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09 декабря, 13:14

DeVos' Michigan schools experiment gets poor grades

Despite two decades of charter-school growth, the state’s overall academic progress has failed to keep pace with other states.

08 декабря, 18:55

Charles Koch is a rare thing, a businessman besotted with ideas

CHARLES KOCH may well be the most demonised businessman in America, with his younger brother, David, a close second. Journalists argue that he is the mastermind of the country’s vast right-wing conspiracy. Lunatics have made death threats. The ultra-rich, particularly those who made their original fortunes in oil and gas, are supposed to make amends by giving their money to liberal causes. The Kochs have instead spent hundreds of millions backing conservative political causes (though Charles Koch has no love for Donald Trump), lobbying for lower taxes and attacking the idea of man-made global warming. Mr Koch doesn’t come across as Dr Evil. True, the headquarters of Koch Industries is a collection of black boxes outside Wichita, Kansas; the security screening is rigorous. But its CEO has more of the air of a university professor. Despite his $40bn fortune, he lives in a nondescript neighbourhood in one of America’s most boring cities, puts in nine or more hours a day in the office and lunches in the company canteen. He doesn’t seem that interested in his surroundings: complimented on the firm’s art collection, he says his wife takes care of that...

Выбор редакции
08 декабря, 02:02

Koch Industries takes aim at House Republican tax reform plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Koch Industries, the private conglomerate owned by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch, warned on Wednesday that a Republican tax reform proposal meant to encourage U.S. exports could have devastating effects on the economy and consumers.

08 декабря, 01:02

Koch brothers announce layoffs

The billionaire brothers, who sparred with Donald Trump, are reorganizing their advocacy network.

06 декабря, 02:10

HUFFPOST HILL - HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Handing Out Slips Of Paper That Just Say "zillow"

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!  We look forward to Ben Carson’s tenure as HUD secretary and all the times he’ll accost people living in boxes and tell them that “if you give a man a fish…” Mitch McConnell may attach Jim Mattis’ civilian/military waiver to the NDAA, but no one is taking our suggestion to call it the Rubicon Rider. And a fake news story about Comet Ping Pong got real scary this weekend when an armed wingnut entered the pizza place. Presumably he missed that AllNewsSoTrue.us item about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being written on the patio of 2Amys. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, December 5th,  THE LATEST FROM TRUMP’S SECRETARY OF STATE PAGEANT - Major Garrett: “The ‘serious’ names on the list remain former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 2012 GOP nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus (ret.). Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, is in the mix, too, but he’s on the outer edges of intense consideration. But even that list is subject to alterations. The most interesting development in the State merry-go-round is the re-emergence of former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Sources close to the transition tell me Bolton – initially boxed out of consideration – has moved back into contention due to his foreign policy experience, his pro-Trump advocacy during the campaign and his sharp-elbows approach to diplomacy. Bolton has always had supporters on the transition team and up-and-downs that have befallen Giuliani, Romney and Petraeus have given him new life and a possible opening, the sources said.” [CBS News] LOL BEN CARSON - We can’t wait for his confirmation hearing, and his prepared statement which will surely just be a framed inspirational poster that he’ll hold up and read from. Alana Horowitz Satlin: “President-elect Donald Trump is nominating Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has never held public office, as his secretary of housing and urban development. In a statement released Monday, Trump called Carson a ‘distinguished national leader’ with a ‘brilliant mind.’ … As HUD chief, Carson would be tasked with setting housing policies for the Trump administration, including access to affordable housing and community development. Carson’s comments on certain anti-discrimination policies ― he has called one plan a ‘mandated social-engineering scheme’ ― are likely to worry some fair housing advocates’” [HuffPost] Rep. Ted Lieu’s statement on Carson: “Remember the famous commercial where a man is flying a helicopter and reveals he’s not a pilot but he did ‘stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night’? Trump’s nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to lead HUD reminds me of that commercial. Do you have any experience running a large federal agency or knowledge of housing and urban development?’ ‘No, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.’” [HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery] Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill HISTORY’S BRUNCHIEST COUPLE FIND THEIR NATURAL HOME - Then there’s also all that deep conflict of interest stuff. David Wright: “Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are house hunting in Washington as they look to move from New York City to D.C., CNN has learned. The couple’s planned move with their three children reflects the expectation that Kushner will serve as an adviser to President-elect Donald Trump in some capacity, though the precise role ― potentially complicated by nepotism laws ― remains to be seen…. [T]he president-elect has signaled that he may look to put his adult children in charge of managing his sprawling business empire while he serves as president. Trump is planning a December 15 news conference to provide details about his plan for his businesses. Still, such a plan ― which the Trump team has portrayed as a ‘blind trust’ ― would do little to preclude conflicts of interest from arising, since Trump insists he will maintain close contact with his kids while they manage the family’s international network of business interests, even as he steers US foreign policy.” [CNN] From Jason O. Gilbert in McSweeney’s: “Why I’m Leaving My Job At The Illuminati And Joining The Trump Administration.” SNEAKY, SNEAKY, SNEAKY - Kelsey Snell, Karoun Demirjian and Ed O’Keefe: “Republican leaders in the House and Senate are considering adding a measure to the upcoming year-end spending bill that would make it easier for retired Gen. James Mattis to be confirmed next year as Donald Trump’s secretary of defense. Mattis needs an act of Congress to make him eligible to lead the Pentagon because under the law the defense secretary has to be a civilian for at least seven years before taking office…. The measure currently under consideration would allow Republicans to potentially avoid a showdown with Democrats when Mattis’s nomination comes up for a vote next year, according to several senior House and Senate aides, by essentially dispensing with the waiver issue this month. No final decisions have been made, but on Monday, lawmakers floated adding the measure to the spending bill, the aides said. The waiver being considered would only apply to Mattis and would not change the overall law.” [WashPost] MCCARTHY THROWS WATER ON TRUMP’S TARIFF TALK - This is really going to hurt his chances of nabbing a selfie with Scott Baio. Matt Fuller: “If President-elect Donald Trump thinks he’s going to impose a 35 percent tariff on companies importing goods, he might want to check with Republicans in Congress. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested Monday that Republicans would not be in favor of imposing the 35 percent tariff on foreign goods that Trump proposed Sunday in a series of tweets…. ‘I don’t want to get into some sort of trade war,’ McCarthy said, still downplaying the policy differences between Trump and congressional Republicans…. [T]he majority leader said Republicans were intent on overhauling the corporate tax code so that businesses would stay in the United States. ‘That’s the best way to solve this problem,’ McCarthy said. But he also made it clear that he doesn’t believe high tariffs are the best way to keep or create jobs in the United States. ‘I think history has taught us that trade wars are not healthy,’ he said.” [HuffPost] @mkraju: No Dems and just three Republicans on the Senate floor listening to David Vitter’s farewell address MICHAEL FLYNN HAS BATS IN THE BELFRY - Only a matter of time before this loon convinces Trump to bomb, like, Costa Rica because he misread something on InfoNewsReport.xu. Matthew Rosenberg: “Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for national security adviser, has a well-established penchant for pushing conspiracy theories about Islamic law spreading in the West and the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Less well noticed was his willingness throughout the presidential campaign to indulge in conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton. Six days before the election, Mr. Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, tweeted a fake news story that claimed the police and prosecutors in New York had found evidence linking Mrs. Clinton and much of her senior campaign staff to pedophilia, money laundering, perjury and other felonies. ‘U decide,’ Mr. Flynn wrote in the Twitter message on Nov. 2, though it appeared there was little doubt what he thought.” [NYT]  Flynn’s son ― who works on Trump’s transition team ― is no better. TRUMP SUPPORTERS’ HANDS FIRMLY CUPPED AROUND EARS - Can someone please record James Earl Jones saying, “This... Is NewsForYou.biz” Ariel Edwards-Levy: “More than four in 10 Americans, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey, agree with Trump that he’s faced unduly negative coverage. A similar percentage, though, say Trump’s behavior toward the media has been unacceptable as well. A 41 percent plurality of Americans think media coverage of Trump has been generally too negative, with 17 percent saying it’s been too positive and 23 percent that it’s been about right. But many are also uncomfortable with the way Trump has interacted with the press. Forty-three percent say the way Trump treats journalists is unacceptable, while just 33 percent think he treats them in an acceptable way…. A 56 percent majority of Trump voters say that if a national media outlet reported that Trump said something untrue, they would be more inclined to believe him than the news outlet. Just 2 percent say they’d believe the media, with another 38 percent saying it depends on what the story is.” [HuffPost] RYAN: OBAMACARE REPEAL IS VITAL AND ALSO SOMEHOW WON’T CHANGE ANYTHING - Straight making up things worked so well for Trump, Ryan’s decided to test it out. Craig Gilbert: “House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday he envisions an extended transition from Obamacare that ensures ‘no one is worse off’ after Congress votes to repeal the program…. Ryan said there will be an early repeal vote next year, but after that, ‘clearly there will be a transition and a bridge so that no one is left out in the cold, so that no one is worse off. The purpose here is to bring relief to people who are suffering from Obamacare so that they can get something better.’ Some Republicans have suggested it would take years to perform the complex process of phasing out and replacing the health care law. Critics and some analysts have predicted that a GOP strategy of quickly voting to repeal the program but delaying its effective end date would create chaos and disruption for the people currently in it.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel] House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is spouting the same nonsense, so get used to hearing it and seeing liberals go apoplectic. THE NORTH CAROLINA GUBERNATORIAL RACE IS OVER AT LAST - Rest easy, Al Franken and Norm Coleman: Your 2008 recount remains the most insufferably lengthy one of all time. Julia Craven: “North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) finally conceded the state’s gubernatorial race to state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) on Monday…. McCrory, who is the first sitting governor to lose re-election in North Carolina, has been fighting to remain in the state’s highest office since election night. Cooper declared victory over McCrory on Nov. 9 following a tight race. But McCrory refused to concede, saying the race was too close to call with Cooper up by slightly more than 4,300 votes.” [HuffPost] GORE MEETS TRUMP - An historic summit between the man who invented the internet and the man who ruined it. Igor Bobic: “President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump met with former Vice President Al Gore on Monday to discuss ‘climate issues,’ the Trump transition team said. The transition team initially announced that Gore was to meet only with Ivanka Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan. After the meeting, Gore disclosed he had also met with the president-elect, describing the conversation as ‘very productive’ and a ‘sincere search for areas of common ground.’ ‘I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump,’ Gore said, according to a transition pool report. ‘The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.’” [HuffPost]  PLAN AFOOT TO INSTALL PEOPLE’S’ CHOICE JOHN KASICH AS PRESIDENT - Hillary Clinton just can’t get into the White House no matter how crazy things become. Kyle Cheney and Gabriel DeBenedetti: “Advocates of the long-shot bid to turn the Electoral College against Donald Trump have been in contact with close allies of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, but the Clinton camp — and Clinton herself — have declined to weigh in on the merits of the plan…. The Democratic electors have already revealed that they’re close to a consensus pick for whom they will vote: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.” [Politico] NATIONAL ANTHEM TO BE REPLACED BY NONSTOP COUGHING FITS - Evan Halper: “When an obscure nonprofit group attacked one of California’s signature green-energy projects this summer — warning a congressional panel that the embrace of solar energy would lead to crippling hikes in electricity bills — officials in the state shrugged off the testimony as noise from the fringe. With Donald Trump’s election, however, that group, the Institute for Energy Research, has moved suddenly from the fringe to the center of power. The president-elect has sent the group’s president, a former Koch Industries lobbyist named Thomas Pyle, to the Energy Department to take charge of its transition. For years, Pyle has led a coordinated national assault on renewable power. His groups and others that belong to the sprawling network bankrolled by Charles and David Koch, whose vast fortune stems originally from oil refining, pressure lawmakers to roll back policies that promote green power. The Koch network gave Pyle’s groups $3 million in 2015.” [LA Times] BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog being lulled to sleep with a song. 27 WAYS YOUR SOVEREIGN FUND SHOULD TOTALLY CONSIDER MORE HIGH-YIELD FIXED-INCOME INSTRUMENTS - BRB selling Comfort Food to Bridgewater Associates. Sarah Krouse: “BlackRock Inc. has hired a new global chief marketing officer from digital media company BuzzFeed as the world’s largest money manager works to bolster its business from individual investors. Frank Cooper, who spent the last 18 months as chief marketing officer and chief creative officer at BuzzFeed, plans to join the New York asset manager in January, according to an internal memo seen by The Wall Street Journal.” [WSJ] COMFORT FOOD - Scenes from the artistic bicycle championship. - A supercut of Chance the Rapper’s favorite noises. - A dramatic enacting of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” TWITTERAMA @NYTMinusContext: Set your meetings, phone calls and emails aside, at least for the next several minutes. That’s because today you’re a bee  @arthurdelaneyhp: Just wait till people find out Donald Trump is a birther who says vaccines cause autism. @timothypmurphy: The president-elect literally said that President Obama’s real name was “Barry Soweto.” Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected]) -- 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.

