Ronald P. Formisano in The Tea Party: A Brief History (2012) writes that for decades the Koch brothers, Charles and David, operated under the radar, funding astroturf lobbying fronts, right-wing think tanks, books, magazines, and what must candidly be called propaganda efforts to advance a libertarian vision that relentlessly promotes their own economic interests. They have poured millions of dollars into efforts to deny climate change, to oppose laws to reduce carbon emissions, and to keep regulation of pollution lax. Recently, they have put their resources into lobbying against Wall Street regulation and net neutrality, an internet ground rule opposed by broadband suppliers who want to change for different levels of service. They have contributed millions to the campaigns of conservative politicians at the national and state levels, mostly Republicans and, recently, Tea Party candidates. From 2006 to 2009 they spent $37.9 million lobbying Congress and state legislatures on oil and energy issues. A complete account of their dozens of political activities and libertarian ideological campaigns could easily fill a book, which would begin with the story of their father, who founded the company in 1927 and who in the 1950s was an original member of the far-right John Birch Society.
David H. Koch in 1996. He and his brother Charles are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes.Photograph by Richard Schulman / Corbis
On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/08/30/covert-operations
Jane Mayer has been a New Yorker staff writer since 1995.
The Kochs' relative invisibility as political activists and ideological warriors came to an end, however, with an investigative essay by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker issues of August 30, 2010. "Indeed," wrote Mayer, "the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies--from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program--from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program--that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus." The article immediately attracted enormous attention from other media, and the brothers have become a favorite target for liberal critics.
The ties of the Kochs and Americans For Progress (AFP) to the Tea Party have been well documented. After recounting denials of Koch involvement by company spokes persons and David Koch himself, Mayer provided ample illustrations of how AFP and the Kochs had "worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement's inception." In April 2009, AFP's thirty-four national office employees and thirty-fie state-level employees worked hand in glove with the Tea Party to promote the Tax Day protest.
In August the organization spent several million dollars to fund "Hands Off My Health Care" buts tours of Tea Party activists to attend and disrupt the town hall meetings at which congressmen were attempting to discuss the new health care legislation. Thus, some of the angry protesters at those town hall meetings did not actually reside in those districts. A Freedom Works organizer reportedly circulated a memo to trainees for the movable protest: "You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation."
On the political spectrum of most conservative to most liberal congressional districts, New Jersey's 7th congressional district is the political median of America. Which is why its Republican Rep. Leonard Lance, a self-proclaimed moderate, is taking heat from all sides. NPR takes a look at how much interest his constituents have in centrist attitudes in the Trump era. http://www.npr.org/2017/04/13/523804455/new-jerseys-self-proclaimed...
ANGRY JEW #1
Bernie Sanders in Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In (2016) writes that the Koch brothers--the second-wealthiest family in America, with a net worth of at least $82 billion--are the leading force in the oligarchic movement. Their company, Koch Industries, is the second-largest privately run business in America, with an estimated revenue of $115billion in 2013. It has its tentacles in many areas of the economy, but makes most of its money in the extraction and refining of oil.
During the first term of the Obama administration, no fewer than eighteen billionaires came together under the Koch brothers' leadership to oppose the president's initiatives and move this country in an extreme right-wing direction. Some of the other billionaires involved were Richard Mellon Scaife, and heir to the Mellon banking and Gulf oil fortunes; Henry and Linda Bradley, defense contractor; John M. Olin, involved in chemicals and munitions; the DeVos family, the founders of the Amway corporation; and Coors brewing family of Colorado.
President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on April 7. Not all of the president's visitors are made public; advocates want to change that.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump will be at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., for Easter — his seventh of 13 weekends there as commander in chief.
Although he conducts business at the Trump Organization estate, it's not always clear with whom. Some government watchdog groups are asking a federal court to compel the Trump administration to release a list of visitors to Mar-a-Lago, as well as to Trump Tower and the White House.
Referred to by Trump as the "Winter White House," the private club has about 500 dues-paying members. Over the last few months, in addition to beach and tennis privileges, members have had a front-row seat to important presidential deliberations.
Trump says he ordered last week's missile strike on Syria while having dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Palm Beach Daily News reports other guests were nearby, including Boston Celtics great John Havlicek, who was celebrating his birthday with friends.
The head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Noah Bookbinder, says although it's a private club, Americans have a right to know who's visiting Mar-a-Lago while the president is there. "If anything," he says, "it's more important to know who's there because you don't have the usual protections and procedures that you have with the White House."
