I just got back from the Rancho Mirage protest of the Koch Brothers, which was put on by the good people of Common Cause. The weather was ideal, as what appeared to well over a thousand people came in by bus and by car to send a message to the Billionaire Caucus secret meeting put on by the Kochs. In the video that I recorded, you can see that there were plenty of Riverside County sheriff's deputies out patrolling their hideout; you might say it was way overdone for this event, but we're talking about billionaires, after all. It's ironic that the only reason there were that many deputies available to guard the Billionaire Caucus was that Riverside County received crucial stimulus money from the Obama administration.
Despite the Koch claim that the stimulus “failed,” it helped save dozens of jobs for Riverside County sheriffs. In recent years, the Riverside County sheriff’s department faced massive budget shortfalls, according to Melissa Nieburger, a spokeswoman for the department who spoke to ThinkProgress. President Obama’s Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus, provided $13 million in emergency funding and helped maintain about 50 sheriff jobs in the county.
How tight was the security during the August health-care town halls? I don't usually go to live rallies because it's tough on my nerve damage and I'm paying for it today, but I really wanted to show some support for this statement made by Common Cause. And it was a big success.
Apparently the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin got her knickers in a knot and was upset that we staged a protest against the Billionaire Caucus.
A Koch representative whom I contacted had this comment on the day's events: "This is the kind of 'civil debate' the left wants to have after Tucson?" One additional note: Inside the same conference center as the conservatives was a conference of judges from the Ninth Circuit. The recent death of a federal judge in Arizona did not give the mob pause about the propriety of their actions.
Rubin didn't bother to seek a response from Common Cause, the Courage Campaign or CrooksandLiars. I'd say that's pretty shoddy journalism coming from the Washington Post.
The point of the rally was that the Citizens United ruling has turned corporations into people which is now allowing them to flood the market with millions of dollars, which will now forever corrupt our democracy that were previously excluded under McCain/Feingold. Just the threat from a corporation to attack a sitting member of Congress if they sponsor something that Corporate America doesn't like can be enough to sway their minds out of pure fear. A House race can be influenced by a million dollars or less, which is chump change to the Koches or many other corporations. And anything the Koch Brothers do is often tied to their own profit making. Just look at Prop 23 in California that they funded, but which ultimately failed. They stood to make a lot of cash if it went through.
Trying to list all the beneficiaries of the Kochs and their rich friends would be a daunting task. Suffice it to say, they are the wallet for just about every right wing cause you can think of — from tea party candidates and ballot measures like California’s pro-pollution Prop 23, to right wing think tanks like the Cato Institute and astro-turf front groups like Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity.
One of the country’s worst polluters — with business interests in everything from healthcare to the derivatives trading that helped push our economy off a cliff, the Koch brothers have spread hundreds of millions of dollars to protect their narrow ideological and financial interests over the years -- ensuring that the agenda of billionaires is inserted at every level of our government and political discourse, and often at the expense of the middle class. No one has worked harder to kill Wall Street Reform, Healthcare Reform, or Energy Reform than the Kochs.
This is the meeting where the Kochs and their allies come together to refine their strategy; The billionaires prepare the agenda, which is packaged by the right-wing media echo chamber to sow fear and anxiety amongst unwitting foot soldiers who provide “grassroots cover” for right wing lawmakers as they push policies that undermine the middle class in DC.
It’s a sophisticated shell game that the Kochs and their allies are playing — steeped in secrecy, profit motive and ideological extremism -- as described in a profile written by Jane Mayer of New Yorker Magazine. Past attendees at Koch sponsored events include Glenn Beck, and Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia. This weekend’s junket will also be attended by newly minted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Ultimately, the tentacles of the 'Kochtopus' stretch out in all directions from this meeting.
The KochBros funded much of the Tea Party movement when it started, and if we go back in time, their father was a big John Birch Society supporter. Remember, the Birchers accused Eisenhower of being a "card-carrying Communist". Do you have to wonder where the cries that Obama is a socialist originated, or where the Birthers arose from?
These were the “Birchers,” members of the John Birch Society, a far-right organization that originated the myth of the U.N.’s black helicopters, of fluoride poison in our drinking water and of communists hidden in every corner — even the Oval Office. Yes, they argued that Ike Eisenhower was a Commie.