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Cuccinelli’s Koch Party

koch button.jpgBillionaire and right-wing Tea Party funder David Koch has next to nothing in common with the Virginia working families Ken Cuccinelli wants to represent as Governor. But tonight, Cuccinelli will be collecting big checks from Koch and his right-wing buddies, not working for Virginia families.

Virginians know how this works -- corporate sponsors who fund multi-million dollar political campaigns call the shots once their candidates are in office. Given Ken Cuccinelli's history of memory lapses when it comes to fully reporting gifts from well-heeled friends like Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Virginians certainly have cause to worry.

Cuccinelli has already received $50,000 from Koch Industries for his gubernatorial campaign and tonight's invitation plainly states, "Please note that 'Ken Cuccinelli for Governor' is able to accept unlimited corporate, personal, and PAC contributions."

What's with the Koch addiction? Cuccinelli's priorities are far more in sync with David Koch than with Virginia families. Consider: (cont'd)

Cautionary Tale: What Happens When the Tea Party Takes Over (Alternative...

North Carolina WAS a pretty progressive state for an increasingly purple one. It had even enshrined North Carolinians' right to clean air and water in the state constitution. That was then. The Tea Party has shoved NC into a headlong list of "never minds" and rewrites of law sending our state back to the 19th Century. Sound familiar? The NC House of Delegates became a laughing stock, when in 2012, it forbade state scientists study of the rise of sea levels.  (You wouldn't want to provide evidence that global warming is real, would you. Snark, for the literalists out there.) Also in 2012 it went headlong into an effort to open the state to horizontal fracking and pretend to protect the public against its ravages.

Then, yesterday, the NC House Commerce Committee passed a bill to repeal NC's alternate fuels standards. The downward trajectory of NC continues in full bloom. If you have been asking how low can NC go, you haven't seen the end of the absurdity the GA, or Art Pope's puppet governor are concocting. Here is the background:

Peter Peterson, the Billion Dollars He Has Used to Fund...

We know about Citizens United's effect on ad buys this election cycle. There is a recent story floating out there from August alleging that the Koch Brothers may have "bought" Paul Ryan's place on the GOP ticket for a cool $100 million donation to the 2012 GOP effort. The allegation appears in the second link. Then there's Karl Rove, who  infused every empty ad space in America  with his half billion in reality creation.  You'll recall that Rove famously said he creates reality.  (Reality is what he says it is.) And then there is Pete Peterson, bizarrely hailed as a serious patriot. The schtick is that he loves America so much he is spending 1 billion dollars to steer America away from being a nation which cares about its people and toward a draconian future. Patriot?  Not hardly. The man is a hard-line zealot, who uses the meme of bipatisanship to reel in suckered Dems along with right-wing Republicans to destroy the middle class. If the middle class has anything, he wants it gone, and in the hands of the elites.  And 1 billion is a small price to pay to divest you and me of our pensions, our savings, our health care, simply everything. It's all about greed and contempt for the rest of Americans.

When it comes to the Tea Party and the infusion of Ayn Rand "philosophy" into today's politics, Peterson and Koch are names joined at the hip and in their contempt for the Middle Class. And Paul Ryan is their candidate. It also makes one think. You have to be really spiteful to dedicate thirty years of your life to ruin old people all the while you are unbelievably wealthy.  Who does that?   But Pete Peterson has corrupted the process even more. Spending "his" money to destroy Medicare, Social Security. He hates public schools, poverty programs, food stamps, health care and the middle class, but Peterson has particularly ramped up his effort to destroy Social Security and Medicare using the phony "fiscal cliff" manipulation the GOP tried a year ago.  

New TV ad targets Kaine’s fiscal policies with bogus claims and...


The Koch brothers financed Americans for Prosperity, a libertarian foundation, released a new Television ad targeting U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia.  The 32 second ad attempts to paint Tim Kaine as a "deficit spender" and a tax hiking paragon in typical sound-bite fashion.

Aside from the usual rhetorical flourishes, a quick look at Americans for Prosperity's official website demonstrates the group's focus on reducing the size of government and lowering taxes.  

According to AFP's Virginia director, Audrey Jackson, Tim Kaine "can't spend your way to prosperity or tax your way to economic freedom."
As usual, no evidence was given to substantiate these bogus claims.

As is often the case, however, what conservatives and economic libertarians take as gross spending of taxpayer money is the soundest way to stimulate our nation's economy so that more American's can experience economic freedom.  In other words, "short-term stimulus with long-term discipline."  

Heartland Institute, Fred Singer Uncovered as Non-Profit Fraud & Fraudulent Climate...

UPDATE by Lowell: Note the Fred Singer, mentioned below, is a professor emeritus at UVA. For more on Singer, see DeSmogBlog, which broke this story and which is doing superb work on this issue.
With so much at stake for climate change deniers who make millions, or even billions, of dollars as a direct or indirect result of their fossil fuel intensive business practices, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that these same businesses have financed pseudo "non-profits" like the Heartland Institute to permeate their lies about climate change throughout American society. Indeed, a new report by John Mashey has uncovered the skeletons that the Heartland Institute has attempted to keep inside its closet like its naked efforts to subvert the truth of climate change with denial-rhetoric bankrolled by (guess who) the Charles G. Koch Foundation and a number of others.

