« May Day in LA | Main | TechTest2011 Survivors’ Breakfast »

24 May 2011

Comments

Todd Juvinall

RL does his best to skewer all of us but I bet there are some single issue organizations even he won't skewer (at least the TPP have four issues). Your use of NOW is a fine example of a single issue group, abortion, yet they support many candidates who only support the unfettered NOW position, yet I am sure their candidates are concerned about other issues. So how about "Gay" rights? They seem to be a single issue group but remain the third rail of instant political death if you draw a cartoon mocking them or their candidates. I don't have as much angst about RL on this because the old dictum of "if they are making fun of you you must be doing something right", is at play. If RL has done anything mocking "gay" rights, abortion on demand or welfare queens, I apologize in advance.

Paul Emery

George

Part of the problem of the Tea Party in the eyes of the public is which one. You have articulated very well the positions of the Patriots but the TP Expressers, which are an outreach wing of the Republican Party have a totally different approach and actually endorse and fund raise for candidates. So in the broad sense Bob is accurate because it takes an expert to decipher the codes of each organization. That makes the message deceptive. Also, you have candidates running on their own using the TP flag such as Jack Davis in New York. Interestingly enough the TP Express Rebublican operatives are trying to squash him because they are worried that he'll swing the election to the Democrats, which he might. All this is being done in the name of the Tea Party.

The Tea Party logo seems to be public domain so anyone can use it adding to the confusion. Personally, I've never really understood what even the the TPP's really stand for because when you bring up individual situations such as the Constitutionality of the wars in Iraq and Afgan they run for cover. So what does it mean to say you're for Constitutional Government if it doesn't apply to specific situations. Deceptive? You make the call. That's just one example.

Mostly the TP's are just a repackaging of the Republican right that will vote for the R's when election time comes as they always have. They are serving the useful purpose right now for the Democrats of pushing too far to the right and leaving the center open. Deaf, Deluded? They are supported by no more than 30% of the voters and support is not growing.
http://www.pollingreport.com/politics.htm

George Rebane

Paul, indeed the tea party is a fragmented movement, and not every member will have opinions on every application of its principles - e.g. constitutionality of certain wars - which is the same as almost all liberals 'running for cover' when the details of their supported Obamacare are brought up - e.g. the wholesale rush for waivers from something that was supposed to be embraced the more we found out about it.

Also, the tea parties' support at the 30% level is astounding in American politics. According to Pew Research only 20% of Americans are progressives and 40% conservatives, with the rest made up of putative independents. Does that make the progressive movement less significant than the tea party? Not in my mind.

The Democrats don't act as if the TPs are serving any "useful purpose" for them. If they really thought so, they would keep their mouths shut and quit bolstering TP membership by constantly attacking them for faults real, perceived, and fabricated. As a tea partier, I am quite happy with their keeping the limelight on us, else we might erroneously think we have prevailed and fade away.

In the final analysis one must remember that the tea party, like many movements, came into being and is sustained by its opposition - in this case people who are fiscally profligate, constitutional revisionists, promote a ballooning and intrusive government, and heavily regulated markets.

Paul Emery

George

You missed the point of what I said. In my view the 30% is the same Repub righters this time with a Libertarian light edge. I don't see it as any thing else other than repackaging with confusing labels. Also, there s no evidence support is growing.

George Rebane

Paul, I don't have any data on TP growth or shrinkage, only on the general size you quote. The membership may be made up as you see it, although people give evidence that there is a small contingent of Democrats who have been successfully drawn into supporting the TP precisely because of its narrow focus, which they do not perceive as being right wing, but merely the policy values of traditional Americana on the TP's stated principles.

Also, if the 30% is made up of just the usual Republican suspects, then it would pay the Dems double to ignore the movement as just a bunch of Repubs wearing another hat. Apparently the Dems see something more potent there.

In the final analysis, it is the 40% undecideds and the 'never careds' that the TP is attempting to inform and entice. I have no idea of how many of those 30% are now made up of these heretofore non-conservatives. But we do need for the carping to continue.

Mike Thornton

Newt Gingrich calls Paul Ryan's budget exactly what it is "Right wing social engineering."
And Bob Crabb calls out the ever incredible shrinking Tea Party for what it is, all in the period of 2 weeks.
Maybe there's hope for the Republic yet!

Bob W

OK again I need to be educated. "Expressers" Are those the people that participated in the rally that ended up in DC or ? What am I missing? Paul?

Todd Juvinall

Only if the liberals move to Cuba.

Steve Enos

Sorry... but like Palin the Tea Party's 15 minutes of "fame" are over. It's all down hill for the Tea Party from here.

One recent example is the failed Tea Party rally at the South Carolina State House:

“The Columbia (South Carolina) Tea Party went from Donald Trump to jilted chump after the celebrity businessman canceled his appearance at Thursday’s State House rally, and state legislators approved tax breaks and spending that the group opposed,” according to The State newspaper.

No more than 30 people were on hand to thank Gov. Nikki Haley, lawmakers and activists for their work to require more on-the-record Legislative votes.

“It was all part of a tough week for the state’s Tea Party movement. Columbia Tea Party chairman Allen Olson expected as many as 2,000 would have attended Thursday’s rally had Trump been there. But The Donald, a favorite of many who attended the group’s Tax Day rally with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., elected to not run and dropped the rally from his schedule.

“It was a kick in the gut, but it gives you a chance to regroup,” said Olson.

In 2012 that last act of the Tea Party will be to help re-elect President Obama to a second term.

Greg Goodknight

Paul Emery is making more sense than usual. And RLC's latest might be just a tad mean considering there are many loud self proclaimed Tea Partiers who really aren't partisan republicans and not interested in right wing social engineering. They just want a government that lives within its means.

There really is no definable "Tea Party" and will probably die as a brand because of this. May be good for another election cycle or two.

Paul Emery

Bob W

I was trying to be cute. Expressers meant members of the Tea Party Express.

Bob W

I like cute. What is the Tea Party Express?

Paul Emery

They are the Tea Party Franchise that is largely funded and managed by the Republican Party. George or someone else could speak to that with more detail,

Barry Pruett

I agree with Paul in that you need to be an expert to know which TP is which. Further, the TP Express is exactly a fundraising arm of the Republican Party. That said, TP Patriots is truly a non-partisan, non-candidate endorsing entity which seeks to advance fiscal responsibility, constitutionalism, and free markets. Social issues, as far as they are not related to fiscal responsibility, are not part of the TP Patriots platform.

While Bob's cartoon seems a bit mean, it really reflects what the layman, non-TP person sees in the media. Bob's pen knows no sides...that is what I like about him...and his pen.

