The 1% Have a Stranglehold on Politics: New Al Jazeera Documentary Sheds Light on the Koch Brothers

Al Jazeera released a new mini-documentary yesterday on the Koch Brothers — the multi-billionare energy tycoons who have spent over $50 million on campaigns to tear down the science of climate change and clean energy policy.

The documentary features a lengthy interview with our colleague Lee Fang, an investigative reporter with Think Progress, who has played a major role in uncovering the strong “web of influence” of the Koch Brothers on state and federal politicians. The film touches on the Koch role in everything from health care to energy policy. It’s worth the watch. (Note: much of the energy and climate stuff is in the second half, after about 15 minutes.)

This is exactly why “the other 99%” of Americans are protesting in the streets.

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31 Responses to The 1% Have a Stranglehold on Politics: New Al Jazeera Documentary Sheds Light on the Koch Brothers

  1. fj says:

    kochcorruptionEpic @climateprogress Empire fights back

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Daily Show Blasts Media for Failing to Cover Study that Confirms Climate Change (Video)

    And to cover the fact that the US government is bought and controlled by the Koch Brothers.

    Thanks to the fact that the USA let it be and that there is no climate action in face of a growing irreversible threat you can assume that the USA and the rest of the world will collapse.

  3. fj says:

    Michelle Obama Prepares For 2012 ‘Battle’ With A New Speech And Packed Fundraising Schedule


  4. Raul M. says:

    Back in the day of the cold war when we were all afraid of what might happen with nuke bombs, I think that much of the discussion was left to the outcome of the safety shelter with the idea that if it wasn’t known of it would stand a better chance of safety.
    Of course most had no place or monies for such a thing so the importance of the nuke problem remained that it should never get so far.
    The idea being that people could do some to never let such a bad thing happen.
    But in today’s world, we see that we might have our own nuke problem sitting by the side of a river that might get much more flooding than was ever thought possible, all right in farming country. And we can’t just solve that problem by just talking correctly about it.

    So with climate chaos the end of the story is a shelter below ground with only a shack on top of the ground as the entrance cover.
    And of course take overs would be well expected well before the shelter became mandatory for a survival chance.
    So if the ice melts- it will
    If the methane goes to the air- it will
    If the weather turns to chaos regularly- seek shelter.
    Hopefully prebuilt and ready.

  5. Tyler says:

    This is fun and exciting propaganda! No wonder it’s easy to fall into these traps!

  6. Tyler says:

    This is even worse than I thought.. Right wing is not the same as Libertarian. The Tea Party was started by Ron Paul advocates. Ron Paul isn’t the most liked by the Koch Brothers as seen evident through the Cato Institute. It’s like saying that if you own a business, you are not allowed to have political opinions. So idiotic. This is dumb. I don’t really like the Koch brothers but this is just total propaganda and idiotic.

  7. I think Michelle Obama’s message is, “Hey, we may trash the environment, we may trash the rule of the law, but hey, we’re (a bit) better than the Republicans! So, vote for us!”

    Truly an inspiring message, my friends.

    By the way, is there any follow-up on the Kochs’ supposed business relationship with Iran?

    — frank

  8. Ooh, spoken like a true Koch sockpuppet.

    When Koch launders his “political opinions” through an army of “independent” sockpuppets and meatpuppets, you call that free speech? Really?

    — frank

  9. Robert In New Orleans says:

    Ah yes, the delicious irony of foreign media probing into a subject that domestic media cannot or will not look into.

    Props to Al Jazeera!

  10. fj says:

    A bit better, yes! But, a bit better than say 1 percent of $10 trillion or even $1 trillion kind of adds up.

    The concept “totalitarian” may even have some meaning describing the fossil fuel industry’s tenacious power where transportation systems based on cars are deeply entrenched monopolies both directly violent and the indirect structural type more often associated with the denial of proper healthcare and the basic human right of access to good health.

    And, there are tipping points no matter how distant they may seem.

  11. DRT says:

    One more time, this time with feeling*:

    Tea soldiers and Koch Bros./Romney/Perry/Herman/Bachmann coming
    not in it for you and me
    This party, it has been payed for
    by the Koch Industries

    Tea soilders, they are a’ comin’,
    not on there own really
    Koch brothers are doing the funding
    trying to by the country

    Time to know all about it
    Koch brothers are funding it all
    Spreading their money around
    how can you vote for them
    knowing they’re running it all
    Let’s all boycott brawny

    Time to know all about it
    Koch brothers are funding it all
    Spreading their money around
    now that you know this
    you can have some thoughts of your own
    not the ones they have for you

    Tea soldiers and Koch Bros. coming
    not in it for you and me
    This season there’ll be some voting
    Don’t vote for tea party

    mo momomo money money
    money from Koch Indtustries
    mo momomo money money
    trying to buy the county

    *to the tune of ‘Ohio’

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Leaving aside the question of whether anyone has a ‘right’ to ‘opinions’ that refute science and rationality and will cause the premature deaths of millions if not billions and the highly probable collapse of human civilization, no-one has the ‘right’ to impose those ‘opinions’ on the rest of humanity by dint of huge money power garnered from destroying the planet’s ecosystems.

