Everyone should read Blinded by the Right by David Brock.
Everyone should read Blinded by the Right by David Brock.
The Republicans would have us believe that the new sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh is a completely unsubstantiated claim.
A classmate of Ramirez’s, who declined to be identified because of the partisan battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination, said that another student told him about the incident either on the night of the party or in the next day or two. The classmate said that he is “one-hundred-per-cent sure” that he was told at the time that Kavanaugh was the student who exposed himself to Ramirez. He independently recalled many of the same details offered by Ramirez, including that a male student had encouraged Kavanaugh as he exposed himself. The classmate, like Ramirez, recalled that the party took place in a common room on the first floor in Entryway B of Lawrance Hall, during their freshman year. “I’ve known this all along,” he said. “It’s been on my mind all these years when his name came up. It was a big deal.” The story stayed with him, he said, because it was disturbing and seemed outside the bounds of typically acceptable behavior, even during heavy drinking at parties on campus.
Read the entire including more corroboration at The New Yorker
I stumbled on an incredible thread on Democratic Underground Friday morning. The thread on DU was a thread reader app of a very long thread originally posted on Twitter by poster putinsclown. In this thread putinsclown exposes economist James Buchanan as the intellect behind the scenes of the transformation of America into a libertarian dream.
Buchanan’s ideas were taken up by the Koch Brothers who have since used those ideas along with their vast fortune to make America safe for the extremely wealthy.
The original thread reader app Twitter thread can be found here – It is long for twitter with lots of illustrations. I can almost guarantee that your mouth will hang open in amazement’s you recognize the stages that America has been going through were called for by Buchanan.
Much of the thread is based on the work and research done by Nancy MacLean for he book “Democracy In Chains.” This book is in bookstores now.
For our purposes today I will steal from the post on democraticunderground:
THE “SKELETON HOLDING THE SMOKING GUN” IN THE @GOP CLOSET
@MSNBC @CNN @CBSNews @NBCNews @ABC @washingtonpost @nytimes
Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America
Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions, argues Duke historian Nancy MacLean
“Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America’s burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services…”
“If the Tennessee-born Nobel laureate were alive today, it would suit him just fine that most well-informed journalists, liberal politicians, and even many economics students have little understanding of his work.”
“His philosophy is so stark that even young libertarian acolytes are only introduced to it after they have accepted the relatively sunny perspective of Ayn Rand. (Yes, you read that correctly)”
“If Americans really knew what Buchanan thought and promoted, and how destructively his vision is manifesting under their noses, it would dawn on them how close the country is to a transformation most would not even want to imagine, much less accept.”
“While Americans grapple with Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency, we may be missing the key to changes that are taking place far beyond the level of mere politics. Once these changes are locked into place, there may be no going back.”
“A Tea Party-dominated Republican Party got control of both houses of the state legislature and began pushing through a radical program to suppress voter rights, decimate public services, and slash taxes on the wealthy that shocked a state long a beacon of southern moderation. “
“As she began to study his work closely, the events in North Carolina and also Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker was leading assaults on collective bargaining rights, shifted her focus.”
“MacLean was stunned. The archive of the man who had sought to stay under the radar had been left totally unsorted and unguarded. The historian plunged in, and she read through boxes and drawers full of papers that included personal correspondence between Buchanan and Koch.”
“She read through boxes and drawers full of papers that included personal correspondence between Buchanan and billionaire industrialist Charles Koch. That’s when she had an amazing realization: here was the intellectual linchpin of a stealth revolution currently in progress.”
“Buchanan was incensed at what he saw as a move toward socialism and deeply suspicious of any form of state action that channels resources to the public. Why should the federal government be able to force the wealthy to pay for goods and programs that served ordinary citizens?”
“Americans commonly assumed that elected officials wanted to act in the public interest. Buchanan vehemently disagreed — that was a belief he wanted, as he put it, to “tear down.” His ideas developed into a theory that came to be known as “public choice.”
