Water from the Rock- Dems Gain Toehold With Shutdown.

Dems win.

Democratic leadership in the Senate has managed to draw water from the rock. The weekend-long filibuster that shut down the government succeeded in extracting concessions on the immigration issue from a hostile majority party and insane White House.

The Senate vote to reopen the government was finally confirmed after it became clear Democrats were going to continue to block the spending bill over what do about young people affected by DACA until Republicans agreed to grow a soul.

The Republicans did not intend to compromise at all on this issue, and right now they hold all the cards. But ultimately, they did.

That is a measure of victory.

A government shutdown is not a joke.

The last shutdown happened in 2013 and lasted 16 days.

Nearly 800,000 federal employees were out of work without pay.

More than a million other working employees had their paychecks delayed.

According to estimates by the financial services company Standards & Poor’s, the last government shutdown cost America $24 billion, or $1.5 billion a day.

Democrats forced the shutdown with a heavy heart. We demanded a vote on legislation to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients from deportation after Trump unexpectedly cancelled the program. The final agreement involved a vote on the issue by February.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina appeared alongside GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and made the following statement. “Here’s what I predict. Once we start talking about immigration and voting on immigration, we’ll find 60 votes to make sure these DACA recipients’ lives are not ruined by March 5.”

Critically, we were also able to secure funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program(CHIP). Monday’s deal to end the shutdown included a six-year reauthorization of the program, which will go on without any children losing their health insurance.

Still, it’s important not to try and cast a light on this whole incident as a win for us. It wasn’t. There was never any path to a victory here.

On Monday, a senior Republican aide told CNN that McConnell wasn’t planning to provide any firmer commitment on immigration than he already has.
“If that’s not enough for Democrats, then we’re in this for the long haul,” the aide added.
That leaves us with a hard road ahead.
It’s like the old Steinbeck book, In Dubious Battle. Sometimes you have to fight, even when you know you’re going to lose. And that’s what we just did. We took a stand. Many of our guys are up for re-election next year, in states that Trump won by a lot. It took a lot of courage.
Progressive holdouts are shrieking bloody murder, of course, but that was going to happen no matter what.
It’s a noble struggle that was just undertaken, actually. And the ones who kept on holding out were risking nothing in so doing; they’re not up for reelection this year. They’re just posing as presidential candidates.
There’s no doubt they’re doing all they can to make our lives difficult, and it’s becoming harder to hold the center because of them.
Here’s the thing, though- All of them are lemmings. The only thing that has stopped them from hurling themselves off a cliff so far is us. If we are not able to hold them back, they will all get rid of themselves. History has already proven this. George McGovern, the Bernie Sanders of his day, was slaughtered so thoroughly by Richard Nixon that his entire electoral concept- as visualized by him- was essentially refuted on the spot.
In the real world, adults who want to make actual progress have to be realistic. Sometimes compromises with people we’d rather not deal with are necessary.

Our Democratic leadership put their own necks on the chopping block and shut down the government for the sake of our Dreamers. They are now being raked over the coals from both angles, and that is just lousy.

They are national treasures, and we are very proud of them.

Going forward, we’ve got to raise awareness of how much we actually accomplished given the circumstances.

Democratic activist Sheila Jones wrote to us on the subject.

“The issue will not now be debated only behind closed doors in Congress. It will be decided in the public forum, and 87% of the public is for DACA. So we can wipe the floor with them.”

We’ve got to stick up for Chuck Schumer. And we’ve got to prepare ourselves to fight this whole battle again, in three weeks. See you in the trenches.

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How Libertarians Devour Liberty-Net Neutrality and Other Civic Losses.

A Predator at bay

Net neutrality died this week, but we knew that was coming. It’s a sad state of affairs when five people out of 300 million get to make a decision for all. No accountability.

The man responsible is FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a lifelong and sworn libertarian. We’ve been hearing about all kinds of problems with the adherents of libertarianism as of late, and in this piece, we’ll be looking at why.

