It's the princes of carbon pollution, the Koch Brothers! They rank 4th in the newest Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, up from 5th last year. In fact, the fortune of Charles and David shot up 14% just from March to September 2011.
What's most interesting - despite the Koch brothers' war on President Obama and crazily overheated rhetoric against him, the Koch brothers' fortune has grown wildly during President Obama's first term. It's up 79%, from $14 billion each in March 2009 to $25 billion each in September 2011.
Wait ... you don't think the Kochs' opposition to Obama is about an extremist political crusade and not sound economic policy, do you? Nahhh.
If you haven't already heard the big news, the bi-annual Koch billionaire bonanza list of all-stars was revealed exclusively to Mother Jones via audio recording. Not surprisingly, the list is a who's who of American billionaires who enjoy throwing millions of dollars at U.S. politicians and attempting to destroy anything with a "big government" taint on it. So now that the public has at least a partial list of this anti-regulatory, anti-middle class, group of Koch-stars, what's to be done about it?
More violent rhetoric from the lunatic fringe, in this case Tea Party financier Charles Koch, against Barack Obama and the Democrats. What else is new from these people, right? Anyway, this is what we're dealing with right now, and heading into 2012.
In a dire situation like this, with Teapublican extremists on one side and imperfect but sane Democrats on the other, I'll opt for the latter every time. And, frankly, I don't give a rat's hindquarters how frustrated any liberals, leftists (e.g., check out this utter idiocy), progressives, Democrats, independents, etc. are with President Obama (although he's actually accomplished a great deal with a HORRIBLE hand dealt to him at the outset, and given the monomaniacal Teapublican opposition to him from Day #1 in Congress).
The fact is, the political choice is binary in this country, realistically speaking: it's either Obama and the Democrats on the one hand; or Charles Koch, Eric Can'tor, and the rest of the right-wing extremists on the other hand. What's at stake here? Only our country, our freedoms, our futures. Your choices are also binary: fight or acquiesce. For my part, I'm fighting. Anyone with me? Or would you prefer to acquiesce to Charles Koch and Company, as they compare President Obama to Saddam Hussein and declare "the mother of all wars" against him? I know where I stand, and it's not even a tough question.
P.S. If you're an environmentalist, as I am, who is frustrated/angry right now (as I am) over the Keystone pipeline and postponed smog regulations, I'd simply point out that in Charles Koch/Rick Perry America, the environment will be a smoldering ash heap. Any further questions?
Don't look now, but higher education is not only on the decline, but also even more of a commodity to be bought and sold by the business elite than previously thought. Those of us who love our alma maters and those who understand the necessity of great academic institutions, take heed. The clock is running out on higher education. And it is not just because higher education-for-profit has siphoned off half of the federal funding for higher education tuition grants, though that is bad enough. Now at Florida State University, Charles Koch did one better. He bought decision-making ability in the economics department at FSU. The St Petersburg Times reports:
A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University's economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting "political economy and free enterprise."
Yes THAT Charles Koch. You know the Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity, and wrong-wing "think tank" propagandist, winger funder and freeper, who disdains all things democratic with both a little and small d. It is his movement which dictates the policies and actions of the infamous governors now assaulting the states of WI, MI, OH, FL, and many others. They're so extreme that voters have forgotten how extreme our own governor is. (Hint: He applauded Gov. Scott Walker in WI). But there is more...
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