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Ayn Rand


John Simkin
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In 1991, a survey carried out by the American Library of Congress declared Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, first published in 1957, as "the most influential book on American lives after the Bible".

Rand, who emigrated from the Soviet Union to the US, used her novel to express her right-wing political philosophy that she called "objectivism". Rand was a strong supporter of laissez-faire capitalism, which advocated the complete deregulation of business and opposed any form of state welfare. Noam Chomsky called her "one of the most evil figures of modern intellectual history".

With the collapse of laissez-faire capitalism and the election of Obama, one would have thought that it was time to chuck Rand's objectivism into the dustbin of history. However, Amazon reports increased sales of "Atlas Shrugged", and it has been outselling Obama's "The Audacity of Hope". It has now reached sales of 6 million.

Why is "Atlas Shrugged" so popular now? Why are right-wing Republican politicians such as John Campbell giving away free copies of this book? The answer is in the plot of the novel. It is set in the United States during a period when the country has a liberal president who is keen to promote the idea of the "mixed economy". Critics claimed that the government is reminiscent of that of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" – of which Rand strongly disapproved. This is compared to the "pure" capitalism of 19th century America.

In "Atlas Shrugged", all countries outside the US have become – or are becoming throughout the course of the novel – "People's States", which survive mainly through aid given by the United States. The idea for the novel came from the implementation of the Marshall Plan. Rand opposed the idea of sending extensive aid to European countries, many of which implemented Socialist or Social-Democratic policies of one kind or another. Rand especially disliked the British government led by Clement Attlee (1945-51). In fact, one of the main hate-figures in the book is Gilbert Keith-Worthing, a British novelist who comes to the US and urges his American hosts to nationalize their country's railways.

According to Wikipedia:

"The main crux of the book surrounds the decision of the "men of the mind" to go on strike, refusing to contribute their inventions, art, business leadership, scientific research, or new ideas of any kind to the rest of the world. Each man of ability eventually reasons (or is convinced) that society hampers him with unnecessary, burdensome regulations and undervalues his contributions to the world, confiscating the profits and sullying the reputations he has rightfully earned. The peaceful cohesiveness of the world begins to disintegrate as each of these men of ability slowly disappears and society loses those individuals whose mental effort allows it to continue functioning. The strikers believe that they are crucial to a society that exploits them, denying them freedom or failing to acknowledge their right to self-interest, and the gradual collapse of civilization is triggered by their strike. This is not to say that they believed that giving the creators their due would cost civilization. Rather, the strikers believe that the current irrational altruist/collectivist culture impeded them and therefore the rest of society as well. As such it would serve no one's interest to continue to allow himself to be exploited, although the strike is not primarily motivated by the harm the current state of society does to others as well."

One can see why those intellectually impaired people who still believe in deregulated laissez-faire capitalism would be attracted to this book. It will no doubt be seen by them as a call to overthrow a president that intends to bring in measures that from their distorted perspective seems to be "socialism".

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John,

How do they determine "outselling"? Is it total sales divided by time on sale to produce average sales per day? Is it currently outselling Obama because monthly totals are better?

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John,

How do they determine "outselling"? Is it total sales divided by time on sale to produce average sales per day? Is it currently outselling Obama because monthly totals are better?

It outsold Obama at Amazon during the month he took office. Amazing.

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Guest Tom Scully

Great subject choice, John !

The promotion of the political and sociological ideals of Ayn Rand are primarily distributed by the same political alliance pushing the rewritten history of FDR and his new deal, via the book, "The Forgotten Man", authored by former Wall Street Journal editorial board propagandist, Amity Shlaes.

This is an alliance of Council for National Policy principles and brothers-in-law, Stuart Epperson and Edward Atsinger III, co-founders and executives of the Salem Comm. group, owners of 100 radio stations and affiliated with 1100 other US radio stations primarily themed with a christian conservative talk radio format, closely aligned with the republican party with Salem Comm. talk show hosts featured on the party's GOP.org website:

http://www.gop.com/ActionCenter/CallTalkRadio/

Salem Comm. also owns the conservative themed website, townhall.com, with samples of it's fare described and linked below.

Multi-billionaire founder of marketing pyramid corporation Amway, Richard Devos, is a financier and early member of Council for National Policy, and his son Dick's wife is sister of Eric Prince, founder of private army and intel corporation, Blackwater.

This cabal in control of the second largest radio network in the US, with a prominent member linked through familial ties with private army Blackwater, and owning the most prominent conservative website, townhall.com is engaged in doing what it does best....attempting to overcome it's deficit in numbers of voters to saturate the airwaves and internet with it's message that the intense wealth concentration in the US is not to be countered via the power of voters to elect politicians who believe in redistributing wealth via progressive taxation....higher tax rates on the highest income recipients....

