The Perfect Storm That Threatens American Democracy

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Robert Reich’s Blog / By Robert Reich

It’s a perfect storm. And I’m not talking about the impending dangers facing Democrats. I’m talking about the dangers facing our democracy.

First, income in America is now more concentrated in fewer hands than it’s been in 80 years. Almost a quarter of total income generated in the United States is going to the top 1 percent of Americans.

The top one-tenth of one percent of Americans now earn as much as the bottom 120 million of us.

Who are these people? With the exception of a few entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, they’re top executives of big corporations and Wall Street, hedge-fund managers, and private equity managers. They include the Koch brothers, whose wealth increased by billions last year, and who are now funding tea party candidates across the nation.
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The Koch Empire and Americans for Prosperity

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By Pam Martens. This article originally appeared on CounterPunch

Lily Tomlin said it best: “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” Despite two solid years of progressive media tracking the billionaire Koch brothers’ funding of right wing front groups, new details have emerged which show a more sophisticated and ominous network than previously understood.

One of the key organizations funded by a Koch-controlled foundation is Americans for Prosperity (AFP).  While it has been widely documented and publicized that the group is orchestrating the Tea Party, AFP is also a veritable smorgasbord of other “grassroots” personalities.  The AFP or the AFP Foundation have  spawned the following identities:

DefendingtheDream.org (August 27-28 D.C. summit for right wing strategizing and rally);

SayNoCapandTrade.org (kill tax on production of greenhouse gases);

NoInternetTakeover.com (attacks on the Federal Communications Commission);

SickofSpending.com (“…how to recruit, educate, organize, and mobilize fed up Americans to stop the radical left-wing agenda…”);

RegulationReality.com (“…educate citizens about the EPA’s attempt to implement radical global warming regulations…”);

NovemberIsComing.com (phone bank; go door to door to beat back those liberals);

TaxCutsForAll.com (don’t raise taxes on the rich);

SpendingCrisis.org (shrink the Federal government);

CaliforniaSoS.com (cut spending in California);

United4NoOn4.com (kill Amendment 4 in Florida that would give voters more say in local legislative decisions; an ironic position for people who say they want to promote more liberty).

Americans for Prosperity also created PatientsUnitedNow.com and orchestrated hundreds of rallies to help kill the public option in health care reform.
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THE ULTRA RICH PLAN THEIR TAKEOVER

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By KATE ZERNIKE./ New York Times

A secretive network of Republican donors is heading to the Palm Springs area for a long weekend in January, but it will not be to relax after a hard-fought election — it will be to plan for the next one.

Koch Industries, the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes from the Cato Institute in Washington to the ballot initiative that would suspend California’s landmark law capping greenhouse gases, is planning a confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to, as an invitation says, “develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity.”
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