A lot to keep up with … Koch edition

The “news” shit storm comes at us hard, fast, furious, disgusting and delivered  directly to our pockets, with little notification beeps to inform us of the latest.   The instinct to turn away from this hurricane of spattering fecal matter is hard to resist and we resist that instinct at our peril.  I commonly respond to “what have you been up to?” with “trying not to go insane.”   I keep looking as the disgusting squadrons of turds are propelled like an endless fleet of bombers dropping their awful payload.  

The only way to counter the massive disconnect we are confronted with in today’s politics by sound byte is to make larger connections.   Nothing happens in a vacuum, context is crucial.   The constant aggravating ruckus makes it difficult to see the bigger picture, by design.   Meanwhile, the abused earth itself veers toward the premature end of its life cycle as good people despair.

Here’s a quick piece on how all roads, in the radical right, lead to the Koch network.  Determined, extreme right wing “liberty lovers” the Kochs have played an outsized, skillful, ruthless, long game.   Until recently this long game was played secretly, though lately the octogenarian Charles and David Koch are taking their bows in public.  After more than forty years of savage, determined fighting they have largely won everything they dreamed of — moving American democracy close to a permanent one-party far right government that will protect their glorious liberty in perpetuity.   

How do the Koch’s have anything to gain from Trump’s clampdown on immigrants?

We learn that 680 immigrants were arrested in a massive roundup in Mississippi yesterday.  They were grabbed at work, working in  Koch Foods’ chicken “processing plants,”  working for the Koch Brothers.   How does this help the Kochs?   As Democracy Now! reported today:

The arrests targeted chicken processing plants operated by Koch Foods, one of the largest poultry producers in the U.S. Last year, Koch Foods paid out $3.75 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission class-action suit charging the company with sexual harassment, national origin and race discrimination, and retaliation against Latino workers at one of its Mississippi plants. Labor activists say it’s the latest raid to target factories where immigrant workers have organized unions, fought back against discrimination or challenged unsafe and unsanitary conditions.


“Labor activists say it’s the latest raid to target factories where immigrant workers have organized unions, fought back against discrimination or challenged unsafe and unsanitary conditions.”

Why did the Kochs hire so many illegals to work in their factories, slaughtering, dismembering and packaging chickens?   Who knows, probably a strictly practical business decision.   The Kochs hate unions, and discrimination laws, and health and safety rules for food production.   Recall that Libertarians like the Kochs don’t like regulations of any kind.   Such restrictive laws strangle freedom!

For more on the talented, well-born brothers, their background and the source of their family fortunes and beliefs, listen to the great Jane Mayer, interviewed shortly after her book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, came out.     

Check out the interview, it is fascinating, and horrifying.

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