It is ironic that in the Devos family for example, wealth was achieved via a multilevel marketing scheme designed to channel wealth from less well off folks lured into what seems to be a pyramid through which all of the work is done by the many who make little or no money for their efforts, and most of the money flows to the few at the top of the pyramid and it's now billionaire founder. Dick Devos's wife's sister, Eric Prince, has built an impressive private army and intel organization, and made a fortune via insider connections resulting in taxpayer funded contracts, amounting to billions of dollars, as well as by the literal buying away high executives from the CIA and Defense Dept....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_Communications

Stuart Epperson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_Epperson

Edward G. Atsinger III

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title...G._Atsinger_III

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_Communications

http://townhall.com/

KRLA 870 AM Intelligent. Conservative. Talk Radio

Mar 9, 2009 ... Last week, I spoke to Dave Weigel from the Washington Independent about the applicability of the fabled Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, ...

http://krla870.townhall.com/blog/tag/Ayn

710 KNUS News/Talk

The Ayn Rand novel, "Atlas Shrugged" is much in the news this week because of the absolutely fantastic rant on CNBC the other morning by on-air editor Rick ...

http://710knus.townhall.com/columnists/Ric.../23/atlas_raged

http://townhall.com/columnists/MaggieGalla...rs_for_ayn_rand

November 06, 2007

Maggie Gallagher :: Townhall.com Columnist

Three cheers for Ayn Rand

by Maggie Gallagher

http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Man-Histor...5671&sr=1-1

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (Paperback)

by Amity Shlaes

http://townhall.com/search2.aspx?SearchWor...p;sa=Search#991

#

Townhall.com::Talk Radio Online::Radio Show

bullet. H3: Calls 3/4/2009. Podcast It. bullet. Amity Shlaes 3/4/2009. Podcast It. bullet. H2: Mike Allen 3/3/2009. Podcast It. bullet ...

http://townhall.com/talkradio/show.aspx?ra...22-f04b127d6b33

#

Townhall.com::Talk Radio Online::Radio Show

Wednesday March 4, 2009. Amity Shlaes With Mike Gallagher. Mike talks to the author of the book "The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression". ...

http://townhall.com/talkradio/show.aspx?Co...p;radioshowid=2

#

Townhall.com::Talk Radio Online::Radio Show

H2: Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Brian Wesbury, John Campbell 1/30/2009. Podcast It. bullet. H1: Kirk Lippold, Mitch McConnell, Amity Shlaes 1/30/2009 ...

http://townhall.com/talkradio/show.aspx?ra...f1-8204e6d2fdbf

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title...National_Policy

Tim LaHaye and a significant other number of Council for National Policy members are graduates of Bob Jones University:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/jan/1...a.usgunviolence

Saturday 13 January 2001

...Bob Jones University, whose graduates include the Rev Ian Paisley, was at the centre of a political storm last year when Mr Bush made a speech there to rally conservative support for his presidential bid after he lost the New Hampshire primary to John McCain. The university had a ban on inter-racial dating and supports a doctrinaire anti-Catholic view of the world.....

http://web.archive.org/web/20050222053644/.../?ArticleID=260

Secret Society

Just who is the Council for National Policy, and why aren't they paying taxes?

by Sarah Posner, Contributor

2.21.05

.....Who Is Behind CNP?

While the law does not require a tax-exempt organization to disclose the names of its members (in order to protect their ability to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of association privately, if they choose), it does require disclosure of the officers and directors of these organizations, and this information is available to anyone with access to the Internet. And some CNP members, often in the context of bolstering their conservative credentials, have proudly revealed their CNP membership, even though CNP's policy is to keep membership a secret.

CNP was founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, the right-wing, evangelical political motivator and author of the "Left Behind" serial, which chronicles a fictional Armageddon and second coming (in which the non-believers are left behind while believers are carried off in a rapturous moment without their clothes. It gives an eerie ring to the No Child Left Behind Act.) LaHaye's empire includes his fingerprints on a number of evangelically-oriented, right-wing political action groups, his wife Beverly's Concerned Women for America, along with the twelve "Left Behind" novels, which, according to the author's own website, have sold 55 million copies world wide since their introduction in 1995. The original directors, as listed with CNP's articles of incorporation filed with the Texas Secretary of State in 1981 were, along with LaHaye, Howard Phillips, a long-time conservative activist with plenty of conservative groups under his wing, and Bob J. Perry, a Texas businessman who has long donated vast amounts of money to conservative causes, including the tort reform effort in Texas. Last year, Perry gave over $8 million to conservative 527 groups, including $4.5 million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and $3 million to the Progress for America Voter Fund, which spent over $35 million running pro-Bush and anti-Kerry ads during the campaign and is now backing Bush's Social Security privatization....

....And while the mainstream media is asleep at the switch, CNP members' access to conservative media outlets enable them to collaborate and disseminate their propaganda. One example is Bozell and the Media Research Center, the mission of which is "to provide the conservative movement with the marketing and public relations tools necessary to deliver its message into the 21st century." Another example is that five directors of Salem Communications Company are or have been officers and directors of CNP: Salem's president and CEO, Edward G. Atsinger, III; Stuart W. Epperson (host of Truth Talk Live, a radio show broadcast on Salem's radio network); Roland S. Hinz (who is also president of Hi-Favor Communications, which has purchased radio stations from Salem to implement a Christian format in Spanish); Hodel; and Judge Paul Pressler (a retired Texas judge who has made a career of advocating a conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention). Salem owns over 100 Christian broadcast radio stations, is the provider of Christian programming on XM Satellite Radio, and recently agreed with America Online to provide the only Christian talk radio station on the AOL Radio Network. Last year, Salem was ranked in the top 100 in Fortune Small Business magazine's list of fastest growing small public companies. Salem is the seventh largest owner of radio stations in the country, and while it barely rivals Clear Channel at over 1,200 stations, the combined Christian broadcasting power of Salem and American Family Radio -- a project of the American Family Association -- would rank them fourth, just behind powerhouses Clear Channel, Cumulus, and Citadel. Many Republican House and Senate candidates, as well as the Bush/Cheney campaign, the Republican National Committee, and the Republican Majority Issues Committee, the issue advertising committee formed by DeLay, have been the beneficiaries of not only Atsinger's largesse, but that of Salem Communications' political action committee as well...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_for_National_Policy

