WARNING: VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS PIECE MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS.
Something about my Nick Gillespie post (appearance on Bill Maher’s Real Time on HBO this weekend) struck a nerve among “libertarians” on YouTube. What’s the big deal? Aren’t the Kochs our benefactors? This is nonsense! Harrumph. Harangue. Harass.
But there IS something fundamental in not revealing who Nick Gillespie’s patrons are –and Matt Welch’s, co-author of the book Gillespie was on Bill Maher’s REAL TIME to shill. Seriously. So, why is it a big deal to note that Nick Gillespie owes his career to the Koch Brothers — who still fund his/their paychecks?
The Koch modus operandi has always been to hide, to disguise, to operate under any name but their own. That’s an unbroken series of demonstrable actions going back to the 1970s, and a slew of actions that carefully AVOID a causal link, but look increasingly likely as the evidence mounts. In the 2006 “Howie Rich” scandal, millions of dollars were slushed to dozens of states and the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation turned up that THREE individuals funded them all, to the 99% + level, but we still don’t know who those Three were.
Really? We don’t have a right and vested interest AS A NATION, in knowing who paid millions of dollars for a mercenary ballot initiative machine that moved through dozens of states and twice that many initiatives? Guess not.
The ever-comatose media said it was all “Howard Rich” and didn’t even bother getting a photograph of their own. Just used the “official” picture from his website, like we use the high school yearbook or drivers licence photo of the latest mass murderer (until we can get that groovy Courthouse footage.)
But Howie Rich was never one of those three, seemingly. He merely disbursed the funds.
Those SECRET funds. Are they the same funds we find in ALEC? In the Sam Adams Alliance? The Club for Growth? The CATO Institute? The Mercatus Institute? The Institute for Humane Studies? Americans for Prosperity? Freedomworks? The Macinac Institute? The State Policy Network? The Rio Grande Institute? The Goldwater Institute? Citizens for Responsible Government, Inc.? Citizens for Responsible Government Foundation?
(OK, CRG’s Foundation and Inc. became Americans for Prosperity Inc. And Americans for Prosperity Foundation, and FreedomWorks, Inc. and FreedomWorks Foundation, respectively or counter-respectively, and you will note that as I pick up the thimble, the pea is gone.)
For some reason, they really would prefer that you NOT know their names. But if their operatives are out there actively pushing their oligarchic agenda, oughtn’t we know about it? The Kochs say not. (As does the tag team of Libertarian trolls who showed up at the YouTube page to screech that I hadn’t proven ANYTHING! ANYTHING!! And what GREAT guys the Kochs are — personally responsible for Gay Marriage in New York! Our Benefactors! Must’ve struck a nerve.)
The deception is intentional, and I kind of think that the Bill Maher audience would filter Nicky’s commentary differently, did they know that the Kochs have been underwriting his paychecks ever since he got to Reason … in 1993. (Wikipedia: Prior to joining Reason, Gillespie worked at a number of small trade magazines and other journalistic outlets. He worked for several years at Teen Machine magazine, where he interviewed celebrities and ghost-wrote an advice column for actress Alyssa Milano….”*)
[* See below for more on this Wikipedia page.]
Here’s some fun, as long as we’re playing button, button, who’s got the button, here’s a profile I found on Linked In:
Editor in Chief, Big Government.com
Washington D.C. Metro Area Public Policy
Editor in Chief at Big Government
Director of Government Affairs at Reason Foundation
Director of Government Affairs at Berman and Company
Director of Legislation and Policy at ALEC
You might recall that BigGovernment is the website that broke (anonymously) the Andrew Weiner story.
Or this, from Reason Foundation’s LinkedIn page:
Gee. You don’t suppose that he’s massaged (or at least policed) Nick Gillespie’s Wikipedia profile above?
Still, the mentality is telling: make sure that anything about Reason Foundation that’s up is the best possible spin in Reason’s terms.
I find it hilarious that they would have let this job description up online, but these little slipups happen all the time, which is the Kochian Achilles heel.
Tea Party Smartie
When you base your control on your control of information, information is always slipping through the cracks that you’d have preferred remained hidden.
The secrecy and intention to conceal tell the thoughtful reader all, ultimately, that the reader needs to understand that there is a reason for the concealment.
And it is in that Venne Diagram overlap wherein our own politics and our own states and our own laws in even our own municipalities deserve the truth as to who is behind legislation as in the current ALEC investigations.
As the Good Book says:
The wicked man fleeth, when no man pursueth…
But of course, this is all academic. Just rhetorical flourishes, right?
Well, the Tea Party coalition just rejected Speaker Boehner’s proposal on the ongoing, tortuous (to the participants), torturous (to the public) “debt ceiling” crisis that has been manufactured and is playing out as Grand Drama.
Eugene, Oregon Tax Day Tea Partiers – 2010
Just down the freeway from me, something equally disturbing happened last week, and it does not presage anything pleasant for the Republic.
The Douglas County [Oregon] News Review reports:
Political showdown creates conflict in Roseburg park
by Heather Morse
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
A small political gathering of about 18 liberal thinkers at River Forks Park Sunday afternoon erupted in conflict when about 35 members of the conservative tea party intruded upon the meeting, waving flags and holding signs accusing the rival group of being communists, Marxists and socialists.
The liberal group — organized by MoveOn.org — decided to leave the park and move its potluck to a nearby home. Members of the conservative group followed, parking at the entrance of a private lane leading to the home to continue their protest.
Roseburg Democrats Dean and Sara Byers said Monday they told tea party members who followed that they were not welcome to drive down the lane to their home.
The Byerses said they got out of their car to stop vehicles from entering the driveway and one tea party member almost ran them over.
Sara Byers said she was so shaken she called 911. She said a Douglas County deputy called about an hour and a half later and said he had been unable to respond because of other incidents. Byers said she was still considering filing a criminal complaint against members of the tea party for harassment.
A leader of the tea party group, Rich Raynor of Roseburg, disputed the liberal group’s version of events.
“They are liars,” said Raynor, director of Douglas County Americans for Prosperity. “That is what communists do.”
Raynor said the group believes MoveOn.org is a communist front and said he would not stand for America becoming a fascist nation.
Gee. As a founding member of MoveOn.org (which meant MOVE ON from the stoopid impeachment BS), I hadn’t realized that the Red-staters were calling me a “Red.”
Here’s the actual video from the park:
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.