Libertarianism.org defines a libertarian as “a person who believes that liberty is the core political value of modern civilization itself, the one that gives substance and form to all the other values of social life.”

There is a rather extreme form of heartlessness hiding behind that high and lofty statement. We have been seeing it more and more in recent years.

When most people think of the Libertarian Party, they think of the dimwitted Gary Johnson inquiring what a Leppo is, on television.

Unfortunately, the people who are really in charge of this are neither dimwitted nor incompetent. They’re actually some of the most ruthless people in the world, in the opinion of Millennial Democrats. Their names are Charles and David Koch, and we have come to know them very well. They’ve got a plan.

If they can remove objectivity from the value system of the country, if they can make it so that people get desensitized and stop listening, then little by little, they can start bringing back the status quo. Graft, big bosses, and corruption. The good old days. 
If only our leaders would just chill, and be cool!! It really all comes down to that. Don’t be thirsty! Just be decent. You’ll do fine. Same thing with the law. Be decent. Treat other people good. Do the best you can. When you encounter others, be a human being about it. That is the true nature of the Good Shepherd.
Our current administration and the powers that combined to create it are so far removed from that benevolent ideal that it has led to all sorts of wild speculations over the years. One looks at the likes of H.W. Bush or Vladimir Putin, and shivers at the thought of Reptilian overlords, lurking about the bowels of Earth.
Unregulated capitalism has proven itself unfit to govern because it has proven incapable of caring for all the members of its populace. In order for a given state to prosper and stay healthy as a whole, a healthy environment for all of its members is a prerequisite. The word liberty is supposed to mean every member’s freedom to participate in and help maintain that environment.
But when and where that is not what liberty means- when it is allowed to mean rather the right of the individual to monopolize resources to the detriment of society by and large- then it is the duty of thinking people to speak out against it. It is a perversion of the ideal we value as liberty.
Where did this perversion come from? What are its roots? And how do we get rid of it? These are the answers our whole system depends on us finding.
In December of 1971, like today, there were a lot of things going on to help give someone agita. It was chaos and confusion everywhere you looked. There was a world’s worth of reasons for this, of course, but Richard Nixon’s being a maniac was arguably the biggest.
This was a primary impetus behind the forming of the Libertarian Party at that time.
The 1960s and ’70s were a time of building groups and having arguments, meant to hammer out what it meant to be a libertarian.
The Institute for Humane Studies was founded in the early 1960s by a former Cornell economics professor to recruit college students and would-be academics. The founder, F.A. Harper, was an important intellectual mentor to Charles Koch, who became a major donor to the group.
It’s been a long fight against these people. Both Charles Koch and his father Fred were active members of the radical right-wing John Birch Society. During its active campaigns against the civil rights movement in the 1960’s they wound up on the wrong side of history every time. In fact, they seem to have set up shop there.
Charles Koch formally resigned from the JBS in 1968. But a number of its core philosophies continue to animate a number of his keystone policy decisions decades later.
The echoes of his past role reverberate in what we’ve come to know as the “Tea Party”, a far-right organization staffed with Birchers of decades past who contend their self-interest against all reasoning. Donald Trump was far from their first choice, but he was a natural outgrowth of these policies.
However, we should not make the mistake of considering libertarian viewpoint and influence from the conservative right alone.  On issues such as economic regulation, public spending, and taxes, libertarians tend to roll with the conservative right. On other issues, such as gay marriage and drug legalization, they find more common ground with the progressive left.
Notice that absolutely nowhere are there any issues on which libertarians align with the center.
Why is this? Politically, liberals are for regulating business and giving more benefits to the middle class and poor. If these things are removed, then there is nothing in the way to stop corporate fascism. This is not a hypothesis; it actually came very close to happening, in a coup d’etat planned out against Franklin Roosevelt’s government by prominent American businessmen as recently as 1934.
Money was funnelled through a pipeline assembled by W. Prescott Bush, father of George H.W. Bush, through the law firm he worked for, the Union Banking Corporation, and through them to Adolf Hitler. Domestically its purpose was to establish a fascist dictatorship in the United States, complete with concentration camps for “Jews and other undesirables.”
The plot was averted in the end. But FDR was never able to bring any of the plotters to justice. They simply had too much money and too much power. He wasn’t even able to rein in Prescott Bush until 1942 when the government seized the assets of Bush’s pro-Nazi enterprises.
The fascist mindset of libertarianism has never gone away. It never conceded defeat to the civil rights movement. It remains the driving force behind attacks on even what minimal safety nets we do have, such as worker’s unions.
The plotters, such as J.P. Morgan and Chase, the Mellons, Rockefellers, and DuPont’s never changed their goal. They simply morphed into a cabal of foundations who exist for one sole purpose- to either control or neuter progressive grassroots efforts. It’s still the same old struggle.
As this article drew toward completion, news broke across America that our president is considering the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his throes of desperation to get out from under Russiagate. If that were to happen, it would drag us through the threshold of fascism. The time to take to the streets may really come. If and when it does, we will be ready.

