one man's opinion

Lobbyists Being Treated Like Holocaust Victims In Massachusetts

this is also a very creepy photo.It is that time of the day again when some U.S. politician, somewhere, decides to make some disturbing, illogical analogy involving Hitler and the Jews. Massachusetts state representative John Binienda is your man today, a man so upset about a congressional push for ethics reform that would require lobbyists to wear special identifying badges when they enter the Statehouse that he went ahead and… hey, you know where this going! Yes, he compared lobbyists sporting badges identifying them as dirty lobbyists to Hitler forcing Jews to wear tattoos in concentration camps to identify them to the Nazis. Lobbyists and genocide victims, they are the same people in this analogy.

The Boston Globe reports:

Binienda, who heads the House Rules Committee, said Wednesday that a Republican proposal for a rule change to force lobbyists to wear badges while talking to lawmakers smacked of tattoos that Jews were forced to wear.

“The idea of the badge by lobbyists to me, I kind of find that revolting,” Binienda told the State House News Service in article posted this morning. “Hitler during the concentration camps tattooed all of the Jewish people so he would know who was a Jew and who wasn’t, and that’s something that I just don’t go along with.”

Binienda has already apologized. So there you have it, because it is nice to know how loyal our nation’s politicians are to their lobbyists, when they defend them against genocide.  [Boston Globe via ThinkProgress]

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  1. nounverb911

    "force lobbyists to wear badges"
    Were they yellow stars that said "Juden"? If not, then go F**K yourself, Binienda.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      No, no. Binienda is absolutley right. This is as bad as requiring police officers to wear a uniform (AND A BADGE!) while on duty. This is as bad as pressuring people to wear a "Hello, My Name Is ____" sticker at corporate seminars and school fund raisers. This is as bad as making the checkout clerk at Safeway wear a name tag, even on casual dress day.

      In other words, it's exactly like being put to death in a gas chamber.

      1. horsedreamer_1

        This is as bad as pressuring people to wear an "Hello, My Name Is _____ " stickat at corporate seminars.

        Not even Eminem is willing to tread on the Jews. Unless you consider his back-&-forths with Paul Berman to be anti-Semitic.

  2. Grief_Lessons

    Assholes like this guy should have to wear bright red fully functional Drudge sirens on their heads at all times, in order to identify them to the rest of us.

        1. Grief_Lessons

          Asshole identification is the key to our prosperous future. And to potty training a toddler.

      1. Chet Kincaid

        I had a friend who liked to put on a toy fireman's helmet with battery-operated siren and spinning lights, darken the room, and terrorize the family's excitable little dog. Though the intended audience reaction is the same, I think his discourse was at a higher intellectual level than Drudge's.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Sorta like the old B. Kliban cartoon with the guy driving a car with a flashing yellow gumball light on the roof, and on the doors, a big label: "ASSHOLE: Official Use Only."

      EDIT: Same thing would work for lobbyists, come to think of it.

  3. tihond

    This is like the time Blockbuster cut up Joe Biden's membership card after he returned "Uncle Buck 2" a few months late. He compared the situation to Stalin's purges.

          1. weejee

            We don't wear no stinkin' badges, at least here. But then anyone who comes through the door who isn't a pinko gets pantsed and run into the john for a swirly. Other places do make us show their badges, or the bar codes tattooed on our foreheads, or the ones on our bums, or whatever.

        1. natoslug

          Some day I aspire to such lofty heights. For now, I am a lowly software engineer. Or as a realist would put it, software "engineer." I still haven't figured out how to get the trains into my keyboard.

          1. emmelemm

            I also am a software "engineer" (ahahaHAH whatever), and I figure any day I wear both pants and a clean T-shirt with no holes in it, I'm ahead of the game.

            (P.S. I don't work at home.)

          2. natoslug

            The biggest challenges to working at home are: 1. Remembering the little things (showering, brushing teeth, putting on clothes, not pissing in the sink), 2. Staying focused on sunny days, and 3. Not beating the children when they run amok behind you.

  4. Sue4466

    When I worked at McDonald's I had to wear a tag. McDonald's, Hitler. Same thing apparently.

      1. Steverino247

        I was just going to post, "You want fries with that Arbeit?" when I thought I'd see if somebody beat me to it. Well done, Doc.

  5. ganmerlad

    Why do I get the feeling he talks to a LOT of lobbyists and wants to keep that fact on the down-low?

