Monday, October 10, 2011

They Want Demands? Warning From the Deposed/Murdered & The Truth About NC Rightwingnuts' Takeover of Education, Universities, Think Tanks - Rep. Brad Miller Deserves Your Help

How are you liking that appointed committee of 13 Fascists?

Has it occurred to you yet that they are in charge of and are setting up the guillotine for US taxpayers?

It seems almost too clear to me now that the way of empires is to first build a strong middle class to increase the production of goods and services, and then to sell it out to financial interests who will wage wars and cut their own taxes until it's time for the empire to be replaced by another group of expectant empire builders (where many hope they will make the grade again).

They want some demands? Here's one for starters.

A proposed demand for Occupy Wall Street

Let's tackle the debt that actually matters.

Occupy Wall Street Manifesto

The establishment press’s primary “problem” with the Occupy Wall Street protest is that those silly kids don’t have a concrete demand. Or they have too many demands. Or their demands aren’t realistic.

This is silly. The movement’s “demand” is economic justice. Its goal is plainly to remind everyone that the bloated, obscenely profitable financial industry is sitting on vast piles of money while everyone else struggles, and to focus outrage about that situation where it belongs. Groups aligned either directly or in spirit with Occupy Wall Street have spent years issuing tons of demands (a financial transaction tax!) that the elites dismiss as unreasonable and the objective press ignores as unrealistic.
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The message is becoming almost too clear now.

For comfort for the righties and their MSM enablers.

Michael Hudson explains why people in foreign governments are in the streets (their governments "represent predatory financial interests" and don't represent them anymore) and says don't let Obama off the hook (or we are lost).

Financial Polarization and Corruption: Obama’s Politics of Deception

Prof. Michael Hudson

October 7, 2011

The seeds for President Obama’s demagogic press conference on Thursday were planted last summer when he assigned his right-wing Committee of 13 the role of resolving the obvious and inevitable Congressional budget standoff by forging an anti-labor policy that cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and uses the savings to bail out banks from even more loans that will go bad as a result of the IMF-style austerity program that Democrats and Republicans alike have agreed to back.

The problem facing Mr. Obama is obvious enough: How can he hold the support of moderates and independents (or as Fox News calls them, socialists and anti-capitalists), students and labor, minorities and others who campaigned so heavily for him in 2008? He has double-crossed them – smoothly, with a gentle smile and patronizing patter talk, but with an iron determination to hand federal monetary and tax policy over to his largest campaign contributors: Wall Street and assorted special interests – the Democratic Party’s Rubinomics and Clintonomics core operators, plus smooth Bush Administration holdovers such as Tim Geithner, not to mention quasi-Cheney factotums in the Justice Department.

President Obama’s solution has been to do what any political demagogue does: Come out with loud populist campaign speeches that have no chance of becoming the law of the land, while quietly giving his campaign contributors what they’ve paid him for: giveaways to Wall Street, tax cuts for the wealthy (euphemized as tax “exemptions” and mark-to-model accounting, plus an agreement to count their income as “capital gains” taxed at a much lower rate).

So here’s the deal the Democratic leadership has made with the Republicans. The Republicans will run someone from their present gamut of guaranteed losers, enabling Mr. Obama to run as the “voice of reason,” as if this somehow is Middle America. This will throw the 2012 election his way for a second term if he adopts their program – a set of rules paid for by the leading campaign contributors to both parties.

President Obama’s policies have not been the voice of reason. They are even further to the right than George W. Bush could have achieved. At least a Republican president would have confronted a Democratic Congress blocking the kind of program that Mr. Obama has rammed through. But the Democrats seem stymied when it comes to standing up to a president who ran as a Democrat rather than the Tea Partier he seems to be so close to in his ideology.

So here’s where the Committee of 13 comes into play. Given (1) the agreement that if the Republicans and Democrats do NOT agree on Mr. Obama’s dead-on-arrival “job-creation” ploy, and (2) Republican House Leader Boehner’s statement that his party will reject the populist rhetoric that President Obama is voicing these days, then (3) the Committee will get its chance to wield its ax and cut federal social spending in keeping with its professed ideology.

