The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Charles and David Koch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charles and David Koch. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Daily GOP Ignominious: Fossil Fuel Barons Are Busy With Your GOP

Image result for kochs, ryan and trump
Image result for kochs, ryan and trump

A couple of days ago, we published a piece in which we reported on Paul Ryan's potential receipt of $500K (campaign contributions) from the Koch brothers.

As we watch the horror of GOP elimination and dismantling measures to protect our environment from fossil fuel barons, it is truly disgusting to witness our politicians pad their bank accounts and their campaign hoppers.

Snopes dot com


The rational Americans should wonder about this:

In a major blow to renewable energy, President Donald Trump decided on Monday to slap tariffs on imported solar panels.

We really should wonder about the GOP attack on safe and renewable energy.
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pro-Publica: Koch Brothers Alum In The White House?

You Helped Us Find Hires the White House Never Announced, Including a Koch Brothers Alum

Thanks to your help, we’ve found many previously unannounced Trump White House hires, including a longtime member of an anti-ACLU group and an ex-Washington Times columnist.

Image result for dark clouds over the white house

Mike Roman, a longtime Republican opposition researcher who worked for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch before joining the Trump campaign, is now the White House’s director of special projects and research. He is one of a half-dozen unannounced hires the White House has made since President Trump took office.

Roman, who led the Kochs’ surveillance and intelligence-gathering unit before it was disbanded in April 2016, is best known for promoting a video showing members of the New Black Panthers allegedly intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008. That controversial video of two men yelling racial slurs led to infighting and political recriminations inside the Justice Department and became a flash point for conservative media.

We found out about Roman’s job as well as the titles of other White House staffers with the help of readers. (Roman’s title was not included in his White House financial disclosure, but a White House official confirmed his position to ProPublica. The official also confirmed the other staffers’ job titles but did not respond to other questions.)

Roman, who made roughly $246,000 in salary from the Koch-backed Freedom Partners, according to his financial disclosure, was also a contributor to the conservative news site Breitbart and was tapped to run Trump's “election protection” poll-watching efforts this November. He did not respond to ProPublica’s requests for comment.

His new White House position was only made public after we asked you to help us find the names of current White House staffers who meet the salary and job title criteria for filing disclosures.

Last month, the White House counsel’s office said it would release staffers’ financial disclosures upon request. But there was a catch: To get disclosure forms, you first had to know staffers’ names — and the White House hasn’t actually released the names of all those who are on staff.

So we and the public were left guessing about who had filed disclosures. Working with The New York Times and the Associated Press, we quickly found and posted most of them.

But there were about 25 White House staffers who were required to file financial disclosures whose names we didn’t know. (Some staffers are exempt from having to file disclosures, including those who make less than $161,755 annually.)

Readers sent us a slew of names, mostly White House staffers who had noted their hires on Twitter or LinkedIn. We requested their financial disclosures, and the White House has been responding. Here’s the status of each request. Some notable names so far:

John K. Mashburn, a deputy cabinet secretary, who helps oversee the White House liaisons acting as the president’s eyes and ears at dozens of federal agencies. Mashburn, a prominent social conservative and congressional aide to the late Sen. Jesse Helms, worked for the Trump campaign as a policy director starting in April 2016. He also received $7,341 in consulting fees from the American Civil Rights Union this spring while he was employed by the White House. Started by a former Reagan administration official as a check to the American Civil Liberties Union, the nonprofit ACRU “monitors and counters organizations that threaten our constitutional rights and promotes election integrity,” among others things, according to its website. (An executive order signed into law in 1989 and modified in 1990 prohibits presidential appointees from being paid for outside employment “during that Presidential appointment.” But it’s unclear if Mashburn was being paid for work prior to his Jan. 20 start date.)

Abe E. Goldschmidt, a special assistant to the president working in the newly created Office of American Innovation, worked for Trump’s campaign in the fall while simultaneously working as an assistant prosecutor for the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office. He was a White House intern in 2007 and later was a research analyst for Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential run and a confidential assistant for the Department of Homeland Security, according to his LinkedIn profile. Goldschmidt worked for the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office from August 2012 to November 2016. (In response to questions, the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office said Goldschmidt followed rules and “requested a personal leave of absence to participate in a political volunteer activity. He submitted his request prior to this activity as he was aware that Assistant State Attorneys may not engage in outside volunteer or paid work without approval and that any activity must be confined to their own free time. His request was approved.”)

