american enterprise institute

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John Oliver misleads about immigration, helps the wealthy harm American workers (HBO, "Undocumented Opinions") - 06/16/14

John Oliver is an unfunny English comic who was previously on Jon Stewart's show and who now has his own program on HBO called Last Week Tonight.

"The Kronies": slick libertarian propaganda linked to Koch, and who doesn't reveal that - 01/24/14

[SEE 6/17/14 UPDATE BELOW]

"The Kronies" is a series of slick, live action videos that promote a libertarian message. The effort comes complete with not only its own site, but a fake site for the "company" behind the figures, a "Chimera Global Holdings Inc.".

James Pethokoukis doesn't want you to see this (AEI, Marco Rubio, immigration) - 02/03/13

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute doesn't want you to see how he's wrong about immigration.

A few days ago, Pethokoukis offered "Is Rubio really about to ruin the Republican Party?" ( peekURL.com/zCrSvv4 ). A comment I left on that post pointing out he's wrong never appeared. Rather than keep you in suspense, here's what Pethokoukis doesn't want you to see [1]:

Conservative leaders who support Marco Rubio's amnesty (Hannity, O'Reilly, Norquist, Cardenas, Krauthammer...) - 01/22/13

This post will maintain a list of those supposed conservative thought leaders (major pundits, media figures, organization heads, etc.) who support the form of comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty) proposed by Marco Rubio.

Questions for Marc Thiessen about Marco Rubio (Washington Post, American Enterprise Institute) - 03/26/12

Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute writes a column for the Washington Post and this week he offers "The Great Whisperer" (link) about a supposed whispering campaign against

Tea Party loses another race for the GOP (Paul Ryan, upstate New York, Kathy Hochul, Jane Corwin) - 05/24/11

If you're a Republican Party partisan, the tea parties are a mixed blessing. On the one hand, their insane rantings bring a fresh piquancy to the sometimes staid GOP. On the other hand, they're putting pressure on the GOP to be crazy, extremist, and largely unappealing to moderates. And, they're splitting the vote, even when the "Tea Party" candidate appears to be a fake teapartier.

Thus it is in the case of the NY-26 special election from earlier tonight. Democrat Kathy Hochul "defied political experts [who gave] her little chance of success [and] ground out a stunning and surprisingly comfortable victory" (link) against her Republican opponent Jane Corwin. The spoiler in the race was Jack Davis of the "Tea Party"; Davis has previously run as both a Democrat and a Republican.

Davis got 9%, Corwin 42%, and Hochul 48%.

There's backstory on the race here, and from the Buffalo New link note that the teaparty-approved Paul Ryan plan also played a role in turning voters away from the GOP:

The results marked a stunning defeat for the GOP in a contest that garnered significant national attention as the first competitive race following the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives last November.

While the seat has a long GOP pedigree, it became vacant on Feb. 9 when Rep. Chris Lee, R-Amherst, resigned after a gossip website posted shirtless photos of him seeking dates on the Internet.

After Republican proposals to overhaul Medicare made the race a focus of national attention, Hochul began inching past Corwin in the polls and Davis' strong 23 percent showing withered away. By Monday, Corwin seemed to acknowledge what Election Day would bring when she said she should have countered the Democratic assault on her Medicare stand earlier.

UPDATE: Paul Ryan himself admits that his plan played a role in the GOP's loss, then engaged in denial (link):

"There is a Medicare story to be told here ... and it's that the president and his party have decided to shamelessly distort and demagogue Medicare," Ryan said on MSNBC, calling it a "Mediscare" campaign led by President Obama and Democrats in Congress.

David Frum says "Paul Ryan: 2012’s Goldwater?" (link):

The GOP will run on a platform crafted to be maximally obnoxious to downscale voters. Some may hope that Tim Pawlenty’s biography may cushion the pain. Perhaps that’s right, at least as compared to Mitt Romney, who in the 2008 primaries did worst among Republicans earning less than $100,000 a year. And yes, Pawlenty is keeping his distance from the Ryan plan. But biography only takes you so far. The big issues of 2012 will be jobs and incomes in a nation still unrecovered from the catastrophe of 2008-2009. What does the GOP have to say to hard-pressed voters? Thus far the answer is: we offer Medicare cuts, Medicaid cuts, and tighter money aimed at raising the external value of the dollar.

