30 июня, 16:05

Mike Munger Reviews “Democracy in Chains”

(Don Boudreaux) TweetMike Munger’s review of Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains is simultaneously scholarly and devastating.  Here are some slices (but do read the whole review): But decoding and paraphrasing, rather than charitable quoting, is the organon of MacLean’s book. Not of her other work, however, which as I have said is admirably […]

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26 июня, 22:00

Don't Be Fooled By The Gentler Tone Of Charles Koch's Climate-Change Denial

The billionaire GOP megadonor embraces climate science just enough to not sound like an extremist.

26 июня, 20:13

Koch network donors eye Trump and Congress warily on health care, taxes

A combination of hope and concern infused the summer seminar meeting of the Koch brothers' network of conservative groups.

25 июня, 19:37

Koch Brothers' Groups Criticize GOP Senate Health Care Bill For Not Being Conservative Enough

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The network of political advocacy groups funded by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch is waging a campaign against Senate Republicans’ health care bill because the conservative organizations feel it does not go far enough toward undoing the Affordable Care Act. At a weekend retreat to strategize for the 2018 midterm elections, representatives from the Koch brothers’ sprawling network said the groups hope to influence GOP lawmakers in designing an even more stringent bill that further rolls back measures implemented by Obamacare. “This Senate bill needs to get better. It has to get better,” said Tim Phillips, the president of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity. The Koch brothers and their political groups have spent years advocating for the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, particularly its expansion of Medicaid, which has been popular even among Republicans. Phillips said the Senate legislation, which goes even further than the House GOP bill in making deep cuts to Medicaid, is just a “slight nip and tuck.” “At the end of the day, this bill is not going to fix health care,” James Davis, the Koch network’s spokesman, told reporters Saturday. “We are going to be focusing our efforts out into the future on how we can fix it.” At the retreat in Colorado, the groups announced they will spend $300 million to $400 million to support conservative candidates and policies in next year’s midterms. The Kochs were highly critical of President Donald Trump during last year’s election and chose not to deploy their vast political network to help the then-presidential candidate. But they consider Vice President Mike Pence a conservative ally, and according to multiple reports, Charles Koch discussed the health care bill with Pence on Friday night. Some of the senators attending the retreat have voiced opposition to the bill as well, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), who also think the bill does not go far enough in repealing Obamacare. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) announced Sunday afternoon at the retreat that he is “uncommitted” to the current version of the Senate bill, saying it “is not a full repeal or a full replace piece of legislation.” Also in attendance, according to The Washington Post, are Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), as well as Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). This article has been updated with a statement from Sen. Ben Sasse. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 июня, 02:11

Koch network ramps up political spending while trying to push Trump team

Vice President Mike Pence met with Charles Koch the day before a Koch network summit.

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23 июня, 06:00

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2)

Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2).” (You can find part 1 here, and subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.) Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political […] The post Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2) appeared first on Freakonomics.

22 июня, 06:00

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 1)

Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political machine, sees himself as a classical liberal. So why do most Democrats hate him so much? In a rare series of interviews, he explains his political awakening, his management philosophy and why he supports legislation that goes against his self-interest. The post Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 1) appeared first on Freakonomics.

15 июня, 06:00

Evolution, Accelerated

A breakthrough in genetic technology has given humans more power than ever to change nature. It could help eliminate hunger and disease; it could also lead to the sort of dystopia we used to only read about in sci-fi novels. So what happens next? The post Evolution, Accelerated appeared first on Freakonomics.

07 июня, 09:10

Джеффри Сакс. Сломанная демократия Америки

Этот тот самый Сакс, который Гайдара учил. И из тех самых Саксов, который Goldman Sachs. Со всеми вытекающими Безумные нападки президента США Дональда Трамп на Парижское климатическое соглашение 2015 года отчасти являются продуктом его невежества и нарциссизма. Но не только. Это ещё и результат глубокой коррупции американской политической системы, которая, согласно последним оценкам, перестала быть «полноценной демократией». Американская политика превратилась в игрушку в руках могущественных корпораций: снижение налогов для богатых, отмена регулирования самых главных загрязнителей окружающей среды, а для всего остального мира – войны и глобальное потепление.