Sean Doocey, the White House’s deputy director of presidential personnel and a special assistant to the president, worked as the director of research for Trump’s campaign and as director of human resources and security at Barbaricum, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm. He was also a gatekeeper for the Trump transition team.

Kelly Riddell Sadler, a former deputy opinion editor at The Washington Times, is now a special assistant to President Trump. (In her final column, dated April 4, Sadler wrote about the president’s flagging job approval numbers: “So long as Mr. Trump continues to spur the economy and people’s confidence in it, what they think of him will fall to the wayside.”)

Doocey, Mashburn and Roman were appointed on Inauguration Day and Goldschmidt was appointed Jan. 24. Sadler’s appointment date was not disclosed.

Reached by phone, Doocey confirmed his appointment and declined further comment. Goldschmidt, Mashburn, Matich and Sadler did not respond to ProPublica’s requests for comment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Democracy Now: The Kochs

We will comment on this work in another screed. Democracy Now requests no derivative works. We respect the request.
The Pardu

Democracy Now

Charles and David Koch have funneled millions of dollars to conservative candidates and causes over the last four decades while working tirelessly to open the floodgates for money in politics. The Koch brothers’ net worth tops $100 billion, currently tying for fourth on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Their rise to becoming two of the nation’s most powerful political figures is explored in the new book, "Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty." The story is based on hundreds of interviews with Koch family and friends, as well as thousands of pages of legal documents. We are joined by the book’s author, Daniel Schulman, a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: To talk more about the Koch brothers, we turn now to Daniel Schulman. He’s a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine, and his new book, just out this week, is Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. The story is based on hundreds of interviews with Koch family and friends, as well as thousands of pages of legal documents.
Daniel Schulman, we welcome you to Democracy Now! Explain why you wrote this book.
DANIEL SCHULMAN: Well, in the 2010-2011 time frame, you really started to see the Koch brothers become demonized and villainized. And they really became these cartoon villains behind the curtain of politics, and they were a caricature. I started looking into their story a little bit, and the one thing that first interested me was there are actually four Koch brothers, not two. We always talk about Charles and David Koch. Of course, there are also Frederick and Bill Koch. These guys obviously have a phenomenally interesting political story, but their family story is just as fascinating to me.
AMY GOODMAN: Why don’t you tell us, in a nutshell, that family story?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: OK. Well, their father, Fred Koch, in the 1920s develops a process for refining oil. His firm ends up getting sued by the major oil companies of the era, and in order to find work, he ends up having to look for contracts overseas. That leads him to work in Stalin’s Soviet Union in the early 1930s, where his firm makes $5 million helping to modernize the Soviet oil industry. He’s horrified by what he sees there. And when he returns home, he vows to do everything he can to fight communism. He ends up becoming a founding member of the John Birch Society, ultraconservative group whose leader, Robert Welch, considered Dwight Eisenhower to be literally an agent of the communist conspiracy. Fred Koch is in the room, literally, when the John Birch Society is founded. Charles Koch becomes a member of the John Birch Society as a young man. His three brothers—his three other brothers—
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, explain, for—especially for young people, John Birch Society, Ku Klux Klan. What were their relationships or the kind of issues, the similarities?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: John Birch Society, you know, was certainly accused of racism, and they rejected—and anti-Semitism, actually—and they rejected a lot of those charges. Their thing was very much they saw communists—the evidence of communist subversion behind every move of government.
AMY GOODMAN: Like Senator Joe McCarthy.
DANIEL SCHULMAN: Like McCarthy. They accused Martin Luther King of being a communist agent, that sort of thing. They thought the U.N. was a tool of bringing about a one-world government. You hear a lot of this today in the tea party rhetoric. And indeed there is kind of a direct through line from the John Birch Society to the tea party.
But in terms of—you know, there are three other Koch brothers. Frederick is the eldest. He never went into the family business. He is really a philanthropist who’s—and an art collector who’s spent his life restoring a series of really fabulous historic homes around the world. I had the opportunity to tour one of them on the Upper East Side, amazing stuff in there, including Marie Antoinette’s bed. That’s the most—that’s the rarest object in the house.
