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SueInCa On December - 9 - 2009
koch bros
RADICAL RIGHT

The Billionaires Behind The Hate

December 8, 2009

by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Lee Fang, and Alex Seitz-Wald

Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama’s progressive agenda. They have been looming in the background of every major domestic policy dispute this year. Ranked as the 9th richest men in America, the Koch brothers sit at the helm of Koch Industries, a massive privately owned conglomerate of manufacturing, oil, gas, and timber interests. They are best known for their wealth, as well as for their generous contributions to the arts, cancer research, and the Smithsonian Institute. But David and Charles are also responsible for a vicious attack campaign aimed directly at obstructing and killing progressive reform. Over the years, millions of dollars in Koch money has flowed to various right-wing think tanks, front groups, and publications. At the dawn of the Obama presidency, Koch groups quickly maneuvered to try to stop his first piece of signature legislation: the stimulus. The Koch-funded group “No Stimulus” launched television and radio ads deriding the recovery package as simply “pork” spending. The Cato Institute — founded by Charles — as well as other Koch-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, produced a blizzard of reports distorting the stimulus and calling for a return to Bush-style tax cuts to combat the recession. As their fronts were battling the stimulus, David’s Americans for Prosperity (AFP) spent the opening months of the Obama presidency placing calls and helping to organize the very first “tea party” protests. AFP, founded in 1984 by David and managed day to day by the astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, has spent much of the year mobilizing “tea party” opposition to health reform, clean energy legislation, and financial regulations…….  For the entire article, click here:

http://www.barbrastreisand.com/us/article/billionaires-behind-hate

The Koch brothers, like other wealthy folks in this country, will not be happy until all of the riches this country has produced are in their own pockets.  The Right touts Capitalism as the be all, end all of finance and business in this country.  What they fail to admit is that unfettered capitalism breeds greed, fraud and hate.  The Koch brothers or Koch Industries has been linked to many anti-progressive activities over the past year.  Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times published a blog on their involvement and was contacted by a spokeswoman from Koch Industries.  She promised him she would provide proof of their non-involvement in these activities, which never came.  David Koch presents himself as a champion of science, yet has done more to undermine the public’s understanding of climate change science than any other person in this country.  The recent campaign that charges a set of hacked emails somehow unravels the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring, according to The Progress Report, can be traced back to Koch Foundations.

Much of the opposition to Healthcare Reform can be traced back to Koch Industries as well.  They funded Patients United to blanket the country with ads distorting the provisions of the bill.  They have been behind the organization of the Teabagger movement.  Koch Industries is a major contributor to pollution across this country via their timber, gas and oil industries.  They are believed to be behind the move to push this country to the far right since the 1950’s with their founding of The John Birch Society.  God only knows what else these brothers have concocted on their road to greed and lining their own pockets.

I wonder, when will the people of this country sit up and take heed?  The middle class is being destroyed and instead of Americans standing up together, corporate interests are using our fellow citizens to further their own agenda.  Where, along the way to fullfilling our dreams, did Americans decide to bury their heads in the sand?  Is there a way to unite middle class Americans in one cause, the survival of our very liveliehood?  I still hold out hope that there is a way.

Categories: Featured, The Economy

Written by SueInCa

I am a soon to be 59 Nana to Anthony who is 11. I live in Benicia CA with my husband and Shih Tsu. I worked in Banking and the Financial Industry for 24 years in Fraud, Risk Management, Account Management, Program Management, Project Management and Customer Service. I was a Fraud Investigator for Credit Card and Merchant Business and investigated internal fraud and responded to Bank robberies. I was also management in most of these positions. Now I am content to find a part time job where I am just a worker bee, no more corporate BS for this gal. I also make jewelry. I can spend hours in a bead shop just touching all the fine baubles. Only another beader would understand that one.

32 Responses so far.

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  1. KevenSeven says:

    I got one word for you:

    Plutocrats.

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck ’em.

  2. BigDogMom says:

    Sue great post…I did some snooping and found these two links showing the Koch brothers foundations that are heavily involved with conservative politics.

    http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency/
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Koch_Family_Foundations

    I think these guys are also connected to C-Street and the “Family”, I can’t remember, I gave my copy of “The Family” to my Father-in-Law.

    They’re antics fall right in with this group, in fact some of the gifts they have given from their foundation are connected to C-Street groups.

