Open Thread: For Non-Marathon-Related Topics

Since I have no reputation to spoil, here’s my contribution. Dave Weigel on another shift in the GOP demographic:

The Texas Tribune reports that Bob Perry, known forever in campaign finance articles as “Texas millionaire homebuilder Bob Perry,” has died at age 80. “According to the Center for Public Integrity,” writes Ross Ramsey, “he gave $23.5 million to super PACs in the last election cycle.” That he did; it’s a shame, but he went out a loser. Perry threw $10 million at Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney PAC, and $8.5 to American Crossroads, the Rove group that’s been kicked around postelection for its horrible win-loss record.

But it wasn’t always thus. Perry emerged as a national mega-donor in 2004, when he single-handedly made Swift Boat Veterans for Truth into a relevant group. It launched in April of that year, struggling for attention. From April to June, according to the New York Times, it raised $158,750 from 11 people. Perry was responsible for $100,000 of that. Once the group took off, he made it rain with $4.35 million more, funding a national ad campaign…

Over the next eight years, Perry would give $5 million to the Economic Freedom Fund (in the bad GOP year of 2006) and $7 million to American Crossroads (its largest-ever donation). He gave $500,000 to Scott Walker’s 2012 recall-fighting campaign, taking full advantage of a loophole that allowed Walker to raise indefinite sums of money for (the start of) the race…

What’s on the agenda for the evening, other than ‘watchful waiting’ the news?






60 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The Texas Tribune reports that Bob Perry, known forever in campaign finance articles as “Texas millionaire homebuilder Bob Perry,” has died at age 80.

    Finally some good news.

  2. 2

    Note the timeline. Conservative PAC operations are getting less, not more, efficient.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    How long until the rumor starts that Obama had him whacked?

  4. 4
    schrodinger's cat says:

    My kitteh is severely constipated. The vet just gave her an enema. She is not a happy camper. Any suggestions?
    ETA: Poor thing is straining in her litter box and has not been eating well.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Not true. They’re getting more efficient at extracting money from donors and funneling large fractions of said money to the operatives running the PACs.

    Sort of like birds of paradise, which have been optimized through generations of evolutionary selection for elaborate and attractive mating dances but not much else.

  6. 6
    👽 Martin says:

    The people I knew who were running today are both physically fine. Hope everyone else’s acquaintances fared similarly.

  7. 7
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: KFC always works for me.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Bob h says:

    Perry-he did his worst for his country. Good riddance.

  10. 10

    @dmsilev:
    Well put, Sir Or Madame As The Case May Be. I tend to think of it in terms of parasite/host competitive evolution. The grifting GOP political operatives are the parasites, and they’re adapting much faster than the crazy rich assholes who are their hosts. To put it another way, not only is Rove not dead, he’s convinced these idiots to give him EVEN MORE MONEY to fix his mistakes.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Conservative PAC operations are getting less, not more, efficient.

    As I understand it, the practical effect of Citizens United was to open the floodgates to the point that every businessman with enough money to waste now wants to sponsor his very own politician. So the old system in which the Chamber of Commerce and a few similar institutions pooled all the money and directed it where it could do the most good has given way to an anarchic law of the jungle in which everyone’s striking out on their own.

    I’m sure they’ll get things straightened out eventually, but for the moment, God damn.

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    @dmsilev: might as well start it. I mean the guy was probably a spry 80. Some said he could pass for 77.

  14. 14

    I see figures like that and think of all the good that it could have done. And it goes to right wing “think” tanks. (sigh)

    If I had that kind of money, the last damn thing I’d be doing is giving it to Rove et al. I’d help food kitchens, domestic abuse shelters, any place I saw a need, I’d do it. But then, I’m just a tree-hugging mystical kind of chick who wants us ALL to do well.

    Good riddance to this gentleman who will receive his just reward at the hands of Karma.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Any relation to the Guv?

