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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.”

China Stands Firm on Unconditional Climate Funding ahead of Cancun Talks Discuss this articleShare your views with other visitors, and read what they have to say With Cancun climate talks only a week away, the world’s largest carbon emitter says it will not accept a deal on climate financing if it hampers their ability to prioritise domestic policy. Huang Huikang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special representative for climate change talk, said Friday that so-called emissions transparency conditions would not be acceptable in any green fund. Ministers will be meeting in Cancun, Mexico next week to try to advance talks toward a global climate deal that will chart the course for the post-2012 period, when the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires. There are no expectations that next week’s UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP) in Cancun will yield a binding deal. Financing should be “unconditional” “These [funds] are unconditional and should not be linked to anything else,” Huang told reporters. Add a comment

Conservatives get support from the darndest places Last summer: On Thursday, one of Iowa's most influential social conservative organizations, The Family Leader, informed GOP presidential candidates that to win the group's endorsement, they'll have to sign a pledge. Family Leader president Bob Vander Plaats, a former Mike Huckabee ally, wants GOP contenders to committ to a list of 14 red-meat items, including [...] an affirmation that married couples have better sex. Monday: Before you can join the Laurens County Republican Party in South Carolina and get on the primary ballot, they ask that you pledge that you’ve never ever had pre-marital sex — and that you will never ever look at porn again. Tuesday: Now that over a dozen companies have bailed on Rush Limbaugh after he called Sandra Fluke a "slut" on air, a couple of new companies are swooping in to buy up that abandoned air time. Republicans are weird. (Load)(Load)(Load)(Load)(Load)(Load)(Load)

Jeffrey Goldberg - Authors Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. Author of the book Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror, Goldberg also writes the magazine's advice column. More Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. Previously, he served as a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward, and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post. His book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Rich more willing to set up family foundations By He Dan and Yu Ran (China Daily) Updated: 2011-05-16 07:57 Entrepreneurs to use bonuses, stocks for charitable giving BEIJING - Mainland billionaires are showing an ever greater eagerness to establish family foundations for charitable purposes and to fall in line with what experts think is the most decent way for the rich to spend their money. Earlier this month, Cao Dewang, chairman of the glass giant Fuyao Group in Fuzhou, Fujian province, used stocks with a market value of 3.55 billion yuan ($546 million) to establish a family foundation. The Heren Foundation, named after Cao's father, is the mainland's first family foundation. Successful entrepreneurs in China are now wont to give money to charities but seldom go so far as to establish a family foundation. Zong Qinghou, the founder of the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, a leading beverage company in China, is an exception. Speaking at a Beijing conference, Zong said he is willing to set up a family foundation.

SC County GOP: If You’ve Had Pre-Marital Sex, You Can’t Be A Republican Before you can join the Laurens County Republican Party in South Carolina and get on the primary ballot, they ask that you pledge that you've never ever had pre-marital sex -- and that you will never ever look at porn again. Last Tuesday, the LCGOP unanimously adopted a resolution that would ask all candidates who want to get on the primary ballot to sign a pledge with 28 principles, because the party "does not want to associate with candidates who do not act and speak in a manner that is consistent with the SC Republican Party Platform." Among the principles, according to Vic MacDonald & Larry Franklin of the Clinton Chronicle, is standard fare like opposition to abortion and upholding gun rights, as well as "a compassionate and moral approach to Teen Pregnancy" and "a high regard for United States Sovereignty." But then they get even more specific. From the Chronicle: You must favor, and live up to, abstinence before marriage. Via Corey Hutchins.

Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World. Welcome, Big Brother We've all seen and obsessively referenced Minority Report, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's dystopian future, where the public is tracked everywhere they go, from shopping malls to work to mass transit to the privacy of their own homes. The technology is here. I've seen it myself. Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. "In the future, whether it's entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris," says Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers. Leon is the first step. When these residents catch a train or bus, or take out money from an ATM, they will scan their irises, rather than swiping a metro or bank card. GRI's scanning devices are currently shipping to the city, where integration will begin with law enforcement facilities, security check-points, police stations, and detention areas. One potential benefit?

Welcome to Scott Prenn - Strategic Fundraising Partnership Rush Limbaugh and three evangelical blind spots “What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? To me, this is whole situation is a no-brainer: What Rush Limbaugh said was wrong. It’s hard to believe that any Christian would support a man who leveled such a crass and hateful rant against someone created in the image of God, but over the weekend, I encountered several who did just that...and passionately. How can anyone who identifies as a follower of Jesus not only listen to, but support, this kind of disgusting language? I can’t know for sure what goes on in people’s minds when they align themselves with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, but I suspect this reaction has something to do with three common blind spots among evangelicals: 1. We saw a clear example of this back in 2010 when Liberty University invited Glen Beck to speak at its commencement. 2. 3.

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