No candidate, not even if he or she is born in a log cabin, would be able to sell that message to America’s working class.

Henry Olsen of the American Enterprise Institute says in part (link):

For whatever reason, the blue-collar independents and Democrats who voted Republican in droves last year did not vote GOP tonight. And many blue-collar Republicans voted for Davis rather than Corwin.

Koch family, U.S. Chamber, businesses met to plan strategy (+Glenn Beck, tea parties, "mobilize citizens for November") - 10/20/10

Twice each year, the Koch family conducts strategy meetings with corporate and thought leaders to plan how to advance their "free market" ideology. ThinkProgress has the guest list and program for their June 2010 meeting (in Aspen), and, while immigration isn't mentioned, many of the known attendees are on the wrong side.

I don't normally recommend anything at ThinkProgress, but in this case I'll suggest taking a look at their post and downloading the PDF.

The New York Times has a related report here; from that:

The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.)The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot... The group also included longtime Republican donors and officials, including Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III... Participants listened to presentations from the (US Chamber of Commerce), as well as people who played leading roles in John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, like Nancy Pfotenhauer and Annie Dickerson, who also runs a foundation for Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive who like the Kochs is active in promoting libertarian causes.

Malek currently raises funds for Karl Rove.

There's also a tea parties link: one of the June sessions was called "Mobilizing Citizens for November" ("Is there a chance this fall to elect leaders who are more strongly committed to liberty and prosperity? This session will further assess the landscape and offer a strategic plan to educate voters on the importance of economic freedom.") The hosts were Sean Noble (@snoble37), Karl Crow of Themis, Mark Mix of National Right to Work, and Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity. AFP has been a very active "facilitator" of the teaparty movement.

Those who spoke at the June meeting include Peter Schiff (bad on immigration), Stephen Moore (ditto}, and Michael Barone (ditto). Others are: Ramesh Ponnuru; Phil Kerpen and Jeff Crank of AFP; Peter Wallison and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, Russ Roberts and Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center (associated with George Mason University; see the link); Gretchen Hamel; Charles Krauthammer; and Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner.

Those listed as attending past meetings include Haley Barbour (bad on immigration), John Stossel (ditto), Mike Pence (ditto), Bobby Jindal, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Paul Ryan, and Tom Price.

Obviously, there's nothing wrong or that sinister about the Kochs holding meetings like these. And, George Soros and associates no doubt hold similar meetings with those on their side. However, just as Soros' loose borders policies no doubt "informs" the immigration policies that those who receive his money offer, the same is probably true of the Kochs' loose borders policies. Aside from DeMint, there are few above who might be considered "border hawks", and some of those listed are quite bad on that issue.

And, of course, this provides yet more evidence of how those in the supposedly grassroots tea parties movement are doing the bidding of the very rich, even if the teapartiers have been bamboozled into thinking otherwise.

Freedom Vigil: Beltway libertarians to restore U.S. liberty one glowstick at a time - 03/26/10

The latest hilariously stupid tea parties-style cheap stunt is a "Freedom Vigil" to be held in Washington DC tomorrow night. "Thousands" - make that more like a few dozen - will gather for a silent walk during which they'll raise glowsticks in the air in order to show their support for liberty (at least according to their definition). And, no, I'm not making that up.

Letter: last 100 conservatives who support Senate amnesty bill must band together! - 06/05/07

A group of about 30 conservatives have sent an open letter to the rest demanding that they band together and support the Bush/Kennedy/Kyl massive illegal alien amnesty bill. The letter itself is full of half-truths, such as their claim that "it will make sure that the law is enforced first, before any other provisions of the legislation take effect".