Monthly Archives: August 2014

Who else was at that secret Koch brothers meeting?

email from Elizabeth Warren, 8/30/14

Mitch McConnell wasn’t the only 2014 Senate candidate at the secret Koch brothers strategy meeting caught on tape.

Three other Republican Senate nominees – Joni Ernst from Iowa, Tom Cotton from Arkansas, and Cory Gardner from Colorado – were all at the same retreat. They all more or less said the same thing:

Republican Joni Ernst told the millionaires and billionaires in the room that they were responsible for her rise in the Republican Party.

Republican Tom Cotton credited those same millionaires and billionaires for changing the whole political landscape in his state.

And Republican Cory Gardner said that outside money – millionaire and billionaire money – would decide his race.

That’s what our candidates are up against: a Republican Party bought and paid for by millionaires and billionaires in secret closed-door meetings. Can you help our Democratic candidates in Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa, and Colorado fight back?

Donate right now to Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mark Pryor, Bruce Braley, and Mark Udall’s campaigns to send a message to the Koch brothers and their millionaire and billionaire friends: We’re not backing down.

This election in 2014 is about whose side you stand on, and the people in that Koch brothers meeting have made their positions clear.

They support loopholes and special breaks for millionaires and billionaires, while the federal government makes billions in profit off of our kids’ student loans. Big oil companies – some of the most profitable companies on the planet – are guzzling down billions of dollars in subsidies, while programs like Social Security and Medicare are constantly under attack.

In other words, the game is still rigged to make the rich and powerful even more rich and powerful. And if the Koch brothers and all the people who attended that meeting have their way, the playing field will only get more tilted in their favor.

Now here’s the scary part about all of this: We’re only a few votes away from losing the U.S. Senate this November. Every single one of the Republicans in that meeting – in Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa, and Colorado – is within just a couple of points of our Democratic candidates in the polls.

We’ve stood up to the powerful interests before, and we can do it again. Donate now to Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mark Pryor, Bruce Braley and Mark Udall’s campaigns before August 31st.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

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Filed under Right Wing, US Senate

Why We Should Not Go To War Over James Foley

By John Grant, This Can’t Be Happening, 8/27/14

Break the Vengeance Cycle

Back in June 2011, James Foley gave an hour-long interview to an auditorium of students from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he had graduated three years earlier with a Master’s degree in journalism. It was 15 days after he had been released from 45 rough days of captivity in Libya. He was a handsome young hero returning to his alma-mater.

In a recent item in The New Yorker, Mark Singer quotes Foley that his Libyan captivity was “a cautionary tale.” He makes it clear to the journalism students at Medill that the business of covering wars was pretty new to him when he was snatched in Libya in early 2011.

“I started as a leftist war protester,” he tells interviewer Timothy McNulty, a Medill professor and former editor at the Chicago Tribune. Foley’s brother was a soldier in Iraq, which led him to sympathize with his brother. He began to feel pulled to get into the middle of conflict himself. He aspired to become an active voice in the affairs of the world. So at Medill he took academic coursework on covering international conflicts. Singer points out he participated in something called the National Security Journalism Initiative, in which ex-British commandos grabbed him in a mock kidnapping and shot blanks by his head they’d covered with a bag.

In the interview, he says one thing the US military learned in Vietnam was the need to control journalists. So they came up with the “embed” idea. With a shiny Masters degree in hand, he got a job embedded with a US National Guard unit in Iraq….

Continue reading and follow links at This Can’t Be Happening, 8/27/14

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Filed under Iraq, John Grant, Peace, Security, Terrorism, War

Nation Debates Extremely Complex Issue of Children Firing Military Weapons

Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, 8/28/14

Across the United States on Wednesday, a heated national debate began on the extremely complex issue of children firing military weapons.

“Every now and then, the nation debates an issue that is so complicated and tricky it defies easy answers,” says pollster Davis Logsdon. “Letting small children fire automatic weapons is such an issue.”

Logsdon says that the thorny controversy is reminiscent of another ongoing national debate, about whether it is a good idea to load a car with dynamite and drive it into a tree….

continue reading at The New Yorker

[But this one is not a satire: Christina Wilkie, “NRA: ‘Children Can Have Fun At The Shooting Range,'” Huffington Post, 8/27/2014.]

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Filed under Guns, violence, crime, Satire

10 Frightening Promises by GOP Senate Candidates Secretly Taped at Koch Brothers Summit

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet, 8/27/14

These excerpts show what is at stake in the November 2014 election should the GOP win control of both chambers

When politicians talk, money listens. So it was this past June when Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and three other 2014 Republican senate candidates told the millionaires in Charles and David Kochs’ anti-government network exactly what the return would be on their political investments if they bankrolled their electoral campaigns.

Politicians running for national office aren’t blunt. But from McConnell on down, these office holders and candidates made it clear that investing in the prospect of a Republican Senate majority would mean an end to immigration reform; a broad attack on regulations (at the EPA, SEC, IRS and others); gutting Obamacare; keeping student loan interest rates high; no minimum wage hikes; and no unemployment insurance extensions.

These were some of the promises made to donors, who were urged to bankroll “independent” front groups campaigning on their behalf, as revealed by a series of recordings obtained by several news organizations and published Wednesday….

continue reading at AlterNet

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Filed under 2014 election, Right Wing, US Senate