President Obama signaled this long in advance, at the outset of his administration when he appointed his Deficit Reduction Commission headed by former Republican Sen. Simpson and Rubinomics advisor to the Clinton administration Bowles to recommend how to cut federal social spending while giving even more money away to Wall Street. He confirmed suspicions of a sellout by reappointing bank lobbyist Tim Geithner to the Treasury, and tunnel-visioned Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve Board.

Yet on Wednesday, October 4, the president tried to represent the OccupyWallStreet movement as support for his efforts. He pretended to endorse a pro-consumer regulator to limit bank fraud, as if he had not dumped Elizabeth Warren on the advice of Mr. Geithner – who seems to be settling into the role of bagman for campaign contributors from Wall Street.

Can President Obama get away with it? Can he jump in front of the parade and represent himself as a friend of labor and consumers while his appointees support Wall Street and his Committee of 13 is waiting in the wings to perform its designated function of guillotining Social Security?

When I visited the OccupyWallStreet site on Wednesday, it was clear that the disgust with the political system went so deep that there is no single set of demands that can fix a system so fundamentally broken and dysfunctional. One can’t paste-up a regime that is impoverishing the economy, accelerating foreclosures, pushing state and city budgets further into deficit, and forcing cuts in social spending.

The situation is much like that from Iceland to Greece: Governments no longer represent the people. They represent predatory financial interests that are impoverishing the economy. This is not democracy. It is financial oligarchy. And oligarchies do not give their victims a voice.

So the great question is, where do we go from here? There’s no solvable path within the way that the economy and the political system is structured these days. Any attempt to come up with a neat “fix-it” plan can only suggest bandages for what looks like a fatal political-economic wound

The Democrats are as much a part of the septic disease as the Republicans. Other countries face a similar problem. The Social Democratic regime in Iceland is acting as the party of bankers, and its government’s approval rating has fallen to 12 percent. But they refuse to step down. So earlier last week, voters brought steel oil drums to their own Occupation outside the Althing and banged when the Prime Minister started to speak, to drown out her advocacy of the bankers (and foreign vulture bankers at that!).

Likewise in Greece, the demonstrators are showing foreign bank interests that any agreement the European Central Bank makes to bail out French and German bondholders at the cost of increasing taxes on Greek labor (but not Greek property and wealth) cannot be viewed as democratically entered into. Hence, any debts that are claimed, and any real estate or public enterprises given sold off to the creditor powers under distress conditions, can be reversed once voters are given a democratic voice in whether to impose a decade of poverty on the country and force emigration.

That is the spirit of civil disobedience that is growing in this country. It is a quandary – that is, a problem with no solution. All that one can do under such conditions is to describe the disease and its symptoms. The cure will follow logically from the diagnosis. The role of OccupyWallStreet is to diagnose the financial polarization and corruption of the political process that extends right into the Supreme Court, the Presidency, and Mr. Obama’s soon-to-be notorious Committee of 13 once the happy-smoke settles from his present pretensions.
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I read almost everything that the Tom Dispatch publishes (and, yes, you've got to make some time to accomplish this feat every week, but it's really worth the investment) because I think Tom Engelhardt is one of the best and most courageous people's reporters of our time. What do you think?

The best Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner could say a few days ago, when asked about his sympathies for the Occupy Wall Street movement, was: "I feel a lot of sympathy for what you might describe as a general sense among Americans that we've lost a sense of possibility."  Really?

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley didn’t know if the movement was exactly “helpful” for the White House agenda.  Truly?

And White House press spokesman Jay Carney commented blandly, “I would simply say that, to the extent that people are frustrated with the economic situation, we understand.”  Do you?

Suddenly, on Thursday, with news about the anti-Wall Street movement whipping up a storm, the Obama administration found itself out of breath and running hard to reposition itself.

Vice President Joe Biden said, “The core is the bargain has been breached with the American people,” while at his news conference addressing questions about the movement the president added, “I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel... [T]he protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”

Still, those signs with everything but Barack Obama on them should be considered a warning.  Today, TomDispatch has something different and distinctly relevant.  Back in 2003 at the time of the invasion of Iraq, Ariel Dorfman, the Chilean writer and activist, penned a series of messages from “the dead” for TomDispatch - to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Laura Bush, and others.  Eight years later, he returns with word from a man who died in the attacks of September 11th.  His name was Salvador Allende, he was the elected president of Chile, and the “terrorists” on that day in 1973 were the Chilean military backed by the CIA.  (Strangely enough, afterwards no one declared a global war on anyone.)

