Money talks, all others walk...

lizkat

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Thinking about the alleged power of the grassroots donors in political contests in the USA...

1. Act Blue is a nonprofit fundraising platform available to Democratic Party and progressive candidates and related political organizations. USA grassroots donors have contributed a little over $6 billion through this platform over the past 16 years.

https://secure.actblue.com/A

2. The net worth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos increased by $13 billion on the single day of July 21, 2020, thanks mostly to a 7.9% rise in Amazon stock that day.

https://nypost.com/2020/07/21/amazons-jeff-bezos-sees-net-worth-grow-by-record-13b-in-one-day/


3. No clue how much free speech ol' Jeff personally buys with his dough on any given day or for that matter over the past sixteen years. He has given money to both political parties and to candidates of both parties.

https://marketrealist.com/p/jeff-bezos-political-party/

4. But, Amazon spent $16 billion on lobbying in DC in 2019.

https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/clients/summary?cycle=2019&id=D000023883

4. Jes' sayin'...
 
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lizkat

lizkat

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The never-Trumper Bill Kristol, back when his Weekly Standard was in full bloom, once remarked that Congress critters spent too much time over steaks at The Palm while the streets outside were more redolent of France in the time just before that country's revolution.

That was a long time ago, and way before the Trump era... but the fact that this R-led Senate didn't honestly try to compromise vis a vis the House's further stimulus proposal isn't going to make those streets outside The Palm smell any sweeter now.
 
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It depends on the motive for doing so. If the intention is to get rid of mosquitos that are known vector species of malaria or invasive species of pythons, then it's probably a good thing. In this case we got a snake oil salesman trying to fill a void in his supply chain.
HBO's the Swamp was interesting. I almost got to like Thomas Massie who gave off serious Asperger vibes. It was also telling: him saying how much he refuses to prostitute himself out to lobbyists, then he crosses Trump and with a new contender emerging, he proceeds to do the very thing he despises. It's also annoying that this guy, who went to MIT tells you that high CO2 is great for plants like it weren't biodiversity that mattered for the stability of the biosphere. Which is BTW absolutely on the verge of mass extinction level obliteration thanks to homo sapiens sapiens. Fucking Anthtropo(bs)cene.
 

thekev

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HBO's the Swamp was interesting.

I haven't seen it.

It's also annoying that this guy, who went to MIT tells you that high CO2 is great for plants like it weren't biodiversity that mattered for the stability of the biosphere.

That would annoy me too. Illustrations of what parts of the Paleozoic might have looked like often include giant ferns and things, presumably modeled from the fossil record. I too dislike disingenuous reasoning about these things though. Parts of the Paleozoic era seem to be depicted in the fossil record by very large plant life, but that did not seem to greatly overlap with a high population of mammals.
 
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That would annoy me too. Illustrations of what parts of the Paleozoic might have looked like often include giant ferns and things, presumably modeled from the fossil record. I too dislike disingenuous reasoning about these things though. Parts of the Paleozoic era seem to be depicted in the fossil record by very large plant life, but that did not seem to greatly overlap with a high population of mammals.

Yup. The weird thing where I went to high school, microclimate stabilization by biomes was mandatory material in 9th grade, and in ecology again in 11th or 12th grade. Consequently, I don't know a single climate change denier from there.
 
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JayMysteri0

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Florida is fucked up. Like sometimes when I think about hell, I imagine that it’s a lot like Florida without Miami but hotter. Much hotter.

Florida is basically America’s illegitimate cousin with a meth problem who you don’t want inside the house but you also don’t want to call the police on. So they just keep coming around wearing the same dusty cutoff shorts and tank top.

Because of this and Florida being run by the Devil’s loogie, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and his crew who implemented a “poll tax” (although they don’t want to call it a poll tax but that’s exactly what it is,) in which felons are forced to pay court fines and fees before they can register to vote.
Well, billionaire Michael Bloomberg said “fuck your poll tax” (because it’s totally a poll tax) and raised $16 million to add to the $5 million from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to pay off 32,000 felons’ fees.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” a Bloomberg spokesperson told Axios. “Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”
 
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Sometimes a Billionaire is occasionally useful
This is actually pretty significant. Looking at Florida's margins, it's going to be extremely tight, so an intervention like this could easily be decisive. The question is for whom these people would vote....although the thing about billionaires, is I'm pretty sure he has a statistical answer to this question...
 

Alli

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The people of Florida voted overwhelmingly to return voting rights to released felons...and the state came in with a plan on how to screw that up and give a big FU to the people. Bloomberg did the right thing here, returning that FU to the state of FL - who deserved it.
 
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The people of Florida voted overwhelmingly to return voting rights to released felons...and the state came in with a plan on how to screw that up and give a big FU to the people. Bloomberg did the right thing here, returning that FU to the state of FL - who deserved it.
The timing makes it brilliant. They can spend the money state gets on fixing their absolute clusterfuck of a COVID situation.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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He has given money to both political parties and to candidates of both parties.

This is now quite common for the rich with business agendas. It’s beyond cynical and should be illegal right up there with voting twice. The only purpose it serves is calling in favors no matter who wins based our blatant legal bribery based government.
 

JayMysteri0

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Sometimes a Billionaire is occasionally useful

Republicans seem to only like billionaires if they are for THEM
If the billionaires aren't for them, an investigation is needed.
 
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lizkat

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Vanity Fair piece explores some of the end runs around the foreign emoluments clause engaged in by Donald Trump and some apparently perfectly willing foreign states and their go-betweens, which latter only sometimes are unaware of exactly how rents and lease arrangements end up to significant benefit of the president's personal finances.

This despite the loophole-filled ethics checks that Trump's advisors had promised to perform in making new deals or business arrangements during his presidency.

It's pretty sickening what can be done in the name of allowing the head of our executive branch enough freedom to conduct foreign affairs "on our behalf".


The piece is taken from a forthcoming book: WHITE HOUSE, INC. How Donald Trump Turned the Presidency Into a Business by Dan Alexander, to be published by Portfolio, an imprint of The Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
 
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lizkat

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96% of public comment received last year on this rule change opposed exempting 9 million acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the Roadless Rule passed back in the Clinton era. The Trump administration has now changed the rule, opening the way for establishment of roads and timber logging to occur in about half the forest.

 
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96% of public comment received last year on this rule change opposed exempting 9 million acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the Roadless Rule passed back in the Clinton era. The Trump administration has now changed the rule, opening the way for establishment of roads and timber logging to occur in about half the forest.

"I don't think the scientists know"
 
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