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Here’s a startling number: 13,000.
That’s the number of corporate lobbyists in Washington, DC. Adding to their clout are the thousands of corporate executives who jet into our nation’s capitol city periodically for closed-door sessions with key lawmakers and regulators. If you wonder why such crying public needs as health care for all and environmental protection are constantly bent to serve private corporate interests – look to this army of hired guns and executive-suite dandies.
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But let’s concede that influence peddling can be hard work. Such tasks as glad-handing and passing out campaign contributions – that’ll tucker you out.
That’s why the Ritz-Carlton is so crucial to the system. This swank hotel is a Washington oasis for frazzled lobbyists and executives. For one thing, no tacky tourists are there to bother the swells, for room rates at the Ritz start at $599 a night and run up to $5,800. Then there’re the little touches.
For example, where else do guests get a “Bath Menu” in their room? “Choose from an assortment of butler-drawn baths to ease your concerns,” says the menu. “A personal attendant will be pleased to draw the bath of your choice.”
The menu offers The Inaugural Bath, with mineral salts “from the depths of the bright blue sea;” The Capitol Bath, with lavender, sea salts, and a libation of your choice; and The Cherry Blossom Bath – actually, rose petals are substituted for cherry, but you do get a glass of champagne and strawberries.
Each bath adds 50 bucks to the bill of the soaking influence peddler. But hey, as the Bath Menu explains, a little rub-a-dub-dub is not an expense, it’s “a reward at the end of a successful business day.”
They soak us, then they take a soak, writing the whole thing off as the cost of doing business!
“Something has gone terribly wrong,” www.fightingbob.com, September 28, 2009.
“The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D. C.” www.ritzcarlton.com.