Leaked audio has revealed "political jiu-jitsu" used by big utility companies in their portrayal of a proposed amendment to the Florida constitution. A campaign in favor of the amendment has been deliberately deceiving voters into believing Amendment 1 is pro-solar. In an enlightening October 2nd speech to conservative groups, Sal Nuzzo, VP of the James Madison Institute, boasted about misleading the public into thinking that Amendment 1 - appearing on Florida ballots as Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice - would protect solar energy in Florida. [more inside]
In case you were wondering about [a conspicuous lack of] the Koch Brothers' involvement in the 2016 US political elections, here is the inside scoop. [more inside]
Jane Mayer takes on the Koch Brothers [1,2,3] - "For decades, billionaire libertarians Charles and David Koch have spent millions trying to reduce the size of government and slash regulations, making the brothers a target of the political Left and campaign finance reformers. But few people have dug deeper into the Koch empire and family history than New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, author of the new book 'Dark Money'. Among other revelations, she alleges that the brothers hired private detectives to investigate her after she published articles critical of them. We talk to Mayer about the book and about what the rise of Donald Trump means for the Kochs and their allies." (previously)
Are the Koch brothers creating a shadow voter list to outmaneuver the RNC? Or is it not that big of a deal? Regardless, I get a little choked up when I see an article so thorough and informative--evidence of why a free press and relative transparency in government are so important.
For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity. [more inside]
On the day before Danielle Smalley was to leave for college, she and her friend Jason Stone were hanging out in her family's mobile home. Seventeen years old, with long chestnut hair, Danielle began to feel nauseated. "Dad," she said, "we smell gas." It was 3:45 in the afternoon on August 24th, 1996, near Lively, Texas, some 50 miles southeast of Dallas. The Smalleys were too poor to own a telephone. So the teens jumped into her dad's 1964 Chevy pickup to alert the authorities. As they drove away, the truck stalled where the driveway crossed a dry creek bed. Danielle cranked the ignition, and a fireball engulfed the truck. "You see two children burned to death in front of you – you never forget that," Danielle's father, Danny, would later tell reporters. [more inside]
Kochs Plan to Spend $900 Million on 2016 Campaign - "an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history... These donors represent the largest concentration of political money outside the party establishment, one that has achieved enormous power in Republican circles in recent years. Now the Kochs' network will embark on its largest drive ever to influence legislation and campaigns across the country, leveraging Republican control of Congress and the party's dominance of state capitols to push for deregulation, tax cuts and smaller government."
State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax. The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
The Trials Of Nadia Naffe
Young, attractive, ambitious, conservative, and black, Nadia Naffe should have been a right-wing operative’s dream. For a time, she was. Naffe served as a campaign coordinator in Florida for George W. Bush’s re-election effort, hobnobbed with conservative superstars like Andrew Breitbart, and joined the production team of James O’Keefe, the shock-videographer whose pranks humiliated NPR and made ACORN a dirty word. ...And then, in a single night nearly two years after they first met, Naffe’s life became a nightmare.[more inside]
"He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York, and he fiercely loved its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II." - a self-written epitaph by the former 105"Hizzoner" passed away on Friday morning at the age of 88, and the New York Times City Room blog spent the day collecting and posting stories about him. [more inside]
thMayor of New York City: Edward Irving Koch.
Revamped visual data on the world's billionaires: Bloomberg Billionaires
The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
In October 2010, William Niskanen, the 78-year-old economist and minority shareholder in the Cato Institute, died. The Koch Brothers, the liberal boogeymen who also finance most of the Cato Institute's operations, are now seeking control over Niskanen's shares and have sued the remaining shareholder and founder of the institute, Ed Crane III, in order to cement their control over the institute's future. [more inside]
Bloomberg markets report Koch Brothers Flout Law - Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales. Apparently, they knew this story was coming and began pre-butting it last week.
In December 2010, a Koch Industries press release spoof (Scribd; alt: screencap) was posted on a website that mimicked the appearance of the official site for Koch Industries. The press release stated that Koch would no longer support research and advocacy initiatives that denied or questioned the human role in climate change. The press release was quickly identified as a hoax, and both the fake press release and site disappeared quickly, yet the Koch company pursued the identities of those behind the stunt, going as far as to file a lawsuit to expose the anonymous pranksters as part of a larger lawsuit. This past Monday, the lawsuit was thrown out of court in Utah, with the judge citing that parody is not commercial speech, and thus a First Amendment issue. [more inside]
A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university. [more inside]
There's been a lot of talk about Koch lately, mostly in regard to Wisconsin and Michigan. Now the billionaire Tea Party financiers have turned their eyes to Canada, and are set to lobby the Alberta government. Previously.
An axegrinding tradition: the Buffalo Beast has posted its annual list of the 50 Most Loathsome People in America (previously)
Is anti-TSA outrage right wing "catnip"? The Nation called the activism Koch-funded astroturfing, than apologized. Radley Balko finds the magazine hypocritical. At least one politician has gone catnip crazy: Eugene Delgaudio, who claims in an email sent by the activist that patdowns are part of a "homosexual agenda" to get "pleasure from your submission."
Touchless Automatic Wonder is a web-based series of photographs by Lewis Koch, emphasizing found text.
Max Koch is a writer/actor who does a few impressions, the most notable being an uncanny Tony Soprano. Also worth seeing: Gary Busey, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. Audio NSFW.