BTW, thank you Bob for doing the art work for the NC Soapbox Derby! I saw some of it today at my Rotary meeting...very nice!

Bob W

"Express", "Franchise"? The descriptor I am familiar with is the Tea Party Patriots. I am trying to learn what the "Express", and now "Franchise" refers to. I don't want to misinterpret what you are trying to convey Paul. Is there and "Express" or "Franchise"?

Paul Emery

Franchise is my descriptive of joining in the Tea Party movement with your own storefront so to speak . I could start the Tea Party Legion for example and make up my own rules, gather a few followers and have meetings and marches. I wonder if that name is used?

Todd Juvinall

The longevity of a political party or a bunch of like minded people is only as good as their hot blood and organizational skills. Enos seems to be excited in his view the Tea Party's may not last. Well, maybe not. They were formed spontaneously and if they are satisfied the accomplished their goals they may head off into the sunset. That is why America is so great. We have created and maintained a political pressure relief valve and any group can spout. During the 60's when I watched the SDS, Free Speechers from Berkley, the leftwingnuts in Chicago, I never gave it a thought these gtoups would be around for ever. People like Enos would never say anything about those nuts like he does with the Tea Party. But that is OK. Liberals hold the line and don't criticize their brethren, they believe them.. The millions of people that came together for the "American Spring" may be around for a while or maybe not. Maybe they will take the place of the democrat party. The point is if they do go away, they proved their point. 63 new Congressmen and 675 new State level electeds is their legacy so far. I'd say that is very amazing.Oh, BTW, I am not a member.

Mikey McD

One of Crabb's most hateful cartoons.

Mikey McD

The liberal fascists want the social issues to be discussed because it allows them to keep mortgaging/enslaving future generations. They would rather discuss gay marriage, circumcision (see S.F.), etc rather than focus on the trillions (with a T) of debt and wasteful spending.

Bob W

Sorry Paul. I just can't keep up with you. First you mention a specific group and give them a label. "TP Expressers, which are an outreach wing of the Republican Party have a totally different approach and actually endorse and fund raise for candidates." Then you re-label the group, "Tea Party Franchise". Then you tell me it was all your fantasy and make up another name, "Tea Party Legion". What the H----- are you talking about? I thought you were serious about whatever you were trying to say.

Mikey McD

George, do you believe that it is our elected politicians whom 'reshape America's culture'? Does a politician control the values of our culture?

What if our culture was reshaped into 'savers'!?
What if our culture was reshaped into being self reliant!?
What if our culture was reshaped into an educated citizenry!?
What if our culture was reshaped into an anti-entitlement culture!?


Paul Emery

I made up a group to demonstrate how easy it is to start your own Tea Party franchise. This started when George asked for feedback about Crabbs cartoon and I commented that the shear number of Tea Party groups makes the whole movement look like sour dough starter especially when they all have different motives and definitions. Sorry if you didn't get it.

Bob W

Yea it was just me and you don't need to apologize because it WAS just me. But now I do get it. You like to make up things. That's cool. I'll just try to keep that in mind when I read your comments.

Paul Emery

Mikey

I'm mostly with you on this one. Remember when Bush created the little tax rebate and bragged about how this was going to help the economy because people would spend, spend, spend. Why is credit such a good thing? Do people need to go into debt to keep this economy going? There are many forces other than elected politicians that contribute to this including advertising that constantly is trying to influence people that that they need useless products for example. Of course it's up to the individual to make those decisions but how can they be empowered to be independent?

I'm all for local self reliance for food , energy and yes education. Local taxes, local schools. Education should be part of our culture not a government mandate.

Bob W

See Paul! Now you make total sense to me. With all that going on I am sure there is some kind of image or vision in that last post. Local taxes for local schools and maybe you are linking those local taxes with local food and local energy too. Not sure on that one. Definitely of your manufacture though! You should be credited.

Paul Emery

Yeah Bob

I'm an odd duck. I'm kind of a Libertarian Green. I believe you can't have liberty without a healthy earth. I'm a strong Libertarian on social issues.

George Rebane

For the record, my membership is only in the Tea Party Patriots, Nevada County coven ;-) We are a grassroots part of the overall tea party movement, and we get real agitated when a politician of any stripe attempts to get us to endorse them. Our counter is consistent - 'No, we won't endorse you, but if you convince us that you espouse our principles, then you can bet that some of us will vote for you.'

Paul Emery

As of 6:42 tonightDemocrat Democrat Kathy Hochul has a 5% lead over Republican Jane Corwin in the race to succeed Republican Chris Lee with 55% of the votes in. Self proclaimed Tea Party candidate Jack Davis has 8%. Chris Lee won by a 40% margin in November.

Todd Juvinall

Jack Davis was a three time democrat candidate for Congress before this year. Sounds like a dem trick. Maybe it will work. There are 300 precincts left.

Paul Emery

It's been called for Hochul. Gee Todd. I thought Dems were Tea Party Types as well. Even if Corwin got 100% of the Davis vote she would still only win by 3%. Quite a drop from the 40% Lee margin in November.

Steve Enos

If Democrat Kathy Hochul holds and wins this is a real big message to the R's and the Tea Party. This district is as strong an R distict as it gets... or I should say WAS as strong as an R district as it gets.

I pray the Tea Party stays alive until the 2012 election as they will help make sure President Obama is re-elected.

Steve Enos

Reality comes a knocking...

According to the New York Times story:

“Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.”

“The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether the party should rethink its commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability as 2012 elections loom".

“Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser in the race against Jane Corwin. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up".

“Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare.”

Thank you Tea Party, thank you RINO hunters... keep up the good work!

Todd Juvinall

Liberals are never happy. Paul claims all TPP are R's and when we point oit one is a D he retreats. What a hoot. I look at the race in NY 26 as a repudiation of Lee. This will be a one term seat for the left. The general in 2012 will reurn it to R's. That's OK, you only need 62 more.

Mike Thornton

Oh my.
The voters have rejected "right wing social engineering."

Mikey McD

Please define "right wing social engineering." Is that a 'creative' way of saying The voters have rejected liberty?

Mikey McD

btw, I have paid as much attention to tonight's election as I have Oprah's guest list for next week.

Paul Emery

Todd

You have it partially right. I believe that most TP advocates are Republican. It was the TPers who claimed they had Democratic support. Your analysis that this result was rejection of Bad Boy Lee's nasties insures no one will ever take you seriously as a political observer. Really, I don't that you really believe that.

Paul Emery

correct

I don't think that you really believe that.