01 июня, 20:16

Paris deal foes to attend Trump's climate announcement

President Donald Trump will be joined at the White House Thursday by some of the most ardent foes of the Paris climate accord, in yet another indication that he most likely plans to announce the U.S. is withdrawing from the deal. The audience for the 3 p.m. Rose Garden event will include Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance — a group that has received some of its funding from billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch — and some of his policy staff. Also present will be Competitive Enterprise Institute director Myron Ebell, who briefly led Trump's transition efforts at the EPA, and members of CEI's Center for Energy and Environment. The Heritage Foundation is sending founder Ed Feulner, Vice President Jack Spencer, Senior Vice President Bridgett Wagner, policy analyst Katie Tubb and Mike Needham, who runs Heritage Action. All three groups waged an intensive campaign to persuade the administration to pull out of the deal. "Why would we have gotten these invitations unless basically he was going to decide to pull out," said Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at CEI who will attend the announcement. "This is exactly why the country needed President Trump to make this kind of very hard decision but one that’s best for the long term interests for America and the world. ... I’m honored to participate if only by being in proximity."White House officials said Wednesday that Trump planned to withdraw from the 195-country climate agreement, although they have cautioned that it is always possible the president will change his mind.

30 мая, 14:19

Millennials are less keen than previous generations on illicit drugs

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DEMOCRATS and Republicans do not agree on much, but members of both parties have found common ground in recent years on criminal-justice reform. Both Barack Obama and Charles Koch, a businessman who supports right-wing causes, want to reduce mass incarceration in America by softening laws that punish non-violent drug offenders.

19 мая, 16:02

Can Trump’s Koch-Funded Appointees Stall Clean Energy Momentum?

