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Professor at Koch-funded university department calls for ‘less democracy’

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By now, it’s common knowledge that the Koch Brothers more or less own the Republican Party – having spent twice as much in election 2012 as the top ten unions combined.

But a lesser-known aspect of Koch influence is their spending on ideological warfare. The Kochs not only spend big in our elections, but they also finance a network of think tanks, advocacy campaigns, and even educational curricula in order to spread their message.

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One example is George Mason University (GMU). Last year, a group of students protested the fact that the Charles Koch Foundation, which is the university’s single largest donor, has given at least $23 million to the school since 2005.

This week, a GMU professor gave a speech on a topic that could’ve come right out of the Kochs’ ideology – why we need “less democracy.”

Dr. Garett Jones, professor of Economics and BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, gave a lecture on the aforementioned topic, taking aim at some of the core values this country is founded upon. Here’s a summary from Fourth Estate, a GMU student paper:

Jones says that less democracy and more epistocracy could lead to better governance. Democracy leaves power to the majority while epistocracy allocates power to the knowledgeable. Jones did not imply that democracy should be eliminated, but lessened by 10% for the sake of long term economic growth.

According to Jones, less democracy would lead to better governance because politicians would be inclined to work on long term growth rather than spending to impress constituents during election season. Politicians try to please the public at the expense of neglecting long- term policies because they are elected through a democratic process.

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For example, Jones said senators act like voters have short term memories. They make decisions to get reelected rather than spending their whole term focused on long-term growth.

Jones’s remarks are fairly consistent with Koch political activity, which includes advocating for voter ID laws that are designed to drive down voter participation. On his GMU site, the university notes that Jones is not only an academic researcher, but that he has also served as Economic Policy Adviser to Senator Orrin Hatch and as a staff economist to the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress “ – bodies he apparently thinks are too democratic.

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Paul Krugman debunks Trump’s bogus claims about the ‘Obama economy’

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that his policies alone are responsible for the economic recovery in the United States, claiming that he inherited a broken economy from his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. But Trump’s claims are wildly misleading, and economist/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman debunked some of them this week in a Twitter thread.

Krugman tweeted, “So, I see that Trump is bad-mouthing the Obama economy. Two points. First, there was absolutely no break in economic trends after the 2016 election.”

The 66-year-old Krugman posted a chart showing GDP (gross domestic product) from 2010 (when Obama was serving his first term) to 2020 (three years into Trump’s presidency). GDP, the chart shows, gradually improved during Obama’s eight-year presidency.

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Right-wing extremists using Facebook to recruit for ‘boogaloo’ attacks on liberals and cops: report

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A right-wing extremist movement is recruiting on social media to target liberals and law enforcement in a violent uprising called the "boogaloo."

The loosely organized movement is trolling for members on mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter, in addition to 4chan and other fringe sites, to promote a second Civil War, reported NBC News.

“When you have people talking about and planning sedition and violence against minorities, police, and public officials, we need to take their words seriously,” said Paul Goldenberg, of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders was so close to a primary against Obama in 2011 that Dems were ‘absolutely panicked’: report

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In an article for The Atlantic this Wednesday, Edward-Isaac Dovere recounts the time that Bernie Sanders tried to primary Barack Obama -- a move that Sanders was close to achieving that former Democratic Senator Harry Reid had to intervene to stop him.

The event, which hasn't been previously reported, took place in the summer of 2011 and reportedly had the Obama campaign "absolutely panicked"

While Sanders' Obama plan never went through, the relationship between the two has been strained ever since. "Now Obama, the beloved former leader of the Democratic Party, and Sanders, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, are facing a new and especially fraught period in their relationship," Dovere writes. "To Obama, Sanders is a lot of what’s wrong with Democrats: unrelenting, unrealistic, so deep in his own fight that he doesn’t see how many people disagree with him or that he’s turning off people who should be his allies. To Sanders, it’s Obama who represents a lot of what’s wrong with Democrats: overly compromising, and so obsessed with what isn’t possible that he’s lost all sense of what is."

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