Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US CONGRESSIONAL FUNDRAISING
April 4, 2016 4:26 PM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

This week.... Vladimir Putin snubs the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, and Donald Trump demonstrates that nuclear weapons is another thing he doesn't have much knowledge about. Baseball season prepares to begin, and the New York Yankees annoy and frustrate fans by making it difficult to resell premium tickets online, claiming that the tickets may end up in the hands of people who the Yankees owner figures may not know how to treat the privilege of sitting in the first five rows at a Yankees game. LWT is running a short impromptu context: tweet a picture of yourself wearing something that would would look ridiculous sitting in premium seats at a Yankees game with the hashtag #IHAVENEVERSATINAPREMIUMLOCATION, and you can win one of those seats to a game.

(Timing is tight though; the last day of the tickets is the 7th!) And Now: Did You Know CNBS's Joe Kernen Has a Personal Trainer? Main story: Congressional fundraising, huge mechanized system affecting both parties, forcing congresspeople to fundraise an easy majority of their time in office, that never seems to get fixed because both sides are desperately afraid of giving advantage to the other. LWT sat down with Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), a retiring congressman getting out of the game because he hates fundraising, on how bad the system has gotten.

Nuclear Weapons: "The most terrifying thing you can stockpike right after baby dolls."

Johnny's Half Shell, location, identified as the premiere location for congressional fundraisers, has as their slogan "When people in DC think of seafood, they think of Johnny’s Half Shell!" Their Yelp rating is three stars.
posted by JHarris (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by axiom at 7:20 PM on April 4, 2016

I don't think Joe Kernen knew what he dumped on the audience when he said that Eddie Frayne was the Marquis de Sade of personal trainers.
posted by chinesefood at 8:08 PM on April 4, 2016

Did someone move part of the post behind the fold? And possibly remove the link in the process? I could have sworn I'd included the link. But it's definitely possible I made a mistake. Making these LWT posts has been kind of wearying lately, what with the epic MST posts also coming each week.
posted by JHarris at 10:38 PM on April 4, 2016

I took a class from a former Representative, and his tale of the fundraising cubicles was one of the most depressing parts. It weighed heavily in his decision not to run for his former seat despite being heavily courted by the DCCC in 2012.
posted by Etrigan at 6:56 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I once said I believe part of the problem in US politics is that a few politicians, once elected, will spend more time trying to get re-elected than actually doing their job. Apparently, not only that is true, but apparently more widespread than I thought and even forced by the parties.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:13 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was reminded of Carcetti's hatred of fund raising for his run for Mayor in the Wire.
posted by juiceCake at 9:21 AM on April 5, 2016

I found the main segment a bit shorter on the funny and longer on the cringe than I usually like, but the last thirty seconds with the bag of wine was great.

"Oh, I wouldn't do this to a glass."
posted by 256 at 9:30 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

"What does it pair well with -- street violence?"
posted by gladly at 1:18 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yankees kerfluffle on the blue
posted by Monochrome at 4:35 PM on April 5, 2016

So, if we can't change this system, we should be looking for candidates with call center work experience?

(And really, you'd think that with our legislators spending that much time on direct fundraising in that environment there'd be a crackdown on FLSA violations at call centers.)
posted by asperity at 10:36 AM on April 6, 2016

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