Archive for Koch brothers

Calling Robin Hood -- Nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham Has Just Returned

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Robin Hood

As a boy growing up outside Boston, I had a wild imagination and a lot of heroes. There was cowboy favorite Roy Rogers, future space adventurer, Buck Rogers, but most fun was the legendary outlaw, archer Robin Hood. He and his men (plus Maid Marion) were a band of outlaws who found ways to disrupt the mad rantings and oppressive actions of the evil and despotic Sheriff of Notttingham. Let's face it. Without a really awful foe, there's just not a great hero or heroes. And the meanest of the mean was the Sheriff raiding Sherwood Forest.

Paul RyanPAUL RYAN AKA SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM

With the good king Richard away fighting religious wars on behalf of  his people, the royal brother and evil, calculating Prince John took the reins of England and trampled justice wherever he found it. His pleasure was in sticking it to the masses and stripping them of all of their earthly possessions. And his did it with his man, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The results were catastrophic for all but the rich. That select few thrived while the Sheriff demonstrated villainy at the highest level. This guy stopped at nothing as he represented the top 1% of the richest royals out there.

So much for folklore. Whether there really was a Robin Hood or a Sheriff of Nottingham is debatable. The same could be said for Superman, Mighty Mouse, even Underdog.

Mighty Mouse vs Underdog

To get a taste of what's going on in real life, we have to look at the real Sheriff of Nottingham who comes to us straight out of the the Sherwood forest of Wisconsin . The kings of the rich, the Koch Brothers, have deigned him with the powers of the purse-strings. The Sheriff is merely a puppet and he's doing their bidding. With the new Ryan budget, the GOP kings have unleashed the Sheriff on the US masses.

To provide more riches and power for the super rich, they want to destroy every and all of the people's programs of survival. They wish to cut Medicare, education funding and loans, Social Security, women's rights, Food assistance, and Health Care. In return the rich get tax relief and the poor get worse living conditions. It must sound fair if you're a royal, but most of us aren't.

There is a Robin Hood who is trying to once again split an arrow down the middle to show up the mad and unconscionable Sheriff Paul Ryan. He's Bernie Sanders. And if you want to see his proclamation of war against the evil doers and their merry band of morons, check this out:

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Soros is no Koch brother

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Soros is no Koch brother, close up

Those on the right love to compare the Kochtopus to George Soros. Yes, both the Koch brothers (scroll) and George Soros are wealthy individuals who donate to the party and candidates of their choice. They're allowed to by law, even more so under the most recent (and terrible) Supreme Court decision.  But that's where the comparison should end.

Which brings us to today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor about the difference between these "big spenders":

Re "Big spenders," Letters, April 8

One letter writer asserts that exposing the Koch brothers' financial involvement in various conservative causes is mudslinging. He claims their political spending is no different than that of major Democratic donors such as George Soros and unions.

What the writer fails to acknowledge is that the Kochs fund a web of foundations and organizations created by and for themselves to promote their own views. Their political groups are given populist-sounding names — such as Americans for Prosperity — that distract from their real purpose, which is to protect the Kochs' extraordinary personal fortune.

And, but for their wealth, many of these organizations would either cease to exist or lack real political clout.

In comparison, when Soros and unions make political donations, they do not take extraordinary lengths to hide their involvement. We know to whom they gave and how much. The same cannot be said for the Kochs.

That is the difference.

Robert J. Switzer

West Hollywood

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Koched-Up: Take This Job and Shove It, I Don't Work Tea Hill, Anymore

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Image Courtesy Demos

Image Courtesy Demos

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

The Federal government and the Koched-Up Lipton Brigade who finished trashing it after BushCo. have officially become the shite-iest bosses in the world. And not just the Free World.

GOP-HypocrisyTwo full branches are in need of a tree surgeon at this point, and what is even an Executive of Obama's calibre to do with both chambers crawling with petulant rich kids  and antique lifer 'Justices'??  Beleagured man was probably trying to recruit the People's Pope for that highest bench just to shame Scalia & Gang.