The Tangled Tale of Tulsi Gabbard- Progressive Phony.

The giant circus that the 2016 election cycle became, and the second Dark Ages that has followed it, is a time that’s seen a great many attempts to effect  the altering of the meaning of time- honored positives. Words like “Facts”, “Truth, and Justice” have all had their turn in the mud bath. However, when it comes to sheer brazen abuse of a term, “Progressive” may have taken the deepest dive of all- especially in the matter of the Hawaiian Representative, Tulsi Gabbard.

Hence, the old Sanders wing of the party is suddenly quite vocal about selecting as their champion Tulsi Gabbard, a politician who has come to embodify misguided attacks by so-called progressives on the so-called liberal elite. In point of fact, however, the evidence indicates quite otherwise. Tulsi Gabbard does not act like a progressive darling

Her voting record, world view, and connections resemble much more closely a resume, tailor- made to be both barely acceptable to the leaders of the Democratic Party, and a perfect Libertarian plant. The organization Progressive Punch is a searchable database of Congressional voting records, from the perspective of the far left. They gave Bernie Sanders an A, for his lifetime support of progressive causes. Tulsi Gabbard got an F. 

The tangled tale of Tulsi Gabbard makes most sense, if you consider the possibility she might really be a carefully cultivated mole, used to leak data to our enemies. It would be clear that she makes for a powerful pivotal point strategically. The far right has often been able to use her voice and power to manipulate the far left. Stirred up radicals often end up signing off on very bad ideas. Anytime they need their opposites to go along with some plot they’re cooking up, they give the job to Tulsi. Her views are often much more in line with the conservative end of our spectrum, as exemplified by her trip to Syria recently and her unending support of Assad. 

Take the DNC mole. President Obama admitted that he had no intelligence on how Wikileaks got ahold of the Podesta emails whose release caused the supporters of Bernie Sanders to riot in the streets of Philadelphia. But a man named Chris Murray, a former British ambassador, had claimed that days earlier, a high ranking DNC member, said to be “disgusted” by the supposed favoring of Hillary Clinton by the DNC, had actually been the one to leak those emails, to him.  At this time, Tulsi Gabbard held the position of Deputy DNC Chairman. She resigned in a huff. 

Then, all of a sudden, the hacking started, and sensitive data ended up in the hands of the Russian-controlled WikiLeaks. She knew the access codes and she knew the setup.  She had a clear motive for wanting material on Clinton leaked. She has had a long-standing love affair with Syrian president Assad and with Putin, and reviled Clinton’s Syria policy with all her might, but to oppose her flat out, as a Republican, would have been suicidal due to the political climate of her home state Hawaii. This must have made the endorsement of Bernie Sanders a cheap and lightweight solution.

Neither her policies nor her personnel suggest any affiliation with the ideology of Bernie Sanders- but by endorsing someone with whom she largely disagreed on policy (and didn’t have to worry about winning), she won the unyielding adulation of his followers. And by meeting with Donald Trump on her own initiative, mere weeks after his upset of Hillary Clinton, she assured herself the undying love of the #NeverHillary branch of the Sanders wing. 