    1. OhNoGuy

      A great movie! This is always the quote (inaccurate but close) but watch the fight early on. It's in black and white and (for these days) not very on screen graphic but brutal enough. That and (as I recall) "Nobody messes with Fred C. Dobbs!!" Watch Humphrey go mad, nobody that I've seen does it better.
      OK, back to dick jokes.

  6. V572 [SSAN]

    Shouldn't they wear suits with dollar signs on them, like that question-mark-suit guy in the infomercials?

    1. Nixon_So_Fine

      O! To upfist this a million times would be a wonderful thing! What a delightful, current reference…what was that d00d's name? I'd Google it if I cared enough (or were somewhat sober…) Now…off to drunkenly read/hate Sully, again.

  7. Limeylizzie

    No, I am kind of on board with this, yellow star for Jews, pink triangle for the gheys, so a really big dick for the male lobbyists and a huge gaping maw of a vagina for the girls.

      1. MissusBarry

        I've never wanted TruckNutz, but if this is the new designation, I'll order a brass set.

    1. Steverino247

      How about being encrusted with diamonds from Tiffanys? Or is that only if you're there to see Newt?

    2. BloviateMe

      …huge gaping maw of a vagina for the girls?

      If you need a model, I can offer up my ex-wife's phone number. I'm guessing her hole has been pounded into a misshapen, flobbidy, torn up set of meat curtains by now.

      Just trying to do my part.

      1. user-of-owls

        Well, if we're looking for at least one positive outcome of your separation, I think we'd all agree that the phrase "meat curtains" would be it. I know I feel a sense of lack of closure.

        1. BloviateMe

          That did come off looking a touch bitter I guess. Truly not, been years. But when I think of "gaping maw of a vagina" she just comes so readily to mind…the little dickens.

  8. genxr

    Have you been to the Lobbyist Museum in D.C.? It's very moving. I left almost in tears after seeing what was done to them. Taxing their corporate jets, herding them all into K Street offices like cattle? Never again, I say. Never again.

    1. finallyhappy

      and what about the horrible things they are forced to eat and eat in huge quantities in places like the Capitol Grill or Michel Richards Central or the Palm.

    2. Trannysurprise

      I too wept during my visit to the United States Lobbyist Memorial Museum. They gave us cards to role play – pretend we were one of the persecuted just to get that day-in-a-life feeling. My journey through the mock up of the C street house was chilling. I got Jack Abramoff and we all know he didn't make it out. Sobering.


      1. user-of-owls

        I had a similar experience. The exhibit with piles upon piles of Guccis torn asunder from those naked-but-for-their-Brooks-Brother-suits, hands cupped over their gold Tag Heurs as they were led into the Texas legislature's "Armed & Lobbying" line, well, it still makes me shudder.

  9. chascates

    It could be worse. Here in Texas people who have concealed carry permits can bypass the normal security inspection at the state Capitol and walk right through. Most of the lobbyists got the permit even if they don't carry to speed up their whoring.

    A lobbyist with a gun is pretty frightening.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Wait — so the people without guns have to be checked, but the people with guns can go right on through? Perry must've gotten his security detail from Huey Long.

      1. chascates

        AUSTIN, Texas – Everyone from lobbyists to lawyers and journalists is rushing to get permits to carry guns inside the Texas Capitol, where legislators already often tote pistols in boots and purses or stow them away inside their desks.

        A unique loophole in a new security procedure means a gun permit is like a special-access pass into the domed building, allowing people who are certified to carry a gun to bypass lines at the metal detectors that were set up after a shooting incident earlier this year.

        "Nobody wants to be the one standing in line behind three hundred kids wearing the same colored T-shirt," said University of Texas political scientist Jim Henson. "If you're trying to get in and out really quick and there's going to be choke points, well, people don't want to have to deal with that."

        There's now a frenzy for folks to get trained and licensed to carry a firearm, especially before the legislative session begins in January. It's not required that people have a gun to enter the Capitol through the express lane. Merely holding a valid permit, and presenting it at the entrance, will get them expedited entry.

        "Everybody is doing it or is planning to do it," said lobbyist Bill Miller, who has taken the required training and is waiting for his license to arrive in the mail.

        The metal detectors were installed at the Capitol's four public entrances in May, a few months after a man fired off a few rounds outside the doors of the main entrance. No one was harmed.

        Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is known to sometimes carry a .380 caliber pistol, vehemently objected to the metal detectors, saying he didn't want to see airport-like security logjams at a Capitol known for its open and freewheeling culture.

