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Chad McConnell
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Chad McConnell

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Thanks to +George Takei for passing this on!
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Chad McConnell

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The Koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in America, making most of their money in the fossil fuel industry.  According to Forbes Magazine, they saw their wealth increase last year from $68 billion to $80 billion. In other words, under the “anti-business”, “socialist” and “oppressive” Obama administration, their wealth went up by $12 billion in one year

In their 2012 campaigns, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each spent a little more than $1 billion.  For the Koch brothers, spending more than Obama and Romney combined  in an election would be a drop in the bucket.  They would hardly miss the few billion spent. 

Given the reality that the Koch brothers are now the most important and powerful players in American politics, it is important to know what they want and what their agenda is

Interestingly and not widely known, David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980. He believed that Ronald Reagan was much too liberal.  Despite Mr. Koch putting a substantial sum of money into the campaign, his ticket only received one percent of the vote. Most Americans thought the Libertarian Party’s platform of 1980 was extremist and way out of touch with what the American people wanted and needed.

Fast-forward 34 years and the most significant reality of modern politics is how successful David Koch and like-minded billionaires have been in moving the Republican Party to the extreme right.  Amazingly, much of what was considered “extremist” and “kooky” in 1980 has become part of today’s mainstream Republican thinking.    

Here are a few examples:

~ In 1980, Libertarian vice-presidential candidate David Koch ran on a platform that called for abolishing the minimum wage.  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people

Today, not only does virtually every Republican in Congress oppose raising the $7.25 an hour minimum wage, many of them, including Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell and John McCain, are on record for abolishing the concept of the federal minimum wage, and John Boehner said he rather kill himself than raise the wage*.

~ In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party favored “the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people

Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party, as seen in the recently passed Ryan budget, is to end Medicare as we know it, cut Medicaid by more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade, and repeal the Affordable Care Act.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Under the Ryan plan, at least 40 million people -- 1 in 8 Americans -- would lose health insurance or fail to obtain insurance by 2024. Most of them would be people with low or moderate incomes.”

~ In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party called for “the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system.”  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people. 

Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party is that “entitlement reform” is absolutely necessary.  For some, this means major cuts in Social Security.  For others who believe Social Security is unconstitutional or a Ponzi scheme this means the privatization of Social Security or abolishing this program completely for those who are under 60 years of age.

~ In 1980, David Koch’s Libertarian Party platform stated “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes … We support the eventual repeal of all taxation … As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”  34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people

Today, 75 Republicans in the House have co-sponsored a bill that Paul Ryan has said “would eliminate taxes on wages, corporations, self-employment, capital gains, and gift and death taxes in favor of a personal-consumption tax.”

Here is what every American should be deeply concerned about:  The Koch brothers, through the expenditure of billions of dollars and the creation and support of dozens of extreme right organizations, have taken fringe extremist ideas and made them mainstream within the Republican Party.  And now with Citizens United (which is allowing them to pour unlimited sums of money into the political process) their power is greater than ever.

And let’s be very clear. Their goal is not only to defund Obamacare, cut Social Security, oppose an increase in the minimum wage or cut federal funding for education.  Their world view and eventual goal is much greater than all of that: they want to repeal every major piece of legislation that has been signed into law over the past 80 years that has protected the middle class, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the most vulnerable in this country.  Every piece of legislation!*

The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of billionaire families.

Our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back.

From Bernie Sander's email today.
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Chad McConnell

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A free people do not have their every move and thought monitored (Or Constitutional Rights tossed away by a so-called Patriot's Act every year - 13 years in a row)...just sayin...
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Chad McConnell

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It's not a joke. 
Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk were handed leaflets ordering them to register with the new self-proclaimed pro-Russian leadership, according to an Israel-based organization that monitors
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Had stopped by earlier this evening. The décor was clean and well done, The service was excellent and the food was quite good and about standard in pricing. The selection of food is quite varied and the serving sizes were quite good. (I had the 'Florentine Eggs Benedict' with hash browns and my girlfriend had the 'Southern Eggs Benedict' with home fries. As an appetizer we had the 'Fried Combo' (Onion rings, Chicken Fingers, Mozzarella sticks, and Potato Skins.)). All in all I felt it was a very good place to eat and do intend to go there again. I do recommend this place. Oh, and one nice surprise. My girlfriend had noticed the ketchup had been locally made by a company (U.S. Grown) in Williamson, NY. Less than 20 miles from here.
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Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
The service is great, the food is great.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Have been there twice so far. 2 and yesterday respectively.Both times the service was very fast and efficient and all the workers were very kind and courteous. Both times the food was excellently done, looked good and tasted great. The pricing is close to normal for this type of place (> fast food but still fairly inexpensive considering the food is high quality.) I fully recommend this place to anyone. Further note: they do have wi-fi.
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
The food is good and in good size portions and the service is very good. I eat here a lot of times when in East Rochester.
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
6 reviews
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These people are great. Took my car in for an inspection (had already failed at a dealership) and they inspected and repaired it for $100's less then every other place I had checked. (~15 places). They were kind and courteous and were quite knowledgeable. Also they were quite prompt and fast with the repairs (full strut assembly replacement in the rear) and my car was finished within 5 hours of taking it in. (Note: I had been referred there by my brother-in-law who is a mechanic himself for the city.)
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Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
Steve's is fairly good. The service was prompt and menu choices were good if not huge in selection..
Food: Very goodDecor: GoodService: Very good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago