty standards for fleecing their marks that I imagine they’ve won the grudging admiration of the Ayatollahs.   But one fundamental question remains: are the Clintons capable of whoring-out anybody but themselves?  Unfortunately there is no evidence that they are.  In spite of their possible deficiency I am standing up for the Clintons and demanding they get a chance to show us that they’ve got what it takes to be our presidential pimps.

    Clarie is only half correct: She is correct when she said we need something like a reality TV show where, say, Porter Goss is rented out to the highest bidder.  But she erred by seeming to suggest that such a show would only feature Trump.

    Instead such a reality TV should should have, say, the Clintons competing with Trump to see which of the competing teams could peddle Porter Goss for the maximum hourly rate.

    • #7
  8. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    John Harington had something to say about this, I recall.

    • #8
  9. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    “I wish to buy his loyalty, not rent it for a short time.”

    “An honest politician is one who, once bought, stays bought.”

    From this story I deduce a lack of honest politicians.  I already knew that, though.

    • #9
  10. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Claire,

    What kind of superpower do these people take us for?

    The problem summed up in one sentence. As for Trump, “The Donald has landed deal with it.

    TIME MAGAZINE TRUMP ARTICLE

    Oy Vey!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
  11. SParker Member
    SParker
    @SParker

    He’s amply demonstrated that he has the gift of  branding (converting the nebulous and intangible into a price premium).  Harold Hill, Jr.’s done it for himself; he can do it for others.

    He’s also made a good start on the other end of the problem:  making the power lobbied damned well worth the lobbying.  The dirty little secret of the US and imperialism is that we have always positively sucked at it.  Polk’s war with Mexico was arguably an exception.  Interesting Harold, Jr. would start roughing them up first.  Nothing will say “Valgame Dios! Ayudame!” like a premium-priced hack.

    • #11
  12. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    SParker:He’s amply demonstrated that he has the gift of branding (converting the nebulous and intangible into a price premium). Harold Hill, Jr.’s done it for himself; he can do it for others.

    He’s also made a good start on the other end of the problem: making the power lobbied damned well worth the lobbying. The dirty little secret of the US and imperialism is that we have always positively sucked at it. Polk’s war with Mexico was arguably an exception. Interesting Harold, Jr. would start roughing them up first. Nothing will say “Valgame Dios! Ayudame!” like a premium-priced hack.

    S,

    Now Ms Parker we shouldn’t be too stubborn.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12

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