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Escapist Extraordinaire.

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Posts tagged "politics"
Money in corrupt politics is like water: If it doesn’t have a place to flow, it will make one.


Matthew O’Leary and Anthony Roberts are trying to collect 10,000 signatures to send to the Virginia Board of Elections to show their cat Hank is a serious candidate in the Virginia race for the U.S. Senate, even though the effort will almost certainly prove futile.

“We know Hank will be not allowed to be on the ballot, because he doesn’t have a social security number,” says O’Leary, who is wearing a Hank campaign T-shirt. “He doesn’t have the eligibility to vote. And he’s a cat.”

Hank The Cat, Running For Virginia Senate, Setting His Sights On 2016?

Got my vote.

I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute…The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.
Rick Santorum, YOU make me want to throw up.


Have you heard of William Dore, Foster Friess, Sheldon Adelson, Harold Simmons, Peter Thiel, or Bruce Kovner? If not, let me introduce them to you. They’re running for the Republican nomination for president.

I know, I know. You think Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney are running. They are – but only because the people listed in the first paragraph have given them huge sums of money to do so. In a sense, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, and Romney are the fronts. Dore et al. are the real investors.

According to January’s Federal Election Commission report, William Dore and Foster Friess supplied more than three-fourths of the $2.1 million raked in by Rick Santorum’s super PAC in January. Dore, president of the Dore Energy Corporation in Lake Charles, Louisiana, gave $1 million; Freis, a fund manager based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, gave $669,000 (he had given the Santorum super PAC $331,000 last year, bringing Freis’s total to $1 million).

Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam provided $10 million of the $11 million that went into Gingrich’s super PAC in January. Adelson is chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Texas billionaire Harold Simmons donated $500,000.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, provided $1.7 million of the $2.4 million raised by Ron Paul’s super PAC in January.

Mitt Romney’s super PAC raised $6.6 million last month – almost all from just forty donors. Bruce Kovner, co-founder of the New York-based hedge fund Caxton Associates, gave $500,000, as did two others. David Tepper of Appaloosa Management gave $375,000. J.W. Marriott and Richard Marriott gave a total of $500,000. Julian Robertson, co-founder of hedge fund Tiger Management, gave $250,0000. Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman gave $100,000.

Bottom line: Whoever emerges as the GOP standard-bearer will be deeply indebted to a handful of people, each of whom will expect a good return on their investment.

And this is just the beginning. We haven’t even come to the general election.

Non-profit political fronts like “Crossroads GPS,” founded by Republican political guru Karl Rove, are already gathering hundreds of millions of dollars from big corporations and a few wealthy individuals like billionaire oil and petrochemical moguls David and Charles Koch. The public will never know who or what corporation gave what because, under IRS regulations, such non-profit “social welfare organizations” aren’t required to disclose the names of those who contributed to them.

And all this comes precisely at a time when an almost unprecedented share of the nation’s income and wealth is accumulating at the top.

Before 2010, federal campaign law and Federal Election Commission regulations limited to $5,000 per year the amount an individual could give to a PAC making independent expenditures in federal elections. This individual contribution limit that was declared unconstitutional by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in a case based on the Supreme Court’s grotesque decision at the start of 2010, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.

Now, the limits are gone. Never before in the history of our Republic have so few spent so much to influence so many.

Unconstitutional, bitchez!


Dear Susan G. Komen for the Cure,

I was so excited and glad to be part of a group that empowered and helped women across the country and in my own community by making knowledge and resources available to those in which it previously was not.   

After reading today’s news, I am ashamed that I spent so much time and effort raising money for an organization that now obviously caters to political opinions instead of the actual health of women.  Trust that the people that made the donations are equally appalled.  I hope the SGK organization is aware of how their decision to part ways with PP will have a hugely negative impact on the lives of women and their families all over the country.     

I realize that this local chapter is part of a much larger institution, so please feel free to forward my disgust on to them if you are able to. 



(via jasencomstock-deactivated201306)


Bag’s Take-Away:

More Newt and that big scary big head thing. And that’s before he unloaded on Romney.

(photo: Eric Gay caption: Republican presidential candidate, former House speaker Newt Gingrich moves through a crowded pub during a campaign stop, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Ames, Iowa)


Topping’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

There’s just no way in hell we can have a president who looks like The Joker and the Pope’s lovechild.  NO FUCKEN WAY.

You can’t call a President-King on one day, ranting and raving that we shouldn’t have a king, and on the next day, demand that he be king and see his subjects, as if he was some personality-cult that the people need him to be seen to gain strength. We are not North Korea.

