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After months of paging through invitations we had a pretty good idea where the hottest party spots were for members of Congress and lobbyist donors. But thanks to lots of hard work cleaning up and standardizing the data in our Party Time database, now we really know.
According to these invitations, Congressional fundraisers in 2008 were clustered in a semicircle around the Capitol building in a handful of Washington private clubs, restaurants, and townhouses. The top 20 most popular partying spots accounted for more than half of the 2,117 events we analyzed. In addition to party-operated venues, a handful of pricey restaurants and private townhouses are the site of most of the festivities. Top restaurants included Johnny’s Half Shell, with 120 events (chosen by Gourmet Magazine in 2000 as one of “America’s Best Restaurants); Charlie Palmer Steak, with 83 (named by Washingtonian as one of the best 100 restaurants in 2008); and Bistro Bis (also in Washingtonian’s top 100), with 79.
Overall, the Sunlight Foundation’s Party Time analysis documented 2,117 events in 2008. That amounts to an average of more than 176 per month or nearly six a day.
The story includes a nice map of local fundraising sites and you’ll find on the same page a link to a scheduled $5,000 per head fundraiser for Colorado Senator and soon-to-be Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Set for January 2 at the Sonnenalp Resort in Vail.
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.”