One angry supporter of Bernie Sanders wrote the following nonsense on 7/23/17, on a thread discovered on Facebook. 
“No REAL progressive is gonna vote for more of the Clinton style, corporate special interest, Big Bank donor loving, false progressive garbage. Yet…here are the Democrats showing us early on that they haven’t changed. Ready for a repeat of 2016? Personally…I will work to expose and destroy the hopes of any candidate that the DNC tries to ram down our throats again by using Super Delegates and closed Primaries…and any candidate who remained silent against the DNC’s attack on our Democracy by rigging the election against Bernie Sanders. #Sanders/Gabbard2020 #Gabbard/Turner2020
This same man later went on to beg and plead for unity among the former supporters of Sanders- so that they will have greater success in attacking not Republicans, but Democrats. Mentioned at the spearhead of this assault on their fellows in the left, is always one name- Tulsi Gabbard. 

Ironically, Gabbard is a member of the Democratic Party. She has been the United States Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013. She was also a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she resigned to endorse Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. 


This primary was one of the most acrimonious and bitter races in history, and no one did more to make it so than did this Hawaiian representative. The real question, however, is why? What would make it so appealing to someone, to consistently act against the interests of their own party? Wouldn’t that mean they were acting against their own interests, too? 


Merriam- Webster defines the term “political operative” as a person who does secret work for a government or political organization. And no one can deny that the resume of Ms. Gabbard would be ideal for one. Although her personality and policies are very much against the grain of the usual progressive agenda, there can be no doubt that on the surface, she is a diverse and fascinating candidate. She is the first American Samoan elected to Congress. She was the first elected Hindu (she took her oath of office on the Bhagavad- Gita) and one of two female combat veterans to join Congress in 2013. At that time, at age 31, she was also the youngest female member of the Congress.

So far, so good. And yet, for all these fantastic leftist qualifications, she gives the Democratic Party more trouble than does many a Republican. There are several reasons for this. Gabbard often sounds more like a hawkish Republican than a potential future Democratic leader. She repeatedly blasted Obama for failing to talk about “Islamic extremism”– a phrase very similar to the pet phrase of Donald Trump. 

Perhaps we can find a clue into the peculiar politics of this enigmatic woman, by examining her father. Even upon taking the most cursory glance at him, Hawaii state Senator, former Republican and anti-gay activist Mike Gabbard is a man who has had to do a lot of reforming. The elder Gabbard has made a career out of evasion. With reporters, with constituents, and with pretty much everyone except his daughter and his old cronies from the days of Chris Butler’s (Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, also known as #SwamiSalami) Hare Krishna cult. 

Of course, it’s predictable that he would be wary of the media. Even Googling “Mike Gabbard” will lead you to a seemingly endless series of negative stories. It seems clear there are many questions that he doesn’t want to answer. Specifically, he has been reticent on those queries concerning his ties to the aforementioned swami. The Butler cult has built a shadowy and global organization that according to some numbers in the tens of thousands, and the Gabbards are its most public and conspicuous members. 

This splinter group has given rise to a number of political candidates over the past 30 years. And two of Tulsi’s most important campaign staffers came from her father’s organization’ . Those questions must be especially touchy during election seasons, when much of his political support and money comes from Christian conservatives. 

No one should have to be held accountable for the political views of their parents. But Tulsi Gabbard’s political connections to her father go far beyond the family relationship. Despite her recent claims to socially-progressive views, the pattern established by examining her staffers and donors makes much more sense when viewed as a conservative family network than the product of more regular Democratic fundraising efforts.

In fact, according to one list of major contributors to the Tulsi Gabbard campaign, published by DailyKos in 2012, Democratic donors were actually exceptions on this list.  Many of these people have not donated to campaigns other than Mike Gabbard’s Congressional campaign, or Richard Reed’s Senate campaign, both as Republicans. Reed’s Senate campaign was allegedly connected to both the Gabbards’ and to Butler’s religious group. 