05 декабря, 16:35

Информационная инквизиция и Дональд Трамп

Принятие Конгрессом США законопроекта о создании специальной межведомственной группы по «выявлению тайного влияния России» имеет исторические аналогии. Нечто похожее происходило в 1215 году, когда папа Иннокентий Третий учредил «Отдел расследований еретической греховности», получивший в дальнейшем название Святой инквизиции.  В глазах Ватикана без происков нечистой силы ересь зарождаться не могла, поэтому Святая...

28 ноября, 14:55

Citing no evidence, TRUMP accuses 3 states of voter fraud -- SCARBOROUGH: Trump ‘furious’ at Conway -- 8 meetings at Trump Tower this afternoon -- THRUSH talks to NYT’s Maggie Haberman -- B’DAY: WaPo’s Matea Gold

Listen to Playbook in 90 Seconds http://bit.ly/2gnkDDR ... Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6EayGood Monday morning and welcome back. The president-elect tweeted this on Sunday: @realDonaldTrump: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” And later: “Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!”Why? It’s anyone’s guess, honestly. He’s the next president of the United States. Full stop. There is almost nothing that will prevent him from getting into the White House. So why is he harping on unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud? Even if these claims had any merit, Trump still won! He’s assembling a Cabinet and preparing to be the leader of the free world. On Capitol Hill, they’re preparing to move a Republican agenda that might become law for the first time in nearly a decade. Members of his party -- many of them eager for Trump to get into the White House -- are also eager for him to stop the sideshow. And with lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill this week for what’s expected to be a sleepy two-week lame-duck session, expect to hear calls for Trump to cut it out.-- “Trump’s baseless assertions of voter fraud called ‘stunning,’” by Andrew Restuccia: “Donald Trump on Sunday used the platform of the presidency to peddle a fringe conspiracy theory to justify his loss of the popular vote, claiming without evidence that millions of people voted illegally Nov. 8. Trump’s tweets marked an unprecedented rebuke of the U.S. electoral system by a president-elect and were met with immediate condemnation from voting experts and others. And they offered a troubling indication that Trump’s ascension to the highest political office in the United States may not alter his penchant for repeating unproven conspiracies perpetuated by the far right. ...“A source close to the president-elect said he felt piqued by the Wisconsin recount demand of Green Party nominee Jill Stein, which Hillary Clinton's campaign said it will participate in, so he hit back. Even though he's won and it shouldn't matter, he isn't letting it go, the source said. Another adviser said that Trump genuinely believes ‘that the Democratic establishment will try to steal’ his victory. So his goal is to hold their feet to the fire.” http://politi.co/2fUIPgf FOUR PINOCCHIOS -- “Donald Trump’s bogus claim that millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton,” by WaPo’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler: http://wapo.st/2gmZJ7N-- “Donald Trump alleges widespread voter fraud in California. There's no evidence to back it up,” by the LA Times’ John Myers: “‘It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him,’ Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, said in a statement. ‘His unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd. His reckless tweets are inappropriate and unbecoming of a president-elect.’ Elections officials in the state’s 58 counties have not yet completed counting the ballots cast this month, but there’s no doubt Trump was trounced by Democrat Hillary Clinton. In returns as of Saturday night … Clinton was ahead by more than 3.9 million votes. The president-elect’s Sunday comments are not in line with any reporting or investigations into intentional acts in California designed to influence the outcome of the vote.” http://lat.ms/2frQc2z CHOOSE YOUR NEWS -- FRONT-PAGE HEADLINE EDITION -- NYT: “TRUMP PROMOTES A BASELESS CLAIM ON ILLEGAL VOTING … NO PROOF OF ‘MILLIONS’” http://nyti.ms/2fHN0hw … WSJ: “Trump takes aim at ‘millions’ of voters … As recount efforts are stepped up, president-elect responds with new claims of fraud” (h/t @Azi) http://bit.ly/2fHGtn6 MEANWHILE Trump has at least eight meetings today beginning at 1 p.m. at Trump Tower. The meetings are all scheduled to last 30 minutes. The meetings will be conducted in this order: Sandeep Mathrani, the CEO of General Growth Properties (1 p.m.); Paul Atkins, the CEO of Patomak Global Partners, and a former commissioner of the SEC (1:30 p.m.); Kathleen Hartnett White, the director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (2 p.m.); Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, a conservative House Republican who backed Trump early (2:30 p.m.); Dave Steward, the chairman of World Wide Technology (3 p.m.); Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma (3:30 p.m.); David A. Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County (4 p.m.) and John Allison, the former chairman of BB&T (4:30 p.m.).-- TRUMP’S UNFILLED CABINET: Agriculture, Treasury, Defense, State, Interior, Commerce, Labor, HHS, Veterans Affairs, EPA, trade representative, OMB director, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and administrator of the Small Business AdministrationKELLYANNE CONWAY vs. MITT ROMNEY -- “Trump aide steps up bid to block possible Romney nomination,” by AP’s Julie Pace: "'People feel betrayed to think that Gov. Romney, who went out of his way to question the character and the intellect and the integrity of Donald Trump, now our president-elect, would be given the most significant cabinet post of all,’ Conway said in one of several television interviews Sunday. She said Romney was ‘nothing but awful’ to Trump for a year.” http://apne.ws/2fHOcli-- JOE SCARBOROUGH called Conway’s comments on Romney an “act of sabotage.” Mika and Joe reported around 6:10 a.m. on “Morning Joe” that Trump is “furious” at Conway’s rhetoric, and said top aides to the president-elect believe that his former campaign manager is “pushing her own agenda.”-- JUST REMEMBER: It’s never good for an aide to get in front of the principal. And if Conway was acting alone in going after Romney, she was putting herself in the spotlight, instead of giving her boss room to maneuver and decide on his own. Donald Trump just won an election -- not Kellyanne Conway. And he should be able to make the decisions without public interference from his aides.TROUBLE IN PARADISE? -- “Donald Trump’s Spending Push Rankles Fiscal Conservatives,” by WSJ’s Nick Timiraos: “Republican lawmakers may stomach larger deficits from a Republican president, but signs of tension are emerging as President-elect Donald Trump looks poised to stand by promises to slash taxes while spending more on big-ticket items, such as infrastructure and the military … ‘You can’t just like spending that your party wants and dislike spending that the other party wants,’ says Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.), who rode to office in 2010 on the tea party wave … For Republicans, the bigger fight will be over Mr. Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan. The president-elect has been passionate about rebuilding roads and ports but sketchy on the details of how to pay for it, stirring concerns among Republicans who are uneasy over approving a costly stimulus program.” http://on.wsj.com/2fHxWRdWASHINGTON, INC. -- “Companies Retool Lobbying as Donald Trump’s Administration Nears,” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus: “Some corporations and lobbying shops had bulked up their Democratic wings during the Obama administration and in anticipation of a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump’s win means they need to restack their Republican operations. ... Still, Republicans’ slim majority in the Senate means corporations need to keep their Democratic lobbyists on the payroll, too, since the GOP will need at least eight Democratic votes in the Senate to pass most major legislation.” With cameos from Mike Duhaime, Paul Brathwaite, Hunter Bates, and Matthew Johnson http://on.wsj.com/2fD1rQC MUST-LISTEN MONDAY -- Glenn Thrush talks to Maggie Haberman for his “Off Message” podcast: http://bit.ly/2g9SB0I TRANSITION WATCH -- “How the Kochs won 2016,” by Ken Vogel and Eliana Johnson: “Charles Koch once likened the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to being asked to choose cancer or a heart attack. Now, Koch's allies are helping to launch Trump's administration, giving Charles and his brother David potential inroads with a president whose campaign they refused to support. The president-elect, in filling out his transition team and administration, has drawn heavily from the vast network of donors and advocacy groups built by the billionaire industrialist brothers, who have sought to reshape American politics in their libertarian image … “Perhaps more surprisingly, despite some predictions of imminent policy clashes, there's already informal communication between the Trump team and the Koch network, and both camps are signaling a willingness to work together on issues of mutual interest. David Koch even attended Trump's election night victory party. How long the comity lasts between Trump and the powerful Koch brothers could go far in determining whether Trump is able to take full advantage of the complete Republican control of Washington ushered in by his stunning victory over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.” http://politi.co/2gycJqtKNOWING KUSHNER -- “For Trump son-in-law and confidant Jared Kushner, a long history of fierce loyalty,” by WaPo’s Shawn Boburg: “Several Trump associates have said that Kushner will be a chief of staff in all but name, with wide-ranging -- if sometimes hard-to-quantify -- influence and a voice equal to incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon. ... In 1997, when Kushner was just 16, then-President Bill Clinton made a stop at the corporate headquarters of the family business, lavishing praise on the Kushners during a speech. To mark the moment, the Kushners gave Clinton a shofar -- a ram’s-horn musical instrument used in Jewish religious ceremonies. ...