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Money! It is money! Money! Money! Not ideas, nor principles, but money that reigns supreme in American politics. -- Sen. Robert C. Byrd
When we chow down on cow, we use the term "beef" to distance what we're putting in our mouths from the creature placidly chewing grass in a field. When we use the term "SuperPAC" we're engaging in another polite euphemism to avoid upsetting those with tender ears. Beef is nothing more than sliced up cow. SuperPACs are nothing more than stitched together bribes. Unfortunately, the same thing can be said of many politicians.

Take Rick Perry. Half of Perry's contributions have originated with only 204 people. So many dollars coming from so few sources means that Perry's team is extremely aware of who puts the butter on their toast. This isn't twenty bucks from a million people. It's closer to a million bucks from twenty people, and when someone contributes at that level they don't do it because they like a candidate's haircut, or even his ideology. It's not going to the candidate with whom they'd most like to share a beer. Donors at this level share all the beers (and champagne) with the candidates that they can guzzle.

When individuals cut checks to politicians the size of those being scribbled out to Rick Perry, it happens for one reason. It's an investment. In this case, it's a pretty safe investment, because history shows that Rick Perry is a slot machine who pays on every pull.

One share of Perry belongs to playboy billionaire Thomas Friedkin, who earned his money the old fashioned way—he inherited it—and who used part of that money to start big game hunting preserves in Botswana and Tanzania. Rick Perry rewarded Friedkin's obvious love of animals (and $700k contribution) by making him head of the Texas Park and Wildlife Commission, where he bumped the not-quite-so-generous Perry contributor who last held the position.

Another piece of PerryCo goes to home builder, Bob Perry (no relation). Not only did Bob Perry hand out $2.5m to namesake Rick, he also passed along another $7 million to Karl Rove's Crossroads PAC. For this, Bob was well rewarded. To help out his pal Bob, Rick Perry shepherded through legislation forcing home buyers who were taken in by incomplete or shoddy work to go to an industry-dominated commission for "justice" rather than a judge. For his contributions, Bob Perry got to have his lawyer design the legislation, which Rick Perry then signed. A very good deal for Bob, and that's even before you get to his role in passing anti-immigrant regulations.

Perhaps the biggest block of Rick Perry shares belong to garbage magnate Harold Simmons. For the $3 million he's contributed, Simmons walked off with the whole state program for monitoring nuclear waste. The program was turned into a private monopoly for Simmons' company. That was just the beginning.

When Simmons' proposed facility was sent for environmental review, it failed. The approval commission ignored the environmental review and allowed the facility anyway. That was still just the beginning.

When public complaints poured in, the commission decided to move forward by passing the proposal without a public hearing. And they did. That was still just the beginning.

Simmons wasn't content to handle just Texas' nuclear waste. Instead, he decided to use his new review-free permit and state-sanctioned monopoly to attract radioactive, chemical and biological waste from across the nation. He decided to create a "one stop shop" for waste of all sorts, a 20 square mile facility that just happened to sit on a couple of aquifers.

Simmons got his approval.

How important was the business Simmons generated by buying politicians? Important enough that he used his children and grandchildren as conduits to launder contributions and evade the FEC. That was in 1997. You know, back when there were rules that still had to be followed. Back before all the barriers to bribery were taken away.

One more thing: if Bob Perry and Harold Simmons' names sound familiar, that's because you've heard them before. The two were the largest contributors to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign to destroy John Kerry's reputation and secure the White House for a second George W. Bush administration in 2004. That's not because they were pals with Bush any more than they're buddies with Perry. They pay the up front cost knowing that it will come back to them with interest. They buy Republican, because once Republicans get their hands on the government, they're even more generous in rewarding those who put them in office.

Republicans pretend to loathe judicial overreach. They rail against activist judges who "make law" and pound their chests about original intent, but the truth is that since the 2000 Bush v Gore decision, there has been an ever accelerating wave of radical judicial activism from the right. Conservative judicial decisions have overturned two hundred years of rules designed to prevent just what we're now seeing, ownership of both the media and political system by a very wealthy few.