The plot continues to thicken and grow stranger. A website called the Cult Education Institute has a thread on Tulsi Gabbard and her activities and connections with Chris Butler that is literally hundreds of pages long, and provides links to a stultifying wealth of articles and other information. It should be, and is, pointed out that much of it is unverifiable. However, a great deal of it is very verifiable. And the sheer amount of it alone is suggestive. One would be hard-pressed to find another politician anywhere on the nation’s entire political coastline with such a bewildering array of data arraigned against them. The process of vetting candidates means that if you’ve got 100 pages of cult websites detailing your activities, you’re not going to make it through.

So what does it all mean? Where are they going, with all of this? A look at the politics of Hawaii might be of use in this context. The Democratic Party has had a long reign in Hawaii. Some of it comes from the popularity of the labor movement there in the 20th century, and the efforts of the Hawaii Democratic Party to push for greater inclusivity of the electoral base have traditionally been venerated. These factors have combined to earn Democrats near-complete control of the state legislature. But such an extended period of dominance has been resulting in increased voter apathy and increased factionalism within the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

This apathy is what led Mike Gabbard to try and challenge Democratic incumbent Ed Case in 2004. The elder Gabbard, known for his virulent anti-gay crusade in the 1990s, was attempting to overturn the status quo and win as a Repulican the race to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Unfortunately for him, that virtually no one could have won this way. At that time, a reporter for Honolulu Magazine requested an interview on the Chris Butler ties, which prompted the following rejoinder from Tulsi.
 “I smell a skunk,” she emailed back. “It’s clear to me that you’re acting as a conduit for … homosexual extremist supporters of Ed Case!”

The Democrats held the day, in 2004, and the star of Mike Gabbard was soon to wane, but that of his daughter was on the rise. And by 2013, the situation was very different. A schism was forming in the larger Democratic Party of America that was similar to the one in Hawaii. In the absence of a super-villain like one of the Bushes, Democrats were starting to divide into the camps now roughly labeled “liberal” and “progressive”. 
Around this same time, public awareness began growing toward an occuring trend that is still reshaping the entire scale of political spectrum. The far left began linking up with the far right, unbeknownst to nearly everyone, in a plot to manipulate the national dialectic into demanding a third party.

The left and the right have often historically converged when a common friend or foe suits both of their needs, usually for different reasons. This is known as the Horseshoe Theory, and as far as Congressional Democrats go, nobody seems to personify this more than Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard. We are in the middle of watching nothing less than a full-fledged attempt at a Libertarian revival.

On the Issues, a non-partisan informational website that rates and categorizes lawmakers and candidates, describes Tulsi Gabbard as a “Libertarian-Leaning Progressive” based on her voting record. 

Progressives are not the only ones in love with Tulsi Gabbard, and the way she constantly does numbers on Democrats. The Hill reported that it was Steve Bannon who arranged the November meeting between the new president-elect and the Hawaiian congresswoman. “He loves Tulsi Gabbard. Loves her,” a source familiar with Bannon’s thinking told The Hill. “Wants to work with her on everything.” 

Following their meeting, many speculated that Gabbard might receive an appointment in Trump’s cabinet, a move that appeared to excite many Trump supporters. It seems clear that this was rejected because of the toxic effect this would have had on Tulsi’s ability to get progressives to follow her blindly. That would have blown years of hard work. 

Her political record viewed as a whole gives one the eerie impression that it was tailor-made to be borderline acceptable to the Democratic hierarchy, while actually placing her much more closely in line with the Koch brothers brand of libertarianism, an experiment that failed back in the 1980’s, but whose adherents have never really abandoned. Googling “tulsi gabbard libertarian” will lead you to an entire galaxy of Libertarian newspapers, each singing her praises more fervently then the last.

BeingLibertarian.com eagerly lists us off all the reasons why Gabbard 2020 is a shoo-in, with a headline saying “Democrat Tulsi Gabbard Will Likely Be Next President. 

