It couldn’t have been a more successful day for all of the fantastic organizations and people participating and for Americans who oppose those who are trying to buy this democracy away from the majority.

Here are four videos, they will play one after the other or you can click on the arrows to advance to the next one:

And here are a series of photos, click on them to advance to the next:

[portfolio_slideshow]

I mentioned a number of the specifics about the event in my Live Blog yesterday so I will try to avoid redundancy…let me repeat that…

Before getting to an overview, I will mention one thing that was troubling and validating. While we were protesting in front of the hotel, there was a group of what seemed to be Koch Klan attendees standing in front of the hotel, just watching us. There, safely behind squads of sheriffs in riot gear, they almost seemed to be trying to show us that they weren’t intimidated and that “the people” were just troublesome pests whose protests were gauche little things.

The fact that they could just stand there and watch over 1,000 people rallying against them and be so disconnected from what was really going on, made me think that if Marie Antoinette was around today, she might have attended this conference and been standing right there with them, similarly bewildered why, if they didn’t have bread, the other 99% didn’t just eat cheap beef tacos that didn’t have much beef in them. Andrew Breitbart was there, thinking he was so clever, skating on rollerblades (so he could get away quickly no doubt, the coward) from the hotel and up to female protesters from Code Pink (I guess he thought he could take them…man, he doesn’t know those Code Pink folks!) and grinning while tossing out put downs at them then skating away. Such bravery is rarely seen amongst Republicans. And still is. Meanwhile, from atop the hotel, federal agents and possibly snipers stood watching the crowd. At one point, a helicopter that had been circling all day zoomed down far lower than I would think was legal and buzzed the crowd. It was not marked as a news copter nor a police copter, I have no idea who was in it.

There were many creative folks there who had prepared clever signs and costumes. My daughter was with me and her favorite was the person in the polar bear suit addressing the climate change issue that the Koch’s pro-pollution campaigns are contributing to.

The picture of the polar bear and of the front of the hotel, with sheriff’s in riot gear, Koch guests watching us with disdain and federal agents (and snipers?) on the roof can be seen in the slideshow of photos above.

Despite the seriousness of this moment in American history, it was incredibly energizing and affirming to be with over 1,000 fellow concerned and conscientious citizens, who came from all over California and beyond, to stand up for the principle of American Democracy.

The disappointment and futility that some folks feel out there due to Obama’s not addressing some issues in the way they had hoped or in response to the results of last November’s election is understandable but it was nowhere to be found yesterday, which was about the future.

What this successful action reminds us of is that we can come together and accomplish what we dedicate ourselves to. Dozens of organizations and unions with their own focuses and priorities, came together and united to create in a scant 3 weeks, a well-attended and organized event that earned national news coverage and exposed to many who had never heard of them, the Kochs, their agenda and their cronies.

Many things could have undermined this effort. Egos, apathy, negativism that it simply could not be done but dedication and conscience were what were exhibited. Throughout my involvement in this I witnessed, in each and every discussion and decision made between such a diverse coalition of extraordinary and strong-willed people, a model of how many people can indeed work positively as a team on the goal that has brought them together.

This should mean something to every thoughtful person out there. Yes, there are destructive forces out there that have great wealth and power but in a democracy, when good people have the will to unite and accomplish something, there is a re-taking of power. It may not be as dramatic as what is going on in Egypt right now but it is very meaningful and a valuable reminder of the power there is in unity.

Some may say, “So what, you had a protest, got some press but the Kochs still have all their billions and they still successfully held their meeting to plot how to take greater control of our democracy and economy.” That would be true. But the impact of this protest, which is just the kick off to an ongoing national campaign, is that they no longer have the cloak of invisibility they had previously.

Why does this matter, how does exposing the Kochs to more and more people take any power away from them? How was yesterday a “win” for the other 99%? Consider this, if you learned that Sarah Palin was helping to finance the campaign of a candidate or a state proposition, how might that influence your view of that candidate or initiative?

If the Kochs can be made “popular” enough for people to know who they are and what they have been up to, how might a moderate voter view a political ad or an astroturf “grass roots” group when they learn that the Kochs financed it?

Infamy is not the best advertisement for a product. By publicizing and exposing the Kochs, the Citizens United ruling loses some of its power. Though it will take work on our side, if they can be tied to the Congressional seats and laws they try to buy, their money becomes tainted along with whatever it’s spent on.

