Saturday 21st October 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Tax Reform? Not Without Lobbying Reform

October 7, 2017 Frontpage No Comments


The call woke me up at 11 p.m. one winter night in early 1982. The line was noisy, and so was the joint that my acquaintance called from, but that wasn’t the only problem: He was also drunk.
“Chris, I’m sitting here in Santo Domingo with my good friend Enrique. He’s the agriculture minister here. I’d like to put you on the line with him — please tell him how much Senator Helms supports increasing the sugar quota for the Dominican Republic.”
“Wait a minute, Lynn,” I said, “why don’t you call me at the office at a civilized hour, and why do you think that Senator Helms supports increasing the sugar quota for the Dominican Republic?”
“Chris, that’s great news — I knew the senator was on board. Why don’t you say hello to Enrique, he’s right here, just say hello and let them know what great friends we are.”
A tentative voice came on the line. “Ola? Cristobal? Enrique. Mucho gusto.”
Well, it was late, and Lynn shouldn’t have called me at home. But at the Senate, where I was staff director for the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, his chances of getting me on the line were pretty slim, even if he was sitting with Enrique, obviously a prospective lobbying client.
“Ola, Don Enrique,” I said. “Listen, I don’t know why Lynn called me, because Senator Helms doesn’t support raising your sugar quota. He’s the chairman of the Agriculture Committee in the U.S. Senate, not in the Dominican Republic. And watch out for Lynn — frankly, I don’t trust him.”
Or words to that effect.
Enrique gave a hearty laugh and said, “Gracias, Don Cristobal, mi amigo!” And I hung up.
I don’t know if Lynn got the contract, but he was always furtive when I bumped into him on the Hill. And his call? It was rude, and perhaps crude, but it was not extraordinary. Washington lobbyists make a lot of money, but first they have to land their clients. And Lynn was country-hopping, trying to sell “access” wherever he landed (why had he taken my home number with him? He had scoured his Rolodex for every name on the Hill he could find, that’s why).
Stories about smarmy lobbyists abound in Washington. My favorite — at least my favorite that I can recount in a family newspaper — involves a fellow who set up shop after a couple of years working somewhere in town. When prospective clients visited his office his secretary would knock softly on the door, peek in, and say, “Sir, Mr. Meese is on the phone.”
“Mr. Meese” was the attorney general of the United States.
The lobbyist would pick up the phone. “Hi, Ed — say, can I call you right back?”
No kidding — tell the attorney general of the United States that you’re too busy to talk to him! That charade was this guy’s modus operandi whenever a prospect came calling. Of course, Ed Meese had never heard of him. Well, there are no secrets in Washington, and when local paper let the cat out of the bag, he became a laughingstock, not a lobbyist anymore.
And guess what? Ed Meese finally heard of him!
So President Trump wants Congress to pass a simpler, fairer, flatter tax code. Will it pass? Let’s put it this way: If it does, a lot of lobbyists are going to have to learn to drive a truck. And that’s not going to happen.
Lobbyists prosper because the Washington region is now the richest in the country. Everybody scratching everyone else’s back, with your money. There’s an old story that the city was built on a swamp. So was Mexico City — and both capitals float on billions of dollars-worth of influence and graft. Different styles, to be sure, but in both cities, it’s corruption that floats the boat.

Happy Anniversary, Lepanto

“Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far, / Don John of Austria is going to the war” — G.K. Chesterton, Lepanto.
On October 7, 1571, the forces of the Holy League triumphed over the overwhelming Turkish fleet in the Mediterranean off the coast of Greece. The young Miguel de Cervantes was gravely injured, but survived to write the most enduring classic of all Spanish literature, Don Quixote de la Mancha.
The victory was as complete as it was miraculous — the outnumbered Holy League captured 117 galleys and their crews, liberated thousands of Christian slaves, and destroyed some fifty Turkish galleys. The Turks limped home with only thirteen ships.
Preparing for the battle, Holy League crews prayed the rosary, along with Christians throughout Europe, joining Pope Pius V and invoking the assistance of the Blessed Virgin. And today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7 in thanksgiving to the Blessed Mother for saving Christian Europe from the Mohammedan hordes.
On September 12, 1683, the troops of King Jan Sobieski of Poland were vastly outnumbered by the Mohammedans besieging the city under Kara Mustafa Pasha, but Sobieski defeated them with the largest cavalry charge in history. After his victory, the Catholic king gave a new twist to the old Roman phrase: Veni, vidi, Deus vicit, he said — “I came, I saw, God conquered.”
Sobieski arrived in the nick of time to save the city on September 11 — and it doesn’t take much imagination to surmise that the terrorist attacks on the anniversary in 2001 were carried out with the intention of opening the door to Islam’s final defeat of the West after so many failures.
The victories at Lepanto and Vienna saved Europe every bit as much as Charles Martel had saved her in 732 at Tours. Pretty soon we’re going to need another victory — and it appears it will have to be just as miraculous.

