Tag: #TCOT

The Dog Whistle Politics of Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Adapted from an article by DAVID SIROTA

Code words are politicians’ stock in trade. As Republican strategist Lee Atwater famously admitted, that’s especially true when it comes to racially coded rhetoric about economics. Terms like “welfare queen” are obvious examples, and the word “culture” when specifically invoked in discussions of urban poverty can be as well. Sometimes this kind of rhetoric is carefully coded, other times it isn’t.

But what about the term “inner city”? Is that the same kind of dog whistle bigotry that attempts to equate African American heritage with laziness and self-inflicted economic failure?

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) called Ryan’s remark “deeply offensive”..

“My colleague Congressman Ryan’s comments about ‘inner city’ poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated,” Lee said in an email to reporters. “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”

This is the question raised today by Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) – and Google seems to offer some relevant data in response.

Koch Addicts Are Destroying America

Harry Reid

Senate majority leader Harry Reid gave a hell of a speech in Congress about the agenda of the billionaire Koch brothers, carbon barons who are the prime beneficiaries of Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that ruled that corporate persons had the free speech right to engage in unlimited campaign finance spending.

1. The Kochs want to abolish Social Security.

“Documents and interviews unearthed in recent months by Brave New Foundation researchers illustrate a $28.4m Koch business that has manufactured 297 commentaries, 200 reports, 56 studies and six books distorting social security’s effectiveness and purpose.”  Read more.

 2. The Kochs want to eliminate minimum wage laws.

“According to Charles Koch, the U.S. needs to get rid of the minimum wage, which he counts as a major obstacle to economic growth.” Read more.

 3. The Kochs are against extending emergency unemployment benefits.

“It causes employers to face higher taxes, too, which discourages them from hiring new employees.”  Read more.

4. The Kochs spent $400 million on misleading attack ads in the last election cycle.

“A labyrinth of tax-exempt groups and limited-liability companies helps mask the sources of the money, much of which went to voter mobilization and television ads attacking President Obama and congressional Democrats, according to tax filings and campaign finance reports.”  Read more.

 5. The Kochs want to put insurance companies back in charge of your health care.

“In Louisiana, the Koch brother’s Americans for Prosperity was blasted for running anti-Obamacare ads featuring paid actors to play Louisiana residents telling “their” stories about how Obamacare had harmed them.”  Read more.

 6. The Kochs are against measures that would reduce the gap between the wages women and men earn for the same work.

“IWF-affiliated writers have argued that the gender gap in income exists because of women’s greater demand for flexibility, fewer hours, and less travel in their careers, rather than because of sexism.”  Read more.

 7. The Kochs want even more tax breaks for themselves.

“They are known for bankrolling conservative, Libertarian and Tea Party causes and became poster boys for corporate tax reform last year when an Obama Administration official suggested Koch is organized as an S Corp. and so pays no corporate level taxes.”  Read more.

 8. The Kochs made improper payments to win contracts in Africa, India and the Middle East. And they sold millions of dollars of equipment to Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism.

“Internal company records show that Koch Industries used its foreign subsidiary to sidestep a U.S. trade ban barring American companies from selling materials to Iran. Koch-Glitsch offices in Germany and Italy continued selling to Iran until as recently as 2007, the records show.” Read more.

 9. The Kochs lobbied against recognition of formaldehyde as a cancer-causing carcinogen because it might be bad for their business.

“A prominent philanthropist, cancer survivor, and American businessman, David Koch, has given millions to the cause of cancer research, while his company—Koch Industries—has lobbied against formal recognition of formaldehyde as a carcinogen, The New Yorker reported in a piece published today.”  Read more.

 10. The Kochs rank as one of America’s most toxic air polluters.

 11.The Kochs have received over $88 million in government subsidies.

12. The Kochs have admitted they have “a radical philosophy.”

“Charles Koch seems to have approached both business and politics with the deliberation of an engineer. ‘To bring about social change,’ he told Doherty, requires ‘a strategy’ that is ‘vertically and horizontally integrated,’ spanning ‘from idea creation to policy development to education to grassroots organizations to lobbying to litigation to political action.’ The project, he admitted, was extremely ambitious. ‘We have a radical philosophy,’ he said.”  Read more.

Protesters attend a rally and march demanding Los Angeles Times not...

Protesters attend a rally and march demanding Los Angeles Times not be sold to the Koch Brothers, portraits of which are held, May 23, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. Charles and Bill Koch have... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

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