Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who Are The Kings of Corporatocracy Bankrolling and Manipulating Half-Wit Tea-baggers?

"I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country."
~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816

Their names are Koch (pronounced "Coke"), the third generation scions of Wichita-based Koch Industries, the largest privately-held corporation in America. While their wealth began with oil (and still provides a giant share of their billions), they are the owners of such familiar brands as Northern tissue, Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups and Vanity Fair napkins. Their held companies have also been frequently named in various incidences of industrial water and air pollution.

With person
al wealth valued (each) at somewhere around 14 or 15 billion dollars (putting them somewhere around the 19th richest people on the planet), the philanthropic arm of their privately held mega-corporation, ensconced in three Koch Family Foundations, is used in ways largely byzantine and secretive to pursue a hard right-wing, corporatist agenda that ultimately serves their selfish interests.

In what follows a great family tradition (afterall, Papa Fred, from whom these self-espoused "self-made" men inherited their initial fortune, was one of the founders of the John Birch Society in 1958), the Koch Brothers have pumped millions of dollars into mass-producing fake grass-roots organizations all across the country, including Patients United Now (anti-health care reform), Hot Air Tour (anti-global warming), Free Our Energy (pro-offshore drilling), No Stimulus (tried to kill Obama's economic recovery plan) and Save My Ballot Tour (tries to keep workers from joining unions), via Americans for Prosperity, their umbrella front factory. These pseudo NGOs manufacture all sorts of hoked-up studies, alarmist talking points, deceptive attack ads, divisive hate messages, celebrity and religious endorsers, and a menagerie of media stunts, all meant to stymie any progressive legislation that would inconvenience their corporate agenda. Most recently, they are pouring millions into an effort to kill California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) via a ballot proposition. And David Koch made a $15 million dollar gift to the Smithsonian Institution to fund a disingenuous display on climate change that whitewashes its industrial causes and devastating effects - in essence, more than flirting with junk science. And this is our National Museum of Natural History and science!

And it is Americans For Prosperity Foundation that bankrolled Glenn Beck's theater of the absurd tea bagger love fest two weeks ago in DC. While Charles Koch quietly minds the store at Koch Industries HQ in Wichita, the younger and flashier former playboy David lives high on the hog in New York City, where he has become something of a high-rolling patron of the arts and likes to deny any connection to the Tea Party.

Before Koch Bros. partner-in-slime Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation began providing a daily entourage of televised right wing enablers with the common touch, Charles Koch started the Cato Institute in 1977, the intellectual arm of libertarian corporatist blather.

While there are clearly some Tea Party members who applaud the Libertarian goals of ending all corporate regulation, and dismantling Social Security, Medi
care and Medicaid, the vast majority of tea baggers are just ill-informed, easy to manipulate nitwits. They are utterly clueless to how they are being used to create an America that they probably would not want to live in. Blind them with religion, mesmerize them with televised ideological propaganda masquerading as fact, and like Pavlov's dogs, they will rally at your will to cut their own throats.

Now, someone try and "refudiate" that.

Know thine enemy; a Koch Brothers Bibliography:

Jane Mayers's New Yorker article: "Covert operations: the billionaire brothers who are waging a a war against Obama."

Yasha Levine's New York Observer article "7 Ways the Koch Bros. benefit from corporate welfare."

Jim Hightower: "Two Multibillionaire Brothers Are Remaking America for Their Own Benefit"

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