When The Washington Post reported earlier this month that President Trump appointed Daniel Simmons to run the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the paper called him a “conservative scholar.” Conservative scholar? “Fossil fuel industry propagandist” would have been more accurate. A veteran of Charles and David Koch’s climate science denier network, Simmons’ has spent much of his career disparaging clean energy. His most recent job was at the Institute for Energy Research (IER), where he served as the think tank’s vice president for policy. Prior to joining IER, he was the Natural Resources Task Force director for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporation-funded lobby group that, like IER, has been trying to repeal state standards that require electric utilities to use more renewable energy. And before that, he was a research fellow at the libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason University. All three organizations have received substantial funding from the Koch brothers, owners of the coal, oil and gas conglomerate Koch Industries, who have spent more than $100 million over the last two decades on dozens of think tanks and advocacy groups to spread climate disinformation. IER and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), are particularly indebted to the Kochs for both funding and staffing. Between 2010 and 2014, they received more than $5 million from Koch-controlled funds. And, like Simmons, top IER-AEA officials are well-entrenched members of the Koch network. IER founder and CEO Robert L. Bradley, Jr., for example, is an adjunct scholar at the Koch-founded and -funded Cato Institute and the Koch-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute. He also has been a featured speaker at the Koch-funded Heartland Institute’s annual climate science-bashing conference. IER-AEA President Thomas Pyle, meanwhile, is a former lobbyist for Koch Industries and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. Pyle oversaw the Trump Energy Department transition team, which included Simmons and Travis Fisher, an IER economist who also is now on the DOE staff. Given Simmons’ résumé, it’s no surprise that he belittles efforts to address global warming, disingenuously asserting that the “economic damages” of curbing carbon emissions “would be greater than the damage caused by a warming world.” Never mind that if we continue to burn carbon at the same rate, U.S. property losses by 2050 from sea level rise alone would be astronomical, ranging from $66 billion to $106 billion. Predictably, Simmons also is a staunch opponent of federal support for wind and solar power. He argues that the “government should get out of the business of betting taxpayer dollars on energy projects,” conveniently ignoring the fact that fossil fuels themselves are heavily subsidized. According to a new analysis by Management Information Services for the Nuclear Energy Institute, fossil fuels have received $666 billion (in 2015 dollars) in federal incentives since 1950, four times what renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, biofuels and biomass, have received. More than 80 percent of that fossil fuel support went to the oil and gas industry, which, according to a 2011 study by DBL Investors, has been receiving an average of $4.86 billion (in 2010 dollars) in federal subsidies every year since 1918. Perry’s Anti-Renewables Study Simmons will serve as acting assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy until the Senate confirms someone for the post. He will then settle in as the office’s principal deputy assistant secretary. While it’s too early to find his fingerprints on anything, his former IER colleague, Travis Fisher, has already raised some concerns. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who also has received generous contributions from the Kochs over the years, tapped Fisher to conduct a study to assess if federal support for renewable energy threatens baseload power generators — nuclear and coal plants — and undermines electricity grid reliability. Seven members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee have questioned the rationale for the study. In a letter to Perry, they complained that the “study, as you have framed it, appears to be intended to blame wind and solar power for the financial difficulties facing coal and nuclear electric generators” and criticized the fact that Fisher, who is clearly biased against renewables, was tasked with leading the study. Historically low natural gas prices are largely responsible for recent nuclear and coal plant closures, the senators pointed out, and several recent studies have found that wind and solar power facilities have grid reliability. The irony here, of course, is Texas — where Perry served as governor from 2000 until 2015 — is the nation’s leading state for wind energy. Lone Star wind turbines generate enough electricity to power 7 million average U.S. households and provide more than 24,000 jobs. On top of that, 10,000 Texans work in the solar industry and another 70,000 work in the energy efficiency field. By comparison, the coal industry employs only 50,000 workers nationwide. Regardless, Perry likely plans to use Fisher’s grid reliability study as a pretext for rolling back incentives for wind and solar and boosting coal, one of President Trump’s campaign promises. Likewise, the study could give the Trump administration ammunition to attack state standards requiring utilities to increase their use of renewables. Clean Energy Progress at the State Level States are where the action is — and likely will continue to be — given the Trump administration’s aversion to renewable energy and