Leadership

CNP was founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series of books. Other early participants included Cleon Skousen, a prominent theologian and law enforcement expert; Paul Weyrich; Phyllis Schlafly; Robert Grant; Howard Phillips, a former Republican affiliated with the Constitution Party; Richard Viguerie, the direct-mail specialist; and Morton Blackwell, a Louisiana and Virginia activist who is considered a specialist on the rules of the Republican Party. [15][16][17]

The council employs about eight people. Its first executive director was Woody Jenkins; later, Morton Blackwell served in this role, which is currently held by Steve Baldwin (b. 1957), not to be confused with actor Stephen Baldwin. Presidents have included Nelson Bunker Hunt of Dallas, Amway co-founder Richard DeVos of Michigan, Pat Robertson of Virginia Beach, Paul Pressler of Houston, and former Reagan Cabinet secretaries Ed Meese and Donald Hodel, as well as current president Kenneth Cribb. [18][19][17]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_DeVos

Richard DeVos, Sr., (born March 4, 1926, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.) is an American billionaire and co-founder of Amway (restructured as Alticor in 2000). In 2006, Forbes magazine listed him as the 73rd wealthiest person in the United States with an estimate net worth of USD$ 3.5 billion. In 2007, Forbes ranked him as the 249th richest person in the world [1] (at one point he was in the top 10 of wealthiest Americans).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_DeVos

Dick DeVos (born Richard DeVos, Jr., October 21, 1955) is a businessman and Republican politician from Michigan. The son of billionaire Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, he served as CEO of the multi-level marketing consumer goods distribution company from 1993-2002. In 2005, DeVos launched the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in the history of Michigan, totaling more than $41 million.[1] Ultimately, DeVos lost on November 7, 2006, to Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm.[2][3][4]

Family and early life

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, DeVos is a graduate of the Forest Hills public schools and received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Northwood University. He later attended, but did not graduate from, the Harvard Business School and the Wharton School's Executive Study Programs. [1]

His wife, Betsy DeVos, is the sister of Blackwater USA president Erik Prince and she is the former chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party.[6][dead link] Betsy and Dick have four children: ........[7]

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/10/...ush/index1.html

The Bush administration's ties to Blackwater

Pages 1 2 October 2, 2007

Joseph Schmitz, chief operating officer and general counsel: In 2002, President Bush nominated Schmitz to oversee and police the Pentagon's military contracts as the Defense Department's inspector general. Schmitz presided over the largest increase of military-contracting spending in history: As of 2005, 77 companies were awarded 149 "prime contracts" worth $42.1 billion, with hundreds of millions going to Blackwater. Unlike previous I.G.s, Schmitz reported directly to the secretary of defense -- a setup that both Democratic and Republican lawmakers objected to, given Schmitz's oversight responsibility. Schmitz even carried Rumsfeld's "12 principles" for the Pentagon in his lapel pocket. The first principle read, "Do nothing that could raise questions about the credibility of DoD."

Schmitz has many ties to the Republican Party establishment. His father, John G. Schmitz, was a two-term Republican congressman, and his brother, Patrick Schmitz, served as George H.W. Bush's deputy counsel from 1985 to 1993. Joseph himself worked as a special assistant to Reagan-era Attorney General Edwin Meese.

Schmitz resigned in 2005 under mounting pressure from both Democratic and Republican senators, who accused him of interfering with criminal investigations into inappropriately awarded contracts, turning a blind eye to conflicts of interest and other failures of oversight. According to an October 2005 article in Time magazine, Schmitz showed the White House the results of his staff's multiyear investigation into a contract in which the Air Force leased air-refueling tankers from Boeing for more than it would have cost to buy them, then agreed to redact the names of senior White House staffers involved in the decision before sending the final report to Congress. Schmitz informed his staff on Aug. 26, 2005, that he was leaving the Pentagon; in September of that year, he went to work for Blackwater.

J. Cofer Black, vice chairman: Black spent most of his 28-year CIA career running covert operations in the Directorate of Operations, where he worked with Rob Richer (below). At the time of the 9/11 attacks, he was director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. There he was former CIA Director George Tenet's ace in the hole when it came to convincing Bush that the CIA should lead initial U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan after 9/11. Black is, according to published accounts, a man with a flair for the dramatic, the kind of briefer President Bush likes. In one briefing, according to several reports, Black told the president, "When we're through with [terrorists in Afghanistan], they will have flies walking across their eyeballs." (Black also ordered CIA field officer Gary Schroen to bring back Osama bin Laden's head packed in dry ice so Black could show it to Bush.) Black's Afghanistan presentation earned him "special access" to the White House, the Washington Post's Dana Priest reported in December 2005.