The greatest pretense in American politics is this: that our politicians can be utterly dependent on money given to them by contributors, but not be influenced by the source of those funds. It's not true. It's never been true. Now that the judicial takeover of our electoral system is complete, there's not even any reason to hide it. This is a bribe-based system—an oligarchy all the way to the core. Getting it back isn't going to be easy, and probably can't be done with dollars. It's going to take something far more dear.

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Comment Preferences

    •  His recent "day of prayer and fasting' event? (11+ / 0-)

      A chance to hit up the corporate and evangelical fat cats for money and endorsement.

      Plus get local and national press exposure.

      Plus position himself as a good, concerned Christian.

      All without spending a dime of his own money.

      The man is good at this kind of thing. He is good at winning elections. We can't let him win this one.  

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:19:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He knows how many folks attend christian churches (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541

        Christian churches in the U.S. have huge attendance.  The vast majority of the people in the U.S. say they're christians...although most of them aren't actually "practicing" christians...but that could be a problem for democrats this year.  A whole lot of those "christians" are democrats...many of them in the South where being a christian and conservative (regardless of party) has been the accepted belief system.  

        Perry is no fool.  If we think so, we're making a HUGE mistake.  I still think Romney will eek out a win against him to gain the nomination.  If that happens, little of what I've said above will matter much.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:25:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yes, that was a very telling comment (10+ / 0-)

      He wasn't offended when Bachmann suggested he could be bought, he was offended that Bachmann suggested he could be bought for $5,000.

  •  Yes, he definitely cannot be bought for $5000 (14+ / 0-)

    but he can be rented.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:07:50 AM PDT

  •  The Cow is an Interesting metaphor (9+ / 0-)

    since Perry as you pointed out in pundit roundup nearly flunked  "meat"

    So it's The Why do you hate this country You're Obsessed with misquoting me out of context while I was in the process of misspeaking with the sun in my eyes while chowing down and bashing Sharia law God Bless America defense.......

    by JML9999 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:09:12 AM PDT

    •  Great diary- one quibble- (5+ / 0-)

      The reason we call cow meat beef is because Harold conquered the British Isles in 1066.

      Only the French overlords could afford meat- so cow meat is "boeuf" (beef), pig meat is "jambon" (ham) and sheep meat is mutton or lamb.

      A more apt analogy is that now our overlords are corporations, so we call bribes "superpacs".

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:12:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  History Police! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, Van Buren

        Harold was defeated by William the Conqueror (aka Guillaume Batard) in 1066 at a place called Hastings. It annoys us Brits when foreigners get our history wrong, mainly because we've got a much longer one than you.

        FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

        by Spoc42 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:47:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the US, we think 200 years is a very long time (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, Van Buren, Spoc42

          In the UK, you think that 200 miles is a very long distance.

          ;)

          I just returned from a visit to the UK a few weeks ago.  It was a fascinating and beautiful country (other than the rain).

          One thing in particular struck me------every little village has its stone church in the center of town (which is often four or five times older than the entire USA is), and every cemetery there has rows and rows of stones with the date "1916".  

          Battle of the Somme.

        •  I guess that was why they called him (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spoc42

          William the Conquerer!

          the former was written before my morning coffee.
          thanks.

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 02:28:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (7+ / 0-)

    Our government is run by a system of legalized bribery.
    It influences politicians and legislation more than votes.
    This fact needs to be repeated incessantly until it becomes part of political discourse instead of being ignored.

  •  He ought to be cheap - in most meat the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eve, cassandracarolina, Spoc42, Matt Z

    'pink slime' is small percentage of what shows up in ground beef.  In Perry, it's real meat that's hard to find.

  •  On every blog I can hit, on Facebook, I'm (20+ / 0-)

    constantly pushing this truth...that Perry is in it for the money. And the power.

    Period.

    Use every venue you can to get this message out. I've had people comment that he didn't handle the HPV mandate the right way, but he still tried to do a good thing....I've jumped in to point out that he doesn't give a damn about the health of young girls, he did it to pay back campaign contributor Merck...and that when he implied that they'd only given him a $5000 campaign contribution, he was lying. Merck has given him $20,000 plus directly and much more through another organization.