        1. genxr

          You're not required to carry a gun to enter the Texas capitol, but why the heck wouldn't you? If you need me I'll be in the top row of the observers' gallery with a high powered rifle.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            See, if Kennedy had been carrying at Dealy Plaza, he would have at least had a fighting chance.

        2. GunToting[Redacted]

          Hey, at least TX still requires some version of training before people can carry concealed. Here in AZ all you need is a pistol and a pocket.

        3. MissTaken

          Obviously the solution to being stuck behind three hundred kids wearing the same colored T-shirt is to give all three hundred of them all a gun so they don't have to wait in the security line.

        4. Biel_ze_Bubba

          It had to take someone named Jim Henson to explain the Texas Legislature to us. (Because there are no Kafkas on the faculty.)

    2. V572 [SSAN]

      This is great, and a lesson to gun fetishists and pols who cater to them all across the land. The government cannot deny the rights of gun-toters, but it can impose burdensome restrictions on everyone else. Pretty soon you'll have a separate line at the bank for people with guns, which is terrific for everybody but the teller in that line.

  10. Rotundo_

    Idiot politicians who go around comparing every two bit thing like this to the holocaust should be forced to wear little brown circles with asterisks hand drawn in them like Kurt Vonneguts' hand drawn assholes so we can identify them before they open their mouths and prove the point.

  11. hagajim

    I think all lobbyists ought to wear shock collars and we should get to blast them every time they shill for some rich fucks trying to get more tax breaks.

    1. AnarchyWolf

      I think they'd probably die after about five minutes. Not that I really have a problem with that.

  12. Veritas78

    Any lawmaker who leaps to the defense of lobbyists has tipped his hand on who he thinks he works for. Would he mind if their tag includes their title: "BOSS"?

  13. Grief_Lessons

    In his apology he said he was sorry to Republicans and to the citizens of the state, but not to, you know, Jews or Poles or Gypsies or whatnot. All class, this fucking guy.

    1. Guppy06

      Who he should really be apologizing to are the lobbyists themselves, whom he effectively called Jews.

    1. nounverb911

      No one in my family has voted for a republican since Nelson Rockefeller ran for Governor for the twelfth time, but I might consider contributing to his opponent next election time.

    2. BarackMyWorld

      The probability a Democrat will say something horrifyingly stupid is slightly less than a Republican, but not that much less.

    3. Guppy06

      The only difference between a Democrat and a Republican is their ability to get away with it. Generally, Democrats aspire to be Republicans one day.

    4. V572 [SSAN]

      In Texas a Democrat is still a Texan and therefore very different from, say, Barney Frank. Remember that it was Democrats running the Jim Crow South all those years.

      Ah, good times!

        1. user-of-owls

          Ah, sweet girl, step back a moment and consider the context. Mass politics has always given cesspools a bad name and Mass politics has always been run by Democrats. Ergo, it actually should come as little surprise that when someone proposes painting the teats that elected criminals suck on so earnestly with green and read neon paint, their normally irreproachable comport might be disturbed.

          1. Limeylizzie

            Hello there Owls. I am just a little steamed today due to Mark Halperin's lack of taste and respect. Just trying to imagine how the chips would have fallen had Al Sharpton called George W. Bush a dick on Fox News.

          2. user-of-owls

            Oh, I know dear thing. But hoping for anything remotely like what journalism and/or political commentary once was in these days of Black Mamba discourse is so terribly Sunnybrook Farm-ish. Take heart, though, my rapscallion, there is always a latent pool of writers, journalists and artists who will break through one day. Perhaps we ourselves will have an American Spring. Why not shoot for the fences…or the wickets…shall we?

          3. CthuNHu


            Mass politics has always been run by "Democrats".

            Sometimes they've been Democrats by belief, sometimes they've been Democrats just because that's the way to get ahead.

            Massachusetts had a string of moderate GOP governors precisely because people didn't trust the slimy "Democrats" on Beacon Hill. The string of Mass. House Speakers being convicted of felonies suggests they were right.

            One such Speaker, Tom Finneran, was law partner with William O'Brien, an active Democratic donor until he skedaddled to NH where he became the ultra-ultra-right-wing GOP Speaker of the NH House. So you can guess how much earnest Democratic concern for the little guy there was in that duo.

    5. Rotundo_

      No party has an absolute monopoly on stupid, but the safe bet is that if it's stupid or racist or greed soaked it probably sources from the (R) folks. It doesn't mean that (D) folks can't be assholes, as this marvelous human is, but the probability drops a good bit.