Black is also one of the more prominent faces associated with the Bush administration's interrogation and extraordinary rendition policies. In a famous moment, Black told Congress in 2002, "After 9/11, the gloves came off." And the group within the CIA responsible for extraordinary renditions -- operations in which covert agents grab terror suspects and take them to secret prison facilities for interrogations that would normally be prohibited as torture -- fell under Black at the CTC, Priest has reported.

Black later went to the State Department, where one of his roles was to begin coordinating security for the 2004 Olympics in Greece. In 2003, the State Department gave Blackwater a contract to train the Olympic security teams.

In 2004, Black left the State Department to join Blackwater, part of what Harper's Silverstein termed a "revolving door to Blackwater" from the CIA. In addition to his work with Blackwater and his own company, Total Intelligence Solutions, Black also recently joined the presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, where he serves the Republican hopeful as senior advisor for counterterrorism and national security. ....

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2006/09/sb-...ater-1158094722

September 12, 2006 · Washington Babylon · Previous · Next

Revolving Door to Blackwater Causes Alarm at CIA

By Ken Silverstein

Blackwater USA, the private security contractor that has operated in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and New Orleans, has been booming the past few years. Founded in December of 1996, the company spent its early years “paying staff with an executive's credit card and begging for customers,” according to the Virginian-Pilot. But today, Blackwater reportedly has revenues of about $100 million annually, almost all of it from government contracts, and maintains “a compound half the size of Manhattan and 450 permanent employees,” according to the newspaper.

How did Blackwater rise so high, so fast? The “war on terrorism” got the ball rolling for the firm, but one suspects that political connections played a big part as well. Erik Prince, Blackwater's founder, is a former SEAL who is deeply involved in Republican Party politics. Since 1998, he has funneled roughly $200,000 to GOP committees and candidates, including President Bush. In 2004, Blackwater retained the Alexander Strategy Group, the PR and lobbying firm that closed down earlier this year due to its embarrassing ties to Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay. (Paul Behrends, a former national security adviser to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, handled the account for Alexander. After the firm shut down, Behrends moved on to a firm called C&M Capitolink, and took the Blackwater account with him.)

A number of senior CIA and Pentagon officials have taken top jobs at Blackwater, including firm vice chairman Cofer Black, who was the Bush Administration's top counterterrorism official at the time of the 9/11 attacks (and who famously said in 2002, “There was before 9/11 and after 9/11. After 9/11, the gloves came off.”) Robert Young Pelton, author of the new book, Licensed to Kill , says that an early Blackwater contract—a secret no-bid $5.4 million deal with the CIA—came in 2002 after Prince placed a call to Buzzy Krongard, who was then the CIA's executive director.

A CIA source with whom I spoke said that Prince is very tight with top agency officials and has a “green badge,” the security pass for contractors who have access to CIA installations. “He's over there [at CIA headquarters] regularly, probably once a month or so,” this person told me. “He meets with senior people, especially in the D.O.” (The D.O., or Directorate of Operations, runs covert operations; last year, it was absorbed by the newly created National Clandestine Service.)

Prince's visits are probably one reason that the revolving door to Blackwater keeps turning. Last fall, Rob Richer resigned from the post of Associate Deputy Director of Operations; he immediately took a job as Blackwater's Vice President of Intelligence. Richer is a former head of the CIA's Near East Division and long served in Amman, where, for a period beginning in 1999, he held the post of station chief. For years he was the agency's point man with Jordan's King Abdullah, with whom he developed an extraordinarily close relationship. “There have been some ups and downs in our relationship with Jordan, but the king has always been on good terms with the CIA,” said a person familiar with the situation. “The king's primary relationship is always with the CIA, not the American ambassador.” ....

.....Meanwhile, there's talk at the agency that Blackwater is also aggressively recruiting Jose Rodriguez, the CIA's current top spy as director of the National Clandestine Service. Rodriguez has a number of former agency friends at Blackwater, most notably Rick Prado, with whom he served in Latin America and who is now Blackwater's Vice President of Special Programs.

One of my sources told me that agency employees have voiced concerns to CIA director Michael Hayden about the Blackwater revolving door. “In a situation like this, there are too many opportunities for people to scratch each others' backs,” he said.....

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Scahill_upda...h_new_0731.html

Scahill: Blackwater now in the private intelligence business

David Edwards and Muriel Kane

Published: Thursday July 31, 2008

....However, Scahill's greatest concern at present appears to be Blackwater's venture into the private intelligence business.

"Blackwater started a private intelligence company," he explained, "a private CIA essentially, called Total Intelligence Solutions. And the man running Total Intelligence Solutions is J. Cofer Black. He's a thirty-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. He also was the guy who ran the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, the government-sanctioned kidnap-and-torture program."

"His thirty-year CIA career, his network of contacts, his knowledge that was gained through his work in the most sensitive areas of the United States government is now on the open market for hire," Scahill said sadly.

"This isn't a liberal or conservative thing," concluded Scahill. "You have a lot of traditional conservatives who are outraged at what they see as the degradation of the United States armed forces. ... This has everything to do with the future of war-making and global stability."

This video is from ExpandedBooks.com, broadcast July 30, 2008.:

http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/29649

J. Cofer Black should make voters see red

Submitted by administrator on Thu, 01/03/2008 - 16:21.

