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Remember all those how important political reforms Congress passed after the Democrats took over? Like the new rules meant to stamp out the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups at the upcoming national conventions in Denver and Minneapolis?
The good people of Denver and Minneapolis–St. Paul, though, need not worry that they’ll miss out on the legendary convention debauchery. Luckily for them, when it comes to filling campaign coffers and throwing lavish parties with other people’s money, nobody is more innovative than Washingtonians. In fact, the new ethics restrictions are a boon for some groups. Among the biggest beneficiaries are the Democratic and Republican governors associations, which are not subject to the lobbyist-control rules Congress imposed on itself…Unlike the congressional campaign committees, the governors groups can accept soft money…For their cash contributions, donors will receive tickets to receptions, special events and chances to break bread with all sorts of big-time politicos.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”