years of gridlock on Capitol Hill. “There’s a lot of clean energy momentum across the country, including in states where you might not expect it,” said John Rogers, a senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and lead author of a recent report rating state-by-state progress. “The federal government has been playing an important role in encouraging renewable energy, efficiency and vehicle electrification—at least until recently—but we found that the states that have shown leadership are already reaping economic and environmental benefits, including new jobs, cleaner air and lower public health risks.” Indeed, the growth of clean energy across the country has been nothing short of stupendous. Wind power generation, for example, increased more than tenfold over the past decade, according to the UCS report, while its cost dropped by two-thirds over the last six years. Wind farms in 41 states now provide enough electricity to power more than 20 million average U.S. households. Solar power capacity, meanwhile, has jumped more than 900 percent since 2011, while the cost of residential solar electric power fell by more than 50 percent since 2009 and large-scale solar costs declined even more. The public is, by and large, on board. A new Pew Research Center poll found that 83 percent of Americans say expanding the use of renewable energy is a “top” or “important” national priority. Further, 54 percent of the survey respondents agree that “government regulations are necessary to encourage businesses and consumers to rely more on renewable energy sources.” Renewable energy’s remarkable track record has encouraged a number of states to up the ante. Just a few years ago, ambitious states set a goal of generating 25 percent to 30 percent of their electricity from renewable energy. Today, six of the 29 states with renewable energy standards are aiming to generate 50 percent or more of their electricity from wind, solar and other clean sources. That’s the good news. The bad news is Koch surrogates have been targeting these state standards for years, and now two former IER staff members — not to mention their new boss — are in a position to do something about them. Certainly it would be the height of hypocrisy for an administration that extols states’ rights to try to scuttle state renewable energy standards, but for the Trump administration, hypocrisy is the norm. With so much clean energy momentum in blue and red states alike, the open question is just how much damage Trump’s DOE appointees will be able to do. Elliott Negin is a senior writer at the Union of Concerned Scientists. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

18 мая, 12:13

Kochs boost Trump tax plan

In a potential boost for President Donald Trump’s largely stagnant tax reform effort, the Koch brothers’ advocacy operation is planning to spend millions of dollars advocating for changes to the tax code that mirror the ones proposed by the White House.The two leading groups in the conservative advocacy operation spearheaded by the billionaire megadonors Charles and David Koch on Thursday unveiled an outline of tax reforms and announced that they intend to launch a robust campaign to rally public support for the blueprint.The campaign is notable because the Kochs expressed deep reservations about Trump during the campaign, and their deep-pocketed network declined to support Trump, but it has a history of mounting aggressive congressional issue advocacy pushes. The Kochs’ tax reform push is being funded by the Koch-backed nonprofit groups Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, and it will include digital advertising, direct mail and grass-roots mobilization, according to James Davis, a spokesman for Freedom Partners. He wouldn’t put a precise price tag on the campaign, but said would be a "multi-million-dollar effort" and will run through the fall in targeted congressional districts, and could eventually expand to include television advertising.Davis also wouldn’t say whether the advocacy would expressly urge support for Trump’s tax plan. But even ads that signal support for the president’s plan without naming him could offer a rare bit of good news for a president who lacks a robust independent nonprofit supporting him and who is increasingly under siege for his alleged meddling in the FBI’s Russia investigation.“We’ve been trying to work with Congress as well as the administration to push forward on comprehensive tax reform that will benefit the American people,” Davis said. “This plan aligns pretty well with what the White House has put out so far on comprehensive tax reform.”The plan echoes the Trump administration’s call for reducing business taxes — though it does not specify by how much — and moving to a so-called territorial system, where the government would no longer try to tax companies’ overseas earnings. It also proposes lower taxes on investments, eliminating the alternative minimum tax and ending the estate tax. It does not include plans to create a so-called border-adjustment business tax pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Freedom Partners recently issued a report critiquing the proposal, and Davis said, “It has no viability in getting through the Senate.”Americans for Prosperity has been urging Republicans to oppose the border-adjustment plan, warning in an online ad that it would translate into higher prices on everything from gas to toys for consumers.Levi Russell, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, called the Koch blueprint “tax reform that is fairer, flatter and simpler.” He said “it’s going to take vision to get that done, and we’re prepared to put in the work and resources to make it happen.”

