That's Rich, Frank

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The unwittinglyest!

The New York Times' former theater critic gives a hi-five to Jane Mayer's flawed New Yorker hit piece on ObamaNation's enemy numero uno: The libertarian brothers Koch. Excerpt:

The New Yorker article stirred up the right, too. Some of Mayer's blogging detractors unwittingly upheld the premise of her article (titled "Covert Operations") by conceding that they have been Koch grantees. […]

As Mayer details, Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries' vast fossil fuel business.

If there's any unwittinglyness here, it's how this little Rich snippet illustrates the flaws in Mayer's premise and execution.

First, note that Rich's link there is to this Nick Gillespie blog post. Which did not "concede" Reason's Koch association, it did what we do every time Koch is mentioned in a Reason-branded publication: Disclose it. Like you do, in journalism. Why, here we are conceding the nefarious connection to David Koch on our not-hard-to-find online list of Reason Foundation trustees!

Second, now that Frank Rich has dragged us into this, and brought up the word "premise," let me ask a question. Why d'ya suppose Reason emerged untainted from Mayer's 10,000-word exercise in guilt by association? While I can't possibly know, I can certainly possibly guess, so here goes: That whole self-interested "climate-science denial" premise, buttressed by anonymous quotes about how the intellectual product of Koch-recpient outlets "all coincide perfectly with the economic interests of their funders," well, it has a certain Ron Bailey problem. Which is, when a small magazine's science correspondent announces that "we're all global warmers now," it kinda takes takes the fun out of pretending that an evil polluter is using a whip made of million-dollar bills to produce climate-science orthodoxy.

I'm set free

Most dreamy ideas have a tendency to break down at the level of lived experience. The first I ever heard of the Kochs was a good while after I'd started contributing to Reason, and the person who clued me in worked for The American Prospect; my unsound political ideas were pretty well cooked by then. The notion that a single family's narrow self-interests would even be attractive to that many people, let alone strong enough to bend the will of ostensibly independent-minded academics and journalists, strikes me as more than a bit bizarre.

Here is the basic and apparently horrifying fact: There are millions of people, including me, including the Kochs, including people who have never heard of the Koch family, who feel some basic bedrock affinity for the notion that that government is best which governs least. There are a thousand disagreements about the details, but that American tradition is real, and sporadically potent. As it gathers strength in advance of November (and hopefully long beyond), it will be interesting–and so, so pleasurable–to watch people continue criticizing what they can't understand.

NEXT: Reason.tv: What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC

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    1. And I ‘heart’ Hitler.

      *sigh*

  1. I knew Ron was just shillin’ for the ca$h again!!1!

    Welcome home brother.

    1. HURR DURR HURR DURR DURR

      1. Oh shit, I’m sorry. I thought you were someone else.

  2. Of course they don’t understand.

    A great many people want all-government, all the time, in every orifice.

    They somehow think an entity with intrinsic waste-maximizing structures will magically become efficient because they put the right words on a piece of paper and have the right people in charge.

    They are deluded, twisted, and believe in the magic fairy-land power of wizardly elites to control all aspects of human life with their magic pens.

    1. And I’m just The Man to put it in every orifice.

      1. That’s great, because I love Koch!

        1. No homo.

        2. That deserves a *golfclap*.

  3. The Koch brothers are evil. AND racist. And so is everyone who associates with them, on any level.

    1. Actually, there’s a reason the Koch’s are becoming SUDDENLY FAMOUS. The Left needs another Goldstein, now that Bill Prince and Blackwater have gone belly-up and Bush has left town. Trust me when I tell you that this Koch boomlet came right out of the West Wing.

      Besides, the notion that the Evil Billionaires are funding the TEA Parties is so much more easy a narrative to push than Obama fighting a spontaneous Popular Front.

      Nice gelding of Frank Rich, btw. Not that you really needed to geld Frank, but there you have it.

  4. This is hardly true of the Kochs. When David Koch ran to the right of Reagan as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket (it polled 1 percent), his campaign called for the abolition not just of Social Security, federal regulatory agencies and welfare but also of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and public schools ? in other words, any government enterprise that would either inhibit his business profits or increase his taxes.

    My fellow ultra-rightists…

    1. Yes. Nobody could have any reason for wanting to abolish Social Security, EXCEPT that it might be a threat to their business interest. This dovetails neatly with the desire to eliminate the CIA, of course.

    2. When I Lefty wants to abolish the CIA, he is a hero making a principled stand. When a Libertarian wants to do it, he is an evil capitalist wanting to destroy anything in the way of his profits.

      1. Ed Clark ran as a “low-tax liberal.” Is that “to the right of Reagan”?

      2. I’d be curious as to what business you’d need to be in for the CIA to undercut your profits. Professional assassins? Regime Changes ‘R’ Us?

  5. What Matt Welch said.

  6. The links in Franky’s columns never support his arguements,

    it’s almost like it’s a government operation.

    1. The NY Times columnists are beyond lazy at this point. Those who agree with their basic premises will nod approvingly when reading and post these columnns on Facebook so they can all play victim to the current Republican minority. Those who are unlikely to agree either don’t read NY Times anymore, or probably won’t be persuaded anyways. It’s all an act.

  7. Well, now we know why Reason keeps Bailey on the staff! Zing!

    (don’t take this the wrong way, Ron! You may be interviewing me in the next half year)

    1. Bailey is a pretty convincing guy….he probably has all the reason staff believing in global warming.

      If Bailey left Matt would just hire another lukewarmer like him.

    2. “You may be interviewing me in the next half year”

      Well, aren’t we just fancy?

    3. (don’t take this the wrong way, Ron! You may be interviewing me in the next half year)

      HONK

  8. But Matt, Ron Bailey could be the token global warmer who provides cover to the whole climate denial enterprise!

    You see how clever and manipulative the Koch’s are?

    1. Evil Geniuses!!

    2. I don’t think Bailey really believes in global warming. He was just hoping to bring free-market ideas into the fold, so he got on board.

  9. So, Free Minds & Free Markets = Rejecting the authority and power of the state while embracing the authority and power of corporations.