    6. ganmerlad

      And the idea for ethics reforms came from Republicans. Did Romney break Massachusetts or somethin?

    7. glamourdammerung

      I actually knew he was a Democrat because he apologized instead of doubling down on the stupid.

    8. Negropolis

      Given that Democrats hold 80% of the seats in the Mass. state house, the sheer probability that this would be a Democrat is insanely high. It reminds me of Detroit where in order to get elected, you have to at least be nominally a Democrat, but it doesn't necessarily make you one. I'm convinced the current council vice president is a Republican, for instance. He was willing to wipe out what's left of public transit and parks programs in Detroit because of the deficit. He sounds downright tea-baggish.

      1. horsedreamer_1

        Wipe out the (remaining) parks? Sounds like he wanted to codify Devil's Night.

        /pops purple pill
        //pupils dilate

  14. OkieDokieDog

    OMG! Lobbyists being treated like concentration camp Joos!

    I'd bet a good 99.9% of them should be in jail.

  15. __kth__

    I have a better idea: make the legiscritters (like the douche, sadly a Dem, making this obscene analogy) wear badges, that have the name of their largest contributor on them and how much.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      They should wear jumpsuits with all the logos, like the NASCAR drivers. Someone else had this idea, but I can't remember where I saw it…

      1. __kth__

        yeah, that was a good one. I saw that suggestion at the Think Progress link in the OP, don't know if it originated there but haw haw.

      2. V572 [SSAN]

        Heard old Dan Schorr espouse it once on NPR, or something like it: he imagined senators and congressmen wearing lapel pins with logos of their contributors and making discreet speeches promoting their projects in the duller moments on CSPAN.

        Yeah, I know, how could you tell which moments on CSPAN are less dull than others?

        1. user-of-owls

          Well, I for one found the hearings on the wildly controversial proposal to relocate the twelve member Task Force on Elevator Safety Standards in the South Dakota Branch Office to offices in a new building that were held before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia to be positively riveting!

  16. JoshuaNorton

    In other news:

    Glenda Beck is gone. And just like that, the measure between batshit crazy and regular crazy at Fox News is actually balanced.

      1. AnarchyWolf

        He'll just yell twice as loud from somewhere else where he isn't at risk of being fired.

  17. oinonio

    “The idea of Massachusetts state representative John Binienda representing me, to me, I kind of find that revolting,”

  18. Goonemeritus

    I’m not saying that I agree with lamp shades and soap made from Lobbyists (That’s a little too far). But a central housing arrangement might aid in keeping track of them.

      1. Goonemeritus

        It’s not like the government should be involved in shower safety after all were in the Constitution is that power enumerated.

    1. zhubajie

      Make them wear those Mark of the Beast radio bracelets, so they can be tracked at all times!

  19. MissTaken

    I hate the badge I have to wear at work to get into the building and to use the ladies' room (only the ladies' room, the men's room is a badge-free zone). I hate that damn badge because it was really cold on picture day and my nips are incredibly noticeable. Just like how Hitler tattooed all the Jews in the concentration camps.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      "it was really cold on picture day and my nips are incredibly noticeable."

      *peels away mature non-sexist liberal-minded outlook on life like Ethan Hunt pulling off a disguise*

      I really don't see the downside to this.

      *puts back on*

      Sorry! Weekend drinking has begun!

    2. Rotundo_

      Darn difficult not to be a pig when hearing something like this, but I will liken it to drivers license photos that always make the already horrifically repulsive me even more so. Pity you can't "burka-ize" it with a sharpie or something. Perhaps an unotrusive sticker (amurkin flag? kitten? smiley face?) might fly, I s'pose it depends on how tight arsed they are.

      1. MissTaken

        Honestly I just keep it turned around at all times. Instead everyone gets to see my super duper Clipper card for Bay Area transit.

    3. user-of-owls

      Oh, way to go. Now of course all of us boner-Americans are going to demand legislation requiring big blowup badges of all nippled-Americans be taken in appropriately pre-frozen rooms.

  20. mavenmaven

    You know what's not like the Holocaust? Lobbyists. That's it. Everything else is Hitler, 24/7.

  21. Numbat_Dundee

    First they came for the lobbyists and I said nothing, which was a mistake. I should have cheered more loudly.

  22. MissTaken

    Once, just once, I would love to see someone who compares shit like this to the Holocaust actually say that to a group of actual Holocaust survivors.