    Point out that his Trans Texas Corridor toll road would have been managed by another campaign contributor.

    Point out that when he brags about balancing Texas budget, he neglects to mention the huge chunk of federal stimulus money he used to do it.

    Get the truth out there about Perry. We do not want this man as president. We do not.  Ask the fire fighters in Texas, many of whom are buying their own equipment because Perry cut state grants to VFWs.

    He cares nothing for people. He cares nothing about the good of the country. All he cares about is money and power.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:15:43 AM PDT

  •  "It's going to take something far more dear." (5+ / 0-)

    As in...armed insurrection?  A revolution?

    I'm going to share this on Facebook, because I think everyone needs to see it.  Thanks, Mark!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:18:59 AM PDT

    •  You know... (10+ / 0-)

      I don't know.

      It's just hard to imagine that we can buy our way out of it. After all, when 50% of the people control 2.5% of the resources, and 1% of the people control 50% of the resources, it's hard to see how those 50% win a fight conducted entirely in terms of the resources they don't have.

      •  This is awful to think, I know (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumbi, Palafox, happymisanthropy, Matt Z

        Sometimes, I think it is going to have to get much worse before it ever gets better.  

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:50:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who says it will get better? (0+ / 0-)

          I have the horrible feeling that it could take hundreds of years to get back what took hundreds of years to get in the first place.

          IOW, it may take as long to get back to where we were as it took to get there in the first place.

          FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

          by Spoc42 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:53:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately, the only thing more dear (9+ / 0-)

      to Americans than money is blood - their own or their children's.  It will take a long time, and a lot more hardship, for U.S. citizens to decide to spill their blood for the sake of changing their government.  Americans don't work on a world-wide political time scale, i.e., hundreds of years.  Americans have a history of only two hundred years; the country is still young enough that it doesn't take the long view of politics, and America's culture is entirely short-term.

      The farthest anyone looks into the future in American is the next quarter, or the next TV season, or the next election.  The idea that the have-nots are going to rise up and demand a change in government structure or the way elections are funded is a pipe dream.  Citizens for the most part are content to be fed bread (a subsistence-level safety net) and circuses (television programming and political theater) rather than put their dearest treasure at risk.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:45:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Afraid that you are right SueDe. How sad. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, Spoc42, Matt Z

        The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. Noam Chomsky

        by willkath on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:08:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Time is more dear... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spoc42, Mark Sumner

        to most clock-watching, overcompetitive, stressed out, frustrated and confused Americans. Americans do not want to "waste time" with politics. America is about making MONEY in the shortest possible TIME. When we can start to undo our obsession with the connection between MONEY and TIME, we can start to unravel our problems.

        I think this is the implication "something more dear" of the diary. In a society dedicated to evolution over revolution, which is a value we still hold dear, eventual change over sudden rifts, the value of time spent doing good work for the future needs to take root. The time is spent in small, tedious, planned steps which will take the same 100 years to undo the damage caused by MONEY and the LOVE of MONEY in our politics.

        We are better than that. Obama believes this, but he also believes that the Business of America is Business. He sees the natural order of the rich and talented whiz kids naturally rising, but he believes that they are at heart like Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs.  At least, the kids he hung out with were more like Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs. He does not know the Rick Perry's and Bob Rubin's and Hank Paulson's and Bernie Madoff's at all.

        We must spend the TIME to undo the damage of 100 years of money corruption in democracy, and understand the predatory and self-centered personalities we spawn,  or we are no better than the Romans, the Germans, or the British Empire. Users. That is the legacy and the fate we face. We have not yet begun to fight.

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:12:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wondering what was implied in Mark's final (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      statement as well.  Was hoping that he would expound on that a bit-not that I don't agree with the basic premise that to change this corruption will take some concerted effort.  But how???

      The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. Noam Chomsky

      by willkath on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:07:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And many Americans like it or do not give a damn! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541
  •  Diarist! Post a trip jar! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eve

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:22:22 AM PDT

  •  Practical Oligarchy: 1 dollar = 1 vote (9+ / 0-)

    Corporate citizenship: the embodiment of the class system in America - Business Class over everyone else.