    How else is a libertarian supposed to pay the rent?

    1. Of course with a weak state just how much power and authority could even the biggest corporation wield over a free people?

      How about none?

      1. Indeed EWT

      2. Completely blind to the fact that with not enough of a balance of powers, corporations simply move in to the vacuum left by a weak state and exercise state-like-functions, thereby becoming quasi-states in their own rights.

        The right-libertarians have no answer to these kind of developments whatsoever.

        1. Actually we do…

          Start with Then read Rothbard’s Man Economy & State. This will give you the economics background needed to undertand what follows.

          Then read Ludwig von Mises’ Socialism. Then read his Beurocracy. This explains why large corporations are unsustainable.

          Having devoured those things, Read David Friedman’s Machinery of Freedom.

          Jump back to Rothbard’s For a New Liberty

          Then start working through Walter Block’s lectures and notes.

          I think you will find all your concerns answered in pretty great depth.

          1. Don’t bother with that joker. He doesn’t have the seriousness or attention span to think it through beyond what can be absorbed from a Rage Against the Machine video.

        2. Sure we do. Its bullshit.

        3. The only reason Americans haven’t murdered the shit out of Washington with all the bullshit it pulls is the veneer of legitimacy conferred by elections and the constitution. A corporation attempting to set up a government unilaterally would have no such benefit.

        4. If you are talking about needed functions, you are correct. Private enterprise will step in to provide infrastructure and services when the government fails to. However, I know you are talking about something more sinister, Moe. The truth is that corporations have the most rent seeking power when the government is the most influential.

          1. “…Corporations have the most rent seeking power when the government is the most influential.”

            This should be chiseled in the marble facade above the entrance of whatever building the FTC occupies in DC (or elsewhere) these days.

            1. When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

              P.J. O’Rourke

        5. corporations simply move in to the vacuum left by a weak state and exercise state-like-functions, thereby becoming quasi-states in their own rights.

          Can you give me an actual example of anything like this coming anywhere close to happing today, here, in this country?

          1. Or any other country, for the matter.

            I’d really like to see an example of a corporation becoming a quasi-state existing in reality. As opposed to someone’s dystopian sci-fi fantasy.

          2. Or any other country, for the matter.

            I’d really like to see an example of a corporation becoming a quasi-state existing in reality. As opposed to someone’s dystopian sci-fi fantasy.

          3. Or any other country, for the matter.

            I’d really like to see an example of a corporation becoming a quasi-state existing in reality. As opposed to someone’s dystopian sci-fi fantasy.

          4. Hazel, it has happened, particularly in the late 19th century – early 20th century, when Progressivism made its greatest inroads.

            The phrase Company Town still resonates long after the era ended.

            This gets back to one of my pet peeves; shifting to a libertarian social order won’t just happen by eliminating the state – there has to be a cultural change as dramatic as the one that caused people to embrace fascism when Hoover & FDR brought it to the U.S.

            1. A company town is a town or city in which much or all real estate, buildings (both residential and commercial), utilities, hospitals, small businesses such as grocery stores and gas stations, and other necessities or luxuries of life within its borders are owned by a single company

              None of those are government functions.

              1. On paper, no.

                However, company towns were notorious for having the law enforcement act against people the company was unhappy with, and for having double standards for people the company liked.

                If henry Ford gets to have a veto power over which sheriff is appointed, the fact that the sheriff is nominally a govt officer does not mean that Ford isn’t arrogating “governmental powers”.

                Of course, in a libertarian order, in the absence of a regulatory state claiming to keep people safe, people would be in the habit of practicing caveat emptor, and the word would get out more quickly as to which corps were misbehaving, especially in an era of cheap and easy communications.

                And, again in a libertarian social/political order, I think company officers would be less likely to want to engage in social engineering than their counterparts in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

                1. Too bad for the Progressives that they’re about to find out what happens to their Fiat Regime when their Fiat Currency turns into the Fiat Joke of the Fiat State of Zimbabwe.

                  Anybody got any Fiatcos? Because while the Libertarians my look pretty on the other end of this, having been so prescient, there’s a lot of pain that’s going to come in between.

        6. How?

          Doesn’t government protect corporations from the unwashed masses?

      3. This is the major point that is misunderstood by “The Others” They think that a free market makes corporations bigger and more powerful.

        This is where an effort needs to be made to convince people. We need to have congress put some money towards this!

        1. The Left has a fundamental misunderstanding about competition and markets. Of course, in a market economy, there’s no skin in the game for the Left, dontchaknow?

          I mean, once you’ve spent your life being the modern-day, Alinskyite version of Ellsworth Toohey, what the f**k are you supposed to do
          to make yourself useful in a raw market economy?

          Apply for tenure?

    2. Non-anarchist libertarians don’t favor a weak state; we favor a limited state. There’s a difference.

      A limited state can be devastatingly effective at punishing force-initiators and repelling invasion, without regulating insurance prices and who can build caskets.

      1. Or who can braid hair, or who can drive a cab (or a car, for that matter), or who can build a house, or how much water your toilet uses in a flush, or whether your car gets 100 miles to the gallon, or whether your TV receives analog or digital signals, or … or … or … or almost anything else, come to think of it.

    3. Have you considered the possibility that corporations and the state aren’t opposites and that more of one doesn’t necessarily mean less of the other?

      More state power, IMO, means more opportunities for corporations to USE the state to advance their business interests. Without a powerful state, they cannot get state-granted subsidies, or state-supported monopolies, or federal loans are low interest, or federal contracts to build roads or military equipment, or any other of a host of advantages that many large corporations currently enjoy under our powerful federal government.

      1. Your problem, HazelMeade, is that you’re making too much sense. Go back to your regular programming like Jersey Shore, and forget politics happens.

      2. So you’ve read Barry Lynn’s book “Cornered” on corporate monopolies running our govt and our lives?

  10. That’s the only lineup of the Velvet Underground that had two Jews in it.
    WINK

  11. As it gathers strength in advance of November (and hopefully long beyond), it will be interesting?and so, so pleasurable?to watch people continue criticizing what they can’t understand.