Now, Dorfman, whose remarkable new book, Feeding on Dreams: Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile, is just out, channels warning words from Allende to Barack Obama.  But mark my words, Allende’s isn’t the only warning to the president at this moment.  Those kids in downtown Manhattan (and increasingly across the country and the world) are offering their own warning, and theirs, after a fashion, comes from the future, one in which his presidency could someday be seen as little but an irrelevancy.  (To catch Timothy MacBain’s latest Tomcast audio interview in which Dorfman discusses the Occupy Wall Street movement and his own experience with democratic rebellions click here, or download it to your iPod here.)
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Brad Miller is my congressman, and as one of the last progressive North Carolina voices of intelligence and decency (and as the Art Pope/Koch Bros. rightwingnuts in the NC General Assembly have chopped up his home district and inserted him in an unwinnable Rethuglican precinct), he really needs your help. Listen to this voice of knowledgeable progressivism:

From Down With Tyranny:

We had been planning to spend our Blue America session today talking with an old friend, Alan Grayson, but Alan suggested we move his date back and talk with another old friend, North Carolina Congressman Brad Miller. Blue America isn't looking for incumbents to endorse this cycle-unless they're really good . . . and really in trouble. Brad has been really good for a really long time and the Art Pope-funded North Carolina state legislature just cut his district to shreds, pushing him into a tough primary. He needs help. When Grayson suggested we have him over at Crooks and Liars today he told us that "Brad Miller is exactly what people hope that their representatives will be: thoughtful, independent, selfless, smart, and completely committed to their well-being.
There are very few Members of Congress who are willing to tell a well-connected lobbyist to get lost; Brad is one of them." But we knew that from last time we had Brad over for a chat.

Brad serves on the House Financial Services Committee - the reason he and Grayson were pals - and once disquieted many of his colleagues by writing

“The interests of the financial industry and those of working- and middle-class families appear irreconcilable. That doesn't leave much room for consensus. Congress may just need to pick a side: the financial industry or working- and middle-class families. Why not put it to a vote?”
That's not a vote conservatives - of either party - are eager to ever see happen. This week Brad introduced the Freedom And Mobility Banking Act of 2011 in response to the new policy of big banks punishing consumers with higher debit card fees. It aims to give real choices by modernizing and streamlining the opening and closing of personal checking and savings accounts.
"As megabanks flirt with menus of new fees, an increasing number of Americans will want to switch banks. That is the way things work in a competitive, free market as unrepentant banks are still trying to rake in vulgar profits from their customers... Because of financial reforms, banks are unable to rely on the cash flow of practices like double-cycle credit card billing, compulsory overdraft programs, or unregulated debit swipe fees. Bank executives are coming up with some innovative ways to protect their offensively large salaries.”
Even if you didn't get a small-print notice in the mail, you probably read that HSBC informed its customers that it is eliminating their free checking accounts which will now carry a monthly maintenance fee of $15. Wells Fargo, one of the four largest consumer banks in the country, also eliminated free checking and, most recently, Bank of America, one of the largest recipients of U.S. taxpayer bailouts, announced it would charge customers a new $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards - even if it’s for a single $2 purchase.

While other members of the Financial Services Committee were currying favor with banksters and their lobbyists during the writing of reform legislation, Brad was the leader of the small progressive contingent fighting - against these well-heeled interests - to protect consumers.
Just listen to his floor speech above. He has always seen his service on consumer protection as an opportunity "to comfort the afflicted. And my work on science and technology oversight gives me the chance to afflict the comfortable."
A frank interview on the mortgage crisis in the NY Times Business section didn't exactly endear him to the Big Money interests on Wall Street or K Street.
"These mortgages were not designed to increase homeownership; they were designed to trap people in debt and strip the equity in their home as home prices appreciated. For the financial industry, that increasing wealth from middle-class homeowners was an attractive target; if they could trap families in a cycle of borrowing every three years or so, then a lot of increased wealth in their homes would end up in the financial sector rather than with those families."