“Buchanan’s view of human nature was distinctly dismal. Buchanan insisted that people were primarily driven by venal self-interest. politicians and government workers were out for themselves, and so, for that matter, were teachers, doctors, and civil rights activists.”
“Each person seeks mastery over a world of slaves,” he wrote in his 1975 book, The Limits of Liberty. Does that sound like your kindergarten teacher? It did to Buchanan. The people who needed protection were property owners.”
“The people who needed protection were property owners, and their rights could only be secured though constitutional limits to prevent the majority of voters from encroaching on them.”
“Buchanan saw society as a cutthroat realm of makers constantly under siege by takers. His own language was often more stark, warning the alleged “prey” of “parasites” and “predators” out to fleece them. The economist launched a center dedicated to his theories.”
“The economist launched a center dedicated to his theories at the University of Virginia, which later relocated to George Mason University. He trained thinkers to push back against the Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate America’s public schools”
“He trained thinkers to push back against the Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate America’s public schools and to challenge the constitutional perspectives and federal policy that enabled it.”
“He took care to use economic and political precepts, rather than overtly racial arguments, to make his case, which nonetheless gave cover to racists who knew that spelling out their prejudices would alienate the country.”
“Calhoun was an intellectual and political powerhouse in the South from the 1820s until his death in 1850, expending his formidable energy to defend slavery. Calhoun, called the “Marx of the Master Class”
“Calhoun, called the “Marx of the Master Class” by historian Richard Hofstadter, saw himself and his fellow southern oligarchs as victims of the majority. Therefore, as MacLean explains, he sought to create “constitutional gadgets” to constrict the operations of government.”
“Both focused on how democracy constrains property owners and aimed for ways to restrict the latitude of voters. Buchanan wanted a private governing elite of corporate power that was wholly released from public accountability.”
“Suppressing voting, changing legislative processes so that a normal majority could no longer prevail, sowing public distrust of government institutions— all these were tactics toward the goal. But the Holy Grail was the Constitution.” . . .
Sunday Funday: Chuck The Victim Edition
Chuck the Victim: (1 minute)
Poor Chuck. A woman gets nearly raped and killed and Chuck is the victim. As was the attempted rapist.
Hardly anyone ever thinks of the feelings of the overprivileged. Wealthy white guy who is on a mission to change America into a place where men like him can walk around safely. Now he must face down a challenge from a woman(!) who dares to disturb the plan and question HIS authority to order people about and intimidate them. Why, does she think she is human or something? This must be dealt with and Kavanaugh must be crowned. Dear Leader orders it and Chuck must follow Dear leaders orders.
Yet another historic week in crazyland:
A somewhat serious Andy Borowitz?
“Just to summarize: a mentally impaired and unfit President has nominated a binge-drinking sexual-assault suspect to the Supreme Court. What sort of government enables this state of affairs? A government that we must replace in November.”
We must give a nod of thanks to the Pulitzer committee for giving the 2017 award for editorial writing to Art Cullen of the Storm Lake Times. Since then we try to make it a practice of checking in with Mr. Cullen’s editorials. He always makes us think deeply on his subject of the day. Mr. Cullen uses an economy of words to convey some very deep thoughts in a way that every body can understand. And he makes a lot of sense.
This week his subject is the candidates for Iowa Agriculture Secretary. My headline is the headline that Mr. Cullen used in his editorial. The five words in that headline very succinctly captures the major difference between Democrat Tim Gannon (For Farmers) and Republican Mike Naig (Farm Bureau):
This used to be a sleeper job, the main responsibility making sure that fuel pumps work properly, and that grain elevators keep track of your corn and are insured if they don’t. That changed a few years ago. Republicans have built it up into an office that serves as an apologist for corporate agriculture that likes to run roughshod where it will. It now controls tens of millions in state funds for watershed improvement. Former Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey did not favor the release of how that money was being used, and we understand that the current administration under appointee Naig continues to hold watershed improvement plans close to the vest. That’s because Iowans would be disturbed to know that millions of dollars are being wasted on bioswales and other micro-patches of engineering that look nice but achieve little.
