For the love of God, isn't anybody going to HELP these people?? http://t.co/FhjXQDSZAS http://t.co/MveV2Pda7I Are we that far gone?
— Billmon (@billmon1) March 25, 2015
Cue the tiny violins, per the Washington Post:
… Many fundraisers, once treated like royalty because of their extensive donor networks,are left pining for their lost prestige. Can they still have impact in a world where Jeb Bush asks big donors to please not give more than $1 million to his super PAC right now? Will they ever be in the inner circle again?…
Consider the scene last weekend in South Florida, where top supporters of the Republican National Committee gathered for their spring retreat at a luxury resort in Boca Raton. In the past, members of the RNC’s Regent and Team 100 donor programs attracted the focused attention of presidential aspirants. But this time, there were distractions.
A number of White House contenders in attendance — including former Texas governor Rick Perry and Govs. Scott Walker (Wis.), Chris Christie (N.J.) and Bobby Jindal (La.) — devoted much of their time to private meetings with high rollers, according to people familiar with their schedules. Bush came to Boca Raton after an afternoon super PAC fundraiser in Miami.
Then on Sunday, the governors made a pilgrimage to Palm Beach for a private Republican Governors Association fundraiser hosted by billionaire industrialist David Koch at his 30,000-square-foot beachfront mansion…
This is Good News for Democrats — and even progressives!
Seriously. Remember, the Washington Post is the paper for a company town whose monopoly industry is politics. They have a proprietary interest in every race, off-cycle and on, because it’s the congressional staffers and permanent bureaucrats who rent in D.C. or buy homes in Alexandria. David Koch or Sheldon Adelson may rent a convention center every four years, but it’s the “small” bundlers with the car dealerships and construction companies that keep the Beltway buzzing along.
It’s quite a shift since the bundler system was elevated by advisers to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who rebranded the laborious work of dialing for low-dollar contributions into an elite effort that showered top performers with perks. The Pioneer program, launched in the run-up to Bush’s 2000 White House campaign, gave fundraisers four-digit tracking numbers to measure their performance, with regular reports to show how they stacked up.
“If you put a structure on it, you’re not really trying to raise big money, you’re trying to raise a lot of fundraisers,” said Texas consultant James B. Francis Jr., one of the strategists who came up with the idea. “It created an urgency among money-raisers to get their job done.”…
Say what you will about Lee Atwater’s ethos, the man knew how to motivate. Bundlers busting hump to get their Dubya branding irons & special convention perks are people who are not only donating, they’re voting — and making sure every one of their family members, employees, business associates & fellow HOA board members gets to the right polling place on the proper Tuesday, too.
On the other hand, if Jeb Bush and his fellow billionaire-schmoozers convince their former stalwarts that the GOP just doesn’t care about anyone not already in the .001%… well, there’s a lot of other hobbies a mere multi-millionaire can take up, make a splash as the biggest frog in a smaller pond. The GOP is doing all they can to suppress voter turnout among Mitt Romney’s 47%, but they may finally be reaching the stage of discouraging their own voters.
We’ll gladly take your money and mend your broken hearts!
east is east
Baby Jeebus is weeping.
Gin & Tonic
please not give more than $1 million to his super PAC right now
I’m sure John Ellis Bush, Jr. will be happy to know that I have not given more than $1 million to his super PAC.
George Will has typed an explanation that income inequality benefits everyone. No. Seriously.
I could not read the whole thing as the cramps became too severe.
As an antidote, I rewatched this gem from last year, a TED Talk entitled, Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming.
Just the sort of government I was taught about in high school civics.
Billionaires, like the kings of old, give out money and treasure to their feudal vassal lords, Republican politicians, who keep the serfs in line, i.e. you and me.
In exchange for allowing these feudal lords (politicians) to administer parts of their lands, the kings (billionaires), get to do what they want, when they are in their feudal lords lands, even if a few (industrial) accidents end up killing a few dozen or hundred serfs.
No wonder so many people get discouraged with government…
One of the best arguments I have read for a Constitutional amendment to negate Citizens United and for a steeply progressive income and estate tax.
Since it’s an open thread, is anyone else watching “The Last Man on Earth”? I’m semi-hate watching it. I can’t make up my mind about it.
(Spoiler alert: he’s not.)
ETA: Stupid autocorrect.
Mike in NC
The great thing about living in California was that nobody really gave a flying shit about what was happening way over in Washington, DC. Conversely, the worst thing about living in the DC area was constantly being bombarded with this bullshit 24/7.
Mike in NC
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Good show so far, but looking like it’ll go quickly downhill.
@Gin & Tonic
Jr.? You know something dishy about Babs’ behavior that might want to share?
My understanding is that a condition of an appearance is to sign a paper forbidding disclosure of details other than the broadcast date prior to the show airing.
