Waste of Resources Open Thread: Farewell, Ross Perot; Fvck Off, Tom Steyer

De mortuis nil nisi bonum and all that, but I was paying attention to politics back in 1992. Ross Perot was a billionaire crank who considered Bush the Original a snotty rich kid who’d gotten into the White House on his family’s coattails, and Bill Clinton a dirtbag arriviste with ambitions above his station. Perot’s campaign was basically ‘Given the alternatives, why aren’t you Little People paying more attention to ME!?!

He announced his departure partway through the campaign because, hand to goddess, mysterious military teams aligned with the Bush campaign were threatening to ruin his daughter’s wedding — and then jumped back in again, because (as he more or less admitted, in the most self-flattering terms) he missed the media attention. And even in his failure, he inspired future more-money-than-sense vanity candidates… leading, inevitably, to the current Oval Office Squatter.

It’s Tom Steyer’s money! He’s free to flush it down whatever political-consulting toilets he chooses! But it’s like choosing to fuel a firepit with wood from an endangered species — he’s wasting irreplaceable media attention and funds for his own short-term enjoyment.

81 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:


    This is what Trump needs to be confronted with. Ditto his sycophants.

  2. 2

    Just go away, Tom Steyer

  3. 3
    misterpuff says:

    Ross Perot was a loon, Drumpf is a clown, Coffee Man was clueless. I’m sure we’ll find what Steyer’s weakness (other than vanity) soon.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    With regards to Houle’s tweet about advertising rates, the same rules apply to both broadcast and cable, to wit,

    For broadcast:

    …stations may charge legally qualified candidates for public office no more than the charges made for comparable use of the station by commercial advertisers. The rates, if any, charged all such candidates for the same office shall be uniform and shall not be rebated by any means, direct or indirect. A candidate shall be charged no more than the rate the station would charge for comparable commercial advertising. All discount privileges otherwise offered by a station to commercial advertisers must be disclosed and made available upon equal terms to all candidate for public office.…. Source

    For cable:

    If a system permits a candidate to use its cablecast facilities, the system shall make all discount privileges offered to commercial advertisers, including the lowest unit charges for each class and length of time in the same time period and all corresponding discount privileges, available on equal terms to all candidates. This duty includes an affirmative duty to disclose to candidates information about rates, terms, conditions and all value-enhancing discount privileges offered to commercial advertisers…. Source

  5. 5
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    Saw on Twitter that Perots last political donation was made in March for a donation to Trumpov for next year. RIP only because its uncouth to speak ill of the dead. Maybe he had dementia at the end. Maybe the browning of Texas freaked him out.Who knows?

  6. 6
    mrmoshpotato says:

    This post is in Just Shut the Fuck Up


  7. 7
    mrmoshpotato says:

    So he won’t make the July debates.

    Tom! Tom! Take your own hint!

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Immanentize says:

    From back in the Perot day after he weirdly quit; my favorite New Yorker cartoon was a bunch of kids at the pool lined up to get on the high dive board, and a skinny kid is at the top at the end of the board saying, “no, I guess not.” With the caption “Perot, the formative years.”

    ETA my memory was close but of course the original was way better:

  10. 10
    cmorenc says:

    Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better had Perot actually won in 1992 – he was a rich crank, but not a corrupt, malevolent, or greedy one, and a true eccentric rather than RW ideologue. The country may have gotten over the fantasy that some smart rich guy would be able to save us all a lot earlier. We’d have missed having Bill Clinton as President, but then we’d also probably have missed having GW Bush and Trump inflicted upon us. I kind of doubt Perot could have bent Congress to pass any of the loonier notions he may have come up with.

  11. 11
    smike says:

    JFC – great name for a fried chicken joint.

  12. 12
    Immanentize says:

    No, it would have been just like Trump but 28 years earlier. That type of thinking is madness.

  13. 13
    West of the Rockies says:

    I think that maybe Steyer’s real goal is to advance impeachment, similar to the way others are pushing their own causes (gun control, immigration reform) or auditioning for a cabinet post.