During the Obama administration, the White House posted online logs of the people who visited the White House. It's a practice that began after a series of lawsuits filed by CREW. So far, the Trump administration hasn't made any White House visitor logs available.
CREW and other groups, including the National Security Archive, have filed Freedom of Information requests for the visitor logs since Trump took office. This week, they took their request to federal court in New York and extended it to include visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago and Trump's Manhattan residence, Trump Tower.
But, former Secret Service official Jonathan Wackrow says, "they're asking for something that does not exist."
Wackrow, now with Risk Assistance Network and Exchange, says the visitor logs for the White House are part of a complex system that includes background checks and personal data. That kind of information, he says, isn't gathered at other places the president stays, like Mar-a-Lago. "It's a private facility. It's not a government controlled facility at all. It's a temporary location where the president goes to," Wackrow says. "So even the security posture there is set up on an ad hoc basis."
The Secret Service screens for weapons and other direct threats to the president, Wackrow says, but otherwise is not involved in admitting guests at Mar-a-Lago. CREW's Bookbinder says given Trump's ongoing use of Mar-a-Lago and the important meetings taking place there, the administration needs to begin maintaining and releasing visitor logs.
"It needs to be essentially treated the same way the White House treats its records," he says. "And so, if it's not already happening, they need to very quickly come up with a policy to make sure it does start happening."
In Dark Money, her brilliant book on the Kochs, Jane Mayer writes that these billionaire brothers "subsidized networks of seemingly unconnected think tanks and academic programs and spawned advocacy groups to make their arguments in the national political debate. They hired lobbyists to push their interests in Congress and operatives to create synthetic grassroots groups to give their movement political momentum on the ground. In addition, they financed legal groups and judicial junkets to press their cases in the courts. Eventually, they added to this a private political machine that rivaled, and threatened to subsume, the Republican Party. Much of this activism was cloaked in secrecy and presented as philanthropy, leaving almost no money trail that the public could trace. But cumulatively it formed, as one of their operatives boasted in 2015, a fully integrated network."
According to more than a few political experts, the Koch family now has more political power than either the Democratic or Republican parties.
Who are the Koch brothers and what do they stand for? The media truth is that they are much, much more than that. They are right-wing extremists, with unlimited financial resources, who are lading the most significant effort in modern American history to move this country into an oligarchic form of society and to real virtually every major piece of legislation passed in the last seventy-five years that supports the needs of working families.
What are their goals? In 1980, David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket and helped fund its campaign activities. I understand that 1980 is a long time ago, but there is no evidence to suggest that the Koch brothers' views on the major issues facing our country have substantively changed.
What is frightening is how much success they have had over the years in pushing some of these ideas into the political mainstream. Back in 1980, they were considered "fringe" and "crazy" proposals, and Koch's Libertarian Party received almost no support. Today the views of the Koch brothers are the dominant ideology in the Republican Party, and candidates all over the country publicly defend them.
From their earliest days, the Koch brothers understood that their power rested not in their ideas but in the ability of their money to buy elections.
While ending all campaign finance regulations is one of their major goals, the Koch brothers are interested in many other issues. Their being the second-wealthiest family in America, it should not be surprising they want to pay less in taxes and hate the idea of progressive taxation. But they go way, way further than that. The Libertarian Party platform that David Koch helped draft opposed "all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes," and supported "the eventual repeal of all taxation." All taxation. The platform even went as far as encouraging the rich and powerful to break the law and stop paying taxes: "As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately."
As the owners of a major fossil fuel company, and leading funders of climate change denial groups, they also supported abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Great ideas: let's just put the fox, a particularly rapacious fox, in charge of the hen house.
This is the kind of America the Kochtopus wants to create:
·Abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs
·Oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services
·Repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system
·Abolition of the governmental Postal Service. In addition to being inefficient, it encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence
·repeal of minimum wage laws
·Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children. government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended
·condemn compulsory education laws and call for their immediate repeal
·Call for the privatization of the public roads and notional highway system
·Oppose all government welfare, relief projects and 'aid to the poor' programs.
By any rational standard, these are extreme views. Yet, they are the views of the very people helping bankroll today's Republican Party. So, the next time you see a glitzy ad on television funded by one of the Koch brothers' front groups, professing to care about the issues facing ordinary Americans, please remember what they really stand for and what kind of America the Kochs want.
