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The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

by Jane MayerAUGUST 30, 2010







David H. Koch in 1996. He and his brother Charles are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes.


Charles Koch;


David Koch;

Koch Industries;



Tea Party Movement;


Rich People;


On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small.

The gala marked the social ascent of Koch, who, at the age of seventy, has become one of the city’s most prominent philanthropists. In 2008, he donated a hundred million dollars to modernize Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre building, which now bears his name. He has given twenty million to the American Museum of Natural History, whose dinosaur wing is named for him. This spring, after noticing the decrepit state of the fountains outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Koch pledged at least ten million dollars for their renovation. He is a trustee of the museum, perhaps the most coveted social prize in the city, and serves on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where, after he donated more than forty million dollars, an endowed chair and a research center were named for him.

One dignitary was conspicuously absent from the gala: the event’s third honorary co-chair, Michelle Obama. Her office said that a scheduling conflict had prevented her from attending. Yet had the First Lady shared the stage with Koch it might have created an awkward tableau. In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other productsForbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policiesfrom health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

In a statement, Koch Industries said that the Greenpeace report “distorts the environmental record of our companies.” And David Koch, in a recent, admiring article about him in New York, protested that the “radical press” had turned his family into “whipping boys,” and had exaggerated its influence on American politics. But Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

few weeks after the Lincoln Center gala, the advocacy wing of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation—an organization that David Koch started, in 2004—held a different kind of gathering. Over the July 4th weekend, a summit called Texas Defending the American Dream took place in a chilly hotel ballroom in Austin. Though Koch freely promotes his philanthropic ventures, he did not attend the summit, and his name was not in evidence. And on this occasion the audience was roused not by a dance performance but by a series of speakers denouncing President Barack Obama. Peggy Venable, the organizer of the summit, warned that Administration officials “have a socialist vision for this country.

Five hundred people attended the summit, which served, in part, as a training session for Tea Party activists in Texas. An advertisement cast the event as a populist uprising against vested corporate power. “Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests,” it said. “But you can do something about it.” The pitch made no mention of its corporate funders. The White House has expressed frustration that such sponsors have largely eluded public notice. David Axelrod, Obama’s senior adviser, said, “What they don’t say is that, in part, this is a grassroots citizens’ movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires.”

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"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









Last edited by sunnubian
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Obama sabotaged his own presidency by wanting to be president behind GWB. That is why I wanted the White broad to get the nomination. Xum

I understand that ANYONE that became president behind George Bush/administration would have the right trying to make him/her the fall guy for all economic damage and destruction brought on by republican politics and the Bush administration.  I don't see that Obama alone being president is sabotaging his own presidency.  I do see, however, that his plan/vision for America is being sabotaged by all republicans and a large percentage of democrats, not to mention those not actually holding political office like the two mentioned above.
Nobody said this wouldn't be the most difficult time in memory to be president.  Obama has no excuses, because nothing is going on right now that wasn't foreseeable back then.  I'm all for him, but if he fails because of "sabotage" or for any other reason, then he shouldn't have run in the first place.  He's way too smart to have underestimated what he would be up against.
because nothing is going on right now that wasn't foreseeable back then.

That Gulf oil leak wasn't forseeable.

But planned obsolescence was going on in cars back in the 60s but it was regarded as a good thing by people that thought about it at the time.  But it was one of those LONG TERM BAD THINGS and the economists don't want to talk about 50 years of ignored depreciation.

Consumerism is a flawed long term economic policy and somebody would have to be in office when it crapped out.  But now  we have Black Republicans talking about Keynesians and Marxistsin the White House.


That Gulf oil leak wasn't forseeable.
Not specifically, but obviously if you're running for president, you know it's highly likely that some kind of major catastrophe might happen, that you'd have to be ready to both deal with and be ready for criticism about.  Bush had Katrina in 05, 9/11 in 01... So you can't run for president thinking that disaster preparedness is not something you have to be on top of.
I don't think that it was foreseeable that damn near just as many democrats were going to block Obama's plan for the nation by having total control of congress and sitting on their hands doing nothing while the healthcare bill was negotiated down to nothing but a winfall for the insurance conglomerates; that they would settle for an 18 to one crack to cocaine sentencing law instead of equal one to one; that they would block progress for the people in order to please their campaign contributors and own interest above the interest of the people; that they would sit idly by and do or say nothing while republicans spread lies and fear mongering throughout this country in an effort to incite riots, racial clashes and probably hoping for some militia uprising; etc., etc.
some kind of major catastrophe might happen, that you'd have to be ready to both deal with and be ready for criticism about.  Bush had Katrina in 05, 9/11 in 01... So you can't run for president thinking that disaster preparedness is not something you have to be on top of.

The oil leak was nothing like Katrina.  Only the people that caused it had the equipment and "expertise" to do anything about it unless he intended to try the NUKE trick.  Katrina involved government action or lack of it.

The economic problem has been 50 years in the making.  Our so called Capitalism wants silly consumerism perpetuated.  The government listens to economists that can't do algebra.

When does the UN say that it is not smart for countries to import stuff designed to become obsolete?
Sunnubian Reference:
I do see, however, that his plan/vision for America is being sabotaged by all republicans and a large percentage of democrats, not to mention those not actually holding political office like the two mentioned above.
I don't think the Democrats are sabotaging him.  They don't get out front and bark for him like they should, but they aren't sabotaging him.  He frequently sabotages them.  He has undercut his own team  on healthcare reform especially by cutting backdoor deals with Big Pharma and Big Insurance, as well as failing to uphold the public option.  He continues to escalate the Af-Pak war situation, he hasn't supported gay marriage, he hasn't eliminated don't ask don't tell.  He frequently backtracks and doubletalks on race issues, he bends over backwards for rightwing BS (as if he doesn't realize the right wing IS out to destroy him), he's given extroardinary consideration to conservatism which is a political philosophy which was all but dead after the financial chaos of 08 demonstrated that unfettered free market capitalism is harmful,, and he chides those who are ostensibly part of his base ie blacks and "the professional left".  If sabotaging is going on...he has a big pile of it in his own backyard.
  Bottom line to all of this President is a BLACK MAN!!! That wasn't suppose to happen....ever!  But!  It did.  To the surprise of the republicans as well as the democrates as well as the liberals and etc.  Whitefolks in general were shocked although my President did a hellava campaign to get him there....he was SMART, innovative and smooooooth.   If he was WHITE...there would some whinning....but!  Not to this degree.  I'm just SHOCKED that some blackfolks don't get it.  Which makes his unprecendented win....all the more tragic.  Cuz in my view, these kneegrows are an the culture that has managed to pull itself up in unprecented success with less than boot strings.  And it is these people...these kneegrows that are fueling massa continual attempt to sabbotage my President.  It's the same ole song.  Field kneegrow vs house this day and age.....  Don't believe me?  Proof.  MLK's niece siding with Beck...if that ain't a giant backstab to those who died for us...I don't know what is....heifer need to go, shut the fock up[cuz it's fake] and sit down somewhere far far far away....but!  I'm just sayin

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