“Back on Dec. 7, 2013, the day after [David] Wildstein resigned from the Port Authority [of New York and New Jersey] amid growing evidence that he had ordered the lane closures, Kushner got in touch with him. In an email obtained by The Post, Kushner drew a parallel between Wildstein and his father, who had also resigned as a Port Authority commissioner in 2003 as questions began to percolate about Kushner’s campaign contributions. ‘Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and wishing the best. For what it’s worth, I thought the move you pulled was kind of badass,’ Kushner wrote.” http://wapo.st/2fUGEZQ -- “Kushner took central role in Trump-Abe meeting,” by Nikkei’s Naoya Yoshino: “Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became the first major world leader to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and sources said the meeting was arranged by Trump's son-in-law, who is increasingly receiving media attention as he is likely to play an important role in the incoming administration. Soon after Trump secured victory in the presidential election, Japanese officials sought to set up a meeting quickly. Abe tweaked his schedule in order to visit Trump in New York on Nov. 17. The sources said the swift action was enabled by Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, who is one of her father's closest aides. It was Kushner who informed Japanese officials several days before the meeting that it would take place in Trump Tower.” http://s.nikkei.com/2frq9bP KNOWING STEVE BANNON –– “Combative, Populist Steve Bannon Found His Man in Donald Trump,” by NYT’s Scott Shane: “Interviews with two dozen people who know him well ... portray a man not easily labeled, capable of surprising both friends and enemies, with unshakable self-confidence and striking intensity. ... Fans and foes agree that he is a ‘screamer,’ a volcanic personality who sometimes resorts to offensive or hyperbolic language. ... Mr. Bannon’s backers note that several of Breitbart’s top editors and managers are Jewish -- as was [Andrew] Breitbart himself -- and the site is staunchly pro-Israel. ...“Mary Beth Meredith, Mr. Bannon’s sister, said accusations of personal bigotry against him were ‘absolutely absurd.’ ‘We have interfaith marriages in our own family,’ she said. ‘We have interracial marriages — our family is a microcosm of the U.S.’ Where some perceive racism and nativism, others see a different -ism: opportunism. Whatever may be in his heart, they say, Mr. Bannon was happy to draw a white nationalist following to Breitbart, while denying that was his intent.” http://nyti.ms/2fUIdXOHE’S BACK… -- “Paul Manafort Is Back: The King of K Street is ready for the new Washington,” by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Robert Kolker: “Friends say Manafort wouldn’t want to become a lobbyist again or to have a concrete role with the administration; that would be too confining. But the Washington that Trump’s team will govern in is a place Manafort understands and had a strong hand in shaping. It’s a matter of time, perhaps, before his particular set of skills will be put to use again. And given the Trump team’s apparent warmth toward Russia, there should be plenty for the King of K Street to do — and plenty of money to be made doing it. The night of Nov. 8, [Manafort’s former business partner Roger] Stone got a text from his old friend, at the exact moment one of the news outlets was calling the race for their man. The message was just four words: ‘How sweet it is.’” http://bloom.bg/2fDYn6Z HILL WATCH -- “A Californian will be the first woman of color elected to House leadership. The only question is which one,” by the LA Times' Sarah Wire: “While most attention in Washington is focused on whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) will beat back a challenge in the Wednesday leadership election, House Democrats will also choose between Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.” http://lat.ms/2gn65Ef -- “Early Trump endorsers the new power brokers of Capitol Hill,” by Rachael Bade: “[Rep. Lou] Barletta is a member of Washington’s newest and most exclusive club, a small band of Republican lawmakers who got behind Trump when their own party establishment had him pegged as a surefire general election loser, if he even managed to win the nomination. The few who were willing to endure the ridicule of other GOP lawmakers by placing their chips on Trump early have been vaulted from backbench obscurity to now arguably rivaling the influence of GOP congressional leaders. They, more than the high-profile pols flocking to Trump since he won, have the ear of the president-elect.” http://politi.co/2gxxKFgBEYOND THE BELTWAY -- “Threat letter to Savannah mosque urges Muslims to ‘get out of dodge,’” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Greg Bluestein: “A Muslim advocacy group is planning to step up its outreach efforts after a Savannah mosque received a letter threatening genocide that claimed President-elect Donald Trump is going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.’ The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it plans to host an open house in Savannah in January 2017 with a question and answer session on the religion after the Islamic Center of Savannah received an anonymous letter similar to notes sent to several mosques in California.“The hand-written letter referred to Muslims as ‘vile and filthy people’ who believed in a Satanic faith and urged them to ‘pack your bags and get out of dodge’ because Trump is ‘going to cleans America and make it shine again. And he’s going to start with you Muslims.’ ‘This is a great time for patriotic Americans,’ the letter concluded. ‘Long live President Trump and God bless the U.S.A.’” http://on-ajc.com/2gOavHu FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Syrian troops capture major Aleppo neighborhood,” by AP’s Bassem Mroue in Beirut: “Syrian government forces and their allies captured a major eastern Aleppo neighborhood and several smaller areas Monday, putting much of the northern part of Aleppo's besieged rebel-held areas under government control, state media reported … Aleppo, Syria's largest city and former commercial center, has been contested since the summer of 2012 and a rebel defeat in the city would be a turning in the five-year conflict. If Syrian forces capture all of east Aleppo, President Bashar Assad's government will be in control of the country's four largest cities as well as the coastal region.” http://apne.ws/2gB7V4YTOP-ED -- Barney Frank in the Boston Globe on Dodd-Frank: “Trump’s financial plans promise another Great Recession” http://bit.ly/2fW2axvSPOTTED -- Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden flying coach from PDX to DCA Sunday. Midflight, Wyden used the airplane bathroom sans shoes, walking into the stall in black dress socks. … Newt and Callista Gingrich waiting to board a flight from Ft. Myers to D.C. Sunday. Newt was “furiously typing on an iPad and she’s just chillin’.”BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: WaPo’s Matea Gold, an LAT alum – read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2gBnfyd BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Politico Europe alum Simon TaylorBIRTHDAYS: State Dept. globetrotter Glen Johnson, an AP and Boston Globe alum … Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who was on his Minneapolis high school’s soccer, cross country and debate teams, and was also president of the student council and named “most likely to succeed.” (Read a MinnPost profile: http://bit.ly/1Nem1EE) ... Tim Skoczek … Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is 52 ... Mr. Paul Shaffer is 67 … Jon Stewart is 54 … Gary Hart is 8-0 … former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is 63 … former VA secretary Eric Shinseki is 74 ... Stephen Jordan, CEO of IO Sustainability, is 5-0 (h/t Roxana) ... CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer is 7-0 … Politico’s Cally Stolbach … Trent Edwards, head of development for American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund, is 4-0, who spent the weekend celebrating with his family in southwest Virginia (h/t girlfriend Rebecca Mark) ... AP political reporter Jonathan Lemire (h/t wife Carrie Melago) … Michael Sargeant ... former Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) is 58 ... Jason Reed, a Reuters photographer in Sydney ... Suzi Emmerling, deputy COS at DOT and an OFA and CAP alum ... Andrew Mangino, co-founder and CEO of The Future Project, is 3-0 ... Joy Nadel ... Thomas Crosson, VP of corporate comms at SunTrust in Atlanta … Lesley Lopez, director of comms and publications at the US-China Business Council and a DLCC alum (h/t Ajashu Thomas) ... … NYT’s Elaine Sciolino, author of “The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs” and “La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life” ... Mark McDonald ... Stacie Spector ... David Halperin (h/ts Jon Haber) … Lexie Hosier, digital director for Sen. Thom Tillis (h/t birthday boy Judd Deere) ... Judd Deere, comms director for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge … Paul Ambrosino ... Brady Williamson ... Joe Dennison (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Patrick Mark Callahan ... Carmen Covelli-Ingwell ... Richard Norman is 61 ... Kimberly Spell Brimigion ... Nick Ferderer ... Edward Chapman ... Anna Weinstein, native Vermonter and principal at Podesta Group and a BIO alum … Stephanie Berger … Boehner alum Courtney Loper, now senior director of energy and natural resources at FTI Consulting Strategic Communications in Denver … Ashley Phelps … Jackie Walker … Steve Adamske … Chris Tucker, senior managing director at FTI Consulting … makeup artist extraordinaire Jackie Walker … Bret Hovell, senior director for news and strategic comms at ASU and a CBS News alum ... Tom Barker, a Bush 43 HHS alum now partner at Foley Hoag … singer Randy Newman is 73 ... former NASA teacher in space Barbara Morgan is 65 ... R&B singer Trey Songz is 32 (h/ts AP)

28 ноября, 13:01

Trump’s Koch administration

Despite past clashes — and looming policy disputes — the Koch brothers’ operation has allies in key positions on Trump’s team.