For decades, a majority of Americans were considered middle income. But in the last few years, the incredibly rich and the extremely poor became the majority — surpassing their middle-class peers. Economists broadly define the middle class as an income between $42,000 to $125,000 for a family of 3. But the financial pressures on families in this range are mounting – from day care to health care to higher education. Is America's middle class still thriving? Call us with your story 844-745-TALK & respond to our poll #IndivisibleRadio — MPR News (@MPRnews) April 14, 2017 On this episode of Indivisible, MPR News host Kerri Miller asks how a shrinking middle class will change our social structure and our identity as Americans. Kerri speaks with Vanderbilt Law School's Ganesh Sitaraman and Michigan State University Economics Professor Lisa Cook about the history and the future of the American middle class. Here are some Tweets from this episode: Indivisible Week 12: America's Shrinking Middle Class http://www.npr.org/podcasts/516647023/indivisible
ANGRY JEW #2
David Horowitz is an angry man as is evident in Big Agenda: President's Plan to Save America: (2017). Horowitz believes that Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is "an attack on Individual freedom." He declares that today, [Saul] Alinsky's progressives--first and foremost Obama and Clinton--are leaders of the Democratic Party, which they have transformed from a party of liberal center into a patty of the political left. Bernie Sanders, whose constituency is a vital wing of the Democratic Party, is a lifelong supporters of communist causes, despite his campaign claim that the socialism he aspires to is Denmark's. These standout figures are just reflections of the fact that the Democratic Party has moved so far to the left in recent decades that it now operates on the sixties' principle that the issues it advances are mere stepping stones on the way to more radical changes.
Nowhere is this principle more clearly visible than in the design and passage of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the signature legislation of the Obama administration, and reincarnation of the socialized health care program that Hillary Clinton attempted to pass more than 20 years earlier.
Carl Goulden, of Littlestown Pa., developed hepatitis B 10 years ago. Soon his health insurance premiums soared beyond a price he and his wife could afford.
For most of his life, Carl Goulden had near perfect health. He and his wife, Wanda, say that changed 10 years ago. Carl remembers feeling, "a lot of pain in the back, tired, fatigue, yellow eyes — a lot of jaundice."
Wanda, chimes in: "Yellow eyes, gray-like skin." His liver wasn't working, she explains. "It wasn't filtering."
Carl was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Now 65 and on Medicare, he had a flower shop in Littlestown, Pa., back then, so had been buying health insurance for his family on the market for small businesses and the self-employed.
The medications to manage Carl's hepatitis cost more than $10,000 a year — and if he ever needed a liver transplant, as some people with hepatitis eventually do, the further costs could be formidable. Thank goodness they had health insurance, the couple thought.
But then, Carl says, "the insurance renewals went way up."
After a few years he could no longer afford to buy the coverage — more than $1,000 a month — and also maintain his business. So he dropped the health insurance.
"I was devastated," he says, "because I didn't know when my liver might fail."
But that steep increase in his insurance rate was completely legal, says Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, Teresa Miller. And back then, before the Affordable Care Act became law, a patient like Carl Goulden might have had a very hard time buying another policy; he likely would have been turned down by other insurers because he now had what's called a "pre-existing" medical condition.
A family like the Gouldens would "just have been out of luck," Miller says.
Pennsylvania: The wild, wild West
Before the ACA, states had differing approaches to handling pre-existing conditions.
Pennsylvania was typical. Until the ACA mandated that insurers treat sick and healthy people equally, buying insurance was the wild, wild West.
Insurers couldn't overtly kick people off a plan if they got sick, but they could find ways to charge them a lot more, even those whose chronic condition wasn't all that serious — such as acne. For individuals looking to sign up in the first place, "an insurance company could simply decline to offer you insurance at all because of your pre-existing condition," Miller says.
Insurers who did offer a policy to someone with a pre-existing medical condition might have done so with a catch — the plan could require a waiting period, or might exclude treatment for that condition.
"So, let's say you had diabetes, for example," Miller says. "You might have been able to get coverage for an unexpected health care need that arose, but you'd still be on your own for any treatment and management of your diabetes."
From the perspective of the insurance company, these practices were intended to prevent the sick from signing up for a health plan only when they needed costly care.
Pennsylvania did try to partially solve this problem. It created a more scaled-back health plan, called Adult Basic, for those with lower incomes who didn't have any coverage. Lots of people signed up, but the plans didn't include coverage for mental health care, prescription drugs or more than two nights in a hospital. Even so, Miller says, the strategy proved too expensive for the state.
