Oddities I stumbled on last week: • The latest CBS poll shows that 12% of Americans approve of the current Congress. Meanwhile, a new study estimates that spending on all federal elections will total almost $6 billion this cycle, 77% of it from business interests. That’s a lot of money to buy influence with people held in such low regard. Why not create a lottery for the unemployed, draw 535 names at random and send them to Washington; return the $6 billion to the rich contributors; and raise their marginal tax rates by 10%? Fresh faces, campaign finance reform, fair taxation – done.
• When Lech Walesa endorsed Mitt Romney, he became the first major labor figure to support a Republican since the Teamsters backed Ronald Reagan and George Bush in the 1980s. Known for their infiltration by the mob, the Teamsters also supported Richard Nixon in 1972, six months after he had pardoned Jimmy Hoffa and three years before Hoffa disappeared without a trace.
• In response to a contribution to the Obama campaign, I got a letter from the national finance director that seemed more ‘price is right’ than presidential: Thanks so much for your generous donation. . . .We've always depended on supporters like you – not special interests or Washington lobbyists – for every dollar we get. To show our appreciation, here's a special coupon code for the Obama 2012 store.
Using that code at checkout will get you 10 percent off orders of $10 or more. But it's only good through August 1st, so swing by the store now.