Monday, September 15, 2014

Political Research Associates, Week In Review

 Not Your Parents' Religious Right
Marriage equality is almost a foregone conclusion in the United States. Whether it's next June or the following year, the Supreme Court is expected to soon settle the question for same-sex couples around the nation.

With one of their primary opposition issues coming to an end, the U.S. Religious Right is shifting strategies and focusing on containment.

PRA will soon be releasing a new report by fellow Rachel Tabachnick, exposing a national movement of Religious Right leaders who are working on the cutting edge of the Right's strategies.

These leaders are purposefully camouflaging their anti-LGBTQ and anti-reproductive freedom agenda with progressive language and seemingly-secular causes. Using this model, they're successfully raking in huge donations from well-known progressive donors, Hollywood celebrities, and business executives who would be horrified to learn to whom their money is going.

Over the weekend, PRA sent a small sampling of the report to Crain's New York, the outlet which broke the news of New York City Council member Fernando Cabrera in a video seemingly praising the Uganda Anti Homosexuality Act (formerly known as the "Kill the Gays bill").

PRA informed Crain's reporters that Council member Cabrera's video was no mistake, and that he actually hosted one of Uganda's leading anti-LGBTQ activists in his New York church--advertising the meeting as a training for pastors to learn how to "transform" the U.S. in the same way Uganda has been "transformed."

In addition, Cabrera is also heavily tied to U.S. Apostle Joseph Mattera, a leading figure in this new shadow-movement to scam progressive donors. Mattera was strongly involved in the fight against marriage equality in New York, and has openly called for the adoption of the infamous Russian law that criminalizes any public speech that condones homosexuality.

Read the piece in Crain's New York here, and keep an eye out for PRA's new report, Religious Right Leaders Use Prominent Athletes and Movie Stars, Scam Progressive Donors to Advance Outreach, soon!

Click Here to help PRA continue this vital work to expose movements, institutions, and ideologies that undermine human rights!

On the Eyes Right Blog:

Neo-Confederate Groups Forms Paramilitary Unit--While Claiming It Isn't  by Fred Clarkson

  Senior fellow Fred Clarkson discusses the theocratic and White nationalist League of the South, which has been escalating its calls for violence recently and has now actually formed a paramilitary unit. But despite the evidence of the unit's creation, League leaders continue to deny its existence, but say that even it's true, progressives (who are rightly concerned about this violent threat) should stop their "bedwetting" and "whining."

Read the Full Article Here

LGBTQ Rights, Reproductive Justice, Economic Justice, Civil Liberties, Racial Justice & Immigrant Justice

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Courtesy the Governor's In-Laws (who are preying alot) Whew!

The Big Red State Debate is on the air! Listen in now at #RestoreKS #Women4KS #FailedExperiment @OrmanForSenate

Retired Accounting Professor Gary L. Maydew: "SOMETHING IS WRONG IN KANSAS" @ the Des Moines Register

[Excerpt] ....
Most public finance experts view a moderate form of progressive equity, i.e., taxing higher-income individuals at a higher rate, as preferable to a flat-rate tax.

Two years ago, Kansas went off the fiscal track. The Legislature, under the encouragement of Gov. Sam Brownback, passed laws that contained gross violations of vertical as well as horizontal equity.

The tax was aptly described in a Lawrence Journal-World article by University of Kansas tax professor Martin Dickinson as the most regressive in the nation. The tax act eliminated the state income tax for all businesses organized as sole proprietors and pass-through entities, leaving only wage earners and those with investment income left to pay state individual income taxes. ... [End of Excerpt]

Read more at the Des Moines Register.


Thanks are due to Reader Supported News for picking this story up from The Daily Beast, and to the latter for picking it up from the Center for Public Integrity. I've given below the leads from each in turn. After scrolling through the first two, you might pay homage to the original by following up the link attached to the third to check out the kind of work the Center does. Then return to the Daily Beast article, which is an elaboration of the original (with more details).

The documents on which the stories are based can be found via the links somewhat misleadingly distributed among the four separate words -- "previously," "unpublished," "emails," and "memos" -- in the next-to-last paragraph of the original piece at the CPI (or, of course, right here in this sentence).

-- Uncle Academic


Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.

The Koch's College Takeover Scheme
By Dave Levinthal,

The Daily Beast | 12 September 14
It seemed like a generous gift to a university that needed it. Then came the demands for ideological purity—and hand-picked staff.

The Daily Beast | 09.12.14

Koch Foundation to College: We’ll Give You Millions—if You Teach Our Libertarian Ideology

It seemed like a generous gift to a university that needed it. Then came the demands for ideological purity—and hand-picked staff.

This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.

By Dave Levinthal

Koch foundation proposal to college: Teach our curriculum, get millions
Documents show group sought control over hiring at Florida State

By Dave Levinthalemail
5:45 am, September 12, 2014 Updated: 8:01 am, September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

John Grant: "A CULTURAL ESSAY: GOING TO WAR WITH A VENGEANCE" @ This Can't Be Happening!

