Posted: October 21, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Benghazi, Charles Koch, David Brock, David Koch, Democratic Party, DOJ, FBI, Freedom Partners, GOP, Hillary Clinton, Koch, New York Times, Presidential Campaign 2016, propaganda
Source: The New York Times
Posted: September 3, 2014 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, The Butcher's Notebook | Tags: Democratic Party, Democratic Party (United States), hallucinogens, Harry Reid, Koch, Koch family, LSD, Parody, Reid, satire, Senate
“When I move my hand…like this…pretty colors…”
(WASHINGTON D.C.) Rumors are swirling in both Democratic and Republican campaign headquarters about Senator Harry Reid‘s alleged use of psychoactive drugs, recreationally, including hallucinogens, though what kinds remain uncertain. In the last few months, in advance of Reid’s near-certain retirement as Senate majority leader, Reid’s mood appeared to be melancholy, say sources close to the Senator.
“His attacks on the Koch brothers seemed increasingly insincere, as though he were just going through the motions,” said a campaign staff worker, who spoke to punditfromanotherplanet on the condition of anonymity.
Others near the Senator concur. “Even while blocking bills from reaching the floor, helping to raise money for negative TV ad campaigns, engaging in partisan attacks against Republican opponents in public, and complaining about president Obama in private, his voice seemed hollow, his posture, defeated,” said a reporter who covers the Capitol.
In recent weeks, however, according to close observers, Reid’s demeanor has improved. “He smiles for no reason, sings quietly to himself, and carries on stream-of-consciousness monologues to anyone who will listen”, complained a staff member. Reid’s mood is elevated, some say, to the point of euphoria, which has caused concern among his closest supporters. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 7, 2014 Filed under: Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Harry Reid, Koch, Koch family, Mediaite, Party leaders of the United States Senate, Reid, Republican Party (United States), Senate
“I know it sounds absurd, but it’s true.”
Senator Harry Reid has found something else to blame on the Koch brothers: climate change. Taking to the Senate floor, the majority leader called the philanthropic businessmen “one of the main causes” of the phenomenon.
“While the Koch brothers admit to not being experts on the matter, these billionaire oil tycoons are certainly experts at contributing to climate change — that’s what they do very well. They are one of the main causes of this — not a cause, one of the main causes.”
Reid went on to claim the brothers were the “biggest air and water polluters period” and were “waging a war against anything that protects the environment.” “I know it sounds absurd, but it’s true,” he said…(read more)
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Posted: May 4, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Law & Justice, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: censorship, Chuck Schumer, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Democratic, Democrats, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Freedom of speech, Harry Reid, Koch
For Commentary Magazine, Seth Mandel writes: A common pattern in American political discourse is for conservatives to accuse liberals of some statist extremism, liberals to insist the complaint has no merit whatsoever, and then when it’s clear conservatives are on to something liberals lament, more in sorrow than in anger, that conservatives had a point but took it way too far. How vindicated conservatives then feel if information comes to light to back up their warnings about the slippery slope of state power.
“I’m not sure how many times the White House and Democratic congressional leadership can hope to get their party to vote for abusive federal power grabs that are openly hostile to public opinion and individual rights.”
The evolution of the Democrats’ deranged attacks on the Koch brothers and political participation in general has followed precisely this pattern. The trickle of mentions of the Kochs turned into a flood, as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid became thoroughly incapable of discussing any topic–campaign finance, Ukraine, the minimum wage–without calling out the libertarian philanthropists. He called their participation in the political process “un-American” in an ever-escalating crusade to declare them former people and seek to pressure the judiciary into permitting limitations on free speech rights.
“Schumer has proposed a solution: no need to change the policies to adhere to public opinion if you can just restrict the public’s ability to express that opinion.”
