Tag Archives: plutocrats

It’s all about the little guy

https://i1.wp.com/newsbusters.org/sites/default/files/main_photos/2013/August/Hannity%20Limbaugh%20O%27Reilly.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/blogs.kansas.com/weblog/files/kochs7.jpg

Never doubt that these people care deeply about the vast swath of Americans who believe their every word! Never doubt it!

They know America will be destroyed if everyone can afford health care for their kids. Destroyed I tell you!

And, according to them, they’ll save us from health care, a dismal fate, and they are brave. Brave I tell you!

  • Rush Limbaugh – NET WORTH $400 million
  • Sean Hannity – NET WORTH $39 million
  • Rick Scott – NET WORTH $85 million (down from a reported $250 million in 2010 after he spent $75 million of his own money on his 2010 campaign for FL governor and since it’s rumored he’ll spend $100 million of his own money for the 2014 election . . . puzzling numbers but then I was never very good at math.)
  • Koch brothers – NET WORTH more billions that I can count
  • Sarah Palin – NET WORTH $16 million
  • Rupert Murdoch – NET WORTH $13 billion
  • Donald Trump – NET WORTH $150 million
  • Anne Coulter – NET WORTH $9 million
  • Glenn Beck – NET WORTH $150 million
  • Dick Cheney – NET WORTH $12 million
  • Bill O’Reilly – NET WORTH $75 million
  • Newt Gingrich – NET WORTH $7 million (which is a disgrace since he’s earned $100 million since he left government)

 

Jim wrote a letter to Mitt. Wasn’t that nice?

In comments yesterday, Jim Wheeler wrote a little letter to Mr. Romney after seeing the quote below about Vietnam service.  Here it is.

Gosh, Mittens, I was there and I really, really missed you.  And you know what?  If you had been there it would have done wonders for your ability to empathize with the little people.

For example, there was the family separation of 474 days out of 540 during which my wife raised our three boys alone, closed on the purchase of a house and made all the major family decisions without me.  For example there were the incessant hours of boredom punctuated by moments of fear and immense loneliness.  For example there was the frustration of having politicians trying to run the goddam war by sitting around a coffee table drinking bourbon while we were racing up and down the South China Sea lobbing 8 inch shells into attacking Viet Cong.  For example there was the immense pleasure of receiving one’s wife’s accumulated 17 daily letters, each numbered consecutively because she knew they would arrive that way, and because there was no fucking email or satellite video then.

But never mind, Mittens.  You can take consolation with all those souls you won for the Lord in France.  After all, there are all kinds of sacrifice.

Yours in sympathy,

Jim

2751 comments on a single post. Alas, not mine.

I’ve never seen a number like that. That comment thread is at David Corn’s original MoJo article about the video from a Romney fundraiser where, to quote Corn:

Romney displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don’t contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative.

2751 Frackin’ comments! Also, class warfare anyone?

UPDATE: In comments, mac adds this (wowza!):

But guess what Moe! Just saw that the original post on HuffPo about the video – which has become the most commented EVER at their site..

167,682 comments.

Yes. 167 thousand comments.

Bill Mahar explains the difference between a Model-T and bags of money

Perfect.

Thank you Ann Romney for the confirmation

Last week I said this:

Romney is increasingly sounding like someone who believes that whatever he chooses to share with the electorate ought to be enough for them. Noblesse oblige and all ya’know.

Yesterday Ann Romney said this.

Ann Romney dismissed concerns about her husband’s tax returns Thursday, contending that the two of them have “given all you people need to know.”

. . . “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she added later.

I don’t think it could be any clearer – we’re little people and we should just be satisfied with what they choose to let us know. It’s really not our business. Just like, as she says, it’s not our business how they live their lives..

You might want to check the Republican platform Ann – it’s all about how your party thinks we should we live our lives. It’s conservative orthodoxy that a morality, apparently a Christian inspired one, must be imposed upon those of us who don’t fit.

Also, I want to know if you guys wear that magic Mormon underwear. Because if you do, isn’t that likereligion requiring men wear a beard and women cover their heads? Isn’t that kind of like Sharia?

Still believe in The Heritage Foundation?

Will the apologists for our emerging American oligarchy try to talk their way around even this?

According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States has an economic freedom score of 76.3, which makes the United States rank tenth out of one hundred seventy-nine ranked countries. Hong Kong ranks first, with an economic freedom score of 89.9.

For those who don’t know, here‘s who they are:

Heritage’s stated mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense”.

They think we’re not doing so well.  And in case you didn’t know, here’s who they are:

Heritage is primarily funded through donations from private individuals and charitable foundations. Businessman Joseph Coors contributed the first $250,000 to start The Heritage Foundation in 1973. Other significant contributors have included the conservative Olin, Scaife, DeVos and Bradley foundations.