"That program was spending $13 million to $14 million a month when it was shut down," she says.
More than 30 other states dealt with pre-existing conditions by setting up what are called "high-risk pools," a separate insurance plan for individuals who couldn't get health coverage in the private market.
These plans could be real lifesavers for some people with conditions like cancer — which can cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat.
The experiences with high risk pools varied, but states faced lots of challenges, says John Bertko, an insurance actuary with the state of California. And the main problem was the high cost.
"The one in California, which I was associated with, limited annual services to no more than $75,000, and they had a waiting list. There was not enough money," Bertko says. "The 20,000 people who got into it were the lucky ones. At one point in time, there were another 10,000 people on a waiting list."
The pools also had catches; premiums were expensive, as were out-of-pocket costs. And plans often excluded the coverage of pre-existing conditions for six months to a year after the patient bought the policy.
New Jersey: Pre-existing conditions were covered, but with a catch
Around that same time, across the Delaware River, the state of New Jersey was trying something different.
"Insurers could not take health status into account," says Joel Cantor, director of Rutgers University's Center for State Health Policy who has been analyzing the New Jersey experience.
Before the ACA, New Jersey was one of just a handful of states that prohibited insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Insurers also weren't allowed to charge people a whole lot more for having a health issue, and the plans had to offer robust coverage of services.
There was a one-year waiting period for coverage of a pre-existing condition, but a larger issue became cost. The entire individual market in New Jersey became expensive for everyone, regardless of their health status, Cantor says. Because there was no mandate to have health insurance coverage, those who signed up tended to really need it, and healthy people did not enroll.
And so, "the prices went up and up," he says. And the premiums and enrollment "went down and down."
The state tried to address this in the early 2000s by introducing a "skinny" health plan, Cantor says.
"By that I mean very few benefits," he explains. "It covered very, very limited services."
The plan was affordable and really popular, especially among young and healthy people and about 100,000 people signed up. But if something did happen, or if a person had a chronic health need, lots of the costs shifted to the individual.
"It left people with huge financial exposure," he says.
That's, in part, why the ACA included a rule that insurance plans now have to offer good benefits and be available to everybody. In exchange, insurers have the mandate and subsidies — so that everybody will buy in.
Cantor says these experiences point to an ongoing dilemma in health care: A small portion of people consume a big chunk of health care costs. It's hard to predict who among us will cost a lot — or when. So, the question becomes, what kind of care should insurance plans cover and who should shoulder that cost? http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/04/15/523577871/u-s-h...
When Obamacare was proposed, it was already so radical that securing a majority of Republican votes was impossible. Nonetheless, there were perhaps a dozen Republicans in congress who expressed a willingness to support it, among them Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. But the Democrats were unwilling to make any concessions been to moderate Republican concerns because they regarded Obamacare as epoch-making legislation, a crucial building block of the progressive future; and they were prepared to use their congressional monopoly and disregard other considerations to put the cornerstone in place.
The Obamacare lies were not incidental; they were instrumental. They were required because the real plan for Obamacare violated several core American principles that could only be overcome by stealth. America's constitutional framework is based on individual rights and individual freedoms. Until the passage of Obamacare, the right of Americans to choose their doctor--someone to guide them through life-and-death decisions--was part of the American social contract. The same was true of the right to choose one's health care plan. Obama and the Democrats were able to subvert both these individual freedoms only because they deliberately pretended Obama care wouldn't do just that. The same was true of the provision that provided health benefits to illegal aliens--including taxpayer subsidies if they couldn't afford the care. Providing illegal aliens with subsidies and medical benefits is, of course, a powerful magnet for more illegal immigration. It is also an assault on the idea of citizenship as the foundation for constitutional rights afforded specifically to Americans who, over the generations, fought to create and defend them and gave their lives to do so.
In thinking about how progressives approach [political] battles, consider Bernie Sanders, who has spent a lifetime on the left supporting the communist cause. In 1989, communism collapsed amid a sea of human corpses and economic misery. In other words, it was a catastrophic failure, shattering every dream progressives like Bernie and his comrades ever had. Normal people would have accepted the result and given up the fight for a socialist future. But not Bernie and his comrades. They didn't accept the result, and they didn't give up the fight for a socialist future. But not Bernie and his comrades. They didn't accept the result, ant they didn't give up the fight. They kept on going. They kept up their attacks on America's institutions and renewed their opposition to America's wars. They still believe in the socialist future and the evil 1 percent who exploited everyone else, and they were still ready to fight for what they believed in.
