Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Koch Brothers vs. Brooks Brothers Who Will Win the 2016 Sale of the Century?

During the 2008 primary and subsequent election, Wall Street banks laundered three-quarters of a billion dollars into the Obama campaign.  Obama was the first presidential candidate from either party to refuse public financing since the landmark McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law was enacted.  What we are seeing now is the Koch Brothers vs. the Brooks Brothers, whose money will buy the 2016 election?

The Supreme Court and the United States Senate are the architects of today’s elections where people like the Koch Brothers and Jamie Dimon can purchase a government with money they’ve stolen from the American people.

Funny, that it would take “Democrat” Barack Obama to make earth shattering firsts that will affect the lives of Americans for generations to come; I don’t mean in a good way.  It was candidate Barack Obama that voted give retroactive immunity to telecom companies that illegally spied on their customers for the Bush Administration. 

It would be “Democrat” Barack Obama who would be the first President to cut Social Security funding and benefits, first by withholding cost of living raises for years then a “payroll” tax holiday. 

It would be Barack Obama that would take a horrific Wall Street profit driven healthcare system and codify it into law, ensuring Wall Street profits backed by the U.S. Treasury.

So, it’s interesting to see the news that the Koch Brothers are taking a page out of the Obama 2008 campaign book and plowing an amount of money almost equal to that of the 2008 Obama campaign into the 2016 election.  Politico reports the following:

The Kochs put a price on 2016: $889 million

The Koch brothers’ operation intends to spend $889 million in the run-up to the 2016 elections — a historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative megadonors as more powerful than the official Republican Party.

It’s interesting, that the Republican Party is beginning to feel like a whore that’s past prime and having to do things they never imagined they would do in order to exist.  Wisconsin has become the hybrid of Koch Brothers’ governments with their Frankenstein’s Bride, Scott Walker.  God help the Republican that strays away from their masters.  From PRWatch:


Money Trail Revealed: Did Eric O’Keefe Pay James O’Keefe for Hatchet Job on GOP Senate President?

You remember James O’Keefe, the guy that wore his mom’s mink coat to look like a pimp?  He was all over Fox News.

In 2014, as March drew to an end but the cold Wisconsin winter refused to let go, State Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) stopped at his favorite after-work hangout to relax after a long session in the Capitol. After a few drinks, Ellis was approached by what he thought were two young constituents and the veteran GOP lawmaker started holding forth, as he was wont to do.

What he did not know, however, was that his new-found drinking buddies were not from his district or even from the State of Wisconsin. They were, however, on a mission to end his career.

A few weeks later, the right-wing’s favorite attack dog for hire, James O’Keefe, released a video of the conversation showing an inebriated Ellis spinning a tale about setting up a “Super PAC” to run attacks on his Democratic opponent in that year’s election….

..A few days later, the Senate President who was first elected to the Senate in 1982, announced that he would not be running for re-election.

Ellis was an unabashed conservative, but he had split with Governor Scott Walker and his increasingly right-wing party on issues like school vouchers and the corrupting influence of big money in politics.

Yep, poor old Mike Ellis, the corrupting influence of big money in politics got him.  So how does a political system owned and operated by billionaires work for the average Joe?  Maybe the answer is in this article from The Atlantic: 


After the Spill: Life in West Virginia's Coal Country

One year after the Elk River chemical disaster, has the Mountain State's approach to mining changed?

CHARLESTON, W. Va.—At 8:16 a.m. on the morning of January 9, 2014, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection received the first of what would quickly become an avalanche of complaints.

A man in Charleston, the state’s capital, called to report that there was “something in the air” and it was irritating his wife’s throat. Two-and-a-half hours later, the first media report of the incident surfaced on a local NBC affiliate’s Facebook page: “BREAKING: Firefighters are investigating a strong smell in the Kanawha Valley.” “Is it safe to go out?” asked the first commenter on the post.

DEP inspectors arrived at the Freedom Industries Charleston plant, which sits along the Elk River on the edge of town, at 11:15 a.m. They quickly discovered the source of the smell was 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, an industrial chemical used for purifying coal before it is burned.

The toxic substance was pouring from two small holes, one about the size of a penny and the other half as big, on the bottom of a single storage tank at the Freedom Industries facility, which had not been inspected since 1991. Over a span of at least 20 hours, approximately 10,000 gallons of the MCHM chemical mixture leaked out of Tank 396 and into the Elk River, eventually finding its way to Charleston’s main water treatment plant.

Yes, that is what you get when your government has been bought by billionaires.  Smaller government means less inspections, less safety for citizens, less government services to help citizens when they are injured as a result of unfettered, fascism.

At 5:36 p.m., Governor Earl Ray Tomblin finally issued a statement, an ominous message posted to his Twitter page: “EMERGENCY: Do NOT use tap water for drinking, cooking, washing, or bathing in Boone, Lincoln, Kanawha, Jackson, Putnam counties.”

