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Inside the Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire - Rolling Stone

Inside the Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire - Rolling Stone
The enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they've cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today's GOP. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year's midterms. What is less clear is where all that money comes from. But Koch Industries is not entirely opaque. Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. The volume of Koch Industries' toxic output is staggering. For Koch, this license to pollute amounts to a perverse, hidden subsidy. It was a boom business. Arizona Sen. Then George W. Related:  Koch Brothers Manipulating Policy for ProfitKoch's $ bought power - now run country

Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say - The New York Times Together with a small group of political appointees, many with backgrounds, like his, in Oklahoma politics, and with advice from industry lobbyists, Mr. Pruitt has taken aim at an agency whose policies have been developed and enforced by thousands of the E.P.A.’s career scientists and policy experts, many of whom work in the same building. “There’s a feeling of paranoia in the agency — employees feel like there’s been a hostile takeover and the guy in charge is treating them like enemies,” said Christopher Sellers, an expert in environmental history at Stony Brook University, who this spring conducted an interview survey with about 40 E.P.A. employees. Such tensions are not unusual in federal agencies when an election leads to a change in the party in control of the White House. Video Allies of Mr. “E.P.A. is legendary for being stocked with leftists,” said Steven J. Mr. William D. “Reforming the regulatory system would be a good thing if there were an honest, open process,” he said. Mr.

Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare Fraud: While the global warming alarmists have done a good job of spreading fright, they haven’t been so good at hiding their real motivation. Yet another one has slipped up and revealed the catalyst driving the climate scare. We have been told now for almost three decades that man has to change his ways or his fossil-fuel emissions will scorch Earth with catastrophic warming. If they were honest, the climate alarmists would admit that they are not working feverishly to hold down global temperatures — they would acknowledge that they are instead consumed with the goal of holding down capitalism and establishing a global welfare state. Have doubts? “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. So what is the goal of environmental policy? “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer. “What if global warming isn’t only a crisis?” This is how the global warming alarmist community thinks.

Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming from Inside the White House On the morning after the election, November 9, 2016, the people who ran the U.S. Department of Energy turned up in their offices and waited. They had cleared 30 desks and freed up 30 parking spaces. They didn’t know exactly how many people they’d host that day, but whoever won the election would surely be sending a small army into the Department of Energy, and every other federal agency. By afternoon the silence was deafening. “Teams were going around, ‘Have you heard from them?’ “The election happened,” remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the D.O.E. Trump’s people “mainly ran around the building insulting people,” says a former Obama official. Even in normal times the people who take over the United States government can be surprisingly ignorant about it. That had proved to be a huge undertaking. WATCH: Meet the People Enabling Donald Trump The Trump administration had no clearer idea what she did with her day than her mother. This was a loss. The First Risk

The Ideologues Who Want to Destroy Democracy to Save Capitalism The Ideologues Who Want to Destroy [...] James Buchanan flashes a smile at a news conference in 1986 at George Mason University after it was announced that he is the winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economic science. (Photo by Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images) Last week we presented you with historian Nancy MacLean’s fascinating story of James McGill Buchanan — the father of “public choice economics” whose writing was influential to a number of ideologues on the far right. George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian, has more on the history of Buchanan and his twisted ideas: He aimed, in short, to save capitalism from democracy.In 1980, he was able to put the program into action. Read more from Monbiot in The Guardian and read an excerpt from Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains.

There's No Time to "Debate" Climate Change: We Need Global Transformation The reality is that we're already seeing the victims of climate change. (Photo: Erik de Haan / Flickr) Corporate mainstream media outlets are missing something very important as the general election draws closer and both Democrats and Republicans start freaking out that it'll be the end of the world if the other party gets into the White House. Media are completely ignoring the fact that unless we do something right now to fundamentally change what fuels our economy, it actually will be the end of the world as know it. For the fourth time this year, NASA announced that last month was the warmest such month on record, with sea and land temperatures at 1.11 degrees Celsius warmer in 2016 than the average April temperature between 1951 and 1980. In other words, the planet is getting warmer and warmer, and we're setting more and more planetary records with every passing month. See more news and opinion from Thom Hartmann at Truthout here.

alec-meeting-denver-conservatives?akid=15891.2675170 Photo Credit: Ken Durden / This post originally appeared at Exposed by CMD. Denver’s massive Blue Bear will be peering in the windows as US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos headlines the 44th American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting being held at the Colorado Convention Center’s Hyatt Regency Hotel July 19-21. Other big names speaking at the event include Trump defender-in-chief Newt Gingrich, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Republican pollster Frank Luntz and local megadonor and light beer magnate Peter Coors, who chairs the right-wing Coors Foundation. The Center for Media and Democracy reported that there will be a debate on the ALEC draft model bill to repeal the 17th Amendment, but many other controversial issues will be on the ALEC agenda as the meeting gets underway tomorrow. College Sexual Assault Takes Center Stage Sexual harassment and sexual assault have been a crisis on US college campuses for decades.