    I don’t support Steger, but I DO appreciate his efforts to call attention to Trump’s vile behavior.

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    ames Pindell @ JamesPindell
    In March, as Perot battled leukemia, in the last documented political act of his life, he wrote two checks for the legal maximum amount to Trump’s campaign for president, including for the general election next year.

    this isn’t really surprising, but… it’s context

  15. 15
    Yutsano says:

    @Immanentize: I have shame. I voted for him. Twice.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cmorenc: Actually he was incredibly corrupt. It got little coverage at the time, but while he was railing against NAFTA he was also very quietly moving his businesses operations, especially the factories, to Mexico so he could take advantage of the cheaper labor rates, cheaper cost of utilities, and the tax benefits of NAFTA once it would go online.

  17. 17
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @cmorenc: If in March 2019, Perot’s last donation was to Trump’s 2020 bid (see comment above), I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of his character or potential positive influence as a president. Billionaires want their taxes cut no matter how many people die or suffer to make it happen. More is not enough for them; they want everything.

  18. 18
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @smike: That doesn’t stand for ‘Jesus Fried Chicken’!

  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    @Yutsano: 😉. I appreciate you sharing, but that is between you and your God.

    (No repetition of such behavior is required on this or any other astral plane)

    PS. I am curious how you did the deed twice?

  20. 20
    Keith P. says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I didn’t know, but reading up on the ’92 campaign (a prototype for modern bizarre campaigns), Perot made campaign staffers sign loyalty oaths. Perot had to have seen Trump as his heir apparent or something (I’m still baffled how successful people don’t view Donald Trump as a charlatan, buffoon, and shitty businessman who has the economic grasp of a 13 year old)

  21. 21
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I lived in Austin then and had lots of friends who worked at Texas Instruments. His reputation as a weasle and cheat was pretty well CW.

  22. 22
    FlyingToaster says:

    I think that the benefits of an early “Air War” are totally overblown, especially in “we’re fucking sick of these asshats” Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

    Though if he’s brave enough to actually show ads demanding Trump’s impeachment, I could change my mind.

  23. 23
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Bernie Sanders
    ‏Verified account @SenSanders
    9h9 hours ago

    Ross Perot was a champion for veterans’ rights and ahead of his time on disastrous trade policies. During his campaign, he explained, in depth, how he would address our national problems and spurred serious discussion. Ross Perot was a one-of-a kind American. He will be missed.

    678 replies 1,448 retweets 8,136 likes

    You people.

  24. 24
    cmorenc says:


    No, it would have been just like Trump but 28 years earlier. That type of thinking is madness.

    Perot was simply a rich crank, but one who had actually created and successfully run a substantive business, and not full of the malevolent sociopathic pathologies and fundamental dishonesty that characterizes Trump. Perot never resorted to any racist code appeals to attract voters. His biggest problem, had he somehow been elected, was that his ambitions for reform would have likely run into much fiercer resistance and inertia from the dug-in military-industrial complex than he could comprehend or overcome. And oh, yes, his other problem was that he was an eccentric loon, but a hard-working one. But not a hateful, toxic, lazy, lying, malevolent loon like we have in Trump.

  25. 25
    Martin says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Trump will just remind his supporters that it was a better groping than what she got in her home country. And they’ll be down with that.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: That was my understanding.

  27. 27
    Martin says:

    @cmorenc: I agree. His rescue of the two EDS employees that were taken hostage in Iran was a ballsy move. But it wasn’t some fever dream or paranoid delusion – it was pretty rationally thought through. I think he understood the politics of what was going on quite well.

  28. 28

    @Mai Naem mobile: Ol’ Ross is the father of Trump’s trade policy(such as it is). Remember his ‘debate’ with Al Gore over NAFTA?

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    @Flying Toaster

    He’s been funding ads calling for impeachment since late in 2017 (IIRC).