So, what happened yesterday was one small step forward in undermining the CU ruling and the domination over our country that’s sought by the Kochs. There may be those who feel that only big steps get one to where one wants to go but small steps in the right direction still move one closer to one’s destination.

It is time to look at physically taking action as a necessary component of empowering ourselves in our democracy. Blogging to get ideas and information out, to come together with others to explore issues and solutions are important ingredients in the mix, as are signing petitions, boycotting products and talking with people one knows. However, in today’s America, with the way our technology and society press us into comfort in our homes and routines, we need to find the resolve to break through all of that and get out of our homes and into the streets. As a community, as a society, as The People of this nation.

Though Twitter, Facebook and emails have played a meaningful role in the revolt for democracy in Egypt, we can all imagine how powerful this revolt would have been if instead of taking to the streets, Egyptians clicked on petitions to sign them and Tweeted to their friends, “We really should take our democracy back, don’t ya think?”.

The last thing that the Kochs and their ilk want is to awaken the sleeping giant, the majority in this nation, to get up out of their La-Z-Boys and throw off their Snuggies. What that 1% of Americans, who have inordinate power and influence over our democracy are afraid of is only one thing…coming out of their homes to find the 99% in the streets.

Much of the campaign of these plutocrats is purposely designed to keep us divided, as long as we are, they are free to do as they please. They whip up social issues, religious issues, hatred of others because they are a different race or unemployed or from a different part of the country. Divided, we fall.

What we can do though is choose not to participate in this game of division because just by playing, we lose and they win. We can be aggressive about confronting the Kochs and Co. but we need to be just as aggressive about seeking unity with as many fellow Americans as we can. Even a simple majority of Americans who are united would have more power than the Kochs and their crew, let alone a far bigger majority.

So, in the aftermath of yesterday’s successful action, there should be enthusiasm about the values we share and our ability to step up in the fight we’re in. There should be a consideration of what our personal responsibility is to continue and win this fight, what contributions of time, energy, resources and sacrifices of comfort should be made to physically participate in our democracy. And, those of us who are parents should consider how much more other generations sacrificed to give us the comfort we have today…and that, if the future under the Kochs is to take away much of that from our children and their children, is putting down the tv remote or the computer mouse to stand against them the least we should expect from ourselves?

The conflict is engaged, we are stronger than they are if we come together but can we? As yesterday proved, I’d say yes we can.

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Chernynkaya
Member

BREAKING NEWS! Maddow just reported that Common Cause is investigating Clarence Thomas FOUR DAY visit at the Koch meeting last year and should have recused himself from Citizens United. She said more investigations to come.

Advocacy Group Says Justices May Have Conflict in Campaign Finance Cases

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/us/politics/20koch.html

escribacat
Member

Wouldn’t that be something to permanently “recuse” that fella? (I still say Anita Hill would have made a better justice)

KB723
Guest
KB723

Cher I just saw that myself. p.s. I really Dig your New Av. 😎

Abbyrose86
Member

NICE….I want more than a go no where investigation though….

Chernynkaya
Member

Me too Abby–but nothing will happen WITHOUT an investigation. Although, only one Justice has ever been impeached and it was for something ridiculously blatant. I forget what it was.

bito
Member

Common Cause suddenly uncommonly forceful in fighting Koch Industries

Common Cause has long been something of a nerd among the jocks. While other activists staged loud demonstrations and nervy stunts, the 40-year-old good-government group was more likely to hold a forum on filibuster reform or the vagaries of redistricting.But suddenly Common Cause is manning the barricades, leading a rowdy campaign by liberal groups decrying the outsized role of big money in U.S. politics. [….}
“It’s really getting back to our roots,” Edgar said. “We believe this is a very dangerous moment, where democracy is really at a crossroads.”

He added: “We’re going to continue to focus on the Supreme Court, particularly those who want to politicize the Supreme Court. And we’re going to continue to use the Koch brothers as the poster children for a group of people who want to move our democracy toward a plutocracy.”

Conservative critics, however, call the campaign shrill and unfair. Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, which is chaired by David Koch, called the efforts a “fundraising ploy” and said Common Cause is hurting its mission by demonizing opponents.

