Koch brothers

The Koch Brothers are evil liars - just ask Harry Reid

It seems that every day there is a new story about the horrors of Obamacare, whether it’s the desperately ill losing their doctors or coverage for life-saving treatments, or radically increasing costs for insurance. The vast majority of this coverage is being handled by conservative or libertarian media outlets, but occasionally something hits the mainstream.

When Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) admitted that he lost his cancer doctor due to his switch to Obamacare, at least a few people probably started thinking that it was finally getting close enough to home for lawmakers to realize that this law is causing real problems for real people every day.

Perhaps Senator Harry Reid missed that story. To be fair, it did appear on Fox News, and it’s possible that Coburn didn’t bother to point out his personal problems to the leader of his chamber on the Hill. Whatever the reasoning or logic, Reid seems to be determined to tow the party line, and insist that all the problems with Obamacare - all the horror stories from people about high costs and limited choices among healthcare providers - are simply lies. It truly is something to behold, that it simply must be shared:

Libertarianism is like the new communism, dude

Michael Hamilton is a libertarian writer living in Washington, D.C. His main interests are economics, drug legalization, immigration, and land-use policy.

Libertarianism is the new communism, at least if you ask Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu:

Most people would consider radical libertarianism and communism polar opposites: The first glorifies personal freedom. The second would obliterate it. Yet the ideologies are simply mirror images. Both attempt to answer the same questions, and fail to do so in similar ways.

This colorful lede suggested they might offer a new critique of libertarianism, but my hopes were quickly dashed. The authors end up retreading old arguments—seemingly unaware that others had done so many times before. Their failure to offer a substantive appraisal of libertarian ideas may stem from low familiarity with libertarianism itself.

Hanauer and Liu start with a decent definition of libertarianism, namely that it is “the ideology that holds that individual liberty trumps all other values.” This is fairly accurate characterization of the moral beliefs held by many libertarians. Unfortunately, the authors struggle to trace these moral foundations to basic philosophical  or policy positions held by actual libertarians.

Cato and the Future of Libertarianism

An earthquake rocked the libertarian world last week when news broke that a lawsuit had been filed over the ownership of shares in the Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank founded some 30 year ago in the wake of Ed Clark’s run as the 1980 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee. It started, apparently, last year with the death of William Niskanen, who along with Ed Crane, David Boaz, and countless others, had spent three decades shaping Cato into not just the leading libertarian public policy think tank, but also an organization that has become well-respected on both sides of the political aisle.

It’s difficult to list everything that Cato has done in the past thirty years, because they’ve done so much. They publish numerous publicy policy analyis reports on every subject that the nation’s leaders deal with. For many years they have published a guide book for each new Congress. Since the late 1980s they have run Cato University, an opportunity for young libertarians to learn from an interact with some truly great minds. Indeed, yours truly particlpated in one of those seminars at Dartmouth College in 1989 and I still remember it as one of the most intellectually engaging weeks of my life. That’s just a short list, I’m sure I’m missing something.

In any case, the dispute that is rocking Cato now is, as I said rooted in the death of William Niskanen last year, and a shareholder agreement with Charles and David Koch:

The billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch filed a lawsuit Wednesday for control of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.

Thought police: Global warming alarmist wants laws on the books to punish skeptics

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr

Don’t you dare deny that climate change exists, says Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Forget about the First Amendment and free speech, the climate alarmist wants to use the power of the federal government to punish climate skeptics who voice their opinions:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of climate change’s loudest activists, said there should be a law that lets authorities punish skeptics and deniers - those who engage in “selling out the public trust,” he said, in an interview with Climate Depot during New York City’s recent People’s Climate March.

“I wish there were a law you could punish them with,” he said, in the videotaped interview. “I don’t think there is a law that you can punish these politicians under … [and skeptical politicians are] selling out the public trust.”

Kennedy also believes that CEOs of big corporations should be sent to the Hague like war criminals. He added that he believes that Charles and David Koch, the libertarian brothers who give to freedom-minded causes, should be tried for “reckless endangerment”.

Here’s the video:

Tolerance: FreedomWorks’ Deneen Borelli and C.L. Bryant verbally attacked for showing up at the NAACP convention

FreedomWorks' Deneen Borelli and C.L. Bryant verbally attack for showing up at the NAACP convention

FreedomWorks was able to land a booth this year at the NAACP’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada where they hoped to share free market ideas. But Deneen Borelli and Rev. C.L. Bryant received some blowback for — gasp! — daring to show up.

A women who identified herself as “Adrian Jones” approached the booth and began berating Borelli and Bryant for their association with FreedomWorks and the Tea Party movement. While the two black conservatives tried to explain what they believed, Ms. Jones barely let them get a word in edgewise.

“They don’t stand for any of the values of what the NAACP stands for. They don’t need to be in here,” Jones said after she went off on Bryant and Borelli. When asked why she was bothered by their presence at the NAACP convention, Jones replied, “The billionaire Koch brothers is funding the FreedomWorks. That’s what has me upset.”