There is a considerable push to increase the state sales tax to accommodate a 3/8th cent stream of revenue to water quality, conservation and recreation. That would suggest tens of millions more under the dark money control of the Koch Brothers of Wichita and Bayer-Monsanto of Germany. And that is the way it works under a Republican administration. They turn over control of the state universities and research, they tell the public that we are doing something, and everyone is free to carry on as they are. Look: We have all these plans and all this money, so don’t worry. Yet, the nitrate levels in the Raccoon River persist. What the Republicans need is more money, more plans and more time to make this chemical agriculture work right for them.
Gannon comes from a John Deere lineage. We do not mistake him for Wendell Berry or Michael Pollan. But at least we know that his customer is the farmer and not the Farm Bureau. We need to know that someone is watching how agribusiness is spending our tax dollars. For now, the Koch Brothers are calling the shots over a huge river of money. The Farm Bureau, Iowa’s largest insurance company, last week endorsed Mike Naig. Gannon didn’t even get a mention. That tells us that Gannon is the man who can bring control over this increasingly opaque office that wields increasingly more power and influence in the state’s politics. The office is taking power and budget from the Department of Natural Resources to redirect the flow of money from natural resource preservation to agricultural engineering. Ag engineering got us into the problem of nitrate in the Raccoon River that poisons us and the Gulf of Mexico. It won’t get us out. Better stewardship will, and that starts with the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Gannon is the man who will watch out for farmers. Naig will watch out for Farm Bureau.
There is much more at the link, including some well thought out comments on Chuck Grassley’s current situation.
Once again a big tip of the hat to Art Cullen. A very good and thoughtful column.
Let me add an interesting story found at IowaWatch.org
In this article, Iowa Watch discusses the various ways the term “family farm” is being interpreted and how those interpretations can help or hinder the family farm itself. As you can imagine the lifestyle that the term “family farm” conjures up in our minds is not what those defining “family farm” define it as. Also the commonly held concept of a family farm is nearly extinct.
“What we’ve found is that the definition of family farm is being stretched…,” Aaron Lehman, president of the Iowa Farmers Union, said. “The public in general wants to see what they think of as a family farmer succeed and oftentimes we see that image distorted to include operations that indeed are much more corporate in nature.”
The federal government definition has become the overriding one for industry professionals when networking and marketing farm products and influencing public policy.
Stretching the definition in this way takes the focus off of small, non-conventional family farms, IowaWatch interviews showed.
While broad definitions by policymakers and the USDA effectively make small, non-conventional family farms invisible in research-based policy discussions, commodity interest groups like the corn growers, soybean and pork producers associations do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to maintaining and expanding markets for conventional producers.
A lot more at the link that helps explain why the true family farmer is a hard row to hoe in today’s world.
A message from the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama:
It’s no secret that I’m a big believer in hope and change.
But I’m also a big believer in reality. Hope that is not rooted in reality will never lead to the change we desire.
If you don’t like things you see, you can’t just close your eyes and long for something better. You’ve got to open them, embrace reality, and channel that hope into action.
America didn’t become that shining city on the hill by wishing for it. We built it with clear eyes, righteous ambition, and unwavering determination.
So I’m asking you to recall that unlikely story of America — a story that forever validates our hope — and help write its next chapter.
I’m asking you to be neither blind to, nor dismayed by, reality — but motivated by it.
Those who believe in democracy and civil rights and a common humanity will always have the upper hand. That’s not just something I want to believe; I believe it because history has proven it true.
But history has also proven that virtue alone is not enough. A better vision will only prevail if we work tirelessly on behalf of that vision.