I confess that I, staunch progressive since the womb, wept when Olympia Snowe announced her exit from Stage Crazy In Washington D.C. early on. Partly because she was one of the last New England RINO's in existence we could count on to 'swing vote' key legislation.

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Primarily because we were at the beginning of a Domino Fall Fail of "will not seek reelection' announcements that would include good liberals as well. Have a look at the roster of who has already said ¡Hasta La Vista Suckers! here. 

Citizens United was a cancerous, bloated pestilence unleashed by That Manly Bench. SCOTUS used McCutcheon to put every office that can be leveraged with the USD for sale this week, which means we can now add usury and an extra level of corrosive conservative corruption thinly (Fredericks of Hollywood thinly) disguised as more transparent handling of campaign contributions by The People.

 

Congressional Retirement Chart from Pew Research

Congressional Retirement Chart from Pew Research

To roughly paraphrase NY state's Senator Chuck Schumer in response to that Robed Regressive Ridiculousness: "It's another step on the ruination of our political system ... until we are back to the days of the robber barons …"

It only took from 1776 until this week to return to a nation ruled by the monied class.

lobbyistSo what are we liberals going to do about it?? Turn the Sluther Mucking Titanic around and get out every last Vote possible. Worse may be on the way, according to Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker. 

We fight back. The Hobby Lobby Green family may own nigh on every for-sale Biblical artifact available,  Shelly Moneybags will buy all elections that take cash or 'credit' and the GOPissants may well have to run Jeb as their Savior.

We fight back. Regressives may have Texas down to six [as of this morning] functioning Women's Healthcare clinics, the Tea Party has crawled up our collective uterus and the War is young.

They won't give up … until Roe is long gone,  the country is Fenced In, every gay American is single, and back in the closet and girls are back to doing floors on their hands and knees in all trimesters.

SCOTUS approved purchasing their employees is just this week's con Cristal news. Fight Back.

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Beating the Kochs: Dems get it-- Turnout, turnout, turnout. Show UP! #GOTV

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vote  turnout  gotv

The media is feeding feelings of growing panic among Democrats about losing the Senate in November, to which Dems are finally responding with one word: Turnout. This is a good thing. This is a very good and healthy thing, not just this November, but for every election ever. Without a huge voter turnout, Democrats lose, but when turnout efforts are successful, we generally win.

Here at TPC and on Twitter, I've been on a mini-campaign on this very thing. As Harry Reid so wisely framed it recently, Ridiculously Big Huge Enormous Gigantic Money (read: the Koch brothers) is a major obstacle that we must overcome. And that point underscores all kinds of issues that Democrats are passionate about, such as income inequality, the wealth gap, increasing the minimum wage, equal pay for women, and more. Targeting the Kochs gives voters something on which to laser focus and channel those passions.

And when voters are passionate, they make beelines (and long lines, and slow lines, thanks to GOP voter suppression laws) to the polls, and at this point, that is our best remedy. The Kochs may have tons of money, but we have tons of people. They have monetary power, we have people power... as long as we show up.

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Memoli and David Lauter wrote about that very thing:

Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections.

The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. [...]

"Disgruntled voters turn out at a somewhat higher rate than what I like to call the gruntled voters," said Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist.

However, there are a couple of catches:

But Democrats disagree on how populist an image to present. Some advocate a turn toward the left that they say will spur younger and minority voters to take interest in the election. Others argue for a more centrist tack, which might attract more moderate voters.

Mitch Stewart, who was the battleground-states director for Obama's 2012 campaign, said, "The conventional wisdom is that you don't start contacting voters until after Labor Day, [but that's] an outdated model." He couldn't be more correct about that. The time is now to knock on doors, make calls, email, you name it, in order to educate and inspire voters.