    Citizens United isn't about free speech; it's about the freedom to drown out everyone else.

    Example: The same people constantly warning about the dangers of Big Government are oddly silent about the dangers of Big Money - while working to discredit and demonize anyone who does try to raise a warning.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:26:09 AM PDT

  •  Republican/SCOTUS Benchmarks: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox, happymisanthropy

    quasi-legal Federal Bribery and Conspiracy.

    Our political system has been completely corrupted by Republican politicians & SCOTUS judges  --- hypocritical jokes!

    Not a single corrupt one of them are to be treated seriously. They pander to idiocy and ineptitude, promote nihilist policies and the most harmful, antipersonnel ideas.

    SCOTUS - for the most subversive laws regarding money and corporations.

    •  My biggest fear (6+ / 0-)

      The biggest fear I have when it comes to the 2012 presidential election is that a republican does win and then will have the opportunity to appoint SCOTUS justices.  It's currently 5 - 4 conservative and if somehow that mix changes in favor of the conservatives because some republican president appointed them, we'd be right back in the fight against those that desperately want Roe v Wade overturned.  For rightwing conservative republicans, you gotta know that's the biggest apple on the tree for them.  

      - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

      by r2did2 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:44:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Privatization of Social Security is the prize. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        r2did2, Spoc42, Matt Z

        Policy-wise, states rights is limiting abortion rights and dividing and conquering the people against their best economic interests quite nicely. This works for both sides in advancing the further corporatization of our country into a plutonomy.

        Roe v. Wade will never be overturned.  A riot of white women blocking the bridges into D.C. is not on the agenda.  Why bother fomenting social unrest when they're winning this war by default ..through a Democrat?

        Republicans would be seen prompting misery.

        We can count on the further privatization (and degradation) of our public schools, the privatization of public libraries and the 'outsourcing' of every government function that they can think of including government itself.

  •  Rick Parry's Patrons already know what he is. (5+ / 0-)

    All they need to haggle about is the price point when they're in negotiations.  

    Tea Party manifesto: We're resigned to our collective fate because we don't want no stinkin' collective future with the likes of you

    by Richard Cranium on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:29:29 AM PDT

  •  I think VOE is unpopular here (6+ / 0-)

    When diaries are made that make the point below, I normally post that what our country desperately needs is "Voter Owned Elections".  This is a system that has the public financing elections rather than campaigns financed through contributions (or candidate-financed).  But, alas, I normally get no responses when I make that point, so I'm guessing that's not a popular opinion here on Kos.  To me, it seems this would solve our "beholden" problem we currently have in politics today.

    Thanks for this, Mark.  It's so true:

    The greatest pretense in American politics is this: that our politicians can be utterly dependent on money given to them by contributors, but not be influenced by the source of those funds. It's not true. It's never been true. Now that the judicial takeover of our electoral system is complete, there's not even any reason to hide it. This is a bribe-based system—an oligarchy all the way to the core. Getting it back isn't going to be easy, and probably can't be done with dollars. It's going to take something far more dear.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:32:08 AM PDT

    •  i agree (8+ / 0-)

      the only way to stop this abuse of power cold is to start with publicly funded elections.
      that includes free air time on the tv box for each candidate under strict rules.

      jimmie carter will not monitor our elections because they don't stand up to the rigor of a standardized fair process across the country.
      jimmie carter will go to a country in africa that abides by standardized 'rules' but he says he won't do it here because our elections are faux elections.

    •  I'm not resistant to VOE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      r2did2

      I'd heartily embrace the concept..

      But getting to that point is much easier said than done.

      And until I am convinced otherwise, I am resigned to the notion - however immoral, unenlighted or pragmatic it may be - that we have to consistently win (perhaps overwhelmingly win) elections with the current fundraising framework (or lack thereof) in order to be in a position to impose Public Financing.

      In other words, SuperPacs have to be viewed as a "poor Return on Investment" by those who are tossing what amounts to pocket change into them. Then and only then will we actually have a window of opportunity to establish Public Financing.