ALibertarianFuture.com also goes to great effort to laud Tulsi for her willingness to work against Democratic interests, in this article explaining that Libertarian hero Rand Paul introduced Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act in the Senate. 

Libertarian Christians sing her praises even louder, with these next words being a direct quote from the article. “Thank you, Mrs. Gabbard, for having the courage to tell the truth. I don’t have to share your ideology to share your human conscience. You are seeing through the double-bind foreign policy trap of our bipartisan war policy: Satan casting out Satan.
In today’s world, people who consider the United States satanic tend to be receiving money from Russia. But even aside from that, it makes you wonder how such a high-powered chameleon ended up with a reputation for being an uncompromising progressive. An examination of her recent polling trends reveal she’s doing very nearly as well among people of both parties, and this is extremely troubling given the extreme and total decency gap existing between them. The Democrats gave us Obama. The Republicans gave us W. Bush and Trump.

Jacobin Magazine, long regarded as one of the most professional and serious left wing magazines out there, recently did an article on all this. They gave it the headline, “Why Tulsi Gabbard isn’t your Friend.” And there it all was. The whole tangled web. Tulsi Gabbard is the all-purpose fishing lure being trotted out by the people so carelessly trying to realign the national power structure in their interest. She’s got something for everyone, and all of it is dishonest.

The Koch Network- Enemies of Democracy Revealed.

When examining American political life today, the discussion has to include the Koch network. This conglomerate of groups covers a wide range of recent and radically conservative organizations, such as the infamous Tea Party movement. They have been responsible for a great deal of trouble in recent history as a result. It is therefore worth taking a close look at who they are, what they are doing, and why they are doing it.

Charles and David, the Koch brothers, are the sons of Frederick C. Koch, who co-founded Koch Industries. It has grown to be the second-largest privately held company in the United States, of which they own 84%. If their individual fortunes were combined in one place, they would likely represent the wealthiest person on earth.

They have used this gargantuan wealth to subjugate one of the two parties and subordinate it to an ultra-conservative and authoritarian agenda. They have spent a fortune on it. Most estimates show numbers of more than a billion dollars, every one of which proves the rise of the Tea Party movement was far from an accident. It was orchestrated, and it was well funded. It also had a deliberate aim: to destroy Washington’s ability to pay for its social programs, which would be to break Washington itself.

In this way, bothersome regulations passed down from the Teddy Roosevelt era could be smashed at last. Unions could have their backs broken, forever. The era of graft and corruption and big bosses could return with a police state to back it up. They tipped their hand when they used Wisconsin as a model, by creating the golem known as Scott Walker.

In short, the entire apparatus of American government itself, is to gradually be delivered, bound hand and foot, to the door of big capital, thereafter to act at its behest. Fascists are not against centralized authority per se, although they will make such a pretense if expedience requests it. They fight it because they are trying to gain control of it. It’s an exercise in reverse engineering. They want to strip it down to the core and reassemble it, to suit their laissez-faire agenda. The goal is as ugly as it is audacious.

Koch Industries was initially a company for refining crude oil, which has always played a big part in the Koch family fortune, dating back to the 1930’s. Fred Koch was one of its founding members. He was a founding member in another organization also- the John Birch Society.

The society was built on Fred Koch’s oil money in the 1950’s. It can fairly be considered the center of neo-conservative politics. Both the JBS and the Tea Party fit into this mold of liberalism being the root of all evil, mustrust and hostility toward persons of color and other groups of at-risk persons, and a deep seeded fear of change.

This value system, which is typified by racism, nationalism, and an ideologically devoid will to power, is the essence and spirit of fascism. So the question begs asking: when did Fred Koch become so attached to the ideas he passed on to his sons? Foreign radicalism is generally not thought to have taken deep root over here. But evidence now suggests that may not be the case at all.

One book, “The Kochs, A Nazi Past, Oil & The Foundation of The Rights,” by Damien Crisp, claimed that Fred C. Koch was both related to and involved with Hitler-era Nazis. Crisp made the statement that “Koch Industries is the child of the violence of Buchenwald.”