    The upside of his announcing as a candidate is that now any of his campaign ads calling for impeachment cannot be denied airtime by FOX or Sinclair or their ilk unless they also refuse to run ANY campaign ads by ANY candidate for the same office.

  30. 30
    Martin says:

    @Keith P.: Trump is someone they can influence, and that’s really all they care about. They don’t all want their taxes cut, but they do all want something, and Trump is like a vending machine of graft.

  31. 31
    Immanentize says:

    Ross Perot was a race baiting motherfucker who equated being black with being a criminal. He popularized the othering phrase “you people.”. He was racist and plain.

    Fuck him and John Wayne.

  32. 32
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    ‏Verified account @theScore
    5h5 hours ago

    Poll finds Megan Rapinoe would beat Trump in 2020 election.

    103 replies 35 retweets 259 likes

  33. 33
    NotMax says:


    One thing I found most amusing while watching it was the title of an episode of the Prime series Patriot, which was your last sentence minus the words “him and.”


  34. 34

    Me, thinking about the Democratic Party and Nancy Pelosi: Two and a Half Parties: Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party’s Dilemma. (Cross-posted from my blog at https://adviceunasked.blogspot.com/2019/07/two-and-half-parties.html. If you want the links, go there.)

    Why don’t the House Democrats impeach Donald Trump? Why didn’t they oppose the blank check supplemental appropriations bill (S.811, H.R.2157) for Homeland Security and its concentration camps? Why aren’t the Democrats doing, well, anything?

    We know about the appropriations bill, because Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told us. “Because the Problem Solvers Caucus said, ‘We have enough votes to kill the House amendments.’ And they held. These 40 members led by Representative Gottheimer that worked with Republicans to say we’re going to pass the McConnell bill and so they handed over the Democratic Party.” (Link.)

    There’s a lot of blaming of the Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. I think this is misdirected, and this is why:

    Over time, as the Republicans have become more fascist, the Democratic right has become the refuge for conservatives who are not full-on fascists. The United States now has two-and-a-half parties: the Republican Party, which is fascist, the right of the Democratic Party, which is conservative, and the left of the Democratic Party, which is liberal and sometimes socialist. As I wrote nearly 10 years ago, the two wings of the Democratic Party exist in an uneasy alliance. Pelosi is having difficulty holding her coalition together. Should the Democrats initiate impeachment proceedings, the Problem Solvers Caucus would likely prevent the House from actually impeaching Trump, and then where would the party be? In this light, Pelosi’s blast directed at the four Democratic Representatives who voted against the supplemental funding bill becomes understandable; she is frustrated that she cannot maintain discipline within her caucus.

    I am frustrated, too. I understand that inaction and working to defeat Trump in the next election seems to best thing which can be managed. I doubt any other Democratic Speaker could do better than Pelosi at reconciling the Party’s two wings in the House. At the same time, Democratic voters want to see bold action from the Party, and inaction appears as cowardice. Can a course to victory be charted?

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax: 🤠
    I meant to accurately quote Public Enemy but I missed a bit:

    Motherfuck him and John Wayne

    Sorry for any confusion.

  36. 36
    Searcher says:

    So if you’re a reasonably together person and have a reasonably wide circle of acquaintances, one of the idiots you know will eventually tell you “You should totally be president!”

    The problem with billionaires is that they are detached enough from reality that when someone tells them that, they don’t understand that person is an idiot, and most of them don’t have any good, close friends willing to say “You have no chance of being elected president, and if by some miracle you were, you would be a terrible president”, AND they have the means to actually run for president.

  37. 37
    Immanentize says:

    @Searcher: so true….

    You know what? You should totally be President!

  38. 38
    NotMax says:


    In case you might think I’m making it up, season 2, episode 6.


  39. 39
    Immanentize says:

    Thanks for the link, but you know —
    There are a bunch of folks who I sometimes wonder whether they are just making shit up or talking out their derrieres….

    But I gotta say I have never once thought that about you. Not once.

