By Anonymous (not verified) on July 25, 2012

· So far this year, 26 billionaires have donated more than $61 million to super PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And, that’s only what has been publically disclosed.

· This $61 million does not include about $100 million that Sheldon Adelson has said that he is willing to spend to defeat President Obama; or the $400 million that the Koch brothers have pledged to spend during the 2012 election season.

· These 26 billionaires have a combined net worth of $146 billion, which is more than the bottom 42.5 percent of American households (equal to nearly 50 million families in the United States).

(Sources: Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances published in June 2012; and the Forbes billionaire list of April 2012. Sylvia A. Allegretto, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley helped us gather the data from the Federal Reserve study to come up with these statistics.)

Here is a list of the billionaires:

1. Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Casino, is worth nearly $25 billion, making him the 14th wealthiest person in the world and the 7th richest person in America.

While median family income plummeted by nearly 40% from 2007-2010, Mr. Adelson has experienced a nearly eightfold increase in his wealth over the past three years (from $3.4 billion to $24.9 billion).

Forbes recently reported that Adelson is willing to spend a “limitless” amount of money or more than $100 million to help defeat President Obama in November.

While $100 million sounds like a lot, it equals the same percentage of Adelson’s wealth that $300 to $400 does for the typical middle class family (with a net worth of about $77,000).

Sheldon Adelson owns more wealth than the bottom 40.2% of American households or 47.2 million American families.

2. The Kochs (David, Charles, and William) are worth a combined $54 billion, according to Forbes. They have pledged to spend about $400 million during the 2012 election season.

3. Jim Walton is worth $23.7 billion. He has donated $300,000 to super PACs in 2012.

4. Harold Simmons is worth $9 billion. He has donated $15.2 million to super PACs this year.

5. Peter Thiel is worth $1.5 billion. He has donated $6.7 million to Super PACs this year.

6. Jerrold Perenchio is worth $2.3 billion. He has donated $2.6 million to super PACs this year.

7. Kenneth Griffin is worth $3 billion and he has given $2.08 million to super PACs in 2012.

8. James Simons is worth $10.7 billion and he has given $1.5 million to super Pacs this year.

9. Julian Robertson is worth $2.5 billion and he has given $1.25 million to super PACs this year.

10. Robert Rowling is worth $4.8 billion and he has given $1.1 million to super PACs.

11. John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made his fortune betting that the sub-prime mortgage market would collapse, is worth $12.5 billion. He has donated $1 million to super PACs.

12. Richard and J.W. Marriott are worth a combined $3.1 billion and they have donated $2 million to super PACs this year.

13. James Davis is worth $1.9 billion and he has given $1 million to super PACs this year.

14. Harold Hamm is worth $11 billion and he has given $985,000 to super PACs this year.

15. Kenny Trout is worth more than $1.2 billion and he has given $900,000 to super PACs this year.

16. Louis Bacon is worth $1.4 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

17. Bruce Kovner is worth $4.5 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

18. Warren Stephens is worth $2.7 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

19. David Tepper is worth $5.1 billion and he has given $375,000 to super PACs this year.

20. Samuel Zell is worth $4.9 billion and he has given $270,000 to super PACs this year.

21. Leslie Wexner is worth $4.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

22. Charles Schwab is worth $3.5 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

23. Kelcy Warren is worth $2.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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