H/T Common Cause

Chernynkaya
Member

7 Ways the Koch Bros. Benefit from Corporate Welfare

1. SOCIALIST SHIPBUILDING
2. VENEZUELAN FERTILIZER
3. RANCHING
4. LOGGING
5. ETHANOL
6. EMINENT DOMAIN
7. STALIN

http://www.observer.com/2010/daily-transom/how-libertarian-koch-bros-benefit-corporate-welfare

Chernynkaya
Member

Jonathan Chait
Problem: You’re Viewed As Sinister Moguls. Solution: Hired Goons

😆

If those hired goons don’t dispel the image of the Kochs as sinister moguls, I don’t know what will.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/82651/problem-youre-viewed-sinister-moguls-solution-hired-goons
—————–

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:

The Kochs already have a reputation for being overly-secretive and heavy-handed in their tactics. I don’t imagine threatening a journalist while he waited in line at a hotel cafe is going to help.

——————-

American Museum of Natural History’s David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing.
How fitting.

Somebody wrote that maybe Frank Gaffeny should have exposed the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood was at the meeting in Rancho Mirage.

Also, nice piece from Natural Resources Defense Fund:
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/tspencer/koch_brothers_hire_pr_firm_to.html

boomer1949
Member

I was searching the Internets for Julia Koch’s age(she is now 47ish and he is 13 years her senior, I think?) and found this from New York Magazine. It was written/published last summer.

New York Magazine Profile of David Koch

Billionaire philanthropist David Koch is in his Madison Avenue office showing me one of his more unusual possessions, a mechanical-looking doodad on the coffee table next to the couch. “This is a plastic version of my artificial knees,” he says. “If you spent as many years as I did begging girls for favors, you’d have bad knees, too.” The 70-year-old Koch actually wore out his knees playing basketball. Until recently, he held the record for most points scored in a single game at M.I.T.: 41. “I played basketball when you could be white and be good,” he says. Koch has a seemingly limitless storehouse of such Elks club–inflected jokes, which are often followed by his loud, wheezy honk of a laugh. Koch is six foot five, with unusually long arms to match. Although the shirt he’s wearing is custom-made and his tie is Hermès (a gift from his late friend Winston Churchill Jr.), he could readily be mistaken for a mid-level executive at a large company in his native Kansas.

The Billionaire’s Party

bito
Member

David Koch is one of New York City’s richest residents. The oil heir is worth $17.5 billion according to Forbes.

A longtime bachelor, Koch finally settled down at the age of 55, marrying Julia Flesher—a 32-year-old fashion assistant he met on a blind date—in May 1996. In 2003, the couple moved out of an apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue (they eventually sold the pad to hedge funder Glenn Dubin) and into a $17 million apartment at 740 Park. (Their neighbors include David Ganek, John Thain, Kent Swig, and Steve Schwarzman.) The Koches have three kids and live with Julia’s mother and three full-time nannies. They also have homes in Southampton and Palm Beach.

Abbyrose86
Member

Oh goodness gracious…when are these old rich guys going to admit, the only reason a young hottie marries them is for their money??? Seriously…their delusions amaze me.

boomer1949
Member

Trophy children too? Good Lord, why even have them?

SueInCa
Member

Adlib

Thanks for the reminder. I get so impatient with the state of our political and corporate world that I sometimes say, what the hell? What can I do? I am just one person…….and like you said go back to typing in the comment section of the blog I am currently reading. I saw Cher’s comment below about how Sunday took her back to her days(most likely in SF) when she was part of that action and how good it felt and how Sunday brought it all back.

Instead of whining about how we participated “back then” it is time to participate in the here and now. Until people stand up, we won’t have a movement similar to the 60’s. Thanks for reminding us all of that fact.

choicelady
Member

Next time, Sue – you and I will drive together. I couldn’t leave early enough this time and had to be back mid-day MOnday, but NEXT time…!!!!

What was so energizing about this rally (and I think it was closer to 2000 people at its peak) was the age diversity. Lots of younger people, lots of “Vietnam reruns” such as I. That was far less true in the 60s, though I do remember marching with a woman in her 70s even then.

What will it take to get people off their computer chairs and out to take action? Rallies and marches definitely – but demanding from their elected officials accountability to us? Another older activist has a button I have pinned to my office wall:

Don’t Whine! Organize!

It’s my mantra. Those who prefer to gripe but do nothing are my biggest fear. That is how we lose big time. I don’t know where the activism went. It exists in pockets but not as it did forty years ago. However, this time we have more sense (I think) than we did in the 60s and 70s about excluding people such as blue collar folks who don’t fit our tests of purity on every issue. Anyone who does not understand that even white blue collar workers are in the same boat with the rest of us has really missed the point. It’s all of us or it’s none of us.