The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America Charles Koch, 79, in his office at Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas, on July 29, 2015. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images) Author Nancy MacLean has unearthed a stealth ideologue of the American right. Her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, tells the story of one James McGill Buchanan, a Southern political scientist and father of “public choice economics.” MacLean details how this little-known figure has had a massive impact on the ideology of the far right. None other than Charles Koch looked to MacLean’s theories for inspiration. Kristin Miller talked with Nancy MacLean about her books and the influence of James McGill Buchanan on our politics both overt and covert. Kristin Miller: Did you know anything about Buchanan before you started your research? Nancy MacLean: I did not. KM: Just what is his theory of “public choice economics”? — Nancy MacLean NM: He was setting to work in Virginia in the late 1950s.

Fossil Fuel Industry-Funded Attorneys General Try to Block ExxonMobil Climate Fraud Probe You could call it the battle of the attorneys general: one side representing the public interest, exactly what attorneys general are supposed to do; the other side representing the special interests, exactly what they are not supposed to do. In late March, 17 attorneys general held a press conference to announce they will defend the new federal rule curbing power plant carbon emissions and investigate energy companies that may have misled investors and the public about climate risks. They call themselves AGs United for Clean Power, and so far attorneys general from California, Massachusetts, New York and the Virgin Islands have launched investigations of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, for fraud. In response, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange decided to push back. Fishing expedition? Based on that preliminary evidence, there is strong justification for Walker and the other AGs to investigate further.

It Looks Like the Kochs' Dream of a Right-Wing Constitutional Convention Has Been Roadblocked Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons This year's legislative season saw a strong push in the states from right-wing groups, bankrolled by the Koch brothers and other ultra-conservative billionaires, hoping to convene a national constitutional convention in order to inject rigid fiscal constraints into our country's founding document. Advocates of a federal "balanced budget amendment" (BBA) picked up two more states, Wyoming and Arizona, in their drive to win the 34 resolutions needed to bypass Congress and convene a convention to propose changes to the U.S. Constitution. That momentum, however, was blunted by surprisingly successful campaigns to rescind convention calls in three states, New Mexico, Maryland, and Nevada. As a result, BBA proponents now claim 27 states in their column, down from 28 at the beginning of the year. Two steps forward and three steps back…from the brink of a political experiment untried since 1787. BBA momentum stalls

In the Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Koch Brothers’ Campaign Becomes Overt If there was any lingering doubt that a tiny clique of fossil-fuel barons has captured America’s energy and environmental policies, it was dispelled last week, when the Trump Administration withdrew from the Paris climate accord. Surveys showed that a majority of Americans in literally every state wanted to remain within the agreement, and news reports established that the heads of many of the country’s most successful and iconic Fortune 100 companies, from Disney to General Electric, did, too. Voters and big business were arrayed against leaving the climate agreement. How this happened is no longer a secret. As the climate scientist Michael Mann put it to me in my book “Dark Money,” when attempting to explain why the Republican Party has moved in the opposite direction from virtually the rest of the world, “We are talking about a direct challenge to the most powerful industry that has ever existed on the face of the Earth.

Exxon's Gamble: 25 Years of Rejecting Shareholder Concerns on Climate Change Refusing to act on climate resolutions could become a costly mistake, and invite the kind of legal onslaught that cost tobacco companies billions. By Elizabeth Douglass At ExxonMobil, the answer is still no. For a quarter-century, stockholders have asked Exxon to confront the threat of climate change in all sorts of ways: by investing in renewable energy, cutting harmful emissions, providing carbon risk assessments and adding a board member with climate expertise. "We have been ringing alarm bells for years saying to the oil companies that the status quo is unsustainable, is dangerous for investors, and in the long term isn't in the companies' best interests," said Timothy Smith, shareholder engagement director at Boston-based Walden Asset Management, a 40-year-old investment firm managing $3 billion in assets. InsideClimate News investigated 25 years of climate change-related shareholder proposals submitted to Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. None got enough votes to pass.

Secretive Foundation’s Blueprint for Spreading Right-Wing Ideology Documents Reveal a Powerful, Secretive [...] North Carolina millionaire and political operative Art Pope, who received $1.5 million from the Bradley Foundation for two conservative groups he founded. (Photo by Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images) This post originally appeared at AlterNet. The billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch get a lot of press coverage about their vast, conservative political spending network that helps elect right-wing officials at the federal, state and local levels and advocates for policies that increase the profits of their fossil fuel and manufacturing conglomerate, Koch Industries. The Bradley Foundation, which has historically supported taxpayer-funded “school choice” initiatives and work requirements for welfare recipients, is named after Lynde and Harry Bradley, two brothers who founded the profitable factory automation manufacturer Allen Bradley Co.