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Koch Industries Responds to Rolling Stone – And We Answer Back

"Koch Facts" calls our story "dishonest and misleading." A point-by-point rebuttal.

By Tim Dickinson | September 29, 2014

Koch Industries has written a lengthy response to our feature story on the company in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. In tweets the company apparently paid to promote, Koch bills this write-up as a "point-by-point response to Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson's dishonest and misleading story." The salient feature of Koch's response is that the company does not argue the core facts of our 9,000-word expose. Instead, Koch targets the messenger. Koch's top target here is not even Rolling Stone, but me, Tim Dickinson.

I find it, frankly, amusing that a company that has been convicted of six felonies and numerous misdemeanors; paid out tens of millions of dollars in fines; traded with Iran, and been so reckless in its business practices that two innocent teenagers ended up dead, attempts to impugn my integrity, and on the basis of my association with Mother Jones — where I worked as an editor in the late 1990s and early 2000s, on a team that was twice nominated and once awarded a National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

Koch, in particular, takes umbrage with my reporting practices.

For the record: In the weeks prior to publication, beginning September 4th, Rolling Stone attempted to engage Koch Industries in a robust discussion of the issues raised in our reporting. Rolling Stone requested to interview CEO Charles Koch about his company's philosophy of Market Based Management; Ilia Bouchouev, who heads Koch's derivatives trading operations, about the company's trading practices; and top Koch lawyer Mark Holden about the company's significant legal and regulatory history.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/koch-industries-responds-to-rolling-stone-and-we-answer-back-20140929#ixzz3EzYU8eTt

An Anti-Gay Marriage Group’s Big GOP Target

Ben Jacobs

Sen. Rob Portman is a rising star in the GOP. But since he’s switched his stance on gay marriage, a group of social conservatives wants to take him down.

Senator Rob Portman is being touted as a potential presidential candidate by Speaker John Boehner, and the Ohio Republican is making a campaign appearance in Iowa this week. But that isn’t stopping a major conservative organization from recruiting candidates to run against him in his 2016 Senate primary.

Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, a prominent social conservative group, told The Daily Beast that his group would be working “day in and day out to have a candidate to defeat Portman.” Brown said that the group had identified “several folks who could potentially” win a Republican Senate primary against Portman in 2016 and was actively recruiting them to run.

Portman received national attention in 2013 when he emotionally came out in support of gay marriage. The Ohio senator’s decision was spurred by his son, Will, coming out as gay in 2011. His switch on the issue angered many on the right, particularly among groups like NOM, which is dedicated to fighting the legalization of gay marriage.

Brown has also been encouraging his fellow Republicans not to vote for three GOP candidates in competitive races in 2014 who all support gay marriage. His group is urging conservatives not to support two openly gay Republican candidates for Congress, Richard Tisei in Massachusetts and Carl DeMaio in California, and also Monica Wehby, the pro-marriage equality GOP senate nominee in Oregon.


Rand Paul: What If The 3K Troops Obama Sent To Africa All Catch Ebola?


Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday questioned President Obama's decision to dispatch 3,000 U.S. troops to West Africa to help combat the Ebola virus.

"Where is disease most transmittable? When you're in a very close confines on a ship," Paul said on Laura Ingraham's radio show. "We all know about cruises and how they get these diarrhea viruses that are transmitted very easily and the whole ship gets sick. Can you imagine if a whole ship full of our soldiers catch Ebola?"

"It's a big mistake to downplay and act as if 'oh, this is not a big deal, we can control all this.'" he added. "This could get beyond our control."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that a patient in Texas had been diagnosed with the country's first case of Ebola.


Black Leaders: Eric Holder Had Our Back When No One Else Did

By SAHIL KAPUR Published OCTOBER 2, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

"Wow." "Why?" "That is so bad." "That is terrible." "Why?" "That is so sad."

Those were the distraught reactions in the room full of African-American leaders one week ago, when House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced that Eric Holder was stepping down as U.S. attorney general after six years in the job.

The palpable sense of sorrow is rooted in their belief that the country's first black attorney general, despite his imperfections, was looking out for African-Americans when other institutions had shunned their community.