"Mr. Miller recognizes,"
opined Gretchen Morgenson, "that his is an uphill climb because the big banks have many friends in high places across Washington. 'Americans have come away from this persuaded that everything has been done to help the banks and not to help them,' he said. 'And in a democracy, that's a real problem'."

Outspoken and straight-shooting, Brad didn't run and hide when the Republicans started shrieking "Class War!" He came right back at 'em:

The right dismisses concerns about income inequality as “class warfare.” Yet it has played the middle class’s economic anxieties for political advantage by stoking resentment of the poor. The right is happy now to have a high-stakes struggle over whether to cut Social Security benefits of the top three-fifths to spare the benefits of the bottom two-fifths - with no one questioning that benefits must be cut.

But that’s the wrong fight. The correct fight would put 99 percent of Americans on the same side of the barricades.”
And when Grayson told us Miller was one of the only Members of Congress who tells fat cat lobbyists to get lost, it's something his own constituents are well aware of and have admired him for.
“I’m frustrated with how hard it is to get things through. I’m frustrated with how much influence, how much power, some of the industries that should be completely discredited still have. I had hoped for more of a hundred days kind of public support; that given where the economy was, given how much had gone wrong, that there would be a strong force behind some pretty fundamental reform. Certainly, getting consumer protection through is a knife fight." That was in 2009. Please join us over at Crooks and Liars today at 2pm (ET) to talk with Brad about what's happened since - and where things are headed next.

And, again, if you'd like to help keep a deserving incumbent in Congress - and there aren't many - you can do so here.

From the home of some actual Koch whores (North Carolina) we learn the facts.

Koch Whores 
October 6, 2011

Last week, Yasha Levine and I broke our Nation magazine story on The Dylan Ratigan Show exposing free-market hypocrisy by Charles Koch and Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek on a scale so grotesque it was hard to know whether to laugh or scream, or both.
A brief recap: We revealed letters from the early-mid 1970s in which Charles Koch – the biggest funder of a four-decade-long campaign to destroy Social Security and Medicare – privately championed Social Security and Medicare in order to lure Hayek out of Austria (where he enjoyed universal health care) and into America, so that Hayek could front for Koch’s war on entitlements.
Hayek was more than happy to oblige Koch, except for one problem: Hayek was privately afraid of America’s free-market health care system, so afraid that he initially turned Koch’s offer down. But as Charles Koch was to find out, Hayek was a fellow traveler in free-market hypocrisy: Back in the 1950’s, while Hayek was at the University of Chicago, the Austrian-born economist had secretly and voluntarily opted into the Social Security program, and continued paying in for 40 quarters — qualifying Hayek for Medicare and Social Security, just in time for Charles Koch’s invitation.
That was great news for all, because it meant Hayek could come out and help Koch destroy Social Security and Medicare while simultaneously living off those same programs, and not worry about falling through the brutal free-market “safety net” that Hayek privately feared.
This was more than mere rank hypocrisy. This was — and is — a colossal scam played out on a public largely unaware that ideas could be corrupted and sold in respectable society in a manner as blatantly corrupt and cynical as this.
Why did Koch need Hayek to front for him? Imagine if Koch himself — a billionaire heir to his daddy’s oil fortune — went around arguing that all the non-billionaire non-heirs should drop their Medicare and Social Security for the cause of “freedom” and “personal liberty” and “empowerment”: No one would buy it.
Moreover, things were much, much different in 1973, when Koch and Hayek had those exchange of letters. Back then, no sane politician from either party would be caught dead saying the sorts of things that mainstream Republicans today are saying about these programs (“Ponzi scheme” “monstrous lie”) and mainstream Democrats are preparing to enact (“entitlement reforms” “Bowles-Simpson Commission”).
It wasn’t just Democrats who fully supported those programs, so did Republicans. Nixon, for example, massively expanded both programs during his presidency; and President Eisenhower famously wrote during his term in the White House,

