Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘Koch brothers’

Koch Fib Files: The TV Ad’s Apolitical Cancer Patient

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2014

Remember the anti-Obamacare ad created by Karl Rove’s Koch-funded group “Americans for Prosperity” that featured a lady cancer patient who tried to make it sound like her health care costs were going up?

Well, it turns out that she’s actually going to save over $1000 a year because of Obamacare:

Before her plan was canceled, [Julie] Boonstra was paying a $1,100 monthly premium. That’s $13,200 a year, without adding out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays and prescription drugs. But under her new plan, the Blue Cross Premier Gold, Boonstra’s premiums are down to $571 a month, and out-of-pocket costs are capped at $5,100. That’s a maximum annual expense of $11,952 a year.

Oh, and here’s something else that won’t surprise anyone at all who’s been paying attention over the last four decades:

Boonstra told The Detroit News she had never been politically active before joining the anti-Obamacare campaign. The newspaper reported her ex-husband, Mark Boonstra, had served as chair of the Washtenaw County GOP, and was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 2012.

What was that about being apolitical again, Ma’am?

(Crossposted to MyFDL.)

Posted in Karl Rove, koch brothers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Shutdown 2 Watch: McConnell Attacks Tea Party, Suicide Caucus

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 1, 2013

Mitch McConnell doesn’t want another government shutdown, yet he’s been reluctant to publicly, in front of cameras and microphones, confront those fellow Republicans of his who do.

His reluctance has officially ended.

He was interviewed by a writer for the right-wing Washington Examiner last week, and McConnell came out swinging against the Suicide Caucusers:

McConnell specifically singled out the Senate Conservatives Fund — a group that has endorsed his Tea Party challenger, Matt Bevin, for the 2014 Republican nod in Kentucky’s Senate race. The incumbent McConnell told the Examiner that groups of that nature are “giving conservatism a bad name.”

“What they do is mislead their donors into believing the reason that we can’t get as good an outcome as we’d like to get is not because of a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president, but because Republicans are insufficiently committed to the cause — which is utter nonsense,” McConnell said.

McConnell is doing what he can, when he can, to avoid another shutdown. Here’s why:

Before the shutdown, McConnell and Boehner had Harry Reid and Obama and Pelosi pretty much where they’d wanted them. Sequestration was locked in for the rest of the decade. No pay increases for federal employees, no hope of bringing in new revenues, but cuts as far as the eye could see.

In order to get the Democratic votes needed to end the shutdown, McConnell and Boehner had to agree to put the sequester on the table, and to a 1% pay increase, the first in three years, for federal workers.

Why? Because the shutdown was, despite the media’s best efforts to pretend that “both sides” were at fault, known to be a Republican production from the get-go. It had been planned by the Republicans’ Suicide Caucus since last January, in fact. And the public rightly blamed them for it.

McConnell knows that Shutdown 2 will, if anything, be an even bigger disaster for the Republicans. The first one happened far enough away from the 2014 elections that with time, and with GOP/Media Complex demagoguing against the ACA rollout, its ill effects would be minimized if not totally countered. But Shutdown 2, including its runup, will happen in January and February of 2014 — right as Republicans will be wanting to get out and fundraise to fight off the Koch-funded Tea Party primary challengers allied with the Suicide Caucusers that gave us the first shutdown and are now jonesing for another one. Worse yet, the very problems with the Obamacare website that they hoped would lead them to victory in 2014 will have faded from the public mind, replaced by a growing number of stories like this one.

The bottom line personally for Mitch McConnell is this: He needs to stand up to the Suicide Caucus now, and try to get them to see reason on the second shutdown they want so fervently, or he not only loses his shot at taking the Senate, he likely loses his Senate seat to his Democratic challenger, Alison Grimes, come November.

The bottom line for the Republican agenda is this: If the Republicans force another shutdown next month, they will injure themselves so badly politically that when February rolls around they’ll be begging Harry Reid to end the sequester for them. Which Harry Reid will be perfectly happy to do.

(Crossposted at Daily Kos.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Shutdown 2 Watch: McConnell Attacks Tea Party, Suicide Caucus

GOP Group Donors Keeping Wallets Shut As 2014 Nears

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 19, 2013

Even as the Republicans and their media allies are trying to make pitiful hay on the website (whose ease of usage has already vastly improved since it opened at the start of the Republican shutdown last month), their biggest institutional backers are still sitting on their wallets for 2014:

The biggest Republican-leaning money machines are spending dramatically less this year to help the party ahead of the 2014 Senate elections, two years after millions of dollars in early advertising by outside groups against Democrats backfired in embarrassing losses in otherwise winnable races.

