Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Grass roots or AstroTurf?

An in depth report in the New Yorker shows that a lot of the funding for the tea party movement comes via Charles and David Koch (Koch Industries). The billionaire's money is the backing behind the pep rallies. They've tried hard to stay "under the radar," but this report uncovers their anti-tax libertarian roots, beginning with the fact that their father was a founding member of the John Birch Society. At the time, he thought Dwight D. Eisenhower was a closet communist. Whoa, Nelly!

The little guy gets suckered into following the fat cat agenda, with the bait of a "No Taxes! Period." mantra. I know that the Koch's can live without public institutions; they'll toss bones to private institutions they like. Meanwhile, the public infrastructure will crumble. Will the little guy be happy when his kid's school falls apart? When the roads and bridges are unsafe? Any tax support is "socialism" to this faction. Unfortunately, it has traction.

It's also interesting to note that the Koch's are "free marketers." That's right they want to fight for their right to pollute air and water at everyone else's expense. It'll be okay, though, because they're patrons of the arts.

Terry Gross interviews Jane Mayer here.

Frank Rich picks up the ball here.

Their discrete operations are coming into the light of day.

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