Conservatives warned that high-profile Democrats’ hostility to the First Amendment was liable to result in the curbing of Americans’ constitutional rights. Liberals scoffed. Yet now, the Hill reports, Democrats–who haven’t exactly been models of subtlety, but who at least permitted liberals some plausible deniability–are through beating around the bush. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer has announced his party’s newest midterm election strategy: amend the Constitution to rein in its free speech protections. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 1, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Democratic, Harry Reid, Koch, Koch family, National Review, Senate, Tom Steyer, United States
For National Review Online, Eliana Johnson writes: The 2014 ad war is on, with billionaires in both parties taking aim at each other in competing advertisements up in swing states.
In a new ad released Monday, the Koch network is pushing back against its Democratic critics, chief among them Harry Reid, and one of his billionaire backers.
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Posted: March 31, 2014 Filed under: Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Koch, Koch family, Matthew Continetti, Mitt Romney, Senate, United States
Matthew Continetti writes: Another man might have assumed, correctly, that launching a campaign of insult and insinuation against two billionaires would result in renewed attention to his own finances. Not Harry Reid. The Senate Democratic leader since 2005, and the Senate majority leader since 2007, is not one to reflect before speaking. His mouth runs far ahead of his brain.
“Reid and his family appear to work within the confines of the law, which should not be surprising, because Reid writes that law…”
In recent years Reid has declared an American war “lost” while our troops still fought overseas; praised President Obama for his “light” skin and “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”; asserted falsely and without evidence thatMitt Romney had not paid any taxes for a decade; and said “Why would we want to do that?” when asked if he would fund cancer research during the government shutdown.
“What Reid did not explain was that the bill promised a cavalcade of benefits to real estate developers, corporations, and local institutions that were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees to his sons’ and son-in-law’s firms.”
Now, with his majority in danger, his president unpopular, his floor agenda obstructed by members of his own caucus, Reid thrashes about uncontrollably. He calls Obamacare horror stories “untrue.” He says Obamacare numbers are not as high as projected because Americans “are not educated on how to use the Internet.” His Senate Majority PAC launches a $3 million ad campaign tying Republican candidates to two men most Americans have never heard of, two men who, funnily enough, are more popular than Reid.
“…the Washington Post in 2012 ‘uncovered nearly 50 members who helped direct millions of dollars in earmarks to projects that either held the potential to enhance the surroundings of a lawmaker’s own property, or aided entities connected to their immediate family,’ and one of those members was Reid.”
From the floor of the Senate Reid says these two men, Charles and David Koch, are “un-American,” are trying “to buy America.” Without the terrible specter of the Koch brothers Harry Reid would be disarmed. He has no issue for his Democratic Senators to run on; the minimum wage and climate change are not enough. Nor has he another means of inspiring donors to open their checkbooks. He only has fear, fear of the Kochs, fear of extractive industry, fear of the portion of the elite that favors economic freedom. The Koch brothers, Reid says, “rig the system to benefit themselves.” He should know.
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Posted: March 29, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, U.S. News | Tags: Baptist, Democratic, Gun control, Jonah Goldberg, Keystone Pipeline, Koch, Koch Brothers, Leland Yee, media
Jonah Goldberg writes: Leland Yee, a Democratic state senator and candidate for secretary of state in California, has been a longtime champion of gun control. This week he was arrested on numerous charges, including conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and conspiracy to illegally transport firearms. Yee, a prominent foe of assault weapons, allegedly took bribes to set up a meeting between an undercover agent and an international arms dealer to broker the sale of automatic weapons and shoulder-fired missiles. A lengthy FBI affidavit also describes Yee’s ties to a Chinese triad and his desire to help out Islamist militants.
In short, the story makes for what journalists call “good copy.”
And yet, so far no reporter has raised the possibility that Yee supported tighter restrictions on guns in order to keep gun prices high and his own services in demand. Economist Bruce Yandle popularized the idea of the “Bootleggers and Baptists” coalition. The apocryphal Baptists want to ban alcohol. Bootleggers don’t make much money when liquor can be bought legally at a grocery store or bar. So the bootleggers bankroll the Baptists’ effort to ban booze.