Mike Thornton

"Right Wing Social Engineering"
Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich's analysis of the Ryan Budget Proposal

Brenda Cruz

Has Baja/enos ever contributed solutions- how about it Baja? How would you get the economy going again (if you cared)? How would you improve employment? How would you provide health care to the masses? How would you solve the pension, SS and medicare crisis? Would you fuel or temper the current class warfare in the USA?

Enough with the drivel, can you offer any solutions?

Dixon Cruickshank

Hey Thornton is that opposed to Left Wing Social Engineering that were up to are eyeballs in ??? Hows that working out for us the last few years. Their all for it until they find out it really does effect them - then want a waiver - nice.

Todd Juvinall

Paul your analysis is quite rudimentary. Ever run for for office? There is an old axiom that says if something is simple and something is complex, go with the simple. Study up Paul, the leftwing has the news outlets and they started this talk about a referendum on Medicare and the lackey press runs with it. My bet it was Lee.

Todd Juvinall

BTW, remember the R who won the special election in democrat Hawaii last year? Well, you libs said it wasn't a indicator but now it is for the National elections in 2012. Make up your minds. What a hoot.

Paul Emery

That doesn't make sense Todd. Corwin started hot and faded after Medicare became an issue, long after the steam cooled off from Lee's shirtless email.

This is from Poll Watch Daily showing Hochul's rise in the last few weeks.

"Hochul’s image among voters has also shown sharp improvement compared to Corwin. Three weeks ago, she was seen favorably by 44 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 31 percent, with 25 percent saying they had no opinion or didn’t know enough about her to express on. Now her favorability margin is 55 percent to 38 percent, with 7 percent expressing no opinion.

In contrast, Corwin has slipped into negative territory. In late April she was viewed favorably by a 44 percent to 31 percent margin with the remainder expressing no opinion, but now she is viewed unfavorably by 49 percent to 43 percent, with 9 percent expressing no opinion.

There’s no question that the Medicare issue is a major contributor with 21 percent citing it as the top issue, closely followed by jobs (20 percent) and the federal deficit (19 percent). Among those who chose Medicare as the top issue, 74 percent back Hochul."

Steve Enos

Nice attempt of a childish, personal attack by Brenda Cruz. Seems someone can't address the issues so they make personal insults... just childish "drivel" that helps prove my point.

RL Crabb

Well, well, well...A guy doesn't turn on his computer for a day and lookee what happens. Volumes of comments taking me to task for one of my usual observations on the state of American politics.

As regular readers of blogs may remember, Russ Steele invited me to hold a forum on the goals of the Tea Party last year. Every time I brought up the so-called social issues, commenters said over and over "No, Bob, this has nothing to do with abortion, gay rights, etc, etc...We are solely focused on economic issues."

Now that we have gone through an election cycle and Tea Party candidates have been successful in taking over many state houses and the House of Representatives, we can see that there does appear to be more than what was advertised. New restrictions on abortion, moves to eliminate benefits to gay couples, teaching intelligent intervention as science. And, of course, the forty year plan to reshape the culture.

Our local portly purveyor of politics accuses me of changing my views to go with whoever happens to be popular this week, which goes to show you that no good deed will go unpunished.

I'll go on doing what I've been doing for thirty years, which is pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. If I offend someone for being obvious, too bad.

wmartin

"Volumes of comments taking me to task for one of my usual observations on the state of American politics."

LOL. Well, I do see your name mention four times after a cartoon was printed. If that ain't 'volumes', I don' know what is.

The observation that Tea Partistas have a mostly shared world view is hardly a new one or particularly remarkable. It's sort of like a gag that goes:

[scene, line drawing of Briar Patch]
Generic looking vegetarian A: I'm looking for the health cookies and health potato chips.
Generic looking vegetarian clerk: They're on aisles 2-7
GLVA: Where's the deodorant?
GLVC: We don't carry it.
GLVA: I hate George Bush.

Hang on a minute, I think I've found my calling.

Todd Juvinall

Since most every issue involves money how would it be possible Bob not to deal with it when it comes up in the legislative body? Please explain how Planned Parenthood, who receives taxpayers money, is under your view off the table?

George Rebane

Please don't misunderstand Bob, no offense (in the usual sense of the word) is taken here. This is the usual give and take of your stepping out this way or that with your views. Don't change a thing that you're doing.

And here's some more. Of course the candidates backed by the various tea parties will do more than "advertized" in its simple principles. Just because the tea party keeps focused on a candidate's attitude toward those principles does not mean that s/he doesn't have an agenda to pursue in other areas - I think almost everyone knows that.

What we have to keep in mind is that the grassroots tea parties like our local Tea Party Patriots do not endorse candidates. We just encourage them to back the TPP principles, then every member makes up his/her own mind on everything the candidate stands for.

Mike Thornton

Bob:
Take a minute to look up something called "Borderline Personality Disorder".
One of the major symptoms of this serious mental illness is the "All or Nothing" approach that "Borderlines" have towards life and particularly their relationships with other people.
In short, one minute they think the sun rises when you walk into the room. You can do no wrong and they love you beyond life itself. Then on the turn of a dime, they flip and you become the greatest betrayer that has ever lived. They now hate you with unbridled passion.
Hmmmm..... doesn't that sound exactly like what happens with the Republican, regressives on a daily basis?
You may remember when they compared Sue Horne to "Judas" when she backed off on appointing Fran Gratten (Freedle) to be Clerk Recorder. One after another they came to the microphone in the BOS chambers and ripped her with vicious attacks leaving her in tears. (and these were her friends)and flash forward to how they went after Gingrich last week.
This type of behavior is par for the course when it comes to the regressives as former presidential failure GW Bush famously said: "You're either with us or against us."

RL Crabb

Mike, you're right about the GOP eating their own, but the left is no better. On the neighboring "middle" blog, one commenter opined that blue dog Democrats were traitors and should be sent to prison. (Does that include Gabby Gifford?) And on many occasions, I hear progressives call Barack Obama a "moderate republican" president. I would argue that if Obama had been smart, he would have directed more stimuli at small businesses back in early 2009. If he had done so, there wouldn't be a tea party today.

Todd Juvinall

Here is another example of ignorance from a leftwingnut. We on the right work hard to be principled while the left will cheat and steal and lie to win. When Reagan's 11th Commandment is not followed, we lose. It is important on the right to have varying opinions unlike the jackbooted left. Fran Freedle was not qualified and it became untenable to support her so she was passed over. Sue Horne went on to win a county wide office, Assessor, and that was with the help of many republicans. Gingrich was wrong in his opinion and has since retracted. So, to complain he was thrown under the bus is ludicrous. The left has a double down philosophy as shown by Obama. He threw Israel under the bus then threw the bus under the bus. The left also rewards their scofflaws like Elliot Spitzer, the scumbag lefty who liked to spend time with prostitutes. He has a CNN gig spewing LWN propaganda. We usually boot them from our ranks.

