November 2019

Featuring Lana Rhoades

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Inside the Koch Brothers’ War Room

A thank-you card seems like the appropriate response for having reaped a cool $18 billion under the administration of President Barack Obama, especially during the worst economy in nearly a century. But that’s not the Koch brothers’ style. Because Obama, no matter how Republican he acts, is actually a Democrat. And, dammit, being two of the richest people in the entire nation just isn’t rich enough for either of the far-right Republican Koch boys.

Instead, the brothers—worth $25 billion each, tying them for fourth place on the latest Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans— want more. And they’re declaring “war” to get it—not just any war but the “Mother of All Wars,” states Charles Koch, co-owner with brother David of Koch Industries, the massive oil and chemical conglomerate they inherited from their daddy.

You can hear his declaration yourself thanks to covert audiotapes, which I obtained from a source, that recorded the brothers’ secret political-strategy and fundraising powwow held last summer at a ritzy resort near Vail, Colorado.

The Kochs—corporate funders of the fake “grassroots” Tea Party and Republican front groups like Americans for Prosperity—have been convening these biannual, ultraexclusive, ultraconfidential soirees for years. You and I aren’t invited. Neither are the working-class chumps and suckers they’ve hoaxed into calling themselves members of the Tea Party. Those patsies are just doing the dirty work for the very dirty Koch Industries—this country’s second-largest private company, a major polluter and (surprise!) a leading climate change denier.

Over the years, the Kochs have been forced to pay some $400 million in fines, penalties, settlements and judgments; have stolen nearly 2 million barrels of oil from native Americans, according to former Koch Industries officials; and have allegedly bribed their way into at least half a dozen foreign countries. One is Iran, where the company’s German subsidiary made millions in petrochemical sales despite a long-standing U.S. trade ban. The Kochs are not patriots. They are profiteers.

So who exactly was invited to the Kochs’ conclave? Folks like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, all manner of elected officials with Rs after their names—like Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas), Governor Chris Christie (R-New Jersey), Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio), Representative Paul Ryan (R-Minnesota)—and even a pair of U.S. Supreme Court justices, namely Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

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