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Intro: "The Koch brothers have bankrolled a broad attack on progressive government programs. Their grandfather's history in Texas helps explain why."

David Koch waves to Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during the conservative 'Defending the American Dream Summit' in Washington, DC, 11/04/11.
David Koch waves to Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during the conservative 'Defending the American Dream Summit' in Washington, DC, 11/04/11.



Koch Family Empire Building

By Yasha Levine, The Texas Observer

12 November 11

 

The Koch brothers have bankrolled a broad attack on progressive government programs. Their grandfather's history in Texas helps explain why.

harles and David Koch are the most powerful right-wing billionaires of our time. They have spent hundreds of millions bankrolling a broad attack against Social Security, organized labor, financial regulations, environmental protection and public education. The brothers plan to spend at least $200 million trying to elect right-wing, anti-government Republicans in 2012, according to Politico. They seem hell-bent on dragging America back to the dark days of unregulated capitalism. The history of their grandfather in Texas may help explain why.

Little has been written about Harry Koch. He's the least-known member of the Koch family, which has been marching under the same laissez-faire banner for the past three generations. Harry Koch emigrated to America in 1888, settled in a North Texas railroad town and became a newspaper publisher and aggressive corporate booster. He advocated for railroad and banking interests, amassing wealth and helping big business fight organized labor and squelch reforms.

Much of the Koch brothers' ideology can be found in Harry Koch's newspaper editorials of nearly a century ago. Take, for instance, the Kochs' current fight against Social Security. Harry Koch took part in a multi-year right-wing propaganda campaign to shoot down New Deal programs. Grandfather and grandsons employ eerily familiar talking points to bash government pension and welfare programs.

"No political system can possibly guarantee either a national economic security or an individual standard of living. Government can guarantee no man a job or a livelihood," Harry Koch wrote on February 1, 1935, nine months before Charles Koch was born.

Fast-forward 75 years and you can see Charles Koch using the same lines of attack in his company's newsletter: "government actions ... stifle economic growth and job creation, which in turn will significantly reduce the standard of living of American families."

This summer I traveled to Quanah, the dusty North Texas railroad town that Harry Koch called home, to find out more about the life of the man who spawned the two most powerful oligarchs of our time. After spending days hunkered over newspaper archives and rifling through a century's worth of county records in the town's tiny courthouse, I began to see a picture emerge of a man who spent his life learning how to use newspapers and media for ideological manipulation and as a platform for pro-business agendas. As I strained to read the battered microfilm, I was constantly surprised at the degree to which Harry's views - on everything from the economy to the role of government in a democratic society - have been passed on nearly unchanged through two generations, and are now being pushed by Charles and David Koch.

Harry Koch was born in Holland in 1867 to a wealthy German-Dutch family of merchants, farmers and doctors. After apprenticing to a newspaper publisher, he decided to seek his fortune in America. At 21, he set off on a steamer and arrived in New York on Dec. 5, 1888. He spent his first few years in America working for various Dutch newspapers in Chicago, New Orleans, Grand Rapids and Austin until, in 1891, he finally settled down in Quanah, a town that the railroad had established just a few years before. Harry always remained curiously vague and evasive about why he decided to stake his claim in a remote North Texas town, but there is no real mystery to it: he came because of the railroads.

In the second half of the 19th century, America was in the grip of a massive railroad boom. Boosted by eager investors, lucrative subsidies and free land, railroads sprung up connecting every corner of the United States without much thought for demand or necessity. America's rail mileage quadrupled from 1870 to 1900, with enough track laid down by the end of the century to stretch from New York to San Francisco 66 times.

In those wild early days of the railroad age, real estate speculation was a central plank of the business plan. The U.S. government had given vast stretches of public land to railroad companies, and the companies needed to sell that land to settlers to create customers and pay off debts. That meant railroads needed local publishers to trigger real estate booms in the multitude of railroad towns that had been planned and parceled across the country, luring settlers with exaggerated stories of fertile soil and incipient prosperity.

Dutch investors were heavily involved in several railroad lines in the North Texas area, including the Fort Worth and Denver Railway Company, which had spawned Quanah in 1887 and owned just about all the land in town. County records show Harry provided advertising services and worked directly for the Fort Worth and Denver for nearly 20 years, sometimes receiving payment in the form of land transferred directly from the legendary railroad builder Grenville M. Dodge, who helped lay the Union Pacific and more than a dozen other lines across the country.

Harry bought up two of the town's newspapers, apparently with his own money, merged them into the Quanah Tribune-Chief, and began printing beguiling stories of Western prosperity.

When Harry moved to Quanah, it was little more than a dusty settlement with a patchwork of dirt lots, a few rudimentary buildings and a railroad platform - a get-rich-quick scheme laid out on paper. It was his job to create the demand, bring people in and make the town a reality. He ran his paper like a chamber of commerce newsletter, cramming it full of stories about growth, expansion and the limitless possibilities of life on the frontier. He helped inflate a real estate bubble that, along with the presence of the railroad, nearly quadrupled Hardeman County's population to more than 11,000.

