Sunday, August 29, 2010


The must-read item for today is Frank Rich's column in the New York Times. Rich tells the fairly well-kept secret of just who incites, organizes, and funds the Tea Partiers.

ANOTHER weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who. Last Sunday the site was Lower Manhattan, where they jeered the “ground zero mosque.” This weekend, the scene shifted to Washington, where the avatars of oppressed white Tea Party America, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, were slated to “reclaim the civil rights movement” (Beck’s words) on the same spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream exactly 47 years earlier.

Vive la révolution!

There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.

You've surely heard of Rupert Murdoch, but have you heard of the Koch brothers? I had not until I returned from Scotland a few days ago and read Jane Mayer's excellent and revealing profile of the two in The New Yorker, to which Rich links in his piece. To think that the Tea Partiers are saps enough to think that billionaires many times over have their interests at heart.

If you read Mayer's article, you learn that the Koch businesses are some of the worst polluters, and, of course, they spend millions lobbying against such regulatory agencies as the EPA.

Rich says:

When David Koch ran to the right of Reagan as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket (it polled 1 percent), his campaign called for the abolition not just of Social Security, federal regulatory agencies and welfare but also of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and public schools — in other words, any government enterprise that would either inhibit his business profits or increase his taxes. He hasn’t changed. As Mayer details, Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries’ vast fossil fuel business.

That's the Koch agenda. Tea Partiers, for heaven's sake, wake up! The Kochs and their ilk are playing you for fools.


  1. Really?

  2. Jim, you should learn to do hyperlinks which work with only one click of the mouse. Now I'll need to wait until later to read.

  3. Jim, Matt Welch gives his opinion, as does Frank Rich. I happen to agree with Rich's opinion. But hey! That's me.

    Thanks for stopping by. Perhaps one day you will actually convince me.

  4. Oh! Well... why am I not surprised!? --sounds like the Koch world agenda would be a quick ride to hell.... keep spreading the news Grandmere. Thank you.

  5. Maybe weed roots!!

    David G, I think you've got it!!

    Margaret, thank YOU. I can but try.

  6. I guess we'll find out in November.

  7. Jim, the tactics of the big money folks may well be effective come election time, but, if the Republicans take charge of the House, their policies will not favor the interests of a good many of the folks who make up the Tea Party. Their policies will favor the rich and big business. The greedy want more, and they may well succeed in their efforts to get more.

  8. Oh my! We know all about Murdoch of Mordor here!!

  9. DP, I know you know Murdoch. His invidious influence pervades the planet.


Anonymous commenters, please sign a name, any name, to distinguish one anonymous commenter from another. Thank you.