AMY GOODMAN: Did you get to sleep in it?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: No guests get to sleep in it.
AMY GOODMAN: Or take a nap?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: Unfortunately, no. Unfortunately, no. David and Bill Koch are the youngest of the Koch brothers. They’re fraternal twins.
And in terms of the feud that broke out between the brothers, this is really what, you know, is fascinating about this family. And this has its roots back in childhood. These four brothers ended up pairing off—Charles and David first, Frederick and Bill—over the business empire their father bequeathed to them. And it was basically two decades of the most brutal legal fighting you could ever imagine. We’re talking private detectives snooping through each other’s trash. They believed moles had been inserted within the ranks of each other’s, you know, enterprises, that sort of stuff. And they really beared these truly—it was brutal in terms of the testimony that they were forced to give about their childhood and the relationships with each other. And, you know, Frederick was disinherited—partially disinherited by their father when he died in 1967. And that sort of carried a sting that really never quite went away. And so, all of this really came out in the most public of settings for the most private of families, and it was quite poignant.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, you also suggested that Fred Koch had a—the patriarch, that is, the father of the four—had a role to play in fostering this competition among his sons. And one of the things, as you mentioned—we talked about the John Birch Society—one of the things that Fred Koch had said is that he warned in the U.S. of a vicious race war, saying, quote, "The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America." So could you explain to what extent his views permeated those of Charles and David Koch, his sons who became kind of his inheritors?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: Sure. You know, they grew up with this sort of—a lot of this sort of anti-communist rhetoric in their home. One sort of amusing story I heard was, in the early 60s, a visitor shows up to their house carrying a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. And Charles opens the door, and his eyes kind of flicker over the cover of the book, and it’s clear that there’s something wrong. And the visitor says, you know, "Is everything OK?" And Charles says, "Well, you know, you can’t come in carrying a copy of that book. Hemingway was a communist." So that type of literature was not allowed in the family home. One thing that a lot of people don’t know about Fred Koch is that he was actually a leader of the drive in Kansas for Right to Work in 1958, successfully, to pass that amendment in the state. So—
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Could you explain what that is?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: Right to Work is basically a measure that’s been passed in a lot of states since then, but it basically bans closed union shops, where you have to be—where union membership is compulsory.
AMY GOODMAN: Also, the sympathy for fascism. You write that in 1938, then sympathetic to the fascist regimes ruling Germany, Italy and Japan, Fred—that’s the father—
AMY GOODMAN: —wrote that he hoped one day the United States would resemble these nations, which had "overcome" the vices of "idleness, feeding at the public trough, [and] dependence on government."
DANIEL SCHULMAN: He made a lot of pretty bombastic and very strange statements. And I think even David has acknowledged that his dad was a little—went a little bit overboard with the anti-communism stuff. But there’s no question that his kind of anti-government ethos and his fears about socialism are reflected today in the politics of his sons—Charles and David, in particular.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about their politics and how they went from this private dynasty to coming out much more—maybe it was after the battles—
AMY GOODMAN: —within the family—to be so publicly powerful, influencing. I mean, we just passed the midterm Mini-Super Tuesday, tea party defeats around the country, but they’re a huge funder of this organization.
DANIEL SCHULMAN: So, essentially, it’s been a decades-long evolution. And the one thing to understand about Charles and David Koch is that they’re considered this monolith, but they’re really quite different people. David is much more of a classic philanthropist. He obviously gives to conservative causes, but a lot of his philanthropy is in medical research and that sort of thing. Charles, on the other hand—
AMY GOODMAN: And the arts. I mean—
DANIEL SCHULMAN: And the arts, oh, yeah, huge.
AMY GOODMAN: —you’ve got his name at Lincoln Center.
