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    • Matching Donations Up To $1,000 Total
      A donor has generously offered to match all donations, up to a total of $1,000 or till Friday midnight (the end of the fundraiser.) When we’ve reached the total, if we do before the end, I’ll put up a post, subject to vagaries of being awake and at a computer. My sincere thanks to this […]
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The best government that money can buy

Your democracy


This makes me ill:

TEAM OBAMA BEGINS PLANNING $1 BILLION REELECTION CAMPAIGN

“Bracing for a half-billion-dollar onslaught of outside GOP cash in 2012, President Obama’s advisers are quietly working to bring back together the major donor base that produced a record-breaking fundraising haul in his first run for president. In the past few months, Democratic National Committee aides have contacted several of Obama’s earliest financial backers to brainstorm about when and where to host the first money-raising events. Several big donors said they expect the Obama 2012 operation to open its doors this spring, with a string of fundraisers to generate the early cash needed to rebuild the president’s high-tech campaign operation. … ‘They are getting organized in Chicago to start a massive two-year campaign, which I believe will be successful, but has extraordinarily large challenges in some of the major states,’ said Philadelphia philanthropist Peter Buttenweiser, who hosted one of the first Obama presidential fundraisers in 2007 and is in talks to organize an early one for the re-election. …

“Obama was scheduled to go to New York this week to meet with about 25 large bundlers and supporters … but that event was canceled after the Tucson shootings … The one piece of Obama’s fundraising apparatus that has been managed closely since his inauguration is his online, small donor base. … But a billion dollar presidential re-election bid is unlikely to be launched or sustained for long exclusively with small donors. Even in 2008, Obama’s eye-popping online giving was matched with larger donations generated by roughly 700 big and small bundlers. Rebuilding that half of his financial operation is critical to his prospects and talk of it dates back to before the midterms when the president hosted a string of late summer DNC fundraisers. Attached to each of those large events was a smaller gathering where Obama had private time with his biggest bundlers and talk inevitably turned to 2012.”

One billion dollars. That’s almost $4 from every man, woman and child in the country.

But he’s not gonna get that money from a bunch of college kids sending him their beer money like he supposedly did last time. In fact, last time he got most of his money from Wall Street, BP, health insurance company execs, energy company execs, and all the other Joe Moneybags special interests.

ONE BILLION DOLLARS

How much time will Barack Obama be spending at fundraisers during the next two years? What will his donors expect for their investment? What promises will he be making?

How will he spend that money anyway? It’s not like he needs to pay for advertising because nobody knows who he is. Will we see more paid bloggers and summer camps for the Obama Youth?

Below is a screencap from Memorandum. Why aren’t all the lefty bloggers covering this story? I thought campaign finance reform was a big priority in Left Blogistan? I guess that died in 2008 when Obama broke his promise on campaign financing.



BTW – Didja notice the smooth opening? “It’s the Republicans fault!


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What’s wrong with young people everybody now

I’ve been thinking about the failures of government recently (1, 2), and it turns out (h/t dakinikat) I’m in good company. Sachs points out that “Not only are Americans deeply divided on what to do about [everything], but government is also failing to execute settled policies effectively. Management systems linking government, business and civil society need urgent repair.”

He goes on to list examples. Failure to prevent 9/11, to prevent the human toll post-Katrina, to prevent or stop corruption in Iraq, in the US’ own military, the financial crisis, the dilapidated “health” care system, and the literally dilapidated infrastructure.

However, despite a clear view of the scope and details of the problem, he doesn’t make the obvious connections about its source. He identifies the factors as insufficiently regulated privatization, collapse of planning functions, underfunding, and the inability of separate agencies to fit their priorities into intelligent overall planning. These factors are all real and they’re all huge problems, but they don’t spring into being on their own.

The technical experts who electrified the rural US, ramped up a vast industrial juggernaut to help win the Second World War, built the interstate road system, got to the Moon, and invented Medicare did not belong to some strange species whose methods are inconceivable to us. They were, by and large (we’re talking about whole populations, so by and large is what matters) the same people as the ones now incapable of running a hamster in a cage without a kickback scheme to pay for its kibble.

So what is different?
Continue reading

Common Sense and the sensus communis: anatomy of an American pressure cooker

romesenate1

Gay-Lussac

The pressure of a fixed mass and fixed volume of a gas is directly proportional to the gas’s temperature.

This relationship is known as the Gay-Lussac’s Law and a pressure cooker is an example of the law in practice. Cooking under pressure creates the possibility of cooking with high temperature liquids because the boiling point of a liquid increases as its pressure increases. High pressure and high heat can result in delectable dishes.

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Cooking under pressure can be also dangerous because as liquids change phase into gases their volume expands greatly. For example, at atmospheric pressure the volume of steam is about 1700 times greater than the volume of water. To prevent pressure cookers from becoming bombs, relief devices (pop safety valves) are employed that are capable of relieving all of the steam the vessel is capable of producing.

America the Beautiful Pressure Cooker

The political pressure cooker is beginning to heat up. The power brokers and institutions that drive the nation have arrived unannounced on the doorsteps of America like a gaggle of unwanted, high maintenance relatives that demand hospitality for an unforeseeable time and that won’t take no for answer. Furthermore, they’ve announced that more relatives are on the way. Whatever plans America’s householders had, they’ve just gone out the window, with their household budgie and the relatives’ cat in hot pursuit.

People are justifiably angry with this incursion. Their budgie might not have been much, but it was “their budgie”, nurtured from birth into what it had become. Justifiably angry householders are trying to work out why the relatives arrived on their doorsteps and why they brought their fucking cat. Continue reading