Right-wingers jump back into politics, throw millions into Republican campaigns
It’s bad enough that all the Republican candidates for the Senate are climate change deniers. Now we find out that Karl Rove is enticing a lineup of right-wingers to throw tons of cash behind Republican candidates.
We’re talking moneybags who’ve stayed out of the past few elections. Now they’re back with a vengeance. An analysis by Politico shows that 10 of the most active conservative donors have kicked in $19 million to GOP candidates or their political action committees — way more than they ponied up in 2006 and 2008.
Though GOP electoral prospects are getting a boost from newly engaged — and anti-establishment — grass-roots tea party activists, the major conservative money is anything but grass roots or anti-establishment. Rather, the money coming from roughly the same people who funded Bush-era big-money Republican efforts.
Strings attached: No big surprise but right-wing moguls, and climate-change deniers David and Charles Koch have started throwing money into the California Senate campaign of Republican Carly Fiorina. The Koch bros also co-sponsored a recent fundraiser for her in Washington. [Los Angeles Times]
Slick maneuvers: Following the lead of his fellow Big Oil buddy Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), says he too will block confirmation of President Obama’s proposed budget chief unless the president lifts the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf. Both Landrieu and Vitter are among Congress’s top 10 recipients of contributions from the oil and natural gas industries. [The Hill]
Nothin’ doin’: Even the CEO of General Electric thinks the U.S. energy policy is an embarrassment. Speaking at a smart grid conference in Washington, Jeffrey Immelt said:
It’s just stupid what we have here today. Energy is one of the places I worry about most. The rest of the world is moving 10 times faster than we are.
Black to the future: Some day future generations will look back on the early 21st Century and ask: What were they thinking? Kwame Anthony Appiah says two of our biggest black marks will be the environment and industrial meat production. [Washington Post]
Worth your Nile: A nasty battle is brewing in Africa over who controls the Nile River. Egypt and Sudan have called the shots for a long time. But now upstream countries say they want to build dams and irrigation projects that would reduce the healthy flow Egypt depends on. [The New York Times]
Fault lines: The sniping just won’t let up in the investigation of the Gulf explosion. A few weeks ago BP released its internal report suggesting that its former partner Halliburton had done a lousy cement job on the well that exploded. Now Halliburton is saying it’s the well design that sucked. [Reuters]
Grow with the flow: The EPA told five of the six states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that they need to get a lot tougher about controlling the amount of pollution and sediment flowing into rivers and streams that empty into the bay. Dead zones caused by runaway algae growth are a big problem in the Chesapeake. [Washington Post]
Sneak attach: In Australia, climate change activists shut down the world’s largest coal port by attaching themselves to loaders. [Reuters]
When it’s always high tide: So what are coastal cities doing to prepare for the expected rise in sea levels? Not much. And some of what they are doing is likely to do more harm than good. [The New Republic]
We’ll be circling for awhile: The Defense Department is paying Boeing almost $90 million to build it a solar plane that will stay airborne for five years. [Discovery News]