Harry Koch worked hard to bring a number of railroad spurs to Quanah, and he helped make the town a major transportation hub by the early 1900s. As the town grew, so did Harry's fortune. He amassed substantial real estate holdings in and around Quanah, which allowed him to cash in on the real estate boom he had helped to create.

Harry enjoyed his success. He got married, had two sons, traveled regularly to New York and Europe, and was proud of having crossed the Atlantic nine times. He even described being in Berlin, caught in a huge crowd that had gathered to hear "der Fuhrer" make a speech.

By the time he retired, Harry Koch was not just a respected newspaper publisher in Texas, but a powerful and highly connected regional business player. He was also extremely well liked. "There is no more popular member of the Association than Harry Koch," read his bio by the Texas Press Association, where he served as president in 1918.

But the bustling city he helped create was mostly made of hype. Today, Quanah's population has sunk back to 1890 levels and has little industry left. A gypsum plant on the outskirts of town is the only major employer, and it happens to be owned by the Koch family.

Harry Koch's rise from immigrant small-town newspaper publisher to entrenched business heavyweight might seem like a classic coming-to-America story, confirming that through hard work, perseverance and luck, anything is possible. But that narrative would be misleading. Harry may have lived among settlers who struggled to eke out a living on the frontier, but he was never really one himself. The difference was right there on the surface for everyone to see: While Harry Koch prospered, almost everyone else in North Texas descended into poverty.

On top of the crippling boom-and-bust cycles that gripped the country from the 1890s through the late 1920s, settlers faced crop failures, low agricultural prices and real estate booms that made it impossible for new farmers to afford land. Many sunk into deep debt and poverty.

The misery and hopelessness of frontier life sparked a powerful new grassroots populist movement, which sought to reform and curb the worst of corporate abuses. Harry Koch was not sympathetic to the cause. (In 1897, while the country was still in the grips of one of the worst economic depressions in its history, Harry Koch penned a long, gushing account of a luxurious trip to a convention thrown for boosters and businessmen in Galveston. Between detailed descriptions of all the oysters eaten and champagne bottles emptied at swanky parties, Harry expressed shock and outrage that the street railway union organized a strike during the convention and forced attendees to temporarily move about on foot. But not for long. "Santa Fe officials took pity on the suffering newspaper men and made up a train to Woolman's lake where the oyster roast was to be held," Koch wrote approvingly.)

In a series of early editorials, Harry Koch scoffed at the idea that land rents should be regulated, and ridiculed the plight of heavily indebted farmers, writing that while they might find indebtedness unpleasant, a much bigger problem was their laziness and inability to take care of the farm equipment they had purchased on credit. He patronized Quanah farmers with platitudes about honesty and success: "Be honest. Dishonesty seldom makes one rich, and when it does riches are a curse. There is no such thing as dishonest success." He delighted in the fact that unlike other cities and towns across America - filled with strikes, riots, political agitation and violent unrest - the people of Quanah largely steered clear of politics, concerning themselves with what they understood best: hard, honest labor. "A very commendable trait among western people," Harry wrote, "is that they have no time to give to politics."

Throughout the 1890s, Harry never shied from using his newspaper to promote specific business interests and as a platform to express his aristocratic views on society.

But something began to change at the turn of the century. Koch shed his abrasive attitude toward the masses and began reinventing himself as a champion of the common man.

In 1901, Koch published a long editorial that hinted at this transformation. In the piece, he defends popularly embattled trusts and monopolies with the counterintuitive argument that such protectors of wealth were a force for the common good. He based his argument on the false notion that trusts lowered the price of consumer goods:

"Let this thing be borne in mind as significant, that all real trusts, all that are destined to succeed and endure, are established on a basis of permanent lower prices for their products. Everybody knows that sugar and oil have been considerably cheaper since these industries have been under trust control. And the same is true, barring periods of fluctuation, of all industries under effective monopoly, from steel rails to cigarettes."

Harry Koch's transformation was remarkable: Not only was he attempting to convince readers of his point of view by appealing to their own best interests, but he was fleshing out economic arguments in language that his grandsons continue to use today. Harry's defense of trusts reads exactly like the pro-monopoly propaganda regularly cranked out by scholars at The Cato Institute - a libertarian think tank founded by Harry's grandson Charles Koch in 1977. University of California-Irvine Professor Richard McKenzie recently published an article in Cato's Regulation magazine titled "In Defense of Monopoly," in which he echoes Harry's 110-year-old editorial, including this claim: "The monopolist does not charge higher prices; it lowers them."

This new rhetorical approach was not Harry Koch's invention. Rather, Harry was being swept up in a larger national revolution in the way American business elites communicated with the public.

At the turn of the 20th century, growing public outrage at the way financial elites were handling the economy, combined with a rapid expansion of voting enfranchisement that increased participation in the democratic process from 15 percent of the population in 1890 to 50 percent in 1920, began posing a real threat to the entrenched interests of American corporations.

To protect itself, corporate America began experimenting with modern public relations techniques and developing strategies to manipulate and manage public perceptions.

Harry Koch was right in the thick of it.

In 1910, Koch became the founding director, as well as one of the biggest shareholders, of a small North Texas railroad company called the Quanah, Acme & Pacific. After two decades of laboring to promote other people's railroad interests, he had finally come into his own. The Tribune-Chief became the de facto advertising arm of the QA&P, extolling the region's bright future and certain prosperity while hawking company shares and promoting land in towns created and owned by the line. He had his own railroad and his own newspaper to promote it.

In the 1930s, corporations were forced to ramp up their pro-business public relations campaigns to deal with the violent backlash in public opinion caused by the Great Depression.

Harry Koch rolled out an aggressive multi-year attack on Roosevelt's New Deal. Tribune-Chief criticisms of the program echoed the propaganda of corporate boosters like the National Association of Manufacturers. The paper slammed public pensions, regulations, tariffs, unions, muckrakers, labor laws and deficits, and filled its op-ed space with pro-business opinion pieces delivered fresh from New York lobby groups like the American Bankers Association, whose president, R.S. Becht, wrote to assure Quanah readers that there was no need for the government to regulate banks. Industry self-regulation - or "voluntary self reform," as he called it - would be enough.

Despite, or because of, overwhelming public support for FDR's pension and welfare programs, they became major targets, with Harry Koch publishing two or three op-eds in a single day attacking them. "Some ten million old folks are wanting to draw $200 a month from the government, and one hundred million stand ready to quit work when they do. Why not pension all of them?" Koch wrote in a February 1935 editorial, while claiming in a different editorial that the "idea of an old age pension is a splendid idea ... such a pension is proper. But great care should be taken...in preparing old age pension laws."

His editorials contained the same familiar right-wing claims that we hear today: that there is not enough money to support "entitlement" programs, that government will tax industry into ruin, that similar programs in other countries have failed, that regulation is unconstitutional and workers, given the opportunity, will quit en masse and live off government charity.

In a 1934 editorial titled "Democracy's Problem," Harry rejected "mobocracy," which had "been discarded as undesirable, even if attainable." Mobocracy was the right's popular name for "tyranny of the majority," and remains a favorite whipping horse of Koch-funded libertarians, who increasingly promote the idea that America is not a democracy and was never intended to be one. Here's Steve H. Hanke, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, writing in a 2011 editorial: "Contrary to what propaganda has led the public to believe, America's Founding Fathers were skeptical and anxious about democracy. They were aware of the evils that accompany a tyranny of the majority. The Framers of the Constitution went to great lengths to ensure that the federal government was not based on the will of the majority and was not, therefore, democratic."

Harry Koch passed away in 1942, not long after business' epic battle against the New Deal reforms. The Quanah Tribune-Chief was passed on to his eldest son, who took over the paper with his wife and kept it in the family until the 1970s. Meanwhile, Harry's other son, Fred Koch, used the fortune he made building refineries for Stalin in the 1930s Soviet Union to ramp up his own business in Wichita, Kansas. He would build a successful oil transportation empire that would one day grow into Koch Industries, the largest privately held oil company in the country.

But even after the family's base of operations moved away from Quanah, Harry Koch's ghost would never be far removed. His life at the intersection of news media, big business, public relations and ideological warfare would be passed on as a family tradition from father to son to grandson, elevating his offspring to ever higher levels of wealth and influence.


Yasha Levine is an investigative journalist and a founding editor of The eXiled Online. He lives in Venice, California.

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+122 # Kayjay 2011-11-12 20:07
It seems like the Koch family never evolved from the simian stage. In other words it seems to be more than 100 years of monkey see, monkey doo doo. Thus the Kochs' are spinning the same manipulative threads and America's voters blithely keep on falling for them. It shouldn't be hard to decipher their motives..... but too few of us bother to connect the dots and mobilize others toward change. We gotta emulate OHIO!
 
 
+58 # Bob-Investigates 2011-11-13 09:19
We kicked Kriminal Kasich's butt on Issue 2 here in Ohio and the Plutocrat backers of Kasich and the attack on public Unions, THE KOCH BROTHERS, are not happy. This investigative report by Yasha Levine is a real eye-opener. It proves conclusively that the rotten apples didn't fall very far from the rotten tree!!! If the Koch class-warfare machine is not stopped, the U.S. will revert to 1900 (already happening) and the Middle-class will be just a memory.
 
 
+2 # whalegurl 2011-11-17 00:23
There are NEW draconian ways to keep people from voting. Get out the Vote is going to be difficult if those laws stand.
 
 
+89 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-13 00:01
Good, revealing article - thank you Yasha. The underlying motivation and driving theme of the center character of the article seems t5o be the same as one of the themes the "Occupy ..." Movement is still fighting today: Greed.
 
 
+47 # redjelly39 2011-11-13 00:12
The line has been drawn in the sand for all politicians - they are either with the 99% or against us and I suspect a huge rollover will take place for all of the corrupt pathetic greedy politicians holding office right now.

Keep it simple and pick a side - the 99% or the 1%. No Democrat or Republican is safe as we have progressed past the divide & conquer tactics and have amassed as 1 group - We the People....

