Thursday, August 26, 2010


This is one of the most revealing and in some ways frightening articles I've read in The New Yorker. It's long but worth it if you want to see where the right, including the tea party, is getting most of its money.

It's not just ironic (because of the phony "little people" rhetoric and supposed "grassroots" "take back our country" etc. jive which so many have fallen for) but diabolical that the right, including the tea party, is largely funded by the owners (and rulers) of the second largest privately own corporation in this country, the brothers Koch, whose combined wealth is third behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Men who believe that all regulations and all help for the old or the poor—including Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, Food Stamps, etc.—and in fact almost everything governments do for societies should be eliminated completely.

And of course being a giant oil industry corporation, they specifically fund think tanks and papers and politicians and political groups and wordsmiths and communications experts who can influence and even change the public dialogue about energy policy including "global warming" not because they don't believe in it but because it would cut into the billions they make while polluting and causing untold deaths not just over time but often instantly in oil spills and "accidents" (i.e. pipeline explosions caused by negligence etc.).

These guys are like something out of central casting from the 1930s, the greedy capitalists who would sacrifice any of us, indeed all of us, for more wealth and power for themselves.

Hopefully John Stewart will do another of his Glen Beck imitations with the blackboard and make some of the connections this article makes, only simpler and easier to grasp (or skip the Beck imitation and just nail them as he does Fox News here). One of my ongoing arguments about the Dems, their lack of media savvy and tendency to get too cerebral and complex when trying to articulate their positions. Unlike the cromagnon—"me good you bad"—sound bites the right has mastered (and their lucky timing with current technology and information dissemination which favors the kind of simple simon big-lie tweet style bits for which they're so suited).


JIm said...

The saying goes about socialism, is that eventually it runs out of other peopls's money. It looks like we may be there.
S&P Says US Should Act to Protect AAA-Rating: Report
Published: Thursday, 26 Aug 2010 | 6:27 AM ET Text Size By: ReutersDiggBuzz FacebookTwitter More Share
The United States government needs to take steps to preserve its top AAA-rating, a Standard & Poor's Ratings (S&P) official told Dow Jones newswire in an interview published on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

"follow the money"
while Rome Burns!

it is NOT about who is "driving the bus"

it's that the bus, itself, is running away out-of-control, brake-less, and out of (any) fuel!

Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Right-wingers, Left-wingers ...

all of them... Fucking Clueless Greedy Pimps!

Lally said...

That last comment is [artly how the right took over our government under Bush/Cheney and continues to thwart it under the Part of No as they say. Notice in the recent primaries that Republicans came out in greater numbers (in terms of percentages of their party numbers) than Dems, because the right convinces most reasonable folks that all politicians and parties are bad and hopeless etc. so why even bother, while the right gets fired up to make their influence felt even greater than it already has been and which has led to the disastrous consequences of their total control under Bush/Cheney, etc. Hopefully people will notice in that article and others like it that a lot of money from the right was spent on support for Nader in order to dilute the vote for Gore and Kerry, and it worked!

Anonymous said...


is it your position/belief
that if a person criticizes the Obama policies and their implementation and their results that that automatically make that critic a Right Wing Tea Party -ist?


that you've reduced things to a game..

it's your football team against the other's football team!


or as that moron, Vince Lombardi said:

"it's not HOW you play the game. It's that you WIN! WIN! WIN!"

or that if one chooses to be anonymous that person is a Coward?

Butch in Waukegan said...

re Lally at 10:26 EDT

This is a rather odd formulation: Democratic critics, from the left and right, are responsible for the Democrats not being able to mobilize their own base. Isn’t it the responsibility of the Party itself to make its case to its own supporters?

From McClatchy (in KC Star):

Political pros have dubbed the problem an “enthusiasm gap,” and point to polling that suggests the deepening Democratic dilemma:

• An Ipsos Public Affairs poll designed to measure voter enthusiasm in August showed 79 percent of Republicans were enthusiastic, compared to 60 percent of Democrats.

• Gallup found 51 percent of conservative Republicans “very enthusiastic” about voting this November; just 29 percent of liberal Democrats are in that category.

• A Public Policy Polling survey showed 58 percent of all voters are “very excited” about casting ballots, but just 43 percent of “moderate Democrats” are in that category.

“Republicans will have a much easier time mobilizing their base than Democrats,” Ipsos concluded. “Indeed, ‘get out the vote’ and other grass roots campaigns are always made easier when the base is positively predisposed … greater voter enthusiasm, in turn, should translate itself into Republican electoral success.”

Note the last statistic cited. Moderate Democrats, the center of the core of the Party’s base and presumably less susceptible to the right and left villains you assign blame to, are significantly less enthusiastic.

This analysis makes more sense: Obama and the Democrats won in 2008 because they sold themselves as something they aren’t — fighter’s for the people against corporate power and never-ending wars. After 2 years of holding power and not living up to their own sales pitch, even the Democratic base is demoralized.

Your election slogan, It Could Be Worse, won’t do the trick.

Lally said...

