Friday, February 25, 2011

A Short set of Primers on the Koch Brothers of Kansas--peruse these suggested links!


By Kevin Stoda

I was watching the Democracy Now Program (on Thursday Feb. 24) concerning the Unholy Alliance of Koch Brothers and the Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin—and was surprised at the implication from the DN interview that the Koch brothers are from California. Of course, Koch Industries and the Koch family are from Kansas.

Koch Industries has its headquarters in Wichita. By the way, in 2006 Koch Industries was already valued at nearly 100 billion dollars. Because Koch Industries apparently doesn’t pay all its taxes nor declare some of its income, it is not clear how much the firm is worth today. “Charles and David H. Koch each own 42% of Koch Industries, and Charles has stated that the company will publicly offer shares "literally over my dead body". Finally, I should note that only Cargill corporation is a wealthier privately owned conglomerate in the USA.

In a now-infamous spoof of one of the Koch Brothers, by blogger Ian Murphy who “revealed he had impersonated David Koch in a recorded phone conversation with an unsuspecting Walker” on Wednesday of this week, Ian Murphey [alias David Koch] invites Governor Walker to California saying “Well, I’ll you what, Scott. Once you crush these bastards [the protestors and unions], I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”
California isn’t anywhere near Kansas—therefore--I reckon’ or suggest you’all need to read up more on the Koch Brothers and Kansas sometime.

Here are a few articles or primers for you Koch-neophytes:
“Billionaire Brothers Out to Destroy Progressivism”
“Hightower: Two Billionaire Brothers [from Kansas] are Remaking America for their Own Benefit”
‘The Brothers Koch: Rich, Political, and Playing to Win”

“The Koch Brothers are Buying Up Kansas”
“The Koch Brothers: a statewide and nationwide embarrassment for Kansas and the country”
“Koch Bros. behind Dangerous ‘Oil Sands’ Pipeline”




Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Is Senator Jerry Moran a victim of Psy-Ops from Afghanistan Lt. General Caldwell or from the Koch Brothers?

5:54 AM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

How Screwing Unions Screws the Entire Middle Class

In 2008, a liberal Democrat was elected president. Landslide votes gave Democrats huge congressional majorities. Eight years of war and scandal and George W. Bush had stigmatized the Republican Party almost beyond redemption. A global financial crisis had discredited the disciples of free-market fundamentalism, and Americans were ready for serious change.

Or so it seemed. But two years later, Wall Street is back to earning record profits, and conservatives are triumphant. To understand why this happened, it’s not enough to examine polls and tea parties and the makeup of Barack Obama’s economic team. You have to understand how we fell so short, and what we rightfully should have expected from Obama’s election. And you have to understand two crucial things about American politics.

The first is this: Income inequality has grown dramatically since the mid-’70s—far more in the US than in most advanced countries—and the gap is only partly related to college grads outperforming high-school grads. Rather, the bulk of our growing inequality has been a product of skyrocketing incomes among the richest 1 percent and—even more dramatically—among the top 0.1 percent. It has, in other words, been CEOs and Wall Street traders at the very tippy-top who are hoovering up vast sums of money from everyone, even those who by ordinary standards are pretty well off.

Second, GOP politicians don’t care much about voters with moderate incomes. Maybe that’s not a surprise. But this should be: Democratic senators don’t respond to the desires of these voters, either. At all.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Speaking of the Kochs...
Koch Industries Inc. and its employees and subsidiaries spent $1.2 million in the last election cycle to elect Republican governors who are now trying to take away bargaining rights of state workers, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Washington state disclosure law
The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to hear a conservative organization’s challenge of Washington state’s law requiring campaign donors to be identified. Human Life of Washington sued over the law, claiming it violated the First Amendment. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the state, saying donors should be identified.

Visit to learn more!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Stunning Statistics of the Week:

* $2.63 million: Amount the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee brought in last month, breaking its own fundraising record for the first month of an election cycle
* $200,000: The National Republican Senatorial Committee brought in this much more than its Democratic counterpart in January
* 23: Number of seats the Dems must defend in 2012
* 10: Number of seats the Republicans must defend in 2012

American Petroleum Institute creates PAC to back candidates
The powerful American Petroleum Institute, which historically has relied on lobbying to throw its weight around Washington, D.C., is going to start backing political candidates via a new political action committee. API spent more than $6.7 million on lobbying last year.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

In ever-growing arms race, Democrats are building Super PAC
High-level Democrats are creating Majority PAC designed to be a super-sized political action committee (PAC) that can raise unlimited amounts of money to support and attack candidates and thereby influence Senate races in 2010. It will go toe-to-toe with the Patriot Majority PAC, a similar Republican third-party spending vehicle.

Mark your calendars for March 1
On Tuesday, The Story of Stuff Project will release “The Story of Citizens United,” an eight-minute animated video that will explain clearly the issues around the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and why we need a constitutional amendment to overturn it. The decision gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited amounts of money to sway elections. Look for our email Tuesday with a link to watch the movie!