* By DEROY MURDOCK, Scripps Howard News Service

* editorials and opinion

....They finally were watchlisted on Aug. 23, 2001, 19 days before they plowed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

As for flagging Hazmi and Mihdhar, "It should have been done," the former CTC chief told the Joint Inquiry. "It wasn't ... And I think what contributed to that was (that) these same officers watching this operation were also doing a lot of other things."

On Aug. 25, 2005, the Associated Press' Katherine Shrader revealed that CIA Inspector General John Helgerson's then-classified report "recommended disciplinary reviews" for Black, Tenet and former clandestine-service head Jim Pavett. "The former officials are likely candidates for proceedings before an accountability board," Shrader wrote. Tenet's successor, Porter Goss, took no disciplinary action.

Despite Helgerson's rebuke, last April 26, Romney named Black "senior adviser on counterterrorism and national-security issues."

The CIA declassified Helgerson's 2005 report last Aug. 21, confirming that the inspector general recommended at least six times that the former CTC chief and others face an accountability board for financial mismanagement, poor coordination, incoherent leadership and more. In one episode, when the National Security Agency invited the CIA to examine transcripts of terrorist intercepts, "CTC sent one officer to NSA for a brief period of time in 2000, but failed to send others, citing resource constraints."

Romney elevated Black to run his counterterrorism advisory board. Despite deep, declassified dismay with Black's pre-Sept. 11 tenure, it's been onward and upward for Black on Team Romney.

Few heads rolled after 9/11, despite the incompetence that allowed al Qaeda to massacre 2,978 human beings. Cofer Black kept his head, and now uses it to advise someone who promoted him in September, and praised him on CNN in late November.....

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story...erend_doomsday/

Reverend Doomsday

According to Tim LaHaye, the Apocalypse is now

Robert DreyfussPosted Jan 28, 2004

..LaHaye persuaded Falwell to consider doing the same. "More than any other person, Tim LaHaye challenged me to begin thinking through my involvement [in politics]," recalls Falwell. Paul Weyrich confirms Falwell's account. "He encouraged Falwell to get involved in the political process," says Weyrich, who heads the conservative Free Congress Foundation. "But Falwell was reluctant to do so, because he thought it would ruin his ministry."...

...Two years later, LaHaye founded the Council for National Policy. An elite group with only a few hundred members, the CNP meets three times a year, usually at posh hotels or resorts, going to extraordinary lengths to keep its agenda and membership secret. According to members willing to speak about it, however, the council unites right-wing billionaires with scores of conservative Christian activists and politicians, and these encounters have spawned countless campaigns and organizations.....

...Supported by moneybags such as Texas oilman Nelson Bunker Hunt, Amway founder Richard DeVos and beer magnate Joseph Coors, some in the group helped fund Oliver North's secret campaign to aid the Nicaraguan contra rebels during the 1980s and financed the right-wing jihad against President Clinton in the 1990s. (The impeachment effort was reportedly conceived at a June 1997 meeting of the CNP in Montreal.) In addition, the group has funded an army of Christian organizers. Falwell says that in the past two decades, he has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for his ventures, including Liberty University, through the CNP. "My guess is that literally billions of dollars have been utilized through the Council for National Policy that would not otherwise have been available," he says. Bush attended a CNP meeting at the start of his presidential campaign in 1999 to seek support, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took part in the group's gathering last April in Washington, D.C....

Edited by Tom Scully
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If the rich were ever to go on strike, my God, whatever would we do.

Yes what would you do? The government would be out of money, for one...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123500384765617949.html

But late last week Mayor Bloomberg was channelling these columns when he said that raising taxes on high earners could drive them from the city. "One percent of the households that file in this city pay something like 50% of the taxes," explained the Mayor. "In the city, that's something like 40,000 people. If a handful left, any raise would make it revenue neutral. The question is what's fair. If 1% are paying 50% of the taxes, you want to make it even more?"

http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6

Who Pays Income Taxes? See Who Pays What For Tax Year 2006

Percentiles Ranked by AGI

AGI Threshold on Percentiles

Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1% 39.89 Top 5% 60.14 Top 10% 70.79 Top 25% 86.27 Top 50% 97.01 Bottom 50% 2.99

Source: Internal Revenue Service

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An economic and philosophic fascist by any other name.....  

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

I think former Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was part of Ayn Rand's cult during the 1950's.

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Guest Tom Scully
If the rich were ever to go on strike, my God, whatever would we do.

Yes what would you do? The government would be out of money, for one...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123500384765617949.html

But late last week Mayor Bloomberg was channelling these columns when he said that raising taxes on high earners could drive them from the city. "One percent of the households that file in this city pay something like 50% of the taxes," explained the Mayor. "In the city, that's something like 40,000 people. If a handful left, any raise would make it revenue neutral. The question is what's fair. If 1% are paying 50% of the taxes, you want to make it even more?"

http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6

Who Pays Income Taxes? See Who Pays What For Tax Year 2006

Percentiles Ranked by AGI

AGI Threshold on Percentiles

Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1% 39.89 Top 5% 60.14 Top 10% 70.79 Top 25% 86.27 Top 50% 97.01 Bottom 50% 2.99

Source: Internal Revenue Service

The Federal Reserve Study tells us the wealthiest ten percent of US households own 70 percent of total US wealth, and the bottom fifty percent own just 2-1/2 percent of total US wealth, making the US the ODC with the most inequitable wealth distribution. Aside from violent revolution, a Chavez driven reform as experienced in Venezuela of late, or the majority votes driven policy of progressive taxation, begun in the Taft admin, in 1913, coupled with the wages and benefit gains of the labor movement from the 1930's to 1970, what do you see as the solution to falling income and rising debt of the masses of Americans, besides the vast numbers of have nots, voting for forced redistribution of concentrated wealth?