Watch the video below via Progressive Today:

Left-wing hypocrisy: They want money in politics as long as it comes from George Soros and Tom Steyer

George Soros

When conservative millionaires like the Koch brothers funnel money into right-wing causes, it’s evil; when liberal millionaires funnel money into left-wing causes, it’s noble. At least that’s what “right-wing hit-man” David Brock is telling wealthy liberals who are being called hypocrites for using their millions to swing elections.

In a piece titled “The existential crisis of the liberal millionaire,” POLITICO reveals the strategy Brock is employing to ease concerns of left-wing megadonors:

“You’re not in this room today trying to figure out how to rig the game so you can be free to make money poisoning little kids, and neither am I,” Brock told donors this month at a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to someone who attended the conference, but who declined to be identified because it was closed to the press.

“Subscribing to a false moral equivalence is giving the Kochs exactly what they want: keeping us quiet about what they’re doing to destroy the very fabric of our nation,” added Brock, whose deep-pocketed nonprofit groups are leading the charge to make the conservative megadonors Charles and David Koch an issue in the 2014 midterms.

Harry Reid’s head explodes: Koch brothers donate $25 million to send black students to college

Harry Reid and the Kochs

Harry Reid’s obsession with the Koch Brothers is well-documented. In fact, Reid and the Democrats’ addiction is so bad that even Beltway media outlets like POLITICO have taken notice, and they’re not even buying what the Democrats are selling:

But if you pull back the curtain on the Democrats’ Koch brothers’ song and dance, you find that the premise of their campaign is not only flawed but actually underscores how hypocritical the party is when it comes to campaign finance. The reality is that it’s the Democrats who have a Koch problem.

And though Harry Reid and the Democrats would have you believe the Kochs are evil capitalists who exploit workers fore billions in profits, the numbers would suggest otherwise.

The Koch family has a massive charitable network that gives millions of dollars to the arts, humanities, education, and medical research, and David Koch is listed as the 24th most charitable American of 2013, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

And most recently, the Kochs donated $25 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). WaPo reports:

Tea Party Patriots hits Harry Reid with an ethics complaint for using Senate resources to fuel his Koch addiction

Tea Party Patriots has hit Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) with an ethics complaint over his ridiculous attacks on Charles and David Koch, libertarian billionaires who have contributed millions to both political and philanthropic causes:

Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, filed the complaint, charging Reid with “unlawfully and unethically targeting private citizens.”

The complaint further states that Reid “has misused Senate staff or resources to engage in partisan campaign activity in violation of federal laws and Senate rules.”
“It’s been generations since a member of the Senate has abused the power of his office to attack private citizens the way Harry Reid has sought to vilify Charles and David Koch,” Martin said.

She said Reid’s tactics are “nothing more than a continuation of the thuggish intimidation campaign mounted by the Obama administration to target and silence people and organizations Democrats disagree with.”

Tea Party Patriots also filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for “improper conduct,” pointing to the pressure he put on the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department to prosecute Tea Party and conservative groups.

Harry Reid’s ridiculous Koch obsession is a sign that he needs psychological help

Harry Reid

It’s a strange and fascinating thing that Democrats on the Hill parade around as a moral obligation the cause of exposing the dastardly deeds of the Koch brothers and the vast wealth they spend on libertarian and conservative causes.

Dave Weigel of Slate brings us the tale of yet another effort, this time in the basement of the Capitol Visitors Center no less, in the form of a private screening of a documentary called “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition”:

The “movie premiere” wasn’t supposed to happen at all. Instead, it happened a little late. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both endorsed a screening of Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition in one of the basement rooms of the Capitol Visitors Center. Republicans spied a possible ethics violation—how could this movie, an hour of agitprop from Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films, not be “political”?

The screening wasn’t canceled. Nobody had enough to gain from canceling it. Instead, on Tuesday night, Brave New Films set up chairs and a screen and waited for late votes to end in Congress so their special hosts could show up.

Today in Liberty: Harry Reid backs anti-speech amendment, emails show IRS DC office coordinated targeting of conservatives

“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.” — Voltaire

— Free speech doesn’t apply to the Koch brothers, apparently: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is backing a constitutional amendment that would limit political speech, framing the issue around the Koch brothers, obviously. “It’s been tried before, we should continue to push this and it should become our issue. That really puts the Koch brothers up against it. We believe and I believe that there should be spending limits,” Reid told BuzzFeed. “We’re going to push a constitutional amendment so we can limit spending because what is going on today is awful.” Yep. It’s just “awful” that the people use the First Amendment to say things that Harry Reid doesn’t like.

— Speaking of Harry Reid’s Koch addiction: Jon Stewart took aim at Reid on Tuesday night for his obsession with the Koch brothers even though he defends the likes of Sheldon Adelson, a Nevada casino owner who spends his money fighting against online gambling. “What is corruption?” Stewart asked The Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones. “Corruption is a billionaire who spends their money on shit you don’t like,” he replied. “What is free speech?” Stewart asked. “A billionaire who spends money on shit you do like,” Jones said.

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