Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

With a rating of 4.36 / 5.00 on GoodReads, this book is popular. And depressing.

My takeaways:

  • Stop worrying about Russia. It’s the richest of the rich deciding American politics.
  • Charles and David Koch started as Libertarians. In fact, David ran in 1980 as candidate for Vice President for the Libertarian Party. In recent decades everything the Kochs do is to enrich themselves. #FollowTheMoney

  • The Kochs will cheat, lie, steal, intimidate to enrich themselves. The GOP are merely a means to an end.
  • The Kochs are good businessmen, employing many. For all the hundreds of millions they’ve spent, mostly on Republicans, they’ve made more back on legislation enriching the richest of the rich.
  • The 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision made the situation much worse.
  • Because their business is mostly Petrotoxins, the Kochs are keenest on preventing action on climate change.
  • Currently Americans for Prosperity is the main Koch lobbyist.
  • The E.P.A. identified Koch Industries in 2012 as the single biggest producer of toxic waste in the United States.

The U.S. political system is a fail, I’d say.

40% think Trump is doing a good job. A majority of those, I’m guessing, believe what they hear on FOX News and right wing radio.

Americans so easily misled deserve worse education, worse health care, medical bankruptcy, etc. … There’s no helping people like that.

I keep thinking American voters will figure out the richest of the rich are taking too much money. They don’t

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016) is a non-fiction book written by the American investigative journalist Jane Mayer, about a network of extremely wealthy conservative republicans, foremost among them Charles and David Koch, who have together funded an array of organizations that work in tandem to influence academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and the American presidency for their own benefit.

Mayer particularly discusses the Koch family and their political activities, along with Richard Mellon Scaife and John M. Olin and the DeVos and Coors families.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Jane Meredith Mayer is an American investigative journalist who has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1995. …

In 2016, Doubleday published Mayer’s fourth book, Dark Money, which became an instant national best-seller, and the New York Times named it one of the ten best books of the year. …

Mayer revealed that approximately six investigators, led by former New York Police Chief Howard Safir, had been hired by the industrialist Koch brothers in an effort to try to dig up dirt in order to smear her reputation, and that accusations of plagiarism had been leveled at her. She responded by publicly airing those tactics of intimidation, effectively debunking the smear campaign.

 

Advertisements

uppity women in St. Louis

Donald Trump:

“This is all very well, but I’d just like to know who is at home taking care of the babies?”

It might not have been Trump. But some other dinosaur trying to protect his white, male privilege.

In 1919, the Missouri Legislature approved letting women vote in presidential elections — an act made moot by ratification Aug. 18, 1920, of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the denial of voting rights “on account of sex.”

Stl Today

Martin Luther King Jr – I have a Dream

I Have a Dream” is a public speech delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he calls for an end to racism in the United States …

I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream…

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’m reading a book about those days. President Kennedy playing a balancing act between King and his supporters and the segregationists, mostly whites in the southern States.

Amazing days. King was far from perfect. Nor was Kennedy perfect. (Both were womanizers, for example.) But I admire both in different ways.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been proposed by President John F. Kennedy in June 1963, but opposed by filibuster in the Senate.

Thereafter, President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the bill forward, which in its final form was passed in the U.S. Congress by a Senate vote of 73-27 and House vote of 289-126 (70%-30%). The Act was signed into law by President Johnson …

Warm-up acts at the 1963 March on Washington:

Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson sang “How I Got Over“, and Marian Andersonsang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands“. …

Joan Baez led the crowds in several verses of “We Shall Overcome” and “Oh Freedom“. Bob Dylan performed “When the Ship Comes In“, for which he was joined by Baez. Dylan also performed “Only a Pawn in Their Game“, a provocative and not completely popular choice because it asserted that Byron de la Beckwith, as a poor white man, was not personally or primarily to blame for the murder of Medgar Evers.

Peter, Paul and Mary sang “If I Had a Hammer” and Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind“. Odetta sang “I’m On My Way“.

Charlton Heston, James Baldwin, Marlon Brando, and Harry Belafonte were there.

Charlton Heston supported civil rights?

Yep. He was a big booster of Democrats before switching to the dark side with Reagan and then the NRA.

National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens

I’d like to visit the new museum in Birmingham, Alabama.

map of lynchings USA
4,000 lynchings

It’s inspired by the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.

Lest we forget.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opening to the public on April 26, 2018, will become the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.  

I saw this photo in a St. Louis museum. People protesting lynching.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Nazis killed over 275,000 for mental / physical defects

Aktion T4 was a postwar name for mass murder through involuntary euthanasia in Nazi Germany. …

In October 1939 Adolf Hitler signed a “euthanasia note” backdated to 1 September 1939, that authorized his physician Karl Brandt and Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler to implement the programme.

The killings took place from September 1939 until the end of the war in 1945 …

In the towns where the killing centres were located, many people saw the inmates arrive in buses, saw the smoke from the crematoria chimneys and noticed that the buses were returning empty. In Hadamar, ashes containing human hair rained down on the town. …

Memorial in Berlin to the disabled killed by Nazis in Germany.

White cops question black man

St. Louis MO April 19, 2018.

Rule of law is critical to society. I like the police. But I like them better when video is rolling.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The only other person on the scene when police called over a gentleman, I propped up my camera.

This gentleman did exactly what I would have done. Came directly to the first officer. Sat down immediately as requested.

Police were not aggressive in body language or any other way. Eventually they noticed my camera. Did not seem to care. I suspect most encounters go exactly like this. But are not reported

Oswald Mosley & the British Union of Fascists

Have you heard of this guy?

Oswald Mosley was leader of the British Union of Fascists(BUF). …

Mosley was imprisoned in May 1940 and the BUF was banned. He was released in 1943, and, politically disgraced by his association with fascism, he moved abroad in 1951, spending most of the remainder of his life in Paris …

The BUF was protectionist, strongly anti-communist, strongly anti-zionist and nationalistic to the point of advocating authoritarianism. …

I couldn’t recall hearing of any Brits who supported Hitler and Mussolini.

But they did exist.