We don’t need the president to handhold people and to show, “Empathy”. He has phones. He has computers. He has minions. I want him to do his job. His job is to command, not to be a social worker, or to have a photo op. His job is to make sure government resources’ full might descends upon the people in need. It is our job— we the people, too to help those in need as well, in however way we can. Donate, pack, spread information, whatever. That’s how we change the Philippines. That’s how we get real. That’s how nation building begins. That’s when we stop being provincial, and leveling up.

Some call this the closing of the conservative mind. Alas, the conservative mind has proved itself only too open, these past years, to all manner of intellectual pollen. Call it instead the drying up of conservative creativity. It’s clearly true that the country faces daunting economic troubles. It’s also true that the wrong answers to those problems will push the United States toward a future of too much government, too many taxes, and too much regulation. It’s the job of conservatives in this crisis to show a better way. But it’s one thing to point out (accurately) that President Obama’s stimulus plan was mostly a compilation of antique Democratic wish lists, and quite another to argue that the correct response to the worst collapse since the thirties is to wait for the economy to get better on its own. It’s one thing to worry (wisely) about the long-term trend in government spending, and another to demand big, immediate cuts when 25 million are out of full-time work and the government can borrow for ten years at 2 percent. It’s a duty to scrutinize the actions and decisions of the incumbent administration, but an abuse to use the filibuster as a routine tool of legislation or to prevent dozens of presidential appointments from even coming to a vote. It’s fine to be unconcerned that the rich are getting richer, but blind to deny that ­middle-class wages have stagnated or worse over the past dozen years. In the aftershock of 2008, large numbers of Americans feel exploited and abused. Rather than workable solutions, my party is offering low taxes for the currently rich and high spending for the currently old, to be followed by who-knows-what and who-the-hell-cares. This isn’t conservatism; it’s a going-out-of-business sale for the baby-boom generation.


So I think I’ve finally got a handle on what really gripes me about politicians and candidates like Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin. It’s actually not their conservative politics: that’s why I oppose them, not why they drive me mad. After all, the stuff of democratic politics is different conceptions of the good played out on an electoral stage. I wouldn’t do what I do for a living if I didn’t enjoy the give and take of political debate.

No, what pisses me off is the sense that I get from these politicians that not only do they not know what they’re talking about, they don’t seem to manifest the slightest interest in learning anything about what they’re talking about either. 

See, for most of American history, people were motivated by the sense that if they didn’t know something, they had a moral obligation to better themselves through education. They started from the assumption that it was okay to BE ignorant, it just wasn’t okay to REMAIN ignorant. 

This sensibility drove Abraham Lincoln to spend every night by the light of a dim fire reading everything he could get his hands on and to join speaking clubs as a young man so he could improve his oratory. It drove children of privilege like Theodore Roosevelt to explore their world in all of its complexity. It led a generation of soldiers to college after WWII. It’s why more Americans have Nobel Prizes than citizens of any other nation—or, at least, it’s one of the reasons why this is the case.

Compare this to Herman Cain. Worried about his foreign policy knowledge after his “I actually don’t know anything about Libya” moment? No worries, Herman has an answer: 999. And he doesn’t need to know anything about Uzbeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan—including, obviously, the concept that it might not be all that good idea to run for President mocking other countries’ names. 

Or Sarah Palin: in 2008, when the McCain campaign learned she had no meaningful knowledge about foreign policy matters as they worked to prepare her for her debate with Joe Biden, did she leap at the opportunity to learn? No: she left the room, text messaged complaints about the process, and prayed. Meanwhile she apparently doesn’t know anything true about Paul Revere’s ride. Michele Bachmann made a similar gaffe in New Hampshire when she insisted that it was the state in which the American Revolution started. When informed she had erred, did she say “thanks,” and take it as a learning opportunity? Of course not: she replied that New Hampshire was a state that still loved freedom—unlike, apparently, the known freedom-haters of Massachusetts.

Seriously: I teach for a living. I get that people don’t know things. If they knew everything, then they wouldn’t need, well, me. I’m not upset about ignorance.

Instead, I’m angry at willful ignorance—at the insistence that remaining stupid is somehow to be preferred to learning something. I’m insulted that so many Republican candidates and political leaders are deeply invested in aggressively being stupid. It’s a tragedy for them—and frightening for the rest of us.

This is the story of a Philippine tragedy. The scene begins with a murder. A promising young actor is shot and stabbed. His girlfriend is in critical condition. His sister is in shock. His brother the senator is grieving, but he will see justice done.

“By the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over,” - Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), in an interview on MSNBC, on why as a small business owner he can’t afford a tax increase.
Quote For The Day/Andrew Sullivan (via nickbaumann)

Wow, just $400,000? You poor thing.

(via nickbaumann)