The Koch Bros & the Media will bombard us with finger pointing and the same old rhetoric we have been hearing for decades and we all know its just talk - We Are the Change we have been looking for - Politicians beware - your days are numbered.
 
 
+31 # Margolicious 2011-11-13 01:23
Thank you, Yasha for your interesting expose. The Koch brothers need to be exorcized and continuously exposed to the world as manipulative crooks that have bought the politicians and the government to increase their wealth and well being. These guys are so morally bankrupt and do not have a heart. The Kochs do not care about all the starving homeless unemployed people. They are taking food out of the mouths of babes and destroying homes. They may grab all the wealth but they are not going to profit if they lose their souls because of their greed. The Kochs obviously do not believe in God and justice. I would not want to be cast into hell for an eternity and be with Hitler, Stalin, Bushes, and all the Kochs for any amount of money. Only God can save us from the Koch devils and their friends. We all must band together and save our country and ourselves from the children of satan.
 
 
+15 # in deo veritas 2011-11-13 10:06
Check out the name Koch in WWII and ask yourself if they have souls.
 
 
+3 # AndreM5 2011-11-14 15:46
Also try "Herbert Walker."
 
 
+78 # panamericans 2011-11-13 02:04
The Koch family is right. The USA is not a democracy and this family intends to keep it this way.

It will never be a democracy until there are serious changes in campaign funding for political office. The present system insures corruption and is NEVER in the interests of the 99%

It is a frightening truth: "He who has the gold makes the rules".

Great article by the way...well done!
 
 
+45 # daveapostles 2011-11-13 02:56
Fred Koch. Why isn't building refineries for the USSR labelled as unAmerican activity, just as the Koch-sponsored headbangers denounce other activities as unAmerican? Why not meet their attempt to stigmatise with the same contempt?
 
 
+36 # Bruce Gruber 2011-11-13 06:49
Likely for the same reason corporate partnerships with the Chinese government or Iran's Shah or Gaddafi's regime or South Africa's National Party was considered "good business". Corporate profits without social conscience and unregulated by popular will has no moral basis. Self justification by monarchs, plutocrats or frightened middle managers is hardly different from excuses offered by Holocaust underlings or Catholic Church officials. Organizations (incorporated or not) are NOT people. They are NOT human. They have no empathy, creativity or personhood. They are, simply, devices created to insulate and protect inhuman people from responsibility and accountability for their inhuman acts and goals. When the Kochs fund a "think" tank, who would you expect it to represent?
 
 
+35 # Barbara K 2011-11-13 07:52
I think the Koch Brothers are un-American, don't you? Actually anti-American.


NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!

It empowers the Koch Bastards too.
 
 
+34 # pagrad 2011-11-13 05:27
It is what we always suspected,
A self-serving Nazi philosophy to promote power for those who have, against those trying to achieve a better life for all. They don’t realize that they are all in the same boat.

When will the ignorant and the gullible ever learn?
 
 
+31 # Vermonster 2011-11-13 11:44
Let's do something concrete by boycotting sociopath Koch brother's products. Here is a short list of those that are commonly encountered:

Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins
Anything Georgia Pacific

Below is a link to a more complete list:

http://wemustchange.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/08/6218429-koch-industries-products-to-boycott

Corporations Are NOT People! Money is NOT Speech! Reinstate Glass-Steagall!
 
 
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-13 14:59
It is the best way to hurt companies, unfortunately workers but they are killing people in USA towns those people are also children who these hypocrites supposedly are anti abortion.

I buy Marcal but if you buy generic...look and see who is producing. Many generic brands come from big name companies but are made cheaper or something to get better price out.

Thanks for reminding us
 
 
-13 # Martintfre 2011-11-13 15:32
//Corporations Are NOT People! // Well ya did get something right.

By the way
- the Democratic party is a corporation and
the democratic party has a long history of (like their twin) abuse their position in government to stay in power at the expense of our fundamental rights and freedoms.
 
 
0 # Hey There 2012-06-10 01:15
I agree that both parties don't represent the 99%. Although there are some members of Congress that vote for the middle class & poor they appear to be outnumbered.
Bill Clinton, a Dem. ended "Welfare as we know it" & the Glass-Steagall Act which made the melt-down of the Banks and Wall St. possible.
He was no friend of the working people.
Johnson, however, as a Dem. Pres. did more for working people & the poor as well as passing the Civil Rights Act,
Contrast what Johnson did to Obama who OK'd bailouts for Banks and Wall St.and lower taxes for the rich.
And as a former Postal Employee I was disappointed that 47 Democrats voted "Aye" on S1789 causing it to pass. Only 13 Republicans voted for this bill that proposed a reduction of 100,000 USPS jobs
The videos below detail how S1789 and HR2309 are destructive to postal employees and service to the public.
You will probably have to copy and paste in the browser to view.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ybkkiH2Ho

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am4wez1ShPY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsPIY9bFFZY

So I gave you a + which gave you one less-.