25 апреля, 16:34

In 'Captured,' People In Prison Draw The 'People Who Should Be'

Charles and David Koch are the CEO and VP of Koch Industries, respectively. Joseph Acker is an incarcerated artist currently serving a 10-year sentence. Acker doesn’t know the Koch brothers personally, but he drew them as part of a project called “Captured.” Started by Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider in 2016, “Captured” attempts to shine a spotlight on what its creators deem are “crimes masquerading as commerce.” By asking incarcerated artists to draw the CEOs, VPs and chairmans they believe should be behind bars, they hope to inspire other people to consider a world in which the highest levels of corporate leadership are held personally responsible for the illegal actions of their companies. “If we put poison in a glass of your drinking water, and you got sick or your children had birth defects because of it, we would certainly be hauled off to prison,” Greenspan told HuffPost. “But when a corporation does it on a large scale, if anything, they’re given a fine. [...] It’s kind of just the cost of doing business.” “So we started thinking,” he added, “it’s interesting when you have the veil of a corporation around you, it’s almost like you’re exempt from [...] behaving within the law.” Greenspan and Tider recognized early on the power of juxtaposing the circumstances of incarcerated artists with the “rap sheets,” as they call them, of corporate leaders accused of various misdeeds. In Acker’s case, he’s serving 10 years in prison for receiving stolen goods, possessing altered passports, and possessing body armor as a felon. The Koch brothers, “Captured” asserts on its website, have yet to see prison time for bribing their way into securing contracts in Africa, India and the Middle East; selling millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran; bribing judges and legislators; propagating mass deception by funding climate change denial groups; polluting American’s air, water and climate; and rigging Congress. “What we thought would be interesting is to juxtapose the two: People who are in jail, who society has already deemed to be criminals, whether it be for murder or for theft or for burglary or manslaughter. And put them up against companies who are really committing the same kinds of crimes,” Greenspan said. “So we display each piece of artwork with a ‘rap sheet’ ― a ‘rap sheet’ for the incarcerated artist and a ‘rap sheet’ for the companies and the crimes they’ve committed over the past couple of decades.” ”Captured” wasn’t easy to get off the ground. In order to get in touch with the various incarcerated artists who took part in the project, Greenspan and Tider originally reached out to the prisons and prison wardens themselves, to no avail. Eventually, they got in touch with an art therapy program coordinator who couldn’t help them on the record, but agreed to bring a letter from the two men detailing the project to the prison she worked with. “She couldn’t promise it wouldn’t be in her pocket the day she visited the prison and fall out of her pocket in the art room,” they explained. Next, Greenspan and Tider turned to eBay, where they found a group of incarcerated artists selling portraiture ― images of Elvis or Madonna or other famous people. They contacted the eBay sellers, who tended to be family or friends of the incarcerated individual, who would facilitate contact with the actual artist. “Once we got there, the project sort of went viral in the prison system,” Tider added. “An inmate would tell another inmate, even in other prisons, and we were able to get a lot of artists that way.” To arrange for the actual portraits in “Captured,” Greenspan and Tider began by offering artists a selection of five to 10 corporate leaders they could draw. But because of the limited means of communication, and the delays that come along with using traditional snail mail, they felt it became more feasible if they just chose a subject for each of their participating artists. So Greenspan and Tider would create a dossier on the proposed subject, with images to draw from, background on the associated company, and information and case materials on the “crimes” committed, and send it to the artist. If the artist agreed to draw the person, the project moved forward. If they didn’t, they could offer them a different person. “All the incarcerated artists knew the aspects of the project and the context of the project,” Greenspan added. He and Tider warned them about the attention the project could draw and the subsequent blowback that could affect an inmate’s chances at parole; some of the individuals involved were on death row and felt little regard for those potential consequences. Moreover, each artist was compensated fairly for their work. “Captured” paid the artists $100 (based on an estimation that the average rate for a prison portrait was $30), covering any fees associated with services like JPay. Online, “Captured” includes links to contact information for the incarcerated artists, allowing fans of their work to reach out if they so choose.  “Corporations maintain that they have the same rights and freedoms as individuals. That’s kind of a reframing of a corporate entity that has no conscience ― it’s now being considered a person,” Greenspan noted. “Yet we’ve got actual people in prison who are treated like subhumans. By putting contact information there, by showing their artistry ― we’ve seen people go, ‘Wow, there’s a person behind this.’” “Captured” also takes physical form. Last year, Greenspan and Tider sold 1,000 “Captured” books, donating all proceeds to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. The timing couldn’t have been more ideal ― they’d included a portrait of Rex Tillerson, currently the secretary of state in President Donald Trump’s administration, in the series. This year, they have plans to release 1,000 more copies, and although they don’t know yet where the proceeds will go, they’ve been thinking about groups like the Brooklyn Bail Fund or organizations working on prison reform policies and lowering prison populations. “When you see something like Rex Tillerson become secretary of state, a man who’s worked for a company with decades-long abuses of the law ― what it’s done to our environment. It’s troubling,” Greenspan said. “But we’re not telling you that it should be troubling, we’re asking you to at least consider it.” “One of the big goals was to redefine things in people’s minds,” Tider concluded. “If you consider corporations anew, and you consider the things that they’ve done, you might come out with a different perspective on them. Likewise, it’s the same for the inmates. If you thought of inmates as people who were very different from you, you might see the beautiful artistry they do and think differently.” Welcome to Battleground, where art and activism meet. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 апреля, 02:01

