mardi 22 mars 2011

It's Time for a Koch Block

or, Scott Not So Free.

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

"Your support during the election, it meant a ton. It made a difference and I can certainly use it again." - MA Senator Scott Brown to David Koch, March 4, 2011

The multibillionaire Koch brothers, people who have pumped more money into Republican and pro-corporate causes than most nations spend on defense combined, must like right wing politicians named Scott. We know they'd propped up Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's campaign to the tune of $43,000, now my junior senator Scott Brown was recently seen sucking up for a donation from David Koch. Last month, they'd chipped in $5,000 to Brown's campaign, according to their disclosure filings, and when Brown was running for office a little over a year ago, the Koch brothers were even more generous, dumping over $50,000 into his runoff campaign (that includes $20,000 in PAC money to the Republican Party Senate Campaign Committee.).

Not coincidentally, this Brown donation was just before the Supreme Court's now-infamous Citizen's United vs the FEC ruling.

The video above shows Brown, at MIT not during a fundraiser but at the dedication of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, begging for campaign contributions like a $25 hooker crashing someone's birthday party on rent day. That same day, in a fawning NY Times interview, Koch half-jokingly expressed the fear that Ian Murphy's prank on Scott Brown would hinder access to the politicians that he bribes.

This should have caused more of a stir than Koch whining about how he's been made the bad guy because he and his brother have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to not just conservative causes but anti liberal causes such as affordable health care and workplace and environmental safety to name just three. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the primary movers, shakers and financiers of the Tea Party movement that targeted Democratic lawmakers with harassment are white collar terrorists. But try convincing David or Charles Koch of that. And try convincing the "liberal" NY Times of that, as well. In the second paragraph, the dutifully prostrate Michael Cooper described Koch as merely "a billionaire who is perhaps best known for his family’s contributions to conservative causes."

Calling the Koch Brothers people who are "perhaps best known for (their) family’s contributions to conservative causes" is like calling Sauron a jewelry aficionado. And it's thanks to pseudo-liberal rags like the NY Times that the Koch brothers are best known for their largesse to conservative causes. Because if we had a real, non-corporately subsidized mainstream media, the Koch brothers would be called out as right wing, white collar terrorists that pollute the environment only slightly less than BP and are dedicated to smashing public unions and had financed smear campaigns against school teachers even in states in which they don't live.

And the reason why that Koch joke didn't get more play in the media and called out for what it is is because in today's day and age, a billionaire who'd pumped tens of thousands of petrodollars into an anti-progressive, anti-union candidate's campaign is supposed to get immediate access to their employees, don't you know.

To play Devil's advocate for a moment, the NY Times hasn't been entirely supine as last October they published an article exposing the Koch brothers' secret agenda not to mention past beneficiaries of their "generosity", including Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, two major movers behind the Citizen's United ruling 14 months ago.

So the obvious liberal kneejerk answer is to hit them where they're most sensitive: In their wallets. But that's easier said than done. The Koch brothers own many corporations and produce many products while polluting the environment (they're among the top ten polluters in the US, according to a Political Economy Research Institute study a year ago.). They own Georgia Pacific, a major paper producer as well as polluter. To boycott the Koch brothers' products would almost involve walking around with a dirty rectum, using sponges to wipe your countertops and printing documents on brown butcher's paper.

The Koch brothers will tell you, as David Koch said to Michael Cooper of the Times, that political activism is a mere hobby involving a mere bag o' shells and that they donate far more money to philanthropic causes. That may be true, as whole wings of natural science museums and entire cancer research facilities have the Koch brand name plastered all over them.

But being philanthropists and seeming to give back to the community is the tactic used by other billionaire criminals like Pablo Escobar, who built schools and hospitals where his drugs were respectively sold and treated in its aftermath.

The Koch brothers' financial "folderol" in the political sector is a matter of public record, but much of that money was given before Citizen's United was ruled on 14 months ago. Imagine how much more damage the Koch brothers can do in a new environment in which campaign finance "reform" is now officially a laughingstock and where they can pump untold billions into "conservative causes" and without having to file campaign finance disclosure forms.

The Koch brothers have all but declared war on the environment, education, worker safety, affordable health care, unions and who knows how many other causes and organizations that are necessary for a healthy democracy. We can start by boycotting their products but their very tentacular reach all but guarantees that wouldn't put a dent in their personal finances. We know we cannot trust the mainstream media to get and keep the word out about these white collar terrorists. If you but connect the dots, you will eventually draw a gigantic dollar sign crushing a stick figure.

As always when the system breaks down, it will come down to the citizenry so it will be up to us to execute this Koch block that is so necessary for the survival of our nation.

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