Dark Money: How a Secretive Group of Billionaires is

Dark Money: How a Secretive Group of Billionaires is Trying to Buy Political Control in the US I just want my fair share which is all of itCharles Koch, quoted in Jane Mayer, Dark MoneyI m not sure reading this right after Trump got elected was the right decision As I write this Betsy DeVos sister of Eric Prince, daughter of billionaire Edgar Prince, daughter in law to Amway founder Richard DeVos just got picked to be Trump s Secretary of Education Let it sink in for a minute We just had a billionaire nominate another billionaire for a seat at the political table It is reallyI just want my fair share which is all of itCharles Koch, quoted in Jane Mayer, Dark MoneyI m not sure reading this right after Trump got elected was the right decision As I write this Betsy DeVos sister of Eric Prince, daughter of billionaire Edgar Prince, daughter in law to Amway founder Richard DeVos just got picked to be Trump s Secretary of Education Let it sink in for a minute We just had a billionaire nominate another billionaire for a seat at the political table It is really starting to feel a bit like we are living in a Plutocracy Jane Mayer s brilliantly researched book into the Koch political machine and other closely related political organizations has only exacerbated this feeling.The sad part is how many people I personally know that are somehow connected to this Dark Money web I have friends that have worked for various Koch groups, other friends who have taught leadership courses in Koch funded university courses I have old professors who now do research at the Mercatus Center at George Mason, etc Hell, I havethan a dozen friends in common with Sean Noble, the AZ political operator largely created with initially setting up much of the Koch network In some ways, this book almost reads as much a biography of Noble s rise and fall as it does the Koch brother s rise I give the book five stars, but almost want to remove a star because it just makes me mad and sad I m sad that so many people I like seem to operate as mercenaries for the Koch brothers interests and their extreme vision of our future I m sad because with the election of Donald Trump even though Trump at one level isn t a part of the Koch network, he might further enable it since he shares many of the same interests as his fellow GOP billionaires I see this extreme plutocracy getting worse not better.I remember reading a couple years ago about how our country was evolving into a plutocracy I felt at the time, that might be a bit extreme After the last couple elections and after reading this book, I feel a bit na ve We are living in a nation that is designed to largely serve the interests of its richest 1% It isn t evolving The egg has hatched I am utterly astounded.Not surprised, mind you But I am utterly astounded It feels like there are no books written anythat rely on real investigative journalism But this is one, and it has meticulous, astounding scope.It s one thing to point out the flaws in your opposition Those kinds of books are commonplace and are always designed to sway you persuasively And then there are books that give you a very, very big picture that shows you something so scary, so pervasive, that it boggles I am utterly astounded.Not surprised, mind you But I am utterly astounded It feels like there are no books written anythat rely on real investigative journalism But this is one, and it has meticulous, astounding scope.It s one thing to point out the flaws in your opposition Those kinds of books are commonplace and are always designed to sway you persuasively And then there are books that give you a very, very big picture that shows you something so scary, so pervasive, that it boggles the imagination and is worse than any horror novel ever written.This is about the Koch brothers Two men in the 6th and 7th richest place in the world, who built an empire on oil money with the very worst record for ecological disasters, where ends always justify the means, turned all their money toward politics How did they do this Philanthropy As in, pouring all their money into foundations and trusts that then poured all their money into other foundations and trusts in such a horribly convoluted shell game that it takes full time researchers to uncover where the money originated Why did they do this To bypass political financing regulations.Where did these foundations and trusts lead to Educational institutions in order to promote radical right wing agendas in all the biggest schools, tempting all students with ongoing stipends and opportunities as long as they tow the line.Astroturfing Creating hundreds of seemingly grass roots organizations like the Tea Party and many like it, like the Heritage Foundation, etc., to provide ideological foot troops against any target they pleased.Fundraising campaigns that stagger the imagination, still using the shell game premise, that led to nearly 300 billion dollars just to capture all the seats in congress and the senate And the presidency They used every trick in the book Smear campaigns in advertising was only a small part of it They bought and paid for several networks, tons of writers, and spread their right wing agenda across so many fronts that it APPEARED to be THE only game in town They even eventually strong armed the Republican Campaign into giving over the reigns.It started with the Koch brothers and their ideological obsession Now it s a full