RL Crabb skewers everyone and it appears to me the leftwingnuts here and on the LWN Blog have a rather personal animus against him. Any debate here is usually not personal but policy. So, the liberals have become a 20% loser party and we can now see why.

Todd Juvinall

BTW here is a great assessment of last nights NY 26 election on Red State. I agree with the analysis. The victory of a 47-43-9 will last only until November 2012.

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2011/05/24/the-gop-loss-in-new-york-was-about-new-york-not-paul-ryan/

Mike Thornton

While I won't say you're 100% wrong, Bob, I would argue that it isn't quite an "equivalent" situation. I don't think that it's a simple "difference of opinion" or "taking a different line" on one or two or three issues that sends the left into it's (sometimes) apoplectic fits.
It's what they see as (and very often is) the systematic betrayal of progressive values as a result of cowardice.
On another note: I think there needs to be a new variation of "Godwin's Law" that applies to using Gabby Gifford as a political sword and/or shield. She's been through enough!

Mike Thornton

This is brilliant!
Enjoy!!!!

Class War For Idiots /Tea Party / April 17, 2010
A People’s History of Koch Industries: How Stalin Funded the Tea Party Movement
By Yasha Levine

Stalin-Tea-Party

This article was first published on Alternet.org

“I would rather live under a bridge than live under socialism”

—tea bagger slogan

Everyone knows that Tea Party revolutionaries fear and hate socialism about as much as the Antichrist. Which is funny, because the Tea Party movement’s dirty little secret is that it owes its existence to the grandaddy of all Antichrists: the godless empire of the USSR.

What few realize is that the secretive oil billionaires of the Koch family, the main supporters of the right-wing groups that orchestrated the Tea Party movement, would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure.

The comrades were good to the Kochs. Today Koch Industries has grown into the second-largest private company in America. With an annual revenue of $100 billion, the company was just $6.3 billion shy of first place in 2008. Ownership is kept strictly in the family, with the company being split roughly between right-wing brothers Charles and David Koch, who are worth about $20 billion apiece and are infamous as the largest sponsors of right-wing causes. They bankroll scores of free-market and libertarian think tanks, institutes and advocacy groups. Reason magazine, Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute are just a few of Koch-backed free-market operations. Greenpeace estimates that the Koch family shelled out $25 million from 2005 to 2008 funding the “climate denial machine,” which means they outspent Exxon Mobile three to one.

I first learned about the Kochs in February 2009, when Mark Ames and I were looking into the strange origins of the then-nascent Tea Party movement. Our investigation led us again and again to a handful of right-wing organizations and think tanks directly tied to the Kochs. We were the first to connect the dots and debunk the Tea Party movement’s “grassroots” front, exposing it as billionaire-backed astroturf campaign run by free-market advocacy groups FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity, both of which are closely linked to the Koch brothers.

fredkoch

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.

These days, the Kochs paint themselves as true-believer Libertarians of the Austrian School. Charles Koch, the elder brother who runs the family business in Wichita, Kansas, quotes the wisdom of proto-libertarian “economist” Ludwig von Mises, but also sees himself as a thinker in his own right. In 2007, Charles made his contribution to the body of free-market thought with an economic theory he calls Market-Based Management® (trademark protected, of course), which he lays out in a book titled the Science of Success. A Forbes reviewer seemed a bit disturbed by Charles’ overt socialist leanings, writing that the “author professes an almost Marxist faith in the ‘fixed laws’ that ‘govern human well-being.’”

David Koch is the highbrow brother who lives in New York. He ran as the Libertarian party candidate for vice-president in 1980 and says that his dream is to “minimize the role of government, to maximize the role of private economy and to maximize personal freedoms.” Apparently everyone’s a free-market enthusiast at Koch Industries, including their spokeswoman, who recently wrote a letter to the New York Times stating that “it’s a historical fact that economic freedom best fosters innovation, environmental protection and improved quality of life in a society.” It might be true somewhere for someone, but not for the Kochs—they owe it all to socialism and totalitarianism.

01rich10

Here is a better historical fact, one that the Kochs don’t like to repeat in public: the family’s initial wealth was not created by the harsh, creative forces of unfettered capitalism, but by the grace of the centrally-planned economy of the Soviet Union. This deserves repeating: The Koch family, America’s biggest pushers of the free-market Tea Party revolution, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the whim of one of Stalin’s comrades.

The story of how the Koch family amassed its socialist wealth starts at the turn of the 20th century with the birth of Fredrick C. Koch. Fred was born in a tiny town in north Texas town to a Dutch immigrant and newspaper publisher. The historical record is not clear about the family’s wealth, but it appears that great-granddaddy Koch was not hurting for cash, because Fred Koch turned out to be a smart kid and was able to study at MIT and graduate with chemical engineering degree. A few years later, in 1925, Fred started up the Winkler-Koch Engineering Company with a former classmate, quickly developing and patenting a novel process to refine gasoline from crude oil that had a highe-yield than anything on the market. It was shaping up to be an American success story, where anything was possible with a bit of elbow grease and good ol’ ingenuity.

The sky was the limit—until the free market rained on Fred’s parade.

See, Fred was living through the Roaring Twenties, a time of big business, heavy speculation and zero government regulation. Much like today, cartels were free to form and free to fix—and so they did. Sensing a threat to their royalty-revenue stream from Winkler-Koch’s superior refining technology, the reigning oil cartel moved in to teach the young Koch how the laissez-faire business model worked in the real world.

“[W]hen he tried to market his invention, the major oil companies sued him for patent infringement. Koch eventually won the lawsuits (after 15 years in court), but the controversy made it tough to attract many US customers,” according to Hoover’s Company Records service. Just like that, Winkler-Koch Engineering found itself squeezed out of the American market. They had a superior product at a cheaper price, but no one to sell it to.

Luckily, there was one market where opportunity beckoned—and innovation was rewarded: the Soviet Union.

Stalin’s first Five Year Plan was just kicking into action a nation-wide industrialization effort, and the Soviet planners needed smart, industrious college grads like Fred Koch. The Soviet Union was desperately trying to increase its oil refining capacity, so oil engineers were especially in high demand—and well paid, too.

“We are the world’s greatest market, and we are prepared to order a large amount of goods and pay for them,” Joseph Stalin told an American journalist in 1932. Stalin wasn’t kidding. From 1926 to 1929, the Soviet oil industry bought $20 million worth of equipment from America. And Koch was about to get in on the action.

