“I just want my fair share – which is all of it.” — Charles Koch

How ‘Dark Money’ Shapes US Politics

Jane Mayer takes on the Koch Brothers [1,2,3] – “For decades, billionaire libertarians Charles and David Koch have spent millions trying to reduce the size of government and slash regulations, making the brothers a target of the political Left and campaign finance reformers. But few people have dug deeper into the Koch empire and family history than New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, author of the new book ‘Dark Money‘. Among other revelations, she alleges that the brothers hired private detectives to investigate her after she published articles critical of them. We talk to Mayer about the book and about what the rise of Donald Trump means for the Kochs and their allies.” (previously)

(via metafilter)

Shut up, Hobby Lobby

Massive grats on raising the number of abortions performed in the United States, #HobbyLobby1.

“A new study by investigators at Washington University reports that providing birth control to women at no cost substantially reduces unplanned pregnancies and cuts abortion rates by a range of 62 to 78 percent compared to the national rate.”
WUSTL: Access to Free Birth Control Reduces Abortion Rates

Seeing the Supreme Court acknowledge that the “religious beliefs” of a corporation are completely irrelevant when it comes to blood transfusions, or any number of other medical treatments that are also none of their business makes this decision even more disgusting. It would be one thing if their ignorance of medicine was consistent — it would still be wrong and idiotic, but at least then it would just be the garden-variety stupid we’ve come to expect.

Radical conservatives and Hobby Lobby would never settle for garden-variety stupid — their moral compass, magnetized by misogyny, guides them through the wilderness of equality for all Americans towards bullying in the form of institutionalized slut-shaming.

It isn’t all bad news though; the more galvanized and defined their prejudices are, the easier it becomes to dismantle and dispose of these temporary obstacles to equality, dignity, and liberty. These attempts to find some solid footing on their moral high ground is especially difficult for them because they’re thrashing in quicksand. While it looks like they may have been handed a rope; it’s just enough to give an equally gruesome alternative to drowning.

It’s important to have a choice.


What passes for principled leadership these days

I think I’m going to be an Independent for the rest of my life. If the future of the Republican Party is division, greed, and an infectious selfishness that serves as a creamy center for a candy shell painted as patriotism there isn’t really much hope for them to do anything but ensure their own dwindling influence. If Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee are the best they can do, they’re in serious and very weird trouble.

“There are some of the old guard in the Grand Old Party that frankly don’t approve of the kind of principled leadership being shown by the new conservative leaders like Sens. Cruz, (Rand) Paul and (Mike) Lee,” he said, referring to the conservative senators from Texas, Kentucky and Utah.

“Some Republicans have even gone so far as to call them names. Well, I have a name for these new leaders, too,” Fischer said. “I call them the future.”

Republican Party of Iowa Co-Chairman David Fischer in the Des Moines Register