network of the richest banding together to create what, in the parlance, can only be an Oligarchy Rule by the rich.What is the bottom line The rich get richer No one else matters.Definitely not the middle class or the poor If you re not in the upper 1%, you re nothing They have bought the political system.If you think this is a propaganda piece by the left, then try reading it and prove me wrong Check is so much worse than you might imagine They have lied through their teeth on practically anything and everything They have done everything they can do to dismantle the EPA, health care systems, anti trust laws, inheritance laws That ONLY affect the upper 1% , brainwashing the intellectual elite or at least giving them all monetary incentive to tow the line even if they don t BELIEVE , fund every group that nay says global warming, blames every victim for the housing crisis, and, of course, the Obamacare act.None of this is about the reality any of us regular people believe in They say whatever they want in order to accomplish only ONE thing their bottom line If that means dismantling all government, all checks and balances, and the possibility of ever having an egalitarian society ever again, then it JUST DOESN T MATTER Almost everyone in the government has a major financial hand in the Koch pie Local, State, Nationwide The regulators have either worked for or still work with the worst abusers If it sounds like some mob run scheme, then you re right.The fact that normal people can t untangle the web, or if they ve gotten far enough in the tangle, they throw up their hands and cry for mercy, is exactly the point.People ARE untangling the web and this book is a fantastic example of it.Am I scared of what I ve learned Oh hell yes I was so scared back in the 2000 s that I swore off political reading or watching tv ever again If I couldn t trust anything I heard, then I would spend my time better by reading fiction.I stopped being depressed and feeling helpless And now that I feel a bit better, I decided to step back into the knowledge playground I have strength I didn t have back then This book doesn t make me spiral into desperation.Rather, it makes me proud that there are still people willing to report the truth Maybe someday, this book will be required reading after we get over this crisis Or perhaps it will be an underground book suppressed by the Oligarchy Either way, we will have seen how we got here I m not American, but my reaction to Dark Money is that everyone in the US and elsewhere for that matter who has any interest in politics must read it For reasons related to my busy life and not the quality of the book, I listened to the audio of Dark Money sporadically over several weeks But each time I picked it up I was mesmerized And I suspect that Dark Money has made me a conversational bore because in so many conversations over the past few weeks, I have found a way to relate the I m not American, but my reaction to Dark Money is that everyone in the US and elsewhere for that matter who has any interest in politics must read it For reasons related to my busy life and not the quality of the book, I listened to the audio of Dark Money sporadically over several weeks But each time I picked it up I was mesmerized And I suspect that Dark Money has made me a conversational bore because in so many conversations over the past few weeks, I have found a way to relate the conversation back to Dark Money and urged whoever I am speaking with to read it Why In a meticulously detailed and researched book, Jane Mayer recounts the rise in political power of a handful of ultra conservative self interested billionaires in the US over the last 30 years or so Through numerous channels, they have used their money to influence the course of public policy and discourse, legitimizing points of view that had no legitimacy many years ago Using the same publicists as the tobacco companies had used many years ago to obfuscate the true dangers of tobacco, these individuals have formed think tanks, backed political candidates, and influenced the curricula in high schools and universities in ways that have obfuscated issues such as global warming, public health care, the regulation of industry s impact on the environment and the root causes of unemployment and poverty Mayer s narrative ends in late 2015, and I am dying to know what she would have to say about the current battle for the Republican nomination Again, to me this is a must read Even for those who agree with some of the views pushed forward by these oligarchs and their money, it s important to understand how these opinions are shaped and to try to think about how to ensure that political debate and democracy are based on accurate information and a level playing field for those involved in the discussion I highly recommend Dark Money I suspect that I will continue to bore many friends, family and colleagues for a long time, urging them to read this powerful book We re all fucked Everything is fucked Mitch McConnell, I hope you and the rest of you soul selling goons really do believe in hell, because I m sadistically delighted by the idea of you guys having to drink yourselves to sleep every night expecting that you re going to burn there for allll eternity No worries, though, eventually the whole planet will be a ball of fire thanks to your collective flipflopping on global warming for Kochtopus money, so it looks like we ll all be burning with you i We re all