  23. MinAgain

    Doesn't go far enough. We ought to require them to wear a scarlet L on their chests like the harlots they are.

    1. comrad_darkness

      And leather chap pants to properly finish the ensemble. Also, the lobbiests should have bags of colored powder on their wrists so the politicians have to go around marked all day for shaking hands with them, like sheep in the midst of a ram in heat.

  24. PsycWench

    I had to wear a badge at our reception for graduating seniors and their parents, because our secretary said so and you don't make trouble for the secretary. For two hours I knew what it was like in a concentration camp, a really special one with cookies and beer.

  25. Fare la Volpe

    I support this proposal only if the badge in question is a nail.

    Driven through their junk.

    Hey, now they're just like Jesus on the cross!

    1. FraAnima

      "Hey, now they're just like Jesus on the cross!"

      Who was also a Jew. Coincidence? I think not!

  26. mookwrthwilson

    All the lobbyists in Maryland wear a big tag that says "LOBBYIST"…none of them have been shipped off to Buchenwald yet.

  27. mumbly_joe

    Here's the real question: suppose Benienda is "hiding" a lobbyist, under his desk, and the Ethics Gestapo knocks on his office door. Is he willing to lie to keep the lobbyist from being genocided? At least long enough for said lobbyist to finish up his or her "persuasive advocacy"?

    1. __kth__

      see, now you're insinuating that lobbyists perform sexual favors for politicians, which is anti-Semitic.

  28. ttommyunger

    Thank Jeebus somebody is standing up for the poor downtrodden Lobbyists. This public servant is a genuine hero for going out of his way to prevent this horrific wrong from being perpetrated. I believe we should all chip in as much as we feel is appropriate to make a campaign donation to this brave Legislator so that we an insure he stays in office forever. Anybody got change for a fucking Penny?…..Must….take……break……..Sarcasm overload…….

    1. user-of-owls

      My budget this month is going to be awfully tight, what with donating to the oppressed corporate jet people and now to those poor, victimized lobbyists. I guess I could skip my insulin and anti-retrovirals for July. And Henry tells me he found a new dumpster that's loaded with spoiled fish behind that Korean market, so there's some savings too.

  29. Mahousu

    Just like the Nazis pried the gold teeth out of the mouths of Holocaust victims, so members of the legislature pry campaign contributions out of the pockets of lobbyists. Perfect analogy.

  30. user-of-owls

    Many moons ago, while I was off in college, my younger brother (who worked at a Cape Cod golf course) befriended an old guy who was in Mass politics so deep you couldn't see his head even if he wore a fez. Being indicted back there is like your debutante ball, and this guy had definitely had his coming out party. First time I meet him and he hears I'm off to grad school for Political Science and he tells me, half winking but mostly dead serious, "I'd rather have my daughter be a whore than have my son be a politician."

    Ah, my native land.

  31. neiltheblaze

    We here in Taxachusetts didn't want to be left out of the clueless yokel politician sweepstakes, the current national rage. Our clueless yokels, though, tend to be Urban – so they've got a slightly different whiff about them – but they too are ignorant hayseeds.

    And not for nothing – Salem is just down the road – he couldn't make a Scarlett Letter reference instead? I mean, he'd still be a douche, but he could at least pretend to be literate.

  32. DashboardBuddha

    People…people! Can't we come together in agreement? I propose that lobbyists wear surveyor markers just like the kind that Sarah uses.

  33. x111e7thst

    I resolve to become a better person: a person who cares about all the lobbyists being shipped off to Concentration Camps.

  34. fuflans

    recently for a project, i have had to spend a lot of time with eyewitness accounts / first hand testimony from concentration camp survivors.

    i can't really say anything funny here.

    and i hope John Binienda has to spend some time with these accounts too.

  35. Negropolis

    He just went right to the concentration camp. He didn't even start out at the Star of David badges, just straight to the killing fields. Sick fuck.

    Well, I guess Democrats can get one, this time. When you're in perpetual power like they are in Mass, the pool usually gets wider than it goes deep. You start roping in quantity over quality.

    He's from Worcester, so you can't expect too much, poor thing.

  36. johnnymeatworth

    Yeah, like how Anne Frank was forced to hide in that attic with her family after it was discovered she was lobbying for Monsanto.

  37. horsedreamer_1

    How much Kennedy blood in this guy? Looks to be the illegitimate son of an illegitimate son of an illegitimate son of Ol' Joe (Kennedy Pere).

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