Conservative groups open to new Obamacare repeal push

The same groups that encouraged conservatives to buck the president on the last health care bill say they’re ready to see a deal.

21 апреля, 09:00

Трамп против "болота"

Американских сторонников Трампа, разочаровавшихся в нем после ударов по Сирии и военных выпадов против Северной Кореи, на неделе порадовала новость о поддержке отечественного производителя. «Покупай американское, нанимай американцев», - так коротко назвал свой указ американский президент. Новой администрацией анонсирован целый ряд мер, среди которых увеличение доли американских товаров при оформлении госзакупок правительственными ведомствами. И это лишь начало борьбы за поддержку американского производителя. Теперь руководство министерств и ведомств сможет пересмотреть торговые соглашения с другими странами, если они предусматривают приобретение слишком больших объемов иностранной продукции. # Такие шаги президента полностью соответствуют предвыборному лозунгу «Americafirst» и ожиданиям рядовых американцев, которые устали от бесконечных интервенций по всему миру и именно поэтому поддержали Трампа. Речь фактически идет о новом издании старого доброго американского изоляционизма в духе знаменитой доктрины президента Монро «Америка для американцев». Широко известно, что в избирательную кампанию Трампа вкладывали свои деньги известные американские миллиардеры из республиканского лагеря: Мерсеры и Кохи. За группой высочайшего уровня политтехнологов и специалистов по сетевым технологиям стояли теневые фигуры олигархов семьи Мерсер. Хозяин нескольких хэж-фондов Роберт Мерсер не жалел денег на поддержку американских правых консерваторов и изоляционистов последние 20 лет. Издание Bloomberg в прошлом году так охарактеризовало этого человека: «Роберт Мерсер является одним из самых богатых, скрытных, влиятельных и реакционных республиканцев США». Лишь официально и только на федеральные предвыборные кампании он в сумме потратил более 30 млн. долларов. А в последней кампании Мерсер сначала спонсировал общественное движение против избрания Хиллари Клинтон, затем переориентировал его в поддержку сенатора Круза, а после, когда последний проиграл на праймериз, поменял вместе со своими пиарщинами слоган кампании и поддержал тогда еще кандидата в президенты Трампа: «Make America great again». Хозяева огромной сети предприятий Koch Industries братья Чарльз и Дэвид Кохи пообещали потратить до 400 млн. долларов во внутренней политике США, чтобы отстоять свои финансовые интересы. В течение двух предыдущих лет «сеть Кохов» уже потратила около 250 млн. долларов на политику, включая поддержку кампании Дональда Трампа. Эти и другие воротилы американского бизнеса вложились в политику, не из бескорыстных идеалистических побуждений, а чтобы защитить свои финансовые интересы в схватке с финансистами и глобалистами, выстроившимися за кандидатом от демократов Хиллари Клинтон. Сам политический изоляционизм в США имеет длинную историю, но наиболее влиятельные его представители в неформальном объединении «Движение чаепития» в рамках Республиканской партии. Среди современных изоляционистов-республиканцев можно назвать Рона Пола и его сына Рэнда Пола, Патрика Бьюкенена, Джесси Хэлмса, Курта Велдона, Пола Вайрихи и так далее. Известный «старый» изоляционист Роберт Тафт активно выступал против вовлечения США во Вторую мировую войну, а впоследствии критически относился к созданию блока НАТО и вооруженной поддержке антикоммунистических режимов в Европе и Азии. Опросы общественного мнения сейчас показывают, что более половины американцев не видят необходимости нанесения бомбовых ударов по Сирии и бряцания оружием вблизи северокорейских берегов. Влиятельным СМИ все труднее объяснять обществу, почему американские военные должны поддерживать ценой собственной жизни порядок во всем мире, даже когда национальной безопасности ничего явно не угрожает. В то же время победа Трампа вызвала бурю энтузиазма в России ровно потому, что за него голосовала та Америка, которую мало волнует защита прав человека в России и желание наказать руководство КНДР. За Трампа голосовала самобытная и почвенная Америка. Отсюда и другой главный лозунг избирательной кампании – «Drainthe swamp», то есть «Осушить болото». Под болотом здесь понимается теневые окологосударственные финансовые структуры, олигархическое лобби, связь спекулянтовWallstreet с чиновниками и силовиками. Это самое болото и задавало тон всей внешней и внутренней политике США. Другой очень важный пункт для всех американских изоляционистов – борьба с банковской олигархией, подчинившей себе не только финансовую систему, но и ключевые СМИ, политиков и деятелей культуры. Например, один из кандидатов в президенты на прошлых выборах Рон Пол последовательно выступает за национализацию ФРС. Он и его сторонники считают, что защита внешней торговли США или инвестиций в зарубежные страны не оправдывают агрессивную внешнюю политику. В то же время американский изоляционизм не чужд борьбе за свободы, отстаивание национальных интересов и милитаризм. Однако они рассматриваются иначе, чем в условном лагере демократов-интернационалистов: 1) США должны быть построить «крепость Америку», мощную и неприступную систему обороны от внешнего врага, чтобы гарантировать свою безопасность; # 2) в этом случае никакая страна не станет нападать на прекрасно защищенные США; 3) США не должны вмешиваться в зарубежные конфликты в ущерб своей обороноспособности; 4) вмешательство в войны угрожает диктатурой со стороны правительства[1]. Подводя итоги краткого обзора, можно сказать, пожалуй, о единственном мирном способе построения многополярного мира вместе с США. Лишь тогда, когда Америка будет сконцентрирована в экономике и политике на своих собственных национальных интересах, многие народы смогут вздохнуть с облегчением, ведь не только военные вмешательства, но и революционные вспышки по всему миру тоже напрямую поддерживаются сторонниками американской интервенции – новыми революционерами, о которых мы писали ранее. В конце концов, разгром нью-йоркской транснациональной корпоратократии и банкократии выгоден в равной мере российскому и американскому народам. [1] http://terra-america.ru/ludi-obolgannih-principov.aspx

