Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Notable Links Digest – January 11, 2015

Congress doesn’t have to be a joke
Detroit Free Press

The federal criminal justice system’s onerous mandatory minimums and the culturally retrograde stripping of felons’ voting rights have long been an issue for the nation’s liberal constituencies. But they are also an affront to libertarian interests that generally find their home on the political right.

Last week, billionaire Charles Koch, a mega-funder for the GOP’s most conservative causes and candidates, penned a moving and articulate opinion piece pledging that he would focus on criminal-justice reform issues in 20

Charles Koch’s views on criminal justice system just may surprise you
The Wichita Eagle

Ten years ago, [Charles Koch] began giving money to support efforts by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train defense lawyers and reverse what some see as a national trend to get tough on crime, which has resulted in the tripling of the incarceration rate since the 1980s and has stripped the poor of their rights to a legal defense.

He’s going to give more to that effort, he said.

“Over the next year, we are going to be pushing the issues key to this, which need a lot of work in this country,” Koch said. “And that would be freedom of speech, cronyism and how that relates to opportunities for the disadvantaged.”

The nation’s criminal justice system needs reform, “especially for the disadvantaged,” Koch said, “making it fair and making (criminal) sentences more appropriate to the crime that has been committed.”

Truth is, there’s no one behind the wheel–tms–jgoldbrgctnjg-a20150103-20150103-column.html
Chicago Tribune

Meanwhile, for every rich conservative out there, there’s a rich liberal cutting checks, too. In other words, the one-percenters who supposedly run everything aren’t some homogenized class of economic overlords; they are, in fact, at war with each other. And, trust me, Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess no more think they are running the country than liberal super-donors Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and Tom Steyer do.

Corporate Good Guy of the Week: Koch Industries

Most big businesses that decry “big government” and “Washington interference” also lobby heavily for favorable tax treatment and anti-competitive regulations.  So it is worth noting that Koch Industries (cue evil mustache-twirl music now if you are a mindless liberal) is publicly arguing right now to let expire all of the “temporary” tax “extender” measures that Congress likes to roll over every year and that benefit a number of Koch’s own business ventures.  In other words, Koch is advocating policies that will raise its own tax bill.  But they are doing this consistent with their free market principles.

Principle centered leadership: The Koch brothers story
Midland Daily News

Every now and then, you come across exceptional people who by their leadership, courage, vision, principles, and imagination have literally changed the world. Charles G. and David H. Koch are two such people.

The Kochs have been criticized in many circles for their belief in, passion for, and support of the traditional values that have made America great. Charles and David are unequivocal believers in and advocates for free enterprise, private property rights, limited government, the rule of law, and individual responsibility. Simply put, the Koch brothers are concerned that government consumption of GDP in the U.S. is too high, taxes on U.S. businesses are too high, the U.S. national debt is too high, and the U.S. regulatory structure is handcuffing America’s ability to compete and create jobs in today’s complex global economy.

Perhaps all of us should be more concerned with the same issues the Koch brothers are.

Chris Rodel: Kochs give plenty to nonpolitical causes
Cap Times

Dear Editor: It still amazes me how people around here want to use the Koch brothers as the standard of all that is evil in society today. The letter that appeared recently, calling out the spending habits of the Kochs as opposed to the Frautschi/Rowlands or Morgridges (those folks have done admirable things for our community — thank you!) missed out on an opportunity to show how wealthy people across the entire nation support great nonpolitical causes.

The Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions supporting medical research (David Koch is a prostate cancer survivor), higher education and science (being major donors to the Smithsonian and American Museum of Natural History), the fine arts (over $150 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Lincoln Center).

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