Information concerning the family backgrounds of Buchenwald commandant Karl and Ilse Koch is hard to find, and it should be noted that this claim is unproven. While there are fragments of information that suggestively connect the American and German Kochs, and although it gives a clear image of the sentiment behind the Tea Party and conservative American politics since the 1950s, the connection between the Buchenwald Kochs and Fred Koch is tenuous at best and should probably be discounted.

Democrats fight with honor, and have no need to rely on disinformation. That’s what the German Kochs were doing back then, and that’s what the American Kochs do now. The significance of this claim, lies rather in the fact that it’s so easy to believe and that its belief is prevalent.

If you have embarked down a course of conduct that makes you resemble those two monsters(Karl was executed by other Nazis for corruption, whilst Ilse, known best for her plan to make lampshades of the skins of tattooed Jewish prisoners, was the only woman charged for war crimes during WW2), closely enough so that millions of people would suspect to ask this question and believe the accusation true, it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that you ought to cut it out.

However, although there is no solid evidence the American Fred Koch was related to Ilse’s family, there are ties to other Nazis named Koch that are far more solid. Erich Koch was a Nazi official placed in charge of Prussia in the days of Nazi Germany, who invited Fred Koch to sell his oil there. After the Nazi fall, Erich and Fred Koch expanded their oil empire to the Soviet Union. Erich Koch had been in charge of Prussia for Hitler, so his ties to the neighboring Soviet Union ran deep. However, a few years later, the Soviets purged some of his colleagues and prosecuted Erich for war crimes.

Fred Koch returned to the US as the most fervent anti-communist crusader one could imagine, and was allowed to do business in the States again. He hated Communism and Communists so much that he even expressed public admiration of Mussolini’s tactics against it. When he embraced this sort of thinking, he started down a road that led him to become a staunch opponent of civil rights. He grew more rigid as he grew older, and he passed both his grudge and his empire to the sons who have carried on his causes.

Since then, the brothers have attempted to impose this secretive agenda on the rest of America. Significant financial contributions by the fascist Koch network have been made to conservative, Libertarian, and Republican causes by way of effecting these changes. They pledged to spend $889 million from 2009–2016, and although the Citizens United ruling makes it impossible to say exactly how close they came, most specialists agree that this estimate is very low. The political infrastructure they have built has been said by Politico to rival that of the Republican National Committee.

Conveniently, the Koch brothers’ fervent commitment to libertarianism coincides precisely with their foremost, bottom-line interest: the elimination of government regulations aimed at containing toxic pollution and ozone-damaging emissions. Koch companies are spewing these everywhere. Around the country, around the clock.

It is no accident that Scott Pruitt ended up heading the EPA. It was one of the concessions made by Trump’s team to reconcile themselves with the Koch brothers, who were opposed to him all the way up until when it became inevitable he’d be the Republican candidate.

Nancy MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, recently published a  book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, detailing the corrosive practices of the Koch network.

The New York Times said the book joined an emerging corpus of important work of scholars and journalists that was “documenting the systematic, organized effort to undermine democracy and change the rules.”

But it didn’t take long for the apparatus of the “radical right”, or what we now have come to think of as the alt-right, to to prepare a counterattack. The attacks came from the same individuals and institutions that the Duke University history professor documents in her book.

At some point, the Libertarians, particularly people who are part of the apparatus in one way or another — either academics or the think-tanks — weighed in, and did the same thing with my work as they have done with climate science,” says MacLean.

MacLean’s book charts the “radical right’s stealth plan” through the fortunes and influence of the late James M Buchanan, a pioneer of so-called economic “public choice theory” who was awarded a Nobel memorial prize in economics in 1986. For a look at his thinking process, we can look to the explanation given by Buchanan himself in a famous essay. By helping the unlucky, we cushion them against the consequences of their bad choices.

Luckily for no one, the dutiful Kochs are busy as can be even now, making sure to seek out and destroy every such cushion they can find.

