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Cashing In

11:56 AM, May 31, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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It is often said that the real scandal in Washington is not what's illegal, but legal.  And not merely legal but ... commonplace and celebrated.

Evidently, it isn't said often enough.  That, or Washington just doesn't care.

We are now seeing, according to Juliet Eilperin and Tom Hamburger in the Washington Postmembers of the Obama administration turning their time spent in "public service" (no laughing) into fat paychecks in the parasitic branch of the "private sector" (wipe that smile off your face).

Just for instance, there are five former public servants working the Keystone XL pipeline matter.  The pipeline hasn't yet produced any of its potential jobs in construction, welding, etc. or moved any of the crude oil that would follow from its regulatory approval.  But it is a money gusher for former Obama aides including

... Bill Burton, Stephanie Cutter, Jim Papa, and Paul Tewes [who] work as consultants for opponents of the project, which would carry heavy crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

Nothing partisan going on here, though, since:

... former White House communications director Anita Dunn, counts the project’s sponsor, TransCanada, among the clients of her communications firm.

Only a cynic could possibly imagine that these five might be calling favors they squirreled away while they toiled on government salaries or that, heaven forfend, they might have actually worked the issue in ways to insure their employment when they returned to the private sector.  

Mr. Paul Volcker is concerned about the public's lack of trust in government.  Seems he might direct his efforts at drying up the vast reservoirs of influence money from which the political class drinks.  Failing that, he might at least jam the revolving door.  

Otherwise, the public will believe what it sees plainly in front of its face and draw the inevitable conclusion.

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