    Try harder? :-)

  40. 40
    smike says:

    Nah. I wouldn’t go to a place called that, but, “JESUS FUCKIN’ CHRIST – you gotta try this chicken!”? That place I would go to.

  41. 41
    David Koch says:

    Girls Gone Wild – NYC (Video) (NSFW)🔥👙

  42. 42
    joel hanes says:


    if it would have been better had Perot actually won in 1992

    You need to read up on how he ran EDS — he was an authoritarian through and through.
    Completely unsuited for public service; Perot was used to being a dictator, and a crotchety one at that.

  43. 43

    @Immanentize: This statue of John Wayne was out in front of the Great Western Bank building in Beverly Hills since he used to do commercials for them. When the bank went under(after ‘The Duke’ died), the building was bought by a publisher, of adult magazines and videos. A guy named Flynt, yeah Larry. So ‘The Duke’s’ statue stands in front of a building that is the HQ of Hustler.

  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    First, the good. I got an email from Stacy Abrams which is spot on with what needs to be done and is looking towards winning every contest in this country for democrats. Those are my words but that’s the goal. Good on Stacy.
    Second the shit. Got that email from Tom Steyer. Sounds like a typical billionaire who wants his name in lights. I did google him just to check out if maybe he’s more than just some fucking twit billionaire. He is. Of course he made his money as a hedge fund guy and worked in the upper end of the financial world to get there. So yeah, he’s a rich guy that made his money the old fashion way, and that ain’t a good thing. Thinking of sending him a reply but really it’s either going to be “Fuck off asshole, blah, blah, blah.” Or “Rather than spent $100 million for a woodie, why not spend that money to help elect every democrat running (and fucking BS is not a democrat!) and kick the republicans to the fucking curb. That will do far, far, far more for our country than you ever could or would if elected. You really want to be respected? Bow out now and have an actual positive impact on this country, not a vanity campaign that will waste all our time and take energy away from actual political candidates who can actually lead us out of the shit that we are in now, rather than sink us farther down in it.”

  45. 45
    joel hanes says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    I am frustrated, too.

    Nothing is what it is of itself, but only by contrast with other things.
    Light is the left hand of darkness.
    Not all players on a team play the same position.

    Pelosi is the foil against which the young activists are defining themselves. They could not attract their anti-establishment following if “the establishment” went along with everything they propose. Pelosi has put them in highly visible positions, and is playing straight antagonist so that they can cement their reputations as principled rebels who will reform the party.
    And then she will retire.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:


    For now I’ll posit he has no illusions about winning nomination but is doing this as a strategy to put out a message on less than D friendly media, as mentioned in #29 above.

  47. 47
    Ruckus says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:
    Why is it bad to speak ill of the dead that donated to shit for brains? They obviously aren’t going to a christian heaven after that. And non believers don’t need to worry about it in any case.
    I think we should speak ill of the dead that deserve it, if for no other reason, possible educational experience.

  48. 48
    eemom says:

    The older you get, the more people show up in the obits who you thought were already dead. Mark ye well my words, young’uns.

  49. 49
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @smike: Haha

  50. 50
    BellyCat says:

    No fan of Perot, but he *did* do one thing worth learning from and emulating — the ever-present charts and graphs were a first and they resonated visually in a way that words can’t.

    “Visual thinking”. It’s real and badly overlooked.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Keith P.:
    It is entirely possible that many of those rich business folk are not one iota better than drumpf. Not one.
    They are rich beyond belief, how did they get there? The are rich beyond belief, yet many are cheap fucks like drumpf, too many issues with taxes, yet they are wealthy beyond any and all necessity.
    Some of them do donate to charities, run things like the Gates Foundation, which seem a not unreasonable one. But they got extremely wealthy in the first place, far beyond any need. I used to know someone who had been a financial advisor to one of the Walton heirs and the stories would make you sick about the attitude and implied place in the world.

  52. 52
    mrmoshpotato says:


    Got that email from Tom Steyer. Sounds like a typical billionaire who wants his name in lights.