    It would be cool if this were true but i have a feeling the best we can hope for is a Newt/Clinton style gridlock.

    1. Oh, sweet, sweet gridlock. I dream of a government that is so divided that it has to shut itself down.

      1. Yet it would be incompetent even to do that.

  12. Let’s all join in the game and analyze Rich’s gaseous emissions since the NYT became Carlos Slim’s house rag.

  13. The only thing more irrelevant than the opinions of a theater critic are the opinions of a former theater critic.

    1. It isn’t such a stretch. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.

      1. Woah man, Rush!

  14. CATO and reason should reject all money from the family that created the John Birch Society and the tea parties. What business is it of reason’s whether Republicans get elected and Koch industries gets everything it wants from government? Oh, that IS your business.

    1. Bitch go home and wash out your beaver.

      1. Waste of time. It doesn’t matter how hard you scrub tainted meat, it’s still tainted.

    2. 1. They didn’t create the john birch society
      2. Its wrong to associate the “sins of the father” with the sons.

      1. What I mean is that even if daddy Koch had created the John Birch Society, it means squat.

        1. Creating ugly (race-based) political division in order to elect business puppets is their family business, and the sons have happily kept it going.

          1. By that measure the Democrat party should dissolve.

            Or are you forgetting who created Jim Crow?

            1. Don’t disturb the young lad. You’ll provoke him into talking about the Southern Strategy again, and then someone from the Southern Poverty Law Center will show up and demand that EVERYONE donate to their scam.

              Just leave him alone in the corner.

            2. Southern white racists?

          2. Damn! Two posts and you freakin’ pulled out the RACE CARD!

            So, when did Axelrod decide to make Enemies of the People out of these two obscenely rich Clydes?

            Oh, wait, was it when Sharron Angle, late of the Tea Party, pulled even with Harry Reid, because of the latter’s catastrophic participation in the conspiracy to make the American people both poor AND stupid? Or was it because the White House if pissed off that Crist won’t beat Rubio in Florida after all?

            Or is it Boxer? Axelrod is upset over Boxer, right? That’s why they are getting you sockpuppets to jump ugly on this 21st Century version of the Wylie Brothers, right?

            Come on, you can do it? Tell us whose hand is up your a$$.

            As long as it’s not Frank Rich’s, you’re still okay.

          3. “Creating ugly (race-based) political division” is something I leave to My minions, Tony.

    3. Cato and Reason should accept all money that was obtained legally and not tune their editorial policy based on who gives them money.

      Fortunately, libertarian principles offer a strong keel and a good star to sail by, so it is easy to hold such organizations to them.

      I don’t know what the hell PACs such as moveon.org do to keep their donors’ explicit interests out of their principle-free stances.

      Oh, their principle-free stances are progressive? Well, then of course their donors’ motives are good and don’t need to be questioned!

      1. Cato and Reason should do whatever they want as long as they don’t aggress.

        1. If they want to keep their privilege of not being taxed, it’s fitting that they have to jump through more hoops.

          Personally I don’t think nonprofits should be exempt from taxes, but as the system stands there have to be controls on how they must behave (financially at least).

    4. Okay, Tony, using that logic all Soros money should be rejected as well, along with all money from all other liberal donors to any liberal cause.

      IF you were intellectually honest, you would agree.

      1. Yeah, wasn’t Soros convicted of insider trading in France? How can these parlor pinks even consider taking his dirty money?

        1. Because he’s down with The Struggle!

    5. Yeah, just keep believing that the Tea Parties were “created” artificially by some nefarious rich right-wingers.

      Obviously, leftists can’t understand how there could be a grassroots people’ movement that isn’t leftist in nature. It’s impossible to comprehend, so therefore it must be fake.

      1. But that’s just what you’d say if it was a top-down outfit. I don’t care what anyone says, Dick Armey is the opposite of grassroots.

        1. Besides, it’s only okay when our side does it.

  15. Yeah, Reason’s go to guy on global warming has been hitting the denialists over the head with the fact of global warming for going on FIVE years now–and this Rich bozo’s so dense he writes a hit piece slamming Reason for being denialist?

    When are people gonna realize that having the interwebs means we can check their work?!

    Here’s how easy it would have been for Frank Rich not to make an ass of himself:

    “In 2006, Bailey wrote an article titled “Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobil Whore: Actually no one paid me to be wrong about global warming. Or anything else.”[12] In the article Bailey explains how and why he changed his mind on climate change.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R…..al_warming

    Wiki-freaking-Pedia. It’s that easy not to look so stoopid, Frank.

    1. Not to mention the fact that Reason doesnt even talk about GW all that much in the first place.

  16. The notion that a single family’s narrow self-interests would even be attractive to that many people, let alone strong enough to bend the will of ostensibly independent-minded academics and journalists, strikes me as more than a bit bizarre.

    Speak for yourself.

    it kinda takes takes the fun out of pretending that an evil polluter is using a whip made of million-dollar bills

    And, err, here too.

  17. So many missed clues as to how deep this conspiracy runs. (For instance, Mayer and Rich both fail to note that the Koch brothers’ favorite color is orange.) The Koch’s and George Soros should just go head to head and stop covertly using surrogates to battle it out.

    1. The Kochs fund organizations that explicitly argue against government favors for corporations, while accepting such favors themselves.

      George Soros funds organizations that explicitly argue for higher taxes for rich people, while accepting lower taxes himself.

      This conspiracy clearly runs deeper than any of us can possibly imagine. Something else must be behind people who have money using it to fund things they believe in.

      1. And Warren Buffett campaigns for higher estate taxes while making millions off of life insurance and buying businesses that families have to sell because the can’t afford to pay the inheritance tax. But the NYT will never mention that fact when talking about Buffett. They really are just a propeganda arm of the state theses days. And a pretty pathetic one at that.

        1. I hate Buffett

          1. I’m with ya. If I have to hear fuckin’ Margueritaville again, I’ll kill myself.

            1. I’m partial to “The Wino and I Know,” myself.

              1. John Prine is light-years better than Jimmy Fuckin’ Buffett.

          2. Depends on whether they keep it well stocked. If you pay your $8 but all the bacon’s gone, it’s a complete rip off.

      2. It’s like stimulus spending. While you may disagree with the overall agenda, so long as stimuli have been passed, you may as well partake.