In 1929, after hosting a delegation of Soviet planners in Wichita, Kansas, Winkler and Koch signed a $5 million contract to build 15 refineries in the Soviet Union. According to Oil of Russia, a Russian oil industry trade magazine, the deal made Winkler–Koch into Comrade Stalin’s Number One refinery builder. It provided equipment and oversaw construction:

The first Winkler–Koch plants were set up in Tuapse in 1930. The cracking unit operated commendably, and would in the future be the type preferred by the heads of the Soviet Union’s petroleum industry when purchasing new cracking equipment.

In 1931, two Winkler–Koch cracking units were launched in Baku, another two in Batumi, and six at once in Grozny; the last had a combined refining capacity of 900,000 tons per year. In 1932, a Winkler–Koch unit commenced operations in Yaroslavl.

At the time, the Soviet Union’s oil industry was a total mess. Equipment built by Western engineering firms was always breaking down or didn’t work at all. Western engineers were constantly being accused of espionage or sabotage, real or imagined, and booted out of the country. Soviet workers suspected of colluding with the foreigners were simply taken out back and shot. Winkler-Koch made sure they were running a tight, effective operation. Unlike their Western competitors, Koch pleased his Soviet clients by ensuring top quality and helping the cause of socialism.

Koch and Stalin

Koch lived up to the slogan: “Work hard enough for Comrade Stalin to thank you!”

The Soviet oil planners were delighted with Koch’s refineries, which “operated commendably, and would in the future be the type preferred by the heads of the Soviet Union’s petroleum industry when purchasing new cracking equipment.” The Communists were so impressed they kept giving Winkler-Koch business and regularly sent Soviet engineers to train in Wichita. It was a sign of growing mutual trust.

By the time he got out in 1933, Koch earned $500,000, which was a ton of money for a kid fresh out of college. This nut of money served as the foundation for the family’s future wealth, which Koch no doubt started acquiring at rock-bottom prices. After all, 1933 was one of the two worst years of the Great Depression—all assets were priced to go at 90% off. In the end, the capitalist-hating socialists ended up treating Koch fairly, way better than the monopolistic thrashing he got from his native land. So you’d think he’d at least something good to say about the Soviet Union when he got home?

Nope, not at all. He hated the Commies real bad. But for some reason he kept it to himself until the late 1950s (possibly because he was still doing work for the Soviet Union). Then, after coming back from a trip to the Soviet Union in 1956, he flies off the handle. According to a 1956 AP article, Fred Koch was among eleven prominent residents of Wichita, Kansas, “left for Moscow by plane today in an effort to convince the Russian people that Soviet propaganda about capitalists is untrue.” Sounds like the perfect cover for a business trip.

It’s not clear what he was actually doing there. But whatever the outcome—maybe he didn’t get the contract he was expecting or maybe he got swindled out of some investment or maybe he plain ol’ hated the thaw of post-Stalin Russia—Fred Koch came back a pissed-off anti-Communist freak and joined up with the right-wing Bircher freak show. He bankrolled a John Birch Society chapter in Wichita and attempted to open a Bircher bookstore, which wasn’t too popular and had to close.

He warned of a massive Communist conspiracy to take control of America, saying that the Reds were eroding American universities, churches, political parties, the media and every branch of government. “Maybe you don’t want to be controversial by getting mixed up in this anti-communist battle,” Koch said in a speech to a Women’s Republican Club in 1961. “But you won’t be very controversial lying in a ditch with a bullet in your brain.” Strong words for a strong Stalin Queen—must’ve rocked the stockings off the Bircher groupies.

In 1961, Koch published a pamphlet called “A Businessman Looks At Communism,” in which he recounted his travels with a “hardcore Communist” named Jerome Livshitz. It was from him Fred Koch had first learned about the commie conspiracy to take over America:

The government detailed a little man by the name of Jerome Livshltz to go around to our various installations with me. Livshitz had taken part in the revolution of 1905, and had spent twelve years in the U.S.A. as a revolutionary, most of the time in jails….

In the months I traveled with him he gave me a liberal education in Communist techniques and methods. He told me how the Communists were going to infiltrate the U.S.A. in the schools, universities, armed forces and to use his words, “Make you rotten to the core.” I believe that due to his American experience he was one of the original architects of the Communist plan of subversion of the U.S.A.

My associate and I pulled him from under an overturned car in Tiflis, and he was amazed. “Why did you save my life?” he said. “We are enemies. I would not have saved you. Perhaps when the turn there, I will spare your lives.” He told me that if his own mother stood in the way of the revolution he would strangle her with his bare hands. This is the mark of a hard-core Communist. They will do anything—anything.

Fred Koch’s paranoia continued to spiral out of control until his thumper quit in 1967. But by that time his son, Charles G. Koch, had already taken over control of the family business. He appropriated his father’s Communist paranoia and made it the basis for the family’s free-market business philosophy.

“Once, my father ran a business in the ex-Soviet Union, and all engineers who worked with my father were imprisoned by Stalin later. My father, who had experienced this, became an anti-communist and thought the value of economical freedom and prosperity was more important than ever before,” Charles said during an interview with a Korean newspaper in 2008, leaving out the part how evil socialist cash is the foundation of the Koch family’s wealth.

Once he took over, it was clear that Charles had big plans for Koch Industries. He was going to push the limits of corporate growth by plowing 90% of the company’s profits back into till and diversifying to the max. It worked. The company expanded at an unreal rate: its revenues increased from $100 million in 1966 to $100 billion in 2008—that’s 1,000-fold growth!

Today, it operates thousands of miles of pipelines in the United States, refines 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily, it buys and sells the most asphalt in the nation, is among the top ten cattle producers, and is among the 50 largest landowners. Koch Industries also plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into right-wing organizations like Institute for Humane Studies, the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Reason Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Federalist Society—all of them promoting the usual billionaire-friendly ideas of the free market, deregulation and smaller government.

If that expansion looks too fast to be legit, that’s because it was.

William Koch, the third brother who had a falling-out with Charles and David back in the ’80s over Charles’ sociopathic management style, appeared on “60 Minutes” in November 2000 to tell the world that Koch Industries was a criminal enterprise: “It was – was my family company. I was out of it,” he says. “But that’s what appalled me so much… I did not want my family, my legacy, my father’s legacy to be based upon organized crime.”

Charles Koch’s racket was very simple, explained William. With its extensive oil pipe network, Koch Industries’ role as an oil middleman–it buys crude from someone’s well and sells it to a refinery–makes it easy to steal millions of dollars worth of oil by skimming just a little off the top of each transaction, or what they call “cheating measurements” in the oil trade. According to William, wells located on federal and Native American lands were the prime targets of the Koch scam.