Mike in NC
@Keith G: George Will really needs a Mussolini-style send off when the time comes. Ditto Krauthammer.
Woo, sitting here trying to edit the videos I recorded at last night’s Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life tour. #OneLessOnBucketList
I filmed short videos, so now I’m enhancing and splicing and labelling them…lol. Gonna take me most of the night I’m sure.
Here’s an unedited video from “Knocks Me Off My Feet”.
Gin & Tonic
@NotMax: Sorry, my bad. The “Jr.” is his son. I blame the Google auto-complete thingy.
Tomorrow we go to Lisbon, where I don’t have to worry about GoP bundlers. Yay
@efgoldman: I’m marking my calendar. May 27.
And do not forget we have that Murphy’s gift cert, for when you and Mrs. ef come to the southern climes. Always happy to see you again!
@Mike in NC:
On the one hand, it annoys me that they went with the oldest cliche in the book when it comes to what the second-to-last person on earth is like. On the other hand, the particular actor they hired always does characters who could be cliches if they weren’t weird in such specific ways. So I’m torn.
(Trying not to be completely spoileriffic.)
Gin & Tonic
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Have you ever read David Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress? It’s about a woman who may be the last person on Earth.
I went from watching it to hate-watching it about three minutes into the first episode. I’ve got the two most recent hours on the DVR but haven’t been able to summon the stamina to watch them. Maybe it’s because I’m old and unhip, but I find both main characters (Will Forte and Kristen Schaal) incredibly grating, and what little humor there is isn’t making up for that. Harrumph.
Personal alert to you: Pre-Code horn dog Warren William as Perry Mason in a couple of movies on TCM tomorrow, starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT. They’re showing four Perry Mason movies, but he’s in only the first two.
A run of “new” (to TCM) movies later in the day looks interesting, starting with Heat Wave (1954) at 8:00 p.m. and Paid to Kill (1954) at 9:30.
ETA: Oops, sorry if I committed a semi-spoiler (in re he’s not the last person on earth).
So funny, I saw the article and had the same thoughts (Billmon always does it better, of course).
What’s a mere (now)mid-level bundler to do? I got an idea: get yerself to the nearest low-income-area elementary school and be a regular volunteer reader to kids who are struggling. There are other ways to feel valuable and some of them actually involve helping society while keeping your self-respect.
I may be heading through again this summer (mid-July). No details yet, but it would be lovely to see you again, and if we can get the EFG family to visit at the same time, all the better!
@NotMax: This is true. My cousin was part of the recent teacher’s tournament, and she was told they’d withhold money from anyone who revealed the outcomes of whatever shows they were on.
Speaking of the poor, downtrodden 0.01%:
I like Kristen Schaal in almost everything — like I said, she can take characters who should be cliches (like her obsessed fan on “Flight of the Conchords”) and make them into very specific and very weird characters. I still haven’t made up my mind about this show, though.
(Plus she does voices on two of my favorite animated shows, “Bob’s Burgers” and “Gravity Falls.”)
In other hate-watching news, I think CSI: Cyber is going to sink the entire exhausted CSI franchise. It’s not just bad, it’s f’mazeballs bad—so dated. It’s like a weird granny’s idea of what the Internet is like based on buzzwords she’s heard (“dark Web”) and her close watching of the “techie” characters in CSI, Criminal Minds, etc. “All the hackers are using leetspeak now.” WTF?
I have liked her in other stuff, including Flight of the Conchords, but there is just something about this character that is so over-the-top maddeningly stupid given the circumstances (e.g., obey all traffic/parking laws). It’s funny for maybe the first five seconds, and then not.
By the way, speaking of Conchords people, I saw What We Do in the Shadows last week and highly recommend it. Solidly funny through the whole thing, not just a one-joke movie.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): She’s also AWESOME as the only female voice for a main character on Bob’s Burgers. So funny that all the main family cast are voiced by men, including the mom Linda and Tina the oldest daughter.
pseudonymous in nc
The story reminds me of people who whine when their airline frequent flyer scheme tweaks things so that they are no longer super-duper-platinum-Admiral-club calibre.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): I started, sorta enjoyed it, sorta didn’t, didn’t bother with ep two.
Got paid. With car insurance, health insurance, rent, food… I’m in the hole. Your body should have some sort of mechanism to just manufacture opiates or alcohol. I think the car brakes will have to wait a bit longer. Anyone have a personal website? My hosting fees are also due, but for the life of me, I’m not sure if it’s worth having up. Of course, the one time someone will be all bejiggered to check my web capabilities will be 5 minutes after I end my hosting contract. This is very frustrating.
I have to admit, I was a little weirded out by that at first, but the guys who do Linda’s and Tina’s voices are so good and their voices fit the characters so well that now I just accept that the women in that family are all extreme altos. Sarah Silverman does a couple of different voices on the show, including half of a male pair of twins (her real-life sister does the other twin’s voice).