I hope Sunday was the start, not the end. I would LOVE to wipe that bored indifference off Ms. Koch’s face. She is an American who cares nothing for her nation and its people, only for what it channels into her coffers.

I would recommend everyone dig up a copy of psychologist Robert Coles’ great book, “Children of Privilege” – the rich folks’ creation of a class of kids who know nothing of the rest of us and thus care nothing about the rest of us. Coles argues that unlike our liberal analysis that these folks act out of a sense of inferiority, they in fact act from an embedded sense of superiority they’ve been taught from birth. That cannot be so easily cracked.

Even some conservatives can be taught compassion and justice as beginning points for political discussions. Not everything can or must be reduced to commodities and acquisition. Democracy, if it’s to matter and be sustained, has to begin with equality and proceed on from there. If we don’t believe in that, then we do not value democracy at all, and that is the ruination of America.

SueInCa
Member

Joe Hill said, Don’t waste any time mourning….Organize, prior to his execution. And yes, he was framed.

SueInCa
Member

CL
thanks for your comments. I will definitely get that book and read it. NEXT time, we drive together……………ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darellee
Member
Darellee
SueInCa
Member

Darellee
Welcome to the Planet.

Darellee
Member
Darellee

thanks, SueInCA

Chernynkaya
Member

Hi Darellee– thanks! I’m not on FB and can’t see them. Is there another way to view?

Darellee
Member
Darellee

hi Chernynkaya, I can email you the photos if you send your email address to me at: (there are 15 low pixel photos)
[email protected]

I think you’ll like them,

All good things,

Darellee

kesmarn
Admin

Thanks and welcome to the Planet, Darellee!

Darellee
Member
Darellee

thanks, Kesmarn

bito
Member

The blockade #Koch security erected to block film crews from recording GOP big $hots arriving @ PalmSprgs conf

http://plixi.com/p/73917415

kesmarn
Admin

Wouldn’t it have been much simpler to just issue them some clean white sheets, hoods and pointy hats to dress up in, and maintain their privacy at the same time?

bito
Member

k’es, you are bound and determined to force them to call you before Bachmann’s new HUAC hearings aren’t you? 😉

kesmarn
Admin

It’s on my bucket list, b’ito.

bito
Member

Somebody has to do this 😆 the short link to use is
http://j.mp/ejdgY4

Fantastic job, AdLib, C’Lady and Cher. Hope the Koch’s heard me yelling from AZ, if not thank you for being there and raising your voices against their attempt to make this theirs to pollute and control. Let this NOT be a one day event. We may not have millions of dollars, but we do have millions of voices!! Great day, They were heard. Thanks again.

Chernynkaya
Member

One last thought and then I’m outta here for the evening:

I actually thought that ridiculous show of force– sheriffs in riot gear, the self-important little men on the roof, the sheriff’s helicopter– was a sign of extreme unease. They were effin’ SCARED. We got their attention big time. If we were really inconsequential, they could have done with a few rent-a-cops or night watchmen.

At first, I was shocked when I saw those brownshirts. (and BTW, C’Lady was correct–they were decent fellows.)But you know, it also made me realize that we had power. Imagine the insult if they hadn’t even deigned to bother with security. THAT would have been a let-them-eat-cake moment. As it was, they gave us more power than I originally thought we had. And for that I am grateful.

Darellee
Member
Darellee

my parting shot to the goons was my chant…

the Riverside cops are people too
the Kochs are going to screw over you

actually got some laffs from a group of brown
shirts standing around, arms folded, legs apart,
looking sooooo official….

Peace,

Darellee

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Cher, I also found the show of force rather telling, they, the Koch Brothers, are definitely running scared and clearly do not like the light of day being shined on them. For years they have operated in the shadows and that is how they have became so successful at determining the direction of our Country, the curtain has been pulled back, now it is up to us to run them out-of-town.