The most recent triennial Fed SCF results were only updated this week, and the stats look even more skewed in favor of the wealthiest ten percent than in 2004:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/oss/oss...me.html#bullart

90 percent of American households are responsible for most of the debt and own an aggregate of 30 percent of total assets. The bottom fifty percent owe half of the outstanding comsumer debt, do their share of the total wealth, just 2-1/2 percent in 2004, puts them in a negative total net worth situation.

Without forced redistribution via majority vote driven legislation, where do you expect the financial resources to drive an increase in consumer demand to come from? The wealthy won...they poured money into the political system to "game" the top federal income tax rate down from 90 percent in 1956, to 36 percent last year. They worked to move the US manufacturing base, which they own....offshore. They turned the US into a low wage and benefits, service based economy. They concentrated wealth into their own hands to the point where US Gini, above 45, is nearly twice the level experienced in Denmark. The State Dept. description of Venezuela, describes it's Gini (low 40's) as still inequitable, when Gini in the US is even higher.

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If the rich were ever to go on strike, my God, whatever would we do.

Yes what would you do? The government would be out of money, for one...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123500384765617949.html

But late last week Mayor Bloomberg was channelling these columns when he said that raising taxes on high earners could drive them from the city. "One percent of the households that file in this city pay something like 50% of the taxes," explained the Mayor. "In the city, that's something like 40,000 people. If a handful left, any raise would make it revenue neutral. The question is what's fair. If 1% are paying 50% of the taxes, you want to make it even more?"

http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6

Who Pays Income Taxes? See Who Pays What For Tax Year 2006

Percentiles Ranked by AGI

AGI Threshold on Percentiles

Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1% 39.89 Top 5% 60.14 Top 10% 70.79 Top 25% 86.27 Top 50% 97.01 Bottom 50% 2.99

Source: Internal Revenue Service

The Federal Reserve Study tells us the wealthiest ten percent of US households own 70 percent of total US wealth, and the bottom fifty percent own just 2-1/2 percent of total US wealth, making the US the ODC with the most inequitable wealth distribution. Aside from violent revolution, a Chavez driven reform as experienced in Venezuela of late, or the majority votes driven policy of progressive taxation, begun in the Taft admin, in 1913, coupled with the wages and benefit gains of the labor movement from the 1930's to 1970, what do you see as the solution to falling income and rising debt of the masses of Americans, besides the vast numbers of have nots, voting for forced redistribution of concentrated wealth?

The most recent triennial Fed SCF results were only updated this week, and the stats look even more skewed in favor of the wealthiest ten percent than in 2004:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/oss/oss...me.html#bullart

90 percent of American households are responsible for most of the debt and own an aggregate of 30 percent of total assets. The bottom fifty percent owe half of the outstanding comsumer debt, do their share of the total wealth, just 2-1/2 percent in 2004, puts them in a negative total net worth situation.

Without forced redistribution via majority vote driven legislation, where do you expect the financial resources to drive an increase in consumer demand to come from? The wealthy won...they poured money into the political system to "game" the top federal income tax rate down from 90 percent in 1956, to 36 percent last year. They worked to move the US manufacturing base, which they own....offshore. They turned the US into a low wage and benefits, service based economy. They concentrated wealth into their own hands to the point where US Gini, above 45, is nearly twice the level experienced in Denmark. The State Dept. description of Venezuela, describes it's Gini (low 40's) as still inequitable, when Gini in the US is even higher.

So when you have destroyed wealth, where exactly to you expect the money to come from to fund your "forced redistribution"? Sadly it was not the wealthy that turned the US into a " low wage and benefits, service based economy" but rather governmental intervention and regulation, along with "forced redistribution".

The solution, btw, is allow the weak to fail and for the strong to rebuild.

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An economic and philosophic fascist by any other name.....  

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

I think former Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was part of Ayn Rand's cult during the 1950's.

You are correct.

I recently watched a movie about Ayn Rand's life and loves.

Greenspan was a mentee of hers and her objectivist movement.

I wonder whether his wife, Andre Mitchell, is a Rand follower.

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Craig makes the typical Rupublican-Rush Limbaugh argument; the rich pay a wildly disproportionate share of income taxes already. The problem is, under our illogical system, the rich also receive, as Tom noted, a wildly disproportionate share of income. How else can revenue fairly be raised, without those making most of the income paying more taxes?