I'm obviously not articulating my point very well, at least not for Butch and anonymous above, and there isn't enough room to do it full justice here. But I am not attacking anyone. I am trying to point out that the right is too small a minority in this country to ever gain control of the federal government unless they convince enough others, left and middle, that either it's pointless to vote, or vote for a nominee who can't win but seems to represent your ideals better, or vote for the right because they aren't really as bad as their opposition makes them out to be and they actually represent your values better. My leftist idealism contributed to the first time the right truly took national power in my lifetime, i.e. the election of Richard Nixon. But the other tactics, like convincing working people their best interests were best represented by rightwing candidates whose agenda ultimately meant more income loss for working people, less government help for working people and the poor, and more wealth for the already wealthy and even greater profits and control of our lives by corporations (i.e. Reagan) or disillusioning moderates and leftist into not voting or voting for an unwinnable candidate (Bush/Cheney). I am not saying and never said that Obama and others Democratic politicians should not be criticized, or that people shouldn't push the Dems to live up to their ideals, but I am saying that the left and the middle are much more easily disillusioned into the very lack of enthusiasm Butch cites above because the right long ago (starting with Nixon) figured out how to fuel and play that disillusionment to their advantage. Only Obama has been able to do that as well, but only during the campaign, rarely since. If anyone truly believes this country would look exactly the same right now under McCain/Palin then they should give up on the Democrats, but they should also read more nonpartisan history.

Lally said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Butch in Waukegan said...

A couple of weeks ago Gibbs, Obama’s spokesman, assailed “left” critics. His statement was significantly more vitriolic than anything he has ever said about the right wing and gives weight to the observation that Republicans fear their base while the Democrats despise theirs.

I thought at the time one of the motives for his remarks was to preemptively justify the coming Democratic electoral defeats. I saw a tinge of this in your post and was responding to that.

Class divisions in this country are becoming increasing clear, and the Democrats serve and protect the elites, just like Republicans.

Here’s an example. Obama kept Bernake, a Bush appointee, to run the Fed. Bernake is essentially in charge of the economy. This news article describes a speech he gave the other day:

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank has the tools to prevent the U.S. economy from slipping back into a recession, while stopping short of indicating an immediate need for more stimulus. [my emphasis]

Read the article and note the assumptions. A recession is a possibility, Bernake says. I repeat, Bernake says we are not in a recession (let alone a depression), despite sustained high unemployment and people losing their houses at a record pace. Bernake’s whole focus is on protecting the wealth of the elites, and Bernake is Obama’s man. A Bush Bernake bad / Obama Bernake good narrative would be a tough sell.

Who do you vote for if you want the interests of working people (the middle class, Joe 6 pack, people who play by the rules, the rest of us, whatever label you want apply) protected? Lots of people don’t see a clear choice and this is the reason the Democrats are in trouble

Isn’t it time to acknowledge that voting is a trick bag. Republicans and Democrats serve and protect (different tactics for both, for sure) the economic elites that run the country.

Lally said...

This is the last I'll say about this in this thread Butch, but you just proved my point. If you think working people and poor people do just as badly under the Dems and Obama in particular than under the Republicans (and McCain/Palin in particular or whoever they run next) then you are either not fully understanding what you read or what our country is experiencing. Yes, corporations hold sway over not just most if not all politicians but also over most people in this country, either overtly or covertly. But to deny the actual real changes that have occurred under Obama and the Dems that help working and poor people is either blind denial or some sort of ideological purity that refuses to acknowledge factual evidence when it is, well, evident. As for Bernake, maybe he was a bad choice but he is an expert on The Great Depression and almost every economist including many on the right who are now revising what they said agreed when Obama came in that we were facing another Great Depression. That has been avoided. Would I like to see someone more in line with my ideals appointed, absolutely. Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman come to mind among many. Has Obama been perfect in his choices, no he hasn't. Let's name the presidents, well, no, let's name anyone, who has consistently conformed to your ideal of what choices they should make. I'd rather have Obama, a man who has shown intelligence and good judgement in many of the choices he has made in life and as president, though not consistently, but certainly more than any Republican out there right now. And by the way, did you even read the article this post is about?

JIm said...

It is hard to describe a president who brought us wage and price controls as well as taking us off the gold standard as a conservative. Even the China opening was hardly a conservative position.

By the way, did any one notice Sarah/Beck get together in DC. One way to explain it is that evil shadowy oil tycoons are pulling the strings. Another explanation is that an enormous number of people believe that we need a fundamental change in Washington. Democrats and Rhinos beware.

PS It was reminescent of the 70s riots without the swearing, property damage and physical confrontation.

JIm said...

Here are some comments by Mr. Huston, on the silly Frank Rich, Tea Party and the supposed grand evil oil brothers financers. From my experience as a Tea Party member, it makes a lot of sense.

"No, there is no “the Tea Party.” There are hundreds of groups, all unconnected, all operating on their own hook with their own ideas, rules and hierarchies. In fact, this is the one draw back with the movement. There is at this time no reliable way to get them directed into a pointed and effective political force."

But extreme left-wingers like Frank Rich are desperate to discredit this genuine American movement. He wants to make you Tea Party members into dupes, fools, and chumps led by “radical right-wingers.” He needs to make of you the useful idiots to the moneyed elites. But I’ll guarantee you if you ask 99 percent of all Tea Party groups if they are being bankrolled by anyone they’ll look at you and simply laugh. They are sure to say they WISHED that someone would bankroll them because as it is now they bankroll themselves and in this horrid Obama economy any outside “sugar daddy” would be welcome news!

The truth is the dreaded Koch brothers are not bankrolling and controlling the Tea Party. Neither is Dick Army or Tim Phillips. But Obama’s mindnumbed minions, useful idiots like Frank Rich, are desperate to discount the patriotic efforts of millions of individual citizens who have become disgusted by Obamaism. It is because these millions of individual patriotic American citizens are a threat to their Euro-lite, left-wing agenda.

The left is frightened of you, folks. A look at the venom spewed at Glenn Back’s Restoring America rally is proof of the unhinged hatred that the left has for you. They cannot stand the idea that you are about to put the kibosh on their decades-old plan to eliminate the America we grew up with and replace it with one unrecognizable to a patriot.

And that is what Frank Rich tried so hard to do with his column. Sad for him he is whistling past the graveyard.