fucked Everything is fucked Mitch McConnell, I hope you and the rest of you soul selling goons really do believe in hell, because I m sadistically delighted by the idea of you guys having to drink yourselves to sleep every night expecting that you re going to burn there for allll eternity No worries, though, eventually the whole planet will be a ball of fire thanks to your collective flipflopping on global warming for Kochtopus money, so it looks like we ll all be burning with you if we haven t already starved to death Thanks for that, by the way Fuck you Fuck the lot of you Satan s going to eat your hideous souls, and he s going to love every delicious minute of it Drink that down David Koch makes a dick joke It all started when I was a little boy One day, my father gave me an apple I soon sold it for five dollars and bought two apples and sold them for ten Then I bought four apples and sold them for twenty Well, this went on day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, until my father died and left me three hundred million dollars Urge you to read this book.Leave your political beliefs aside and read this book How commercials, news media reports are influencing us how to vote country, state and every two years All the dark money behind all those 501 c billionaires and millionaires We don t have one person one vote any, our cabinet members already made of billionaires and millionaires Even university courses, professors, judges, senators, representatives are elected.After reading how four Koch brothers were br Urge you to read this book.Leave your political beliefs aside and read this book How commercials, news media reports are influencing us how to vote country, state and every two years All the dark money behind all those 501 c billionaires and millionaires We don t have one person one vote any, our cabinet members already made of billionaires and millionaires Even university courses, professors, judges, senators, representatives are elected.After reading how four Koch brothers were brought up, understand why Charles and David brothers do and say what they are doing They even turned their backs on their two younger brothers.For me reading and listening this book again and again for a month was taking a semester course, Jane Mayer was my professor I had to pass the test As many of you know I wasn t burn in this country and English is my second language, I used to believe that my vote counted Not any.Just imagine, all this money for elections raised to influence us how to vote can be used to better Just imagine It will not be surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that for the past twenty years our political system has been awash in special interest money Mayer tells us it is forty years What Mayer does in this detailed accounting is to elucidate the sources of that money and the routes it takes to influence votes What may besurprising to readers is how often that money has failed in its mission Probably the best reason for reading this book is to see how Jane Mayer allows these ind It will not be surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that for the past twenty years our political system has been awash in special interest money Mayer tells us it is forty years What Mayer does in this detailed accounting is to elucidate the sources of that money and the routes it takes to influence votes What may besurprising to readers is how often that money has failed in its mission Probably the best reason for reading this book is to see how Jane Mayer allows these individuals and groups to speak for themselves She quotes from statements spoken by fund raisers at their own gatherings, from the literature distributed under their aegis, and from interviews with associates Mayer also traces the many shell companies through which the money flows to hide its origins She documents why the groups feel it is necessary to hide the source of the monies and why the folks involved do not want their names to be known Many of the families besides David and Charles Koch who most ardently support far right wing causes are not the self made men of legend They are heirs of fortunes who seek to retain those fortunes The tax laws in our country have been such that persons with enormous fortunes could use a portion of it for charitable giving rather than have it taxed by the government These generous brethren have decided to do the patriarchal thing to give portions of their fortune to like minded groups they create to influence the populace I am not suggesting they don t work hard at it They do Lots of effort has gone into creating an empire on the backs of a people they disparage.What I cannot reconcile in my own mind is how these folks, experienced in the advantages and disadvantages of great wealth, don t come to the conclusion that money isn t the point There have been too many studies on the limits of wealth to ensure happiness for these experienced folks to have missed the central point Money does buy power, but look at the uses to which these folks want to use their power to perpetuate their own wealth, despite the documented injury to the environment their companies perpetuate and to the continued abasement of their workforces Even Koch scoffs at the notion that he needsmoney I just don t get it And, it seems, neither do the American public Despite libertarian donors of like minded billionaires pooling their capital donations and pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into