      And the only way to render SuperPacs "poor investments" is to out-organize our opponents on the ground.

      The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

      by Egalitare on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:30:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good analysis (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah....I know getting there wouldn't be easy.  And, you're right with regard to working within the system we have currently.  If we can win enough elections and get enough political power, then things can change...and not only the concept of VOE.

        Thanks.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:48:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  another unpopular thing is when I point out (0+ / 0-)

      that the Dems get just as much corporate money as the Repugs, and often more. The corporados are ruthlessly nonpartisan, and are just as happy to bribe Dems as to bribe Repugs:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      We like to pretend that THEIR guys are bribed by oodles of corporate money, while OUR guys are valiantly trying to fight back with our hordes of small individual donors.

      It's simply not true.

    •  Another vote for VOE! (0+ / 0-)

      Otherwise it's 'money talks and everyone else walks'....America sold to the highest bidder....'going, going, gone!'

      To be well adjusted to an insane society is obviously not a sign of sanity. J. Krishnamurti

      by lejaz on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 03:22:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cow abducting aliens are in for a nasty surprise. (3+ / 0-)

    (love the graphic)

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:34:22 AM PDT

  •  Something more dear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, Spoc42

    What are you referring to - our lives?  Must we go to war with the oligarchs?  And with no resources, how do we do even that?

    •  See comment above (9+ / 0-)

      The answer is, I don't know. I just can't see how we win if we agree to fight entirely on the field our opponents own, using the tools that they have in abundance.

      If the Supreme Court were to declare sea water equivalent to speech, those states without a coastline could feel very justified in thinking that their voices would be lost. If money is speech, and over half the country controls just 2.5% of the money... how can we live with those terms?

      •  Mark nails it as usual. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Van Buren

        If a Native American ever said "We can't do anything, we don't have any wampum", we'd think that was silly. "Wampum is just shells, what's that have to do with anything?" But we're saying the same thing. "We have no money". Money is just paper or numbers on a computer.

        I looked out the window this morning, the sun was up, the sky and earth were still there, the people were walking around with air to breathe. So what has changed to make everything so bad? The High Priests took away all the wampum. So, we should just say screw 'em and go on without them. Like we did for thousands of years before money became sacred. But we forgot how to do that. We don't know how to barter any more. We're like children whose parents have disappeared. At some point you have to get on with life without them.  

    •  Conducting and SEO campaign? (0+ / 0-)

      It's pretty cliche to say that the internet is democratization of information but it's the one area of communication that isn't controlled by the oligarchs. Chris Bowers is a genius at this. I wonder if we can organize some sort of campaign to get the word out?

  •  I don't think he will be permitted... (0+ / 0-)

    He may be too greedy....Without a CONSPIRACY OF LIES, distortion, deception & fraud, the 2011 Republican Party subversion could not survive.

    But they don't really want the gig; President Obama has helped them enough.  

    But I like the way the President has fomented the potential for social unrest & disorder without seeming to do so outright.  

  •  A cash cow as it were. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Matt Z

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:39:09 AM PDT

  •  Blog it, share it on Facebook, twitter your little (3+ / 0-)

    hearts out, folks, fill the netspace (the little corner reserved, like a "First Amendment Patch," for people who have not joined the Dark Side. Let's see a show of hands: Anybody think that set of Keyboard Komedy is actually going to make any difference in the concentration of wealth and political and social power?

    Nice succinct statement, Mr. Sumner. And it sure seems to carry within it the seeds of its own destruction. How, against the flood of Message and Manipulation from the People of the Wrong, is there a snowball's chance in a reactor meltdown of changing the flow?

    Bu I was born and bred a Presbyterian, so I know personally for me at least, whether there's hope of "salvation" for me, personally, I'm obliged to Do What I Can to Make It Better.  Even if I, like so many others, are prostrated and exhausted with just trying to keep a job and meet the ever-increasing expenses of just keeping body and soul together, and satisfying the ever-increasing demands for many different kinds of services levied like feudal demands.