        1. The thing is, when Soros or Turner support causes that run against their financial interests, they are bold and selfless.

          When the Kochs support causes that run against their financial interests, they are hypocrites.

      3. sinister?

        mark halperin, son of morton halperin, who is a senior advise for the open society institute(soros’ baby)

        halperin gets canned by abc, largely because he was caught during the 2004 race telling his news teams that ‘gop lies are worse than democrat lies, and they should reported accordingly.’

        he was, at the time director of abc political divison.
        (halperin has since had it scrubbed from his wiki entry) and now is at Time magazine.

  18. What do anti-AGWers around here say? “Look whos doing teh funding! Who pays the piper?”

  19. For the record, I don’t think Reason is some arm of Koch Industries, but I also don’t think all AGW scientists are bought and paid for by some secret New World Order cabal of leftist grant funding research institutes…

    1. Yeah, some of them are just ill trained stupid fools.

  20. The funny thing about the Koch story kerfuffle is that these motherfuckers don’t know how good they’ve got it.

    They don’t realize exactly how nice and cuddly and reasonable and committed to civility the Koch brothers are.

    If I had the resources available to the Koch brothers for one month, no one would ever make such a mistake again.

    I would fall upon them like fucking Tamerlane on a bad day.

    Granted, my focus would be diffuse, because I’d have a lot of corrupt and abusive police and prosecutors who would need some love too, but even with that…Yikes.

    1. You have to understand fluffy, these people are arrogant and have no imagination. They are so arrogant they don’t think anyone other than them has a right to have a say on anything. Thus, they are totally unbothered by people like Soros or Warren Buffett. Yet, they think the Kochs are some force of evil who should be prevented from speaking.

      And they have absolutely no imagination because they can’t concieve of the possibility that if they keep telling a large portion of the country to fuck off you have no say in how things are run, that that portion of the country might get pissed off and stop following the rules. You are right, what is funny about this whole thing is how all the boogiemen of the right, be it the Kochs, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin or whoever, are all amazingly tame. No one in public life on the right that I know of is actually calling for anything radical. But some day soon, they might be. If people don’t get their view heard through moderation, they will go to other means. If things don’t change, we are going to see a real no kidding rightwing radical become popular. When that happens morons like Rich will be pinning for the days when the Right was reasonable and listened to people like the Kochs and Glenn Beck.

  21. OH wow, OK that makes sense

  22. A country which has people like Koch brothers is lucky. Just look what Soros and his money has done to Eastern Europe.

  23. Re: Baily’s article on global warming.

    I’m not so sure this is a shining example of heterodoxy with respect to the issue of anthropogenic global warming. All Baily admits is that warming is happening, then concludes that the models we should be paying attention to are the least catastrophic ones. Nor does he admit anywhere that this warming is caused by human activity.

    I can’t imagine Koch (or the hypothetical “evil polluter” Welch suggests) having any objection to Baily’s article.

    1. Sorry, not true. Bailey does say the warming is human induced.

      1. I can’t find where he says this in the “we’re all global warmers now” article at reason.com. The AFF article written about him does say that he supports the anthropogenic explanation. Hadn’t ready that one when I posted the above.

  24. Did anyone look at Rich’s last article? He actually has the BALLS to pretend to give a shit about General Petraeus and his mission while he didn’t lift a finger for him during the Iraq War.

  25. I’ll tell you one thing: my fellow libertarian-leaning conservatives and I would love Barack Obama, auto industry bailouts, tarp, Obamacare, and the war on drugs were it not for the Koch brothers passing money around!

    1. I want me some of that Koch money. Where’s it at?

      1. Somehow, I doubt that there will be a single charge of racism attributed to Reason for publishing your words.

    2. I want MINE, dammit. Screw you, Tony, I need some of that Koch money so I can download porn.

  26. Does it disappoint anyone else that Thoreau’s writings were written by a douche like Thoreau?

  27. For a magazine called Reagan…

  28. For me, Frank Rich’s words rise from the printed page in Katherine Hepburn’s voice; really really old Hepburn, like On Golden pond old.

    It just makes more sense that way.

  29. I don’t give a fuck about New Orleans.

  30. Frank Rich, making Pauly Krugnuts look less stupid for years.

    Maybe they are a super-villain duo? Krugnuts & Rich!

  31. I want to join the double secret conspiracy. Maybe if I finish a PhD they will let me in. Do they have a secret handshake, or ring?

    1. Take a bus trip next Saturday to Manhattan walk over to 611 Fifth Ave. Wear a New York Yankees cap. Use a magic marker to color the white logo Koch orange so our spotter will recognize you. If you can figure out your next course of action from there, you have passed the first test.

  32. Randi Weingarten- intentionally obfuscating cause and effect. And lying.

    For the children degreed unionized educators!

  33. Too bad they won’t print this rebuttal in the Times.

    But not to worry — Rich reaches no one who hasn’t made up their mind long ago.

  34. Of course, Thoreau took the adage one step further: “[G]overnment is best which governs not at all.”

  35. A new directive from the Koch Home Office just came in for you, Matt:

    “Matt, we’re changing the terms of your employment here. While we do appreciate your and Nick’s panicked, fly-against-the-window-shield defense of our clandestine bankrolling-of-the-dismantling of America’s middle class here on the pages of ‘Reason’, quality of your posts will be judged as well as quantity. Simply put, if we determine that readers just aren’t convinced by your a$$ kissing apologetics, the pink slip is in the mail. You won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits, of course.

    “Further, when the American people finally drag out the guillotines for all of us who have been shipping their jobs overseas, killing off their livelihoods, etc., you and Nick and the others who have been carrying water for us will NOT have a reservation on the last outbound helicopters. Sorry, guys – but you’ll be on your own.

