Koch Brothers

It's not the Stupidity, It's the Money Behind the Shutdown Crisis

In This Crisis It's Not Stupidity, It's the Money: Three Relevant Laws

There are three basic laws about discussion, especially political discussion, that are useful in the contentious government situation we have today.  The third of these laws is especially relevant because it warns us that what is happening in Congress is not a passing aberration, but in fact a threat to democracy in our country.

Why are Gas Prices Skyrocketing?

Déjà vu, it's 2008 all over again. Why are gas prices soaring through the roof?


gas reg gal 02-2012


Some are revisiting oil speculation as the culprit. Commodity futures speculation always pops up in the public discourse the minute gas prices go above $3.65, yet nothing ever seems to come of it.

Our usual stupid political tricks, from tapping the strategic oil reserve to the GOP blaming Obama for gas prices, are in full swing. Isn't this all getting rather old? Wouldn't we all just like a stable price fluctuation in a key critical commodity upon which our economy and our empty pockets depend?



We know one thing, $5 gas can literally kill economic recovery. Oil shocks are correlated to recessions, as James Hamilton points out as do others. Below is a quarterly historical graph of real GDP percent change vs. the West Texas Intermediate average Oil Price. Notice the spikes in oil price and the grey recession bars.


More Stupid Tax Tricks

thumb_computer-dog.jpgNow that corporations have managed to get their glorified offshore outsourcing and tax haven bad trade deals, they are after the next thing, paying no taxes on profits made overseas. It's not enough multinationals made sure patents squeeze out the lone inventor and turned intellectual property into a glorified multinational shell game, they want more. Up next is their corporate tax holiday, complete with up is down lobbyist talking points, all to get yet another corporate giveaway through Congress.

David Cay Johnston calls the propaganda Orwellian:

Political tax talk is becoming Orwellian: Secrecy is Democracy. Auditors Reduce Collections. Tax Cheats Will Be Caught With Fewer Auditors.

No Wonder the Koch Brothers Want No Interference from the Government

bloombergkochBloomberg has one whooper story. It seems the Koch Brothers made sales to Iran:

A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries -- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East -- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.

In case you've been dead, the Koch Brothers are the uber-rich guys out to destroy your social security, health care and, oh yeah, government as we know it.

No wonder they hate regulations and government. Doesn't help when you're doing something probably illegal, like making sales to a government under sanctions for being a terrorist state.

Beyond getting into the international bribes business, a crime the Koch Brothers are assuredly not alone in (see this Frontline documentary on how common international business bribes are), we have them losing one of the biggest civil wrongful death suits:

In 1999, a Texas jury imposed a $296 million verdict on a Koch pipeline unit -- the largest compensatory damages judgment in a wrongful death case against a corporation in U.S. history. The jury found that the company’s negligence had led to a butane pipeline rupture that fueled an explosion that killed two teenagers.