Thursday, April 17, 2014

The tea party radio network

The tea party radio network

Who are the Koch brothers and what do they want?

April 16, 2014

As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear.  In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily wealthy families will spend billions of dollars to elect right-wing candidates to the Senate, the House, governors’ mansions and the presidency of the United States.  These billionaires already own much of our economy. That, apparently, is not enough.  Now, they want to own the United States government as well.
Four years ago, the Supreme Court passed Citizens United.  A few weeks ago, they passed the equally horrendous McCutcheon campaign finance decision which gives even more political power to the rich. Now, many Republicans want to push this Supreme Court to go even further.  In the name of “free speech,” they want the Court to eliminate all restrictions on campaign spending — a position that Justice Thomas supported in McCutcheon — and a view supported by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.  Not surprisingly, as it will give them the opportunity to buy politicians at will, this has always been the position of the Koch brothers.
The Koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in America, making most of their money in the fossil fuel industry.  According to Forbes Magazine, they saw their wealth increase last year from $68 billion to $80 billion.  In other words, under the “anti-business”, “socialist” and “oppressive” Obama administration, their wealth went up by $12 billion in one year.
In their 2012 campaigns, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each spent a little more than $1 billion.  For the Koch brothers, spending more than Obama and Romney combined  in an election would be a drop in the bucket.  They would hardly miss the few billion spent.
Given the reality that the Koch brothers are now the most important and powerful players in American politics, it is important to know what they want and what their agenda is.
Interestingly and not widely known, David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980.  He believed that Ronald Reagan was much too liberal.  Despite Mr. Koch putting a substantial sum of money into the campaign, his ticket only received one percent of the vote.  Most Americans thought the Libertarian Party’s platform of 1980 was extremist and way out of touch with what the American people wanted and needed.
Fast-forward 34 years and the most significant reality of modern politics is how successful David Koch and like-minded billionaires have been in moving the Republican Party to the extreme right.  Amazingly, much of what was considered “extremist” and “kooky” in 1980 has become part of today’s mainstream Republican thinking.
Let me give you just a few examples:
In 1980, Libertarian vice-presidential candidate David Koch ran on a platform that called for abolishing the minimum wage.  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.
Today, not only does virtually every Republican in Congress oppose raising the $7.25 an hour minimum wage, many of them, including Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell and John McCain, are on record for abolishing the concept of the federal minimum wage.
In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party favored “the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.
Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party, as seen in the recently passed Ryan budget, is to end Medicare as we know it, cut Medicaid by more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade, and repeal the Affordable Care Act.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Under the Ryan plan, at least 40 million people — 1 in 8 Americans — would lose health insurance or fail to obtain insurance by 2024. Most of them would be people with low or moderate incomes.”
In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party called for “the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system.”  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.
Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party is that “entitlement reform” is absolutely necessary.  For some, this means major cuts in Social Security.  For others who believe Social Security is unconstitutional or a Ponzi scheme this means the privatization of Social Security or abolishing this program completely for those who are under 60 years of age.
In 1980, David Koch’s Libertarian Party platform stated “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes … We support the eventual repeal of all taxation … As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.
Today, 75 Republicans in the House have co-sponsored a bill that Paul Ryan has said “would eliminate taxes on wages, corporations, self-employment, capital gains, and gift and death taxes in favor of a personal-consumption tax.”
Here is what every American should be deeply concerned about.  The Koch brothers, through the expenditure of billions of dollars and the creation and support of dozens of extreme right organizations, have taken fringe extremist ideas and made them mainstream within the Republican Party.  And now with Citizens United (which is allowing them to pour unlimited sums of money into the political process) their power is greater than ever.
And let’s be very clear.  Their goal is not only to defund Obamacare, cut Social Security, oppose an increase in the minimum wage or cut federal funding for education.  Their world view and eventual goal is much greater than all of that.  They want to repeal every major piece of legislation that has been signed into law over the past 80 years that has protected the middle class, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the most vulnerable in this country.  Every piece of legislation!

The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of billionaire families.

Our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers.
For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back.
Senator Bernie Sanders

BLM Attempting to Seize 90,000 Acres of Texas Ranchers' Land!

Three Cheers for Tax Scofflaws (They Keep Us Afloat and Limit Government's Reach)

The IRS is Taking a Page From the NSA's Playbook and Snooping on Social Media

Libertarian calendar for April

For Libertarian Party events go here

April 17
Washington DC

 “The curmudgeon's guide to getting ahead.” 
 AEI's twelfth-floor Wohlstetter Conference Center
1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington DC 20036. 
Registration will open at 3:45 p.m. and the event will begin at 4:00 p.m.
April 17
Nashville, TN

Liberty on the Rocks 5:30 pm

You've made it another year and still have a few bucks in your pocket so get 2 for 1 beer, you can do like congress and spend like a drunken sailor.