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are  H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Eisenhower hadn’t imagined that the grandson of one of those “Texas oil millionaires,” Charles Koch, had a plan on how to raise their numbers from negligible to the tipping point of respectability: Corrupt ideas at their source, so that as they disseminate throughout the culture, eventually such ideas become respectable, and even “courageous” in the words of many a Sunday talk show host…and when that happens, you have an environment that Ike never imagined, in which Republican candidates Go Galt on Social Security to the cheers of the party base, while the fake-progressive Democratic Party President occupies the “reasonable” “middle-ground” on slashing those programs…leaving little or no oxygen for any politician in either party to talk about how both programs might be expanded, let alone preserved.
So Koch needed a guy like Hayek to provide respectable academic/intellectual cover for a set of ideas — equating “liberty” and “freedom” with “I can’t afford health care” and “I can’t afford to retire” — ideas whose real goal is to claw back for Koch’s ultra-rich class all of the wealth redistributed to the middle- and working-classes in the post-New Deal era.
Hayek had academic respectability; with Hayek fronting for Charles Koch, Hayek could plausibly claim that he’d arrived at this set of ideas calling for the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare not out of his own self-interest, since Hayek wasn’t ultra-rich like Koch, but rather through rigorous, disinterested intellectual pursuit of Higher Truths.
In Hayek’s 1960 work, Constitution of Liberty, he devotes an entire chapter titled “Social Security” arguing nine essential reasons why Social Security and socialized medicine will destroy freedom-loving peoples everywhere (they will lead to Soviet-style hospitals and mind-control, bring on totalitarianism, lower our life spans, etc.). And yet, as we learn from the private Koch-Hayek letters in the 1970s, even while Hayek was working on Constitution of Liberty denouncing Social Security, privately, he was paying in to the program, on a purely voluntary basis (as a foreign citizen working at the University of Chicago, Hayek had the option of declining) hoping that some day the state would take care of him, totalitarianism or no totalitarianism.
Hayek got his socialized-medicine wish; and Koch got his Hayek. Today, “Austrian Economics” is a branded version of austere free-market economics that owes its success to its rich rightwing sponsors. Once considered crackpots and corporate frauds, today these economists are responsible for framing the way we talk about politics — and they owe it all to Charles Koch and a handful of his fellow ‘Bagger Barons on the right.
This is how crazy ideas are seeded, cultivated, and distributed, particularly since the explosion of right-wing think-tanks in the 1970s, coinciding with the explosion of money in politics.
Thanks to the Koch brothers’ long-term investments into ideas that directly benefit them and promote their vision of a return to the Harding-Coolidge Era — and thanks to their mandarins like Hayek — today, corrupt politicians don’t fear promoting a blatantly pro-plutocratic, anti-middle-class, anti-99-percenter politics.
Listen to Mark Ames talk to Dylan Ratigan on Ideas for Sale 
Which brings me to a recent story in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer about an up-and-coming right-wing minigarch named Art Pope, a North Carolina dime-store magnate who has learned (from) Charles Koch the myriad advantages of investing into ideology — a strategy that Charles has variously called “The Science of Liberty” or “Market-Based Management.”
Mayer writes,
So far, Pope’s strategy seems to be a success. Martin Nesbitt, the Democratic leader in the State Senate, says, “Art Pope set out to buy power, and it’s working.” He believes that Pope’s forces, by redrawing the political districts, are setting the stage to control the state for the next decade. Nesbitt says, “I don’t hold anyone’s political views against them. But any time you have the takeover we did, with the influence of money and absolute power, you have to worry. It’s a blue state that has a Democratic governor, and voted for Obama in 2008, but in two years they turned it into a red state, all because of their money.”

Art Pope, director of the Koch-founded “Americans For Plutocracy Prosperity”
I first came across the Pope family name only a few weeks ago while Yasha and I were preparing our Koch-Hayek article. The letters that Levine discovered came from the Friedrich von Hayek Papers at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. To get permission to quote from those letters for our article, we had to contact the man in charge of the Hayek papers, Bruce Caldwell, a professor of economics at Duke University in North Carolina. I looked up Caldwell’s name just to see who he was and to find out what to expect, and that’s when I came across the Pope family name.