    Maybe there's something to be hoped for in the renascence of feudalism: Here's a recitation of the duties and rightsof feudal society. I especially like "borg" and "cottage" and "frankenpledge."

    Nothing is ALL bad...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:40:23 AM PDT

  •  Wasn't Rick Perry a cotton farmer? (4+ / 0-)

    According to the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database, Texas is number 1 in the US (the next state is Iowa) in receiving farm subsidy money.  The total amount they received was  $24,423,988,128.   

    The largest commodity payments went to upland cotton farmers (they received $9,838,059,880), followed by "disaster" payments ($3,132,721,939), conservative reserve ($2,300,485,833) , then wheat, rice, sorghum, corn and peanuts.

    Also notable was the fact that the 14th District of Texas (Rep. Ron Paul's district) was ranked 4th in Texas for receiving $1,538,278,431 in farm commodity subsidy payments.

    The Farm subsidies totals for ALL STATES in the United States totaled $261.9 billion in 1995-2010.

  •  Rick Perry - the TexAss Miracle (6+ / 0-)

    Need I say more? The only miracle about this guy is why he isn't sitting in jail or being ridden out of town on a rail. He's got IOKIYAAR on steroids.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 06:42:39 AM PDT

  •  'That's how we do it in Texas'........n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox, Matt Z
  •  More "local, big name donors" 2010 donors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, Amber6541

     Here is South Texas:  
        Peter Holt:  Owner of San Antonio Spurs and CEO of HOLT CAT - largest supplier of Catepillar equipment.  He got a pretty cheap price:  $138K donation and now Caterpillar is building a plant in South Texas -

        "Red" McCoombs:  Automotive Group / cars:  $140K and a promoter/backer of bringing Formula One Racing to Austin Tx, scheduled to open in 2012.   History includes the buying and selling of athletic teams and Clear Channel Communication.

        While neither match Bob Perry, they are additional names and PAC donor's attached to Rick.

  •  I notice (0+ / 0-)

    on the very informative diagram above, there is no mention of offal.

    Could that be because the steer in question has no heart, no guts and no balls?

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:20:32 AM PDT

  •  a high-priced Grand Old Prostitute (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox

    ...is, apparently, what Rick Perry likes to think of himself as...he doesn't sell himself out cheaply and is offended that anyone might suggest that he would sell himself so cheaply...like those high-priced call girls, he does, after all, have his so-called "standards" when it comes to bringing his type of prostitution ring to a grand level.

  •  Thom Hartmann suggests that politicians should (8+ / 0-)

    be required to wear logo patches on their clothes identifying their corporate sponsors, just like Nascar drivers do.

    Imagine.

    •  Okay...one of you geniuses go to work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      I just KNOW there's some big techno-person right here on Kos that could come up with a pic of some repub politicians with corporate patches on their suits/pant suits to be posted here.

      If you're good at such things...it's a challenge for ya.  :-)

      - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

      by r2did2 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:40:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As far as it goes (0+ / 0-)

    this is fine. But IMO it is just as much an issue when Andy Stern boasts of the SEIU spending $60M or so to help Obama get elected. If we are against big money in politics on the grounds that it buys influence, then it would seem that we have to be against all big money supporting candidates. To be honest, I don't see any way, short of amending the constitution, that this will ever be curbed.

    •  I'll make that deal in a heartbeat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, Amber6541, investorb

      and twice on Sunday.

      What unions give is a tiny fraction of the money that corporations and the wealthy pour into the system. Republicans and traditional media are always quick to draw a false equivalence between the contributions of corporations and unions. We shouldn't.

      •  I'll make the deal, too (0+ / 0-)

        But until that happens, I don't think we ought to be under any illusion that "our" bought influence is inherently any less anti-democratic than "theirs."

        •  Unions represent actual human beings. (0+ / 0-)

          Dues are paid by real people.  Corporate money comes from, well, corporations.  No matter what Citizens United or Mitt Romney say corporations are not people. They are legal entities that exist only on paper. What Lewis Carroll or Jonathan Swift would have done with these times!    