influencing the last presidential election, their arch nemesis Obama was reelected Of course, he was unable to accomplish much in his term because of the groups were successful in filling the House and Senate with politicians they d supported financially the darlings of what is still called the Republican party, e.g., Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, among many others When Mitch McConnell became Majority Speaker of the Senate, he hired a new policy chief who was formerly a lobbyist for Koch Industries Neither Ohio Governor John Kasich or real estate magnate Donald Trump have a part in the Koch money cabal But remind me again, who won in the presidential election primaries in NH this year If you have been confused about the obstreperous obstructionism Obama encountered in the House and Senate even after he was elected, twice, to the presidency, you may be interested to learn that the money promised to groups favoring select Republican candidates for the coming presidential election has been estimated to be over 800 million Apparently the Republican Party itself is the poor step sister of a shadow organization that dwarfs it in money and reach These monies have begun in recent years to target local elections and judge nominations In these arenas dark money seems to haveeffect see the change in the red blue map of governerships and local districts after 2010 , perhaps because national elections getvoters More voters often translate intomoderate results In addition, the money is going to influence academic centers and think tanks Penetrating academia a delivery system for the group s ideology by winning the hearts and minds of college students has long been on their wish list Academia is an investment for the Koch s ambitious designs Their own literature claims they have funded 5,000 scholars in some 400 universities throughout the country Privately funded pro corporate centers can replace faculty teachings with their own The groups are also pouring money into online education, paying lower income students to takecourses The intent is to create an idea pipeline I have to say, Bernie Sanders proposed free college education sounds better than ever.But at the end of it all, I am still perplexed We know the sources of the dark money discussed in this book believe in small government free enterprise But do they really believe that corporations do not have a responsibility to provide living wages and a non polluting environment At the same time company profits and management wages soar Unfortunately for their argument is the fact that many of the corporate heads financing opposition to regulation are under indictment for pollution, tax avoidance, or other financial irregularities They are trying to address this also, changing perceptions by calling their investments wellbeing grants.In the end, what I don t like about the current system of free enterprise and or payments for work is that corporations have shown that they don t do very well at controlling themselves Corporate governance is beginning to sound like an oxymoron Corporate boards blame their inability to control costs on the need to make profits for stake holders or investors, but the salaries and bonuses these boards award themselves at the expense of cleaning up pollution caused by their companies or to avoid paying a living wage to workers make them look foolish and greedy I guess it really is so simple as narcissism the wealthy come to believe they deserve to be wealthy because they are either smarter ordeserving in some other way If that is the inevitable outcome of the free market system, I think we can state unequivocally that it does, in fact, need regulation We could, I suppose, just throw away the whole system Which, do you think, sources of dark money would prefer I think everyone needs to read or listen to this book but if you don t feel you have the time, go to the library or a bookstore and read Chapter 14 While in previous chapters Mayer tells us how the groups began, which groups and donors comprise dark money, and what they have tried to do, in this final chapter Mayer tells us what is happening now This is important for how we integrate and process any new information we learn Mayer has also written several smaller articles in The New Yorker, beginning in 2010 A wonderfully informative January 24, 2016 NYTimes book podcast is also available on this title Get the information piecemeal if you must, but you will definitely want to inform yourselves Link to a list of groups created and sustained by Koch Family Foundations I haven t finished the book yet, but the thrust is clear The Koch brothers and their billionaire friends are implementing a plan to take over American government at every level Their objectives are purely personal greed no taxes, no regulation especially environmental , minimal government for all people and programs except defense and whatever benefits the very wealthy The problem is they re succeeding They can t win the Presidency yet, but at every other level Congress, Senate, state le I haven t finished the book yet, but the thrust is clear The Koch brothers and their billionaire friends are implementing a plan to take over American government at every level Their objectives are purely personal greed no taxes, no regulation especially environmental , minimal government for all people and programs except defense and whatever benefits the very wealthy The problem is