In wake of last year’s flap, Target changes political donation policy
Target, which got into hot water last year over a political donation to a pro-business group that backed an anti-gay gubernatorial candidate, is changing the way it handles political donations. From now on, a policy committee will review proposed donations to determine if they advance issues that are important to the company’s business. The reaction of customers? Too late, said one woman who tore up her Target card in front of managers.

Crossroads GPS launches radio ads
Crossroads GPS, one of the groups co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, ran radio ads this week in nearly two dozen House districts. The idea was to influence the budget debate. The ads targeted 12 Democrats who opposed a bill that would keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year but require major spending cuts, and lauded 10 Republicans who voted for the bill.

White House’s Daley and Plouffe disclose details on corporate ties
The latest financial disclosure forms show that William Daley, the new White House chief of staff, and David Plouffe, tapped to be a senior advisor, made a good chunk of change from companies they are in a position to help. Plouffe did consulting work for Boeing and General Electric, while Daley made $8.7 million in his job at JP Morgan Chase.

Prank may get Wisconsin governor in legal trouble
What began as a prank — a journalist called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and pretended to be conservative billionaire David Koch — may get the governor in legal trouble. In the conversation, Walker discussed the need for GOP lawmakers in swing areas to get support for his budget bill. Public Campaign Action Fund said the conversation raises questions of whether coordination was going on, which is a no-no.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Tell Democratic Leadership: Don't cave to Republican extremists on the budget.
No more weak backroom deals!
Take action!

"Democratic Leadership: Don't cave and cut a backroom deal with Republican extremists on the budget."

Take action now!

Dear Kevin,

It's breathtaking to think that the Republicans would risk a government shutdown because Democrats won't unilaterally capitulate to their demands for concessions in some of the most intractable ideological wars of our time.

But last week the House passed and sent to the Senate for consideration an extremist's wish list under the guise of the "Continuing Resolution." The Continuing Resolution is a must-pass bill that is necessary to maintain funding for the federal government while Congress debates the 2011 budget.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

Even worse, the Huffington Post reports that Democratic leadership and key Appropriations Committee staffers met yesterday to identify cuts in social spending drastic enough to appease Republican demands for devastating spending reductions.1

Tell Democratic Leadership: Stand your ground against Republican extremism. Don't cave and cut a backroom deal on the budget. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Democrats must stand their ground. But progressive champions in the Senate won't be able to fight if their leadership preemptively cuts a deal with Republicans. Unfortunately, such a deal may already be underway.

If a Continuing Resolution isn't passed by March 4, the government will shut down. Yet the Republicans have shown no willingness to compromise on any of their extreme demands including devastating cuts to Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the EPA.

Democrats now have two choices: Stand their ground or cave to this extremism to avoid the government shutdown that Republicans are forcing.

Tell Democratic Leadership: Stand your ground against Republican extremism. Don't cave and cut a backroom deal with Republican extremists on the budget. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

If Democrats continue to cave to Republican extremists, it will only embolden the rightwing to launch even more radical attacks against progressives, because Republicans have learned, when they don't compromise, they win.

We've seen it in Wisconsin where the Republican governor turned a budget surplus into a deficit with giveaways to corporations and millionaires, and then used the completely predictable budget deficit that resulted to bludgeon the public employee unions and diminish the power of the progressive base in his state. And when Unions offered to take benefit cuts, Walker said no, because his attack isn't really about balancing budgets, it's about breaking the public employee unions.

And now we're hurtling towards total disaster in Washington D.C., because Republicans are practicing the same tactics, holding the needs of everyday Americans hostage with their threats of forcing a government shutdown. Intoxicated with power and propelled by a Tea Party base, they are willing let the American people twist in the wind if Senate Democrats don't agree to their increasingly extreme wish list of demands.

It's the logical result of a history of caving by Democrats. Time and time again, Republicans have practiced brinkmanship and the Democrats have been the first ones to blink — preemptively caving on a range of issues from climate to the public option to Bush tax cuts for millionaires. Not surprisingly, that behavior has only emboldened the Republicans to raise the stakes even more.

Tell Sens. Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durban and Pres. Obama: It's time to stop preemptively caving without a fight. Don't cut a backroom deal with Republican extremists who are threatening to shut down the government. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

As you may have noticed, things aren't working out quite as Governor Walker planned in Wisconsin. And now the politicians in Washington DC should take a page from Wisconsin's playbook. Tens of thousands of protesters have rallied behind nurses, teachers and other public employees. And the politicians are following the people's lead with 14 Democrats in the state senate fleeing the state to deny the governor the quorum he needs to pass his radical agenda.

This is the kind of leadership we need in the U.S. Senate. But according to the Huffington Post, Democratic leadership is already busy caving to Republicans behind closed doors.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

The Continuing Resolution passed by the House is not a serious attempt to address our budget. Republicans have hijacked a bill to fund the operation of government and attached their extremist wish list of cuts meant to serve their personal ideology, not address the real needs of the American people. For example, the Republicans sought to defund Planned Parenthood by denying Title X funding that currently enables millions of women to obtain birth control, cancer screenings, HIV tests, and other lifesaving care.

And that is just one of any number of deeply unpopular items that the Republicans could never force through the Senate or overcome a presidential veto of without being attached to "must pass" legislation like the Continuing Resolution.