Gradually, their ranks were joined by new generations who were innocent of the tragedies communism had inflicted. Eventually, circumstances changed enough that Bernie was able to run for president as an avowed socialist and win enough support in the Democratic primaries to have captured the nomination if the Clinton cartel hadn't rigged the result.
Before trump's entry into the presidential primaries, there was not a single Republican figure with a national platform who would have called Hillary Clinton a crook or a liar to her face, although she is both. Before the advent of Trump, there is not a single Republican with a national platform who would have dared to be so politically incorrect. The reason for this is that Republicans are well aware of what happens to anyone who would do so. To be politically incorrect, one has to believe passionately in one's cause in order to advance it. One has to take hits and carry on.
In the recent campaign, progressives--always ready to demonstrate an opponent--showed how bloody-minded they can be when the stakes are high enough. The progressive attackers were not merely Democratic Party operative who have made the politics of personal destruction--character assassination--into an art form. Ludicrous comparisons to Hitler and Mussolini and fabricated linkages to the Ku Klux Klan were also daily fare in the national media and were even echoed by unhinged "Never Trump" Republicans.
BACKSTORY OF BIG AGENDA ANGER
The societal transformation that progressives hope to engineer begins in our universities and schools. No institution has been more instrumental in laying the groundwork for this transformation, and training its agents, than the American university. For nearly half a century, leftists have been working to turn liberal arts colleges into indoctrination and recruitment centers for left-wing causes. And they have succeeded.
The change in the academic the academic curriculum began in 1969 with the introduction of new fields that were the direct result of political pressures and lacked any tradition of scholarly standards. For example, the first Black studies departments--later renamed African American Studies. "Ethnic" studies departments for Chicanos, Asians, gays, and lesbians quickly followed and became integral to the curriculum. Some schools, like Brandeis, have even created departments of "Social Justice," where left-wing professors instruct students in the evils of the American system and the virtues of progressive worldview.
Because women are a majority in the academy and virtually every academic faculty in the liberal arts have one or several feminist professors, Women's studies has had the greatest influence on the curriculum. In keeping with the principles of the new academic world, the women's Studies curriculum is not governed by the principles of disinterested scholarly inquiry but rather by political mission: to teach students to be radical feminists--to teach them that a patriarchy oppresses them.
The linking of alleged oppression--racism, sexism, ageism--now has an academic name, intersectionality, which sums up the ideological agenda of these academic activists. It was coined in 1989 by racial extremist Kimberle Williams Crenshaw.
Because of the all-encompassing mandate of fields like Black Studies and women's Studies, the courses they offer have expansive subjects that take in large swathes of a student's education and are taught by ideologues rather than scholars. For example, courses on "global feminism" focus on the evils of the international capitalist economic system but are taught by professors whose academic credentials are not in economics or even sociology or political science but in comparative literature, education, and Women's Studies. To say that our universities now engage in systematic Miseducation and indoctrination would be an understatement.
These ideological programs have spread their tentacles throughout the contemporary university, so they encompass not only academic courses but "centers" and "institutes" to carry on the work and propaganda of the left. The University of California, Berkeley, hosts a Center for Race and Gender, for example, which includes an "Islamaphobia Studies" program, although Islam is neither a race nor a gender. Evidently the leftist administrators of the center felt that Islamaphobia--a term invented by the Muslim brotherhood--was a problem and decided to give it support. The Islamaphobia Studies program publishes the Islamaphobia Studies Journal and an annual Islamaphobia "report," which targets critics of Islamic terrorism as Islamophobes in an effort to discredit their work. Like everything else at the University of California, these "studies" are funded by California taxpayers, who imagine they are supporting scholarly inquiries and research.