Chernynkaya
Member

Beautiful, AdLib. Perfect. Brings tears to these old eyes. I have been reading about the protest on HP and On the Daily Beast. While all the blogs are miscounting the numbers– as C’Lady pointed out THERE WERE BUSLOADS OF AT LEAST 1500!– the comments from readers was so supportive! I saved a few from Daily Beast that I thought typified the comments:

Aslankitten
Heathen liberal scum trying to silence the voices of great American patriots like the koch brothers! As an educator in the great state of Texas, I learned that climate change was a myth perpetuated by American hating liberals, who put the life of bambi ahead of American business! It’s obvious that the Koch brothers would get no personal gain from trying to stop anti-american, anti-business environmental laws. The Koch brothers correctly see that the hoi polloi deserve no voice in government, because they are unqualified to participate in it. Damn that liberal scum for trying to ruin the pristine beauty of the Koch brothers private retreat…. They are great conservative minds, and rightly deserve to live in pristine beauty, a right that heathen liberal scum does not share. [snark]

dabouv
There is one fallacy argument that the right makes over and over. “It is their money, they earned it”. Sometimes that is the case. There are people who invented things, started companies, had a better idea. I don’t begrudge Steve Job’s $0.01 of his money. I remember a famous debate with VP candidate Cheney basically saying that his success (with Halliburton) had nothing to to with the govt. Really, wonder what percentage of his contracts were govt? Dont mistake what the Koch’s want, they don’t want a free market, they want crony capitalism. We have a hedge fund manager who has made 9 billion the last 2 years for what? Has he created anything? The biggest share of boom era profits went to the financial industry for what? The system is rigged, heads then win, tails you lose. They do poorly, they make money. The economy sucks, they have record profits. You do well, they do fabulous.

The energy industry exploits resources that are the peoples. I have no idea how to judge what is the fair amount they should earn, they definitely deserve compensation for their work, but one wonders how much is fair?

The other joke is that these people and anything they touch is grassroots. We don’t have an energy plan and have had 40 years of doing little and it is because of people like the Kochs.

This country needs a game changer and the two biggest areas that are achievable with today’s technology is drastically reducing our oil use (if gas were 6.00 gallon you’d see very different cars on the road..and I’d do it by taxing the fair value based on health costs and need for military to protect supply), more efficient homes, and more hybrids, electrics, and smaller efficient cars. I’d say that 1/2 of our national defense is because of oil. It is the only thing we aren’t self sufficient in. So by getting off our oil habit and not importing 2 billion/day and cutting defense by 1/2 (and still spending 3.5 times as much as the nearest country) we save 1 trillion a year.

Dontmakemelaugh
As a conservative I have no respect for those who pay lip service to limited government and free markets and then use big government to plunder the economy and future generations.

Dick Cheney is a fine example. While serving as Secretary of Defense he commissions a multi-million dollar study on how to outsource the US military and then leaves government to head a company that will feed at the trough of big government outsourcing. He also becomes a founding member of a Neocon think tank to lobby for vastly increased US military spending to project American power abroad under contract to those same corporations. And yes high on the list of Neocon priorities long before 9/11: a war to dispose of Saddam Hussein.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

Any coincidence that Rumsfeld, Wolfowich, Kristol and Liddy were fellow Neocons of the Project for a New American Century?

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

Ever wonder why we as a nation spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined are hard pressed to deploy 200,000 troops?

Jorgaba
*Shrug*

You need money to fight money. So what? The are protesting the pro-corporate and anti-environment assholery of the Kochs’ spending, and their shady attempts to hide it…they are not protesting the simple fact that the Kochs have money and spend it.

The only response from the Right was, “B-b-but, SOROS.”

It means so much to regain that activism and idealism of my youth! It is the ONLY antidote to ennui. Thanks to you and C’Lady and others here who got us off our butts.

bito
Member

Cher, those are some excellent comments, as a self proclaimed conservative, Jorgaba gets it, What a great comment. His (?) comment on what we spend on our military to just protect the oil interests was perfect. How much of the nations treasures and treasury will we have to spend for their interests, their livelihood, and yet they complain and work against paying taxes to protecect their interests? What we need is a President to declare that we need to find and use an alternative energy in the interest of national security–Oh, wait, Nixon did that, and Carter, and Clinton and Obama…….. Here’s a thought, what if we spent 10% of the defense budget on developing an alternative to fossil fuels. Think 70 bill would do the trick on a Manhattan type project? Oh wait, that may choke the #Kochs!!!

(again, I must ask, how many years does President Obama have to be in office before he accepted in spell check? Bugs me.)

edit: what does that /snark mean?

Chernynkaya
Member

Bito– you hit on that spellcheck thing too– boy, it really pisses me off.

I think /snark means it’s snark?

bito
Member

I think /snark means it’s snark?

😆