    Sincerely,

    The Destruction of the American Middle Class Propaganda Home Office, Kansas division”

  36. If you truly believe that the state, given enough resources and power, can solve or greatly mitigate poverty and racism and social injustice and other ills of a country (ye olde immanentizing the eschaton) then you must view those who disagree with you as either ignorant (idiots, if you prefer) or evil.

    They’re idiots for not seeing what you can clearly see or they’re evil for opposing what they and you can see.

    If you think they’re evil for not wanting to solve these problems (since they can be solved given enough resources and state authority), then you will view all of their opposition as some sort of conspiracy funded by those wealthy individuals who don’t want their resources taken to create this near-utopia.

    It truly does make sense if you start with that first premise: we can solve our problems if only those opposed to us would stop their efforts to prevent it from happening.

  37. Kochtapus watch 2010!

  38. oops kochtopus. Damn. so much for humor.

  39. I became a libertarian in college. Clearly, my tuition was paid by the Koch family.

  40. Just when I thought it was safe to saunter through the internets again, a Soros or Gates or Rockefeller has usurped what was left of erstwhile independent political opinion. Drat!

  41. It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand David Koch

  42. Reason? On the Right?

    *starts wanting to get a beer*

  43. I thank Ron Bailey for admitting that climate change is real, that it is a problem, and that a tax on carbon should be the primary solution.

    However, as long as Ron’s opinion is the ultra-minority opinion by libertarians, and there is precisely ZERO action on the part of either conservatives or libertarians to pass such a tax, you guys can’t use Ron as a shield against your denials.

    1. I thank Ron Bailey for admitting that climate change is real

      Admitting? Since he is the person who holds The Truth?

      Science you are an idiot.

      What caused the creation of the moon? Many scientists believe that it was from a previous impact of the earth where a substantial portion was detached. Is this something that they “admitted” or something they think? Since the computer models upon which the whole AGW game depend haven’t produced the results claimed, what the fuck is there to “admit”? That only someone already convinced of HIS personal importance in the scheme of global temperature is correct in the belief, without data, that his actions are significant?!

      Why don’t I believe in AGW? I am old enough to remember when the same assholes claimed that the next ice age was upon us. Since you are only 12, you weren’t born yet.

      1. I am not going to waste time refuting your 100-times-refuted denier lies.

        Start here.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com

        Note that it is not http://www.denierscience.com

    2. Most libertarians that I know believe that global warming is happening and that it is man made. However, there is a big difference between that and politically implementing a solution that would require the abandonment of freedom and a lot of top down control.

      1. Well, twelge, you “know” a different crowd of libertarians than hangs around here. Only a handful of people around here it is real, and an even smaller fraction acknowledge that it is our fault, and a even yet smaller fraction admit that it is a significant problem. Indeed, by the time we get to that point, it’s down to just a handful of you.

    3. Gosh, Chad, just gloss over how a carbon tax will be regressive on the poor and downtrodden about whom you *claim* to give a shit…

      1. Easily fixed, and you know it. Just rebate a portion of it to the low income.

        Boy, that was really really really easy.

        While we are at it, we should make the first $10k payroll tax free, implement a progressive capital gains tax, and make the first $40,000 per resident of any homestead property-tax free.

        1. How about NOT taking it in the first place, Chad? Because we really don’t need any new taxes… we have enough as it is.

          1. BTW, it’s odd that you’re in favor of a portion of the FairTax idea – the prebate, in essence – yet you’re not in favor of the entire concept.

            Oh, and how are you going to ensure the middle class is not taxed with your useless, unnecessary carbon tax idea? Because you’d better damned well find a way to exempt them, as well, lest you lose your liberal compassion cred.

            1. Okay, I’ll just suggest a 99% tax on anyone making more than $100K a year.

              HAPPY now?

            2. We should be getting a much higher portion of our tax revenue from consumption taxes. However, the “fairtax” idea fails for a pretty simple reason: Laffer effects.

              Two different 20% taxes (say, an income tax and a consumption tax) would likely have a much smaller impact than one 36% income tax or one 36% consumption tax. Several smaller layered taxes (corporate, income or capital gains, consumption and excise, property) work better than any one of them carried to an extreme, because their is less incentive to dodge or avoid any individual tax.

            3. We should be getting a much higher portion of our tax revenue from consumption taxes. However, the “fairtax” idea fails for a pretty simple reason: Laffer effects.

              Two different 20% taxes (say, an income tax and a consumption tax) would likely have a much smaller impact than one 36% income tax or one 36% consumption tax. Several smaller layered taxes (corporate, income or capital gains, consumption and excise, property) work better than any one of them carried to an extreme, because their is less incentive to dodge or avoid any individual tax.

              1. *cough* Bullshit *cough*

                The reason liberals hate the fair tax is because every citizen would be exposed to the tax impact at every transaction, and they’re afraid that would engender disdain for the government

                Better to hide it behind multiple transactions the consumer never sees, like a VAT does.

                It’s the “keep ’em dumb and dull* strategy.

                1. Exactly. Plus, it takes away the power of politicians of BOTH Teams to juryrig the taxation process.

    4. The point is that the one guy on the Koch payroll is pro-AGW, whereas all of us grassroots bastards are anti-AGW. So maybe the issue isn’t billionaire funded-brainwashing but legitimate opposition.

      Is that shocking that people who oppose government power plays and environmentalist lack of respect for economic freedom are skeptical of research funded by those types that supports their agenda? It’s basically the same reason that pro-AGW people automatically reject any research funded by the fossil-fuel industry.

  44. Aagh! Mayer’s hit piece made NPR last week, where Terry Gross asked not one hard question. (She’s the best interviewing musicians, etc. Not so great with politics.) I’ve spent the last three days arguing with commenters on the NPR website; totally juvenile way to waste my time, but I can’t help myself. The childlike political na?vet? of the average liberal is mindboggling.

    1. I gave up on Terry Gross when she interviewed Marilyn Manson. MM called for censorship of the internet because so many mean people spread nasty rumors about him there.

      Gross didn’t even cough at the thought of a no talent hack like Manson calling for censorship.

  45. there is precisely ZERO action on the part of either conservatives or libertarians to pass such a tax

    Never mind the vote count on the house cap and trade bill that included republicans and never mind that the senate had a republican sponsor on theirs.

