Corporations don't lobby Congress for fun. They lobby because it helps their bottom line. Getting a regulation gutted or a tax loophole created means extra cash for the corporation. But getting laws changed can be very expensive. How much money does a corporation get back from investing in a good lobbyist?
It's a messy, secretive system so it was always hard to study. But in 2004, economists found a bill so simple, so lucrative, that they could finally track the return on lobbying investment.
In author Thomas Caplan's new novel, The Spy Who Jumped Off The Screen, the president asks movie star Ty Hunter to return to action as a secret agent.
Caplan himself is personally acquainted with a former commander in chief. President Clinton and he were once roommates.
"I was a student at Georgetown University. When we arrived as heady freshmen in 1964, because of the alphabet, I was assigned a room next to Bill Clinton," Caplan tells Morning Edition host Linda Wertheimer. "And we've remained friends ever since."
You know it because countless magazines have screamed it at you from the checkout line. Because the gym you walk past every morning is waiving its initiation fee. The holidays are over. It's time to get in shape. So pull on your gym shorts and tighten the laces on your running shoes.
Oh yeah, and don't forget your headphones. You're going to need some motivation, and nothing gets the job done like music. Need proof? We just happen to have some, courtesy of neuroscientist Robert Zatorre, who spoke with Morning Edition's Linda Wertheimer.
In 2008, Richard Bennett had been out of the Marines for nearly three years after being injured in Iraq. That's when he caught the attention of Craig Williams, who was looking for a partner to help expand his successful construction business in Norristown, Pa.
"I had developed a pretty solid construction company, and I wanted a partner," says Williams, 44. "As an African-American businessman, I wanted a young African-American soldier coming home. It seemed like a great opportunity to provide an opportunity."
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. For 35 years, Willis Welch received a pie every Christmas. From whom? He has no idea. Now the Columbus Dispatch reports the sweet streak is over. This Christmas, the last pie came with a note explaining, I am a little too fat to fly anymore. Signed, Pie Fairy. The 87-year-old says whoever it was knew him well enough to always bring his favorite - pecan pie. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Green Bay Packers are favored to repeat as Super Bowl champions, according to oddsmakers in Las Vegas. The Denver Broncos are not favorites. Quarterback Tim Tebow's team managed one close victory after another this season. But the odds are 120-1 against Denver winning it all.
President Obama campaigned outside Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday, where he announced the appointment of a new consumer watchdog. The president used a recess appointment to install Richard Cordray. That might have been routine, but the Senate is not officially in recess.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. People have been making campaign stops in New Hampshire for months. But now the campaign intensifies for the nation's first primary. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is favored, but other Republican candidates are looking for a strong showing in next Tuesday's voting, and most are crossing the state this week.
Residents of Wichita, Kansas, are outraged after Boeing announced Wednesday that it will close a massive defense plant there. More than 2,000 highly skilled jobs will be gone by the end of next year. The announcement sparked considerable frustration among elected officials who had been lead to believe that more Boeing jobs were on the way to Wichita.