    • SueInCa says:

      thanks, Bito has an idea. he is going to email Rachel Maddow/Think Progress and see if they have built any kind of database to connect these types of guys and what they do in the background. I have thought and tried over and over to start one but it is a hefty job. It would be nice to partner with other progressives to track this for news and fact check purposes.

  3. escribacat says:

    With Americans like these guys, who needs enemies?

  4. nellie says:

    I read this article this morning at AlterNet and was going to post something about it. I’m glad you beat me to it!

    This article gets my blood boiling. And not so much at these guys as at the progressive movement. I never see any push back against troublemakers like this. Instead, progressives go after the president or throw accusations at members of congress.

    Not that congress doesn’t deserve our feedback. But there’s a productive and unproductive way to go about things. Congress needs our phone calls and letters, faxes and postcards — postcards supposedly being the best way to lobby congress because members can take postcards to the floor and cards don’t get the same level of screening that letters do.

    ANYWAY, instead of reading headlines in every progressive site on the net about how the public option is being killed or is dead or some other morbid analogy — why don’t we see some push back against folks like this? Why not run some television ads to show exactly who is behind the misinformation and what they have to gain form everyone else’s losses? Here were are at the END of the process, with the wrinkles pretty much worked out and all the screaming and shouting behind us, and NOW is the time we find out about these guys.

    I think progressives have a lot of organizing to do. And a lot of strategic thinking to do. We can do better. And we need to do better if we’re ever going to make the kind of changes that are needed.

    • bitohistory says:

      Nellie, Sue, When I read about how much money is being spent against any of the Dem proposals it makes me wonder how the HC Bill even got to the floor. Millions of dollars a DAY. There are so many groups that I don;t know if anyone has a full list. And they are just clever enough to fool many with their names.I started a list a few months ago of the ones I knew of, but what of the ones that fly under the radar and just pay lobbyists? Again nelli, our pets: campaign finance reform and corporate person hood.

      • boomer1949 says:

        Lobbying should be against the law. Most of these old goats wouldn’t stand a chance on their own merits. Exception, “my Sen. Sherrod Brown who is a really cool guy and NOT an old goat.

      • SueInCa says:

        I too tried that Bito, it is boggling. You can do a “whois” on a website and start tracking that way. There are just too many evil forces in this country

      • nellie says:

        I’m singing that chorus with you, Bito.

        Although I see this as a little different. These people are spending money on ads, organizing protest groups, feeding talking points to conservative radio via conservative think tanks. I don’t know that campaign finance reform — or even eliminating corporate personhood — would diminish the influence of the Koch brothers.

        This seems to be a public relations/media issue. These guys should have been called out months ago. And even now, the lead town crier of outrage — HP — prints nothing about them.

        I want progressives to learn to use convincing sound bites, push back, framing, and talking points. I want us to have a real media presence, a real impact on the NEWS. We have a ways to go.

    • SueInCa says:

      I wonder, can we start our own grassroots? I think this website is an excellent start.

  5. Hallucinocynic says:

    Good post. One correction, however:

    The Koch Brothers weren’t founders of the JBS. Their dad, Fred, was. But they have carried on his anti-humanist, pro-corporatist legacy.

    The Kochs aren’t capitalists, they are oligarchists who support selective capitalism; that is, a market place controlled by a select few. They represent the same class of robber barons who were the target of the Sherman Anti-trust act over a hundred years ago. The most amazing thing to me is that they can claim support from so many people that they actively hurt.

  6. bitohistory says:

    Sue, I read some of this at Think Progress/Wonk Room, glad you posted this story.
    This family are some real jewels of the crown of the RW. Birchers, Cato, Heritage……and who knows what else they support. Being a privately held company they could have their fingers in a lot of things
    Good Job.

    • SueInCa says:

      Thanks, I was nervous about posting something, but took the plunge ha ha. Whoever added the Pic, thank you.

      • escribacat says:

        I’m glad you did, Sue. I’ve never heard of these guys before, though I’ve heard of Cato and Heritage Foundation. The idea that so much trouble could be caused by one family of ultra-rich guys is really galling.

      • boomer1949 says:

        Thanks for the post. Who knew? Why is it that I feel so helpless against people like this. Do they hope we’ll get tired and go away?

        As far as a picture, don’t feel bad. I’ve forgotten twice already and someone has graciously added them.

      • AdLib says:

        My pleasure and thanks for the very enlightening post!

        Congrats on your first post, excellent choice!


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