The Democrats have to quit running on the supposition that because they aren't as blatant in supporting the 1% that the middle class and poor won't notice the laws passed that favor the rich rather than passing laws that would help close the extreme gap between the super rich and them.
 
 
+5 # X Dane 2011-11-13 18:30
Thank you Vermonster, I don't use any of those products. And I will check out the link you gave
 
 
-24 # Martintfre 2011-11-13 15:35
//A self-serving Nazi philosophy to//

Humm Nazi were for total government control - ya know like taking over banks, housing, health, industries and auto industries to name a few -- exactly like the current administration. ..
 
 
+8 # X Dane 2011-11-13 18:27
Correction.pagr ad.
We are NOT in the same boat. They, the Kochs and others like them, are on a luxury liner living it up......... The 99% are in row boats trying to catch up
 
 
0 # racetoinfinity 2011-11-15 00:15
Quoting Margolicious:
Thank you, Yasha for your interesting expose. The Koch brothers need to be exorcized and continuously exposed to the world as manipulative crooks that have bought the politicians and the government to increase their wealth and well being. These guys are so morally bankrupt and do not have a heart. The Kochs do not care about all the starving homeless unemployed people. They are taking food out of the mouths of babes and destroying homes. They may grab all the wealth but they are not going to profit if they lose their souls because of their greed. The Kochs obviously do not believe in God and justice. I would not want to be cast into hell for an eternity and be with Hitler, Stalin, Bushes, and all the Kochs for any amount of money. Only God can save us from the Koch devils and their friends. We all must band together and save our country and ourselves from the children of satan.

Quoting X Dane:
Correction.pagrad.
We are NOT in the same boat. They, the Kochs and others like them, are on a luxury liner living it up......... The 99% are in row boats trying to catch up


We're all the same boat called Spaceship Earth.
 
 
+30 # Barbara N Shabo RN 2011-11-13 05:31
If you look at their faces, they project pure evil. And if it's true that they are bypassing the sanctions on Iran, I guess that makes them traitors.
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-13 15:00
Perhaps that should be brought up to your listening Representatives and Media
 
 
+35 # mwd870 2011-11-13 05:40
The Koch family is living proof that money and power corrupt.
 
 
+39 # Barbara K 2011-11-13 06:55
Wish we could get rid of them and give America back to the American people. They've spread enough craziness.

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!
 
 
+26 # myungbluth 2011-11-13 07:57
Good God! Can anything good EVER come from Texas? Like the GOP and Tea Party, the Kochs are NOT on your side!
 
 
+11 # panhead49 2011-11-13 11:43
Quoting myungbluth:
Good God! Can anything good EVER come from Texas? Like the GOP and Tea Party, the Kochs are NOT on your side!


Yes, Willie Nelson is from Texas. Austin puts out a good news paper. And I give them great credit for putting road signs on the road surface itself as everyone is driving nuts to butts at 90 mph on 6 lane highways.

And let us not forget Kinky Friedman for Governor ;)
 
 
+3 # myungbluth 2011-11-13 16:34
I am humbled by your accurate observations, good sir.
 
 
+5 # boudreaux 2011-11-14 08:36
Quoting myungbluth:
Good God! Can anything good EVER come from Texas? Like the GOP and Tea Party, the Kochs are NOT on your side!

I'd like to put it like this: TX is a repug state, so nothing that is political is good, so how to word that: There ain't any good politicians in TX so don't ever vote for a president outta TX. and from what I see in TX and how they vote in the house and senate, it's always aganist the people and these repugs here are out to get us, that is very obvious when you see how they vote in congress and the senate....Never forget what Bush did to this country and NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN OUTTA TX.....
NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN..... ..
 
 
+1 # racetoinfinity 2011-11-15 00:17
Ann Richards, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, on and on - 20 million people there. It's just that the less evolved are the richest and have bought the most power.
 
 
+33 # Mainiac 2011-11-13 09:12
It would be a service to the 99% if someone like Yasha,or maybe Yasha would be willing to do it, would write an article about Harry’s son who was a co-founder of the John Birch Society. The Birchers believed that there was a communist under every bed. I once debated a Bircher who tried to tell the radio audience that the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization, was a communist group. They accused every one of communist ties, even Ted Kennedy. This thinking seems to have been handed down to his four sons, Harry’s grandsons, who may have injected into the public discourse the idea that Obama is a socialist. It may backfire because we now have the opportunity to explain what socialism really is without be called a “red.”
 
 
+22 # Linda 2011-11-13 09:27
Thank you for this telling article Yasha Levine.

I have to agree with Kayjay when she said :Thus the Kochs' are spinning the same manipulative threads and America's voters blithely keep on falling for them.

I see that with the Ron Paul supporters who are also falling for that same manipulating spin ?
Ron Paul subscribes to the same ideology as the Koch brothers ,"they are all Libertarians ,". Listen to his speaches where he also talks out of both sides of his face like the Koch's grandfather did . One side of his face is saying
,,see I am on your side I want to end the wars , lower your taxes and close down the Federal Reserve,,the other side of his face is saying the say old line that grandfather Koch printed in his paper "The monopolist does not charge higher prices; it lowers them,"all the programs started in the New Deal are bringing down the country . Just like the Koch's grandfather he plays both sides with his agenda planted firmly on the side of corporations against the people .
Of course ending all these programs would mean mass homelessness and many deaths but he will stay clear of talking about that little side effect of the deal !
We all should be aware of these wolves in sheeps clothing and stop falling for the same lie over and over again !
 