“What Koch was doing was taking all these measurements and then falsifying them on the run sheets,” said Bill Koch. “If the dipstick measured five feet 10 inches and one half inch, they would write down five feet nine and one half inches.”

That may not sound like much, but Bill Koch said it added up. “Well, that was the beauty of the scheme. Because if they’re buying oil from 50,000 different people, and they’re stealing two barrels from each person. What does that add up to? One year, their data showed they stole a million and a half barrels of oil.”

In 1999, William decided to take his brothers down. He sued Koch Industries in civil court under the False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to file suit on behalf of the federal government. William Koch accused the company of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in oil from federal lands.

The band of brothers settled the case two years later, with Charles agreeing to pay $25 million in penalties to the federal government to have the suit dismissed. It turned out to be a great deal for Charles and David, considering that in the 1980s their “adjustments” allowed Koch Industries to siphon off 300 million gallons of oil without paying. It was pure profit–free money–to the tune of $230 million.

At the trial, 50 former Koch gaugers testified against the company, some in video depositions. They said employees even had a term for cheating on the measurements.

“We in the company referred to it as the Koch Method because it was a system for cheating the producer out of oil,” said one of the gaugers, Mark Wilson.

Ah, finally! We’ve stumbled upon the secret to the family’s success! At the bottom of it all, the Koch Method that funds all the libertarians is nothing but good old-fashioned plunder. Or, as Koch hero Ludwig von Mises might say, “The Koch Method is just an unceasing sequence of single scams.”

Yasha Levine is a mobile home inhabitin’ editor of The eXiled. He is currently stationed in Victorville, CA. You can reach him at levine [at] exiledonline.com.

Further reading

1. A People’s History of Koch Industries, Part II: Libertarian Billionaires Charles and David Koch Are Closetcase Subsidy Kings Who Milk Big Government Tyranny, But Want To Slash Spending On Anyone Else

2. The investigation that broke the Tea Party movement wide open: “Exposing the Rightwing PR Machine: Is CNBC’s Rick Santelli Sucking Koch”

3. CNBC Bitch-Slaps Santelli Into Line, FreedomWorks Admits It Organized “Grassroots” Tea Parties, Jon Stewart Cancels Santelli & Megan McArdle Queefs On Our Founding Fathers

4. How FreedomWorks Gave Teabaggers a Dirty Sanchez

5. AstroTurf Revolution Dispatch: Activists Teabag Media

6. Freemarket Failures: Investors Prefer Doing Business With Hugo Chavez Over Billionaire Koch Brothers

Paul Emery

The Tea Party had an effect on last years elections but the shine seems to be wearing off.

The NY 26 election is consistent with what seems to be a Democratic surge due to the overreaching efforts of the Republicans to please the TP's who will pout if they don't get their way. Here's the latest showing Obama with a 14% approval on Fox and +21 on AP. http://www.pollingreport.com/obama_job.htm

The Senate vote on the Ryan budget will show some defectors from the Repubs that I guess mostly will be those up for election in 2012.

Steve Enos

For the record... I like Bob Crabb and his work, no " personal animus against him" as Todd claims.

Kathy Hochul was elected and this sent a real big message... will the R's get it? This was a major wake up call to the right about over reaching.

The message is clear as is the national polling on this... Americans like and want Medicare.

I do hope the hard right keeps trying to kill off Medicare and also keeps insulting the largest growing voter groups too as it helps insure President Obama will be re-elected next year.

I hope the Tea Party keeps breathing a bit longer and the RINO hunters keep hunting too.

Michael Anderson

Paul E. wrote: "I'm an odd duck. I'm kind of a Libertarian Green." I've been using libertarian progressive on these pages to describe that duck--I am one as well.

I would love to see an RL Crabb cartoon featuring Planned Parenthood associates and welfare queens trying to break into the Skeptic Tank.

Account Deleted

I've been trying to keep up with the usual rah, rah, for our side and it strikes me that the ship is still sinking and the left only cares about who has control over the deck chairs. It doesn't matter who won the special race in NY - Medicare and SS are going seriously broke. All the money you can confiscate from the "rich" won't save it.
BTW - "libertarian green" = I can do whatever I like and I can make you follow my lunatic religion.

Dixon Cruickshank

There goes thornton with another 10,000 words of BS - I do like the headlines at the bottom though - shows it comes from a serious source

Mike Thornton

I know it's hard to keep up Dixon, but the shirt version is that the Koch family has been supporting extreme right wing organizations (including the "teahadists") for a long, long time.
Ironically the money they inherited (so goes the "meritocracy", you all so claim to worship)started flowing into the family as a result of business relationships that Daddy Fred, had with Papa Joe Stalin!
I know it wasn't on FOX or the Savage Nation and of course they're the ONLY source of "real" news, yeah right!

Steve Enos

Paul was correct when he posted... "The NY 26 election is consistent with what seems to be a Democratic surge due to the overreaching efforts of the Republicans to please the TP's who will pout if they don't get their way".

George Rebane

General Administrivia - Please don't copy and paste into these comment streams long articles in their entirety posted on other blogs and websites - e.g. MikeT's 25 May 2011 at 09:29 AM 'comment'. Instead, you can include the link to the novelette that you want others to read. Remember, that's why God inventred URLs. Thanks much.

Mike Thornton

No problemo!

Todd Juvinall

There is no sweeping change or even a little change to the NY 26 race. I recall when Scott Brown won in Mass and the press refused to say it was a change (and that was a whole state!) to the future because the press loves the dems and will never give any credit to a R. Scott Brown won in a extremely heavier D district than Hooza did in NY 26. It just cracks me up these leftys think they can foretell the future. What a hoot. Kind of like the Hawaii vote special last year. It reverted back to D because that is the district.

Mike Thornton

Graveyard...whistling

Steve Enos

Scott Brown?... his positon on Medicare is what? Brown is now being attacked by the Tea Party RINO hunters. A perfect example of why I hope the Tea Party stays alive until the 2012 elections.

Fact... the election of a Dem in NY 26 race is a very telling event. The NY 26 has been an ultra R district forever.

Greg Goodknight

Thornton's verbatim copying of material from inforwars.com seems a clear violation of oopyright, not to mention a violation of typical blog standards. It should be deleted.

Fair use is a short quote and then some comments.

I get it, Thornton, you don't like the Koch's.

Todd Juvinall

NY 26 was no bell weather. Anyone that says it is has no clue. Also, Scott Brown won on being the vote against Obamacare, remember? Then is different then now. Tea Party helped him Steve, remember?