Horowitz's argument breaks down completely as he attempts to make history his witness. He forgets his own Jewish history in America and in the American academy. Jews were not White until the post-WWII Holocaust shame forced the gentiles to admit them as White--an uneasy/tenuous whiteness at that. Furthermore Jews were not hired as university professors in any great number until the late 1950s--even Albert Einstein was suspected of being a communist and was limited in his academic activities and forced to speak through others on his knowledge of the bomb. In Horowitz's case as Richard Wright intimates in Native Son, Whiteness has blinded Horowitz to his own American journey--and that his Jewish gene-pool may not extend further than Poland or Eastern Europe at most. As for his encounter with the female Muslim student, Historian Eric Hobsbawm in On History (1997) states that if the present was/is in some sense unsatisfactory, the past provide[s] the model for reconstructing it in a satisfactory form. The old days were defined--often still are--as the good old days, and that is where society should return to. This view is still very much alive: all over the world people, and political movements, define utopia as nostalgia: a return to the good old morality, that ole-time religion, the values of small-town America in 1900, the literal belief in Bible or Koran--which are ancient documents--and so on. But of course, there are today few situations when a return to the past is, or even seems, literally possible. The return to the past is either the return to something so remote that it has to be reconstructed, a 'rebirth' or 'renaissance' of classical antiquity, after many centuries of oblivion--as the intellectuals of the fifteenth and sixteenth century saw it--or, more likely, a return to something that never existed at all, but has been intended for the purpose. Zionism, or for that matter any modern nationalism, could not conceivably be a return to a lost past, because the sort of territorial nation-states with the sort of organization it envisaged simply did not exist before the nineteenth century. It had to be revolutionary innovation masquerading as restoration. It had in fact, to invent the history it claimed to bring to fruition. As Ernest Renan said a century ago: 'Getting history wrong is an essential part of being a nation.' It is the professional business of historians to dismantle such mythologies, unless they are content--and Hobsbawm is afraid, national historians have often been--to be the servants of ideologist. This is an important, if negative, contribution of history to telling us about contemporary society. Historians are not usually thanked by politicians for asking it.
THE END OF HISTORY AND THE KOCHTOPUS STANDING & TOM BAKER'S DR WHO
David Horowitz anger seems can be attributed to the reversals that Koch brothers, the Kochtopus and the Neoliberalists before them installed in the 1980s with the election of Ronald Reagan as president of the U.S. and Margaret Thatcher as prime minister of the UK. Francis Fukuyama in The End Of History And The Last Man (1992) makes this clear--note the name dropping of prominent Neoconservatives or corporate entities. Fukuyama in his "acknowledgments" he thanks his sponsors: The "End of History" would never have existed, either as an article or as this present book, without the invitation to deliver a lecture by that title during the 1988-89 academic year, extended by Professors Nathan Tarcov and Allan Bloom of the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy at the University of Chicago. Both have been long-time teachers and friends from whom I have learned an enormous amount over the years--starting with, but by no means limited to, political philosophy. The original lecture became a well-known article due to the efforts of Owen Harries, editor of The National Interest Erwin Glikes of the Free Press and Andrew Franklin of Hamish Hamilton, who advised.
The present volume has profited enormously from conversations and reading by Abram Shulsky--I would like to pay special thanks to Irving Kristol, David Epstein, Alvin Bernstein, Henry Higuera, Yoshihisa Komori, Yoshio Fukuyama, and George Holmgren, all of who took the tie to read and comment on the manuscript. In additions, I would like to thank the many people--who commented usefully on various aspects of the present thesis as it was presented in a variety of seminars and lectures in this country and abroad.
James Thomson, president of the RAND Corporation, was kind enough to provide me office space while drafting this book. Gary and Linda Armstrong took time out from writing their dissertations to help me in the collection of research materials, and provided valuable advice on a number of topics in the course of writing. Rosalie Fonoroff helped in the proofreading--and the Intel 80386 microprocessor.
These are the Neoconservatives controlling academics that helped to make White lives not matter since the 1980s.
Fukuyama writes that in its economic manifestation, liberalism is the recognition of the right of free economic activity and economic exchange based on private property and markets. Since the term "capitalism" has acquired so many pejorative connotations over the years, it has recently become a fashion to speak of "free-market economics" instead; both are acceptable alternative terms for economic liberalism. It is evident that there are many possible interpretations of this rather broad definition of economic liberalism, ranging from the United States of Ronald Reagan and the Britain of Margaret Thatcher to the social democracies of Scandinavia and the relatively statist regimes in Mexico and India. All contemporary capitalist states have large public sectors, while most socialist states have permitted a degree of private economic activity. There has been considerable controversy over the point at which the public sector becomes large enough to disqualify a state as liberal. Rather than try to set a precise percentage, it is probably more useful to look at what attitude the state takes in principle to the legitimacy of private property and enterprise. Those that protect such economic rights we will consider liberal; those that are opposed or base themselves on other principles (such as "economic justice") will not qualify.
