The billionaire brothers waging war against Obama and the environment


by Sunny
25th August, 2010 at 11:30 am    

This is an excellent article in the New Yorker: An excerpt:

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 policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.
….
” The Kochs have given millions of dollars to nonprofit groups that criticize environmental regulation and support lower taxes for industry. Gus diZerega, the former friend, suggested that the Kochs’ youthful idealism about libertarianism had largely devolved into a rationale for corporate self-interest. He said of Charles, “Perhaps he has confused making money with freedom.”

These are also the guys who founded the US libertarian think-tank Cato Institute. When President Obama, in a 2008 speech, described the science on global warming as “beyond dispute,” the Cato Institute took out a full-page ad in the Times to contradict him.

The article also goes on to say that though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently issued a report concluding the evidence for global warming is unequivocal, more Americans are convinced than at any time since 1997 that scientists have exaggerated the seriousness of global warming. “The Kochs promote this statistic on their company’s Web site but do not mention the role that their funding has played in fostering such doubt.”

In a 2002 memo, the Republican political consultant Frank Luntz wrote that so long as “voters believe there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community” the status quo would prevail.

It is perhaps the biggest myth that “libertarians” buy into – that the people they look up to are free-wheeling intellectuals who have no ties to the corporatist world that libertarians actually claim to hate. The Cato institute, the climate change denial industry – everything is funded by these mad-men. They don’t care for rationality, evidence or the planet – only their own bottom line.

The other point I wanted to make was… once you read the article you understand the kind of entrenched money and vested interests he is up against. Shifting the system is neither easy nor quick.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Environmentalism,United States






16 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blog post:: The billionaire brothers waging war against Obama and the environment http://bit.ly/drRVZQ


  2. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Blog post:: The billionaire brothers waging war against Obama and the environment http://bit.ly/drRVZQ


  3. houseoftwits

    RT @sunny_hundal Blog post:: The billionaire brothers waging war against Obama and the environment http://bit.ly/drRVZQ


  4. Adam Vaughan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: The billionaire brothers waging war against Obama and the environment http://bit.ly/drRVZQ


  5. Claire Spencer

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: The billionaire brothers waging war against Obama and the environment http://bit.ly/drRVZQ


  6. World War II flying ace Marcel Albert dead at 92 North Capitol Street

    [...] Pickled Politics » The billionaire brothers waging war against … [...]




  1. Funny Pundal — on 25th August, 2010 at 2:06 pm  

    A nice bit of a dog whistle article for a part of the base readership. Some nice red meat about evil Jews waging war against Obama and the environment.

  2. Cauldron — on 25th August, 2010 at 2:43 pm  

    I think you’ve been watching too many Bond movies.

    We’ve heard all these bogeymen stories before – Richard Mellon Scaiffe, the Bass Brothers etc. It didn’t stop Clinton, Obama, Blair, Chavez, Lula and others on the left getting into office. And for every SPECTRA-supporting billionaire there’s a Soros, Turner, Gates etc. fighting for the tree-huggers.

    It all balances out in the end.

  3. Shamit — on 25th August, 2010 at 4:30 pm  

    Bill Gates a lefty.

    Cauldron -

    Have you met the man or done any business with Microsoft?

    In business, he is probably one of the most ruthless businessman every born – very successful. But he follows the Abraham lincoln’s theory of “better angels of our nature” and he does so not only for altruistic reasons but for ensuring a secure and better world for his children to live in.

    There is a moral obligation on part of those who are more fortunate than others to help those who need our help most. Thats humanity not political posturing.

    Please don’t equate Soros and Bill gates. One added immense value to mankind both as an entrepreneur and a philanthropist the other is a vulture.

    *************************

    On the Cato institute’s advert – that is a ploy that has been used by US political groups from time unknown.

    Including recently, moveon’s full page advert in the New York Times calling Patreaus – “betray us” – even before he gave testimony to Congress and then their Messiah – President Obama also called him one of the best generals US has produced in recent times and Moveon now has no problems.

    And, move on gets its money from people like soros too.

    So, I do accept cauldron’s point and I do disagree with the post.

    *************************

    Obama is the man who authorised offshore drilling until the BP fiasco – so Obama cannot really be called environmentalist in that regard and the biggest block to Obama’s environmental agenda is the US Senate which has its own vested interest.

  4. joe90 — on 25th August, 2010 at 4:36 pm  

    How shallow of a political system is it, where if you are a billionaire and pull out the chequebook your choice of polices is most likely to be successful regardless if its right or wrong.

  5. BenSix — on 25th August, 2010 at 5:50 pm  

    …once you read the article you understand the kind of entrenched money and vested interests he is up against. Shifting the system is neither easy nor quick.

    Poor Obama. When ya think he was raised up by such tender, humble souls as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and General Electric…

    Some nice red meat about evil Jews waging war against Obama and the environment.

    I’m not sure the Kochs are Jewish; their Grandfather was an immigrant from Holland. (Still, Sunny, all this focus on the Netherlands seems a bit suspicious. You’re not an anti-Dutchite, are you?)

  6. Cauldron — on 25th August, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

    Shamit, I didn’t say Bill Gates was a lefty. I said he is (probably) a tree hugger. Lefties and tree huggers aren’t necessarily the same thing. Lefties like the East Germans were very bad for the environment whereas lefties like the Khmer Rouge followed policies that in many ways were quite green.

  7. Sunny — on 25th August, 2010 at 8:38 pm  

    and Moveon now has no problems.

    Moveon didn’t like it when he got appointed either.

  8. cjcjc — on 26th August, 2010 at 9:35 am  

    “lefties like the Khmer Rouge followed policies that in many ways were quite green”

    Very very bad taste, but, LOL.

    So, the Kochs promote their own interests.
    So, eg, does Gore.
    There’s quite a lot of money on both sides, as you know perfectly well.

  9. johng — on 27th August, 2010 at 3:04 am  
  10. raff — on 27th August, 2010 at 5:41 pm  

    A good interview with the journalist who wrote the piece on NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129425186

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.