Mike Thornton

Clear violation of copyright?
Did I claim it as my own?, No!
Was it relevant to the discussion about the "tehadist" party?, Yes!
Did it show that the Kochs have been supporting extremist and racist organizations for decades? Yes!
Does it show, once again. that some of the loudest voices promoting free enterprise and free markets, in fact started out with a huge, unfair advantage over the competition by being handed wealth that they themselves didn't earn? Yes!
Does it show that. in fact some of that wealth came from Fred Kochs business dealings with Joe Stalin, a name that is used regularly on these very pages as an example of "communist brutality and murder? Yes!
I get it, Greg, you don't like people pointing out exactly who and what the Kochs really are!

Paul Emery

This was Jack Kemp's district that the Repubs lost. When the message got out that you can be denied health coverage at the insurance company's discretion for previous conditions when you reach 65 if Obama Care is reversed like the Repubs want it was a slam dunk that the voucher proposal is useless and people know it. This position is a total loser for the Repubs and this election is only the start. Sure it excludes everyone over 55 but those who have been paying into what they believed was a full coverage for over 35 years (assuming they started paying into medicare at the age of 20) feel ripped off because they are not getting what they paid for.

Mike Thornton

There's no such thing as "Obama care", Paul.
That is a phrase that the corporate shills came up with to try and de-legitimize health care reform.

Todd Juvinall

Thanks for another delusional screed. What a hoot. No Obamacare! Amazing.

Steve Enos

Looks like someone isn't keeping up with current events... Scott Brown is now being attacked by the Tea Party and RINO hunters.

The election of a Dem in NY 26 race is a very telling event. The NY 26 has been an ultra R district forever and that's a fact. The election was a single issue election... Medicare.

Paul Emery

Yeah Mike. I was just using language that Todd would understand.

Barry Pruett

If I may Mr. Enos, the Democrat won the seat with only 47% of the vote. There were three candidates. A Republican who received 43% of the votes and an independent, very conservative millionaire who self-funded his campaign who received 9% of the vote. Absent the third candidate, the Republican would have won the seat. Considering the married Republican Congressman who resigned was trying to pick up women on Craigslist and the third candidate, this special election is hardly a referendum on either Republicans in general or Medicare. You can try to spin it that way by omitting key facts...but that dog don't hunt.

Todd Juvinall

Barry, that explanation is too complex for the two ignoramuses. Try this, 47-43-9. Also, I did a article on the NY 26 race at my blog. It is too complex for the libs here, so I would imagine they won't understand it. LOL.

Paul Emery

Barry
Do you really believe that the Ryan plan for Medicare had no negative effect? Also, it's a broad assumption that all of the third candidates votes would go to the Repub. Many times third party voters won't vote for either candidate. I doubt if you spouted your theory on the lost election to a group of serious Republican politico's you'd be taken very seriously. They know.

wmartin

Scott Obermuller sez: "I've been trying to keep up with the usual rah, rah, for our side and it strikes me that the ship is still sinking and the left only cares about who has control over the deck chairs."

But that's what makes this all so fun.

You can essentially count on the Right not righting the ship since there's too many third rails (Medicare, SS, military adventures, government services in general) so we'll auger in no matter what. The tyranny of double entry bookkeeping and the bond market will see to it that the wealth is extracted somehow, most likely through a collapse of the dollar I'd wager.

At some point, the Little Red Hen economy has to have more bakers and less eaters, but the insufficiency of bread will make itself known. Some new equilibrium will be reached. Perhaps we can invent ourselves out of this situation by increased use of social websites and search engines, but I kinda doubt it.

In the meantime, pleasing stories will be invented. 'All Persians hate the US because the CIA overthrew an Iranian government a while back'. 'Halliburton caused the invasion of Iraq'. 'Republican party governments will balance the books given a chance'. 'It (practically anything, really) is for the children'.

Pat answers have always been the mother's milk of political discourse.

Todd Juvinall

Ryan's budget defeated by Senate 57-40, Obama's defeated 97-0. LOL

Steve Enos

"Absent the third candidate, the Republican would have won the seat". Barry, Barry, Barry... wrong!

The third candidate did not get "R" votes only. The third candidate was a past Dem candidate, he got votes from all sides and the middle too.

No spin needed, even the smart R political consultants agree that Medicare was the issue in this election.

Oh by the way... if I may... IF, IF, IF, IF, and more IF's are worth nothing in an election. IF you were the only candidate in your election you might have won, but you were not and you didn't win... IF, IF, IF is meanless.

Paul Emery

wmartin

I like your style

wmartin

You can just bet that everyone will vote for whoever claims to support Medicare.

Looking at the source numbers, and I could be wrong here you never know, it cooks up something like this:

. Average Medicare recipient receives roughly $12k/year in benefits. I suspect that's a low number given the imposed pricing, but I'll go with that.
. Average US income is around $35k/yr per person. I doubt that it's 100% Medicare taxable, but let's stick with this number
. Medicare tithe is a smidge under 3% and has no income cap. It's also, for the sake of simplicity I suppose, not progressive.

So, for $1k a year or so for a working lifetime, you get a grand a month from age 65 to around 80.

Whether this is a better deal than a government pension is left as an exercise for the reader.

wmartin

It occurred to me that we need to donate cartoon ideas. I'll start.

[weight challenged blogger crouched over keyboard] RACIST!
[follicle challenged blogger crouched over keyboard] COMMUNIST!
[weight challenged blogger crouched over large slice of pie] numma numma numma
[hat wearing cartoonist crouched over artwork] Ok, here's Teegeeack. I'll draw the volcanoes over here. I'll draw myself over there.
[horde of lawyers and cops crouched over cartoonist's house] HE'LL FREE XENU WITH THAT STRIP! STORM THE HOUSE!

I'm not sure that a five panel strip will do. It's probably time to hire an editor.

RL Crabb

Ha! Maybe you should start drawing cartoons, wmartin. (Warning: Don't quit your day job.)

Greg Goodknight

Yes, Thornton, violation of copyright, and you seem to have 'copyright' and plagiarism confused. The bottom of the page you lifted it from clearly says 'copyright', and 'all rights reserved' and copying that much is clearly beyond fair use.

The screed mixing everything the elder Koch (the Bircher) did with everything the brothers have done, in order to tar the brothers, really is standard operating procedure in too many places. Pure character assassination and a real double standard is in play. Compared to Soros, David Koch is Rebbecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Your readers, and the readers of the website you lifted it from, might have missed that even with all that mud being flung, none of it had David Koch's name on it.