In 2007, Heritage reported an operating revenue of $75.0 million dollars. As of February 2011, Heritage reported 710,000 supporters.[28] Heritage Foundation is also a part of the Koch Foundation Associate Program.[29]

Those are family foundations, very very conservative family foundations that provided much of the funding for the anti-Clinton crusade of the 90’s: the eternal Paula Jones lawsuit, the fake Whitewater ‘scandal’ – even personal financial support for the public accusers around the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

They are also drivers of a new American oligarchy.  Putin would love them.

The American aristocracy? Royalty? Plutocracy?

We have a political aristocracy in America that is increasingly becoming hereditary as well. We scold Syria and belly laugh over North Korea, but we’re in the game too (this is my own very incomplete list, but check out Oligarch Kings for more on the subject).

Anyway, lookee:

  • Senator Prescott Bush
  • his son, Congressman and President GHW Bush
  • his son, Governor and President GW Bush
  • his brother, Governor Jeb Bush
  • Governor and President Bill Clinton
  • his wife, Senator and Sect’y of State Hillary Clinton
  • Governor and Presidential candidate George Romney
  • his son, Governor and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney
  • Congressman and perennial Presidential candidate Ron Paul
  • his son, Senator Rand Paul
  • US Ambassador to England, Joseph P. Kennedy
  • his son, Senator and President John F. Kennedy
  • his brother, Attorney General and Senator and Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy
  • his brother, Senator Ted Kennedy
  • his son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy
  • assorted other Kennedys in State offices
  • NY Governor Mario Cuomo
  • his son, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (married ot RFK’s daughter)
  • California Governor Pat Brown
  • his son, 2-time California Governor Jerry Brown

(Of course, there were the Adamses, father and son, in the early 1800’s and the 20th Century Roosevelts – although their relationship was very distant.)

So, who am I missing?

The Chaplin adds two more 19th century names:

  • President William Henry Harrison
  • his grandson, President Benjamin Harrison

One of the most interesting things about these people is that many of them are interrelated, i.e., one family to another.

All hail the United Corporations of America

While congress refines its performance art and the media take to their fainting couches, the overlords of our brave new world share a smug smile and head out to their summer houses. Their work is done. For now.

Hit us again harder. Please.

  • Irresponsible tax cuts.
  • Toothless regulation.
  • Interlocking directorates.
  • Boards hand picked by CEO’s.
  • Quarterly earnings now the fickle measure of a stock’s worth.
  • Perverse incentive systems.
  • A business media of enthralled groupies slavishly following and thrilling to rock star plutocrats.
  • The collapse of the  concepts of the common good and civics.
  • Devotion to profits above all.
  • The demonizing of any talk of fairness or social justice.
  • Purposefully ignoring our collapsing infrastructure while we prop up the economies of China and Brazil and their enormous investments in their own infrastructure (transportation, ports, broadband) that will ultimately make us even more uncompetitive than we are now. (After all, there’s no profit in proppingup a joint where workers demand a living wage.)
  • Our government’s committment to protect the ‘job creators’ who, during a decade of historically low tax rates have managed to lose more American jobs than at any time since the Depression.

And our entirely broken government, now wholly owned by those who created it all. Bill Mahar explains some of it:

Ben Stein would have loved the Court of Louis XVI

Did someone mention guillotines?

Really. He thinks rich and famous people – when charged with a crime – should not, repeat not, be treated like the rest of us.

Here are a few small jewels from  his very odd piece in The American Spectator, wherein Mr. Stein, famous failed economist, is outraged that one of his own [Dominique Strauss-Kahn] has been charged/arrested/incarcerated. This column – or whatever it is – is  destined for viral greatness.

He is one of the most recognizable people on the planet. Did he really have to be put in Riker’s Island? Couldn’t he have been given home detention with a guard?

A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He’s got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.

If he’s found guilty, there will be plenty of time to criticize him and imprison him.

That last is my favorite. Since Riker’s is populated by those charged with crime but not yet found guilty,  why don’t we let them all go?

Keep your cold Koch hands off FSU

I'm Charles Koch and I'd lke to buy me some teachers.

The St. Petersburg Times tells me this morning that billionaire libertarian Charles Koch dangles needed money in front of college deans and gets his way. He gets veto power over professors for the program he’s funding.

A conservative billionaire who opposes government meddling in business has bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university. . .

 In return [for his donation], his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting “political economy and free enterprise.”

Traditionally, university donors have little official input into choosing the person who fills a chair they’ve funded. The power of university faculty and officials to choose professors without outside interference is considered a hallmark of academic freedom. . . .

Most universities, including the University of Florida, have policies that strictly limit donors’ influence over the use of their gifts. Yale University once returned $20 million when the donor demanded veto power over appointments, saying such control was “unheard of.”

Jennifer Washburn, who has reviewed dozens of contracts between universities and donors, called the Koch agreement with FSU “truly shocking.”