[Jonah’s latest book, The Tyranny of Cliches, is available at Amazon]
Now I sincerely doubt that Yee was that clever. The more likely explanation is that he believes in gun control and he’s a greedy hypocrite (and maybe not too bright either). The fact that gun-control policies are to his advantage is just a happy coincidence.
What’s interesting — and vexing — to me is that this sort of analysis is all the rage when it comes to conservatives and Republicans, and utterly incomprehensible to most journalists when it comes to liberals and Democrats. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 23, 2014 Filed under: Politics | Tags: Democratic, Jane Mayer, Koch, Koch family, Matthew Continetti, Santa Claus, Tom Steyer, Washington Post
We’re supposed to believe the Kochs are evil but leftist billionaires are disinterested givers?
Matthew Continetti writes: Some lies just won’t go away. In February the Washington Post published an article with the following headline: “Why There’s No Democratic Version of the Koch Brothers’ Organization.” It was the umpteenth attempt to explain, in a particularly simplistic manner, how the millionaires and billionaires who donate money to the Democratic party are nothing, absolutely nothing, like those meanie cancer-research philanthropists Charles and David Koch.
“Does Reid Wilson believe in Santa Claus? His willingness to suspend disbelief when confronted with the image of a mythic creature — the un-self-interested liberal — suggests as much. The words “labor” and “union” appear nowhere in his article, despite the fact that unions are six of the ten top all-time donors…”
The author, Reid Wilson, interviewed “Democratic strategists who deal frequently with high-dollar donors,” and these Democratic strategists told him, strategically, that their high-dollar donors are better than Republican ones. “For the Koch brothers, electing the right candidate can mean a financial windfall,” Wilson wrote. “Democratic donors revolve more around social issues.” On the one hand you have petty, greedy rich men, and on the other you have committed liberals willing to sacrifice for causes they believe in. The morality play writes itself. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 29, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Austan Goolsbee, Barack Obama, Koch, Koch Industries, Mark Holden, President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Weekly Standard, White House
Why did a former White House official delete a statement about Koch Industries taxes?
In August 2010, Austan Goolsbee, serving at the time as economic adviser to President Obama, told reporters during an anonymous background briefing that Koch Industries doesn’t pay corporate income taxes. That statement was made at the same time that top Democrats, including President Obama himself, were demonizing Charles and David Koch, the owners of Koch Industries, for giving money to Tea Party groups. Goolsbee’s remark led to a federal investigation, the results of which have never been released.
In a September 2010 WEEKLY STANDARD interview, Mark Holden, a lawyer for Koch Industries, disputed Goolsbee’s claim and asked how Goolsbee came up with the idea that Koch Industries doesn’t pay corporate taxes. Holden raised the question of whether someone in the Obama administration might have looked at Koch Industries’ tax returns–which would be a violation of a federal law that was enacted in 1976 in response to Watergate.
The White House never formally explained how it came up with the claim, but an anonymous White House official told Ben Smith, then a reporter at Politico, that the claim was based on testimony to President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and publicly available sources, such as Forbes magazine and Koch Industries’ website. Koch lawyer Mark Holden said the White House’s explanation didn’t make sense: “[C]ontrary to the administration official’s statement on what sources were used by the administration, neither the Koch website nor Forbes‘ list of private companies has information regarding Koch’s tax filing status. This is confidential information.”
A letter from Republican senators led to an investigation by Treasury inspector general J. Russell George. But after the investigation was completed, George wrote in an October 2011 letter to Senator Charles Grassley that, due to confidentiality provisions of the law, he could not tell Grassley if anyone had illegally accessed Koch Industries tax returns or if the inspector general had taken any actions following his investigation. The inspector general wrote that the only members of Congress who can access confidential tax information are the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Spokesmen for the Senate Finance Committee did not reply to a WEEKLY STANDARD inquiry about whether Chairman Max Baucus has the authority to release the report.