Groups such as American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce no longer are willing to risk major investments on hard-line conservatives who embarrassed GOP leaders last fall and rattled the confidence of party donors. Many remain concerned after last month’s government shutdown highlighted Republican divisions.

“Is the malaise still there? Yes,” said Lisa Wagner, a Republican fundraiser in the Chicago area. “But they are nervous about giving in light of the shutdown.”

Outside spending on television ads designed to benefit Republican Senate candidates is down almost 60 percent compared with two years ago, according to spending reports provided to The Associated Press. There are signs that the shift is shaping the national fight for the Senate majority.


The elections are a year away, but the slow start on the Republican side means that vulnerable Democrats haven’t had to devote substantial time or resources defending themselves from criticism. Instead, Democrats have been able to stockpile cash ahead of what probably will be nasty and expensive general elections.

What’s interesting is that even as the usual Republican donors are sitting on the sidelines, the Tea Party types — including the Kochs — are rushing in to dump money on unelectable candidates, setting up a replay of 2012 where the Republicans lost their shot at the Senate because of the Teabaggers that won their primaries and then got slaughtered in the general election:

But for now, establishment-minded groups such as Crossroads have been slow to act, and their absence has caught the tea party’s attention. It’s using the vacuum to strengthen its influence while recruiting like-minded candidates.

“Establishment donors are unhappy. They spent a lot of money and didn’t do well,” said Sal Russo, the Tea Party Express political director.

“We’ve been busy,” he added, noting that his organization has interviewed more than 60 candidates this year across 17 states.

The tug of war between such groups isn’t helping Republicans unify around strong candidates.

Iowa’s Senate contest should be a promising pickup opportunity for Republicans. But some candidates in the crowded field have little proven campaign experience.

Outside spending can be helpful but doesn’t always mean success.

Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, saturated Iowa mailboxes and telephone lines recently to support conservative city council candidates. But they all lost.

Proof that the Kochs don’t always win.

And just think how bad it will be when the Suicide Caucusers shut down the government again in February.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Riddle Me This, Climate Change Denialists

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 19, 2012

In the wake of news about how the Heartland Institute serves as a cash and other payoffs conduit between anti-environmental climate change denialists and the rich industrialists that support them, the appearance of this graphic in my mailbox was quite apropos. If anyone can tell me its origin, I’d love to credit its creator:

There’s a chance that the Heartland Institute may even lose its tax-exempt status. That would be loverly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Riddle Me This, Climate Change Denialists

Yves Smith Catches A Koch Operative Posing As A Progressive

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 17, 2012

The sad irony that the overall utterly unacceptable Ron Paul — unacceptable, that is, if you like among other things Social Security, paved roads, and birth control (for starters) — is on some issues better than many Democrats, including Obama, is the stuff of unending arguments online these days.

In the course of fighting with Veal Pen types deceitfully conflating comparing Ron Paul and Barack Obama on foreign policy and civil liberties with being hardcore Paul worshippers, Yves Smith discovered something interesting about one of the lead attackers:

Who is Megan Carpentier? She’s currently the executive editor at Raw Story. And reading her salvo at Greenwald, most readers would assume she’s a progressive. She’s hectoring Greenwald from a presumed leftist position.

In fact, Carpentier is no such thing. She is a conservative opportunist using her feminist fundamentalism as a cover. She was a lobbyist for seven year and wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post which is noteworthy for trying to improve the public image of lobbyists by stating that they weren’t obscenely well paid, that they really were interested in politics, and that they provide helpful research to Congressional staffers.

But Carpentier is less than forthcoming about her history and her ideological leanings. Her last gig as a lobbyist was for the Tax Foundation, which was an early anti-New Deal outfit founded in 1937 by reactionary oligarchs like GM Chairman Alfred Sloan. It was “financially troubled” when the Koch brothers purchased its name and other assets and made it a unit of their’ “Citizens for a Sound Economy” (CSE in 2004 split into Americans For Prosperity and FreedomWorks). The Tax Foundation newsletter that announced she had joined touts her “extensive experience in promoting sound economic and tax policies to Congress and state legislatures.” In other words, she is a loyal and effective foot soldier for the right.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Yves Smith Catches A Koch Operative Posing As A Progressive

Ayn Rand Fan Tyler Cowen Doesn’t Like The Results Of Decades Of Randism On Conservatives

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 13, 2011

This just cracked me up.