    The fact is if Democrats had proposed a carbon tax bill that also cut income taxes and was revenue neutral the republicans would not have cared and you would have a carbon tax today.

    Your side fucked up by making the bill impossible for republicans to vote on.

    Last note: Libertarians are not even a minority in the house and senate. They are non-existent.

    1. There are libertarians who think a carbon tax is a good idea, see Bailey, Ron.

      1. John, my entire point was that Ron is an ultra-minority among you, and therefore you can’t use him as a shield for the 95% of you that are deniers.

        When I see the right pushing a serious climate bill with a strong CO2 tax, THEN you can claim Ron as your standard bearer.

        1. Chad anyone who uses the term “denier” is a fuckwad and not worth responding to you. I was responding to Joshua, not you. Only a a moron could lable dissenters in a scientific debate “deniers”.

          1. The science is settled! That’s why East Anglia didn’t have to do anything approaching science.

          2. I call deniers deniers, because they are deniers. They certainly are not even remotely worthy of the word “skeptic”, as skeptics would be infinitely more skeptical of data they got from Rush Limbaugh or WUWT than they get from peer-reviewed academic literature and pronouncements of every leading scientific organization on earth.

            The earth is warming, man is causing it, and it is a big problem worthy of a significant and sustained response. If you can’t admit this, you are in denial. And that’s the facts, Jack.

            1. The ONLY reason you, Chad, champion this manmade-AGW bullshit is so you and your ilk can control how we live. You don’t really care about the climate – it’s just your way to herd the populace.

            2. Again, for the I don’t know how many times……

              The way to check a computer model is to put input a known data set (say, climate/temp data from the 40’s & 50’s) and compare the output to a known data set (say, climate/temp data from the 60’s & 70’s). If your model is correct, the model output should match very closely to the actual data recorded.

              ALL CLIMATE MODELS FAIL THIS TEST.

              I challenge anybody who supports the drastic restructuring of the economy to deal with global warming to show me the model.

              Make the data, raw and smoothed, and the model used to generate the pedictions of dire coming Apocalypse, available for review and testing by anybody who wishes.

              As many times as I have brought this up, nobody has produced any type of link to any site that has such a model or claims to have one.

        2. “When I see the right pushing a serious climate bill with a strong CO2 tax, THEN you can claim Ron as your standard bearer.”

          Why do we have to advocate a specific policy action to not be labeled climate change “deniers?” Those things seem unrelated to me.

          1. Well, you are certainly welcome to suggest a different response, as long as it is proportionate to the problem. However, a CO2 tax is clearly the most libertarian option.

            1. Libertarians don’t call for new taxes, Chad, especially useless ones.

              REAL libertarians, I mean.

  46. Here it is. The douschebag quote of the weekend. Some guy named
    Dave Neiwert at some site called Crooks and Liars says

    “Well, Glenn Beck’s eyes certainly weren’t dry. He started weeping while telling the crowd that somewhere out there was “the next George Washington”.

    Dunno about you, but when I saw pan shots of the crowd — which was one of the whitest crowds in D.C. in recent memory — I mostly thought I saw “the next Timothy McVeigh.”

    http://crooksandliars.com/davi…..lly-just-l

    1. Silly libertarian. That was Frank Rich’s ghostwriter.

      Nothing to see here. Move along.

      To Zimbabwe!

  47. frank rich is an idiot’s idiot. everything that’s wrong with the left, wrong with harvard, wrong with elitism rolled up into one paunchy aging compost heap. not a pretty sight…..

  48. In case anyone has any doubt just how deep the conspiracy runs, here is the whois on kochtopus.org

    Registrant Name:Koch Business Solutions
    Registrant Organization:Koch Business Solutions
    Registrant Street1:4111 E 37th Street N
    Registrant Street2:
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Wichita
    Registrant State/Province:KS
    Registrant Postal Code:67220
    Registrant Country:US

    The Kochs run their own satire!

    1. They’re trying to prevent their enemies from taking over that domain, probably.

      1. If they’re not, then they really suck at making websites. kochtopus.org has been under construction since 2008.

        Or perhaps the fact that Reason and Cato run good websites is all part of the stealth of the conspiracy.

  49. Give me a break Welch! You fucking libertoid fanatics shit your pants with glee any time anybody takes notice of you. You’re a bunch of fucking losers that have no impact on fucking anything, god or bad. You self-important twit.

    1. As opposed to you max. You influence everything. Your franchise is really on hard times.

      1. Go fuck yourself, you dickless dimwit.

        1. Edward, you really are the sadest most pathetic person on the internet.

          1. Sader and more pathetic than a true-believing libertarian asshole that bothers to respond to “Go fuck yourself, you dickless dimwit”? I don’t think so.

            1. And your response to such response makes you…?

              1. I don’t generally respond to people who can’t use articles, but I’ll make an exception to ask you a question. Is English your native language?

                1. So you’ll deign to respond, only to answer a question with a question.

                  You truly are a waste of flesh.

                  1. And you are no phrase maker. A waste of flesh? You’re worth a flush.

                    1. Max, you are a fucking hypocrite. Shut the fuck up before you embarrass yourself further.

                      Or don’t, and keep doing what you’re doing. It’s kind of fun watching you squirm.

                    2. Max- it is generally poor form to ridicule someone for poor grammar when you spelled “sadder” as “sader” in your previous post.

                2. “Is English your native language?”

                  A *real* liberal would never ask such a hurtful, racist question.

  50. I am not buying dixie cups anymore. Any other consumer products by Kochs that I can put on the “don’t buy” list?

    1. GM automobiles, Heinz ketchup, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

  51. Obama said, “hope change yes we can” so no matter what empirical data says I do not care; my emotion and small brain says Obama is right because I am incapable of thinking for myself or representing anything logical. I am rich and never had to do a hard days work and I think being so prideful in my false intellect and following pseudo-intellectual professors in undergrad courses is a smart choice. YES WE CAN!!! 1.6% GDP growth rate, failed leadership on the Gulf Crisis, bribing senators but it is all Bush’s fault. I am NOT delusional or in denial by party is horrible and going to lose the house! YES WE CAN!

