If Charles Dickens was alive today, he might have been inclined to create a fictionalized version of the malevolent brothers the likes of Charles and David Koch (pronounced Coke). While these two modern-day rogues have deviously shown how elections can be manipulated, helped create a radical extremist group, despoiled a number of ecosystems and are hell-bent on demonizing the current leader of the free world -- the Koch brothers run one of the largest U.S.companies (bigger than Coke), but one that most folks never heard of.
Julian Brookes from the Rolling Stones describes them as "plutocrats from central casting - oil-and-gas billionaires ready to buy any congressman. . .(shirking) any tax burden to push their free-market religion and pump up their profits."
Watch-dog groups like the Center for Public Integrity have challenged Koch Industries for their pernicious tactics motivated by greed. CPI's founder Charles Lewis characterizes them as bullies who know how to push their weight around. "They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it," he notes.
Back in 20120, Consumer Watchdog and its Oilwatchdog.org project sponsored a 30-second commercial spot that was broadcast on the 520 square-foot Jumbo-tron in Time Squares, eighteen times per day.
Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog describes the Koch brother as the "uber-brand." He asserted they "stand for climate change denial, global warming, cash-register politics and propping up of the Tea Party. Every American should know this company and what its owners stand for.”
In regards to the Tea Party movement, their meteoric rise was unexpected and quixotic by both the right and left. It is now known that the Koch brothers were the catalyst for their ascendancy, which opened the House of Representatives' door wide for them to overtake a good number of seats in the last election. However, when one peals back this onion, it becomes clear that these two groups are polar opposites. Not to mix metaphors, but the grass-roots Tea Partiers could also be classified as the "99 Percenters," where the Koch Brothers could be termed Poster-Boys for the "1 Percent."
To add to that irony, the Tea-Party didn't even know they were being manipulated by the Koch Brothers playing puppet masters, nor that their influx of funding came from Koch Industries in excess of $40 million dollars. In Aaron Sorkin's HBO hit "Newsroom," a docu-drama version of this almost laughable unfolding of these events gets all too real.
To the blind, goes the spoils? That's how good (or evil) the Koch Brothers are. They can support and manipulate an extremist faction to not only create havoc with the opposing Party, but also trip up their own, and cause many of the GOP to scratch their heads as to how they got played as well. After all, a lot their old guard got replaced by the Koch Brothers' Machiavellian tactics in the 2010 elections.
So alongside Charles Dickens' best villainous characters, couldn't you see Charles and David breaking bread with the likes of David Copperfield's Uriah Heep? -- or perhaps being told by Fagin from Oliver Twist, that the "money's coming from a rich cat - I mean, a cat from a rich family!"
The Koch Brothers - isn't it time to take a real long look at the real thing?