14 апреля, 21:09

GOP Congressmen Face Angry Constituents After Targeting Planned Parenthood

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); TROY, N.Y.― Rep. John Faso, a moderate Republican from upstate New York, must have known his constituents were going to confront him over his support for the health care repeal bill, which would have defunded Planned Parenthood. He held just one town hall meeting during the House’s spring recess, and it was outside his district, invitation-only, carefully staged for television and limited to about 80 people.  But dozens of his constituents in this toss-up district, which he won by just 9 percentage points last year, traveled to Troy for the event Thursday night anyway. They lined up on the street in pink shirts and knitted “pussy hats” and held signs in support of Planned Parenthood.  “I think that he’s ducking us,” said Thalia Cassuto, 86, who traveled from Spencertown to stand outside in the cold and protest Faso’s town hall. “He’s made us into make-believe monsters, and we’re not ― we’re a very well-informed, very respectful group of constituents. But he won’t face us.”  Inside the town hall, questions about health care and Planned Parenthood dominated the conversation. One woman confronted Faso, asking why he supported the GOP health care bill despite insisting throughout his career that he supports the family planning provider. Faso tried to have it both ways.  “I did not support the effort to remove [Planned Parenthood’s] eligibility for Medicaid funding. ... I voted in our committee for a Democratic motion to strike that provision from the bill,” Faso said. “The majority of my party doesn’t agree with me on this topic. But my vote, ultimately, on the bill is going to depend upon whether I think overall it makes good public policy sense.”  Cassuto was not satisfied with his answer. She has been an ardent supporter of Planned Parenthood since 1955, when, as a “young bride,” she first visited a clinic in Queens for birth control. Now she shows up at Faso’s office once a week to shame him for supporting the American Health Care Act, which would have prevented Medicaid from reimbursing Planned Parenthood for its health and family planning services to low-income women.  “He has said clearly that he supports Planned Parenthood and he doesn’t want it defunded, and then the first thing he did was vote for a health care act that would destroy the relationship between Medicaid and Planned Parenthood,” Cassuto said. “He just plain lies, and we know it.”  Planned Parenthood supporters have many reasons to be concerned. President Donald Trump signed legislation Thursday that would allow states to withhold Title X federal family planning funds from health providers that offer abortion, even though no public dollars can legally be used to pay for abortions. Planned Parenthood uses the $70 million it receives in Title X grants each year to provide birth control and other preventive health care to 1.5 million low-income patients ― about one-third of the patients in the Title X program. And Republicans are still looking to defund Planned Parenthood, even though they failed to do so in their legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Moderate Republicans, such as Faso, face a tough choice: break from their party on one of its biggest policy promises to defend Planned Parenthood, or take an unpopular vote to strip Medicaid money from the family planning provider. Three out of four Americans want the federal government to continue contracting with Planned Parenthood.  Now that congressmen are back in their districts during the congressional recess, the ones who voted against Planned Parenthood funding are feeling voters’ wrath. Vulnerable Republicans are having an especially difficult time defending their decision. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) was loudly booed at his town hall in Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, on Wednesday, when he suggested breaking Planned Parenthood into two businesses: one that offers women’s health care that he likes, and the other for women’s health care that he doesn’t like. “What I have suggested to Planned Parenthood is that it have two separate organizations ― one organization that deals in the services regarding women’s health and another organization that performs the abortion procedure,” he said. “I would hope that Planned Parenthood might look at that.” A video quickly circulated of the crowd’s angry reaction to that suggestion. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) faced a similarly rowdy group of constituents on Thursday. The audience chanted, “You work for us! You work for us!” when he reiterated his support for GOP efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.  Faso acknowledged at his town hall that he chose to do only one, small, televised event outside his district after seeing his colleagues struggling to deal with loud, angry crowds in their own districts. He tried to pivot to other GOP-friendly topics, such as taxes, but his constituents kept driving the conversation back to health care. “You mentioned several times that the main concerns of your constituents are jobs and taxes. Have you heard any of that come up tonight?” one man asked Faso, prompting laughter and applause from the audience.  Backed into a corner, Faso promised to buck his party on some issues if necessary.  “I’m not an automatic party-line vote by any means,” he said. “I’ll tell you this. I’m a fiscal conservative and a pragmatic individual who wants to solve problems in Congress.” Cassuto predicted that if Faso continues to vote against Planned Parenthood, he is going to have trouble getting re-elected in 2018 ― even with the backing of conservative billionaires.  “We have a very lively, very passionate, freshly enthused group of constituents,” she said. “We can’t out-raise David Koch, but we will try.”  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 апреля, 20:58