"We have lost faith in the Supreme Court. We have lost faith in local law enforcement. We have lost faith in the fact that our leaders — political leaders in particular, Congress and others — have our best interests at heart. But the one person that we knew did was the attorney general," Rep. Marcia Fudge, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, told TPM in an interview.


Scott Brown: People Don't 'Care About' Contraception, Equal Pay

By CAITLIN MCNEIL Published OCTOBER 1, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) on Tuesday suggested that women don't actually care about issues like equal pay and contraception.

During an appearance on Fox News' "The Real Story," host Gretchen Carlson asked Brown about accusations made by his opponent in the New Hampshire Senate race, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

"Your opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, she recently issued this statement on your record on women's issues. 'He doesn't stand up for women's reproductive rights and economic security. He co-sponsored legislation to deny women coverage for birth control or even mammograms. Had he two opportunities to vote for equal pay laws and both times voted no.' How do you respond to her claim?" Carlson asked.

"Well, unfortunately, I'm talking about issues that people care about," Brown responded.


Romney is Still Buying Houses

New York Times: "Despite being dinged for conspicuous real estate consumption in 2012, he's building a not-at-all-humble mansion in Utah, with 5,900 square feet of living space, an outdoor gazebo, fire pit and spa. (Another 1 Percent touch: a 'secret door' leading to a storage room.) It will be Mr. Romney's fifth home - or his fourth - details, details - if he manages to sell his $12 million waterfront estate in La Jolla, Calif. (of car-elevator fame)"



Threat leads to evacuation of Sandy Hook school


MONROE, Conn. (AP) — A threat has led to the evacuation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Nancy Bartosik of the superintendent’s office in the town of Monroe says the students are being moved Wednesday to a nearby school where they can be picked up by their parents. She says she does not immediately have information on the nature of the threat.

A gunman killed 20 first-grade students and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 2012. The students resumed classes in a school in the neighboring town of Monroe, also called Sandy Hook Elementary School. The original school building was torn down last year.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/10/01/threat_leads_to_evacuation_of_sandy_hook_school/

Poll: Crist Jumps Ahead Of Scott

By DANIEL STRAUSS Published OCTOBER 1, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT

A new Survey USA poll finds former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) has jumped ahead of Gov. Rick Scott (R) and now leads the current governor by 6 percentage points.

The Survey USA poll conducted for WFLA-TV in Florida found Crist leading 46 percent to 40 percent among likely voters.

That's a 7-point swing for Crist. A previous SurveyUSA poll, conducted from Sept. 19 to Sept. 22, found Scott leading Crist 43 percent to 42 percent among likely voters. That poll was also conducted for WFLA-TV.

From Sept. 26 to Sept. 29 among 750 Floridians.


Texas appeals court upholds DeLay reversal


HOUSTON (AP) — The highest criminal court in Texas has refused to reinstate two money-laundering convictions of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday upheld a ruling last year from the 3rd Court of Appeals that tossed DeLay’s 2010 convictions for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors argued in June before the Austin-based Court of Criminal Appeals that the convictions be reinstated. But the appeals court said in its 8-1 ruling it agrees with the lower court findings, which said as a matter of law, what prosecutors proved in DeLay’s case did not constitute either offense.

The charges were related to corporate donations to DeLay’s political action committee that prosecutors say were illegally funneled to some Texas House candidates in 2002.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/10/01/texas_appeals_court_upholds_delay_reversal/

Fox host to CDC director: Obama lied about ‘things’ so maybe you’re lying about Ebola

Fox News host Steve Doocy on Wednesday asked CDC Director Dr. Tim Frieden how he could be trusted to tell the country the truth about Ebola when President Barack Obama had misled Americans about “a lot of things.”

Following the news that a case of Ebola had been diagnosed in Texas, Doocy told Frieden that his own daughter thought she might be at risk to contract the disease.

“I know you say the public does not need to worry about it,” Doocy said. “But I’ve got to tell you something, my daughter works in the building directly across the street from the hospital, and I talked to her last night. She’s a little freaked out.”

Frieden assured Doocy that his daughter was safe because she had not come in contact with the patient.


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