By conceding a false deficit narrative that perpetuates upward redistribution of wealth and neglects job creation and the redress of ecological destruction, too many in Washington are complicit with plutocrats' economic and climate extortion. Republicans' complete fealty to monied plutocracy is met by Democratic leadership's willingness to bargain away benefits of Medicare and Social Security in order to pay for continued tax breaks for the elites. Instead of making the programs stronger by making them better, the president seems determined to capitulate to Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose most recent drama centers on the professed intent to "save Medicare and Social Security from insolvency" by cutting benefits, in order to prevent the U.S. from "becoming like Greece."
Who Needs a Habitable Planet?
Victor Menotti, executive director of the International Forum on Globalization (author of Faces Behind a Global Crisis: US Carbon Billionaires and the UN Climate Deadlock) traces some of the arms of the "Kochtopus" - so-called Koch-funded radical free-market lobby groups, think tanks and media relations firms - to unravel the source of Koch brothers Charles and David's exponentially-increasing fossil fuels wealth. Prime donors to political campaigns, lobbying efforts and climate denial science, the Kochs have been said to have spent more than Exxon to obstruct climate change legislation, including clean air laws and efforts to phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy. Oil billionaires made rich by polluting the planet have made the U.S. the major obstacle to meaningful response to production of greenhouse gases, holding hostage action in Washington and, in turn, any meaningful global commitment at the recent United Nations Climate Conference in Doha, Qatar. Instead, the U.S. backed a "new paradigm" of voluntary pledges that critics say fall far short of holding global temperatures to a 2 degree Centrigrade increase and placing the world on course for a 4-6 degree Centigrade increase.
Lee Fang of the Center for American Progress notes, "The real strategy of the Koch brothers to dismantle state clean energy programs has been laid out for many years." Greenpeace reported in 2010 that the American Legislative Exchange Council received $408,000 in grants from Koch foundations over the span of a decade (1997 to 2008) to provide state legislators with "model legislation" undermining environmental action on air, water quality and climate change.
[Continued at Huffington Post]