Here are a few of the no-no's perpetrated by the Heartland Institute according to Mashey's report:

New Bloomberg Story Shows Far-Flung Predatory “Capitalism” of Koch Industries

At its best, capitalism is the best of the historic economic systems.  At its best, the capitalist system renders the American Dream attainable for most Americans, even as the wealthy are well-heeled.  For some of the well-heeled, though, that isn't enough.  For some, it's anything goes.  At its worst, the capitalist system becomes entirely predatory, wrapping itself inside out as it ultimately devours itself.  That process is under way as I write this.  And at its worst, it is something right out of today's news (specifically, an expose by Bloomberg News). The story about which I write is one detailing alleged exploitation, and alleged corruption by Koch Industries. There are several allegations of wrongdoing.  These are pretty amazing allegations in this article, not from a liberal blog, but from Bloomberg News! The expose is a must read here. According to Bloomberg's Asjylyn Loder and David Evans, the Koch Brothers, are not just political meddlers and libertarian extremists, but corporate ones (extremists) as well.  They appear to be the poster children for why regulation is necessary and should be maintained, improved and re-enforced.

Like it or not, it is almost certain you indirectly support capitalism run amok with your purchases. If you have Stainmaster carpet, you feed Koch Industries. If you buy Angel Soft or Quilted Northern TP, you feed the Koch machine to the tune of about $7 a week. If you are a woman with Lycra in your clothing (It's not just for shape-wear and swimsuits any more. Even slacks, jeans and shirts now tend to have it) you are feeding the Koch Brothers. (I plead guilty.) Would that our donations to the Tea Party were put to more productive use!!!!!  But our purchases ought to be directed more productively and profitably for our own interests and those of most Americans. (Note to self...)

But, aside from being one of the largest privately held companies in the US, Kochs' biggest product is the "Astroturf" organizations they've built to launch the so-called Tea Party movement and capture the politics of America. You owe it to yourself to read up and remember the details of the Bloomberg article.  It will come in handy (over and over) as we in Virginia try to stave off a complete Tea Party takeover of the Virginia Senate. Go ahead.  Read it!  Then, ask yourselves how patriotic these so-called Tea party "patriots" really are.

Koch-star List Revealed to Mother Jones: What Next?


If you haven't already heard the big news, the bi-annual Koch billionaire bonanza list of all-stars was revealed exclusively to Mother Jones via audio recording. Not surprisingly, the list is a who's who of American billionaires who enjoy throwing millions of dollars at U.S. politicians and attempting to destroy anything with a "big government" taint on it. So now that the public has at least a partial list of this anti-regulatory, anti-middle class, group of Koch-stars, what's to be done about it?  

The Return of the Chain Gang?

A distinctive feature of driving through Georgia when I was a child was the chain gang of prisoners in their traditional, striped black and white costumes, working on the roads, always accompanied by brown-uniformed armed guards.  You could also see them in other Southern states, but they gradually disappeared over time. Well, prison labor is coming back, thanks to the policies of state governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and, also soon no doubt to his avid followers among other Republican governors in Ohio, Michigan, Maine, Florida, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma.  

First, Governor Walker eliminated collective bargaining and began dismantling public unions.  This opened the way to replacing public workers with prison labor.  According to ThinkProgress, inmates are replacing many formerly unionized civic workers for free---- although they may receive "time off" for good behavior and good work. Racine County, for example, is already using inmates to do "landscaping, painting, and other basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers."

ThinkProgress also reported that The Washington Examiner called Racine's move "another success story... all great news for Wisconsin taxpayers. Hopefully, we'll see more of it."  While some may applaud giving prisoners "more work and activity options," using prisoners (often from privatized prisons) to replace public sector workers is somewhat disturbing, especially in view of the large increase nationally in the numbers of unemployed precisely because of those layoffs of public workers by state and municipal governments. Republican efforts in Washington, D.C., and in the States proceed on their deliberate path of re-wrecking America's economy and forcing us into a double-dip recession.

Meet Attorney General Kochinelli

Cross-posted on Daily Kos

Mega-corporation Koch Industries today bought the naming rights to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for an undisclosed sum.  As part of the deal, the attorney general shall from this point forward be known as "Kochinelli".  

The billionaire Koch brothers decided to formalize their ownership of the Attorney General after Mr. Kochinelli demonstrated his value by launching a new lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection Agency in the hope of overturning EPA's finding that climate change represents a danger to human health.  As David Koch put it: "In the interest of full disclosure, I figured we may as well let the world know how proud we are of our investment in this guy."

Mr. Kochinelli has been one of the most aggressive proponents of the climate change conspiracy that the Koch brothers have worked so diligently to advance.  He has even launched an all-out assault against Thomas Jefferson's proudest creation, the University of Virginia - a state institution that the Commonwealth's attorney general is actually bound by law to defend - with the goal of putting one of the world's most accomplished climate scientists, Professor Michael Mann, behind bars. The charge?  "Fraud" - in other words, science that goes against the corporate interest of the Koch Brothers.  

Let's be clear: according to Greenpeace, the Koch Brothers to date have plowed an eye-popping $55 million into climate denial groups.  Like any good businessmen, they understandably want to protect their investment - and the acquisition of Kochinelli is a wise business strategy to do so.  

See, Bob McDonnell promised he would bring new investment to Virginia!  This acquisition is good for the Koch Brother's oil holdings, it's good for Attorney General Kochinelli, and it's good for those with an interest in hastening the End of Days.  (Floods?  Check!  Killer hurricanes and tornados?  Check? Heat waves?  Check!  Tropical disease?  Check!  Mass migrations?  Check!  Climate change - the perfect solution for all your apocalyptic cravings.)  Win, win, win.

Yes, I know that some lefty, commie, pinko, Spotted Owl-huggers will see this as "corruption" or a "sell out".  But the business of America is business, and therefore the business of America's politicians has to be business, and they might as well be handsomely compensated for their work, since that's how business works.  

But hurry on down to Richmond, folks, because the naming rights to Gov. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling are still up for grabs!