Mark Shmitt has a point when he belittles Congress' lobbying reform efforts.
"This is not a lobbying scandal. It's a betrayal-of-public-trust scandal. Lobbyists have no power, no influence, until a public servant gives them power.
"... every time we say "lobbying reform," we reinforce the idea that it is only the lobbyist who is the wrongdoer. Sure, many lobbyists are slimy and aggressive. (Others, in my experience, can be helpful and informative, as long as you understand that they represent only one side of an argument.) But no one forces any legislator or staffer to accept lunches, trips, or favors from a lobbyist. And the reason not to do that is that the legislator risks surrendering some of her power, which is a public trust, to these private interests."
As some point out in comments below the article, members of both parties are susceptible to the temptations offered by lobbyists. Maybe before they consider the content of a bill controlling lobbyists (or appearing to control lobbyists), maybe everybody in Congress should read Mark Twain's The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.
I suspect that many of my readers (especially those over age 40 or so) might enjoy vasco_de_gramma's haiku in athb.
Now, moon needs watching.