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22 ноября, 11:31

Нефть, политика, война между братьями — история Koch Industries, одной из крупнейших американских частных компаний

Обозреватель vc.ru изучил историю одной из крупнейших частных компаний США, Koch Industries, и владельцев 84% ее акций — братьев Чарльза и Дэвида Кохов, которые известны активным лоббированием своих интересов, нарушением экологических законов и неоднозначными политическими взглядами.

16 ноября, 01:46

Lynch urges Trump to press on with criminal justice reform

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is urging President-elect Donald Trump to keep up the Obama administration's drive to increase the fairness of the justice system in dealing with minorities and the poor.With Trump's election fanning concerns about hate crimes and a potential rollback in civil rights protections, Lynch argued in a speech Tuesday that Trump's team should maintain the Justice Department's focus on combating bail and fine policies that have turned the poor into a source of cash for some communities."Bringing justice to those who feel excluded and left behind is one of the great civil rights challenges of our times. And the work to meet that challenge begun under this administration must continue into the next," Lynch said, never mentioning Trump by name. "Regardless of our political beliefs, we should be able to agree, as Americans, that poverty is not a crime. We should be able to agree, as Americans, that justice is not a commodity to be bought and sold. We should be able to agree, as Americans, that the law should empower the most vulnerable — not oppress them."Lynch's call for Trump to carry on the Obama administration's criminal justice agenda seems like wishful thinking.During the campaign, Trump advocated a return to more aggressive anti-crime techniques, like widespread use of stop-and-frisk techniques to try to stamp out inner-city violence. While sometimes expressing concern about shootings of minorities by police, he more often complained that police were not being adequately supported and he repeatedly stoked fear of crime by suggesting that U.S. cities are awash in violence.Despite Trump's stance, some in Republican ranks including billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch, have been pressing for compromise with Democrats on criminal justice reform. Legislation to rein in mandatory minimum sentences and to make other changes advanced in both chambers in the past year or so, but Senate Republican leaders backed away from final action on a bill in recent months, concerned in part about tension with Trump's vows to restore "law and order."Lynch, the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general, seemed to hedge her bets on Trump Tuesday by also calling on the lawyers in the audience at D.C.'s main federal courthouse to keep the pressure on against discrimination and in favor of a broad vision of justice."I believe that we can pass laws and craft policies that embody our highest ideals. But that will not happen automatically. It never has. It will only happen if people like you and I continue fighting for our nation’s oldest principles and its highest ideals. I urge you to do just that," Lynch said, according to a prepared text of her remarks. "I urge you to use your positions of authority and influence to write and to speak on behalf of the voiceless and the marginalized. Devote yourself to making justice a fact for those who until now have only known it as a myth. Give some of your time to pro bono causes and challenge your colleagues to do the same. If you are a professor, impress upon your students the urgency of this cause.....Justice is not a luxury for a few but the birthright of all."

14 ноября, 14:50

Ротшильды таки накрыли Америку и планету Трампом

Клинтоны - представители «условных Рокфеллеров», пытающихся любой ценой сохранить сегодняшнее американское доминирование в глобальном мире, - утверждал директор Института проблем глобализации Михаил Делягин. - Сохранить его невозможно. Мир идет к глобальной депрессии, в которой глобальные рынки распадутся на макрорегионы… А на Трампа поставили «условные Ротшильды», примирившиеся с неизбежностью распада мира на макрорегионы и желающие работать на опережение этой перспективы, а не плестись в ее хвосте. Я подчеркиваю – «условные Ротшильды». Поскольку этот клан объединяет не только знаменитое семейство европейских банкиров, других финансистов, промышленников Старого Света, но и заокеанских магнатов. Например, самых богатых братьев планеты, Чарльза и Дэвида Кохов. В России они «не на слуху», хотя оба четвертый год подряд входят в первую десятку миллиардеров по версии «Форбcа». На 1 марта 2016 г у них по $39.6 млрд., вместе - $79.2 млрд! У лидера списка, знаменитого Б. Гейтса – всего 75 миллиардов. Недаром Кохи – одни из самых влиятельных людей США. Семейный холдинг Koch Industries, созданный их покойным отцом, ежегодно приносит $115 млрд. выручки. От строительства трубопроводов, производства стройматериалов, нефтепереработки и т.д. Кохи считаются большими филантропами, главными спонсорами республиканцев. ПОДРОБНЕЕ...

12 ноября, 15:40

Trump's win upends climate fight

Once-ascendant greens prepare for battle, while oil, gas and coal expect a bright future.

10 ноября, 20:37

По результатам выборов в США

      Голоса еще не досчитаны, но прогноз следующий            Клинтон наберет на 1,2 проц. пункта больше чем Трамп. При том что Обама в 2012 году набрал на 4 проц. пункта голосов больше чем Ромни и на 7 проц. пунктов больше чем Маккейн в 2008 году.      Трамп наберет 306 голосов выборщиков, при том что для победы нужно 270. Обама в 2012 году набрал 340 голосов выборщиков, а в 2008 - 365 голосов выборщиков.      Дальше смотрите. Это карта США, на которой все округа (counties) покрашены в цвета победившей партии. Те округа, которые проголосовали за Трампа - красные, те округа которые проголосовали за Клинтон - синие.      Как видите, подавляющее большинство округов проголосовало за Трампа. В Оклахоме и Западной Виргинии Трамп выиграл все округа. В Вайоминге и Канзасе Трамп выиград все округа кроме одного. В Юте, Небраске, Северной Дакоте, Кентукки, Тенесси Трамп выиграл все округа кроме двух.      Клинтон выиграла только крупные города (Нью-Йорк, Лос-Анджелес, Сан-Франциско, Филадельфию, Детройт и т.д.), что позволило ей обойти Трампа по общему числу голосов. Вообще конечно удивителен тот факт, что в небольших городах и селах люди сохраняют консервативные ценности, а жители крупных городов мутируют и становятся вырожденцами.      Кроме президентского кресла республиканцы взяли обе палаты Парламента. Теперь они могут всё. Притом что до выборов все СМИ хором предсказывали смерть Республиканской партии. Теперь же Демократическая партия переживает страшнейший кризис. Партийный истеблишмент будет конечно же винить в своих бедах Путина, Викиликс, Джеймса Коми (директор ФБР). В действительности причина их поражения в том что они выбрали очевидно непроходного кандидата. И даже колоссальный медиаресурс, которым обладают олигархи, поставившие на Клинтон, не помог.      Кстати, на счет медиаресурса, все основные социологические службы в один голос предрекали победу Клинтон. Вероятность ее победы за день до выборов они оценивали следующим образом:            CNN прогнозировал победу Клинтон с вероятностью 91%, NY Times - 85%.      В некотрых штатах, в которых в итоге победил Трамп, все без исключения соц. службы предрекали победу Клинтон. Например, так произошло в Мичигане и Висконсине. Как к этому относиться как не к попытке манипулировать общественным мнением?         Короче, олигархическая тусовка, которая до последнего времени контролировала США и Европу потерпела второе сокрушительное поражение. Первым поражением был Brexit. Впереди выборы канцлера в Германии и выборы президента во Франции. Думаю, что там их ждет примерно такой же результат. И сейчас у нас появляются все основании рассчитывать на коренное изменение геополитической ситуации в мире. Думаю, Россия и США станут стратегическими партнерами на ближайшие пару десятилетий. Потому что нет ничего более естественного, чем стратегическое партнерство России и США. Нам вообще нечего делить. Наши интересы нигде не пересекаются так чтобы нельзя было договориться. США не в состоянии в одиночку отвечать на геополитические вызовы. Им нужен равный по силам и возможностям партнер. Таким партнером точно не является Европа, которая похоже окончательно перестала быть субъектом геополитики. В теории таким партнером может быть Китай, но с китайцами разговаривать на порядок сложнее чем с нами.     Уверенность Трампа в ходе выборов что с Путиным он снимет все разногласия за одну встречу подтверждает мой тезис о том, что стратегическое партнерство между Россией и США это не абстрактная идея, а уже принятое решение. Люди, которые делают геополитику уже обо всём договорились и всё порешали. И позиция Трампа по России была лишь следствием уже принятых решений.     Тезис либеральных СМИ о том, что демократические институты США сейчас отрихтуют выскочку Трампа это явный бред. Все демократические институты США будут приседать ровно так как им скажут приседать старшие товарищи. Старшие товарищи уже показали что они решают вообще любые вопросы. Они сломали об коленку братьев Кох, они сломали об коленку Джеба Буша, за которым стояли все прочие Буши. Они сломали об коленку Сороса, Баффета и всю тусовку финансовых олигархов, которые поддерживали Клинтон. Они сломали об коленку Кэмерона по Брекзиту. Они за неделю до выборов возобновили расследование сервергейта, а за 2 дня до выборов прекратили расследование. Не знаю, что это за люди, но они явно талантливы и могут всё. Так что если кто-то в США станет препятствовать реализации их планов, такой человек досрочно отправится на пенсию.     Так что наши перспективы самые радужные. Россия сможет наконец-то сконцентрироваться на решении внутренних проблем.

07 ноября, 14:00

How Trump Diagnosed American Politics

A hater repents—sort of—and gives thanks for the unorthodox candidate.