    Ugh. Someone tell Tom he’s not Johnny B. Goode.

  53. 53
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Rest in peace, Rip Torn

    Actor Rip Torn, who earned Oscar and Tony nominations as well as an Emmy Award and two Obies, has died Tuesday in Lakeville Conn.


    After Torn met with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in an attempt to start an integrated national theater in 1963, he was targeted by the FBI and found trouble finding work in major motion pictures. “I began to see things in gossip columns, stories about me,” he once said.

    In 1970, on the day after Torn spoke out against the Vietnam War on The Dick Cavett Show, a bullet was fired through the window of his Manhattan home.

  54. 54
    mrmoshpotato says:


    I used to know someone who had been a financial advisor to one of the Walton heirs and the stories would make you sick about the attitude and implied place in the world.

    “The world was created for me.”

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    @Immanentize: @Immanentize: He was still on the ballot even after the ’96 withdrawal as I recall.

  56. 56
    smike says:

    Hear! Hear!

  57. 57
    mrmoshpotato says:

    I just found out there’s a rogue alligator in a Chicago Park District lagoon. Fun times in the Windy City.

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    He’s willing to spend $100 million on a political cause that has zero chance of success and a greater than zero chance of political disaster.
    That’s a damn smart move there Tom. Once again, how’d you make all that money?
    Just for the record, I’d have liked to have seen drumpf impeached before Feb 1, 2017, but the political reality is that it’s a non starter. So he’s going to spend millions on advertising a non viable idea rather than doing something that might just be a valid road to fixing this shit. I was thinking of sending him a reply along the lines of “Fuck Off Asshole” but thought that it might not be the right message. My second thought was a reply about a far better use of that $100 million but then really, he’s such a smart man, he’s made billions and knows so much, that really he’d probably actually understand “Fuck Off Asshole” far better.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    The stories would lead you to believe that it was more, “The world was created by me!”

  60. 60
    Suzanne says:

    So Spawn the Youngest is two weeks old today. I haven’t done much in the last two weeks. Sat on the couch feeding and cuddling mostly. And I don’t feel bad about it. In my past maternity leaves, I was more itchy to do stuff, but I am older and more chill now. This is also the first maternity leave where I am finding that I don’t want to go back to work. Maybe in six more weeks, I will feel differently. But right now, I really, REALLY wish I could be a full-time mom. Student debt being what it is, I cannot. Shit.

    My in-laws are coming tomorrow. Hold me.

  61. 61
    NotMax says:


    I’m not about to come down like a ton of bricks on anyone who wants to finance a Dolt 45-bashing megaphone, whether or not focused on impeachment. As things progress, should it become obvious this is primarily a vanity candidacy as opposed to a strategic move to infiltrate right wing media, I do reserve the right to load up on bricks.

  62. 62
    NotMax says:


    For clarity, amended:

    a strategic move to infiltrate right wing media in order to sow seeds of doubt

  63. 63
    Mike G says:

    I worked for Perot Systems, and the guy was a paranoid crank and a giant hypocrite. While he preached a no-BS, get-the-job-done ethos his company was a suffocating authoritarian bureaucracy rife with clueless incompetence. Management was rule by fear and capricious intimidation, morale was in the toilet.

    Despite his flag-waving BS the company was greatly expanding operations in India to get cheaper programmers. Everyone I worked with was glad he didn’t become President. The only good thing about them was the decent severance when my facility closed.

  64. 64
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Ruckus: I see. Rich assholes.

  65. 65
    eclare says:

    @Suzanne: Aww, so sweet. I don’t have kids, but I imagine Spawn the Youngest just wants food and cuddles.

    Good luck with in-laws.

  66. 66
    Mary G says:

    I liked Admiral “Who am I and what am I doing here” Stockdale.

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    Trump has demonstrated that a billionaire vanity candidate’s chance of becoming President is not only nonzero, but better than infinitesimal. You might think that in this Democratic field Steyer doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance, but that’s exactly what Republicans thought about candidate Trump.

