Ginning Up Their Base (-est)

Brad Friedman and Mother Jones have a meaty series of linked articles taking us “Inside the Koch Brothers’ Secret Seminar“:

“We have Saddam Hussein,” declared billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, apparently referring to President Barack Obama as he welcomed hundreds of wealthy guests to the latest of the secret fundraising and strategy seminars he and his brother host twice a year. The 2012 elections, he warned, will be “the mother of all wars.”
Charles Koch would probably not publicly compare the president of the United States to a murderous dictator. (As a general rule, he and his brother don’t do much politicking or speechifying in public at all.) But Mother Jones has obtained exclusive audio recordings from the Koch seminar, a private event that took place in June at a resort near Vail, Colorado…
Charles and David Koch are co-owners of Koch Industries, an energy and chemical conglomerate inherited from their father that is currently America’s second-largest privately held company. To date, the brothers have spent more than $100 million supporting hard-right political campaigns and institutions. They are key funders of the movement to discredit climate science and sow doubt on the scientific consensus that human activities contribute to global warming.
The Kochs also bankrolled the fledgling tea party by making massive investments in right-wing political advocacy groups such as Americans for Prosperity as detailed by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker last year. More generally, the brothers have dedicated a portion of their vast wealth—and that of their benefactors—to influencing elections across the nation and swaying public opinion on everything from health care and fracking to labor policy and government spending…
During his welcoming remarks, Charles Koch warned his guests that the 2012 elections are nothing short of a battle “for the life or death of this country.” He then acknowledged the individuals and families who had given more than $1 million to the brothers’ efforts—though he misspoke, saying “more than a billion,” earning a huge laugh from the crowd. “Well, I was thinking of Obama and his billion-dollar campaign,” Koch said, to more laughter and cheers. “So I thought, ‘We gotta do better than that.'” (Forbes pegs the brothers’ personal net worth at around $22 billion apiece.)…
“We’ve had a lot of tough battles,” he continued. “We’ve lost a lot over the years, and we’ve won some recently.…And I pledge to all of you who’ve stepped forward and are partnering with us that we are absolutely going to do our utmost to invest this money wisely and get the best possible payoff for you in the future of our country.”

Because progressives are punctilious about fairness (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Kevin Drum points out that “[I]t’s quite possible that Koch intended something like, ‘Saddam Hussein called the Gulf War the mother of all wars, and for us, this is the mother of all wars we’ve got in the next 18 months.'”

Besides, when you read the whole thing, there’s plenty hard-data details to get righteously outraged over, apart from Koch’s habit of speaking from the murky depths of his Robber Baron id.

33 replies
  1. 1
    priscianus jr says:

    Well they are right about one thing. 2012 will be a battle for the life and death of this country.

  2. 2
    Cat Lady says:

    We have Republicans to beat. Say it over and over. WE HAVE REPUBLICANS TO BEAT.

  3. 3
    Calouste says:

    @priscianus jr:

    As the Oracle of Delphi said:

    “Croesus, if you make war on the Persians, you will destroy a mighty empire.”

  4. 4
    celticragonchick says:

    Just a note:

    Charles at LGF is rocking it tonight with this one…
    The Arc of a Bogus Right Wing Outrage

    The right wing blogs and media have devolved into pathetic shills, unconcerned about integrity

    It’s amazing how quickly these bogus outrages propagate in the right wing media and blogosphere these days: Timeline Of A Right-Wing Media Smear: Hoffa’s Call To Vote Became ‘A Call For Violence’.

    Starting with Fox News’s doctored videos, the story quickly spread throughout the online wingnut community. And not a single one of these bloggers or pundits or “news sites” took any notice of the blatant, in-yer-face editing, or bothered to Google up an unedited video (which wasn’t hard), before enthusiastically parroting a completely false Fox News-induced right wing talking point.

    Bad craziness, my friends.


    The comments could have come from the folks here. The lizards are wondering why the fuck the MSM is still called “liberal” when they fail to question doctored videos from Fox and Breitbart.

  5. 5
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    He then acknowledged the individuals and families who had given more than $1 million to the brothers’ efforts—though he misspoke, saying “more than a billion,” earning a huge laugh from the crowd.

    Oh tee hee. Stop it Charles, you’re just too much.

  6. 6
    maya says:

    Obama = Saddam Hussein, according to one of the nostrils of the nose of the Koch brothers? Using Stalin or Hitler would have been a compliment, under the circumstances.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    @maya: It sounds to me like he’s calling Obama GW Bush and himself Saddam Hussein.

    Is it Koch or Aravosis?

  8. 8
    Xboxershorts says:


    As much as I appreciate Charles over at LGF, this thread is important.

    Who the fuck do you think is funding the right wing echo chamber?

    Brad Friedman just broke their code of silence and is exposing the very people who PAY to get that shit stream into the media.

    Pay Attention!!!

  9. 9
    burnspbesq says:

    The Koch Brothers are right about one thing. This is a war for the future of our society. I know which side I’m on, and I have no illusions about what is required of me.

    Note to Jade Jordan and anyone who thinks like him/her: there are only two sides. Neutrality, being above it all, and foolish fealty to supposed “principles?” None of those are acceptable. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. And we are keeping track.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    Kochsuckers run the world.

  11. 11
    Jenny says:

    Ironically, it’s Parry who takes dress up like Saddam

    Rick Parry’s Saddam moment – part one.

    Rick Parry’s Saddam moment – part two.