Trump And Sessions Could Ruin Conservatives' Plans To Fix The War On Drugs

WASHINGTON ― For years, conservatives like Charles Koch and Newt Gingrich have joined progressives in urging Congress to reform inflexible sentencing laws that mandate lengthy prison terms for particular crimes. Critics say these laws, a relic of the failed war on the drugs, are unnecessary, costly and inhumane. But Jeff Sessions did not fully get on board with reform when he was a prosecutor or when he was a senator. And now that he’s U.S. Attorney General, Sessions could require federal prosecutors to seek the most serious charge in every case ― which may trigger lengthy mandatory minimum sentences for low-level defendants. The Obama administration’s Justice Department elected to no longer pursue mandatory minimums for certain low-level drug offenders, and it touted in 2015 that federal drug prosecutors were moving away from seeking minimums “at record rates.” Those changes contributed to a drop in the federal prison population for the first time in decades at a time when the system was facing an overcrowding crisis. However, Sessions is expected to go in a different direction. He’s tapped Steven Cook, a prosecutor who says the federal criminal justice system is working just fine, for a key role in Sessions’ new Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which will re-evaluate the federal government’s response to crime. As The Washington Post reports, Cook previously headed the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, a group that opposed Obama administration efforts to implement sentencing reforms. Sessions and Cook could re-emphasize the deployment of the across-the-board sentences Congress established for certain federal crimes, rather than allow prosecutors more discretion in charging decisions. Mandatory minimums are controversial because they amount to a one-size-fits-all approach to punishment — which exacerbates racial disparities in sentencing. And they don’t allow judges to take individual circumstances into account. A 46-year-old man who allegedly sold $1,800 worth of painkillers to an informant, for example, faced a minimum 25-year prison sentence under Florida law in 2013. A 17-year-old who sold crack was sentenced to life in federal prison until his sentence was commuted by Obama (He now works as a school counselor). Critics blame these laws for ballooning prison populations and for costs to taxpayers. This includes a growing number of Republicans. Conservative Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have all supported legislation that would reform mandatory minimum sentences. The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative nonprofit, also has a model policy for states that gives judges discretion to depart from these sentences for certain nonviolent offenders.    “Sessions is grossly out of step with the rest of the party,” said Jessica Jackson Sloan, a human rights attorney who oversees #cut50, a bipartisan initiative to reduce mass incarceration. “It’s very alarming to us to suddenly see that Sessions ... is actually in favor of mandatory minimums and pushing for them so hard,” she added. The attorney general came up as a federal prosecutor in Alabama during the 1980s, a time when the government was starting to take an aggressive approach to drug sentencing. The federal prison population subsequently ballooned from 24,640 inmates in 1980 to 219,298 by 2013. Sessions has pointed to this experience as influencing his views.   “When mandatory minimums are either eliminated or reduced substantially, it reduces the ability of law officers to negotiate and protect the public,” Sessions said at a Senate hearing in 2015. “I’ve been there, I’ve prosecuted cases.”   The DOJ declined to comment on Sessions’ plans for mandatory minimums, but he is known as a criminal justice hardliner: As Alabama attorney general, he called chain gangs “constitutional and proper.” While he backed legislation that lowered, but did not eliminate, the sentencing gap between crack and powder cocaine (which resulted in severe racial disparities), Sessions has largely opposed broader sentencing reforms. function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It’s clear that President Donald Trump and Sessions are on the same page when it comes to pushing tough-on-crime policies. “If any other Republican presidential candidate won, you’d be looking at a different department,” said Kevin Ring, president of of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Ring is a former GOP aide on Capitol Hill who was convicted in connection with the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal scandal and was sentenced to 20 months in prison. (Federal prosecutors had asked for much longer). He noted that some reform advocates on the right had been taking a wait-and-see approach to the Trump administration, with several hoping that the president would be “malleable” on criminal justice issues. But that’s beginning to shift, he said. “I think people are going through the stages of grief,” Ring said. “Everyone has been so excited about playing offense, trying to pass reform at the federal and state level, that the idea that we’re going to spend four years playing defense has made people want to focus more on state work because that’s where you can actually effect some positive change.” Right on Crime, a conservative criminal justice group, is “definitely not throwing in the towel on federal reform,” said crime policy director Marc Levin. The group and other organizations recently wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee requesting that U.S. Attorney nominees answer questions about their views on key criminal justice issues, Levin said. He noted they’ve had some “good discussions with some folks at the White House,” and claimed that criminal justice reform has support from Trump associates including the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. The Huffington Post reached out to several other prominent conservatives who have advocated for criminal justice reform about Sessions’ views. The offices of Sens. Cornyn, Paul and Lee did not respond to a request for comment. Mark Holden, general counsel for Koch Industries, declined to comment. Spokespeople for Gingrich and Grover Norquist — who last month advocated in support of ending mandatory minimums in Nebraska — also did not respond to requests for comment. Jackson Sloan, the human rights attorney, said it “probably makes more sense for conservatives to work behind the scenes, rather than attacking a leader in their own party’s administration outright.” But at some point, she added, “it becomes obvious that they’re on different sides of the fence.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 апреля, 06:51

Trump makes nice with Koch brothers

The president has clashed with the mega-donor family, but on Saturday night, he met with two of its members.