they re succeeding They can t win the Presidency yet, but at every other level Congress, Senate, state legislatures, local government and even school boards they have already made major inroads Voter suppression, gerrymandered districts and reduced budgets are all part of their agenda They have created so called think tanks and have infiltrated universities George Mason is one in order to fool Americans, especially under educated Americans, into believing that the billionaires objectives are good for America This is the most insidious, dangerous force alive in America today They are not looking to take over the Republican Party, but rather to replace it If we let the Kochs and their ilk continue on their path, it will be a disaster.Mayer has accumulated an impressive and detailed case to prove her allegations We should pay attention So should Hillary Dark Money The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer is a 2016 Doubleday publication I can read supernatural horror novels, the grittiest crime thrillers, true crime and a host of other material that sends shivers down my spine, but nothing paralyzes me with fearthan hidden forces influencing government in barely detectable ways, influencing the quality of life for millions of people in the process After this election, it has become clear, Dark Money The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer is a 2016 Doubleday publication I can read supernatural horror novels, the grittiest crime thrillers, true crime and a host of other material that sends shivers down my spine, but nothing paralyzes me with fearthan hidden forces influencing government in barely detectable ways, influencing the quality of life for millions of people in the process After this election, it has become clear, this radical right wing movement has been brewing for a good while Billionaires basically buying America, using their money to infiltrate government to either promote or thwart policies in a way the average American could not imagine, in order to protect and add to their vast wealth Hedge funds, special interests, propaganda, the works The Koch brothers, Charles and David, extreme libertarians, have been systematically chipping away at big government for years, along with a select group of other billionaires, bent on keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor, while they amass even greater fortunes for themselves Power and money have always gone hand in hand The Koch s and their cronies simply devised clever ways to keep their agendas hidden, and side step some tricky tax laws and rules, in order to force their personal beliefs onto an unsuspecting public, finding and using tax loopholes that benefit them, at the expense of the working class, while attempting to reduce regulations that would effectively should them down There s a class warfare, all right But, it s my class, the rich class, that s making war, and we re winning Warren BuffetWhile Donald Trump doesn t appear to have found much favor with the Koch s while running for office, often spouting rhetoric that did not fit perfectly into their ideal plan, it would seem things may have worked out for some of their pals, though Just look at the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, by the incoming Trump administration The DeVos were heavy contributors to the Koch brother s causes over the years and Betsy has already stated she would like to freeze the federal government out of our educational system No matter what your political views are, or your opinion on climate change, the chapters that show the Koch brothers sending out propaganda pushing climate change as a hoax, while being funded by those who stand to lose the most by environmental efforts, is disturbing to say the least It doesn t matter what the issue is, really, it s the possibility that anything can be manipulated, or enough doubt created to kill or promote whatever they wish, with their money and power This book traces the origins of the Koch brother s campaign, who helped them, supported them, and the tactics they used in building the radical right movement, which kept Obama from making good on some of his promises and effectively, had a role in putting America in the situation we now face When called upon to split a treat with others, he would say with a wise guy grin, I just want my fair share which is all of it Charles KochOne interesting point the author makes points to an interview Charles Koch gave, in which he stated That welfare condemned the poor to a lifetime of dependency and hopelessness He claimed he wanted people to have the hope that they can advance on their own merits, rather than the hope that somebody gives them something Only, to state, in the very same interview that he promoted his own son to the presidency of Koch fertilizer It didn t seem to occur to him that his son, like many others in his network benefited from a job in the family business, or inherited a fortune, rather than being condemned to a lifetime of dependency and hopelessness, because somebody gave them something.The Koch s, among others, diligently worked behind the scenes, through organizations, like the AFP or Super PAC s, or in some case through entities completely unknown, thus the term, Dark Money to fund their agendas, which amounted to a mind boggling amount of money It didn t always go their way Trump is not exactly on the same playing field as the Koch s, especially with his threats to impose tariffs