Without the inspector general’s report, we don’t know where the White House came up with the claim that Koch Industries doesn’t pay corporate income taxes. But earlier this month, Austan Goolsbee offered a new explanation in light of the unfolding IRS scandal. Goolsbee wrote on Twitter:
via The Weekly Standard
Posted: May 13, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere, Reading Room | Tags: $600 million, Brett Arends, Chicago Tribune, Koch, Koch family, Los Angeles Times, Newspaper, Tribune Company
5 corrupting influences are keeping the public from the facts
By Brett Arends
It’s become a cliché these days to say you don’t trust the media. But you know what? You’re right not to do so.
The problems aren’t as bad as they appear. They are much, much worse.
And, as usual, almost everyone is focused on exactly the wrong things.
The problem isn’t that the occasional journalist makes a mistake on deadline. We’re human, folks. The problem isn’t big business, or corporate control. It isn’t even the Koch brothers. If you’re a liberal, you should probably want them to blow $600 million on a loss-making newspaper company.
Here are the real problems. And I don’t see any solutions.
Once upon a time, newspaper companies put out one newspaper per day. Even reporters on deadline had until 6 p.m. or even later to investigate, report, write and check their stories before filing.
Those working on features could spend weeks or even months on them. Mistakes still happened, of course, because people are human. But at least there was time for thought. Today? Nah. We want it now. We want the news as fast as Twitter, or faster — oh, but with lots of checking too. That’s why CNN misreported an arrest in the Boston bombings when none had actually occurred. That was one reason why Kurtz blundered in a blog post about gay basketball player Jason Collins: As Kurtz later admitted, he simply hadn’t read the original Collins interview closely enough.
Personally, I think the kerfuffle over these errors was massively overdone. People make mistakes. (My sympathies are usually with the journalist in these circumstances, although Kurtz is to some extent hoist with his own petard.) But there’s a more important point here – one that affects the public, and not just the media crowd.
With reporters increasingly running around like headless chickens, perpetually tweeting, blogging, doing videos and writing stories, this is going to happen more and more. It’s inevitable. You, the public, are going to end up being served a diet of rubbish.
Too much media is going to turn out like too many calories. I suspect we are going to find out that a healthy news diet consists of one professionally produced newspaper a day, read during breakfast. But the high-speed electronic media is putting those papers out of business.
I’m talking about the lack thereof.
Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.com
A media outlet recently advertised a job for “an experienced writer” with a “solid” record of publishing articles in outlets such as the New York Times, National Geographic and so on. Salary? The job was unpaid. The posting was reported by Jim Romenesko, the media writer. It was not an isolated incident. A major non-profit media outlet known to me is looking for columns from top-quality writers. The pay? Fifty bucks an item. Good luck with that. A liberal media doyenne praised President Obama for demanding an increase of the minimum wage, but doesn’t pay her bloggers anything at all. The Atlantic magazine recently came under fire for asking a freelancer to write something for free. The writer, instead, published the email exchange. The Atlantic’s readers were up in arms against the magazine, but they missed the point. If those readers won’t pay the magazine for the news, how do they expect the magazine to pay the writers? As we used to say in third grade: Like, duh.
Readers don’t work for free, but for some reason they think reporters should.
This collapse of the economics of reporting is deeply corrupting, in ways that people are only just beginning to realize. For example, it leads inevitably to superficial reporting. If it takes three times as long to write a critical, investigative article as it does to write a piece of pap, and if reporters end up being paid per article, then writers of serious journalism will only earn a third as much as the writers of pap. Pure math.
The lack of money also leads to dangerous stampedes and obsessions. Everyone jumps on the big “trending” (yuck) story. Something that’s not hot or sexy just won’t get written. Sure, maybe it’s important. But we need the page views, you see. Sorry.
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