Выбор редакции
03 ноября, 20:59

Thursday assorted links

1. Are airline legacy mergers anti-competitive? 2. What happened to the Gary Johnson campaign? 3. Are chains the future of global food? 4. Evidence for Amihai Glazer’s theory of expressive voting, namely that you vote against the supporters of the other candidate. 5. A critical look at ISDS. 6. Bernanke on Mallaby on Greenspan. 7. […] The post Thursday assorted links appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

01 ноября, 21:39

Why Is An Anti-Union Group Ringing Workers’ Doorbells In California?

This story originally appeared in Capital & Main. Sign up for email alerts from Capital & Main. Toni Monique is an in-home caregiver who talks like a political philosopher. When she is not helping her sister, Tonya Ginn, in Buena Park, she volunteers with the United Domestic Workers union that represents 94,000 California home care workers. (Dislclosure: The UDW is a financial supporter of this website.) When told that the Freedom Foundation, an organization with financial ties to right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch, had recently moved into California to try and undermine her union, she got downright angry. “They [Freedom Foundation] say they are fighting for freedom,” she said of the foundation. “Well, we should have freedom to put food on the table, food in our stomachs, transportation and a roof over our heads. That’s freedom.” The political philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously distinguished between “negative freedom” — the ability of people to act “unobstructed by others” – and “positive freedom,” the need to act collectively to avoid being ground down by circumstance or constrained by limited resources. Berlin wrote about political theory. Toni Monique and Tonya Ginn are living it. After years of separation, Toni found her sister three years ago languishing in a Sacramento nursing facility and brought her to live at her small Orange County home. Ginn, who has suffered from a number of physical and mental disabilities, had lived on the street for years, moving in and out of hospitals and other care facilities. “My sister was being treated like an animal,” Toni said, sitting on the sofa next to her sister on a recent weekday morning. “We now have a good life together,” Ginn added. Under California law, through in-home support services a relative or other caregiver can assist a disabled or aged person at the home of the client or caregiver. Funded through federal and state monies, and administered by counties, 70 percent of help providers are related to those they care for. Toni, who makes the average wage of $10.20 an hour, takes home less than $20,000 a year. The United Domestic Workers fights to protect the program as well as boost the wages and benefits of its members. The Freedom Foundation has recently moved to California put a stop to those efforts. Brian Minnich, the foundation’s executive vice president, tells Capital & Main it has moved into California to inform government employee union members that “they have a constitutional right to leave the union.” He points to a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled workers who were not fully-fledged public employees did not have to join the union as a condition of employment. The Freedom Foundation was created in Washington State in 1991 by a former Republican legislator and gubernatorial candidate. The organization (formally known as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation) has long been active in libertarian causes and anti-regulatory crusades. The group is also a member of the State Policy Network (SPN), a national web of conservative policy and advocacy organizations that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from corporations and radical right-wing billionaires, including the Koch Brothers. Jane Mayer, whose book Dark Money outlines the origins, strategy and funding network of the SPN and similar groups, describes SPNs attempts to provide “cookie-cutterlike policy papers” that push privatization, the weakening of environmental laws, economic deregulation, tax relief for corporations and higher income earners, and anti-union legislation. Mayer’s description reflects the Freedom Foundation’s activities in Washington State. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog group that profiles organizations and individuals who are trying to influence public policy, the foundation has fought to reduce and restrict public employee pensions, advocated for stricter voter ID laws, pushed privatization efforts and run anti-union campaigns. David Rolf, president of Seattle-based Service Employees International Union, Local 775, which represents home-care and nursing home workers, has engaged in ongoing battles with the Freedom Foundation. Rolf points to a time some years ago when his union would actually partner with the foundation on issues where the two organizations’ interests aligned: closing special interest tax loopholes, opposing government subsidies to private companies, good government reform. But more recently, Rolf says, the Freedom Foundation has “turned into a single-purpose anti-union operation in the guise of a 501(c)(3) charity.” Through a strategy begun in Washington State that they are now rolling out in California, the Freedom Foundation obtained the names and addresses of some Local 775 members that they used to visit the members’ homes. During these visits, Freedom Foundation activists tried to talk home-care workers into quitting the union. Minnich stated that the organization is running the same sort of campaign in California but with different tactics. They have already produced anti-union TV commercials on cable channels in Orange County. Minnich would not spell out in an interview why, exactly, his group would spend so much money to simply pass on the word about that Supreme Court ruling to low-wage caregivers. “I will say,” he hinted, “that one of the biggest issues that comes up is how their money is spent politically – they have no choice in how their money is spent.” A number of people who have watched the aggressive tactics of the Freedom Foundation believe their primary goal may not be to hurt home-care workers (Minnich stated that he believes they are actually underpaid for the “yeoman’s work” they do) but to defund organized labor’s political activity. In addition to going door to door, a secondary strategy is the filing of lawsuits against unions, diverting their time and money. Collin Jergens, who works for the Seattle-based progressive advocacy organization Fuse Washington, says that the Freedom Foundation’s legal and political strategy is transparent. “Their goal,” he says, “is to force unions to waste money on lawyers so they can’t spend those resources on supporting their membership.” Freedom comes with a price and it should not be at the expense of the weak, disabled and handicapped The Freedom Foundation’s anti-union obsession – their Washington State headquarters has a prerecorded antihome-care workers union message for callers on hold – fits neatly with the ideological thrust and political goals of their funders. According to recently published IRS Form 990 tax records, which tax-exempt foundations are required to submit every year, the Freedom Foundation has received substantial contributions from DonorsTrust and the Donors Capital Fund, two “dark money” foundations that, in DonorsTrust’s case, Mayer describes as “screen[s] for the right wing, behind which fingerprints disappeared from the cash.” According to research conducted by Mother Jones writer Andy Kroll, DonorsTrust “…has funded the right’s assault on labor unions, climate scientists, public schools, economic regulations and the very premise of activist government.” The foundations are called “dark money” vessels because current tax law does not require them to provide details about who donated money to them. But the Center for Media and Democracy has published a detailed outline about the linked funding network of corporate and right-wing contributors. Weakening home-care workers making $20,000 a year is not the best PR, even for conservative billionaires. But undercutting labor’s attempts to raise wages, build coalitions to decrease dependence on fossil fuels or to raise taxes on the wealthy – that’s an agenda that the radical right wing will fight for and fund. Minnich acknowledged to Capital & Main that getting members to quit the union has “downstream effects” that “impact the dollars that the union has,” but that his group’s primary goal is to let union members know they have the right to leave the union. While Minnich is hesitant to elaborate on the political motives of the Freedom Foundation – tax exempt organizations are prohibited from explicitly engaging in politics – Freedom Foundation chief executive officer Tom McCabe ostentatiously plays the role of bad cop. In recent Freedom Foundation fundraising letters he has called union leaders “thugs,” “goons,” and “creeps” and asked potential donors to help stop “big government liberals,” and liberal Democrats” from controlling the Pacific Northwest. In California, working out of an office in Tustin, the Freedom Foundation has run ads in local papers soliciting home-care workers to appear in anti-union commercials, become plaintiffs in lawsuits and to provide lists of workers the foundation can then contact. Editha Adams, a home-care worker herself and president of the United Domestic Workers, said her members voluntarily belong to the union and pay dues. “Without our union, the IHSS [In-Home Supportive Services] program as we know it would not exist,” she said. While Minnich claimed that the foundation’s efforts in Washington led to a 60 percent drop in union membership for child-care aides, union leader Rolf said their tactics in Washington fell flat. “They are clever but not very smart,” he pointed out. “The key thing is to have a robust communications program with your members and have an honest talk with them, letting them know they may get a knock on the door.” Freedom is a cherished concept embedded in our political vocabulary, but it is also a concrete thing, manifesting itself in various ways. Americans tend to see freedom, the historian Eric Foner has written, as “historical rather than theoretical,” a “terrain of conflict” where freedom has been won but also subverted, shaped by the collision of politics, economics and ideology. Freedom clearly means different things for the Freedom Foundation than it does for Toni Monique and Tonya Ginn. Is it the freedom from the “impositions” of government and the freedom to get wealthy? Or is it the ability to shape their political fate so that they can escape economic and physical hardship, being free to live a productive life? “Freedom comes with a price and it should not be at the expense of the weak, disabled and handicapped,” Toni Monique said. Her sister smiled and nodded her agreement. “I’m looking forward to having a good life with my family, and I’m willing to go with my walker and tell the government,” she added. Toni Monique and Tonya Ginn have no confusion about which side they are on. -- 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.

