Between July 1 and Dec. 31, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow collected more than $825,400, ending the year with nearly $674,000 cash on hand, according to disclosures filed over night with the Federal Election Commission. – Stephen Colbert’s FEC report: Big money!

Stephen Colbert is the only man anywhere near politics that has political ads worth watching today.

Chuck Todd got bent out of shape about it last week.

“He is making a mockery of the system… Is it fair to the process? Yes, the process is a mess, but he’s doing it in a way that feels like he’s trying to influence it with his own agenda and that may be anti-Republican.” – Chuck Todd, NBC News

Twisting himself into a knot to be fair and balanced, Todd sounded uncharacteristically dense.

The bookend is reading Mark Halperin’s debate scorecard that isn’t really about the debate, as he admits. Halperin’s grading farce is geared to assessing an evening’s performance with how it could impact the horse race, but always with an eye toward his own access to the politician.

If there’s anything we should all agree upon is that the cesspool of payoffs to candidates through Super PACS locks Americans out of the process, while exposing television viewers in states where the primary season passes to mind-numbing ads of irrefutable charges. The sheer density makes it so.

Stephen Colbert has done more to expose the Super PAC sickness than Obama, Romney, McCain, Feingold, Gingrich or Chuck Todd and Mark Halperon combined.

Looking at Stephen Colbert, watching and listening to him, I’m not at all convinced we’d be worse off with a regular stiff, even a comic, at the helm. They at least might know how unseemly it is to pack your administration with Goldman Sachs cronies while railing about big bank and Wall Street influence.

Some Americans get how totally screwed up our political process is today and they’re laughing at all the insiders through their wallets. In a tough economy that’s quite a message they’re sending.