If we want a more representative, more just, more inclusive democracy, we need to keep fighting for it.
If we want policies that lift up the most vulnerable instead of politicians who put them down, we need to keep organizing.
If we want a more perfect union, we need to build it together, from the bottom up.
Say you’ll do the work to make this vision a reality:
44th President of the United States
Dave Loebsack is Iowa’s only Democrat representing us in DC. Let’s make sure he stays there. This November we need to re-elect Dave and send more Democrats to congress. Check out Dave’s website and FB page to find out how you can help Dave’s re-election campaign. Go to the Iowa Democratic Party website to find out how to help other Democratic candidates.
ICYMI on Iowa Press. Enjoy a civil debate, rare in these political times. DeJear did a great job explaining why the SOS office needs to take more responsibility for making sure everyone gets to vote and local electon staff are trained to deal with the new voter ID law.
Urgent election message from Rob Hogg
With 55 days left in this year’s general election, your participation now is critical. We have the opportunity to sweep back into the majority, un-do the damage being done, and build a healthier, safer, more prosperous, more inclusive, and more sustainable future for all Iowans.
Here are five things you can do to help our incumbents, our challengers, and our new candidates running to hold open seats (see list at bottom of email):
1. Keep listening to Iowans on behalf of our candidates and our party.
2. Educate Iowans about the bad things Republicans have done – to workers, education, health care, human services, public safety, natural resources, etc. – and about the good things Democrats have done and want to do.
3. Volunteer for candidates who need help at the doors, on the phones, with data entry, with yard signs, and all kinds of other campaign help.
4. Contribute more financially, as much as you are able and as soon as you are able – this is a “now or never” moment for our state and our country.
5. Vote – voting starts on Monday, October 8, and runs through Tuesday, November 6.
Day of Action for Vicky Brenner, Wednesday, September 12, 4:00 p.m., Indianola
Join us at 4:00 p.m. today at the Warren County Democratic Office, 120 W. Ashland Ave., in Indianola to support Vicky Brenner, candidate for state senate in Iowa Senate District 13. For more details, visit:
Phone Bank to Young Voters, Thursday, September 13, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Cedar Rapids
Join my campaign manager, Madelyn Carlson, Campaign for Iowa staff, and other volunteers at the campaign office, 2706 First Avenue NE, in Cedar Rapids, for a phone bank to young voters in Senate District 33. (I cannot attend due to a work commitment.) For more details, visit:
Senator Rob Hogg’s Issue School, Tuesday, September 18, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., Muscatine
Join Laura Liegois, candidate for state representative for Iowa House District 91, who is hosting my “issue school” at Musser Public Library, 408 E. 2nd St., in Muscatine. For more details, visit:
CYDI “Fall Conference,” Saturday, September 22, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Cedar Rapids
The “fall conference” of the College and Young Democrats of Iowa will be in Iowa Hall at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. I plan to attend at least some of the conference, and hope to see a large group of students and young Democrats there. For more details, visit:
Iowa Senate District 33 Candidate Forum, Tuesday, October 9, 6:00 p.m., Cedar Rapids
Mark your calendars now for the League of Women Voters of Linn County candidate forum for myself and the other candidate for Iowa Senate District 33 at the public library, 450 5th Ave. SE, in downtown Cedar Rapids. For more details, visit:
As always, I hope this information is helpful. Together, with a renewed spirit of citizenship, we can stop and reverse the damage being done to our state and our country, and build a better future for all Iowans and all Americans.