We are all ignoring the large and ugly elephant that is in the room; most workers aren't being paid enough to meet the rising costs of living. Instead of addressing this most crucial problem, our fearless leaders choose to reward the most powerful corporations in America by bailing out their failures with hundreds of billiions of (if not more than a trillion) dollars, courtesy of the taxpayers. I'm still waiting for the first failed small, or even medium sized business, to be invited to Congress so that they can be "bailed out" in the same manner. The idea, of course, of any of the struggling families and individuals in America asking Congress for a "bail out" would be scoffed at by Republicans and Democrats alike. We were assured, of course, that unless we rescued the banks from their own ineptitude and greed, our economy would collapse. Since we gave nearly a trillion dollars to these inhuman scum, the economy has grown much worse and it has been learned that (shockingly!) some of these elitist plutocrats treated themselves to some of that "bail out" money. Wow- who could have predicted that?

If we had truely honest leaders, who were concerned with the welfare of all citizens, those bail outs would have come, if they came at all, with some huge contingencies. To the bankers, our Congress should have demanded they drastically slash management salaries, and lower interest rates, and give all those in trouble with their loans a "bail out" of their own, before receiving any taxpayer money. Instead, they demanded nothing and then acted surprised when these immoral banksters did what comes naturally to them. You might as well have dangled red meat before a hungry lion. In the case of our large American auto manufacturers, the situation is just as ridiculous. Why doesn't Congress demand that these incompetent clowns slash the prices of their products? Isn't that how the vaunted marketplace is supposed to work? If you have a product that is not selling- in this case because of decades of unreliability and far better alternatives available for nearly the same price- you have to consider cutting the price of your product. Congress, even after the recent debacle with those banksters taking some of the "bail out" funds for themselves, still will not demand that these auto executives slash their own salaries, elminate bonuses and cut the prices of their cars, which cannot compete in quality with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. What horrible "leadership!"

Obama is taking baby steps in the right direction, but decades of propaganda have caused most middle class Americans to think that any "redistribution" of wealth will involve taking something from them. Of course, in any fair system, the sinfully wealthy- Gates, Buffet, etc.- could themselves provide a great stimulus package and still be multi-multi millionaires. Unfortunately, we have become a nation filled with people who simply don't care about others. This attitude was summed up nicely in Craig's comment about "allowing the weak to fail." This cold, clinical Darwinian view of society fits in nicely with the philosophy of an Ayn Rand. It certainly contradicts everything Jesus speaks of in the New Testament, but this doesn't stop many "Christians" from subscribing to it. Our economy is failing miserably, and even our corrupt leaders now must realize that there is simply no more blood in the turnip- they can't continue to ask those who can't financially survive now to "sacrifice" more, just so that glorious 1% can continue to live in clueless splendor.

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Craig makes the typical Rupublican-Rush Limbaugh argument; the rich pay a wildly disproportionate share of income taxes already. The problem is, under our illogical system, the rich also receive, as Tom noted, a wildly disproportionate share of income. How else can revenue fairly be raised, without those making most of the income paying more taxes?

We are all ignoring the large and ugly elephant that is in the room; most workers aren't being paid enough to meet the rising costs of living. Instead of addressing this most crucial problem, our fearless leaders choose to reward the most powerful corporations in America by bailing out their failures with hundreds of billiions of (if not more than a trillion) dollars, courtesy of the taxpayers. I'm still waiting for the first failed small, or even medium sized business, to be invited to Congress so that they can be "bailed out" in the same manner. The idea, of course, of any of the struggling families and individuals in America asking Congress for a "bail out" would be scoffed at by Republicans and Democrats alike. We were assured, of course, that unless we rescued the banks from their own ineptitude and greed, our economy would collapse. Since we gave nearly a trillion dollars to these inhuman scum, the economy has grown much worse and it has been learned that (shockingly!) some of these elitist plutocrats treated themselves to some of that "bail out" money. Wow- who could have predicted that?

If we had truely honest leaders, who were concerned with the welfare of all citizens, those bail outs would have come, if they came at all, with some huge contingencies. To the bankers, our Congress should have demanded they drastically slash management salaries, and lower interest rates, and give all those in trouble with their loans a "bail out" of their own, before receiving any taxpayer money. Instead, they demanded nothing and then acted surprised when these immoral banksters did what comes naturally to them. You might as well have dangled red meat before a hungry lion. In the case of our large American auto manufacturers, the situation is just as ridiculous. Why doesn't Congress demand that these incompetent clowns slash the prices of their products? Isn't that how the vaunted marketplace is supposed to work? If you have a product that is not selling- in this case because of decades of unreliability and far better alternatives available for nearly the same price- you have to consider cutting the price of your product. Congress, even after the recent debacle with those banksters taking some of the "bail out" funds for themselves, still will not demand that these auto executives slash their own salaries, elminate bonuses and cut the prices of their cars, which cannot compete in quality with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. What horrible "leadership!"

Obama is taking baby steps in the right direction, but decades of propaganda have caused most middle class Americans to think that any "redistribution" of wealth will involve taking something from them. Of course, in any fair system, the sinfully wealthy- Gates, Buffet, etc.- could themselves provide a great stimulus package and still be multi-multi millionaires. Unfortunately, we have become a nation filled with people who simply don't care about others. This attitude was summed up nicely in Craig's comment about "allowing the weak to fail." This cold, clinical Darwinian view of society fits in nicely with the philosophy of an Ayn Rand. It certainly contradicts everything Jesus speaks of in the New Testament, but this doesn't stop many "Christians" from subscribing to it. Our economy is failing miserably, and even our corrupt leaders now must realize that there is simply no more blood in the turnip- they can't continue to ask those who can't financially survive now to "sacrifice" more, just so that glorious 1% can continue to live in clueless splendor.

