Monday, February 28, 2011

Conservatives – Leftist “Koch Habit” An Obsessive Illusion

It's a redistricting year, the Legislatures are in session, and, according to Mark Twain, no man's freedom or property is safe under such conditions.

Conspiracy theorists are out stalking the wilds for some explanation for all the hue and cry over collective bargaining, unions, health care reform, environmental regulation - and energy, clean, dirty, renewable or fossil finite - the worth of the dollar, and all that jazz.

In the “Church of the Poisoned Mind,” the political watchword is conservative equals greed of the corporate variety.

In the “Church of What's Happening Now,” the corporate story is all about taking lemons and making lemonade, creating jobs by selling it tax free and banking the profits to get the nation out of a deep, dark economic hole.

What do they have in common? According to the law handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, it's all about the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, no matter if one is liberal or conservative, corporate, religious, an individual, a human being, or a incorporation filing with the Secretary of State of one of the United States or an offshore country. We are all equally human, whether we live in a tarpaper shack on the railroad track, a high rise luxury condo in Manhattan, or reside in a filing cabinet in some state capitol or island tourist paradise.

Which theory is right? Both, it appears. The truth is, there is a dialogue going on, it's nationwide, and it's heating up red hot in the central Texas D/FW Metromess-to-Laredo NAFTA corridor.

Texas conservatives came out swinging against liberal estimations of a billionaire benefactor who has funded Tea Party and Americans For Prosperity rallies and programs, David Koch.

According to a Power Line Blog entry published today, “It started last summer with Jane Mayer's New Yorker article, 'The billionaire Koch brothers' war against Obama.' Now the battle of Wisconsin has given the occasion for the left's renewed assault on the Koch brothers.

“Yet the assault against the Koch brothers has virtually no truth in it. It is an ideological mugging akin to Barack Obama's assault on the Supreme Court's Citizen United opinion, with similar motives. It is a cast study in the application of Aliskyite (Saul Alinsky of the Industrial Areas Foundation, Chicago) tactics, intended to silence the opposition,”

Austin's Peggy Venable, state director of Americans For Prosperity, made the news when “The New Yorker” magazine profiled Mr. Koch, CEO of the energy conglomerate Koch Industries.

Ms. Venable hosted a July 4th weekend summit held at a “chilly hotel ballroom in Austin,” wrote Jane Mayer of the magazine. She said it was funded by none other than Mr. Koch.

A training session for 500 Tea Party activists, the event was advertised as a “populist uprising against vested corporate power.”

It consisted, according to Ms. Mayer's article, of “a series of speakers denouncing President Barack Obama.

“Peggy Venable...warned that Administration officials 'have a socialist vision for this country.'”

It's a very curious turn of events, to say the least, because in April 2009, Melissa Cohlmia, a Koch Industries spokesperson, said Americans For Prosperity is “an independent organization and Koch companies do not in any way direct their activities.”

Later, she made another statement, saying “No funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, or Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the Tea Parties.

Mr. Koch told “New York” magazine, “I've never been to a Tea Party event. No one representing the Tea Party has ever even approached me.”

Ms. Venable, who draws a salary from Americans For Prosperity and has worked for various Koch-funded political groups, said, “We love what the Tea Parties are doing, because that's how we are going to take back America! I was part of the Tea Party before it was cool!”

At the event, a young woman named Sybil West, who blogs at, was feted as a citizen leader of the summit and Blogger of the Year. She wrote in her blog that Obama is “Cokehead in Chief.”

Environmental regulation is the chief thorn in liberals' sides when it comes to the Kochs' ideas.

Though the Koch brothers are libertarians who support gay marriage, the legalization of drugs, a radical reduction in taxes, a reduction in defense spending, and other far right causes aimed at maximizing the freedom of the individual through a shrug of Atlas' shoulers, their ideas just don't satisfy liberal sentiments.

A statement from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries “one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. Ditto Greenpeace, which branded the company as “kingpin of climate science denial.”

In a report, “The New Yorker” writer, Ms. Mayer wrote, “from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid Exxon/Mobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies – from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program – that, in political circles, their idological network is known as Kochtopus.”

Koch Industries has been branded as “the Standard Oil of our time.”

The dialogue is just beginning.

Here's a sample of the conservative diatribe:

“What do Charles and David Koch, brothers who run the Kansas-based Koch Industries, have to do with Wisconsin's budget battle?

“Almost nothing, unless you occupy the left wing of the political system,” wrote John Hinderaker in today's Power Line Blog.

“There, you'll find a group of bloggers and commentators who are fixated on pinning the unrest in Wisconsin, and plenty of other supposedly terrible things happening in the country, on these two businessmen.”

Mr. Hinderaker went on to say that the Kochs contributed a mere $43,000 to the election campaign of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a figure that “represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the money that was spend on Wisconsin's 2010 gubernatorial campaign.”

He added that “...they also have a unique distinction: They are two of the very few billionaires in the country who actively contribute to libertarian and conservative causes. Consequently, many liberals have engaged in what can only be characterized as a vicious campaign to drive them out of public life.”

He discounts “the latest conspiracy theory” that holds that the Koch are part and parcel of a “provision authorizing the state to sell power plants it owns, with Koch Industries supposedly scheming to buy up cheap.”

Mr. Hinderaker attributed this conspiracy theory to “New York Times” writer Paul Krugman. The conservative blogger said “Krugman wrote on Thursday that 'there are enough suspicious minds out there that Koch Industries, owned by the billionaire brothers who are playing such a large role in Mr. Walker's anti-union push, felt compelled to issue a denial.”

“Never mind that the proposal has been around for years,” Mr. Hineraker countered, “that there is zero - absolutely no – evidence to support such a claim or that Koch Industries has said it has no interest in Wisconsin's power plants. For some, apparently, conspiracy theories trump reality.”

Well, all righty, then. Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story! No matter who is or is not on the ballot!



  1. If the Egyptian people can bring down a dictator after 30 years of police state rule, why can’t state employee unions bring down this Governor or at least start a Governor recall effort. This is the United States of America, re-learn how to do it yourself.

  2. When governmental-employee unions negotiate their pay, benefits, and all else, they do so with politicians. Politicians who are for the most part beneficiaries of the largesse of the unions. So, in fact, there is no one at the table to represent the taxpayers who must eventually pay for it all. What this fight is about is not about a one-time agreement to contribute to health plans and to retirement plans by union members but it is to establish a means for the voters to take out the hands of the politicians an easy way to buy union votes without any means of taxpayers having input about it. It is for that reason that FDR himself spoke out against unions of governmental employees. It goes even further than that to some of us. It goes to the heart of what government is about and for whom does it serve. If the actual reason for government is to benefit politicians and governmental employees, then it is time to take the muskets off the wall and get on with the fight. No one loves laws and regulations more than governmental employees, not even politicians. Each time a regulation or law is passed it gives some governmental employee another reason to justify his job and gives that employee just a bit more control over us. It is no wonder that the Democratic Party is the party of governmental employees and the party of elitists who think they can regulate and
    legislate anything and everything. Last week Judge Gladys Kessler of the D.C. district court threw out another lawsuit against Obamacare and in her 62 page opinion stated it was constitutional because, in her opinion, the Commerce Clause can regulate "mental activity, i.e. decision making." If hers was the final word, then many of us would work hard to make the rebellion in Libya look like a picnic. Fortunately it is not, but it is proof of the extent that politicians, judges, and governmental employees believe in their right to impose themselves on us and to take from us what is by Natural Law ours. Governmental employees, by their actions in supporting the Wisconsin unions, are finally showing the rest of us what they are about. And it is ugly beyond imagining.