Also too

Obama did not steal that contact your reps gimmick from us* because he also wants to be the first Google hit for the search string “skull+fuck+kitten”. He did it because it works. So do the man a favor and tell your elected whomever what you thought about the President’s speech. I would throw in that Obama’s plan is literally the least that we can do to address the problem, and if we really want to put a dent in nine-plus-percent unemployment then we should take more of that money that investors want to give us for free and build something really fucking big. Fix the electrical grid. Use your imagination.

Republican Reps and Senators need to hear from you more than anyone else. Call them first, and then phone your local Democrats and give some positive feedback.

Again, even though I have said this before, calling or writing matters more than most people think. Elected officials are expected to represent their constituents. Lacking psychic powers, they only know what you want because actual people tell them. That is what town halls are for. They keep staff on hand to read letters and answer the phones because hearing from you is a critical part of their job. When a Rep hears from nobody but hysterical FOX viewers screaming about the talking point crapola of the day, which is what happens most of the time, then those stupid talking points go way up on his or her priority list. That is how democracy works.

It would be great if we had enlightened Representatives who listened to some superawesome policy thinktank and gave people policies that make everything better whether constituents like it or not. That model even happens – more than you think! – but those thinktanks are run by evil people who produce shitty legislation that makes the country worse. The Center for American Progress, Paul Krugman and Al Gore will not team up and super-punch some sense into Obama, Olympia Snowe and whatever moderate Republicans the tea party has not yet bothered to clean out of the House. You need to do that.

Find your Congresscritter here.

Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Guide for first-timers here.

(*) Also from FDL. More’s the pity.








Ginning Up Their Base (-est)

Brad Friedman and Mother Jones have a meaty series of linked articles taking us “Inside the Koch Brothers’ Secret Seminar“:

“We have Saddam Hussein,” declared billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, apparently referring to President Barack Obama as he welcomed hundreds of wealthy guests to the latest of the secret fundraising and strategy seminars he and his brother host twice a year. The 2012 elections, he warned, will be “the mother of all wars.”
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Charles Koch would probably not publicly compare the president of the United States to a murderous dictator. (As a general rule, he and his brother don’t do much politicking or speechifying in public at all.) But Mother Jones has obtained exclusive audio recordings from the Koch seminar, a private event that took place in June at a resort near Vail, Colorado…
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Charles and David Koch are co-owners of Koch Industries, an energy and chemical conglomerate inherited from their father that is currently America’s second-largest privately held company. To date, the brothers have spent more than $100 million supporting hard-right political campaigns and institutions. They are key funders of the movement to discredit climate science and sow doubt on the scientific consensus that human activities contribute to global warming.
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The Kochs also bankrolled the fledgling tea party by making massive investments in right-wing political advocacy groups such as Americans for Prosperity as detailed by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker last year. More generally, the brothers have dedicated a portion of their vast wealth—and that of their benefactors—to influencing elections across the nation and swaying public opinion on everything from health care and fracking to labor policy and government spending…
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During his welcoming remarks, Charles Koch warned his guests that the 2012 elections are nothing short of a battle “for the life or death of this country.” He then acknowledged the individuals and families who had given more than $1 million to the brothers’ efforts—though he misspoke, saying “more than a billion,” earning a huge laugh from the crowd. “Well, I was thinking of Obama and his billion-dollar campaign,” Koch said, to more laughter and cheers. “So I thought, ‘We gotta do better than that.'” (Forbes pegs the brothers’ personal net worth at around $22 billion apiece.)…
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“We’ve had a lot of tough battles,” he continued. “We’ve lost a lot over the years, and we’ve won some recently.…And I pledge to all of you who’ve stepped forward and are partnering with us that we are absolutely going to do our utmost to invest this money wisely and get the best possible payoff for you in the future of our country.”

Because progressives are punctilious about fairness (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Kevin Drum points out that “[I]t’s quite possible that Koch intended something like, ‘Saddam Hussein called the Gulf War the mother of all wars, and for us, this is the mother of all wars we’ve got in the next 18 months.'”

Besides, when you read the whole thing, there’s plenty hard-data details to get righteously outraged over, apart from Koch’s habit of speaking from the murky depths of his Robber Baron id.



