BREAKING: House Republicans just took the 50th vote to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act. That means taking away the huge benefits that Americans are already enjoying—and taking away coverage from millions. (It also means they’re still attacking this law, instead of working on issues Americans really care about—like immigration reform, fair pay, voting rights, the economy…)
Jokes aside, we don’t think it’s much to be proud of.
A rare look inside the Koch brothers political empire
by Matea Gold, The Washington Post
The labyrinthian design of the political network backed by the Koch brothers and their fellow conservative donors serves several purposes, but one of the biggest is to ensure the privacy of its financial backers. As we detailed last month, the money flows through a complex maze of tax-exempt groups and limited liability corporations, creating multiple barriers that shield the identities of the donors. Such anonymous contributions should be allowed, Charles Koch has argued, to protect people from the attacks that he and his brother David and their company have fielded. Critics say the Kochs and their allies seek to influence elections without accountability.
Now a document published by Mother Jones provides a rare glimpse inside the closely held network. The spreadsheet — apparently left behind by a guest who attended a recent Koch-sponsored donor seminar at a resort outside Palm Springs – lists the names of more than 40 top donors, along with the senior Koch officials they met with during the three-day conclave.
This is not the first time we’ve learned the names of some of the Koch network donors. But the document reveals the vast resources of the group’s backers, which includes top corporate executives, hedge fund billionaires and longtime Republican financiers. Several of those in attendance also have been top contributors to American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove.
Among the notable attendees identified were:
*Papa John pizza chain founder John Schnatter
*Kenneth Griffin, chief executive of Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel
*Debra Waller, chief executive of Jockey International
*Silicon Valley real estate investor Carl Berg
The spreadsheet shows the personal attention that the Kochs and their operatives lavish on donors. Charles Koch was scheduled to hold one-on-ones with at least nine contributors, including private equity investor John Childs and TRT Holdings co-founder Robert Rowling, who were set to have sessions with him at the “Koch residence.” Many donors also met with senior staff at Americans for Prosperity, the major political arm of the network, which is in the midst of a huge campaign against vulnerable congressional Democrats. Top officials with Freedom Partners, a new tax-exempt business league that funds AFP and the other nonprofit groups, also were set to be in some of the meetings.
"It has long been reported that AFP participates in the Seminar,” said AFP spokesman Levi Russell. “It’s a great assembly of organizations and individuals who support free-market solutions, and includes some of the greatest job creators in the country. AFP is proud to be a part of it.”
A spokesman for Koch Industries declined to comment, and officials at Freedom Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
New GOP bills take reproductive decisions away from women -
Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the aggressive and relentless anti-choice agenda of Republicans.The bill even specifically establishes a nationwide ban on having an abortion in the event you find out your fetus is nonviable — it cannot live. A determination of that sad circumstance is often not made until 20 weeks into the pregnancy, but if you find out tragically that the fetus has no brain or no skull or its lungs are not going to be developed and it cannot survive, Trent Franks’ nationwide abortion ban would apply to those cases specifically as well. So if your doctor tells you your pregnancy cannot produce a baby that will live, Republican Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona will nevertheless force you to carry the nonviable fetus to term and go through child birth because he says so. Nationwide. No exceptions. A woman cannot make that decision herself. She cannot make that decision with her family or her doctor. Trent Franks will decide that for you.This is what the Republicans are doing with their power in the House of Representatives. With the power that they’ve got in the states, they’re being even more aggressive.
Tumblr won’t let me embed videos right now, so I’m sharing the link instead, but you’ll definitely want to watch the video.
Meet the Powerful Billionaire Family Hell Bent on Imposing Their Right-Wing Agenda and Defunding the Left -
They beat the labor movement in its own backyard. Next up: your state?
Police seizing a big bunch of weed in Humboldt County, where residents dependent on sales of (illegal) marijuana are divided on the subject of legalization.
Two bald eagles in air battle crash-land at airport
Dude these two eagles were fighting mid-air and got stuck. They crash landed at an airport and both survived.
How hardcore is that? Look at their faces tho.
Its like “I swear to GAWD Jerry”
If this isn’t the best metaphor for congress I don’t know what is.
Gahhhh I am glad they are okay!
George Takei Threatens Arizona With A Boycott -
Activist George Takei has written a scathing open letter to the state of Arizona over the passage of SB1062 - what he has named the “turn away the gays” bill. Read it for yourself.
Hagan says coal ash issue needs study :: WRAL.com -
As U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan filed for re-election, she said she wants to “review the science” on coal ash. A bill pending in the U.S. Senate would direct the EPA to treat coal ash as “nonhazardous.”
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) says coal ash needs more study. So does NCDENR and Duke Energy.
After thirty-plus years, how much more study do we need? I agree, it’s always good to continue learning, but we already know what needs to be done with coal ash. What we don’t need are more of these politically-inspired delay tactics.
In 2011, I shadowed several citizens as they met with members of Hagan’s staff. So, I know with all certainty that her office has been aware of coal ash issues in her state for at least two and a half years.
Further, when I told her staff members that NCDENR was being shady when it came to sharing public records about groundwater monitoring I was told to call her office if I needed their help.
So … today’s statements are just confusing and smack of political posturing.