28 октября, 00:43

HUFFPOST HILL - Team Trump Looking To Cuck The Vote

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!  Donald Trump’s campaign staff think he’s losing ― truly, it’s amazing just how deep the globalist conspiracy runs. Trump is trying to ingratiate himself to liberals by appealing to Michael Moore fans, helping us identify the awful, awful Michael Moore *and* Donald Trump fans whom we should catapult into space. And with the latest accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas going public, let’s hope Joe Biden evinces some personal growth and yells only enlightened things at his television this time next year. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, October 27th, 2016: Greetings from Maine: We’re in the Pine Tree state to cover Donald Trump’s speech in Lisbon tomorrow. Intel from the guy at the rental car counter is that all the Trump people rent needlessly huge cars. HOO BOY - This is a ‘90s throwback absolutely nobody asked for. Marcia Coyle: “The anticipation of meeting a U.S. Supreme Court justice for the first time turned to shock and distress for a young Truman Foundation scholar in 1999 when, she says, Justice Clarence Thomas grabbed and squeezed her on the buttocks several times at a dinner party…. Thomas, in a statement through the Supreme Court’s spokeswoman, denied Smith’s allegations. “This claim is preposterous and it never happened,” Thomas said. [National Law Journal] National Law Journal is subscription-only. Read the HuffPost summary here. CANDIDATE WHO’S BEEN LEADING THE ENTIRE TIME HAS SHOT AT WINNING - That’s according to mathematics and such, kids. Janie Velencia: “Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is either slightly ahead or way ahead of Republican Donald Trump with just 13 days until Election Day, according to new polls released Wednesday…. According to the HuffPost Pollster aggregate, Clinton is leading by about 7 points in the four-way race, 46.6 percent to 39 percent.” [HuffPost] Clinton’s message now: Don’t get cocky. TRUMP SET FOR WORST PERFORMANCE IN RECENT HISTORY - Hey, hey, my performance is *great,* trust me. Natalie Jackson and Ryan Grim: “Donald Trump’s greatest fear is probably public humiliation ― and there’s a decent chance he’s headed for a historic one. The most unpopular presidential candidate in modern history is George McGovern, whose 1972 race against Richard Nixon ended with him raking in a puny 37.4 percent of the vote. There’s at least one surface similarity to today’s politics: Though it didn’t happen in anywhere near as public a fashion as the GOP flight from Trump, the Democratic establishment abandoned McGovern, the darling of lefty activists.The political fallout was immense. McGovern haunts Democrats to this day. Hillary Clinton worked on his behalf in Texas that year and often uses his annihilation as a warning to progressives not to push too far, lest you wind up with a Nixon. The party transformed itself in subsequent years, culminating with the centrist presidency of Bill Clinton.” [HuffPost] TRUMP’S PEOPLE KNOW HE’S LOSING - Boy, this is going to lead to a lot of red hat days. Ariel Edwards-Levy: “With less than two weeks until Election Day, Donald Trump is, for the most part, still insisting to his supporters that he’s in the lead. While he conceded in one radio interview Monday that he was ‘somewhat behind in the polls,’ Trump said the same day that ‘I really believe we are winning’ and claimed that ‘Democrats are making up phony polls.’ Members of his campaign, though, are openly admitting that the businessman is lagging behind. Trump’s campaign manager, pollster Kellyanne Conway, also conceded that the GOP nominee was trailing, saying Sunday ‘we are behind.’ Although Trump says he no longer believes the polls, his internal data apparently mirrors what publicly available surveys are showing. The campaign’s San Antonio-based research team is spending $100,000 a week on polling and is running simulations of the election, according to Bloomberg Businessweek ― and it’s coming up with results that look like most of the public forecasts, all of which give Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton an 85 percent or higher chance of victory.” [HuffPost] Of course, Trump still won’t promise to concede the election if he loses it. PLEASE STOP TELLING PEOPLE WE’RE CROOKS, ELECTION OFFICIALS PLEAD - Of course, that’s what they would say. #Illuminati Emily Tate: “Although voter fraud is extremely rare, Trump’s claims have resonated with many of his supporters. In Louisiana, voting officials have been inundated with calls and emails from outraged residents who demand explanations for the real estate mogul’s claims. ‘We have never seen this amount of calls. We spend an inordinate amount of time … responding to people,’ Republican Tom Schedler, secretary of state for Louisiana, said at an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center on Thursday.” [HuffPost] DELANEY DOWNER - The U.S. economy has improved a lot in recent years, but not for everybody. As of September, there were some 600,000 jobless Americans who have been looking for work for at least 99 weeks…. Diane Zapasnik and her husband were among the 2 million very-long-term jobless in 2011, and they still haven’t recovered from the experience. Zapasnik, 59, said they lost their house and now live in a trailer. They’re counting down the days until they can apply for Social Security retirement benefits…. ‘We’re not being talked about at all,’ Zapasnik said. ‘It’s almost like the past couple of years we’ve been swept under the rug. So many families are just dying.’” [HuffPost] Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill IS IT BETTER OR WORSE THAT THEY COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY IT? Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg: “Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. ‘We have three major voter suppression operations under way,’ says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are ‘super predators’ is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.” [Bloomberg Businessweek] Best election ever: “Betsy McCaughey defended Donald Trump by saying that the multiple women accusing the Republican presidential nominee of sexual assault are simply ‘man-shaming.’ McCaughey, the former lieutenant governor of New York, is most famous for inventing the myth of the Obamacare ‘death panels’ and for defending Trump’s lewd remarks using Beyoncé lyrics.” [HuffPost] THE FORECAST CALLS FOR ARMED INSURRECTION - Gun-toting anti-government types never get up to anything scary and violent, right? Right?? Ashley Parker and Nick Corasaniti: Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wis., said that if Mr. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton, which he worried would happen through a stolen election, it could lead to ‘another Revolutionary War.’ ‘People are going to march on the capitols,’ said Mr. Halbrook, who works at a call center. ‘They’re going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there.’ ‘If push comes to shove,’ he added, and Mrs. Clinton ‘has to go by any means necessary, it will be done.’” [NYT] GRAB ‘EM BY THE NECKERCHIEF - Those Cub Scouts were going to learn the world is run by souless hacks someday anyhow. Mike DeBonis: “If you’re a Republican candidate sharing a ballot with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, there is truly no escaping the top of your ticket. That’s what Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) learned earlier this month, when he was pressed on his presidential vote by a Cub Scout less than a week after a recording emerged capturing Trump discussing kissing and grabbing women without their consent. ‘I’m going to be supporting the Republican nominee, no matter what crazy things he says,’ Yoder said, according to cellphone video taken at an Oct. 11 appearance in Lenexa, Kan.” [WashPost] Trump’s people are really unsure how to talk about their guy. YOU GUYS LIKE MICHELLE OBAMA, RIGHT? Here’s a thing you can read about some stuff she said. Sam Levine: “Echoing her moving speech from the Democratic National Convention in July, Obama framed the election as a crucial choice that would shape the future for America’s children. ‘Hillary doesn’t play,’ Obama said. ‘This is not about Republicans versus Democrats. None of that matters this time around. No, no,no, this election is about something much bigger. It’s about who will shape our children and the country we leave for them, not just for the next four, eight years, but for the rest of their lives.’” [HuffPost] NEWS ABOUT INSPIRING COLLEGE PROFESSOR EVAN BAYH - Interesting revelation about the lobbying firm “adviser.” Ryan Grim, Ben Walsh and Zach Carter: “Evan Bayh, the former Democratic senator from Indiana and current Senate candidate, has at least $1 million in holdings with a Bermuda-based insurance company, Athene, that has a business model that a class action lawsuit is challenging as a bait-and-switch scam. Athene’s business plan, the suit claims, is to buy up the annuities of retirees that had previously been invested in bonds and blue chip stocks, and instead pump their money into the risky bets of a private equity firm. That firm turns out to be Apollo Global Management ― where Bayh is a highly paid senior adviser ― which actually owns Athene, so if the gamble pays off, Athene’s parent company gets rich. If it flops, the retirees take the hit.… Bayh has been working for Apollo as a senior adviser for public policy since early 2011, shortly after he retired from the Senate. On the personal financial disclosure he filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month in order to run for Senate in 2016, he states that he has received between $5.7 million and $20.9 million worth of assets in the firm. He lists his holdings in Athene as valued at between $1 million and $5 million.” [HuffPost] KOCH BROTHERS RETREATING FROM NATIONAL ELECTIONS - Ken Vogel: “[I]n mid-September, about 200 staffers from the Koch brothers’ conservative advocacy network were summoned to the fifth floor auditorium of the Charles Koch Institute’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters, and presented with some bleak news: their efforts to reshape American politics were faltering and were being scaled back amid concerns about lower-than-projected fundraising. In recent years, the deep-pocketed network’s forays into federal elections and policy fights had resulted in ‘very little success,’ the managers were told by top Koch official Mark Holden, according to three people familiar with the meeting...there are mounting questions about whether their vaunted political and advocacy operation may have peaked. The answer could resonate well beyond Nov. 8, since the Koch network would otherwise be expected to play a major role in the post-Trump rebuilding of the conservative movement. In interviews, some insiders traced the network’s decline — or at least its decline in growth — to its decision to sit out the presidential race, at first out of disagreement over whether to play in the crowded GOP primary, and then out of distaste for Trump.” [Politico] PRELUDE TO A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS - Burgess Everett: “Senate Republicans are choosing sides ahead of a brutal conflict over how to handle the lingering Supreme Court vacancy, with Jeff Flake firing back Thursday at a suggestion by Ted Cruz that the party could indefinitely block any nominee from Hillary Clinton. The internal GOP battle over what to do about Merrick Garland — President Barack Obama’s choice for the court — and any future Clinton nominee will dominate the lame duck session of Congress after the election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is holding the seat vacant for the next president — but Cruz has suggested that Republicans could continue to block Democrats from appointing a new nominee for much longer.” [Politico] L.A. REALLY KNOWS HOW TO RIG AN ELECTION - What other explanation could there be??? Javier Panzar: “When 818,000 voters in Los Angeles County fill out their ballots this election, they will find themselves in strange political territory: The only Republican names they’ll see will be presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence. In this GOP ‘dead zone’ — spanning parts of five congressional districts, five state Assembly districts and one state Senate district — not a single Republican candidate made it on to the November ballot.” [LA Times] FCC SETS NEW PRIVACY RULES - Unclear if there is a Podesta booty equality carve-out, however. Brian Fung: “Federal regulators have approved unprecedented new rules to ensure broadband providers do not abuse their customers’ app usage and browsing history, mobile location data and other sensitive personal information generated while using the Internet. The rules, passed Thursday in a 3-to-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission, require Internet providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, to obtain their customers’ explicit consent before using or sharing that behavioral data with third parties, such as marketing firms. Also covered by that requirement are health data, financial information, Social Security numbers and the content of emails and other digital messages. The measure allows the FCC to impose the opt-in rule on other types of information in the future, but certain types of data, such as a customer’s IP address and device identifier, are not subject to the opt-in requirement. The rules also force service providers to tell consumers clearly what data they collect and why, as well as to take steps to notify customers of data breaches.” [WaPo]DONALD & ME - Formerly successful attention-getter Michael Moore said some sympathetic things about Donald Trump supporters in his new movie, so of course Trump tried to pretend they were about him. Igor Bobic: “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday attempted to leverage some positive comments from liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who recently spoke about the GOP nominee’s appeal to the blue-collar workers left behind by President Barack Obama’s economy…. But in in his film, Moore actually makes a proactive case for Hillary Clinton. He even defended his support for the Democratic nominee in an interview on MSNBC Tuesday, calling her a ‘force for good.’” [HuffPost] BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog who doesn’t care for some sweet, sweet sax. TRUMP IS ON TO YOUR SCHEMES, MICROPHONES - Somebody’s been re-reading his copy of “Protocols of the Elders of Shure!” Nolan D. McCaskill: “Donald Trump amplified his contentious history with microphones Thursday, blaming the technology for recording what he thought he was saying in private. In an interview set to air Thursday, Trump faulted a hot mic for capturing him speaking cavalierly about forcibly kissing and groping women with impunity because he’s ‘a star.’ … ‘The microphones, I mean to be honest should, you know, should never have been on,’ he said, according to an excerpt of an interview scheduled to broadcast Thursday evening with the global Catholic network EWTN and published by The Washington Post. [Politico] HuffPost flashback: “Trump Has A Complicated Relationship With Microphones.” COMFORT FOOD - Re-reviewing the original iPod. - How is it that we have a light-bulb-screwing drone before we have the longer-lasting light bulb? - We welcome any and all incorporations of “Dinosaurs” into our politics. TWITTERAMA @daveweigel: Remember, everyone, this is a CHANGE ELECTION, which is why 90%+ of incumbents will be returned to office. @SimonMaloy: TWITTER: something just isn’t clicking here HORDE OF RACIST EGGS: [cacophony of immoral filth] TWITTER: eliminate the looping video service @onlxn: HALPERIN: Huh? TRUMP: I said I’m gonna win. HALPERIN: Wow. WOW. TRUMP: HALPERIN: Talk about scoops! Halperin, you’ve done it again. TRUMP: Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected]) or Arthur Delaney ([email protected]). -- 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.