  13. BillD says:

    Several of the GOP candidates talk about shutting down the EPA and massively increasing drilling, mining (and water and air pollution). I don’t see Obama and the democrats just a little better on the environment. I’m very disappointed in the President’s lack of leadership, but he has appointed good people to the EPA and NOAA.

  14. prokaryotes says:

    What is your advise, how to handle the Koch Brothers controlled GOP?

    The USA is in part controlled by secret decision makers. Exactly the kind of circumstances JFK talked about in his Secret Society speech.

    President John F Kennedy Secret Society Speech

    Obama is not making politic with elected members, instead he talks to puppets, controlled by their master David Koch.

    Obama to block new uranium-mine claims near Grand Canyon

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Koch Family & The Tea Bagger Loonies 1961-2009: JFK Faced Exact Same Crazy Rightwing Billionaire Family As Obama

  16. Leif says:

    “Several of the GOP candidates talk about shutting down the EPA and massively increasing drilling, mining (and water and air pollution).”

    We will match your EPA threat and raise with “Wall Street!” OWS… The 99% or 100% of the poor.

  17. Doug Bostrom says:

    Our brains don’t work well when dealing with very large numbers.

    How about a billion dollars? That’s a thousand millions, enough to catapult the person controlling that money into the class of an entirely different and more powerful political species than the rest of us.

    What can one thousand millionaires accomplish alone in terms of shaping public policy? Perhaps nothing, if they’re a disorganized rabble. But what if that power of that money is in the hands of just two persons who agree on everything and have strong ambitions? Different story entirely. That’s a inherently cohesive and thereby effective constituency, equipped with a diamond-hard cutting tool to sculpt how the rest of us live.

    I wonder what sort of upbringing these fellows had. Good enough for the rest of us?

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Pro, JFK’s ‘Secret Society’ speech was one of a number of actions that threatened the interests of America’s real rulers. JFK got ideas above his station, so they were lining up to off him. While his pappy, the formidable Joseph, was about, he was probably safe, but once the old man had his stroke, JFK was toast.

  19. Joan Savage says:

    A revealing use of the word “we” showed up in the interview with Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, who said,

    “Here in this country, we give you opportunity.”

    Who is that “we,” and why do they think that they are optionally giving opportunity to others, namely “you,” or in this case, the reporter?

    Complacently separating people into permanent “haves” referred to “we,” and needy “have-nots” referred to as “you,” is a dangerous assumption.

  20. John A. Mc Donald says:

    Does the majority of the people in the world have enough intelligence to live in a democracy?

  21. Leif says:

    You better hope so or it is going to be tough sledding for all.

  22. Artful Dodger says:

    uh, the Koch’s personal wealth is $54 Billion, but the amount of money they manage or control is vastly greater.

  23. RH factor says:

    We are already done Dude! When it takes freaking Al Jazeera and Russian Televison to educate the American populace — It is over!

    Good bye Sweet America – good bye

  24. Bill G says:

    Amazing. We need a foreign news network to bring us this story.

    The vast majority of our voters will never get this information and will vote instead on propaganda put out by the Koch Brothers.

  25. Bill G says:

    Fair, honest media is a prerequisite for a successful democracy.

    The capitalist ideology is to put profit as the most important goal – very much ahead of a properly functioning democratic government.

    In the Koch ideology there is nothing wrong with using any means necessary to achieve maximum profit – including perverting or destroying the democratic principals of our Founders.

  26. Patrick O'Connor says:

    Another Koch propaganda venue: Ralph Reed, who along w/ his partner in crime Tim Phillips, has been on the Koch dole for decades–and THEIR colleague Grover Norquist. [Hint, anytime you see “Americans For” (Job Security, Prosperity, Tax Reform, whatever) figure “Koch”.)
    Ralph funnels their objectives out thru his considerable Christian Values networks–700 Club, Focus on the Family, Liberty and Regent Universities, Richard Land, John Hagee, Concerned Women of America, etc. Even Jesus works for Koch (and Ralph), and so does Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell (Ralph is their political consultant). Apparently b/c of Ralph, God wants life on earth to end. (God basically means “Koch.”)

  27. Edith Wiethorn says:

    Thanks for that telling observation, Joan.

  28. pollyliberale says:

    That was absolutely frightening.

  29. Al says:

    What you don’t get Tyler is that the Koch brothers and their wealthy colleagues don’t give a damn about you or other ordinary Americans. Ironically, although they problably contribute money to Creationist institutes like the Discovery Inst. in SD they epitomize Darwinian natural selection in everything they do. They want a society without regulation to profit the rich and only the rich, they want an America based only on the rule of the jungle where the least of us are completely marginalized and destitute (hundreds dying of cancer live around their petrochemical plants in Corpus Christie); ironically, by their actions they want an UNCHRISTIAN nation filled with cold calculating individuals who like Aynn Rand (Rand Paul was named after her) act only in their own self interest. Is that the kind of America you want??