  16. 16
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sorry! I am worried sick about the poor kitteh, and I had just been discussing all this stuff with the vet.

  17. 17
    Anne Laurie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Any relation to the Guv?

    All previous stories I’ve seen said no. Just a fan of his namesake!

  18. 18
    ruemara says:

    Not watching the “news” and mentally pissing on the corpse of Mr. Perry, may his eternal reward be appropriate.

  19. 19
    MonkeyBoy says:

    the agenda for the evening, other than ‘watchful waiting’ the news?

    I really can’t understand why people get glued to news sources to follow things like the Boston bombings.

    It doesn’t make me a better or safer person. Sure I’ll check the story tomorrow (probably by reading RSS headlines) but is there any utility in knowing developments within minutes of them happening as opposed to the downside of hours of repetitions, empty filler, and wild speculations?

  20. 20
    Calming Influence says:

    I can only hope this helps lifts spirits somewhat. Check this out: after John filled us in on his fraternity formal the other night, I thought I’d Google around and see if there was anything on the web from his days as an undergraduate. It turns out he was interviewed about the value of fraternities while he was living at the ΑΣΦ house, and the interview is still used to recruit new pledges! (See it here.)

    John, you’re too modest!

  21. 21
    Eric U. says:

    I really don’t understand rich people that dump millions into politics to avoid fewer millions in taxes. Pretty sure it’s the same sort of confusion that rich, but not rich enough to count, republicans have over who is best for them to vote for. I am fairly high up in the income percentile, and it’s been obvious to me since Reagan that republicans are very bad for my personal wealth.

  22. 22

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Conservative PAC operations are getting less, not more, efficient.

    IOW, Conservative grifters are becoming more, not less, numerous as more and more money piles into elections.

  23. 23
    greennotGreen says:

    @Calming Influence: I feel Rick-rolled.

  24. 24
    Todd says:

    @Mystical Chick:

    If I had that kind of money, the last damn thing I’d be doing is giving it to Rove et al. I’d help food kitchens, domestic abuse shelters, any place I saw a need, I’d do it. But then, I’m just a tree-hugging mystical kind of chick who wants us ALL to do well.

    Such a failure of vision. My plan includes buying the mortgages and other debts of people, pundits and politicians that I hate, and becoming the oppressive creditor from the deepest pits of hell.

  25. 25

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Any suggestions?

    Petromalt. It’s a moderate laxative, and it’s the rare medicine that cats will come running to eat.

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Feed her fish oil if you can, if she won’t tke it straight see if she’ll accept it on her food.

    I assume the vet checked & kitty does not have an obstruction or a twisted bowel.

  27. 27
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Eh, another nasty old Republican scrooge bites the dust. If I had his kind of money I’d find things a lot more fun than politics to spend it on.

  28. 28
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Schlemizel: Right now kitteh is pissed and is hiding under the couch.

  29. 29
    Keith G says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Call the vet back. Trust the person with the expertise.

  30. 30
    Calming Influence says:

    @greennotGreen: That is so totally the opposite of Rick-rolled! It’s John unplugged!

  31. 31
    Maude says:

    @Roger Moore:
    When I had a cat, I gave him Petromalt. He loved it. It was to prevent hair balls. He had thick medium fur.
    It is the best.

  32. 32
    Schlemizel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Having been on the receiving end of too many medical abuses over the course of my life I do not blame the poor little thing. Hopefully she will forgive you soon.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I agree that your first move should be to call the vet for further advice. Did he discuss any preventative measures for next time? We’re supposed to be giving our cats a little pumpkin in their food (the extra fiber helps prevent bowel issues).

  34. 34
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Mnemosyne: Right now it is wait and watch, give her some fish oil and fluids, vet is coming home again tomorrow.

  35. 35
    gogol's wife says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Did he suggest Laxatone?

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @Eric U.:

    It’s a matter of principle.