on businesses, and such, but they did help pave the way for him, with their building of the conservative, radical right, and looking at Trump s cabinet picks, which are packed with billionaires, I think we need to be very concerned and watchful,so than ever Overall, this is a book I would recommend everyone read, no matter which way you lean politically There is a lot of information to digest, but, reading this book is truly eye opening, exposing the battle between big government and big money Either way, in all likelihood, the middle and working class citizens lose, with the rich staying rich and the poor staying poor Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again Why have protections for employees been decimated Why do hedge fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle class workersThe conventional answer is that a popular uprising against big government led to the rise of a broad based conservative movement But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views also played a key role by bankrolling a systematic, step by step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews including with several sources within the network and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colourful figures behind the new American oligarchyDark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy [Read] ➬ Fisica 1 - Principios y Problemas By Paul W. Zitzewitz – Kleankitchen.co.uk despite the desperate need to address climate change ❰BOOKS❯ ⚣ The Beautiful Disruption Author G.G. Renee Hill – Kleankitchen.co.uk have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again Why have protections for employees been decimated Why do hedge fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle class workersThe conventional answer is that a popular uprising against big government led to the rise of a broad based conservative movement But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful ☉ Games Rednecks Play PDF / Epub ❤ Author Jeff Foxworthy – Kleankitchen.co.uk meticulously reported history [Reading] ➶ The Magic Cottage By James Herbert – Kleankitchen.co.uk a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views also played a key role by bankrolling a systematic [Lire] ➼ Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby: An Agile Primer (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series) 1, Sandi Metz, eBook - Amazon.com ➹ Sandi Metz – Kleankitchen.co.uk step by step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews including with several sources within the network and scoured public records [Read] ➼ Eski Yunanca - Türkçe Sözlük ➹ Güler Çelgin – Kleankitchen.co.uk private papers ❮Reading❯ ➻ Dont Leave Me Alone Author GG – Kleankitchen.co.uk and court proceedings in reporting this book In a taut and utterly convincing narrative ⚣ I Won a Spaceship Books ⚡ Author Harrison Park – Kleankitchen.co.uk she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colourful figures behind the new American oligarchyDark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy What an important book I m planning to read it slowly and will note some key quotes and information from each section We must make our choice We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can t have both Louis BrandeisINTRODUCTION We are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy A society of inherited wealth When you have a few people who are so wealthy that they can effectively buy the political system, What an important book I m planning to read it slowly and will note some key quotes and information from each section We must make our choice We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can t have both Louis BrandeisINTRODUCTION We are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy A society of inherited wealth When you have a few people who are so wealthy that they can effectively buy the political system, the political system is going to tend to serve their interests Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist.The Koch brothers are the sixth and seventh wealthiest men in the world, owning the second largest private company in America, and espousing libertarian conservative political views which call for limited government regulation.PART ONE Weaponizing PhilanthropyCHAPTER ONERadicals A Koch Family HistoryFred Chase Koch, the founding founder of the vast Koch family fortune, learned a valuable lesson early on over a patent infringement case brought against him by America s major oil companies in 1927 The fact that the judge in the case was bribed completely altered his view of justice He believed justice can be bought, and the rules are for chumps, said one long time family employee Leading up to WWII, Fred Koch s willingness to work with the Soviets and the Nazis was a major factor in creating the Koch family s early fortune But there too he would become disillusioned by Stalin s brutal purges and later regretted his collaboration His dealings with the Nazis seem to be glossed over in the official record of the family business.In 1958, Koch became one of eleven original members of the John Birch Society, the arch conservative group best known for spreading far fetched conspiracy theories about secret Communist plots to subvert America Two of his sons, Charles and David, have gone on to help build the Libertarian movement, indoctrinated with the view that big government is bad, and imposition of government controls on our lives and