Just Pour Some Tussin On It

(Hey folks.  Zandar here. DougJ and John Cole in their infinite wisdom have allowed me to hit the shiny red self-destruct button fill in for Doug this week.  I’ll try not to back the Juice into a ditch.  More than like…4 times.)

Up in Wisconsin, Scott Walker yesterday signed the state’s budget into law, among the victims:  everyone in the state who doesn’t pull down a quarter-mil a year and women.

Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a budget that cuts funding for Planned Parenthood, after pushing the measure through the state Legislature without a single Democratic vote. Planned Parenthood denounced the decision to choke off state and federal funding to nine health centers in small communities that will deny preventative health care to 12,000 women who don’t have health insurance.

That’s state number four where Planned Parenthood has been cut from the table as Wisconsin joins Indiana, Kansas, and my home state of North Carolina in telling tens of thousands of women “Gynecology?  Just pour some Tussin on it.”  Oh hey, and Walker’s authorized some $800 million in education cuts and half a billion off “unspecified” Medicaid programs too.

At some point somebody has to start asking why red states are so damn eager to deny women basic preventative care like this, other than the Koch Brothers are planning to launch a chain of drive-in women’s clinics, or that they’ve contacted the Bene Tlilax and have axlotl tank technology, or they’re just colossally misogynist doucheknockers.  Maybe all three.

Between this and the Wingers defending Wisconsin state supreme court Judge Prosser’s alleged assault of a female judge, I can’t possibly come up with a reason why women aren’t flocking to Wisconsin Republicans.

[UPDATE 6:45PM] And Texas today makes it five red states to defund Planned Parenthood, plus turning Medicaid into a block grant so they kick as many people off the rolls as possible.








Greasy Koch Fingerprints on Your Jacked-Up Fuel Bills

Via commentor Alex S., Lee Fan at ThinkProgress has a Special Report on “How Koch Became An Oil Speculation Powerhouse, From Inventing Oil Derivatives To Deregulating The Market“:

In April, ThinkProgress caused a stir when we uncovered a series of Koch Industries corporate documents revealing the company’s role as an oil speculator. Like many oil companies, Koch uses legitimate hedging products to create price stability. However, the documents reveal that Koch is also participating in the unregulated derivatives markets as a financial player, buying and selling speculative products that are increasingly contributing to the skyrocketing price of oil. Excessive energy speculation today is at its highest levels ever, and even Goldman Sachs now admits that at least $27 of the price of crude oil is a result from reckless speculation rather than market fundamentals of supply and demand. Many experts interviewed by ThinkProgress argue that the figure is far higher, and out of control speculation has doubled the current price of crude oil…
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Charles Koch, the CEO of Koch Industries who is worth a reported $22 billion, likes to call his business an example of something he describes as the “Science of Liberty.” In reality, his company’s deregulation crusade has contributed to rolling blackouts, consolidation and monopolies in financial markets, and economy-wrecking oil price spikes. In comments to the CFTC, the reform-minded nonprofit Better Markets noted that, “the history of these markets is a history of anti-competitive, self-interested, predatory conduct that serves the interest of the exclusive few at the expense of the many and the system as a whole.”
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After working furiously to unleash oil speculators like Koch and Enron, the Gramm family was rewarded with plum jobs, including spots on corporate boards and placements at speculator-funded think tanks. Wendy Gramm still holds a position at the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University, although she hasn’t authored a paper in years. While the Gramm family has faded somewhat from the public eye, their actions have radically changed the global economy. Since the Koch-Gramm-Enron deregulation bonanza, non-commercial oil speculators have flooded the market and increased the price volatility of oil in leaps and bounds, hurting consumers and businesses across the globe while making a small set of oil barons and financial giants very rich…

Phil and Wendy Gramm! Another phun Republican couple, two busy legacies of the Reagan era, still hard at work (under the radar) stealing money from the 90% of us at the broad end of the income pyramid in service to their Robber Baron masters. Go read the whole report, for a timeline of the Koch’s very successful quarter-century campaign to destroy the American economy, and possibly the global biosphere, in pursuit of their insane ideology.