    Paying a few millions in taxes, to them, is essentially paying ransom to terrorists (the unwashed masses who dare to demand their hard earned money). Paying the same few millions to hire a politician to prevent that indignity from happening is like hiring detectives to find and free the hostage. You may be paying money in both cases, but in the second case at least it’s on your terms and not emboldening the rabble.

  37. 37
    Calming Influence says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Petromalt. It’s a moderate laxative, and it’s the rare medicine that cats will come running to eat.

    Seconded. Two of our three are longhairs, and a knerdle of P-malt once a week helps with hairballs and associated occasional constipation. We’ve had cats since we’ve been together (33 years and counting) and so far they all seem to like Petromalt.

  38. 38
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @gogol’s wife: Yes she did. The vet is a she and so is the kitteh.

  39. 39
    lamh35 says:

    so the White House delegation to the Thatcher funeral are former SoS during Thatcher’s time James Baker and George Schultz.

    As part of the House delegation, Boehner is sending Michelle freakin’ Bachmann!!!

    If this is true, then WTF!!!

  40. 40
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @lamh35: Lady without Irony for Iron Lady’s funeral.

  41. 41
    Calming Influence says:

    Also, might not be the case here, but just as a reminder to cat people: urinary blockages in cats are not uncommon and are extremely dangerous. If kitteh is struggling in the cat box and not producing, this is something the vet needs to see.

  42. 42

    @Maude:
    My cat, Jake, gets hairballs. I’m not sure why they’re as much of a problem as they are, since he’s a shorthair without especially thick fur, gets hairball formula food, and eats cat grass like there’s no tomorrow. When the heavy shedding season comes- which is right now here in Pasadena- I give him Petromalt, and it really seems to help.

  43. 43
    Eric U. says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I hate politics with a burning passion. If I were as rich as this guy, I would figure out a way to avoid politics. As someone said up-thread, there are plenty of people to give money to that actually need it. I think even a cold-hearted republican could find some good causes that would make them feel good about themselves. And at 80, that’s the kind of thing I’m going to be caring about

  44. 44

    @Chris:

    Paying a few millions in taxes, to them, is essentially paying ransom to terrorists (the unwashed masses who dare to demand their hard earned money). Paying the same few millions to hire a politician to prevent that indignity from happening is like hiring detectives to find and free the hostage. You may be paying money in both cases, but in the second case at least it’s on your terms and not emboldening the rabble.

    Shorter: Millions for defense lobbying but not one cent for tribute taxes.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    None of my cats have ever liked Petromalt. It’s very annoying. Do you guys do anything special with it? They’re too suspicious to lick it off my hand, and if I put it on the side of their dish, they ignore it.

  46. 46
    Keith G says:

    @lamh35:

    As part of the House delegation, Boehner is sending Michelle freakin’ Bachmann!!!

    Bookends of conservatism?
    or
    He hates Jim Baker?

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @lamh35:

    As part of the House delegation, Boehner is sending Michelle freakin’ Bachmann!!!

    Well, she’ll be able to report back that the furrin anti-freedom forces are even more rude and obnoxious than our American radicals, won’t she?

    Wonder if the Royal Guard will have to discourage her from lurking in the bushes at the palace, spying to see if the Queen is a sekrit lesbian?

  48. 48
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Do you guys do anything special with it?

    You can smear it on their paws, where they’ll be compelled to lick it off for tidiness. But they’ll hate you for it.

    We did have one cat who hated the stuff who’d lick it off the back of his BFF’s head. That ticked off both cats, because the BFF would eat it out of our hands, and he didn’t see why he should suffer for Asmo’s persnikity habits!

  49. 49

    @Mnemosyne:

    None of my cats have ever liked Petromalt. It’s very annoying. Do you guys do anything special with it?

    Nope. I just unscrew the tube, and Jake comes trotting over. I squeeze a bit out onto my finger, hold it at a convenient height, and he licks it off. If fancy formulas like Petromalt don’t work, you can try giving your cats extra-greasy food, which is supposed to help with constipation. Canned human-grade tuna packed in oil should work.

  50. 50
    gelfling545 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Hair ball prevention medication or preventative food. When my cats have had this problem it was always hair ball related.

  51. 51
    Keith G says:

    @Anne Laurie: I had a tortie who would just give her paw an emphatic shake – Petromalt on the wall and ceiling.

    It became easier to put a dab on a finger and place it on her tongue.

  52. 52
    gbear says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Eh, another nasty old Republican scrooge bites the dust. If I had his kind of money I’d find things a lot more fun than politics to spend it on.

    Imagine how pissed off his children are…

  53. 53
    Calming Influence says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Do you guys do anything special with it?

    No, we keep it in the butter tray in the fridge, but other than that it’s right off the finger. Anne Laurie’s “smear on paws” comment reminds me that’s how we got Moose (our Maine Coon) to try it, and after that he was down with the program.

  54. 54
    West of the Rockies says:

    With a nod to the late Bette Davis: “I was told only to speak good of the dead. Bob Perry is dead. Good.”

  55. 55
    Calming Influence says:

    @Roger Moore: The human tuna in oil is a good suggestion, but you are also running the risk of creating a cat who will eat nothing but freshly caught albacore off a silver platter.

    I’m pretty sure cat heaven is just endless piles of tuna, garnished with catnip.

  56. 56
    SIA says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’ve frequently found good information on this site for pets and people.

  57. 57
    ruemara says:

    Heard back from my repair shop. My back up drive simply refuses to be resurrected via simple methods. I don’t have 400-600 for professional drive recovery artists, so essentially all my system backups, all my artwork, my entire comic archive of the original, uncompressed artwork, the book layouts, the software I can’t replace, video footage-in short, over 7 years of my life-is gone. I know it’s not a national tragedy, in fact, I’m still alive because the gods enjoy my suffering, but it feels like a knife in my guts. WTF, was I Hitler in a past life? All my printmaking work was destroyed by my idiot ex’s family who didn’t let us know there was a flood in the basement where it was ‘safely’ stored. It got mold on it and they tossed it without even a word. I still haven’t gotten an apology or even a statement about who threw it out. Now this. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, I escort spiders out, give money to charity, donate foods and clothes, happily pay my taxes and generally don’t do anything to harm other creatures. If there’s someone in charge of existence, I want a word or 7 with them and to punch them in the godly stones.

  58. 58
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @ruemara:

    My back up drive simply refuses to be resurrected via simple methods.

    Since you have nothing to lose, pop the drive into a freezer bag and put that into another freezer bag (it must be completely waterproof), and put it in the freezer overnight.

    Take it out and plug it into your computer. If you are very lucky it might work for a little while.

    If not, you aren’t any worse off.

  59. 59
    Bjacques says:

    I’m from Nassau Bay, where Perry had built himself a wildly oversized house on Clear Creek. It looked like a mausoleum even when he was alive.

  60. 60
    Tokyokie says:

    If abuse of process were a criminal act, Bob Perry would have ended his ill-spent life in prison. As a builder, the scumbag had a reputation across most of the state of doing shitty work, then mobilizing the lawyers to deal with any complaints. He was the driving force behind establishing something called the Texas Residential Construction Commission, an agency that was given jurisdiction over complaints about single-family home construction, which was so egregiously tilted in favor of builders and so encouraged shoddy work by them, that it proved to be so unpopular that Republicans in the state Legislature let it die the first time it came up for sunset review. Perry had the financial resources to outlast the homeowners who filed complaints against him, and did so routinely. Here’s a particularly nasty example:
    http://www.star-telegram.com/2.....field.html

    Perry wound up settling in that case, because it was costing him too much money and attracting too much negative publicity, but in that regard, it was the exception. Perry was a wormy crook, pure and simple, who purchased influence among politicians and judges to protect his crooked business practices, and as such, represented the soul of the contemporary Republican Party.

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