economic fortunes is not good CHAPTER TWOThe Hidden Hand Richard Mellon ScaifeMany of America s greatest corporate fortunes have learned the benefits of setting up foundations as tax shelters through which they can then support the conservative movement while appearing to support high minded causes Robert Reich, professor of political science is quoted as saying that such private foundations are troubling because they are considered deeply and fundamentally anti democratican entity that would undermine political equality, affect public policies, and could exist in perpetuity They are by definition plutocratic Another tax free shelter to push the conservative agenda are think tanks which can be almost completely under the thumb of its wealthy sponsors Scaife was described as the most important single figure in building the modern conservative movement and spreading its ideas into the political realm in David Brock s tell all book, Blinded by the Right The Conscience of an Ex Conservative Charles Koch too set up his own think tank, Cato Institute, from his private foundation He wanted it to appear as if his philanthropy supported nonpartisan ideological projects but instead its philosophy dovetailed completely with Koch s own business interests to increase his accumulation of wealth and power lower taxes, looser regulations, and fewer government programs for the poor and middle class CHAPTER THREE Beachheads John M Olin and the Bradley Brothers The aim was to establish conservative cells, or beachheads, at the most influential schools in order to gain the greatest leverage Through these carefully curated programs, the foundations trained the next generation of conservatives The overarching purpose was to use philanthropy to support a war of ideas Their aim was to take the LIBERAL out of a Liberal Arts Education Foundations became big contributors to colleges and universities, including Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale, with courses entitled Law and Economics THE OLIN FOUNDATION John M Olin, The Olin Corporation think DDT, think mercury pollution in our rivers, whole communities sickened Common sense should have made companies take responsibility, but until the 1970s there were no regulations on this The EPA became a form of accountability Think about that as the Trump administration wants to ease eliminate restrictions THE BRADLEY FOUNDATION Lynde and Harry Bradley, The Allen Bradley Company, a Milwaukee electronics manufacturer, bought by Rockwell International then America s largest defense contractor in 1985, for 1.65 billion in cash.With this influx of cash, the Bradley Foundation became increasingly politicized Originally their purpose was to aid the needy and prevent cruelty to animals But their new mission statement was to support limited, competent government, a dynamic marketplace, and vigorous defense CHAPTER FOUR The Koch Method Free Market MayhemOh dear Lord This has been the hardest chapter to read so far Nothing is too despicable for these people I am so depressed Is it better to know what these people are willfully doing to our planet and human lives in the name of obscene corporate profits or go blindly along, living our simple lives in total ignorance How can we stop these people who are richer than God When fines are just a drop in the bucket of the immense profits they make by ignoring regulations A mere annoyance for them In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency s database revealed Koch Industries to be the number one producer of toxic waste in the countryproducing 950 million pounds of toxic waste In 2007, Charles Koch said in his book, The Science of Success, We were caught unprepared by the rapid increase in regulation While business was becoming alarmingly regulated, we kept thinking and acting as if we lived in a pure market economy And so they could do as they pleased apparently To other businessmen in the Libertarian Review, Koch said, We should NOT cave in the moment a regulator sets foot on our doorstepDo not cooperate voluntarily instead, resist wherever and to whatever extent you legally can And do so in the name of justice Justice Really My head is exploding Thomas Frank, author of What s the Matter with Kansas Libertarianism is supposed to be all about principles, but what it s really about is political expedience It s basically a corporate front, masked as a philosophy CHAPTER FIVEThe Kochtopus Free Market MachineRichard Fink, Charles Koch s main political lieutenant, came up with a blueprint for advancing their free market agenda Called The Structure of Social Change, it planned a three phase takeover of American politics 1 an investment in intellectuals,2 an investment in think tanks, turning ideas into marketable policies, and3 the subsidizing of citizens groups that would pressure elected officials to implement the policies It was to be a libertarian production line This multi armed assembly line became dubbed the Kochtopus By 2015, the Charles Koch foundation was subsidizing pro business, anti regulatory, and antitax programs in 307 different institutions of higher education in America and had plans to expand into 18John David, an economics professor at West Virginia University Tech who witnessed the school s transformation wrote in a scathing newspaper column that it had become clear that entire academic areas at universities can be bought just like politicians The difference is that universities are supposed to