  68. 68
    opiejeanne says:

    @Ruckus: I will not speak ill of Perot, I will say something good about him:

    He’s dead. Good.

  69. 69
    James E Powell says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    But Trump did not succeed because he was a billionaire vanity candidate. If memory serves, he spent much less than his Republican rivals because CNN, et al., were giving him free media. Trump succeeded because he was exactly what the Republican primary voters wanted: a shameless, vulgar racist and misogynist. There is nothing to indicate that Steyer has anything that Democratic primary voters want. If he were the only one calling for impeachment, it might give him something, but he’s not.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    @James E Powell:
    I agree that President Steyer doesn’t look terribly likely. I just wouldn’t dismiss him as a candidate until the mass of Democratic voters have done it first.

  71. 71
    BellyCat says:

    @Suzanne: Enjoy all the guilt-free feels while you can and nap whenever possible!

  72. 72
    scav says:

    @Suzanne: Just remember, that is your child, you will outrank any inlaws in that context, especially when the kiddo is young enough to be impervious to the easy bribes of sugar and mere presents. The in-laws can whine, but that’s just the feable squeak of an absence of real leverage.

  73. 73
    MomSense says:

    Ha! So true. I saw the news and was surprised because I thought that cranky old racist had died a long time ago.

  74. 74
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    @Mary G: @Mary G:

    I liked Admiral “Who am I and what am I doing here” Stockdale.

    Watching that debate is one of my earliest political memories. It was my introduction to fremdschämen, although the word wasn’t yet in my vocabulary.

  75. 75
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @opiejeanne: “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

    Mark Twain, supposedly

  76. 76

    I know, just by reading this blog and being a somewhat active commenter here and elsewhere, I am an outlier. But I do wonder if spending more and more $$$ on campaign ads doesn’t result in swiftly diminishing returns.

    I know that, personally here in AustinTexas last year I literally tuned out the gross volume of political ads regardless of the candidate and the office as, after a point, they provided no new information other than gee this campaign has money to burn.

    In the same way, I wonder just how much personal appearances affects individual voter preferences. For instance, I puzzle over folks blaming Hillary’s loss in Wisconsin on her not campaigning personally in the state. I can’t imagine being so trivial as to think “I prefer candidate X in this race, but they didn’t even bother to come to my hometown to give the same speech they gave elsewhere, so screw them.”

    It all strikes me as unexamined thinking on the part of the campaigns and rent seeking on the part of the consultants and the media. “This is how campaigns are run, and if we raise more money than last time, we can just do more of the same.”

  77. 77
    Ruckus says:

    See, it’s a great tradition to speak out and admire someone who deserves it, to say nice things. Or not.
    But people lived a life. They deserve to be remembered for who they are and what they accomplished. There’s no great hall for them to be honored in, no one has a record book and various possible destinations for their ego to be sent to, what marks people is how they lived, their accomplishments, their successes, their failings. And because memories fail they should be honored as they go. Remembering them as great writers have done and would have done again for them is a wonderful way.

  78. 78
    Ruckus says:

    That sounds a lot like wishful thinking, wishing like that. But we’ve been told it’s good to have positive wishes so wishing something like that would be rather appropriate. Sort of like people wishing Mussolini a wonderful journey by showering him with, showers of their own moisture.

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    There’s a difference.
    We are always looking for someone to be better. It’s a high bar but we often manage to find that someone. Or in this case more than one.
    They were looking for someone worse. And found someone far worse that met that challenge.

  80. 80
    mere mortal says:

    “mysterious military teams aligned with the Bush campaign were threatening to ruin his daughter’s wedding”

    Given what we’ve seen since, do you find this completely implausible?

  81. 81
    justsomeguy says:

    “seeing what would happen if you crashed a hot air balloon into a yacht”

    Is that a reference to Perot’s contemporary right-wing billionaire Malcomb S. Forbes ?

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