Caldwell is the director of Duke U.’s “Center for the History of Political Economy,” a project founded in 2008 with money from the Pope family foundation.

What makes this a little scary is that it means that our understanding of the history of economics — a field whose political importance can’t be overstated — is funded by one of the most radical, and ambitious far-right oligarchs in the country. History — that’s another BIG area of interest for the top .01%ers. It’s not just “Ideas for Sale” but “History For Sale” too.

To make matters worse, George Soros just pledged a hefty chunk of money to the Pope economic-history program. So now the all-important study of the history of economics, the history of how wealth and power are divided and allocated, is caught in a tug-of-war between oligarch clans, and our minds and the major premises of how we understand things are the inevitable collateral damage.
Thanks to Soros, the program has the appearance of objectivity — since under our warped understanding of “balance” today, Soros “balances” out Pope. We’re not even part of the weights and measurements anymore.
Meanwhile, Art Pope has been successfully copying the Charles Koch playbook for power and wealth in North Carolina and beyond — it’s a strategy that focuses on much more than just growing a business or bribing politicians for specific policy changes or legislation. Koch — and Pope — invest into changing the ideological environment to make it far more oligarch-friendly. Thanks to Pope’s investments into economics departments in North Carolina’s highly-reputable public (and private) universities, today the Republican Party rules North Carolina for the first time in a century. And it’s not the Republican Party of your father’s day — or of the Reconstruction Era. This is the Koch-Pope Republican Party, the rankest, meanest, pro-plutocrat version of the Republican Party imaginable:

Even some North Carolinians associated with Jesse Helms think that Pope has gone too far. Jim Goodmon, the president and C.E.O. of Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns the CBS and Fox television affiliates in Raleigh, says, “I was a Republican, but I’m embarrassed to be one in North Carolina because of Art Pope.” Goodmon’s grandfather A. J. Fletcher was among Helms’s biggest backers, having launched him as a radio and television commentator. Goodmon describes Pope’s forces as “anti-community,” adding, “The way they’ve come to power is to say that government is bad. Their only answer is to cut taxes.”
Yep, Pope’s free-market radicalism is too evil even for the Jesse Helms Fan Club, the new squishy moderates in this Pope-ified political environment.
Thanks to Pope’s investments into ideas, North Carolina’s politics have been transformed from the mind up, from ideas generated in universities, to the level of public politics and policy. It’s sort of like global warming: With climate change, some species will thrive in the altered environment (jellyfish and algae, for example) and some will die out (polar bears, coral reef).
Here is Mayer’s account of how Art Pope bought North Carolina’s ideas, and how that transformed into political power:

Bob Hall, the Democracy North Carolina director, sees Pope’s involvement in education as part of a long-term strategy. “It’s about how you shape the future,” Hall says. “It’s one thing to build a building, another to shape a generation’s minds. That’s what they’re after — ideology. Pope is pushing a world view, not just a business deal.” Hall notes that, because the state legislature appoints the university trustees, “Pope’s got trustee influence now, too.” In fact, the General Assembly recently placed Fred Eshelman, the founding director of Real Jobs NC, on the university system’s board of governors. The husband of another Pope functionary, meanwhile, was just appointed to the state’s public-television board.
Chris Fitzsimon, of NC Policy Watch, says of Pope, “You practically need a flow chart to keep track of this guy.” Fitzsimon, a former journalist, often appears in the North Carolina media as an ideological counterweight to the Pope network. But Fitzsimon says that “you’d need a Marxist, not a wishy-washy liberal,” to provide true balance to the views promoted by the Pope network. “He’s moved the whole damn fulcrum of debate in the state to the right.”
So how did Art Pope get his ideas and his strategy for power? Pope himself credits the Cato Institute – founded by Charles Koch (and originally named “The Charles Koch Foundation” until 1977), and yes, Friedrich von Hayek:

He read academic papers on free-market economics, and credits a summer program run by the Cato Institute, to which he has since given money, for immersing him in the writings of conservative icons such as Friedrich August Hayek and Ayn Rand.
So Koch’s investment into Hayek and Cato is paying off in ways we’re just beginning to understand.
Looking forward to next year and beyond, North Carolinans from both sides of the aisle are gloomy as Hell, as pessimistic as any conquered peoples, as the conclusion to Mayer’s article shows:

