Koch Industries

Democrats selling ownership rights to the Koch brothers?

I had a rare morning, today, that didn't require two cups of coffer to fire me up for the day.

Instead, NPR provided the spark for my engines when they reported a piece on the status of hiring and focussed on government jobs.   And as has become routine anymore, NPR set the tone of the report with reference to an 'expert' at one of the Koch Brothers' agenda-laundromats, the policy factory of the Cato Institute.

Unfortunately I'm very short for time this morning and I could not devote the energy needed to ferret out the audio report with appropriate excerpts and analysis, for discussion here.  But it's the familiar talking point that government jobs and bureaucrats are unworthy, inefficient, and take what is rightfully due to the corporate person.

On what used to be the other hand, one of our ePluribusMedia friends added some nitro to my caffeine-free fuel mixture, elsewhere, by pointing me to a short piece @ Politico showing that the Kochs will soon hold a vertical political monopoly in this country, from the ground on up.

Thom Hartmann discovers the untold story of the first Boston Tea Party!!

In London, Thom Hartmann found and bought the only first-person account of the 1773 Boston Tea Party in existence.  

George R. T. Hewes coined the phrase, 'the Boston Tea Party' and authored the history of the party that led to the American colonists' overthrow of the East India Company puppets, their British colonial rulers.

The original tea party was caused by the granting of corporate tax cuts to the biggest corporation in the world, the East India Company.  The rulers of the colonies wanted to kill their indigenous colonial competition who were also trying to sell tea against the wishes of the global mega-corporation.

The American experiment in democracy was the result of that revolution.

All Koch, All the Time

The money, regulatory, and legal interests of the Koch brothers are responsible for very much of the damage to these United States. The 'Kochtopus' intends to wreak all the more havoc that is possible, so, I've become thrilled to understand that Americans are finally seeing the corporate men behind the curtains. In front of the curtains, their agenda is paraded by the astroturf groups and think tanks of so many fronts that I have to question just how much of a Libertarian Party actually exists absent money from the Kochs. Some, I'm sure, just not how much.

Tea Bagging Billionaires

Frank Rich used his New York Times column space Saturday to highlight the billionaires behind the Tea Party movement. He opens with a note on the public face of the Tea Party with their most recent events, the protest of the mosque in New York last weekend and Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor event this weekend. One paragraph later Rich begins pulling back the curtain:

There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.

Rachel Maddow and Jane Mayer, Astroturfing the Kochtopus

Continuing information that adds to, and overlaps, the recent piece by DeltaDoc, here's a clip of Rachel Maddow's interview with Jane Mayer, author of Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama:

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In case you missed the initial list of items to start boycotting with a vengeance, here it is again:

  1. Brawny paper towels
  2. Dixie Cups
  3. Stainmaster Carpet
  4. Lycra
  5. Georgia Pacific (Plywood, lumber...and paper?)

More info later -- let's take a chunk out of Koch's bottom line, and teach these teaparty-spawning, traitorous instigators of sedition a lesson in patriotism and economics. One that makes irresponsible, selfish, unregulated capitalism pay far less for such scurrilous activity.

Corporate activism, corporate sedition and treason: those are the most damaging items that are affecting and destroying our nation today. The Kochtopus is the funding spigot that directed monies to and through think tanks and sold the teabagger origins as a "grass roots" movement, instead of the corporate-spawned tool that the movement really is.

Astroturfing is one of the primary strategies of the Kochtopus; it's time to start targeting and cutting off the many arms, trimming the beast back to a more manageable size -- or destroying it, before its infection spreads any further.

Busting the Kochtopus

There is a great piece out in the August 30, 2010 New Yorker entitled, "Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama," that describes two siblings who've managed, on the whole, to remain invisible to the vast majority of Americans despite their tied-ranking as the 3rd richest people in the United States.

Meet me at the corner of RNC and Grassroots Fail

Chris Cilliza, at The Fix, reported on one of the most recent right wing attack PACs formed by some of the former RNC failed leaders to help get around the current RNC failed leaders:

I would not want to choreograph this:

[update - CM!] Scratch this whole post, except for the last sentence, since Michelle Obama will not be there according to Bloomberg's revised story. I wonder why not? snickers...

Tonight, there will be a very odd ceremony featuring the First Lady and honoring one of President Obama's most ardent political enemies, David Koch. For those of you that are unaware, Koch has funded so many right wing political groups that it is hard to keep track of them all.

Bloomberg is reporting that the First Lady is expected to pay tribute to David Koch, the right-wing oil and manufacturing billionaire who bankrolled and founded Americans for Prosperity (AFP). With Koch’s funding, AFP has been the leading group orchestrating anti-Obama tea party protests. While Koch funds radical conservative causes, he will be honored tonight for his generous donations to the arts and his funding of the ballet theater:

Koch said he has given $500,000 a year in donations and millions more to help fund individual ballets. The ABT reported a deficit of about $882,000 in 2009 on a budget of $37 million. Koch gave a matching grant of $2.5 million for ABT’s $5 million production of “The Nutcracker,” which it will present in lieu of a fall season.

Last year, shortly before Koch-funded groups organized protests featuring signs comparing health reform to the Holocaust, Koch took credit for creating the right-wing tea party movement in a speech to his Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

I would not want to be trying to work out the details on this odd happening, though it might be fun to enjoy the back stage theatrics of it all... And you can expect to see a lot more on David Koch, Koch Industries and many of his fake grassroots campaigns coming your way very soon at ePluribus Media.

Have a Koch and a smile

TPM pushed this one up to the traditional media and Maddow kicks it up a notch:

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TPMmuckraker's story yesterday about Koch Industries preemptively alerting the press that the mega-company does not fund tea parties -- despite the fact that it backs one of the major tea party groups -- got the Rachel Maddow treatment last night.

 

Cato solution for getting fresh fruit & veggies to urban residents: Wal-Mart

OK, I'm sometimes slow to get the full upshot. I know many progressives disclaim alot that is heard on NPR these days after the Republican Revolution's successful taming...well, you know. Heck, even NPR station directors say it.

But, this afternoon, after an interesting piece discussing the USDA's local food initiative in which Michelle Obama has been playing a public role, I had the personal "I concede!" moment.

The idea that one should "know your food, know your farmer" was the topic covered with USDA head Tom Vilsack. In it was provided the context of a role for his former constituency of Iowa where it's 'a necessity to support agriculture subsidies' to win elections. Doesn't the gravity of Monsanto also weigh pretty heavily in Iowa politics?

OK, I knew about that sort of thing and, so, was still a little surprised to hear some things I considered to be positive from Obama-appointee Vilsack about the need to boost local production and enable local farmers to be profitable while producing quality edibles. Such as by doubling the value of WIC funds used in purchases by city residents at farmers' markets just a glance away from the White House.

The upshot was that he seemed to be an advocate of the local food program despite not being quite so ready to embrace organic production with both arms nor to make an orphan of the 70% of US agricultural production that comes from 4% of the producers.

Overall, the story delivered better news than I expected.