Tyler Cowen, Ayn-Rand-worshiping product of and coddled hothouse flower in the conservative ideology factory and Koch Brothers plaything known as George Mason University, is all bummed out at how lazy and amoral conservatives and libertarian producers are letting themselves be outshone by liberal moochers in the intellectual and other departments:

The first problem is that higher status for the wealthy can easily lead to crony capitalism. In public discourse social status judgments are often crude. Critical differences are lost, like the distinction between earning money through production for consumers, as Apple has done, and earning money through the manipulation of government, which heavily subsidized agribusinesses have done. The relevant question, in my view, is not about how much you have earned but about how you have earned it. To further confuse matters, many right-wing Republican politicians supported corporate bailouts and corporate welfare far beyond what was necessary to stabilize the economy, in doing so further muddying the difference between productive and predatory capitalism.

The second problem is that many conservatives have become so attached to their cultural vision that they have ceded sound, technocratic reasoning to the left and center. For instance there is a common willingness among conservatives to defend the Bush tax cuts, even though the evidence does not show much of an economic payoff.


…today’s elites are so wedded to permissive values — in part for their own pleasure and convenience — that a new conservative cultural revolution may have little chance of succeeding.

Well, boo hoo hoo.

The spoiled-brat Cons Cowen rails about are precisely what you get when you rear three generations of conservatives on Ayn Rand’s mid-20th-century Social-Darwinist gloss on the Calvinistic idea that they are the Elect and everyone else is the Preterite.

Of course the modern Cons are lazy, stupid, greedy, and amoral — and it’s because they are Randians, even the self-alleged Christians among them like Mark Sanford.

They have been trained to think of themselves as the embodiment of her perfect elite, the studly producers and “makers” whose every action per Rand (including rape and murder) is self-justified, and to have nothing but contempt for the 99% — or as they call us, the “moochers”, “parasites” (a term adopted by rabid Randian Alan Greenspan (aka Mr. Andrea Mitchell) when he was a young man: “Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.”), “looters”, and “takers” (which math-challenged Rand worshiper Paul Ryan favors).

So when Cowen says that everyone needs to behave like “the hero from an Ayn Rand novel”, what he doesn’t mention is that the very conservatives and Republicans he’s allegedly complaining about are the ones who have taken Rand’s words most strongly to what passes for their self-interested, self-centered, other-ignoring, empathy-shunning hearts. Quelle surprise — not.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, libertoonians, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Kochtopus In Minnesota: Laura Brod, ALEC Stalwart

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 26, 2011

As you may have heard, the Wisconsin Republicans are trying to make life hell for a college professor who dared exercise his First Amendment rights. His subject: The influence of ALEC, the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, which crafted the templates for the anti-worker legislation being pushed nationwide by Republicans at the state level.

Who are the representatives of the Kochtopus in Minnesota? Hard to tell, as ALEC is a very secretive group that likes to fly under the radar. But Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie has a few clues:

Laura Brod is a past state chairman for ALEC; current state senator Gen Olson was her co-chair in 2010. (Current chair? Mary Kiffmeyer).

Want to set the Red Alert klaxons screaming at GOP Central? Dare to talk about ALEC.

Just as Professor Cronon’s ALEC phillipics have frightened the Wisconsin Republicans enough for them to try some really breathtakingly stupid intimidation and silencing tactics, Sally Jo Sorensen’s dissemination of the fact that Laura Brod, Gen Olson and the supremely nutty Mary Kiffmeyer are all prominent ALEC operatives has sent the Republicans into a Twitter frenzy. As Sorensen Tweeted in reply: “Love it when people spend hours insisting something isn’t important. Nice work if you can get it.”

Posted in Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Missing From GOP Justice Prosser’s Website: His Ties To Scott Walker

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 12, 2011

Where's the endorsement from the man Prosser promised to "compliment"?

How toxic are the electoral cooties attached to Scott Walker? David Prosser, the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, studiously avoids mentioning Walker — or even explicitly talking up his own Republican affiliation the way you’d expect a known Tea Party fan to do — anywhere on his campaign website for the upcoming April 5 contest between him and Democratic challenger JoAnn Kloppenberg. (See the above screenshot of his endorsements page. Notice the absence of Walker’s name?) This despite the fact that he was a former GOP Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, and is a person known for his intense Republican and pro-Walker partisanship, as this Blogging Blue piece from December shows:

A couple of weeks ago the campaign manager for the reelection campaign of Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser announced Prosser would “[protect] the conservative judicial majority and [act] as a common sense compliment to both the new administration and legislature,” and as first reported last week by Mike McCabe on the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Big Money Blog, Justice Prosser has allegedly made “promises” (or threats, depending on your perspective) to veer far to the right both during and after the election if attacked by the “left” during the campaign.

Furthermore, Prosser’s partisan conservative Republican credentials, already burnished by an appearance at a Tea Party event last year (and do I even have to mention that Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are Koch fronts?), were reinforced just last month by the fact that the Club for Growth, an arch-conservative group which has been funded in part by and linked to the Koch brothers since its founding in 1999, carpet-bombed the Wisconsin airwaves with an unbelievably lavish amount of ads for Prosser during the primary campaign for his seat on the court:

Through the primary election, more than half a million dollars — $591,000 — was spent overall on TV air time. Club for Growth, spending approximately $408,000, accounted for about 69 percent of all television advertising in the primary. It spent more than twice as much for ads supporting Prosser than was spent on TV by the incumbent’s challengers, combined. Club for Growth didn’t only ring up a higher total than the challengers, it paid more per advertisement: Club for Growth paid an average of about $400 for each of its ads, while Winnig paid less than $200 per ad, and Kloppenburg less than $150 per ad — indicating that Club for Growth’s ads were disproportionately placed in larger markets or during programming with larger audiences than the ads placed by Prosser’s challengers.

And yes, the Club for Growth is currently carpet-bombing the Wisconsin airwaves again, this time with ads backing the anti-worker stance of Scott Walker, Prosser’s fellow Kochhead.

Meanwhile, it turns out that it’s not just Prosser’s website that’s being kept free of his hardcore conservative and Koch associations — association that he shares with ideological twin Scott Walker. A YouTube video of him being interviewed by Kim and Steve of the Northwoods Patriots, a local branch of the Tea Party Patriots (which, of course, was and still likely is being run by Koch front group FreedomWorks) has been pulled by its poster from YouTube, not long after its existence was highlighted by a progressive Wisconsin blogger, the Brew City Brawler.

(Crossposted at MyFDL.)

Posted in Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Tea Party | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Just A Friendly Reminder RE: Wisconsin

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 5, 2011

Interested in helping the people of Wisconsin win back their state from the Koch brothers and Dick Armey? You can help by helping recall those eight Republicans who are eligible for recall elections.

Those from outside Wisconsin looking to help can do so here:

If you’re a Wisconsin resident, go here:

Have fun, gang!

Posted in abuse of power | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Just A Friendly Reminder RE: Wisconsin

GOPers Confuse Civil And Criminal Law, Make Asses Of Selves In Public

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 3, 2011

You can tell that Firedoglake is scaring the living daylights out of the conservatives tasked with defending Scott Walker and the other Koch Republicans in elective office in Wisconsin. A whole passel of them — or one determined fellow with a “persona management” account — has decided to invade this comments thread for this post at FDL concerning the highly unconstitutional (not to mention illegal) effort to pretend that the fourteen Democratic state senators in exile have broken a law and therefore are subject to arrest, even though the state constitution expressly exempts them from arrest for all civil complaints and in fact everything but “treason, felony and breach of peace”.

One of the trollies thinks he/she/it has a winning rebuttal with this citation:

Article IV, §15 – ANNOT.

The members of the Wisconsin Constitutional Convention did not intend to create a legislative privilege from criminal arrest and prosecution when they included article IV, section 15 in the Wisconsin Constitution. The phrase “treason, felony and breach of the peace” in that section was intended to mean all crimes. State v. Burke, 2002 WI App 291, 258 Wis. 2d 832, 653 N.W.2d 922, 02-2161.

Of course, said trollie is either really dumb and just copying what he/she/it saw cited by fellow trolls, or is an enormous, mendacious, disembodied anus. Because guess what? The Burke case is about criminal, not civil complaints — and a full reading of the paragraph so carefully and deceptively edited by the trollie or the person from whom the troll lifted the trope shows this clearly:

We conclude that the members of the Wisconsin Constitutional
Convention did not intend to create a legislative privilege from criminal arrest and
prosecution when they included article IV, section 15 in the Wisconsin
Constitution. The phrase “treason, felony and breach of the peace” in that section
was intended to mean “all crimes.” We therefore agree with the trial court that
Burke is not privileged from criminal prosecution.

Of course, the reason the Koch Republicans are so determined to try and criminalize time-honored and accepted political procedure is because they are about to lose their Senate majority to recall elections: “The Republicans are engaging in b.s. strong-arming because they know it’s their only chance to finish off the assault on public employee rights before their asses get kicked to the curb.”

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, 111th Congress, abuse of power | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: