Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.
Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.
Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.
She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”
On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.
Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:
David Koch wanted to abolish public schools, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and rent control. He financed groups that denied the research on climate change. He funded the Tea Party. And he used dark money to support right-wing causes and Republican candidates for office. https://t.co/x08wiaOh9p
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 23, 2019
Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:
I see some celebrating David Koch’s death. I’m not. I wish every major climate change denialist lived to be 200 years old, so they can see the horrors they are unleashing on the rest of us.
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) August 23, 2019
Millions of Americans have suffered because of David Koch’s relentless drive to allow corporations to do anything they want to our communities and environment without any govt rules or oversight. The man’s legacy is ruination.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 23, 2019
David Koch is dead.
But his legacy of destroying the environment, fostering income inequality and manipulating our democratic process to favor minority rule will live on for a long time.#FridayFeeling
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) August 23, 2019
— Gregory Pecked (@Gregory_Pecked) August 23, 2019
David Koch accumulated a fortune of $42 billion and worked tirelessly for much of his life to make himself ever richer, at the expense of his workers, the country as a whole and the environment.
He wasn’t able to take a penny of his fortune with him when he died this morning.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) August 23, 2019
David Koch admits to using American for Prosperity to “support” Scott Walker. That’s illegal, a violation of IRS laws and election laws.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) February 24, 2012
Billionaire David Koch, of The Koch brothers, dies. Best known for “Kochtopus” a vast political network they built known for far-reaching tentacles in support of conservative causes, founded the anti-tax, small government group Americans for Prosperity. https://t.co/HAyXRLrieF
— Christian Borges (@christianborges) August 23, 2019
people will try to be nice & note David Koch opposed the war on drugs/militarism but the money he gave opposing these twin evils was trivial compared to the funds he gave supporting candidates that backed the war on drugs/militarism & the related ideology of starving poor people https://t.co/L00LKvebfF
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) August 23, 2019
If you have nothing nice to say about the dead, maybe just recite the facts.
I’m glad this world has not yet come to be and I hope and pray it never will. https://t.co/zfeQ2sxryu
— Ed Bott (@edbott) August 23, 2019
David Koch’s biggest legacy was convincing aging white voters that it was OK to be mad at the black man who fixed the economy and tripled David Koch’s wealth. https://t.co/dM9vMX6s0P
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) August 23, 2019
David Koch leaves behind him a nasty legacy of:
– oil spils
– overall evil fuckery
Not a nice guy. https://t.co/kFdX5654SS
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 23, 2019
David Koch represented a Republican Party of the past when racism and misogyny drove public policy, but it was more discreet and there weren’t red hats. RIP.
— Andrew Abramson 🌎 (@AbramsonFL) August 23, 2019
Neo-feudalistic elitist David Koch, whose narcissistic hatred for democracy corrupted the American system of government on multiple fronts, has died. Also a well-known donor to the arts, Koch’s primary legacy will be that of a chaos agent.https://t.co/mFDwdGj5LE
— Resister In The Rain (@meerkatrodeo) August 23, 2019
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‘Sexy’: Comer Obtains Unredacted Emails to VP Biden Revealing Women ‘Privately Mused’ They Found Him Attractive
Amid the chaos of what top Democrats are calling the GOP House’s “civil war,” infighting that threatens to shut down the federal government in nine days, Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer has been obtaining some of then-Vice President Joe Biden‘s emails from the National Archives.
Politico reveals Chairman Comer has been able to obtain several unreacted emails, including one which relayed a tidbit of hearsay, or, “private musings,” from 2009, after an overseas trip Biden took: “multiple” women said they found the Vice President “sexy.”
The emails “include schedules with ordinary family get-togethers,” Politico adds. “One shows Biden had lunch with Hunter Biden’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan. Another reveals that the Ukrainians were praising his now-deceased brother, Beau. And then there are the private musings of multiple Georgian women saying they found Joe Biden ‘sexy’ during a 2009 trip that also included a stop in Ukraine.”
“’Must-read email below,’ read an email forwarded by Biden’s then-national security adviser Tony Blinken to Joe Biden and his sons, Hunter and Beau. The email’s subject line: ‘Biden as new Georgian sex symbol.'”
Other emails from the National Archives’ trove include a “June 14, 2016 schedule card shows Biden was to meet with the prime minister of Ukraine. The newly unredacted portions show he was also scheduled to work out with his personal trainer, and to dine with Hunter’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan, in the vice president’s office.”
Politico, noting that “Republicans have yet to turn up direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited personally or that he took any official action as a result of those [Hunter Biden’s] connections, also reveals a “May, 27, 2016 schedule card includes a call with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Hunter Biden was copied on the day’s schedule. It’s already been reported that Biden was also due to attend the one-year anniversary of the passing of his son, Beau, back home in Delaware.”
“Comer had been pointing to this scheduling item, since it was also emailed to then-Vice President Biden under a pseudonym email address. Comer even said the vice president was sending a secret message to his son that he was about to fire the prosecutor. As recently as last week, Comer included that email on a list of ‘evidence’ of Joe Biden’s ‘involvement in his family’s influence peddling schemes.'”
Politico also notes that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy “and his allies insisted that opening a formal impeachment inquiry would empower them to dig deeper. Yet the emails are another example of the House GOP failing to turn up evidence they’ve assured the public exists and that will implicate Biden in some form of corruption that rises to an impeachable offense.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Just Want to Burn the Whole Place Down’: McCarthy Rails Against House Republicans as GOP Conference Explodes in Chaos
Speaker Kevin McCarthy unleashed his anger against his own House Republican conference Thursday as chaos erupted after yet another procedural vote on a defense spending bill failed and the clock ticks closer to a GOP-caused shutdown of the federal government.
McCarthy “failed a crucial test Thursday of his ability to unite his fractured Republican caucus as he tries to rally support to pass a spending bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the month,” CNBC adds.
“It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate, and then you got all the amendments and if you don’t like the bill,” McCarthy admitted to reporters in what has increasingly become opportunities for him to trash the most far-right Republicans in the House.
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” he lamented. “It doesn’t work.”
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
— After House Republicans once again failed to pass a basic procedural rule to fund the Pentagon, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hits some members of his own conference pic.twitter.com/Qt4AR71jP3
— The Recount (@therecount) September 21, 2023
“This is really unheard of,” CNBC’s Emily Wilkins reported. “I mean just a rule going down as a procedural thing, that’s pretty rare as is, and for it to happen twice in one week. Last night Republicans came ut of their all hands on deck Republican meeting. A number of them sounded optimistic about moving forward.”
Thursday failed procedural vote “really did catch Speaker McCarthy by surprise,” Wilkins added.
“He said he did not realize there were not going to be the votes to move forward on this.”
The House failed to pass a procedural rules vote today, @emrwilkins
reports. “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said. “That doesn’t work.” https://t.co/1xf6Y33riV pic.twitter.com/kK31lrHOyr
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 21, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Pete Buttigieg Just Testified Before Congress. It Did Not Go Well for Republicans.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, where he was forced to educate Republicans on a wide variety of topics, from climate change to not needing passports to fly domestically, to subsidies for oil and gas companies.
In one heated back-and-forth, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who has been fighting a subpoena from Special Counsel Jack Smith, blamed Secretary Buttigieg specifically for “killing” the auto industry by supporting electric vehicles.
“I don’t know if you can justify or how you justify forcing my constituents to pay for EVs [electric vehicles] and EV infrastructure for coastal elites and wealthy people, but somehow you do,” Rep. Perry told Secretary Buttigieg.
“Well, I need to point out that wealthy people were specifically excluded from the Inflation Reduction Act,” Buttigieg replied.
“Well,” Perry replied. “Do you dispute that two-thirds of EV owners, are owned by people over 100,000, that make over 100,000?”
Buttigieg explained that the first electric vehicles were expensive, but “that number is going down.” Perry yelled it “doesn’t matter” that the prices of the electric vehicles are going down, his constituents “can’t afford them today,” which led Buttigieg to ask why he is opposed to “cutting their costs?”
“I’m not against cutting the cost. The market should do it,” Perry replied. “But you want the government, you want my taxpayers to pay to cut the cost.”
Buttigieg then asked about subsidies for the oil and gas companies, which cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars annually.
“If you are of the view that there should be no subsidy to propulsion vehicles, then are you against oil and gas subsidies?” Buttigieg asked.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg schools U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) on electric vehicles and the auto industry.
BUTTIGIEG: “If you are of the view that there should be no subsidy to propulsion vehicles, then are you against oil and gas subsidies?” pic.twitter.com/WmqkCroj5C
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) September 20, 2023
During another back-and forth, Buttigieg quelled a Republican Congressman asking him questions as he educated him on electric vehicles and why they are important.
“Nobody wants these electric vehicles unless you’re an elite that can afford them – people in may district sure as hell don’t want them.”
“We’re doing this for three reasons, even though the EV revolution’s going to happen anyway,” Buttigieg told U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA).
“Oh, it’s a ‘revolution’ –” the Congressman interjected, before Buttigieg cut him off.
“I would love to answer your question, Congressman.”
Moments later, when Buttigieg said “climate change is real,” LaMalfa shot back, “This one’s called Autumn.”
Buttigieg made him repeat it before explaining, “yeah, that’s the seasons changing which respectfully is not the same as the climate changing.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “What I can tell you is that climate change is real…”
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA): “Yeah, this one’s called autumn.”
Buttigieg: “That’s the seasons changing, which, respectably, is not the same thing as the climate changing.” pic.twitter.com/HNN4NcUIa0
— The Recount (@therecount) September 20, 2023
And when U.S. Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO) appeared to be unprepared with facts and figures, Buttigieg was happy to provide them for him, upending his inquiry into the Transportation Secretary’s “private” flights.
“I knew this might come up, so I brought some numbers,” Secretary Buttigieg told Rep. Burlison. “Since getting the job, I have taken—these are estimates, give or take a couple—but I’ve taken 638 flights.”
“607 of them were commercial, 10 of them were on military aircraft such as Air Force One, and 21 were on FAA aircraft—representing about 3 percent of the flights.”
“I appreciate the chance to discuss this because I can’t help get the sense that some people want to make it sound as if I don’t travel most of the time on commercial aircraft, which of course is untrue,” Buttigieg added.
“Mr. Secretary,” Burlison continued, “I think I think the irony for most people in my district is that they’re being told that they’re going to have to convert to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint. And yet, not everyone gets to travel the way that you do.”
“Just once again,” Buttigieg replied, reinforcing what he had said, “the way I usually travel is an economy class aboard an airliner like everybody else, when we do it differently, it’s often because it will save taxpayer money.”
“I’m so glad you asked this,” Buttigieg concluded, saying he was “excited to share” this information.
Oh my god a GOP member of congress actually brought up the bogus “private flights” story to Buttigieg’s face. Immediate regret. pic.twitter.com/8gvPt01a6C
— chyea ok (@chyeaok) September 20, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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