    1. If you pull your head out of your ass, do it slowly or the air will make you faint.

    2. Now The Official Catchphrase is Lives Have Been Touched. Kinda like how a degenerate touches kids, but on a nationwide scale.

    3. 1.6% GDP. is the official number. 70% service sector economy, huge trade deficit all warm and fuzzy numbers.

  52. George Soros.
    ‘Nuff said.

  53. Can you imagine how much space Frank Rich has taken up in the NYT to tell the nation that there are some rich conservatives out there? It might be nice if he also talked about the mega-rich that are part of the extreme-left wing Elites that have fought tooth and nail to get Obama in the White House and Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker’s chair. People and organizations like George Soros, Mayor Bloomberg, MoveOn.org, ACORN, the Kennedy Family, Oprah Winnfrey. The two richest men in the country Bill Gates and Warren Buffet supported Obama although they may be regreting it now that they’ve seen what a disaster he is. So there are rich people involved on with both parties and movements on the left and right. So what!

    1. Demography is destiny, asshole. You angry white Republican fucks, rich or poor, will be history soon. The left is taking over, and we’re really gonna enjoy our health care, so go fuck yourself.

      1. That was nice. What happens when your fiat currency becomes worthless and you can’t provide your millions of desperate clients with the health care that YOU PROMISED THEM WOULD BE THERE FOR THEM (that is, when you lied to them and told them it would be there; you know, like Social Security?).

        Tell us, Mr. Self-righteous Leftist? Will you go running to the Chinese and ask them to buy your worthless Treasuries? What happens when they give you the middle finger. Tell them, “demography is destiny, asshole!”

        What do you say AFTER they stop laughing at you and your hero, Chicago Jesus. Only then will you discover, and only then too late, how loose is your hold on the minority groups that you claim belong to you and you only.

        But a fool and wisdom usually don’t keep company, do they?

        Yeah, you’re taking over all right. The padded room awaits your conquest. But before that, the judgement of history. She’s a bitch, that one. I hear her name is “Weimar”.

        1. Max is too busy sucking Castro’s cock to reply right now.

        2. We just love Social Security and Medicare and unemployment benefits–all provided by the STATE. We love the STATE! Stick your right-wing anti-government ideology up your fat ass.

          1. And we HATE the private sector!

            1. Max, My child, you make Me smile. It does My Heart good to know that you are out there spreading My Word.

        3. The dollar is doomed.

        4. The dollar is doomed.

      2. Who cares about demographics? We don’t need to win elections. Your programs are all going to bankrupt themselves.

  54. Frank Rich is the perfect example of the Peter Principle. He was a pretty good theatre critic who got promoted to the Op Ed page to write about politics, but his ignorance of history and economics leaves only his prejudices and passions as sources for his columns on politics.

  55. ok, i get mr. rich’s thesis: liberal billionaires like george soros, and those like the koch brothers are bad.

    first, thanks for pointing out to me, mr. rich, that i am a victim of thought control by these two rich guys. i never heard of them before today, and i’m pretty well-read, so thought control must be why i do not favor the current administration.

    although thanks to mr. rich i now understand the difference between good billionaires (leftist) and bad ones (conservative) i still don’t get one thing.

    mr. rich says the big difference between the leftist really wealthy guys and the conservative ones is that the leftist ones are “transparent.” well, if the ones on the right are so secretive, how did mr. rich and the new yorker find out all that information–by calling the c.i.a. or f.b.i. or what?

    i don’t know, maybe they used one of those newer search engines or something.

    keevan d. morgan, esq., chicago

    1. I think Rich’s point in that regard is that Soros sticks his advocacy in your face, and talks about it publicly all the time, while discovering the Koch connections takes some effort on the investigator’s part.

      1. Well, “effort” only if you call yourself a journalist. It’s about as much effort as finding porn.

        Although, it does make for some great conspiracy porn as long as you ignore common sense and logic.

  56. I didn’t understand a thing this guy said. He should learn to write in clear sentences instead of mumble, jumble. A big HUH, what were you trying to say?

  57. Hey, Max… did you really forget you promised never to post here ever again?

    1. I never promised any such thing. Telling you righ-wing fuckwits how much I love the benefits of a welfare state is a mission. You will never manage to turn the clock back, but you don’t really give a flying fuck, do you? Your little cult is about blowing air up each other’s ass, and you’re doing great at that. Carry on, morons.

      1. The fuck you didn’t promise it, Max.

        As for your love of welfare, why don’t you tell us how you can maintain it without a prosperous private sector to foot its bills.

        1. That’s right, dimwit. We do need the private sector. We need the public sector too. Mixed economy. Ever heard of it?

          1. You’re still a liar, Max, as you *did* promise to never return here.

            Not that we mind… you make a great whipping-boy.

            As for your supposedly newly-professed respect for the private sector… not buying your bullshit.

            1. To further explain to the readers:

              The ONLY reason you, Max, tolerate the private sector is because it’s the only way to fund the heroin-like urges fueled by public-trough giveaway programs. Get ’em hooked, and you have a voter base for life.

              Otherwise, you despise the private sector.

    2. Reactionary resentment got the best of him.

  58. Never visited this cite before, but writer of the piece ain’t what you’d call great at his job.

    First paragraph states, “ObamaNation’s enemy numero uno: The libertarian brothers Koch.”

    But then doesn’t offer any proof (I guess that’s par for the course for the far right wing). I mean, I thought “business” was ObamaNation enemy number 1?

    Wait!
    I thought “freedoms” were Obama’s enemy number 1?

    Wait!
    I thought the constitution was ObamaNation’s enemy number 1?

    This is why the highly paranoid rarely make any sense.

    Next part of the first sentence? “The libertarian brothers Koch”

    Now that’s just funny. They’re Republicans (I don’t say conservatives, because anyone who supported George Bush was no right calling themselves conservative).

    Two errors in the first sentence and this guy expects to be taken seriously?

    Gimme a break….

    1. Even though I have to be up early tomorrow I’ll partake.

      Anyone else need a DRINK! while I’m up?