permit open dialogue and exchange of ideas and not be places for indoctrination of innocent students with dictated propaganda prescribed by outside special interests PART TWO SECRET SPONSORSCovert Operations, 2009 2010 Total liberty for wolves is death to the lambs Isaiah BerlinSo far in CHAPTER SIX Boots on the Ground, and CHAPTER SEVEN Tea Time, the author is showing how the big money groups have tried to make their political maneuvers look like grassroot groundswells of popular opinion when in fact, they are probably better described as fake ASTROTURF CHAPTER EIGHT The FossilsThis was another emotionally charged chapter for me to read because it is how these people put their BIG money behind climate change denial to discredit the science and protect their special interests instead of the health of the planet and its people US From an official U.S National Security Strategy report THE CHANGE WROUGHT BY A WARMING PLANET WILL LEAD TO NEW CONFLICTS OVER REFUGEES AND RESOURCES NEW SUFFERING FROM DROUGHT AND FAMINE CATASTROPHIC NATURAL DISASTERS AND THE DEGRADATION OF LAND ACROSS THE GLOBE Sorry for the shouting, folks, but this is important to remember when the 45th president starts out his illegitimate reign with a gag order on the Environmental Protection Agency CHAPTER NINEMoney is Speech The Long Road to CITIZENS UNITEDI admit I ve been fairly ignorant too busy with my everyday life to really understand what has been going on in our branches of government to be aware of how decisions they are making could affect ALL of us Case in point On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court announced a 5 4 decision on the CITIZENS UNITED case, overturning a CENTURY of restrictions banning corporations and unions from spending all they wanted to ELECT CANDIDATES Corporations, the Court decided, have the same rights to FREE SPEECH as citizens We kept hearing about PACs political action committees during the recent presidential elections, but did you really understand what those were and what they could contribute to campaigns I didn t Previously, contributions to PACs had been capped at 5,000 per person per year but in an appeals court ruling in a case called SpeechNow, the limits had been overturned there could be no donation limits as long as there was no coordination with the candidates campaigns Soon, the groups set up to take the unlimited contributions were dubbed super PACs for their augmented new powers Jeffrey Toobin wrote in THE NEW YORKER, that it gave rich peopleor less free rein to spend as much as they want in support of their favored candidates If you are upset about Betsy DeVos being Trump s Secretary of Education, read about the DeVos family and their extreme free market economic theories on pages 230 239 0f this chapter We have put the education of our nation s children in her hands CHAPTER TENThe Shellacking Dark Money s Midterm Debut, 2010The Supreme Court s decision for CitizensUnited opened the floodgates for political spending to influence the midterm elections in 2010 PART THREEPRIVATIZING POLITICSTotal Combat, 2011 2014 There s class warfare all right But it s my class, the rich class, that s making war, and we re winning Warren BuffettCHAPTER ELEVEN The Spoils Plundering Congress and CHAPTER TWELVE Mother of All Wars The 2012 Setback are about the political maneuverings to gain seats in the House and Senate once PACs entered the political arena Obama had reserved some of the harshest words of his presidency for the CITIZENS UNITED ruling, saying that he couldn t think of anythingdevastating to the public interest CHAPTER THIRTEENThe States Gaining GroundGerrymandering, a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries, is a bipartisan game as old as our country but it was now funded by the unelected rich in states like North Carolina to gain seats in Congress.CHAPTER FOURTEENSelling the New Koch A Better Battle PlanIn March of 2013, at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee meeting, the heads of conservative think tanks realized their big mistake in the election of 2012 had been to let the Democratic party seem to be the guys who helped the people, the guys who helped the vulnerable, while the Libertarians and Republicans were the money guys They needed to rebrand themselves as champions of the other 99 percent Mark McKinnon, a centrist political consultant who had advised both Republicans and Democrats, declared, We have reached a tipping point where mega donors completely dominate the landscape Let s call the system that Citizens United and other rulings and laws have created what it is an oligarchy An excellent, well researched book that I highly recommend to educate oneself on what is really going on behind the scenes of American politics I suggest reading it slowly, as I did, to avoid an information overload that dulls the senses or can make a person lose heart Mayer doesn t say much about who the Kochs backed for president in 2016 just that the White House was still a major item on their shopping list One can expect any politician who promises less regulation on businesses and fewer taxes on the rich would be welcome especially one who is also a climate change denier, wants to open oil pipelines against all protests, endanger our pristine national parks and decimate the Environmental Protection Agency First they came for the scientistswith gag orders.Reading on More to follow

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