Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 24th, 2014

Best to write in pajama?

More than 80% of French readers are women. Does this ratio hold for different languages, countries and development stages?

How to advance one step in your dream? Spend a day per month without reading or writing. Keep a foot in reality. Your window is opened to life. Take a peek out the window, now and then…

Keep a version of your manuscript for the time you are ready to say what you think.

A good book doesn’t devour you: It burns your insides in small fires.

Writing is first of all an intimate feast.

Target the reader’s heart, though he reads with his head: Your job is to seduce, not to convince.

Highlight in yellow all the “But” and “May be” in your manuscript: Your temperament will become obvious to you

Rewrite the same page until your emotion is in syncs with the moment

Your editor must sign a particular contract with your mother: She is often mentioned and her contribution is a job to be paid for.

Without the modesty of the readers, there is no literature: The reader has no idea that what is in the novel was generated from him…

Authors relish the scandalous lives of his secretive characters

What count is “Can you lock your suitcase?” How you stuff the suitcase, neatly or haphazardly, is of second importance.

Wait till you feel hungry before you resume writing

An author is hard at work when he is Not thinking of what he is writing about

You are a winner as you learn to desist working against your habit: I write better when it rains…

You know that a chapter is good enough when you feel this urge of pissing

We can reflect on own own, but to assimilate what we cogitate, it is best to discuss it with another person

A good author is perpetually active after his death. And he must have had loads of vanity. Otherwise, he turns mystics at best.

The overwhelming number of characters in novels are of people who can’t read .

It might take an entire life to finish writing a manuscript, with the gravity of a child at play

When you start thinking of only what you are writing, you turn an official author

Don’t throw away anything you wrote: What is not appropriate for your current manuscript will find its place in the pipeline.

Open any book and copy an entire paragraph that you liked: This is called “Making the rich pay

If you are no longer in the mood for reading, you’ll never know why you are writing

The main problem emerges when the author has become more important than the book

Don’t abuse of mysteries: the majority of readers believe anything

Use a banal style when describing a tragedy: It hits the imagination more powerfully than the emphatic sentences

An author doesn’t write according to your specification: Refrain from remarks on the book when meeting an author

All “pure” ideas are forgotten. As well as books selected as good to read

Reading and writing are two different tasks: Good readers end up bad writers for refusing to accept this evidence.

It is amazing how personal activities such as the urge of making love or writing have impact on the collective life.

Note 1: Quotes from “Author in Pajama” of Dany Laferriere

Note 2: Read part 1

K Street pays top dollar for revolving door talent

 and  investigated this Jan. 21, 2014

It is a widely accepted truism in Washington that the place to get rich is on “K Street” — that metonym shorthand for the Washington lobbying business. But how rich?

In 2012, we estimate that the median active for-hire Washington lobbyist generated $179,667 in lobbying revenue.

That’s slightly more than what a member of Congress earns ($174,000) — and has been slightly more since 2010, when the median revenue first eclipsed the member salary.

Clients appear to be willing to pay significantly more for “revolving door lobbyists” (those lobbyists with government experience) than they do for lobbyists without government experience.

For 2012, we estimate that lobbyists who list a government staff position somewhere in their lobbyist disclosure firms were associated with a median revenue of $300,000. That’s almost 3 times the median revenue we estimate that lobbyists without government experience generated: $112,500.

A graph showing the median lobbyist revenue in 2012.
Figure 1. Graphic credit: The Sunlight Foundation.

Roughly two-thirds of revolving door lobbyists now generate more revenue trying to influence legislation than lawmakers earn for writing legislation.

By contrast, less than 40% of those who never worked in government appear to earn more money than members of Congress.

A graphic showing the amount of lobbyists who earn more than a congressperson.
Figure 2. Graphic credit: The Sunlight Foundation.

(Interestingly, former government staff generate even more money than former members of Congress. One plausible explanation is that members of Congress earn more revenue from vague responsibilities like strategic advisor or “historian” than they do from “lobbying” subject to LDA reporting requirements.)

While the gap has always existed, it has widened.

In 1998, the revolving door premium was closer to twice the non-revolving door premium. And back in 1998, the majority of contract lobbyists didn’t have government experience (or, at least, disclosed government experience).

That “revolving door” lobbyists generate more revenue than their counterparts should not come as a surprise.

Lobbyists with Hill experience are valuable:

1. They have personal relationships and friendships with people who still work in Congress, and hence access.

2. They know the quirks of the procedures, the personalities and who responds well to what. And

3. Often, they know the policy pretty well, too, having been around it for years.

These differences are also consistent with previous research. Both this paper find that lobbyists who are well-connected earn a premium in the revenue they generate.

Revolvers are becoming more corporate

One reason might be that clients, especially corporations, are willing to pay more for the connections.

Interestingly, if we look at the percentage of lobbyists’ revenues coming from corporate clients, we notice an intriguing divergence starting in 2007.

Prior to 2007, the overall share of lobbying revenue from corporate clients is slightly higher for revolving door lobbyists, as compared to lobbyists without government experience, but the difference is negligible.

Starting in 2007, revolving door lobbyists appear to depend more on corporate clients, while lobbyists without government experience start to depend less on corporate clients.

By 2011, there is a noticeable 8% point gap, with revolvers depending on corporate clients for roughly three-quarters of their lobbying revenues, while lobbyists without government experience only get two-thirds of their revenue from corporate clients.

A graph showing the share of revenue from corporate lobbying clients.
Figure 3. Graphic credit: The Sunlight Foundation.

By corporate clients, we mean individual corporations, trade associations and business associations. All other interests are considered non-corporate.




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