DANIEL SCHULMAN: Exactly, exactly. Charles, you know, as people who know him will tell you, his lifelong mission has really been to change the political culture. And he’s been working on this project for going on, you know, over five decades at this point. He was a John Birch Society member in the early '60s, ends up getting—not quite pushed out; he resigns because he runs an ad blasting the Vietnam War in The Wichita Eagle, enraged the leadership of the Birch Society by doing this. And from there, he sort of gets involved with the fledgling libertarian movement of that day. He was an early trustee of a school called the Freedom School, which was in the Rampart mountain range, organized by this colorful anti-government guru who had moved there just to get away from—he believed that even by voting, you were legitimizing government. So that's how anti-government his philosophy was. Charles falls in with this kind of radical stew of anarchists and, you know, freedom seekers of all sorts. And he decides that he—that the mainstreaming of libertarian ideas is going to be his philanthropic legacy. He first tries to do this through the Libertarian Party. And David Koch ends up running for the vice-presidential candidacy in the 1980 election. There was no question that they thought that this was going to be an election they’d win. The whole point was to sort of get these ideas out there and get people exposed to them. That election sort of imploded the movement, because, frankly, David Koch wasn’t radical enough for the libertarians of those days and who—you know, he was calling for reforms to the income tax. They wanted to abolish it entirely.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So was he more political then than he became subsequently? Because it’s David Koch who gives more, as you were pointing out, to medical causes and the arts and so on.
DANIEL SCHULMAN: David Koch, in the relationship of Charles and David Koch, plays the role of the political face man. It’s Charles that’s really the big strategic thinker. It’s David who’s much more comfortable putting himself out there in a political setting. Charles was, in fact, asked if he wanted to run for the vice-presidential candidacy. He’s a very private guy, not comfortable with public speaking, and he had a big company to run, so he decided he didn’t want to do that. He asked his brothers David and Bill if they were interested. And Bill turned him down. David said he would—he would do it.
AMY GOODMAN: David Koch described in—his 1980 campaign as the Libertarian vice-presidential candidate was his proudest achievement, he wrote, in his 25th class reunion—
AMY GOODMAN: —book at MIT. Mark Ames has written, in 1976 the Koch-funded Reason, the magazine, "devoted an entire issue to promoting Holocaust deniers—one of the deniers was Ron Paul’s Congressional aide at the time, Gary North, who wrote in REASON that the Holocaust was 'the Establishment's favorite horror story’ and recommended a book called The Myth of the Six Million." How does this follow through in Charles and David Koch’s work?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: You know, I’m not sure if that’s really part and parcel of the sort of thing that they would advocate. In the libertarian movement of the '70s—and I'm not—honestly not familiar with that issue of Reason magazine—you had a lot of fringe thinkers. And this is actually one of the reasons why David and Charles Koch sort of jettisoned themselves from the movement in the '80s, because they were trying to bring some level of respectability to libertarian, free-market ideas. That's their—those are their issues. And there were a lot of fringe players in the libertarian movement of that time, and they felt like it was basically tarnishing the movement.
AMY GOODMAN: What were you most surprised by, Dan Schulman, in your book, Sons of Wichita?
DANIEL SCHULMAN: What honestly shocked me was just the absolute brutality of the battle that played out between these brothers. You couldn’t imagine these sorts of things happening between some of your worst enemies, let alone people that had grown up under the same roof. And also, it was sort of the depth of—to which they were influenced by their dad and some of the things that had played out in their childhood.
AMY GOODMAN: And what did Charles and David Koch end up with in terms of the family business? And people don’t even think about them exactly, many, as oil barons, but in fact—
DANIEL SCHULMAN: Yes. Well, Koch Industries, you know, really started out when Charles started running it in the '60s, after their father's death. It was basically a pretty midsized oil, cattle-ranching empire. From there, it’s grown into, you know, just an international behemoth with 100,000 employees, locations in 60 countries, and it’s gone well beyond oil and gas. It’s in petrochemicals. They own Georgia-Pacific, so Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, you know, Quilted Northern toilet paper. You know, when you go into that airport bathroom and the motion-sensor towel dispenser—yeah, they made that. You can’t really go through a day without encountering one of their products. It’s basically impossible.
AMY GOODMAN: Dan Schulman, I want to thank you for being with us. Daniel Schulman is a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine. His new book is just out this week; it’s called Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most  Powerful and Private Dynasty.

Creative Commons LicenseThe original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us

Friday, March 28, 2014

ACA Enrollment, US History And Jennifer Stefano's Poor Punditry

Despite one half a billion dollars spent by the Koch brothers, incessant Fox News anti-ACA broadcasts and an unfatohmable number (53 plus votes at $1.6 million per vote) of House votes to repeal the ACA, enrollments happened and reached revised projected CBO goals. See Advisory Dot Com (below) and the 2.11.2014 Brainwrap graph. 

And, of course, there are people who are so adamantly against medical coverage for people with no coverage, they actually fight against the law hand and foot. Hence, the silliness of the Hobby Lobby case and many CEO threats to reduce workforces if Obama was reelected in 2012.

Some of us have followed ACA enrollments via the Charles Gaba, Brainwrap, webpage: Others have supported the ACA without close enrollment scrutiny because it is the right thing for the nation. And, yes, there are many who do not support Obamacare, but will express an affinity for the ACA.

Go figure! 

I have developed the following set of BrainWrap running graphs (from 11.2013 - 2.1014) as visual representation of how enrollments have grown from the early weeks of HHS ACA website failure. The post was originally developed for my "Data Scroll" page and will be moved to that page after an initial run here.

From the doldrums of a failed website to the revised projections!

11.26. 2013

BrainWrap, Charles Gaba; December 2013 






Embedded image permalink

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the failed ACA roll out led to lowering its enrollment projections by one million.

See more after break below


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kochs Seek To Purchase Your Vote

Inside the Koch-backed political donor network
A political funding network as intricate as any  labyrinthian design (larger view)

Support for political campaigns is as common as breathing. After the SCOTUS gave the nation unfettered secretive campaign sponsorship via Citizens United political spending has exponentially increased. The proliferation of tax-exempt organizations funneling money into our elections is both unprecedented and obscene.

Political contributions are funneled to the Left and to Right. In fact, the Center for Responsive Politics reported President Obama out-raised Mitt Romney rather handily in the run-up to the 2012 general elections. Obama was the donations winner based on contributions from (us) "small" donors. As anticipated Romney walked away with the lion's share of PAC contributions.

Open Secrets (Center for Responsive Politics)

Barack Obama (D) 

Mitt Romney (R)


Source of Funds

Small Indiv Contrib.
Large Indiv. Contrib.
Individual contributions$715,150,163
legendPAC contributions$0
legendCandidate self-financing$5,000
legendFederal Funds$0

Small Indiv. Contrib.
Large Indiv. Contrib.
Individual contributions$443,363,010
legendPAC contributions$1,076,496
legendCandidate self-financing$52,500
legendFederal Funds$0

When the discussion moves to political contributions, it is impossible to avoid discussion of the Right-wing "bankers": Charles and David Koch with billionaire 'edge-shaping' via Sheldon Adelson and others of the Uber wealthy who would be kings. 

Pundits on the Right will frequently counter any mention of the Kochs with George Soros and organized labor as Left-wing political bankers.  

Let's focus for a bit on the number one contributors to all things conservative: the Kochs.
The Republic Report Dot Org
So much for right-wing punditry and comparison against unions.

On March 7th Al Sharpton, MSNBC Politics Nation, broadcast a segment about the illusive and secretive Koch brothers.

Robert Greenwald has created a revealing documentary about Kochs. A docu/video series for those who have little to no knowledge of two men who obviously want to reshape the nation to their beliefs systems and construct laws to facilitate their vast industrial empire. Long story short, the Kochs are plutocrats. Plutocrats who will turn your world and my world into that of pawn pieces on a chess set.

The Kochs would become the kings of the fief and will directly work to shape our world as such. Kings must have subservient pawns across their fiefdoms; that means you and me.
The brothers advocate libertarian principles of smaller government, free-markets, deregulation, and reduction of social services. They actively fund and support organizations that contribute significantly to Republican candidates, and that lobby against universal health care and climate change legislation. They have donated more than $196 million to dozens of free-market and advocacy organizations. In 2008, the three main Koch family foundations contributed to 34 political and policy organizations, three of which they founded, and several of which they direct.
When the uber wealthy seek to buy elections and throw copious amounts of money at reshaping our society, only they win in the long run.

Koch Brothers exposed: one minute video, here.

Why do the Kochs want to end public schools?Here.
Robert Greenwald's Koch Brothers Exposed Full Version


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quick Hit: Have Another Koch via TRMS

The Kochs revisited by Rachel Maddow!  No need to elaborate, she and her team continue to hit on all cylinders.

These men are the epitome of Plutocrats and they are dangerous to the nation.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Income Disparity, Less Informed and "Playing Marbles With Girls."

This screed includes references to the game of Marbles and playing marbles between boys and girls for metaphorical effect only. 

We posted this on July 27, 2013. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Income Disparity And The Sad Politifact Reader: "Facts Are Stubborn Things"

"The income of the top 1 percent nearly quadrupled from 1979 to 2007, but the typical family’s incomes barely budged.” President Obama July 23, 2013 Knox College."

As an American of average intelligence, I was startled when I read that a reader of contacted the editors about the veracity of the statement from President Obama. We at the TPI have published many pieces about income disparity and we maintain a "Data Scroll" Page littered with charts and graphics reflecting the very data Obama spoke of at Knox College.

The Politifact reader was probably one of millions who have no idea the effect of GOP economic policy since Reagan years. The reader has surly heard the words "Trickle-down" economics. Maybe the person was closed minded to the fallacies of "trickle-down." Maybe the reader was a conservative who had never experienced the epiphany shared by millions when we realized the Reagan Years launched a veritable economic gold mine for the nations' wealthy.  A gold mine with 'no' fissures that reached into the middle and lower income strata. My epiphany arrived as I watched Ronald Reagan announce his candidacy for the Presidency in Jackson Mississippi.
How is it possible people live in the United States without leveraging opportunity for self education on the state of the economy and on the growing imbalance of income disparity in favor of the nation's top 1% (ers)?  Could the person who contacted Politifact be a Fox News or CNN News viewer? How about the possibility the reader was one of the 47% who voted for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 2012? It is without question the reader was woefully ignorant in their lack of knowledge of data that impact their lives on a daily basis. We can also assume the reader is not one who would pick-up a magazine of newspaper for a quick perusal of business related pages. The data are available and it has proliferated far beyond happenstance viewing.  "What we have here....."
End July, 27 piece

We are revisiting income disparity for a number of reasons. First, we have a GOP that is a existential political and governing entity with a primary focus serving the nation's Top 20% (ers) in building wealth, preserving wealth, and providing the wealthy with a "Hunger Games" populace for proliferation of their growing oligarchy. Second, low wages earners relegated to earnings based on a $7.25 per hour minimum wage are moving towards a Tahrir Square like, "Minimum Wage Summer" (Arab Spring). On a tertiary basis, we believe movement of lower wage positions to high pay levels will eventually lead to higher middle income earnings. Fourth, we see real danger in growing income equity on an international basis.

As stated in the July 27th piece, leaders of American conservatism have since the late 1970s performed masterfully in building US income inequity.   We now admit to a great deal of naivety in failing to understand large swaths of Americans have no idea the scope and depth of the economic divide. 

The aforementioned reader who contacted Politifact also provided a personal epiphany. An epiphany comparable to when as a teenager, I first realized that past refusal to play marbles with girls would reverse with the realization that playing with girls would yield pleasurable interactions. The natural order of things is to grow and develop. Imagine life for that Politifact reader (if male) who was figuratively comparable to growing into middle age or older age still denying "natural" development via proliferation of information to support being informed. (Imagine never learning that playing marbles with girls would follow the natural of order of life while one day yielding  a great epiphany and wonderful experiences).  

The Politifact reader, like millions who flock to Fox News and CNN (post-Ali Velshi),  are simply denying "playing marbles with girls." They are less informed and they are active pawns for the developing US oligarchy. An oligarchy unabashedly led by Charles and David Koch, plus thousands of uber wealthy oligarchs. There are millions who still refuse to play marbles with girls. 

We offer opportunity to come away from the Dark Ages of GOP mantra, talking points and paradigm.  There is a world of information on the Web and via non-Right wing media that will help with understanding a life sustaining fact: "playing marbles with girls is a good thing." 

Let's play marbles with girls. 

Income Gains 6-20-11

Income inequality, real and personal


In a different take on the income inequality issue, the Economic Policy Institute, in collaboration with Periscopic, created Inequality Is. 
The website brings clarity to the national dialogue on wage and income inequality, using interactive tools and videos to tell the story of how we arrived at the state of inequality we find today and what can be done to reverse course and ensure workers get their fair share. 
Inequality isreal, personal, expensive, created, and fixable. These are the categories the interactive takes you through to explain the subject. The first part reminds you of the video we saw (embedded above) on wealth distribution, which showed what people thought was an ideal distribution of wealth, what they thought it was in real life, and then what it actually was. However, in this interactive, you're the one answering, which sort of sets the stage for the rest of the interactive. The goal is to make the data more relatable. 
Be sure to go through the whole piece. It rounds off nicely with a video explanation with public policy professor Robert Reich and ways to shift the inequality in the other direction.
Income lost to top 10
An  Internatioanl problem

A Progressive Billionaire's perspective.

Now thay wasn't so bad!

Anyone in America who does not understand the downsides of income disparity, is dangerously less informed. They are factually dangerous people. And, they still refuse to "play marbles with girls!" 

The vote for the likes of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan,

Additional resource links (interactive)