More Anniversaries

Of course we’ve all read of how the Vatican has celebrated this year the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther, who launched the Protestant Revolution and spawned tens of thousands of heretical sects that continue to multiply throughout the world to this day. No matter, Luther is now recognized in Rome as a “witness to the Gospel.”
And one hundred years ago, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, know to the world today as Lenin, launched the “October Revolution” that delivered Russia, and eventually the rest of Eastern Europe, into the hands of the Communist Party. A hundred years later, visitors can see the thousands of used statues of Lenin that are now stored in a vast dump outside of Moscow.
And on October 13, the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, whose statue is venerated throughout the world.
Our Lady left Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco with words that resonate hope to a wandering world:
“You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Catholic youth: Thanks for asking our opinion, here’s what we think

A survey of nearly 900 local Catholic young adults shows they fear for the future, they want to do works of service and they want to gather with other young people in retreats, sports and in the Sunday Mass. The…Continue Reading

Fr. Perrone: without an intense, devout life, Catholics will not survive the age

The saintly priest, learned theologian, and catechist extraordinaire, Fr. John A. Hardon, was fond of saying that without an intense, devout life Catholics will not survive the age. I admit that at the time I thought this a ruse to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Be agents of Mary’s Immaculate Heart to combat ‘diabolical forces’

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke has summoned the faithful to become “agents” of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to combat the “diabolical forces” that have been “unleashed upon the world” and are…Continue Reading

Callista Gingrich confirmed as US Ambassador to the Vatican

Washington D.C., Oct 16, 2017 / 04:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. The vote was 70-23. In a…Continue Reading

Pope Francis canonizes 35 new saints

(Vatican Radio) Inviting all faithful to practice Christian love every day, Pope Francis on Sunday canonized 35 new saints, nearly all of them martyrs, holding them up as models who “point the way”. To the over 35,000 pilgrims gathered in…Continue Reading

President Trump: Our ‘religious heritage’ will be ‘cherished, protected, and defended’

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump said this morning that his administration is “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values” in a rousing speech at the Values Voter Summit. In his first major speech to a socially conservative conference…Continue Reading

Capuchin Priest Who Ministered Under Soviet Rule Moves Closer to Sainthood

VATICAN CITY — On Monday, Pope Francis advanced nine causes for sainthood, including a Capuchin priest who ministered underground across the Soviet Union for nearly 40 years. Father Serafin Kaszuba was born June 17, 1910, in Zamarstynów, near Lviv, in…Continue Reading

Notre Dame student fears losing birth control coverage under university health plan

The Trump administration’s plan to roll back mandatory insurance coverage for birth control faces a new federal court challenge. Washington state’s attorney general sued Monday to stop the new rules from taking effect. California and Massachusetts have already filed similar complaints. Last…Continue Reading

European Nation to Unite in Prayer for Its Salvation

On Saturday, October 7, up to one million Poles are expected to line the country’s border to pray the rosary. They will be joined in prayer by many others in Poland and throughout the world. This extraordinary display of public…Continue Reading

A big-money Catholic group just said it’s yanking all of its cash out of fossil fuels

A coalition of 40 Catholic institutions on Tuesday announced a decision to pull their money from — or block future investment in — fossil fuels. The Global Catholic Climate Movement called it the biggest collective announcement of divestment by Catholic…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Returned to Vatican Court, but not as Prefect

VATICAN CITY, September 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): Pope Francis has reinstated Cardinal Burke as a member of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court. Cardinal Burke, dismissed as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura nearly three years ago, has been appointed to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke to offer Mass at conference exactly 100 years after major Fatima miracle

BUCKFAST ABBEY, United Kingdom, September 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Exactly 100 years after the “miracle of the sun” at Fatima, Cardinal Raymond Burke will offer Mass at a Marian conference celebrating the centennial of the messages of Our Lady to…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

At university, it’s risky to ‘come out’ as Christian

In the university town of St Andrews, along the narrow road that overlooks the North Sea, there is a modest townhouse with a red door. The small black plaque at the building’s entrance reads “Chaplaincy”. Between its steps and the ocean is the little Catholic church of St James and, nearby, the ruins of a great cathedral. The chaplaincy’s interior, its 1970s decor, dim lighting and musty scent, in many ways symbolises the impression I…Continue Reading