Mike Thornton

regressive logic dictates that their every victory, no matter how small, is a mandate and every loss is a an anomaly, caused by a vast left wing conspiracy.

Russ Steele

If the Democrats want to make the Ryan budget a campaign issues, then Ryan should take it to the people, by running for President.

“‘It’s a very good idea,’ says Rep. Tom McClintock (R., Calif.). ‘Paul Ryan would make an excellent candidate and an excellent president.’ If Democrats are intent on making the House Republican budget the central issue of the 2012 campaign, who better than that budget’s author — and most capable defender — to be the GOP nominee? Other members certainly feel the same, McClintock said — you won’t find too many Republicans with a negative opinion of Ryan — but he insisted there isn’t a concerted effort among members to urge Ryan to get in the race. ‘I’ve not heard any rumors that he’s seriously considering it,’ he said. ‘But I still think it’s a pretty good idea.’

Quote of the day at Hot Air

Todd Juvinall

The Ryan budget is dead because the Reid Senate voted it down. Since Reid won't allow a yes on any vote, (there were three thers defeated as well) then it will be quite a task to defeat R's in a year and a half with something that never made it. I like Ryan too but by the time the democrat slime machine is done with finding out he used a spitball in third grade. he will be toast.

Greg Goodknight

Thornton, do you also just recycle random phrases from your playbook when you're doing your "media consulting and public relations'?

Mike Thornton

No Greg
I don't use my "playbook" here.
Actually you guys write this material for me.
I know you're pretty well used to just talking to each other and patting yourselves on the back because you think you're so patriotically clever, but the truth is that a lot of what you guys say is actually pretty ridiculous and pretty great comedy material.
The truth is that there are tons of people who are saying the same kind of things that I am, but you don't know it because all you watch is FOX.
You should try reading David Frum or even listening to him on NPR. He's a brilliant "Conservative" thinker. If you did. you might be able to have a more intelligent debate on the real issues we face as a nation.
But you guys always head right for the gutter and that's why I talk to you the way I do.
Plus on top of that what I'm saying is factual.
Nighty-bye!

Greg Goodknight

"You guys"? Sorry, Thornton, I don't watch "Fox". I also listen to the BBC and NPR.

I've even spent a lot of time listening to KPFA and KPFK, mostly for the Car Show and "Sounds of Jamaica" with Miss Wirewaist.

I'll watch Fox on occasion if I'm not the one controlling the TV. It isn't that bad. You should force yourself, you might learn something about the 'you people' you seem to have such a superficial knowledge about.

"Deaf, deluded, deceptive" seems to be applicable to many "progressives", too.

Russ Steele

Mike, as I recall David Frum was recently fired from the American Enterprise Institute for being overly critical of Republicans and their healthcare proposals.

Three days after calling health-care reform a debacle for Republicans, David Frum was forced out of his job at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

The ouster also came one day after a harsh Wall Street Journal editorial ripped the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, saying he "now makes his living as the media's go-to basher of fellow Republicans" and accusing him of "peddling bad revisionist history."

Frum made clear, in a letter to AEI President Arthur C. Brooks, that his departure after seven years as a resident fellow at the conservative think tank was not voluntary. "I have had many fruitful years at the American Enterprise Institute," he wrote, "and I do regret this abrupt and unexpected conclusion of our relationship."

Now your are telling us that we should be paying attention to this Republican basher. On the other hand Frum maybe right it is a political potato to hot to handle. What the Republican potions? Just let Medicare self destruct, then rebuild it from scratch, once it is broke and seniors are dying from the lack of affordable care. If the Democrats want to pay politics with Medicare they sure as hell better have a solution once they win the honor of caring for our senior citizens.

Greg Goodknight

By the way, Thornton, you do know the difference between plagiarism and copyright violations, don't you? Because your statements denying the copyright problem were, in part:

"Clear violation of copyright?
Did I claim it as my own?, No!"

You claim to be a media consultant, yet you seem curiously ignorant of copyrights. You might consult the wingnut big-boy himself over at Sierra Foothills Report, he's been vigilant in the past about policing the blogs that he resents that run afoul of copyright law. I suspect the two of you should be able to work it out.

Greg Goodknight

Russ, one problem NPR has always had is that their "conservatives" seem always to sound more like moderate Democrats. And they ignore libertarians completely.

In their defense, I think NPR really does try to treat conservative Republicans fairly, but it's hard for them. It's like trying to think in French without even having a clue how to find France on the map. NPR correspondents have to be careful... get to know a few conservatives, treat them like real people and you might slip and end up like Juan Williams.

Todd Juvinall

I must say Thornton has all the SOP of liberal techniques down against conservatives. He is our comic relief on these threads and I encourage him to remain. The liberals all share the same playbook and it has been that way since I started paying attention many years ago. During my term at the BOS and CABPRO the local libs used "last pristine" to stop timber, mining and ag. Then they changed to "FOX NEWS, Koch brothers and Mediscare". Thorton just vomits up the DNC and DailyKOS talking point recommendations. I read the DailyKOS so I know he does and before that it was the HUFFPost and their ilk. It probably frosted their plums when Arrianna made a gazillion bucks in the sale. So, please Thornton, stay and keep supplying us with the material so we can get a good laugh at tthe run of the mill liberal "regressive" thinking.

Greg Goodknight

Todd, we disagree. Imagine that.

I'd prefer ending the playing to stereotypes that you and Thornton both tend towards. I know I prefer someone to be making a case for or against my ideas based on what I've said or written, rather than the 'you people' caricatures.

Mike Thornton

Frum got fired because he wasn't extreme enough for the current Republican leadership.
He's clearly a "conservative", but with well thought out and reasonable policy proposals.
That makes him unwelcome in today's Republican party and apparently here as well.
Let's see if I have this right....Regressives, can label and stereotype anyone they want too, anytime they want too and for any reason they want too, but God forbid that someone do it to them, right? When I start seeing regressives holding other regressives to standards of honesty and decency, fairness and respect, I'll start taking your criticism seriously. Until then it's simply another example of selective and phony regressive "outrage".
I'm happy to have a factual, respectful dialog and debate with anyone here, but you guys need to clean up your own side of the street before you start telling other people what to do and how to act. It looks like Greg has actually taken a step in that direction and so I'll make an effort to do the same with him!

Greg Goodknight

Thornton, you remain a pot calling the kettle black.

Factual, respectful dialog? Please, don't use big words you don't seem to understand, as even this post of yours lecturing 'you guys' shows a big blind spot. My steps have always been the same direction here, but you are so blinded you just hadn't noticed; I suppose all non-progressives just look alike to you.

The comments to this entry are closed.