Have you seen the new commercial for Koch Industries?
If you haven’t, check it out here.
Maybe you don’t know who the Koch Brothers are.
In short, they’re two of America’s richest. The two brothers, Charles and David, rank 4th and 5th in Forbes as the wealthiest men in America and together, the Koch Bros’ net worth exceeds 100 Billion Dollars.
Okay, so they’re rich.
They started in oil, then got into other things. Things we probably don’t normally think about. Like paper, and fabric, and all the little things in our electronics we never think about where they came from.
Now I don’t normally write posts like this diatribe, but seeing this commercial just a few days ago and having researched these two for an upcoming project, I just gotta write a little.
It’s not them being rich that pisses me off. It’s what they do with their money and how they try to make themselves look at a time when, if you look for it, you can find a lot of bad press.
So what do they spend their money on?
Well, recently they gave 25 million to the United Negro College Fund.
That’s nice enough. Quite the generous gift, to be sure.
But here’s the rub: they made it very public, whereas most money they donate to their causes is kept under the radar. Why is this of interest? I find it quite shady–the publicity of it, not necessarily the donation–because their father was a founding member of the John Birch society.
What is the JBS? Just a little organization that began in the 50s that vocally opposed the Civil Rights movement.
So now the sons of a founding member of this racist society that “has been dedicated to restoring and preserving freedom under the United States Constitution” (John Birch Society “About” page).
But there’s more, oh so much more.
Remember the Tea Party?
Want to guess at where most of them got the money for campaign support?
You guessed it. The Kochs.
Between 1998-2008 they gave 196 million to conservative causes and institutions. Politics aside, that’s a shit ton of money and might be used to support a worthy cause. Rather, they spend their money on furthering their own agendas. They favor conservative right wingers why? Because they favor small government and small government won’t enforce regulations on industries like the Kochs.
Of course they wouldn’t when, if elected, they owe their elections to people like the Kochs.
Remember the housing crisis when that “thing” we used to call the middle class lost over half of its wealth?
The Kochs’ wealth increased 43 percent in just over a year.
When gas prices go up a few cents seemingly at random?
Who cashes in?
You guessed it.
Back to regulations.
Why don’t the Kochs want regulations?
Because their industries have been cited as being among the top 5 worst polluters in America. They pump money into think tanks and research institutes (many of which they founded) in order to combat global warming.
Here’s just a little more of what they oppose: social security, medicare, Medicaid, public education, state and national parks, food safety regulations, Wall Street oversight, and the minimum wage.
Bill Clinton tried to hit them with a 97 count indictment and a 350 million dollar fine once. Then the Bush administration rolls around and knocks it down to 1 count and 20 million dollars.
Just a few weeks ago, some tapes from some small, secretive Republican “convention” were leaked.
The Kochs were there. So was Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, a frontrunning presidential candidate, Senate candidates, gubernatorial candidates, and Jim Jordan. So here’s what the tapes said. In them you can hear Mitch McConnell saying “I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David,”—those’re the Koch Brothers—“for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you.” Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said several times she would have never won without their money.
Ah, democracy at its finest.
Remember how all those right-wingers were saying how Obama is in bed with terrorists? Well the Kochs sold millions of dollars worth of petrochemical equipment to Iran, noted terrorist supporters. And again, that money goes into what? Essentially buying (or at least trying to) buy elections. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck get money from the Kochs. I don’t care how small a percentage of money they made is from the sale of equipment to Iran–the money is tainted. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and all the others in the Kochs’ pocketbooks have made money off supporters of terrorism.
So go watch that commercial if you haven’t.
Did you catch the opening?
“One of our nation’s largest private companies is proudly built on American values.”
They don’t care about you, they don’t care about me.
They don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone.
American values my ass.
For more on the Koch Brothers see:
These of course are but just a few. See for yourself.