Koch Brothers · Koch Industries

The Koch Brothers Are Getting Nervous


Charles and David Koch seem less confident these days. The brothers – who inherited money from their dad and grew it into America’s largest collection of dirty industries – have decided they need to fight back. That’s not surprising. Since Koch-sponsored secret meetings were revealed, secret planning with Supreme Court Justices was exposed, and secret funding of right wing groups became apparent, Americans have begun to wonder just how much influence these guys have purchased.

America has now heard of the Koch Brothers.

But that’s not all. A Google search of “Boycott Koch” reveals “about 907,000” pages. Many of these sites include a list of brands owned by the Kochs. Just type the word “boycott” into a Facebook search and Koch Industries pops up first. There appears to be a growing interest shunning Koch brands.

This week, Koch Industries opened a counteroffensive. But you may not have noticed. In a style harking back to the early 1900s, these puppet masters of public opinion began their counter-offensive indirectly.

They placed an ad in a media-insider newsletter, FishbowlDC, published by Mediabistro. FishbowlDC is a daily in-boxer advertised as “Where the DC media masses go for dish about their coworkers and competitors.” It’s an entertaining gossip rag aimed at journalists, bloggers and pundits. (Yes, it’s my guilty pleasure.) Until now, the typical sponsor was a writer’s workshop, a search engine optimizer or a writer’s services provider.

The ad teases “WASHINGTON POST STORY ON KOCH MISLEADS READERS and the tagline is “Open discussion. Competing ideas. A stronger nation.” Koch Industries is trying to gain media traction without anyone noticing they pitched their own patriotism story. Clever. The ad links to KochFacts.com.

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Politics · Politics News · President Barack Obama · State Of The Union · State of the Union Address

Justice Scalia Goes to Capitol Hill

President George W. Bush delivers his State of...
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As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show last night, the normal contingent of the nine Supreme Court Justices will not be attending the State of the Union address this evening.  Apparently, Justices Roberts and Alito claim that the event has become more like a political pep rally in recent years, thus choosing not to be there this year.

The problem most Progressives would have with the Justices conclusion is simply personified with Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas attending right-wing political events.  Justice Scalia has gone even further, by holding  a constitutional seminar for the freshman class of the 112th Congress, yesterday.

Now if that’s not “political”, what is?  I think the SOTU being “too political” excuse doesn’t hold water to the four afore-mentioned Justices attendance to various GOP political functions.

The New York Times

Representative Michele Bachmann played hostess Monday to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court in the first of what she said would be several “constitutional seminars” for members of the House.

Monday’s seminar, which Ms. Bachmann’s office said was attended by 30 to 35 House members, including at 4 Democrats, focused on the separation of powers. The session was closed to the media, but afterward some members described Justice Scalia’s remarks as probing and funny, and said he told them to “pay attention to the Constitution.”

The Obama administration’s health care law did not come up in Mr. Scalia’s remarks or during the question-and-answer session, Ms. Bachmann said. Instead, she said, the session focused on other issues, like whether earmarks would be considered constitutional, though she declined to provide Mr. Scalia’s thoughts on the matter.

Ms. Bachmann declined to comment on other matters, like her flirtation with a 2012 run at the White House, or the fact that she is giving a response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, in addition to the official Republican response planned by Representative Paul Ryan. “It’s not a competition,” she said, as she headed off down the hall.

Ms. Bachmann said she would be inviting other members of the court to speak to members
of Congress, as well as law professors and other constitutional scholars.
“We will be extending an invitation to any of the justices who would like to speak with us,” she said. “We’d be honored to have any of them come that are there, and whether they are liberal or conservative we leave it for your judgment to determine.”

She added later, “The Constitution is not a partisan document.”

Justice Sam Alito · Supreme Court Of The United States

Exclusive: Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito Dismisses His Profligate Right-Wing Fundraising As ‘Not Important’

The right-wing “in your face” attitude from Supreme Court Justices Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas pretty much demonstrate why Citizens United became a historic decision.

We first noticed the “attitude” when Scalia and Cheney went hunting together  just three weeks after the court agreed to take up the vice president’s appeal in lawsuits over his handling of the administration’s energy task force.  Scalia rejected any notion of conflict of interest saying:  “I do not think my impartiality could reasonably be questioned.”

Then Chief Justice Roberts decides he will not attend any more State of The Union addresses by President Obama.  In fact he said that it’s up to each individual Justice, whether or not they attend the State of the Union, which Roberts feels has turned into a “political pep rapply”.

Recently we learned that Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife has formed a “tea party” venture to offset President Obama’s “radical agenda“.

Now we have Justice Alito headlining Republican fundraisers and telling a reporter that his being at a recent fundraiser was “not important”.

Perhaps, because  there is no explicit code of ethics for the nine Supreme Court justices, they have been allowed to get away with such behavior.   Some Justices have come under scrutiny, such as accepting trips from groups with political and judicial agenda and gifts from private parties who may at some point have business before the court.

Think Progress

Last night, the American Spectator — a right-wing magazine known for its role in the “Arkansas Project,” a well-funded effort to invent stories with the goal of eventually impeaching President Clinton — held its annual gala fundraising event. The Spectator is more than merely an ideological outlet. Spectator publisher Al Regnery helps lead a secretive group of conservatives called the “Conservative Action Project,” formed after President Obama’s election, to help lobby for conservative legislative priorities, elect Republicans (the Conservative Action Project helped campaign against Democrat Bill Owens in NY-23), and block President Obama’s judicial appointments. The Spectator’s gala last night, with ticket prices/sponsorship levels ranging from $250 to $25,000, featured prominent Republicans like RNC chairman Michael Steele, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer (a major donor to Republican campaign committees and attack ad groups), and U.S. Chamber of Commerce board member and former Allied Capital CEO William Walton. Among the attendees toasting Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the keynote speaker for the event, was Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito.      Continue reading…

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