April 17
Washington, DC

Legalize It! comedy
SSDP is happy to partner with LYGO DC, Capella Cannabis, Leopold Bros., and Speak Easy Spirits DC to present a live comedy show of come-what-may unpredictability.

Use promo code "SSDP" and 50% of your door proceeds will be donated to SSDP & you'll get one free rail drink! Get your tickets ($10) here:

April 17
Washington DC

7:30 pm
Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street NW

NORML party
NoVA NORMLites... We need Virginia to be well represented at this event! Not only will there be an illuminating keynote talk by author and investigative journalist Doug Fine, but this will serve as an excellent opportunity to network with other cannabis activists, politicians, and there will also be media coverage! So grab your tickets today (they're half price in March) and join us in celebrating the achievements (to date) in our struggle for Cannabis Freedom!
Washington DC
April 19

LOLA media training
@Reason magazine
1747 Connecticut Avenue NW

LOLA's One-Day Media Training is our flagship training event for women and future stars of the liberty movement. This opportunity provides useful tools and tricks for successfully spreading the libertarian message through the media. Attendees work with a producer who has experience at a major TV network to conduct a one-on-one interview to use in order to promote themselves as guests on TV, radio, or other media outlets. The interviews are edited and posted to LOLA's YouTube channel, LadiesofLibertyTV. A professional photographer will also be in studio to take head shots for everyone accepted.

Applicants should send a brief bio and include information about what issues are important to you, along with anything you have produced in the past to demonstrate your commitment to the cause of liberty and your interest in TV media. The cost is $50 and applications are accepted at

Washington DC
April 20

4/20 Day:  Events on National Mall in support of marijuana decriminalization.  Check back for more details.

At 4:20pm every day during the early 1970s, a group of teens in San Rafael, California went to a wall outside of school grounds to smoke pot. They called their afternoon toke “420,” but never envisioned the code word becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

These days, hundreds of thousands of stoners across the globe celebrate April 20th like it’s marijuana Christmas. In the United States, Washington, D.C., doubles as America’s cannabis capital come 420 Day.

420 Day Washington, D.C. 2014 is chock-full of 420 Day celebrations like Overgrow the Government National 4/20 Rally 2014. There, hemp lovers unite and rally, urging bureaucrats to reconsider their years-long pot prohibition.

High, patriotic protestors can roam the National Mall to come up with their own theories as to whether or not the area is steeped in hidden Masonic code. Blazed Dan Browns are free to stop in one of the 10 Smithsonian museums along the park’s outer edges, where they’ll find plenty of visual stimulation.

Though pot might not be legal quite yet in America’s capital, 420 Day events in Washington, D.C., rival those in any other American city, or any city in the world for that matter. Whether you smoke up, down, or out, there’s no doubt you’ll have a blast at 420 Day Washington, D.C., 2014.
********************************************************************************* April 23
Washington, DC

DC Cannabis Campaign
2448 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC 20008
Washington, DC

Petitioning begins for referendum for November 4 general election ballot to further decriminalize marijuana in DC: 1) to increase the amount that could be personally possessed and 2) to legalize private growing for non-medical use.  It's not full decriminalization, but it it more than the city council just passed.

If you'd like to get started early the DC Cannabis Campaign is already running a phone bank and needs volunteers.
April 24
Washington, DC

R Street on Housing Tax Policy

12:00 p.m. -- 1:30 p.m.

Cannon 121
Cannon House Office Buiding
Washington, DC  20003

Housing tax breaks aimed at encouraging home ownership are a longstanding part of America's tax code, but are they succeeding at transforming America into an ownership society? Who does this costly tax preference, estimated at $70 billion per year, help the most? In a new paper being released April 22, Marquette University's Andrew Hanson, Texas Christian University's Zackary Hawley and the George W. Bush Institute's Ike Brannon argue that housing tax breaks must be reformed. Join the R Street Institute, National Affairs' Yuval Levin, AEI's Alan Viard, Brookings' Benjamin Harris, and author Andrew Hanson for a discussion of the paper's findings and suggestions for how to reform the tax code to achieve the goal of incentivizing ownership while stemming benefits flowing to those at the top.

Lunch will be served.

Register here.

11:45 - Registration

12:00-1:30 - Panel
                   Introduction: Eli Lehrer, R Street Institute
                   Moderator: Yuval Levin, National Affairs
                   Panelists: Andrew Hanson, Marquette University
                                 Alan Viard, American Enterprise Institute
                                 Benjamin Harris, Brookings Institution

Falling asleep in front of the TV