This is not the end game, it's just the beginning. The Republicans will have multiple opportunities to hold the budget hostage to their extremist demands. After the Continuing Resolution comes the fight over the debt ceiling and then 2011 budget process starts. Republicans are refusing to negotiate in good faith because they are confident that their utter intransigence will pay off — as it has in practically every single significant fight during the Obama administration. If we don't draw the line now, Republican demands will only become more radical in these successive fights.

Tell Sens. Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durban and Pres. Obama: It's time to stop preemptively caving without a fight. Don't cut a backroom deal with Republican extremists who are threatening to shut down the government.

The time is now to draw the line. We can't continue to let the Republicans hold the needs of the American people hostage to their increasingly extreme rightwing wish list. Wisconsin has shown us what can happen when Democrats fight back. Join us in putting Democratic leadership in the Senate — Sens. Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin — and President Obama on notice: Don't sell us out before we have get the chance to fight.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Senate Democrats Meet To Find More Cuts For Long-Term Funding Deal With GOP," The Huffington Post, February 24th, 2011

12:43 PM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

The Kochs Versus Main Street

Koch Industries, the private company of the billionaire Koch brothers Charles and David, is an oil and gas, chemicals, cattle, forestry, and synthetics giant — and also a major force for punishing Main Street Americans. Charles and David Koch (pronounced “coke”) have directed many millions of their shared $43 billion net worth into a vast propaganda machine that’s corrupting American politics in order to reward their pollution-based enterprise. The Koch brothers have played an integral role in provoking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) notorious attempt to crush Wisconsin’s public sector unions. Koch Industries contributed $43,000 to Walker’s gubernatorial campaign, and Koch political operatives encouraged the newly elected governor to take on the unions. Koch Industries is a major player in Wisconsin: Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines. Since the showdown began two weeks ago, Koch-funded front groups like Americans for Prosperity (AFP) — which is chaired by David Koch — and the American Legislative Exchange Council have organized counter-protests, prepped GOP lawmakers with anti-labor legislative talking points and even announced an anti-union advertising campaign. For now, however, the AFP message doesn’t appear to be resonating: Koch-backed pro-Walker demonstrations have had low attendance and were dwarfed by pro-union supporters in Madison this week.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Kevin Anthony Stoda said...

KNEE-CAPPING UNIONS : In a speech earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Americans For Prosperity-Michigan Executive Director Scott Hagerstrom revealed the true goal of his group and allies like Walker. Speaking at CPAC’s “Panel for Labor Policy,” Hagerstrom said that even more than cutting taxes and regulations, AFP really wants to “take the unions out at the knees .” Knee-capping free labor has long been a goal of the Koch brothers and their many front groups. In the run-up to the 2010 elections, the Kochs worked with other anti-labor billionaires, corporations and activists to fund conservative candidates and groups across the country. Now after viciously opposing pro-middle class policies for years, Koch Industries is trying to eliminate the only organizations which serve as a counterweight to its well-oiled corporate machine. Believing he was talking with David Koch, Walker told a prankster his plans to crush the unions. Koch’s AFP operatives are now working with “state officials in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania to urge them to duplicate Walker’s crusade in Wisconsin.”

PUSHING POISON : According to EPA databases, Koch businesses are huge polluters, emitting thousands of pounds of toxic pollutants. As soon as he got into office, Walker started cutting environmental regulations and appointed a Republican known for her disregard for environmental regulations to lead the Department of Natural Resources. In addition, Walker has stated his opposition to clean energy jobs policies that might draw workers away from Koch-owned interests. The Koch political poison has spread across the nation. Robocalls from Koch’s Americans for Prosperity group flooded New Hampshire in support of a bill that would repeal participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which has cut greenhouse pollution and created 1,130 jobs as a result of energy efficiency benefits. AFP climate deniers in New Jersey are trying to kill RGGI there as well. Koch’s main man in Congress, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), inserted an amendment to slash EPA funding in the House GOP’s already wildly anti-environment budget. Koch’s many subsidiaries have filed challenges against health and environmental rules from toxic chemical disclosure to dumping in streams.

RICH FINK DEFENDS KOCHS : Even while local business leaders have called for Walker to end his assault on Wisconsin unions, Koch executives have said that they “will not step back at all” and pointed to the importance of their “grassroots” group, saying, “it is good to have them on the ground, in the battle, trying to help out.” Rich Fink, the executive vice president of Koch Industries who oversees their ideological campaigns, defended the billionaire brothers in an interview with the National Review Online by blaming “the Left.” “With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight.” The Koch brothers, who have been increasing their personal wealth by billions even as they have fired thousands of workers, are really just victims of a vast left-wing conspiracy, Fink claims. “This is part of an orchestrated campaign that has been going on for many months. It involves the Obama administration, the Center for American Progress, aligned left-wing groups, and their friends in the media. This is just the latest salvo in their attacks on the Koch brothers and Koch Industries. But it is an escalation — they’re now bringing in some labor groups, which they have not done before.” Somehow, Rich Fink seems unaware that his own operatives have declared open war on American workers.

10:07 AM  

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