To do nothing is to send a message to the wrongdoer, and the general public, that the victim has no self-worth and will not marshal the internal resources necessary to reclaim his or her honor. Shattered dignity is not beyond repair, but no elevating and equalizing of dignity can occur without the personal satisfaction of revenge.
     -Thane Rosenbaum, Payback: The Case For Revenge

The one who forgives, far from rallying around evil, decides instead not to imitate it, not to resemble it in any way, and without having expressly willed it, to negate it with the sole purity of silent love.
        -Vladimir Jankelevitch, Forgiveness

Two months ago polls suggested the American public was weary of war. Then, a group of furious extremists nurtured out of the fertile chaos of our invasion/occupation of Iraq and led by dis-empowered generals from Saddam Hussein’ army went through Anbar Province in western Iraq like Patton went through Europe: Like crap through a goose. Their secret was psychopathic violence -- massacres of men, women and children from hated ethnic or religious factions.

Soon, people from around the world were being recruited to join ISIS. Two brave US journalists were captured in Syria and sold to ISIS in western Iraq. Utilizing its 21st century skills with video production, they flaunted their power by brutally beheading the two journalists.

Suddenly, US polls flipped and a majority of Americans now felt it was necessary to race willy-nilly back to war in Iraq. The likelihood that ISIS's goal with the beheading videos was to stir up this kind of fear and blind reaction in America didn't seem to matter. No one is quite sure what any of it really means. Following President Obama’s war speech, Lawrence O’Donnell asked, “Exactly how many people do we have to kill to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ this movement called ISIS?” No one knows. More important, no one wants to lose face or appear weak. Being smart didn't seem to matter. Losing even more ground in addressing our huge domestic problems was a fool's concern.

As part of a personal study in the area of crime fiction, I’ve been reading a lot on the subject of vengeance. One of the classic avenging angels is Mike Hammer, Mickey Spillane’s popular Cold War era private detective who followed Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. They were real tough guys, but they were detectives. Mike Hammer is about vengeance, generally administrated on the final page with a couple slugs in the guts from his beloved .45 automatic.

Spillane and his persona Mike Hammer had no patience with something like the ethical movement that, for lack of a better term, goes by the label forgiveness...

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, uncompromising, four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to:

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Daniel McCoy: "BEHIND THE SCENES AT CAFE KOCH" @ Wichita Biz Journal

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Open Letter On State Election "Debates"

A rumor exists there will be more “debates.” Maybe by then people won’t be forced to buy carnival tickets to witness what should be accessible and in the public domain.

Take a quick poll of your neighbors; ask if any listened to the gubernatorial and senatorial candidates’ “debates” as staged at the Kansas state fair last Saturday.

We live in a time where every distracted electronic screen grazing person should have access from portable telephones, homes and public libraries to these “debates.”

Yet, every election cycle, as shameless gangsters the manipulators of public opinion put in the "fix." The ringmasters can be seen shoveling stupidity, handing out tee-shirts with pulled pork sandwiches, the better to produce imbeciles.

Rumor of more “debates” do not allow for less gaseous innuendo belching from the mouths of Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts, as heard in Hutchison.

Brownback and Roberts blame the black president or Harry Reid at every opportunity, and yell “Big Government” when the numbers don’t work out.

They and a majority in the state legislature are using what Bush #41 called “voodoo economics” to drive the Great Cornpone Revolution.

I predict the next “debates” in Hutchison will require chicken wire fences erected on the stage to stop the rain of rotten eggs, tomatoes and cabbages. The state fair will be more akin to a cheap, greasy Texas honky-tonk franchise by then.

Hollering hecklers that drown out any opposing speaker is cheap theater and confirms the Dear Leaders’ assumption the people are but a mob needing nothing but spectacular sporting events and cheap food. They make asses-out-of-you-and-me.
Hutchison’s "debate" was "moderated" by "experts" experienced in selling oil based farm chemicals and feedlot maintenance as seen in our ditches, creeks, rivers and lakes.

It is a fact the "moderators" from Hutchison can expertly snore out on static-filled AM radio a list of numbers used to speculate on the price of pork bellies. A radio station owned until a few decades ago, by the governor's in-laws.

We should be convening debates in Topeka's garishly gilded legislative chambers, to witness our candidate representatives in contest where taxpayers spent nearly $400 million in renovations. The place is wired for sound, the internet and only seasonally used. The venerable League of Women Voters should be the moderators instead of news barkers selling headlines and advertisements.

Better to hear the braying jackasses and trumpeting elephants in every corner of Kansas free of charge.

Next week I’ll write my impressions of what they had to say in Hutchison, after finding who recorded it.

Mike Caddell
North Jefferson County
Radio Free Kansas

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Free Newsweekly, Sept. 8, 2014 TOO MUCH ONLINE

McDonald’s. Wendy’s. Burger King. Taco Bell. Pizza Hut. KFC. Workers from them all took to the streets last Thursday — in over 150 U.S. cities — to protest the extravagantly unequal rewards of America's fast-food sector. In New York, workers sat down at rush-hour on Times Square. In L.A., protesters linked arms to block a McDonald’s. In Detroit, demonstrators shut down drive-thrus.

Fast-food industry execs, predictably, went apoplectic. National Council of Chain Restaurants chief Rob Green called the sit-ins an “irresponsible” move orchestrated by unions “desperate for new membership dues.” Union leaders, charged the International Franchise Association's Steve Caldeira, are exploiting fast-food workers “to enrich themselves.”

Executives in the fast food industry know a thing or two about exploitation for self-enrichment. Top restaurant industry CEOs averaged $10.9 million each in 2013, 721 times the take-home of a minimum-wage fast-food worker.

Seven years ago, these execs only averaged 609 times the minimum wage. More in this week’s Too Much on their greed — and their America. 

Read the complete free newsweekly Too Much Online.