Balloon-Juice bake sale? I know I’d buy.
Culture of Truth
As MLK might say, I’d rather deal with a 100 Lee Atwaters that a dozen phony friends like John McCain. Or as Khan would say, “many prefer it more honest, more open.”
It gets even worse – her family is fighting with her for control of Falcon Crest.
@SiubhanDuinne: Fingers crossed! Will spot you a glass of red or something nice and bubbly.
I’m trying to read a book while my semi-deaf hubby watches a movie about Allen Ginsberg — staring James Franco. It’s making me stabby.
Two words: wireless headphones.
This is why I insisted our new apartment have enough space for me to have a craft room all to myself. I can only just barely hear what G is watching in the other room. (“West Wing” on DVD, FWIW.)
Major Major Major Major
Japan is extremely hazardous to those of us who are 6’4″. Ow.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): It would be SO much more tolerable if he were watching “West Wing.” I could go into another room, but the comfy sofa is here!
@Major Major Major Major
Actually became a problem for the Japanese after more regular eating of meat was commonplace.
Recall an article a while back about the costs of retrofitting high schools in order to increase the height of the doorways, as so many teenagers are now much taller than previous generations.
I also bought my own couch!
Tucker Carlson has a brother named Buckley. Not making that up. And he’s even more of a dick than Tucker. What the hell was wrong with their parents?
@Baud: maybe the smart small millionaires will realize that Democrats are actually better for business
Buck ‘n’ Tuck.
Sounds like a death trail circuit vaudeville act.
(The Death Trail was slang for a series of small, cheap theaters extendiing from Chicago to southern California.)
Ted Cruz demonstrates his knowledge of science history.
Happened to see a clip from the first Mad Men episode that ended on the cutting room floor and she played a switchboard operator who gives Peggy a quick bit of fashion advice to better get along with new boss Don Draper. She kind of scares me, but mostly in a good way.
Yes, they appear to be sinking. Bring me my anvils! Oh, and send a postcard to 911 for any who make it ashore!
is anyone else watching “The Last Man on Earth”?
the kids were watching it.
I had to leave the room.
Two of the three characters completely unlikeable; situation setup so pat as to cause gagging.
@Gin & Tonic:
Recommend George R. Stewart’s beautiful and elegiac Earth Abides as one of the best takes on last-man-on-earth.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): I watched the first 15 minutes of the first ep.
As is too David Brin’s The Postman. (Ignore the dreadful movie made from the novel.)
Maybe not fully “last man on earth,” but post-apocalyptic enough to shoehorn into that category and highly deserving of mention is Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz.
Good lord, Tweety moves fast! I’m watching the Hardball rerun, and they’ve already picked up the staffer Scott Walker kicked to the curb last week as the Republican analyst. Probably a brilliant career move for her, getting canned in a high-profile way.
I love A Canticle for Leibowitz. I remember hearing a radio play/series based on it on NPR when I was a kid (early 80s sometime, probably), and I picked up a copy of the book the first time I came across it. I think I’ve still got that same copy, somewhere. Must dig it out again. A very clever, intelligent, thought-provoking book. An artifact of its times in some ways, but not so much as to make it unreadably dated in any way.
Its theme (simplifying here to avoid spoilers) of the tensions and antagonisms between science and the political structure is most certainly still timely.
Some of us in Alexandria are townies. Kids of civil servants and military rank n file. It’s a very diverse and LIBERAL city. Wingnuts may live here, but they have to STFU about local politics.
King of insight.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Wasn’t that shown in 2012 their voter suppression laws were messing with just as many poor white conservatives as it was the non whites the laws were targeting? Sounds like things are just following along from that kind of thinking.
oh, cue my tiny violins for these whiners
Another Holocene Human
George Will is a genteel liar. That’s his shtick. He tells lies just like Rush, but without laughing about it on air. He still smirks, though, watch for it.
Another Holocene Human
@Steeplejack: weird, I found CSI unwatchable
“There. Zoom in. Enhance.”
And who gets DNA results in 4 hours?
Another Holocene Human
@NotMax: I’m not sure it’s meat but the milk they make the kids drink. It’s a real push as it’s a low lactase persistence place but most people’s bodies will keep making the enzymes in childhood for a while if you keep shoving that stuff into their gullets. (Plenty of jokes in anime about how nobody likes drinking MIRUKU.)
Dairy consumption is correlated to height. Dutch are the tallest people in the world right now.
King of insight.
If there’s one person whose soul will never get it right, it’s Ted Cruz.
@Another Holocene Human (#63):
Protein; it’s the overall increase in high quality protein that is the contributing factor. Most populations can’t properly metabolize cow’s milk past a very young age.