 
+24 # Pancho 2011-11-13 09:33
Faux libertarians, the larcenous David H. and Charles de Ganahl Koch represent the third generation of Nativist plutocrats, determined to assure that minorities, students, union members and any other demographics who might possibly support true democracy should be excluded from participation in the democratic process.

That's the genesis of anti-union measures, "Real I.D." acts, the end of voting day registration, etc.

Their previous efforts to bribe politicians have been supplanted by their de facto ownership of the Supreme Court majority, led by their personal stooges, Scalia and Thomas.

Their backing of the latter, as well as their support of Herman Cain, shows they are not necessarily Nativists and racists, since they welcome serial sexual abusers to their midst, no matter what their color.

Citizens United has freed them of their need for pretense.
 
 
-35 # Martintfre 2011-11-13 09:53
ever going to do the same kind of treatment for George Soros ?
 
 
+14 # reiverpacific 2011-11-13 11:16
Quoting Martintfre:
ever going to do the same kind of treatment for George Soros ?

You really have to be spiteful just by nature don't you. When you start making contributory points to a discussion, by all means get them out there; until then please keep y'r Limbaugh-like mean-spiritedne ss to yourself.
Soros is and always has been a broad-based philanthropist as well as admittedly and openly contributing to left and Democratic (outside the party i mean) causes but the huge imbalance implicit in the overwhelming contributions of the likes of the Koch family and the latter-day robber-barons like Disney, Westinghouse, Citibank and other Wall Street criminals and all the giant Media and industrial monopolists -who move work overseas at a whim (which hardly defines Soros private fortune), are overwhelmingly to the far right and some blue-dog Democrats.
A bit off the mark again and just doin' y'r usual agent provocateur bit, what?
 
 
+12 # Bruce Gruber 2011-11-13 11:56
Levine has presented what appears to be a well researched descriptive article suggesting philosophical continuity in the Koch family. It does not seem to contain judgments or invective. It is certainly not a hate piece brimming with wild accusations or interpretations . "They seem hell-bent on dragging America back to the dark days of unregulated capitalism", may sound overly personal, but it does not seem off the truth mark.
Nevertheless, the essence of your query regarding Soros seems to suggest justification by equivalency. Perhaps if you have a questioning (rather than a condemning) mind you might start your research at Wikipedia or your neighborhood library rather than Conservapedia or Glenn Beck.
 
 
+14 # pgobrien 2011-11-13 16:09
George Soros is one of my heroes. A truly remarkable man who has done immeasurable good in a world where that's difficult to accomplish.
 
 
+6 # Blast Dorrough 2011-11-13 11:13
Always bear in mind that the American Revolution was not only fought to be free of evil Kingcraft but evil Corporatecraft and demonic Christiancraft as well. The Preamble to the Constitution clearly mandates egalitarian and econcomic justice for the U.S. working class, small business owners and the retired Seniors of those classes. The Constitution mandates a "Republican Form of government" necessarily free of all corruptive forces. The base opposite are governments or so-called "leaders" promoting monopolistic or libertarian forms of government or any tyrannical form thereof such as monarchism united with man-created religionists, communism, fascism, corporate communist capitalism as in Chinese communist capitalism of cheap labor, etc, ad nauseum. We must cleanse our constitutional Republic of all perverters and sabotagers thereof. We must firmly take a stand on the true/pure egalitarian and economic justice demanded for the "general Welfare" of all citizens as intended by the Founders from all walks of life. To do anything less would deconsecrate what those Founders and New Guards fought and died for.
 
 
+18 # Smiley 2011-11-13 13:37
Isn't it interesting that the Koch fortune is based on inherited wealth and the government give away of free land.
 
 
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-13 15:09
They would not know what to do to work and know how it feels to actually do labor.
Personally that is where I believe we all went wrong centuries ago
No one ever owned land so we allowed the Mongers to sell it to us, then tax us. In the long run when we die it goes and gets sold again and so on...very corrupt.
We allowed the WarLords to make us work for them, and have continued to do so. It was not necessary, we had everything we wanted all we had to do was work at it.
We could have squatted on the land, if everyone did would have been hard pressed to stop. I hope the OWS movement starts that thought process again. As long as we maintain the property, take over land and work it making it useful to all, the government cannot stop us. If they kill us who would they have to work for us.
People of other Countries ... I think not, people are getting tired of dictatorship. We are also in a dictatorship, though civilized perhaps as we work for the system, who also taxes us, we pay their taxes as well, we cannot afford our medical but pay theirs, etc. Pretty stupid. I believe the other Countries are seeing this and thinking we are not gonna continue.
If you get rid of Kochs more rats are breeding...must clean out the system.
 
 
0 # cypress72 2011-11-13 15:15
And George Soros is the most powerful "left wing" billionaire of our time (although he's tens of billions behind the "evil" Koch brothers). When the Euro collapses, he'll be alot closer !!
 
 
-22 # Robt Eagle 2011-11-13 15:24
Seems to me Kock was a great businessman and amassed a great fortune using his brain, contacts, and energy. Guess that making money from that is sinful, eh?
 
 
+8 # Vermonster 2011-11-13 17:58
Oh sure, the Kochs are "great businessmen" whose paranoid anti-communist father co-founded the John Birch Society while at the same time trading with the USSR.

Yes, and his "great businessmen" sons, Charles and David? They trade with Iran and defraud and rip-off the American people while polluting them -- not to mention polluting US politics.
They should be indicted and prosecuted under the RICO statutes.


In the meantime, let’s boycott sociopath Koch brother's products. Here is a short list of those that are commonly encountered:

Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins
Anything Georgia Pacific

Below is a link to a more complete list:
http://wemustchange.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/08/6218429-koch-industries-products-to-boycott

Corporations Are NOT People! Money Is NOT Speech! Reinstate Glass-Steagall!
Pro-Life is really Anti-Choice!
Social Security is NOT an entitlement, it is an EARNED BENEFIT!
 
 
-12 # Martintfre 2011-11-13 15:27
//His editorials contained the same familiar right-wing claims that we hear today: that there is not enough money to support "entitlement" programs, //

And he was correct the federal government now 'borrows' 43 cents of every dollar it spends and blaming it all on the military - 23% of the total budget is a half truth at best..
The Greek Soverign debt crisis is a harbinger of our own future. SSA is now in the red and the mountain of IOU's called special treasuries will only aswage lying politicians and their foolish syncophants.
 
 
+13 # pgobrien 2011-11-13 15:35
Apparently, free public lands given over to the railroads provided much of the largesse that was then transferred to Old Mr. Koch to purchase his cooperation and build his own fortune. The Koch fortune is built on a foundation of usurping public resources for private gain. No surprise, actually. NOBODY gets filthy rich all on their own. You work hard, you struggle, you sacrifice, and you get a few really, really great breaks, as well as taking advantage of public programs that make success possible. If they don't figure out we're all in this together on one small planet, they'll keep making a wild mess of things and we'll keep having to fight to clean it up.
 
 
+9 # Vermonster 2011-11-13 18:09
@pgobrien,

You summed things up all too well. The Koch empire is predicated on the strategy of subsidizing risk while privatizing reward/profits. They are modern-day robber barons, plain and simple.

Let us all ding their perverted and ill-begotten gains by boycotting their products starting with:

Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins
Anything Georgia Pacific

Below is a link to a more complete list:
http://wemustchange.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/08/6218429-koch-industries-products-to-boycott

Corporations Are NOT People! Money Is NOT Speech! Reinstate Glass-Steagall!
 
 
-16 # Robt Eagle 2011-11-13 19:19
Why are you all so upset with people who are successful?
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2011-11-14 10:40
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Why are you all so upset with people who are successful?

Nothing wrong with being successful and good on free enterprise and entrepreneurshi p, especially in the small business community-build ing sense which is being choked by the huge corporate profiteering by any means possible behemoths. It is the ruthless and over-arching greed and it's misuse that is the problem, vote-buying and the granting of Corporate personhood by a corrupt and biased Supreme Judiciary to those who have the means, often ill-gotten and exploitive of others and the planet, who manipulate and undermine the public sector, seek de-regulation of public safety and environmental regulation for their further profit. That's not "successful", it's monopolistic and furtherance of the Corporate State -and you know what that translates to, right (Think Benito Mussolini, it's founder)?
 
 
+5 # Blast Dorrough 2011-11-13 19:28
The ignorant who support the greedy imagined nobility of hereditary privilege and "entitlement" to plunder U.S. revenues and resources at will with impunity assume these parasites have earned their wealth. These incorrigible crminals have yet to earn a single dollar that is not tainted by their culture of greed and corruption in sabotage of our constitutioal Republic. Their congressional and judicial hirelings are in the same useless and parasitical criminal class.
 
 
+1 # boudreaux 2011-11-14 08:39
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Why are you all so upset with people who are successful?



Its what they do with thier money Robt and when you can buy votes with your money it is wrong especially when you are voting aganist the 1%.

I would have thought you could have figured that one on you own.
 
 
+2 # boudreaux 2011-11-14 08:40
It looks like ole Harry taught his boys to follow in his footsteps, own all that you can and then lie about everything after that.....
 
 
-7 # Robt Eagle 2011-11-14 11:12
Woah, so you are convinced that the Koch brothers are spending their fortunes to screw you? What have they taken from you? Go and make your own fortune and stop worrying about what these bastards are doing. Why don't you complain about Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd who used their government power to bolster Fannie Mae while they knew it was about to implode. Frank and Dodd used their public office to destroy this country with Fannie Mae backing mortgages that were offered to people who could ill afford the houses they bought with improper mortgages that Frank and Dodd encouraged. And how about Eric Holder who is allowing voter fraud, heavily biased to minorities. Read "Injustice" by J. Christian Adams and get educated as to how Holder and the Dep't of Justice are out of control and obliterating the US Constitution by ignoring the laws that they swore to uphold.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2011-11-14 19:33
Quoting Robt Eagle:
stop worrying about what these bastards are doing.

"Stop worrying about what these bastards are doing" is just what they want!
I've invited the head honcho of the "Americans for prosperity group (The Koch disruptive and heavily funded organization set up to undermine the public good and which should be re-titled "Americans for Prosperity for a few") in my local county to a public debate after being told that he was sniping at me personally and politically in his blog -and he won't even respond.
The last thing these "bastards" want is open debate in a public forum face to face. They operate in the shadows to take what they want and all they want is absolute POWER!
And I'm a small business owner who has been crippled by the power elite in this depression and am trying to find a creative way out of the slump. It's not just as easy as "Go and make your own fortune" under the current circumstances unless you are already powerful, ruthless, wealthy, a movie star, an entrenched bureaucrat or part of the bloated military machine (other categories exist for sure) so don't be so damn flippant! I have no wish to have great power over others but just to make a sustainable, decent living. It's the elite and monopolists and the congress-critte rs they own that make it so difficult -and that includes the Koch's.
 
 
+1 # bobby t. 2011-11-14 13:11
robt eagle, have you read the dodd/frank bill?
koch brothers are not the only ones aiding the enemy in time of war. check out adm who feeds the whole world. read book "rats in the grain." talk about getting around sanctions! how about fixing prices on fertilizer woldwide? and on that subject, how about the price fixing that goes on every day in the drug stores. those high prices are not because of the drug companies. thank god for them, as they cure our ills. it is the drug stores that fix prices. check it out by calling local stores for lipitor/generic , and then checking out the price in costco. the drug stores are killing the middle class, who can't get medicaid and can't afford the fixed prices. the smoke and mirrors is the brand/patented meds. yes, they get a fifteen year deal, but it is the drug stores that jack up the price of the brand drugs when they receive them from cheaply from the drug companies. in canada and mexico the government buys directly. that is the reason why the koch brothers and the drug stores fought against the public option, or god forbid, single payer! they would lose trillions...che ck it out.
 
 
-6 # Robt Eagle 2011-11-14 14:39
bobby t: I haven't taken a prescription drug in 15 years and don't intend to in the future. Get educated on nutrition and work out daily and that won't be a problem either. You are so right on with the drug stores, but that is a whole other matter. For 85 cents a day per person cardi-vascular diseas could be irradicated in this country with simple supplementation . Cancer prevention and cures are all around us without poison chemo-theerapy and radiation, which really are horrible ways to treat cancer. Education and self research (don't believe the ACS is doing anything with all the fund raising dollars) is the way to go. Any HealthCare system is doomed unless it is directed at PREVENTATIVE measures, but that would harm the drug companies and pharmacies.
 
 
+1 # wrodwell 2011-11-14 17:12
I got to know Fred Chase Koch's widow Mary when I visited the family home in Wichita in 1969. (He was a big game hunter as well as having been a founding member of the extreme right wing organization The John Birch Society.) When I was there, pater familias Fred Chase Koch had been dead 5 years and his widow Mary was looking for a sculptor to create a portrait of him for the Koch Industries building in Wichita. I was recommended for the job by a Wichita sculptor I met in Italy who was too sick to take on the project. I dealt with widow Mary and we agreed on a price. Not only did she want one bronze cast for Koch Industries but 5 more: one for her, and one each for her 4 sons. In 1971, David Koch and his younger brother visited my studio in NYC. They eventually approved a head I'd sculpted using family photos they'd loaned me for references. When the first cast was finished, I shipped it to Wichita and designed the pedestal for it - for free. When I wrote Ms. Koch informing her I was ready to begin casting the other 5 copies, she did't respond. I wrote again telling her I was ready to get started, hoping she'd honor our contract. I never heard from her again and she never did honor the contract. Pulling a fast one on people whenever possible is clearly something that runs in the family.
 
 
+2 # bobby t. 2011-11-15 15:37
wrodwell,
sorry you got taken by these scum. and they preach moral values. barbara bush was supposed to be connected to the john birch society. who is the real royalty in america? to me, it is bernie sanders, and al franken. they walk the walk.
 
 
+1 # chaz2011 2011-11-16 06:48
About that royalty bobby t....I would include THOM HARTMANN! I've learned more from him than anyone and that's why I buy is podcast. I'm addicted. And Bernie is great too. And newcomer Elizabeth Warren of course. I was with you on Franken until he caved on tax cuts for the rich. I'm still working on forgiving him for that one.
 
 
+1 # sharsand 2011-11-17 08:28
Isn't interesting that these boot-strap right-wingers were handed their riches by their grandfather and father. Yet they believe it's their birthright to be rich oligarchs who make sure no one else has a decent job. Do we smell facsism in the air? Their family history has hints of that everywhere. Daddy was co-founder of the John Birch Society.
 

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