Why now? Because "motivating core parts of the Democratic voter base, particularly younger and less educated voters, is not easy." I can vouch for that. Trying to get young voters to pay attention to politics, especially during midterm elections, is, well, challenging. I've tried, and while their first impulse is to respond enthusiastically, they often lapse into:

UP squirrel dog animated gif

Terry McAuliffe, like him or not, had the right idea when he won the Virginia gubernatorial race. He emphasized issues that Dems cared about, like Medicaid, marriage equality, and women's reproductive rights. He also targeted those who only voted occasionally.

But of course, that costs money, which brings us full circle to the Kochtopus. Again, though, they may have the money, but we have the numbers.

We can do this, but we must, MUST, register to vote, do everything we can to help others register and then get to the ballot box, and never, ever acquiesce to Big Corporate Money or the Corporate Media, both of which thrive on manipulating the message and pushing meaningless speculation.

Below are four words that are both meaningful and our most urgent message:

gotv 3

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Sunday Links

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links

Image: NPR

Peter Matthiessen Dies at 86, Wrote of Travels in the Natural World

Because Of Red State Restrictions, Back Alley Abortions Are Back

Majority Report: Koch Brother Whines About The Oppressed Rich

Harry Reid Stands Up to the Koch Brothers and Chops Down the GOP Man-Gods

The Religious Right Needs to Get Over Noah

Wi-Fi speeds are about to triple

Why every world map you're looking at is WRONG: Africa, China and India are distorted despite access to accurate satellite data

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Saturday Links

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links

Image: WGBH

Here's How The World's Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days

New Poll Shows Americans Don't Want To Give Up On Obamacare

UPS Fires Hundreds Of Workers Who Defended Fired Colleague

The Roberts Court Tees Up The End Of Campaign Finance Reform In Its Latest Ruling

AP Photographer Killed And Reporter Wounded As Attacks On Journalists Rise In Afghanistan

75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

Jon Stewart Tells Antonin Scalia 'You're F**kin' Wrong!' (VIDEO)

Bernie Sanders Chillingly Lays Out How The Koch Brothers Could Buy the White House

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First evidence that ALEC effort to rebrand as being legislator-driven is “sham”

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ALEC general

ALEC is a topic I write about often. Allow me to refresh your memory:

ALEC  (American Legislative Exchange Council) is an organization of state legislators which favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. They literally write legislation for Republican Congress members, who then do whatever they can to pass it. The Nation:

Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding.

Now that you have some background, here is some good reporting by Madison.com that should hopefully inspire you to vote (Koch-owned) Republicans out in November and get others to do the same. It involves Wisconsin Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa who "voted on a policy allowing only lawmakers, and not lobbyists, to introduce model bills":

At the same meeting, she sponsored a model bill under the direction of a lobbying group, according to documents released Thursday following an open records lawsuit that cost state taxpayers $15,000 to settle.

Brendan Fischer, a lawyer for the liberal Center for Media and Democracy, which filed the lawsuit, said the more than 100 pages of documents provide the first evidence that an effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council to rebrand itself as being legislator-driven is “just a sham.”

“This demonstrates that ALEC is really a lobbyist-driven organization,” Fischer said. “The lobbyists are the ones calling the shots. The legislators are just following along.”

That's what we in the bloggy biz call a big oopsie. And it's about time someone went very public about how legislators are nothing more than puppets with people like the Koch brothers pulling the strings. I mean other than Harry Reid:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In one email, Christie Herrera, vice president of policy for the Florida-based Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank with a registered lobbyist, wrote to Vukmir and three other legislators from other states thanking them for sponsoring a resolution opposing the expansion of state Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act and coaching them on what to say.

More details here.

Kochtopus

Speaking of legal issues, here are a couple of good Progressive lawyers, should you ever need one: Barry Scheck and Seth Price. We have a complete list of those we like to occasionally recommend at the bottom of our right sidebar.

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