One “American” who has been compared to Russian oligarchs beloved by Librarian of Congress James Billington is David Koch. When I first started looking into the Madison Council I had seen the names “David Koch,” but it was not until recently that I realized this guy and Billington are a match made in heaven. Koch has been in the news much lately, not only for his funding of right-wing union-busting nuts like Governor Walker, but also his funding of commie-like Front Groups.
I believe this last point could be tied to his commie-cum-right wing nut father. Whereas my father was a volunteer and B-17 pilot in WWII, Koch’s father was a capitalist commie stooge for Stalin. (It would be interesting if this article on the Koch’s Nazi collaboration and family connections are true.) Once a dictator gives you half a million dollars, though, it’s time to move on. More important, with McCarthy pointing to the commie threat, that was Koch’s cue to show he really was an anti-communist all along–by starting and funding the John Birch Society. I love how the Exile describes it:
“But the Tea Party movement—and Koch family’s obscene wealth—go back more than half a century, all the way to grandpa Fredrick C. Koch, one of the founding members of the far-rightwing John Birch Society which was convinced that evil socialism was taking over America through unions, colored people, Jews, homosexuals, the Kennedys and even Dwight D. Eisenhower.”
Is it just me, or does this sound strangely familiar with the current polarization of America?
Like father, like son. Whereas I was a volunteer to fight Communism, millionaire rich-boy David Koch was busy filing multiple deferments. Hell, the whole family dodged military service while expecting American men and women in uniform to protect his foreign investments. And like his father, David has been funding various front groups to either help him get even richer through tax breaks or ending environmental laws, as well as subverting democratic government. But, unlike his father, David is much better at polarizing America while making himself even wealthier.
“The American Prosperity Foundation is bankrolled by the Koch brothers, and they are against taxes, corporate regulations, organized labor, and government “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill, and elderly! They are behind the uproar about the so called “Ground Zero” mosque, and sponsored the Glenn Beck rally at the Washington mall.”
Take a look at the purpose of the John Birch Society and you see what I mean about similarities. As David’s father wrote, according to Jane Mayer’s excellent piece, the apple really does not fall far from the tree when it comes to politics and code words:
“He wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” he warned. Welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where they would foment “a vicious race war.” In a 1963 speech that prefigures the Tea Party’s talk of a secret socialist plot, Koch predicted that Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.”
Doesn’t this sound like a speech given by the Koch-funded Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann describing all the ills of America?
For those not old enough to remember, the right wing nuts in America in 1963 believed John Kennedy was a secret communist, feeling his assassination was warranted and justified to “save America.” My wife, who grew up in the South, remembers vividly when the assassination was announced and her grade-school class cheered! She was the only one who cried. It is for this reason that I view the current polarizing rhetoric as extremely dangerous.
I also believe the Kochs learned a lot politically from daddy’s personal friendship with Stalin. There are a number of books regarding how Stalin usurped the Russian Revolution by crushing the workers committees’ opposition to his dictatorship (see here and here). Front groups and agitprop are all too familiar. But while David Koch collects his own dupes, stooges, and fellow travellers (to use Communist rhetoric) to denounce “welfare queens,” this article describes his hypocrisy:
“Charles Koch denounces government spending and crony capitalism in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, but look at how Koch industries makes their profits: demanding government subsidies, exploiting government programs, buying up politicians, getting kickbacks, special loopholes, and they’ve made billions off these.”
So what does all this have to do with the Library of Congress and the Madison Council? What not, is my response. David Koch would have unlimited access through functions, etc., with members of Congress, other similar billionaires, as well as Russian oligarchs. On that note, if you read the previous post on Weldon and his Russian Itera oil deal, the first Russian oil delivery to the US went to the Texas refinery owned by Koch. Most important, as recently posted on Firedoglake, now Obama has “postponed” toxic pollution emissions. Since that is Koch’s biggest hobby horse, at how many Madison Council parties and functions did he harp on the EPA?
So, just to recap, this “public spirited” guy, according to the stated purpose of the Madison Council is doing just what for the Library of Congress and America? Just what business advise is he giving? Or maybe this is what helps him achieve his goals, just like the Cato Institute and Americans for Progress? He sure got a good bang for his buck.