You guys really can't see the forest from the trees. You want to continue to take...at the point of a gun..the rewards of one persons hard work and bestow that on another. And somehow you think that will make the receiver of these stolen goods better and more whole! And when "poor" squander this bounty you will simply rob again?

If this were a business you fail. You have a customer base (those paying 70% or so fo the federal taxes) thats of utmost importance to keeping your company (the USA) solvent. Instead of doing the correct thing ( making sure that customer base is happy and continues to choose you over the competition) you do everything you can to piss them off. Reallyt smart stuff.

Charity is not charity when its done at the point of a gun. By and large Americans are quite willing to give freely of their time and money to help and support the needy. Altho IIRC the last study showed that the rich LIBERALS really did not understand giving to charity while the conservatives give freely.

Everything flows downhill. If you want those at the bottom to EARN (notice the word EARN and not the word TAKE) a decent living, you better damn well make certain that those at the top who invest and create the businesses that provide JOBS don't get reamed to the point they decide to stop.

This guy understands...do you?

Dear Chris Matthews; Build Your Own Business And See If It Feels Like Work.

Business & Media Institute ^ | 3/3/2009 11:59:50 AM | By Dan Kennedy

Imagine my surprise to hear Chris Matthews, on his February 26 broadcast, enthusiastically announce that President Obama is “promising to tax the rich people in order to pay for health care for the working people.”

Dear Mr. Matthews: maybe you are a rich person who doesn’t earn your money and doesn’t work. Since I see you working on TV all the time, perhaps you secretly feel that cheerleading for Barack Obama isn’t really “work.” I’m willing to accept your critical self-assessment.

But I and all the other people I know earning over $250,000.00 a year – and into seven figures – well,we are definitely working people. Most of us work longer hours than our employees do, take more work home to do in evenings, and work more weekend hours than our employees do. Many of us travel and spend a great deal of time away from our families. Many of us bear enormous executive responsibility and the stress that comes with it.

We also do more valuable work – not by accident, but because we have worked very hard to make ourselves more valuable. We have chosen to learn more and keep learning more; read more, play less; develop expertise. And almost all of us worked much, much, much harder than the ‘average working person’ for years, even decades, to create our businesses, master our crafts and skills, build our reputations, and finally put ourselves in positions to harvest our current high incomes.

As a matter of fact, our willingness to work more and work harder than most of those you designate as “working people” might just be the reason we now, finally earn much higher incomes. I know this is a troubling concept for liberals, but there it is: cause and effect.

So when you speak class warfare, it enrages us. Your dividing of Americans into separate groups, “working people” and “rich” – thus characterizing the rich as “not working people” – is obscene.

Oh, and just for the record, we already pay extraordinarily high taxes. More importantly, we pay an exorbitant share of the total U.S. tax burden – far, far in excess of the difference between our incomes and those paying less, little or none, and far in excess of our ratio to the population and our consumption of services.

We are Atlas, already carrying the entire nation on our shoulders, and we are now tempted to shrug. You see, we could choose not to work if sufficiently antagonized, assaulted and abused. And for every one of us who takes the next four years off, thousands can kiss their jobs bye-bye. If that’s a surprise to you, I’d be delighted to explain it with specific examples.

We not only work harder than all those we provide jobs for, we also provide nearly all the capital and take all the risks to create businesses and build communities and retail centers and everything else that provide the majority of jobs.

Those you see as working people create no jobs for themselves; we non-working rich provide them all. If we put our capital on strike for the next four years – a strike already in progress – there’ll be 16 to 20 percent or worse unemployment, a 3,000 or lower Dow wiping out all working peoples’ pensions and retirements entirely, boarded up businesses as far as the eye can see, and no health care for anybody.

Yes, that’s a threat.

Finally, a quick math lesson. There are no more than six million of us (give or take) that Obama has targeted for his grand panoply of stated income tax increases, backdoor tax increases via the taking away of real estate interest, charitable giving and other deductions, capital gains tax increases, etc.If you confiscated 100 percent of our combined incomes, you still couldn’t pay for everybody’s health care.

This is the most vile lie ever told to those working people. Why? Because every dollar of income stolen from me with taxes I retrieve plus three from those working people, to cover the taxes and overhead. I do so by: downsizing companies and cutting jobs, outsourcing jobs, not investing in expansion and creating jobs, and by raising prices. The last, raising prices, causes inflation, the biggest tax on working people and the only tax on poor people. Every tax-the-rich scheme costs far more than it gets. Nothing else could come close to the destruction guaranteed by abusively taxing the rich.

Some honest reporting about all this would consider the so-obvious folly of trying to force six million people to buy health care for 200-million; acknowledge that Obama is not merely returning top tax rates to Clinton or pre-Reagan points but that he is laying on myriad tax increases by removing deductions; and would stop smearing the rich as not-working-people. We ought to be thanked, daily. Better, we should be encouraged to work at creating and building things, but right now we’ve set that aside to work at out-maneuvering Obama’s tax assault, and watch how hard we work at that.

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