Said Washburn, author of University Inc., a book on industry’s ties to academia: “This is an egregious example of a public university being willing to sell itself for next to nothing.”

A pubic university, largely taxpayer funded has let a libertarian buy influence on their curriculum. That’s the way the oligarchs do it in Russia.

Government is the problem; spiting our nose edition

“Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives.”
                                                         — Editorial Page, Portland Oregonian    


A few goodies from Bartcop today. UPDATE: A friend just pointed out the disappearing wallet! I missed it first time.

See boys and girls? This is how it works . . . .

Fair and Balanced. From First Draft:

Same as the unions. Exact. Same. Thing.

There can only be one king

There’s a lot of talk these days about The Fabulous Koch Brothers Boys – so much money, so committed to their own Randian libertarian principles. It never rang true with me – all I ever saw in their political activity was a committment to their own bottom line, their own personal wealth. Which is fine, but when that greedy instinct affects the lives of 400 million other people, how can we see it as anything other than base. And yet, and yet . . .

This one is as blatant a dismissal of the public good as I have ever seen. Our national tragedy is that this is possible and that Americans aren’t taking to the streets in the face of such an insult. (Don’t count on much media attention.)

Via The Washington Monthly  ( featured also on The Rachel Maddow Show last night – link above), here are the boys showing true colors.

“In 2007, following a series of scandalous incidents, federal officials created on online consumer-product-safety database, allowing Americans to go online and access free information about the safety records of household products. It passed the House unanimously, sailed through the Senate, and was signed into law by George W. Bush.”

But that was so 2007.

“Why would even the most unhinged Republican reject giving Americans free access to such materials?  (Guess)

“For very little money, the government created an online resource to help families make more informed choices, and create a new incentive for manufacturers to put safe products on the market.

” . . . the Kochs don’t care for the consumer product safety database, so . . .as the Kansas City Star explained, their Congressman, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) of Kansas, “pushed a measure to delay and weaken it. As the Star explained, Pompeo wanted to push off implementation ‘to give Congress a chance to make changes that both he and the business community would prefer’.'”

Because a unanimous Congressional vote and a presidential signature isn’t ‘a chance’.

 ” ‘One would think it hard to find a politician who opposes reducing preventable dangers to children. [Pompeo] has stepped up to this challenge’.”  Pompeo’s proposal, an amendment to the House spending-cut bill, was approved with 227 Republican votes,

Hey,  getting elected is tougher every year. Public be damned. The Howard Rourke twins triumphant.

I’ll bet FOX News thinks these guys are patriots

From the LA Times yesterday:

Koch Brothers now at heart of GOP

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch no longer sit outside Washington’s political establishment, isolated by their uncompromising conservatism. Instead, they are now at the center of Republican power, a change most evident in the new makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

(They pretty much own the committee and played a major role in electing and reelecting its members. Business, after all, is business. If the health of the US doesn’t align with the Koch goals for their energy companies, that’s just unfortunate.)

Nine of the 12 new Republicans on the panel signed a pledge distributed by a Koch-founded advocacy group — Americans for Prosperity — to oppose the Obama administration’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gases. . .

Koch Industries is the country’s second-largest privately run company, a conglomerate of refining, pipeline, chemical and paper businesses. . . .  Last year, Forbes magazine listed the brothers as the nation’s fifth-richest people, each worth $21.5 billion.

This is bad for America and bad for American.

People like the Kochs live behind walls with bodyguards; they don’t live in the same country as us.  The class divide in the US is now greater than that of Egypt. We should be paying closer attention to what’s happening in this increasingly corpratized country. (I’d say ‘our country’ but I’m not so sure of that anymore.)

I really like this part:

When the 85 freshman GOP lawmakers marched into the Capitol on Jan. 5 as part of the new Republican House majority, David Koch was there too.

The 70-year-old had an appointment with a staff member of the new speaker, Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). At the same time, the head of Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips, had an appointment with Upton [Chair: Energy Committee]. They used the opportunity to introduce themselves to some of the new legislators and invited them to a welcome party at the Capitol Hill Club, a favorite wine-and-cheese venue for Republican power players in Washington.

Wasting no time. Wish I could have been there. I have opinions too.

Get outta my way peasants!

A new reader (and blogger) ScriptorObscura posted this graphic detailing the political history of the Koch family, whose current patriarchs are brothers David and Charles.  (I borrowed it, as did she.*) Their father founded the John Birch Society; they founded Freedom Works, the best financed Tea Party group. The ‘freedom’ they are concerned with of course is for their own money; to them, the rest of society are barely worth notice. That ‘rest of society’ is you. And me. And anyone we’ve ever met.

They don’t like us, they don’t like taxes, they don’t like Social Security or the minimum wage. And taxes – did I say taxes?

They do like Dick Armey though.

(* graphic originated at The Other 98 dot com.)