27 октября, 23:58

A New Poll Shows America's Reluctance for New Foreign Adventures

Daniel R. DePetris Security, The American people are becoming increasingly impatient with the way the executive branch has expanded its war powers at the expense of the Congress. Republicans and Democrats disagree on pretty much everything, but there is one broad policy area where the GOP and Democratic establishments are actually more in tune with one another than commonly thought when it comes to foreign policy. The men and women who have dominated the foreign-policy conversation for the last three administrations—statesmen and stateswomen like Madeleine Albright, Samantha Power, the late Richard Holbrooke, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz—have proven to be strong proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism. The narrative is as basic as it is alluring: as the strongest and most powerful country in the world and as the beacon of hope and democracy for those struggling for freedom and justice, only the United States has the ability to provide the resources, political will and strength to solve problems. If the United States doesn’t them, nobody else will. Dictators need to be kept in check, if not overthrown; the Responsibility to Protect doctrine is an inalienable component of being an American; averting atrocities and crimes against humanity need to be prevented; the stability of the world is contingent on the spread of democratic values and free-market principles; and the United States is the sole guarantor of international peace and security. A new and comprehensive poll conducted by the Charles Koch Institute and the Center for the National Interest, however, suggests that these elite convictions are not necessarily shared by much of the American public. On issue after issue—from infrastructure to jobs, from tax rates to terrorism—the public wants to focus on practical measures that directly impact their lives. Military intervention abroad is not considered to be one of them. Accordingly, the poll reveals just how wide the gap has become between the foreign-policy establishment in Washington (what Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes famously called “the Blob”) and average Americans.  Read full article

27 октября, 12:03

Behind the retreat of the Koch brothers' operation

Donald Trump’s rise led the conservative billionaires to scale back their political operation. Can they bounce back?

24 октября, 21:59

Grand Strategy: What is America’s Most Pressing Foreign Policy Issue?

Ted Ellis Security, ISIS? China? Russia? The South China Sea? There are a variety of potential threats around the world today: tensions in the South China Seas, a nuclear North Korea, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and civil wars in the Middle East are just a few. In order to better think about these challenges and how they relate to U.S. national security, the Center for the National Interest partnered with the Charles Koch Institute to host a foreign policy roundtable which addressed the question: What is the most pressing issue for America’s foreign policy? Watch the rest of the videos in the “Grand Strategy” series. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago doesn’t shy away from a bold answer: The most pressing issue is that the United States has a “fundamentally misguided foreign policy.” Mearsheimer argues that there are two dimensions to U.S. foreign policy that get the United States into “big trouble.” First, he says, “We believe that we can dominate the globe, that we can control what happens in every nook and cranny of the world.” The problem with this is that “the world is simply too big and nationalism is much too powerful of a force to make it possible for us to come close to doing that.” Mearsheimer argues that the second problematic dimension of U.S. foreign policy is that the United States is “heavily into transformation.” By “transformation,” Mearsheimer means that “We believe that what we should do in the process of running the world is topple governments that are not liberal democracies and transform them into liberal democracies.” The United States has engaged in numerous international military interventions over the past fifteen years, primarily in the Middle East. Proponents of these interventions argue that they are necessary in order to build stable democracies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. However, according to Mearsheimer, the United States is pursuing “a hopeless cause; there is a huge literature that makes it clear that promoting democracy around the world is extremely difficult to do, and doing it at the end of a rifle barrel is almost impossible.” So why has the United States continued to pursue policies and strategies that fail to convert U.S. military might into political ends? Read full article