Priest who signed Filial Correction: It was ‘the Catholic thing to do’

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England (LifeSiteNews) — The number of signatories of the Filial Correction charging Pope Francis with spreading seven heresies, at least by omission, has now risen to 245 professors and clergy. That is up from 62 at the time of its publication on September 24, and 40 when it was delivered to Pope Francis on August 11 at his Santa Marta residence. Critics of the Filial Correction have accused the signatories of standing as “judges over the…Continue Reading

Trump admin makes protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” top priority

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a stunning change of direction from the Obama administration, the Trump Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not only declared that human life begins “at conception,” but has made protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” one of its top priorities. While the Obama HHS under Kathleen Sebelius

Pope invites prisoners to lunch, they break free instead

Bologna, Italy, Oct 17, 2017 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- They were supposed to be having lunch with Pope Francis. During his Oct. 1 trip to Bologna, the Holy Father was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica. Instead, two of the Italian prisoners shirked their invitation for what they saw as…Continue Reading

A biblical interpretation of Fatima’s Miracle of the Sun

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England, October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Miracle of the Sun which took place in Fatima, Portugal, exactly one hundred years ago today (on October 13, 1917), was one of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century. An estimated 70,000 people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun, both believers drawn by the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise to the three shepherd children the previous July that she would perform a miracle in October,…Continue Reading


Book Review… Meditating On The Mysteries

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Donal Anthony Foley reviews The Rosary In Action, by John S. Johnson (TAN Books and Publishers), 271 pages; $16.95 paperback, $7.98 Kindle on Amazon). The Rosary In Action is a reprint of a book originally published in the early 1950s. It was written by a Catholic layman who had served in…Continue Reading

The Making Of A Philosopher

By DONALD DeMARCO A new year arrives every 12 months; a new millennium, every 12,000 months. In celebrating the latter, how does one begin to do justice to its magnitude? The rarity of the event demands something far more imaginative than noisemakers and funny hats. There should be some serious reflection about life and the…Continue Reading

Fr. Solanus Casey To Be Beatified November 18

The beatification Mass for Fr. Solanus Casey is scheduled for November 18 at Ford Field in Detroit. “Not unlike the [1987] Silverdome Mass celebrated by St. John Paul, this, too, will be a history-making liturgy,” said Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit. “The beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey is an incomparable grace for the Church in the…Continue Reading

Poverty As An Evil And Poverty As A Good

By PHILIP TROWER On November 19 the Church will celebrate the first “World Day of the Poor” which the Holy Father instituted last year at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy by means of the apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera. Then on the June 13 he issued a papal message entitled Do not Be…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic. . . The Many Assaults On The Rule Of Law

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Common Priesthood Of The Faithful And The Ministerial Priesthood

By DON FIER The priest-king Melchizedek, as we saw last week, is a type, or figure, of Christ. He appears only briefly in the Old Testament and his figure is shrouded in mystery. Yet he is the first person in the Pentateuch to explicitly be called a “priest,” he is the only figure in the Book of Genesis to be…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In a recent issue, we addressed the problem of pornography addiction by an 84-year-old man. At the end of the column, we invited readers of the column to pray for this man. The following note from the man’s wife illustrates the power of your prayers: “I’m writing to thank you for asking your readers to ‘pray for this…Continue Reading

Love God And Neighbor

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Exodus 22:20-26 1 Thess. 1:5c-10 Matt. 22:34-40 In the second reading today St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians about the nature of their conversion. They had turned from idols to worship the Living and True God. By itself that is wonderful, but it becomes extraordinary when we hear that…Continue Reading

Sinner, Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, D.C. Monsignor kindly gave The Wanderer permission to reprint this essay from his blog of October 7. All rights reserved.) + + + There is an urgency and clarity about Sunday’s Gospel that is often lacking in modern Christians, including the clergy. The…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Two Academics Enter the Lists Against The Filial Correction

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK, M.A. The battle is joined and the duel of the academics over the fate of the Filial Correction is heating up. On one side of the ring we have Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D., and Dawn Eden Goldstein, STD. On the other side we have, as of this writing, 235 signatories of the Correction. Many of these…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Edward The Confessor

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Middle Ages, England not only endured the raids of the Vikings, but also suffered from the raids initiated by Denmark and Normandy to control the small kingdom across the straights. Battles and intrigues were frequent, leaving little peace until the time of King Edward the Confessor. Even his reign experienced the plots and conspiracies so…Continue Reading