The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer is out with a new book, Dark Money, purporting to unmask those dastardly Koch brothers and their infamous habit of spending money to support libertarian and conservative causes. Her 2010 New Yorker article "Covert Operations" succeeded in vilifying the Kochs among progressive voters in spite of being riddled with strange accusations and dubious assumptions. Her book seems to be no different.
Aside from running a glowing review, the New York Times splashed a big scoop taken straight from Mayer, "Father of Koch Brothers Helped Build Nazi Oil Refinery, Book Says.Read more
"London property has become the bitcoin of the global kleptocracy," says British journalist Ben Judah. Indeed, 37,000 properties in the British capital are owned by offshore companies. That's about 10 percent of all property in central London. And much of this property was purchased using money gained through crime or skimmed from government accounts, frequently in Eastern Europe.
That is the market being exposed in a new documentary, From Russia with Cash, first shown in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Judah wrote the film.
The film itself is about an hour long and follows two undercover reporters passing themselves off as a government minister and his girlfriend looking to buy a house or apartment in London.Read more
In The Selling of the President, Joe McGinniss details how Richard Nixon’s handlers micromanaged every aspect of his public persona in 1968, to craft an image for a fickle public that had rejected the longtime politician eight years before.Read more
While businesses across the globe scramble to exploit the potential opportunities to be found in a country with 1.3 billion consumers, operating in China comes with profound business risks as well.Read more
Senator Rand Paul, who is expected to announce a presidential run on April 7, made the case on Fox News tonight that the eventual Republican nominee needs to "go after" the "corruption" of Bill and Hillary Clinton:Read more
Tom Cotton’s letter to the Iranian regime has spurred furious blowback from liberals. They want the president to cut a deal with Iran, and Cotton’s letter gets in the way; thus, they’ve engaged in a specious fight over inter-branch protocol. Never mind that the president is looking to sign an agreement with an enemy without the advice and consent of the Senate.Read more
Jay Cost joined the Cato podcast to discuss his latest book, A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption:Read more
Speaking of global warming, The Scrapbook could have used a little more of it this winter. Meanwhile we’ve been bundling up against the cold and curling up next to the fireplace with our favorite new book, Jay Cost’s A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption.Read more
Since the founding of our nation, political defeat has been a catalyst for innovation. Federalist triumphs in 1796 and 1798 prompted the Jeffersonian opposition to develop the first party organization. The collapse of the Whig party, morally ambivalent on the issue of slavery, in the early 1850s gave rise to the Republican party’s staunch support of “free soil.” Thanks in part to the defeat of the Cox-Roosevelt ticket in 1920, Franklin Roosevelt learned how to sell progressivism to the nation at large, preparing the way for his landslide presidential victory in 1932.Read more
It is said that history is written by the victors. Maybe so, but in the United States over the last century, history has largely been written by the liberals. This inevitably leads to bias, which inevitably operates on even the most impartial of minds. While most historians try to be fair and judicious, the fact that the overwhelming majority of them are on the left generates an inexorable tilt to the American historical narrative.Read more
House conservatives complained loudly about the Export-Import Bank during last year’s midterm campaign. The hope was, with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, that conservatives could find the will to kill the program -- which, by the way, should be relatively easy. If Congress does nothing, the Ex-Im’s charter will expire.
So, how is it going?Read more
The Oregonian, the biggest paper in the state, is calling for the resignation of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber as a result of shady dealings related to his longtime girlfriend and fiancée:
More ugliness may surface, but it should be clear by now to Kitzhaber that his credibility has evaporated to such a degree that he can no longer serve effectively as governor. If he wants to serve his constituents he should resign.Read more
I have just finished a new book on political corruption. The book takes a broad overview of corruption, across the whole history of the nation, explaining its typical patterns over time.The most pertinent revelation is how the government captures private interests, which in turn capture the government right back. Indeed, reciprocity is a real phenomenon in government. It leads inevitably to conflicts of interests, and thus corruption.Read more
Call it a tale of two countries. Two would-be Latin American powerhouses, both with populations surpassing 100 million people – and both with weak presidents who are beset by corruption problems. Both, in other words, are severely underperforming countries, whose chronic inability to live up to their potential continues to undermine growth, stability, and hope for the future.Read more
The Republican party's best chance to win a statewide office in California for the first time since 2006 all started with a check for $800. Pete Peterson’s wife Gina is graphic designer in Santa Monica who owns her own business, a limited liability company. Last year, she was getting ready to pay her company's annual $800 licensing tax to the secretary of state’s office, which oversees business licensing. Only in California are LLCs taxed so much just to keep a license. In Delaware, the annual tax is just $300, and in Missouri, it’s just a one-time $50 free.Read more
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with senior writer Mark Hemingway on why the IRS scandal won't be going away anytime soon.Read more
We hear a lot, these days, about how President Obama is not like Lyndon Johnson and thanks be to heaven for that small mercy. The point seems to be that the president doesn't know how to arm twist, sweet talk, bribe, and emasculate both friend and enemy (of which he truly had neither) in order to further his agenda. Since many among the chattering class believe, still, in that agenda, his is generally regarded as an excellent presidency. Never mind that more than half a century after Johnson declared war on poverty ... poverty is still winning.Read more
Caribbean-based company ICSSI had seen its lucrative contract to X-ray the cargo entering the Dominican Republic languish for years when, in 2011, it began searching for an investor with political pull. Perhaps someone with the right connections would be able to pressure the Dominicans into enforcing the contract, which was valued at somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion over 20 years. And that special someone, it seemed, was Salomon E.Read more
John Kerry, the richest U.S. senator, railed against the "corrupting" power of money in politics in his farewell address today on the floor of the United States Senate:Read more
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