Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Anyone Who Pretends to Be Shocked By This

Needs to be slapped (h/t Paul):
No Labels? No results? No problem.
How a bipartisan group that hoped to make Washington more functional became yet another cog in the D.C. moneymaking machine — and infuriated Democrats
By Meredith Shiner, Yahoo News
July 28, 2014 3:00 PM

It turns out that for a group that consistently bills itself as above the partisan politics and the corrosive culture of Washington, No Labels has come to exemplify some of the most loathed qualities of the town’s many interest groups.

Much of the group’s budget goes toward sustaining or promoting itself. According to No Labels’ confidential document, the group employed 22 paid staffers and eight consultants as of May. Of its projected $4.5 million budget for 2014, only 4 percent — or $180,000 — of spending was slotted for “Congressional Relations.” By contrast, administrative and operational expenses got $1.035 million over the same time period. Another 5 percent was set for travel. A further 30 percent ($1.35 million) was earmarked for digital growth and press, and 14 percent for fundraising.

It’s unclear how the group’s budget broke down in previous years, as No Labels is not obligated to fully disclose its finances or donors because of its 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. But many of the organization’s biggest detractors question why a group advocating for a better Washington would embrace the same practices as the groups profiting from dividing it.

Outside groups have become a cottage industry inside the Beltway, where they pay lush salaries to staffers and consultants while talking loudly and doing little to achieve their missions in this age of legislative stasis.

“The reality is that No Labels is a front group to raise money and pay consultants,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “They should release a full disclosure of not only how they’re raising their money but also how they’re spending it.”

When asked whether No Labels should disclose its donors when fighting for a less divisive political system, Jacobson said, “No — In our hyperpartisan world, the concern might well be the opposite,” suggesting that in a political atmosphere where most big donors spend money to boost one side over another, donors who choose to promote bipartisanship need greater protection.

No Labels has raised approximately $12 million since 2010, with another $4 million pledged for 2014, according to its private financial summary.

And though it’s impossible to tell the exact breakdown of high-dollar versus grass-roots donors to the group, a separate series of memorandums obtained by Yahoo News listed nearly a dozen contributors who have cut six-figure checks. In addition to the few big donors the group already had discussed publicly, this previously unknown list of donors paints a picture of a group that receives a substantial chunk of its financial backing from a small number of people.
As I wrote back in 2010, immediately after this entirely predictable Beltway HerbalLife scam was launched: 

Dead Center:  Political Cowardice Now Has Its Own "Movement"!


In case you ever idled away an afternoon screwing around with your old political chemistry set/fantasy football league lineups and wondering what would happen if you took a bunch of Republican primary losers (Charlie Christ)...added in a goonbag of out-of-work and out-of-favor former Republican speechwriters and campaign button-men (David Frum/John Avlon/Mark McKinnon)...the last of the politically arteriosclerotic insider DLC goofs who aren't already drawing paychecks under the Obama Administration's "Former Clinton White House Full Employment Project" (Nancy Jacobson aka. Mrs. Mark Penn)...Republican minor teevee celebrities (Joey Joe Joe Junior Scarborough)...

...and David Fucking Brooks?

And then sprinkled the resulting crime against nature with an assload of money (because there are always, always endless assloads of money available for any horrible idea that reinforces Villager sensibilities)?

What you get crawling out of the Petri dish are things like the autotuned, content-free, sugar-coma-inducing horror that is

the "No Labels Anthem"

But nothing we did not expect, right?

I mean, ever since the Republican Base ducked out on paying the tab for a generation of being loudly and catastrophically wrong about everything by putting on funny hats, screaming about liberty and calling themselves "The Tea Party", their sleazy Centrist enablers have been seething with jealously. Quite suddenly the monster they built didn't need them anymore and the skeevy hustlers who had helped create the Racist/Corporatist/Dominionist Confederacy on the bones of the New Deal and the grave of the American Dream found themselves cast out and looking for their next meal ticket.

Preferably a meal ticket under a banner that -- like "Tea Party -- wouldn't keep bringing up their horribly inconvenient past as the sleazy, enabling hustlers.

Hey, kids! I have an idea! Lets peel those the icky, damning labels off of everything and -- presto! -- there is magically no longer any difference between rat poison and apple sauce!

Can I haz my million dollars now?
Of course, I got that last part wrong.

"No Labels" wasn't another vanity Ponzi scheme by Beltway parasites and Bush Regime deserters to  deflect any attempt to affix political blame for 30 years of Conservative depravity and disaster where is so righteously belongs while squeezing a million dollars out of various rich idiots and political cowards.

It's a scheme to bilk rich idiots and political cowards out of tens of million dollars while the shiny, shiny Both Sides Do It Players keeps them pleasantly deluded and distracted.



Yeah, I'm looking at you David Brooks.

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