background preloader

The Billionaire Koch Brothers’ War Against Obama

The Billionaire Koch Brothers’ War Against Obama
On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. The gala marked the social ascent of Koch, who, at the age of seventy, has become one of the city’s most prominent philanthropists. One dignitary was conspicuously absent from the gala: the event’s third honorary co-chair, Michelle Obama. With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. In a statement, Koch Industries said that the Greenpeace report “distorts the environmental record of our companies.”

The Koch Brothers' End Game in Wisconsin First off, before we talk about how this going to play out, because I have seen this same game tape, let's talk about why the Koch Brothers would have made Governor Walker their Manchurian Candidate. When you are calling bullshit on such a grand scale as I, it takes extraordinary evidence. So let's first state that the Koch Brothers placed their puppet Walker into power. Wisconsin Gov. According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings, Walker's gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election. Thanks to Kochs' poodles on the Supreme Court, this sort of activity is now legal. Now here is where it gets tricky. This is what these two Kochs want you to think. See, Governor Walker is going to back down on collective bargaining at the end of the day, if the Democrats will just "compromise" and pass the rest of the budget as is. The Kochs will be laughing at you all, because they just played y'all like a fiddle. State of Wisconsin SENATE BILL 11

US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy | World news A little-known fact about Richard Perle, the leading advocate of hardline policies at the Pentagon, is that he once wrote a political thriller. The book, appropriately called Hard Line, is set in the days of the cold war with the Soviet Union. Its hero is a male senior official at the Pentagon, working late into the night and battling almost single-handedly to rescue the US from liberal wimps at the state department who want to sign away America's nuclear deterrent in a disarmament deal with the Russians. Ten years on Mr Perle finds himself cast in the real-life role of his fictional hero - except that the Russians are no longer a threat, so he has to make do with the Iraqis, the Saudis and terrorism in general. In real life too, Mr Perle is not fighting his battle single-handed. The network centres on research institutes - thinktanks that attempt to influence government policy and are funded by tax-deductible gifts from unidentified donors.

Stephen Colbert Ridicules The Dismantling Of Wake County's Successful Schools Last night, Stephen Colbert deployed "The Word" to bring his show's unique and wonderful brand of language-brutality upon the recent decision of the Wake County, N.C. school board to dismantle a successful school system that had achieved schools of high economic diversity and astounding rates of parent satisfaction. The baseline reason given for taking apart a success story was austerity. But Colbert highlighted a lot of the pure disingenuous nonsense involved -- in the mind of Tea Party acolyte and school board member John Tedesco, for instance, the successful program was nothing more than government sponsored "social engineering," and the poor were much better off in a situation that magnified their hopelessness. TEDESCO: If we had a school that was, like, 80 percent high-poverty, the public will see the challenges, the need to make it successful...Right now, we have diluted the problem, so we can ignore it. To which Colbert archly responded: "See?

Why Do Americans Keep Getting Suckered By Right-Wing Lies? November 21, 2010 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Ideas don’t happen on their own. Throughout history ideas need patrons.” Almost half of the public is either misinformed or subject to unanswered right wing narratives. Unless and until progressives change the mind sets of the tens of millions of people who believe right-wing mythology, who never read the New York Times or listen to NPR, who never watch any TV news other than Fox, future elections will have disappointing results for progressives regardless of who is in the White House. Even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have limits to their ability to de-program those who have been indoctrinated by conservative orthodoxy. Changing minds is more of an art than a science. The impulse to reconnect with American identity through the Constitution is not inherently right wing. The gay rights movement stands as a contemporary role model on how to change public opinion.

Koch-Funded Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy Gives Congress Big Freebies ARLINGTON, Va. -- A recently-formed judicial "academy" funded by industry groups and conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch is offering members of Congress and their staff free meals and trips in order to "educate" the lawmakers on controversial pro-business reforms. The group is the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy (CCJCA), launched earlier this year by the Law and Economics Center (LEC) at George Mason University's School of Law. Despite being part of the university, the right-leaning LEC depends entirely on specially-designated donations which come from a core group of about 50 corporations and foundations, including The Charles G. Unlike similar LEC programs for judges and attorneys, however, the CCJC academy is connected to Congress via the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus. Thus far, however, the academy has fallen short of this goal. The academy's executive director, Geoffrey Lysaught, declined to comment on the events.

Think Tanks in the Economics Profession Indicators via representation at the Allied Social Sciences Association meetings. In the past few years, I have read more policy analyses from Washington DC based think tanks than usual. I’ve assessed some of these reports on Econbrowser over the past year, including some by the Heritage Foundation [H1] [H2] [H3], American Enterprise Institute [A1], Peterson Institute for International Economics [P1], [P2], Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies [Ph1] [Ph2]. I thought it would be interesting to see how many economists from these think tanks attended the Allied Social Sciences Association meetings in Chicago, as an indicator of the level of rigor and location near the mainstream of these research groups. Here’s my rough tabulation of how many individuals from each research group, as listed in the preliminary program. Figure 1: Number of participants at ASSA 2012. Over course, one year is not necessarily representative.

Sorry Tea Partiers -- The GOP Only Cares About Their Corporate Paymasters and Wealthy Elites Like the Kochs | Tea Party and the Right January 19, 2011 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Early this month, when John Boehner was sworn in as the new speaker of the House of Representatives, he tipped his hat to the teabag activists across the country who had fueled the Republican takeover of the chamber last fall. Boehner was not choking back tears, however, he literally was choking on the flagrant hypocrisy of his words. Throughout his two decades in Congress, the new speaker has been a reliable ally of corporate interests. Of course, most congressional leaders work with lobbyists, so that's not odd, but to have them also be his closest friends and social chums -- well, you just want to say, "For heaven's sake, Johnnie, get a life!" These influence peddlers are now the speaker's inner circle, guiding his legislative decisions. So, while tea party regulars are giddy with the thought that their movement took over the U.

The Big Lie - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan It seems to me that the last year or so in America's political culture has represented the triumph of untruth. And the untruth was propagated by a deliberate, simple and systemic campaign to kill Obama's presidency in its crib. Emergency measures in a near-unprecedented economic collapse - the bank bailout, the auto-bailout, the stimulus - were described by the right as ideological moves of choice, when they were, in fact, pragmatic moves of necessity. Every one of these moves could be criticized in many ways. If a black Republican president had come in, helped turn around the banking and auto industries (at a small profit!) This is the era of the Big Lie, in other words, and it translates into a lot of little lies - "death panels," "out-of-control" spending, "apologies for America" etc. - designed to concoct a false narrative so simple and so familiar it actually succeeded in getting into people's minds in the midst of a brutal recession. Where does one start? Oh really?

Fallout From Chris Christie-Koch Brothers Exposé Unless you've been living in a hole, you've probably heard at least something about a secret confab near Vail, Colorado, where the billionaire industrialist Charles Koch referred to the 2012 elections as "the mother of all wars." (He may or may not have been referring to President Obama when he evoked Saddam Hussein—more on that below—but he certainly used Saddam's battle slogan to characterize efforts by him and his brother to evict Obama from the White House.) In the week since we ran Brad Friedman's two-part series, which publicized audio from inside the big event and broke the news that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had delivered the keynote speech (a fact Christie had kept hidden from New Jersey voters), dozens of news outlets have picked up the story, and even taken it further. UPDATES (September 20): New Jersey senator calls for heads up whenever Christie's leaves the state: Yesterday, New Jersey Sen. "It's all politics," Christie responded, according to the Associated Press.