  12. 12
    Chris says:


    Obama = Saddam Hussein, according to one of the nostrils of the nose of the Koch brothers? Using Stalin or Hitler would have been a compliment, under the circumstances.

    Maybe they thought it would be too ludicrous to use a Stalin reference, given how Papa Koch made his profits.

  13. 13
    celticragonchick says:


    Your point is taken. I was merely relating something of interest.

  14. 14
    Xboxershorts says:


    I apologize for being harsh….But this IS important.

  15. 15
    Lev says:

    “Ginning Up Their Base (-est)”

    Wait, how does Mike Huckabee fit into this post?

  16. 16
    jacksmith says:


    ( )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare )


    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!


    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.



    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

  17. 17
    G says:

    If the Kochs hate America so much, why don’t they leave it for a paradise like IDK, Somalia?

    It could be a win-win, if the people there do like the people in Lennigrad did during the 900 some odd days…

    or to put it in the old rock form… per aerosmith “eat the rich” I mean the locals could have a Koch and a smile too.
    (I’ve exhausted my yearly quota of bad pun humor)

  18. 18
    dead existentialist says:

    You do not understand blogging or aggregating news do you AL?

    See, if you’d taken some info like this using a snippet as a link for those who want to delve deeper into your source, and then produced some insightful commentary about how fucked up it is and what we might do about it, then you’d be blogging and/or aggregating news.

    Unfortunately, you copypaste and fail to add an analysis that synthesizes the information. You’re like a college freshman writing a term paper who loads the paper with references but fails to explain their pertinence.


    Your flame of ABL last night at least showed originality (even if it was “somewhat” misguided). Stick to gardening posts.

    Much love,

  19. 19
    Anarchaeologist says:

    @Calouste: More like Crassus, with the Parthians. It is interesting, isn’t it, and moreso these days, how the thing which destroyed the Roman Republic was the rise of “great men” of little virtue? It’s a lesson which should be studied.

  20. 20
    dead existentialist says:

    This is blogging. And it’s the same story!

  21. 21
    Dollared says:

    @dead existentialist: Fuck off, will ya? Anne’s contributions are valuable and a lot more well thought out that many of the other FP’ers.

    And yes, bless her for flaming ABL. ABL can be her crazy self all she wants, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have to endure some shit for her laziness and her single issue obsession.

    (although I am eternally grateful that she’s not a Freudian, if you know what I mean…..)

  22. 22
    Dollared says:

    @G: The Kochs are here because of the public markets. They are simply a highly leveraged regulatory arbitrage scam. They buy polluting commodity producers at low valuations. Then they lower their regulatory load on those companies by spending scads on lobbying and political intimidation. Then they make a huge profit on the value of these, er, “liberated” companies.

    You can’t do then in a place where everybody is polluting, you can’t do it where there aren’t large investment banks ready to do the deals for you.

    The real way to take out the Kochs is to boycott selected products. A national boycott of Dixie Cups, sustained over a year, would push the product off store shelves (because the lower sales velocity on Dixies would make their competitors more valuable to retailers) and would kill a brand that is worth a big chunk of change.

    Amazing to me that SEIU and AFSCME aren’t doing that already. But we still don’t know how to play ball.

  23. 23
    Auldblackjack says:

    You know, the list of those attendees will come in very handy once we break out the guillotine. Someone should keep that close at hand.

  24. 24
    Xboxershorts says:


    I have recorded it for posterity’s sake.

    If memory serves me right, the DeVose family operates, among their many varied interests, a technology services company with a specialty in electronic voting machines. And their name came up in the Ohio 2004 election mess as having replaced, during election night, a hard drive on one or more vote counting tabulators.

  25. 25
    lethargytartare says:

    is Anne Laurie the worst blogger on Balloon Juice, or the worst blogger on the internet?

    Seriously, another cut-n-paste +1? If I wanted a shitty news aggregator I’d follow Cole’s links to Memeorandom.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @lethargytartare: Then why do you read her?

  27. 27
    Allan says:

    While I have my differences with Anne Laurie, I see no value in being mean to her over the editorial choices she makes with regard to a post.

    It’s a selfless act for a blogger to encourage readers to click through and read a major post elsewhere on the web. And one of the ways to ensure that more people visit it is to say just enough about it to whet the readers’ appetites for the whole thing. As Anne Laurie does here.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  28. 28
    daverave says:

    I don’t know why, if this is the mother of all election wars, why the Kocks can’t part with a little more of their ill-gotten gains to fight it? I mean they’ve got $44 billion between the two of them and they can’t match the measly $billion that Obama’s planning on spending? Suck it up plutocrats… unless your personal greed outweighs your “concern” for the future of this country! /snark

  29. 29
    contessakitty (AKA Karen) says:

    One of the biggest contributors and who has been with Perry for a while is the owner of Clear Channel radio. Could we contact sponsors on local radio stations (part of Clear Channel) and say that we’ll boycott their products if they advertise there?

  30. 30
    kc says:


    Scroll on past, asshole.

  31. 31
    jake the snake says:

    The thing I most dislike about the Tea Party is that they
    are the half of the working class that the current robber barons are paying to shoot the other half.

  32. 32
    lethargytartare says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Then why do you read her?

    probably because I’m one of the nastiest, least-coherent camp followers on this blog.

  33. 33
    lethargytartare says:

    Oh thank God you’re here KC. You too Dollared. Nice try.

Comments are closed.