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The Huffington Post has reported that Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign has sent out a fundraising letter attacking Democratic mega-donor George Soros even though the Reform Institute, a non-profit group founded by McCain, has taken money from Soros in the past. (See also this story from TPM.)The bigger story here–upon which I report in the May issue of the magazine–is that the supposedly independent Reform Institute, the stated goal of which is to promote accountability and transparency in government, is effectively an extension of McCain’s political machine.
The Reform Institute gets much of its money from major donors to McCain’s political campaigns. There has also been a steady revolving door between the Institute and the senator’s campaign staff, through which have passed, notably, lobbyist Rick Davis, who now runs McCain’s campaign and who over the years received $395,000 in salary and consulting fees from the Reform Institute, as well as Donald Murphy, a Senior Advisor to the Institute and a long-time political ally of McCain’s who serves as the senator’s Maryland campaign coordinator. Murphy also heads a lobbying and political consulting firm with clients including Diebold and the American Association of Nude Recreation. (Further details, of course, can be found in the article.)
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
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature