A Field Guide to the Koch O’ Nuts Behind the Near Government Default

  • Topics: Democracy
  • President Obama signed a debt deal at 12:30 a.m. averting a catastrophic debt default in the nick of time.

    In a city of manufactured crisis it is sometimes hard to distinguish real issues from fake ones, but the debt ceiling deadline is a serious issue. Since Congress failed to pass a budget, the Treasury Department ran out of authority to borrow months ago. October 17, 2013 was the day that the Treasury Department said it would be unable to juggle the accounts to pay the nation's obligations.

    The consequences of a default to the economy would be catastrophic, stocks and pension funds would crash as interest rates would jump. Just the two-week government shutdown and the threat of default took a $24 billion dollar bite out of the economy, says the S&P.

    Outsourced Cities, Brought to You by CH2M Hill

    By Brendan Fischer and Seep Paliwal

    When the town of Sandy Springs, Georgia, spun-off from Fulton County and established a brand new government, it didn't sign a Declaration of Independence; it signed a contract.

    Officials in Arizona and Kansas Rig Ballots to Implement ALEC Voter Suppression Scheme

    State officials in Arizona and Kansas are developing a new scheme to implement an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-approved bill requiring proof of citizenship at the polls. 

    Did Scalia Really Say That? "Citizens United" Lurks Behind Supreme Court's Latest Money-in-Politics Case

    The 2010 Citizens United decision was premised on the dubious notion that expenditures made "independently" of candidates by groups like Super PACs are less likely to have a corruptive influence than direct contributions to candidates and parties. In Tuesday's oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC, the latest case to challenge campaign finance limits, at least some justices acknowledged the folly of their reasoning in Citizens United, but nonetheless appear likely to further restrict Congress' ability to limit money in politics.

    Dear WWII Vets, Forget About the Monument, They Are Gunning for Your Social Security

    Apparently the only thing both Democrats and Republicans can agree on in Washington, DC, is that they can't deal with bad press involving Honor Flight vets.

    This led to absurd images of Republicans -- who had shut down the federal government, including all monuments and museums -- rushing to "aid" veterans shut out by monument closures. In the most revolting display, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) publicly berated a National Park Service Ranger for a situation created entirely by Congress.

    Case Study on Alpine Steel: Prison Industry Subsidized by Taxpayers to Compete with Local Businesses Fails Spectacularly

    -- by Bob Sloan, Guest Contributor

    "The taxpayers have been left holding the bag.... As a result of this I think there is going to be a lot more oversight."

    Those were statements made by Nevada Assemblyman James Ohrenschall in an interview on Vegas Inc. September 21. Mr. Ohrenschall is the former chairman of the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee on Industrial Programs. At the time of that interview, the IFC Committee was meeting to investigate facts that prompted his concerns.

    Profiting from the Poor: Outsourcing Social Services Puts Most Vulnerable at Risk

    -- by Nick Surgey and Katie Lorenze

    In a story most in the media missed, protestors gathered under the dome at the Mississippi state capitol earlier this year to oppose a bill that would allow the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to privatize everything from child protective services to nutrition programs for the elderly.

    Will Supreme Court Expand "Money as Speech" Ruse and Strike Donation Limits?

    On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could further expand the reach of its controversial ruling that political spending is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment -- and which could give the one percent even more influence over politics.

    Texas Attorney General Rebuffs ALEC's Effort to Declare Itself Immune from Open Records Law

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2013

    CONTACT: Brendan Fischer,

    MADISON -- Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an Open Records Letter Ruling rejecting an effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state's public records law, after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas filed briefs in the matter.

    Koch Bros Retainer to PRWatch: “Bring It!”

    Some interesting emails were released as part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's ongoing investigation of a $500,000 taxpayer grant awarded to the Koch-tied United Sportsmen's group. The grant was tailor-made for United Sportsmen and slipped into the budget by State Representative Scott Suder as one of his last acts as a state legislator. (Suder, who also served as ALEC's Wisconsin State Chair, was given a new job at the Public Utilities Commission and a $45,000 pay raise by Governor Scott Walker.)

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