  59. First paragraph states, “ObamaNation’s enemy numero uno: The libertarian brothers Koch.”

    Do the concepts of literal vs. figurative speech mean anything to you?

    And it’s “site” not “cite.”

  60. I’m STILL a cunt. AND I get paid to be one, thanks to the state giving me unemployment checks.

  61. I’m too lazy to go look this up, but has Rich commented on the various plans afoot to have the government save the newspapers via some subsidy?

    It seems to me that if the Koch brothers’ money is so corrupting that it taints everything it touches (even tangentially), then newspaper bailouts must be at least an order of magnitude worse.

  62. Good to see Frank Rich struck a nerve.

    1. Only in your prostate.

      You know – with his dick.

      Fuck off you stupid cunt.

    2. What would a zombie like you know about nerve endings?

    3. functional nerve endings, that is

  63. Why are you still reading Frank Rich’s posts? I stopped reading him and a host of predictable others a long time ago, because I know what they will say before they even say it. The only thing that changes from article to article is the context. They now have the influence with me of a pesky fly. When I see the titles of their articles, I merely brush them aside.

    http://www.city-journal.org/20…..alism.html

    1. That’s right, Mitty, and wrapping a rosary around your hand will keep you from masterbating in bed at night. Stay away from heresy!

      1. Thats right Max, reading Rich,Krugman and Dowd makes lefties masterbate as it gets them sexually aroused. If you havent heard the wives tale, that will make you blind! In your case it is true, as you are blinded to logic and jump to the craziness that these three authors are promoting on a daily basis.

        1. Liar! I only masturbate to the works of Chairman Mao!

          1. It’s true. And I don’t enjoy it at all.

  64. Book Deals, Fox Commentators, Honorariums all a nice reward for “public service”.

  65. Funny I didn’t see Frank talk about Soros who practically owns the Democrats party, most of the world and paid for Obama;s victory. Guess it only matters when rich people support Republcians.

  66. I already got one triumphant email from a lockstep lefty (no, not Roger Ebert) claiming this proved the whole tea party thing was cooked up by billionaires!

    Yeah, and Martin Luther King is a Soviet agent. J. Edgar says so. The real proof of which movement is cooked up with big boy money will come in November, when the Soros billions will do nothing to keep the hope and changers from staying home.

  67. Soros is a billionaire with soul in the Roosevelt tradition–something you right-wing assholes caouldn’t possibly understand.

    1. If Soros is so great, why is he encouraging the creation of an all-powerful socialist state in America? He escaped one version of that kind of hell-hole; you’d think he’d learned his lesson under its heel.

    2. Actually, Max, that is exactly how we understand Soros, and that makes you the asshole.

    3. Max you are an idiot! Soros made his fortune betting short on various nations economies. When their economies tanked he made big $. Wouldnt put it past him to bet short on the US economy as well, then try to hedge his bet by pushing his minions to put forward the worst legislation possible.

  68. Doesn’t Frank Rich EVER get tired of lying? But then, he DOES write for the NY Times…

  69. What an ill-informed hack you are. Lord, is this the best your inappropriately named publication has to offer? Sad.

    1. Frank Rich does not write for Reason. You are very confused, Mark.

      1. You’re the confused one, you pathetic piece of dog shit.

        1. Pathetic reply, Max.

        2. no u

  70. What this piece misses is that Frank Rich is whining about three billionaires funding the Teaparty and conservative groups wanting less govt, when Frank Rich’s concern for George Soros funding MoveOn.org and a host of other Lib groups pushing progressive agendas appears to be MIA. Rich is just another Lib hypocrite in full display for all to see and is upset that these groups are causing his side so much damage. Nov cannot come quick enough.

    1. Don’t you realize it is ok for rich Communists to spend their money for more state control of resources!!!!!

  71. Matt Welch worked in Op/Ed at The Los Angeles Times. Everyone knows The LA Times has been the chief mouthpiece and financial center of The John Birch Society since shortly after its inception. Birchers have controlled The LA Times for decades.

    Welch is just blogging for his masters.

    1. You are too stupid for words, Mark.
      I’m going to leave the next two lines blank just to show what your brain looks like.

      That is you, Mark. You add no value to the human race what so ever.

      1. I think he’s joking.

        I think.

        1. J,

          Nah, I’m afraid that Lady who starts her name with Her Profession and a Curse Word is serious.

          Question in taste and decorum, but serious.

      2. That means so much coming from a lady who starts her name with her profession and a curse word.

  72. The ONLY good thing Soros does, is against the War on Drugs. And even then, it’s hit-and-miss.

  73. Roosevelt, Soros, Buffet–all great men.

  74. Social Security–greatest government program ever passed. Bring on universal health care! Shove your market fundamentalism up your fat libertarian asses.

    1. That’s right, enjoy it while you still can, Fat Ass Max.

      I’ve seen your pictures you sweaty, bitched tittied, motherfucker. Eat another doughnut, FAT ASS Max. Obama has got it covered so long as you keep the analingus going up into his brown ass, you fucking degenerate, Fat Ass Max.

    2. What’s wrong? Are you going to cry, you big fucking baby? Stop that shit, you are an embarrassment. Go back to your doughnuts, you Fat Ass, loser. Goddamn, you make me sick, Max. I’m going to throw up now because you make me sick, Max. You fucking Fat Ass. There. Eat that puke up. You know you want to. I’m not going to stop you.

      Goddamn you are one sick motherfucker, Fat Ass Max. Wait until I post this on 4chan and every body will see how pathetic you are.

      Stop crying already.

      1. What a couple of in-depth policy responses from a:

        Lady who starts her name with Her Profession and a Curse Word.

      2. You gouge out your mama’s eyes with those vitriolic fingertips?

  75. Need to ignore the trolls.

    This kind of flame war is just the kind of thing they feed on.

  76. Man this is the dullest controversy in the world. It has been no surprise for the last umpteenth years that right and left wing think groups and machines are supported by rich people. Newsweek was just taken over by one of them. Who else would fund this stuff. The only time it ever goes over the line is with government funding like Acorn.

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