22 марта 2013, 13:43

Что делать Атланту? Или о производстве замолвите слово

Итак, снова трещат копья вокруг Айн Рэнд и ее «Атланта», на сей раз вокруг экранизации романа. Что ж, это не ново. В 2012 году Библиотека Конгресса США провела выставку под помпезным названием «Книги, которые сформировали Америку». Перед событием эксперты библиотеки составили список из 88 книг, которые, по их мнению, отвечали всем требованиям «формирующей книги». Странно, что среди книг не оказалось Библии (возможно, по причине самоочевидного лидерства), но в остальном список мало у кого из критиков вызвал сомнения… за исключением одного пункта. Пресса взорвалась негодованием по поводу нахождения среди 88-ми романа Айн Рэнд «Атлант расправил плечи». Впрочем, это произведение подвергалось остракизму не в первый раз. К тому времени роману исполнилось уже 55 лет, и он все это время оставался одной из самых популярных книг в Америке… и самой ругаемой в «приличном обществе». В 2008 году, перед первым избранием Барака Обамы, тиражи новых изданий «Атланта» снова взлетели до небес, и к 2010 году суммарный проданный тираж книги перевалил за 7 миллионов экземпляров. Это очень много, но отнюдь не рекорд. Так, «Над пропастью во ржи» имеет на своем счету около 65 миллионов экземпляров, а «Убить пересмешника» – примерно 30 миллионов. Но есть одно существенное обстоятельство. «Атлант» – в основном американская книжка, всерьез не продвигавшаяся на внешние рынки. При этом ее тиражи поднимаются с нуля до миллионов, когда перед Америкой вновь и вновь встает всерьез выбор магистрального направления развития. В упомянутом 2008 году «Атлант» набрал в продажах совокупный миллион экземпляров, то есть, по четверти миллиона на новеллу – столько же, сколько Catcher Сэлинджера. А «Пересмешник» перешагнул за цифру 150 тысяч лишь в 2011 году благодаря «величайшему культурному событию современности» – Виктория и Дэвид Бекхэм назвали свою дочку в честь автора романа, Харпер Ли. В том же 2011 году кабельное, Интернет и DVD-продажи Amazon взорвала документальная лента «Айн Рэнд и пророчество Атланта» (Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged). Интерес к фильму был сумасшедшим, а реакция критики была весьма прохладной. Впереди были выборы-2012, и Голливуд готовил целый пул предвыборных прообамовских фильмов, которым будут рукоплескать критики, и Киноакадемии останется лишь выбрать среди них достойный Оскара. В том, что Голливуд бросил все свои силы на переизбрание лево-либерального президента, ничего сенсационного не было. Куда интереснее было то, что «важнейшим из искусств» решили воспользоваться и справа. Неудивительно, что обратились при этом к самому проверенному материалу, острота которого не была потеряна за полвека. В 2011 году вышла экранизация первой части «Атланта». Сюжет «Атланта» состоит в том, что в недалеком будущем (по Айн Рэнд – в 60-х годах, по режиссеру Джону Путчу – после перевыборов Обамы на второй срок) государство сильно вмешивается в экономические дела корпораций и, радея «о всеобщем благе», вводит «Закон равного распределения», отнимая у предпринимателей свободу деятельности, авторское право, возможность устанавливать цену на свою продукцию и нанимать тех людей, которые им кажутся наиболее перспективными. Это порождает ответную реакцию – предприниматели, инженеры и менеджеры «расправляют плечи». Следуя призыву таинственного изобретателя Джона Голта, они в массовом порядке начинают уходить, оставляя свое дело. Мир сваливается в хаос, заботиться об экономике, инфраструктуре и рабочих становится попросту некому. Критика разорвала картину в клочья, и большого прокатного успеха она не имела. Но поскольку фильм и его фрагменты постоянно циркулировали в Интернете, собирая весьма приличную аудиторию, а на 2012-й, самый горячий год был намечен выход второй части фильма, в которой «общество всеобщего блага» окончательно губит всю инфраструктуру Америки, навстречу одному «Атланту» бросили другого. В 2012 году на экраны вышел широко разрекламированный фильм Cloud Atlas, который на русский язык был переведен, на мой взгляд, совершенно неверно – «Облачный Атлас». В действительности и роман Дэвида Митчелла, и его экранизацию стоило бы перевести как «Порочный Атлант»[1]. Разница в классе актеров, режиссеров, продюсеров и всей съемочной группы была колоссальной. Да и бюджет у лево-либерального «Атланта» был на порядок выше – $102 миллиона против 10. И это не должно удивлять. Разумеется, какие-нибудь братья Кох с удовольствием выделили бы на экранизацию Айн Рэнд хоть $200 миллионов, но все же влияние и деньги – вещи не эквивалентные, особенно, когда речь идет о некой специфической области деятельности. Прийти в либеральный Голливуд с мешком денег и рассчитывать на то, что Спилберг, Вачовски, Кэмерон или даже автор оскароносного «Арго» Афлек станут снимать что-то вроде «Атлант расправил плечи», просто смешно. Им ведь потом еще жить и зарабатывать в Голливуде, давно определившемся со своей политической ориентацией! Поэтому, сколько бы просмотров ни собирали в Интернете ролики со стародавними интервью Айн Рэнд, как только дело коснулось Фабрики Грез, рассчитывать на звездную команду для перенесения на большой экран ее творения и на успешный прокат не приходилось. Сняли как сняли. С теми, с кем сняли. И хотя, на мой взгляд, фильм все равно получился неплохой и достойный просмотра хотя бы дома – на DVD или онлайн, – на этом разговор собственно о фильме можно было бы и завершить. Однако куда интереснее то, что очередное явление публике «Атланта» сопровождается уже ставшей привычной за 55 лет весьма агрессивной реакцией «приличного общества». Когда я посмотрел первые две части «Атланта», я, разумеется, поделился с друзьями не только ссылками, но и впечатлениями. Картинка получилась интересная. Мне даже показалось, что это вообще кино не для всех. Какие-то душевные и интеллектуальные струны «Атлант» трогал только у части аудитории, и эта часть аудитории вполне понимала, о чем этот фильм, и сопереживала героям. Начались даже споры о том, как можно было бы переложить фильм на другую фактуру, более футуристическую или, наоборот, на нашу, отечественную. Поэтому мне очень любопытно было, какова будет реакция на фильм гуманитария, академического философа. Я подумал, что если она будет безразличной, то тайна невероятной популярности «Атланта», с одной стороны, и невероятного раздражения большинства интеллектуалов на него, с другой, так и останется нераскрытой. Однако мой коллега по цеху Василий Ванчугов поставил смелый эксперимент, причем, как надлежит настоящему ученому, добровольно поставил его на себе. Он посмотрел обе части фильма «Атланта» и написал на них рецензию. Если бы Василий этого не сделал, рецензию отечественного философа на данный кинофильм я бы, ей-Богу, придумал сам. Придумал бы в самом провокационном ключе. Под псевдонимом, разумеется. В моей притворной рецензии философ не только клеймил бы позитивизм, но и вообще индустриальное общество, капитализм, предпринимателей, «всех этих менеджеров» и, разумеется, увязал бы коммерческий провал картины с содержащимися в ней идеологемами: критики выдвинули фильм на «Золотую малину» (анти-премия за худший фильм) – значит «Золотой малины» достойны и все идеи Айн Рэнд; главная героиня недостаточно красива – значит и капитализм отвратителен и не эстетичен; а что спецэффекты не те, что в «Аватаре» и вовсе означает, что позитивизм может обмануть лишь людей недалеких. По реакции на мою провокацию я бы смог измерить градус идеологического противостояния «Атланту». Если бы интеллектуалы поддержали такого рода логику, то мы действительно имеем дело с идеологией, и в «Атланте» есть что-то такое, что заставляет одних читать и перечитывать (в другом варианте – смотреть и пересматривать) его, а других – раз за разом пытаться не оставить от него камня на камне. Надо сказать, всамделишная рецензия профессора Ванчугова оказалась куда удачнее моих провокационных замыслов. Все изложенные мною выше приемы, в ней были использованы, но я бы никогда не смог изобразить того искреннего презрения философа к материальному производству, каковое выказал автор. Основной эмоциональный нерв рецензии, по сути дела, держится на призыве к читателям возмутиться демонстрацией на экране «производственной темы»: рельсов, шпал, поездов, цехов и производственных совещаний. Остановимся на секунду и задумаемся: может быть, и правда переборщили? Не думаю. Огромное количество первоклассных кинолент изобилует профессиональными тонкостями различных профессий. Самые успешные фильмы и сериалы о юристах просто-таки являются учебниками англо-саксонского права. Фильмы о художниках и музыкантах наполнены рассуждениями о «грации линий» и «изящности звука». С программистами и хакерами дело похуже – мало кто обладает столь серьезными знаниями в области IT, чтобы отразить работу этих ребят адекватно, но все равно с экрана так и сыплются «IP-адреса», «прерывания», «хосты» и «файерволы». И так далее и тому подобное. Фильмы и сериалы о полицейских, разумеется, отчасти берут тем, что там присутствует захватывающий сюжет, но и здесь профессиональная деятельность людей показана в мельчайших деталях – от шкафчиков в раздевалке до экипировки патрульной машины. То есть и о полицейских можно. Лучше всего, если в фильме есть грязный коп, но сойдут и честные ребята. Все ОК. Вот тут крепится рация, вот тут – наручники. Не раздражает. Врачи – вообще отдельная тема. Посмотрев «Доктора Хауса» или «Скорую помощь», можно научиться делать интубацию, диагностировать напряженный пневмоторакс и узнать все об антибиотиках широкого спектра. Да что там! Даже работа коронера и судмедэксперта, выведенная на экран, никого не возмущает. А там ведь и смотреть-то иной раз неподготовленному зрителю сложно – спецэффекты позволяют изобразить разлагающуюся человеческую плоть весьма правдоподобно. Полагаю, интеллектуального зрителя нисколько не оскорбляют фильмы о проститутках, наркоманах, неудачниках, домохозяйках… Особой популярностью пользуются киноленты об аферистах. Так чем же не устраивают рельсы, металл, производство? Чем не устраивают инженеры, предприниматели, менеджеры? Исходя из текста рецензии можно было бы предположить, что все дело в травме коммунистического прошлого, где фильмами про заводы и колхозы граждан пичкали постоянно, и были эти фильмы всеми поголовно нелюбимы. Но те фильмы не любили тем больше, чем ближе зрители были к заводам и колхозам: на экране трактора были исправными, цеха чистенькими, водители непьющими, в жизни – отнюдь. Интеллигенция все больше посмеивалась или игнорировала. Идиосинкразии точно никакой не было, больше раздражали пустые полки магазинов и некачественный коньяк. В Советском Союзе все были в равных условиях. Как говорит Жванецкий, мы делали вид, что работали, они делали вид, что платили. Напоминание же о капиталистических «рельсах-шпалах» есть прямое указание на источник материального изобилия и, что важнее, относительного материального благополучия тех, кто к «рельсам-шпалам» никакого отношение не имеет. И пока материальное производство «знает свое место», делает все, что мы едим, носим, в чем живем, ездим и через что выходим в Интернет, причем делает молча, все в порядке. Совсем другое дело, если интеллектуалу сказать, что «рельсы-шпалы», вообще говоря, могут и исчезнуть – возьмут «враги рода человеческого» и перестанут эксплуатировать наемный труд и производить что-либо. Еще хуже, если появляется популярная идеология, канализирующая раздражение участников производственных совещаний столь милым сердцу философа кампусным социализмом. Практически весь американский чайный бунт последнего времени основан на этом раздражении и недовольстве. Автор рецензии сам прекрасно формулирует одну из причин такого недовольства. По его мнению, небесный свод держат и держали «совсем другие герои». Несложно догадаться, что это интеллектуалы, в высшем своем изводе – философы. Дело уже давно не в философии позитивизма или весьма эксцентричных воззрениях самой Айн Рэнд. Сегодня ее «Атлант» – с одной стороны, напоминание, что не стоит из благоустроенных университетских помещений указывать индустрии на ее ничтожное место в жизни общества, с другой, это своего рода манифест причастных к «рельсам-шпалам». Манифест, как и фильм, такой, какой есть. За неимением лучшего. И вместо того, чтобы ждать второй, более удачной попытки «добавить в позитивизм попкорн» (выражение Василия Ванчугова), я бы посоветовал философам пересмотреть свое отношение к пресловутым капиталистам, да и вообще к представителям экономического класса и, относясь к ним с заботой и благодарностью, попробовать привить им какую-нибудь другую идеологию вместо «Атланта». Ведь будь я предпринимателем, то по прочтении рецензии профессора я бы испытал острый приступ желания перестать платить налоги. Совсем. Расправить плечи. [1] Если следовать автору романа Дэвиду Митчеллу, то переводить на русский язык и роман, и фильм следовало бы «Порочный Атлант», поскольку в интервью радио BBC автор сказал: «Само название „Порочный Атлант“; порочность относится к постоянно меняющимся проявлениям Атланта, к неизменной человеческой природе, которая всегда остается и всегда будет оставаться таковой. Так что темой книги является жажда, с которой люди охотятся на отдельных лиц, группы — на группы, народы — на народы, племена — на племена». Вот теперь замените порочного Атланта на облачный атлас, и станет понятной бессмыслица перевода названия на русский язык. Фильм Вачовски и Тыквера бичует различные исторические проявления «Атланта», намекая, что это «тот самый Атлант». Дмитрий Дробницкий

09 января 2013, 01:44

Как устроена бизнес-империя братьев Кох, главных противников Обамы

Миллиардеры Чарльз и Дэвид Кох создали компанию с выручкой более $100 млрд, теперь они борются за «настоящую демократию» Человек, который, по оценке Forbes, входит в число 50 самых влиятельных людей в мире, топ-20 самых богатых и, пожалуй, в дюжину самых ненавидимых людей на планете, постоянно рефлексирует. Однако, учитывая, что Чарльзу Коху исполнилось 77 лет, это простительно. Простительно потому, что недавно он назвал президентские выборы «виной всех войн», и потому, что Koch Industries является второй крупнейшей частной компанией в Америке (после Cargill) с выручкой $115 млрд. Читать далееПохожие статьиПравила бизнеса Ларри ЭллисонаЗачем друг Путина спас магазин, в котором собираются российские оппозиционерыПочему России выгодна новая администрация Барака Обамы