Two of the men who REALLY run America

Next week, I’ll take my son — already a junior paleontologist — to see dinosaur skeletons at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. I’ll be holding my nose when I see the “Koch” family name there. But there’s no avoiding it because the AMNH’s dinosaur wing bears their name.

Koch Industries is America’s second-largest private company, and its owners — David and Charles — are huge funders of right-wing and anti-government causes:

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.

…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.”

I sadly don’t have time to read more than the opening paragraphs of this New Yorker article, “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama”, but I’ve seen the “Koch” family name enough times to know that their money and views have warped American government in very bad directions.

If you want to know who’s really running America, you’ll want to read more about the Koch family.

Posted by James on Thursday, August 26, 2010