Senator Rob Hogg
STATE LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATE LIST (NON-INCUMBENTS)
Senate candidates seeking seats currently held by Republicans:
SD3 – Dave Dawson (Sioux City / LeMars)
SD5 – John O’Brien (Fort Dodge)
SD7 – Jackie Smith (Sioux City)
SD11 – Sara Ramsey (Corning)
SD13 – Vicky Brenner (Indianola)
SD19 – Amber Gustafson (Ankeny)
SD25 – Tracy Freese (Iowa Falls)
SD41 – Mary Stewart (Ottumwa / Fairfield)
SD47 – Marie Gleason (Bettendorf)
Senate candidates seeking open seats currently held by Democrats:
SD15 – Dan Nieland (Newton / Altoona)
SD21 – Claire Celsi (West Des Moines)
SD35 – Todd Taylor (Cedar Rapids)
SD37 – Zach Wahls (Coralville / Tipton)
SD49 – Patti Robinson (Clinton)
House candidates seeking seats currently held by Republicans:
HD1 – Karen Larson (Larchwood / Spirit Lake)
HD2 – Ryan Odor (Spencer)
HD5 – Andrew Emanuel (Le Mars)
HD6 – Rita DeJong (Sioux City)
HD7 – Debra Jensen (Estherville / Forest City)
HD8 – Connie Price (Britt / Clarion)
HD10 – Jake Thompson (Rockwell City)
HD12 – Peter Leo (Audubon / Carroll)
HD16 – Steve Gorman (Council Bluffs)
HD17 – Jan Creasman (Onawa / Ida Grove)
HD19 – Gregg Gustafson (Adel)
HD20 – Warren Varley (Guthrie Center / Greenfield)
HD21 – Denise O’Brien (Atlantic / Creston)
HD22 – Ray Stevens (Avoca)
HD23 – Chuck Larson (Glenwood / Red Oak)
HD24 – James Uhlenkamp (Mount Ayr)
HD25 – Ryan Marquardt (Winterset)
HD27 – Richard Foster (Osceola)
HD28 – Ann Fields (Knoxville)
HD30 – Kent Balduchi (Altoona)
HD37 – Andrew Rasmussen (Ankeny)
HD38 – Heather Matson (Ankeny)
HD39 – Karin Derry (Johnston)
HD42 – Kristin Sunde (West Des Moines)
HD43 – Jennifer Konfrst (Clive)
HD44 – Kenan Judge (Waukee)
HD47 – David Weaver (Boone)
HD48 – Tim Winter (Webster City)
HD49 – Brenda Brink (Nevada / Eldora)
HD50 – Dennis Evans (Iowa Falls / Grundy Center)
HD51 – Tim Knutson (Osage)
HD55 – Kayla Koether (Decorah)
HD56 – Lori Egan (Waukon)
HD57 – Nancy Fett (Dyersville)
HD58 – Joe Oclon (Bellevue / Maquoketa)
HD60 – David Williams (Cedar Falls)
HD63 – Eric Stromberg (Waverly)
HD67 – Eric Gjerde (Hiawatha)
HD68 – Molly Donahue (Marion)
HD72 – Mindy Benson (Tama / Toledo)
HD73 – Jodi Clemens (Tipton)
HD75 – Paula Denison (Vinton)
HD76 – Ann Egley (Williamsburg / Grinnell)
HD78 – Kimberly Davis (Washington / Sigourney)
HD79 – Samantha Keith (Oskaloosa / Pella)
HD80 – Susan McDanel (Albia / Centerville)
HD84 – Jason Moats (Mt. Pleasant)
HD88 – Lanny Hillyard (Mediapolis / Columbus Junction)
HD91 – Laura Liegois (Muscatine)
HD92 – Jean Simpson (Eldridge)
HD94 – Joan Marttila (Bettendorf)
HD95 – Christian Andrews (Center Point / Central City / Mt. Vernon)
HD96 – Reenie Montgomery (Manchester / Monticello)
HD97 – Tim McClimon (DeWitt)
House candidates seeking open seats currently held by Democrats:
HD9 – Megan Srinivas (Fort Dodge)
HD70 – Tracy Ehlert (Cedar Rapids)
HD83 – Jeff Kurtz (Keokuk / Fort Madison)
HD99 – Lindsay James (Dubuque)