"The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall. Richard K. Armey, the group's chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group's Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey's enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks' top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news."* Dick Armey lead an armed coup of Freedomworks, a Tea Party organization. The only thing is, he had never run the group before, and was poised to run it into the ground. Cenk Uygur breaks down this very strange story of Tea Party infighting, and how it finally got resolved. (Hint: it involves a lot of money)
-By Daniel Fisher
December 24, 2012- A man who, by FORBES’ careful measure, is one of the 50 most powerful people in the world, one of the 20 wealthiest–and one of the dozen most vilified–is perpetually in a position to reflect. But given it’s Charles Koch’s 77th birthday, the calendar demands it. Especially with the presidential election that Charles has called “the mother of all wars” less than a week away, and with Koch Industries, the firm he has built into the second-largest private company in America, considering several more big acquisitions, including an 18,000-employee automotive glassmaker, Guardian Industries.
Yet despite all these momentous events swirling around his wood-paneled Wichita office, decorated with seascapes and looking out on to the prairie to the north, the legacy he wishes to initially address comes via a piece of paper with a color photograph of his first grandson. The baby’s name: Charles. “My proudest accomplishment,” he smiles.
-By Lee Fang
December 22, 2012- Billionaire David Koch’s prime political organization, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), having failed in its $125 million quest to oust President Barack Obama, is now aiming at a slightly less sophisticated political target: victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy was the second most costly in American history, leaving 100 lives lost, over $50 billion in devastation and tens of thousands of damaged or destroyed homes. Legislative efforts to help those who survived Hurricane Sandy’s wrath will reach a major stumbling block.
-By Wendy Gittleson
December 22, 2012- In a week when this guy is almost universally panned as the country’s biggest asshole, a perennial contender managed to slip under the radar. The election is over, but David Koch is already threatening sitting Republicans with a hurricane of attack ads if they dare divert money from his pockets and into the pockets of the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
From Lee Fang of The Nation (emphasis added):
"As my colleague Jennifer Preston reported, there were scuffles between union activists and supporters of Michigan's Republican-dominated Legislature outside the state Capitol in Lansing on Tuesday, as the lawmakers approved sweeping changes to the way unions will be financed.
At one stage during the tense standoff, union members opposed to the so-called right-to-work legislation ripped down a tent erected by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. Several supporters of the conservative group recorded video of their efforts to defend the tent, but the footage that got the most attention, with more than half a million views on YouTube, was an 80-second clip that showed a conservative comedian named Steven Crowder getting punched in the face by a union activist."*
December 13, 2012- In November, Michigan voters repealed Public Act 4, the state's notoriously antidemocratic emergency manager law. On Wednesday, in the legislature's mad rush to get every horrible thing it can passed during the lame duck session, the House passed a new version of the same damn thing and sent it to the Senate, which is expected to pass it and send it to Gov. Rick Snyder to be signed (back) into law.
December 12, 2012- Gov. Scott Walker’s top campaign promise was that the state would create 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his four-year term.
Walker has made the vow in a variety of forums, including speeches, videos, and on his campaign and official websites. But the state’s progress in job creation was last in the nation in 2011 — and there have been no signs of a significant turnaround in 2012.