By the end of the day, Tomblin declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard. A do-not-use order commanded that the contaminated water only be used for flushing toilets and extinguishing fires. The spill left more than 300,000 West Virginians, about one-sixth of the state’s total population, without access to potable water.

I don't think I would want to take responsibility for saying that water was OK to use on fires, have you seen Gasland?

Schools were closed. Restaurants, bars, and hotels were also shuttered. Residents scrambled to supermarkets, gas stations, and even vending machines to secure bottled water, which quickly sold out everywhere. Hospital emergency rooms were overwhelmed with hundreds of patients who all exhibited the same pattern of symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, headache, itching, rash, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Yes, that’s what ordinary citizens get from a government owned by billionaires.  So, when I saw Obama was designating ANWAR as a wilderness area, I thought sounds like that’s one for the Brooks Brothers.  Dirty, filthy, environment killing energy is the Koch Brothers’ hallmark and Alaska is ruby red Republican.  From Bloomberg News:


The president's move to protect more of the refuge from oil drilling has Republican officials in the state fighting mad.

Those are fighting words.

President Barack Obama's decision to ask Congress to designate parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, putting the land off-limits for oil drilling, is not going over well with Republicans in the state, to say the least.

Obama's plan, which the administration unveiled on Sunday, would protect 12.28 million acres in addition to the 7 million acres already designated as wilderness, according to the Department of the Interior. It comes amid falling oil prices that have left Alaska's economy on shaky ground…

It's clear this administration does not care about us, and sees us as nothing but a territory,” Murkowski said in a statement. “The promises made to us at statehood, and since then, mean absolutely nothing to them.”

Ha, ha.  Hey, Lisa, guess what, Obama doesn’t give a rip the environment or any statehood treaties any more than you do as a United States Senator.  From Indian Country Today:


57 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Urge Senate to Nix Sacred Land Giveaway

More than 70 tribal nations have urged the U.S. Senate to defeat or remove a section of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that would transfer a part of the publicly-owned Tonto National Forest that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe to a giant international corporation for a massive, environmentally devastating copper mine…

“If such a land transfer provision seems out of place in a defense bill, that’s because it is. If the idea of transferring the ownership of federal forest lands to foreign mining companies seems absurd, it’s because that’s true, too…..”

The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act is a House bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). It was tacked on to the annual must-pass NDAA along with several other land-related bills by Sen, John McCain (R-AZ)…

….If approved by the Senate and signed by President Obama, the land swap provision will allow Resolution Copper Co., a subsidiary of the controversial international mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, to acquire 2,400 acres of the federally protected public land in the Tonto National Forest in southeast Arizona in exchange for 5,000 acres in parcels scattered around the state….

Resolution Copper plans a massive deep underground copper mine on the San Carlos Apache’s sacred landscape and has already begun drilling the shaft in anticipation of the land swap bill’s approval.

Well, that would be one for the Koch Brothers, and how arrogant is that?  They are so sure of their control of congress that they already started drilling on Public Lands.  Lands that are sacred Indian trusts.  But then, the Koch Brothers have heavily invested in State judges, and it is paying off big time.  From Think Progress:


The Nebraska Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision that nullified the controversial Keystone XL pipeline route through Nebraska Friday, meaning that Keystone XL once again has a legal route through Nebraska.

Four out of the seven judges on the Nebraska Supreme Court agreed with a district court’s February 2014 decision that Nebraska’s LB1161 law was unconstitutional, but according to Nebraska’s constitution, the court needed the agreement of a super majority — five out of the seven judges — to officially label the law as unconstitutional….

But since just four members of the court, not five, found the law unconstitutional, the Court writes that “the citizens cannot get a binding decision from this court,” and the district court’s decision is vacated.

Isn’t that rich, even though a majority of the judges said the law is unconstitutional, they lost because you need a Koch Brother majority on the court in Nebraska.

“While the outcome may not be what we had hoped for, I believe we have successfully sent the message that Nebraska citizens are willing to stand up and fight back against the politically corrupting influence of rich and powerful corporations,” Randy Thompson, one of the Nebraska landowner plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement reacting to Friday’s decision…

You’ve got that right Randy, you don’t have to tell Ex-Wisconsin State Senate President Mike Ellis about the corrupting influence of rich and powerful.

So now, Obama is opening up the Atlantic Coastline for drilling.  From New York Times:


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration moved Tuesday to open up a vast stretch of East Coast waters to oil and gas drilling, a decision that could have a profound impact on the economic and environmental future of states from Virginia to Georgia….

In an announcement that outraged environmentalists and brought grudging cheers from the oil and gas industry, the Interior Department unveiled the latest part of its five-year plan for the government to sell leases for oil and gas development in federal waters from 2017 to 2022.

The plan would open up one lease sale area off the southeast stretch of the Atlantic Seaboard, an area the oil industry has long hungered to exploit.

So who will win in the 2016 Sale of the Century?  Will it be the Koch Brothers or the Brooks Brothers?

By:  Patricia Baeten

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