          •  Therefore (0+ / 0-)

            it will be quite OK if real people like, say, the Koch brothers could contribute unlimited amounts of campaign cash? The issue is not representation, it is distortion by way of bought influence, whoever it is does the buying.

            •  Yes, but. (0+ / 0-)

              If I know the SEIU has contributed X number of dollars (and knowing is imperative) I can make up my own mind what they may be trying to say and who they are trying to influence.  But the transparency is essential since the limits have been eliminated.  Public financing may have worked if given a fair trial.

    •  I wish unions were one-tenth as powerful as (0+ / 0-)

      the wingnuts seem to THINK they are.  The entire budget of every labor union in the USA added together doesn't compare to just the top five corporations in the US. The total amount of campaign contributions that labor unions spent to get Obama elected was a tiny fraction of what Wall Street spent to get Obama elected. (shrug)

      But I absolutely agree that ALL money should be removed from politics.  All campaigns, from President down to dogcatcher, should be completely funded by public money, and ALL private contributions should be eliminated.

      Bribery is bribery.

  •  So he joins Obama as a bought politician (0+ / 0-)

    We tend to not vote for politicians who are not bought and paid for.

    "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced." 4-2-10 Obama's George Bush moment

    by neaguy on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:38:21 AM PDT

  •  It's all legal (5+ / 0-)

    Policticians can be bought by the highest bidder. I call it bribery, politicians call it campaign contributions

  •  Beef is not a euphemism. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    It is the Norman French word for the food.   Just as pork is for pig.

    The Normans lords ate beef and pork.  The Anglo Saxon serf ate cow and pig.  

    As time went on, the servants took on airs.

    •  I know the etymology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541

      but more than one linguist has suggested that the reason this split between creature and commodity persists is that it helps us cope with with the truth about the plastic-wrapped product we buy in the supermarket.

      I was just playing off of that.

      •  Name two (0+ / 0-)

        Name two linguists who suggest that.

        •  Without digging through the shelves... (0+ / 0-)

          I can't.

          But I can mention that languages as diverse as Spanish and Japanese make a distinction between the terms for animals and the meat coming from that animal. Those languages don't tend to make that distinction in most terms related to other commodities, (In English, we certainly have the generic term meat just as we have the generic wood, but while we split beef from cow we don't shy from oak whether taking about a tree or a board. A lump of coal is still coal, a grain is wheat is wheat. A similar shift is seen in other languages).

          The Anglo-Norman split certainly explains the source of the words in English, but this is a distinction made in many languages without a handy linguistic invasion. And if it's just a matter of the poor people harvesting vs the rich people eating, why don't we say blé when talking about that grass we use for bread?

          Without looking it up, I think I got this from a Michael Pollan book. I'll search for it if you're really interested.

          •  Japanese certainly does not (0+ / 0-)

            Beef is niku 肉 , pork is buta 豚,  duck is kamo 鴨 (well, the particular species of duck that is commonly eaten)  fish is sakana 魚. Wild boar is inoshishi 猪, blue fin tuna is maguro,  Japanese distinguish the cut of meat, and to highlight when the style of preparation is of foreign origin

            Spanish distinguishes for beef some of time, as with the JApanese, when distinguishing the cut of the meat.  Beefsteak is called "bistek or bisteque" or beefsteak.  Spanish does doe not distinguise pork, or chicken. or sheep.

            •  After spending some time looking.... (0+ / 0-)

              I found nothing as definitive as I thought I remembered. I've come to the conclusion that you're absolutely right, and that I married some half-remembered ideas to come up with a wrong-headed idea about this.

              I'll post an apology next week, in a diary not so buried by time.

  •  Oh, he's cheap (4+ / 0-)

    He's just not inexpensive.

    Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

    by Ezekiel Zachariah Foster on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:57:30 AM PDT

  •  Nicely put (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, happymisanthropy
    When individuals cut checks to politicians the size of those being scribbled out to Rick Perry, it happens for one reason. It's an investment. In this case, it's a pretty safe investment, because history shows that Rick Perry is a slot machine who pays on every pull.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:08:01 AM PDT

  •  And the same is true of both parties (0+ / 0-)

    it's about time that we woke up and smelled that fabled coffee... there is zero daylight between the repubs and the dems... they're both bought and paid for puppets totally beholden to their super-rich, elite handlers... as long as the principle driver is money, we're going to continue to get what we've been getting - governance at all levels singularly focused on the needs of those who pay to have people elected who will serve their needs and their needs alone, the common good be damned...

    meanwhile, we, the peasants, are continually exhorted (by democrat-dedicated sites such as this one, among others) to toss our pathetic and scarce dollars into the hat to try to outspend those who can contribute millions without breaking a sweat... tell me how THAT'S going to work...

    as long as we continue to support the myth that we can somehow make our completely broken two-party system work, we only continue to enable the oligarchs to run our lives and subvert any semblance of the principles the united states was founded on... whenever we attempt to make a stand for the common good, we will find it being attacked with the kind of vigor and unlimited resources that will only succeed in stomping it out... the welfare of senior citizens...? education for our national treasure, the young...? the fate of the unemployed...? the disadvantaged...? the working poor...? fuhgeddaboudit... anyone who doesn't have the advantage of money is, by definition, powerless, so, screw 'em...

    where does this leave us...? i wish i knew... what i do know is that what we've been doing isn't working and i, for one, simply can't face the prospect of another repeat of our every four year reality show...

    And, yes, I DO take it personally

    •  Very true. We like to pretend that the (0+ / 0-)

      Repugs are just corporate tools while we valiant Dems are fighting back with an army of small donors.  It's simply not true. The corporados are ruthlessly nonpartisan, and happily give their cash to both parties. The uncomfortable facts are that the Dems have gotten the majority of corporate campaign contributions for the past three elections, and the percentage of Obama's campaign money that came from small donors in 2008 was pretty much the same as Dubya did in 2004 (which in turn is about the same percentage as Michelle Bachmann so far in 2012).

      Sorry to pop everyone's mythical bubble.  Reality sucks.  (shrug)

      http://www.cfinst.org/...

      http://www.usatoday.com/...

  •  Boxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    investorb

    They were originally called "The Five Boxes of Liberty", more recently they've been called "The Five Boxes to Bring About Change".

    1). The Mail Box: Now rendered nearly obsolete, in danger of becoming extinct.

    2). The Jury Box: Currently in the control of the adversary.

    3). The Ballot Box: Rendered virtually ineffective by a Jan. 2010 Supreme Court decision

    4). The Soap Box: Still intact, effectiveness uncertain.

    5). The Ammo Box: Used rarely, counter-productive since the 18th Century...although it worked remarkably well in that one instance.

    What's left??

  •  Good work (0+ / 0-)

    Intelligent and well-written.

  •  Pay to play (0+ / 0-)

    His rewarding folks with favors goes beyond the commercial world. In the University of Texas system most of our regents and other leaders are businessmen. In the past ten years Rick got hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from them. So when Romney says that one of the skills that he has that qualify for the presidency is that he has lots of business experience I wonder whether that also means,  like for Perry, he knows how to shake down business buddies for $$$ in exchange for favors.

  •  Robert Byrd complaining about money in American (0+ / 0-)

    politics .  That's humorous coming from the king of pork who never met a mountain top removal he didn't like.

    career politicians can be as much the problem as the money.

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 01:20:23 PM PDT

  •  Please stop the beatdown of "Jim" Perry (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone knows he is the weakest Con candidate who has a chance of winning the GOP nomination. (Sure, we would all love Bachmann to be the nominee, but that ain't happening)  

    Every other word in his book is fodder for a sound bite Dem ad campaign against him and the GOP.  Oppo research is just a matter of quoting his book and pulling his statements off TV.

    We need Jim Perry so cut it out!

  •  love the graphic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    thinking of his face on a slot machine....

  •  The man is the Elmer Gantry (0+ / 0-)

    of politics.

    "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

    by leema on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:59:03 AM PDT

  •  Perry is Pork...there is no beef there. (0+ / 0-)

    "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

    by leema on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:02:00 AM PDT

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