White American voter seeking "economic justice" have mistakenly installed Donald Trump as President because they mistakenly believe that as "a businessman," he is on their side by ignoring his record of stiffing workers and forgetting that the aim of any businessman/woman is to make a profit--by any means necessary. Republican Ronald Reagan, a showman like Trump, was also able to split the American voters along racial and religious lines, taking the white working-class Catholic vote, he followed by fellow Republican George H. W. Bush and then followed by Democrat centrist, Bill Clinton installed Neoliberalism as a way of life for the next 4 decades down to today. Class and race became confused which has given birth to the Black Lives Matter movement because Whites have never understood that "divide and conquer" of race is the way to keep the middle-cum-working-classes enthralled in a system that denigrates them and makes the 1 percent richer, while they work three jobs at $7.25 per-hour. And most Blacks do not realized that as a subset of the working-class, the fact that White lives have not mattered since the 1980s, they are implicated and impacted by this economic violence that lead cops (members of the working class) to take their economic frustration out on the Dark Other. This is not always true; but it is worth thinking about death by police action as an economic crime.
When Forbes first listed the 400 richest Americans in 1982, there were 13 billionaires on that list.
Today, every single person on the Forbes 400 list is a billionaire.
Many have become philanthropists, and they are reshaping public policy, and society, as they see fit. And because of their numbers, they have far more influence than the philanthropists of the past, argues David Callahan, author of a new book on philanthropy, The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.
Many are now household names: the Gates, the Kochs, the Waltons, the Steyers, the Mercers, to name a few. They come in all political stripes.
"We're seeing just an escalating ideological arms race as more money pours in from wealthy donors across the spectrum," says Callahan, who founded the news website Inside Philanthropy.
In an interview with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Callahan describes a meeting with philanthropist Laura Arnold, who said, "When you open the newspaper in the morning and you see things that you don't like, things that upset you, if you have a foundation you can do something about it, you can try to solve the problem and take action."
So what's wrong with this?
Ways Philanthropists Can Influence Public Policy
When people talk about the influence of money in politics, they often mean campaign donations. But wealthy philanthropists can influence policy in many other ways. Author David Callahan says they can do this by setting up a foundation to fund these things:
Academics who publish research to support a given opinion
Lawyers to pursue change through litigation
Activists to stage protests and pressure campaigns
Pop-up media blitzes
Creation of media outlets
Underwriting of books and magazines
Documentaries to persuade public opinion
Callahan says this philanthropic money comes at a time when most Americans feel disenfranchised. "More and more public policy debates looks like Greek gods throwing lightning at each other, billionaires on the left and the right, as the rest of us watch from the sidelines," he says.
When wealthy Americans set up a charitable foundation, they can avoid paying taxes, while influencing public policy. "If I give a donation to a politician, that's not tax deductible. If I give a donation to a Washington think tank that whispers in the ear of that politician, I can get a tax break for that," Callahan says. "The IRS makes few distinctions in what is tax-deductible giving, and I think that's a problem."
Callahan says the influence of big donors will become greater as government steps back, through budget cuts to public agencies, and as private philanthropy steps forward.
Whether it's from the left or the right, Callahan says, all of it is troubling.
In terms of sheer dollar amounts, it's unclear who gives more. But Callahan says right wing donors have been more effective when it comes to shaping economic and fiscal policy, bankrolling big think tanks in Washington that advocate for cutting the size of government. Those include The Heritage Foundation, which now plays a big role in the Trump administration.
Liberal donors, Callahan says, have been successful in advancing social issues, such as LGBT rights. Callahan cites the role of philanthropist Tim Gill, in advancing marriage equality.
Public education is another area where there has been an influx of money from billionaire donors. The Waltons of Wal-Mart fame and Betsy DeVos, now the education secretary, for example, are well-known supporters of charter schools. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was a powerful force behind ushering in the Common Core educational standards. (The Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation are among NPR's financial supporters.)
The British, because of their endemic caste-class system, the BBC especially understood this socioeconomic principle completely--not like Hollywood that has always been controlled by the corporations-- not the public, that feared socialism that the 1 percent misnamed as "godless" communism, in order to make Neoliberalism politically palatable. The BBC produced the Dr. Who series starring Tom Baker as an answer to the propaganda of Thatcherism. As Americans we seem to have no answer to Trumpism.