Pope is widely expected to pour more money into North Carolina for the 2012 elections. Carter Wrenn, the longtime Republican campaign adviser, says, “I’d guess Art will be a player. I’d be amazed if he decided to just drop it and go to the beach.” Gary Pearce, the former executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, says of Pope, “I’d guess the governorship will be his next move. He’ll try to elect a Republican governor. That’s the only thing he doesn’t have now.”
McCorkle, speaking of next year’s elections, expresses worry: “The Democrats have become flabby and undisciplined. On our side, we really don’t have anyone like Art Pope. It’s a real problem.” Whatever Pope’s next move, Nina Szlosberg-Landis, the Democratic activist, predicts, “we’re just seeing the beginning of it all.
Corporate money is taking over. People are going to wake up in a whole new state, and maybe a whole new country.”

Nothing would please Pope more. When asked about 2012, he said, “Yes, I’m going to support my side. I really do believe in the marketplace of ideas. I really do believe that my philosophies and theories that I support, classical liberalism, will prevail over arguments for socialism and the growth of government.” He added that if his opponents disagreed they could fund their own side: “I welcome the competition.”

Pope is one guy who’s full of Hope for the future, because he understands, like Scarface did, and like Charles Koch taught him, that “first you get da ideology, then you get da power.”
(Incidentally, for the Koch Cartel’s reaction, here is Cato Institute Executive VP David Boaz, a lifelong house-servant to the Koch Brothers, doing his best to mock Mayer‘s article and anyone else who doesn’t slavishly bow before Art Pope’s riches.)
Reading Mayer’s article, it’s easy to feel hopeless about the future, hopeless about how far behind the other 99% of this country is. But just remember one thing: The Soviet Union collapsed on its own failed ideology. It collapsed like a fragile house of cards. The same thing could happen here, as the failed ideas lose their power over us. You can’t PR away joblessness, debt-slavery and failure this massive. It happened in a far more tightly-controlled environment than ours. It can happen here too. You’d be surprised. So will they.
Would you like to know more? Watch Levine and Ames on the Dylan Ratigan Show discuss Koch, Hayek and “Ideas for Sale.” If you want to do something about it, start by signing up for Ratigan’s “Get Money Out” campaign, now over 100,000 strong! And get your ass to one of the Occupy protests!
For more on “Ideas for Sale” and the Koch-Hayek shocker, read the Levine-Ames article in The Nation, the scoop that the Atlantic Monthly’s James Fallows called the “Greatest Story Ever.”
Also, check out the original complete letter from Charles Koch to Hayek obtained exclusively by Yasha Levine, in which Koch hard-sells Social Security and Medicare’s wonderful benefits to the free-market guru. Read Koch personally inserting a government Social Security brochure as part of his pro-welfare-state pitch.
Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

Click the cover & buy the book!
Need more?

Mittens Exposes Himself!

"Romney may think that corporations are people, but he seems to think that they deserve more care and concern from the government than working, tax-paying, family-feeding citizens. His economic plan calls for the vast deregulation of financial markets, whose lack of constraints in the Bush era led to the catastrophic economic collapse from which we're still digging our way out.
In contrast with his policies as governor of Massachusetts, where he helped close a budget gap by eliminating $110 million in corporate tax loopholes, Romney has now signed a pledge rejecting all efforts to raise revenues by making the wealthiest pay their fair share in income tax or closing loopholes that help companies ship jobs overseas. Instead, he has called for reducing corporate income tax, which is already so low and riddled with loopholes that some mammoth companies didn't pay any last year. When a debate moderator asked the GOP candidates if they would accept a budget compromise that included $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue increases, Romney joined all the others in saying he would reject it."

Mittens was known as . . . Job killer while Mass. Gov. Now he may have done good for workers - ones in Asia and Latin America at least, not Americans ( by farming out the work, the swinebuckets corporations can pay people a few dollars a day - say for assembling Apples - instead of the standard wages American workers receive. How globalism works).

American Spring

And it gets worse.

Apocalyptic Squattersville for Recession Refugees


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