Their most visible front is Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group founded by David Koch. This branch comprises the ground forces of the Koch Network. They hold rallies in 34 states, they bus people into them, and they use them to exert pressure for their anti-government, anti-education Libertarian agenda. For example, Koch think tanks spend at least $19.4 million annually, to cripple the public school systems.

The Koch donor network has exploited Buchanan’s economic system to mutate the rules of American politics. This is exactly the sentiment voiced by Republicans of both branches of Congress who voted to strip away Obamacare.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” Doug Deason, one of the few known donors in the Koch network’s fundraising rolodex, told GOP leaders recently. “You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done.”

Every new proposal the Republicans tried jamming through the Congress would have sorely punished people with preexisting medical conditions. They were perfectly aware of this, of course. Congressman Mo Brooks even touted it as a benefit in one CNN interview, stating that the new bill has the advantage of “reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives.” This is a pure application of James Buchanan. The term he used was “misguided Good Samaritanism”.

In the wake of America’s increasing disgust with Trump, the Koch brothers are currently enjoying a new level of ascendancy. The announcement last week by the Koch network that Vice President Mike Pence will be the keynote speaker at the brothers’ policy and political strategy meeting, set for October 12 and 13 in Manhattan, is a big sign.

Another sign was the placement of Americans for Prosperity president, Tim Phillips, just one seat from Trump at a White House dinner last week for conservative group leaders. Phillips has long been one of the Kochs’ top lieutenants. In announcing Pence’s appearance, top Koch aide James Davis crowed, “Pence truly understands how good policies can help all Americans improve their lives.”

Also notable was that the only Trump cabinet member at the dinner, seated across the long table from the president, was Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt. Pruitt, the former Attorney General of Oklahoma, has literally spent his entire life fighting the agency that he is now the head of. This appointment in particular embodies the Trump administration’s desire to turn over crucial environment and energy policy decisions to the collective fossil fuel and chemical industries of which the Kochs are bedrock members.

This donor network has been tremendously successful in the spreading of self-serving misinformation to elected officials. They’re doing it for banal reasons like the rights to save money dumping waste in local rivers. This is why climate change is a reality the oil moguls do not want to face.

The consequences of that policy are so far reaching and brutal in their effects, that they require most of the populace to be kept in a disgraceful state of ignorance. They can’t let us learn, because what they’re up to is so obvious, and they don’t really bother to hide it. They just counterattack with viciousness and lies. A people softened up by decades of misinformation coming from the Koch Brothers and others were lambs to the slaughter for disinformation coming from the Russians.

It’s a liberal tendency to assume that Republicans and the right wing media can’t possibly really believe its message, but there’s too much evidence that the contrary might be true. At the level of the populace, those who deliver and receive the message are being manipulated by their fears, for a profit so large that it’s hard to imagine: global domination in total. This reality has to be faced and fully realized before counter-efforts will prove effective.

The disastrous election of Donald Trump has had one good effect and one only- it has brought America’s people to the point where more and more people are recognizing the issue and acknowledging the problem. Women in particular are mobilizing like never before. We must all join their struggle, en masse and in dead earnest.

That is the only hope we have of taking back the reins of our democracy.

If the majority understood what they were doing, they would stop it. I think that’s a really powerful thing to know,” said MacLean.

They are doing all of this in the knowledge that they can’t win if they say openly what their end game is. If people work to patiently inform and activate the majority, then they could be stopped.”

Moving forward, our goal will be to do exactly that. We will spread the word every way we can. We will also be sure to avoid the past errors of excess and rage that awareness of these people and their garbage have caused in the past. It’s understandable to want to get back at people who are hurting you, but if in so doing, you strengthen their position, you are only making sure you get hurt some more.

We have learned from the lessons of Occupy. We won’t make those kinds of mistakes again. We will remain calm. We will acknowledge the existence of their propaganda tanks. We will drag them out into the light. We will refute both their pseudoscience and their petty lies.

We will learn to recognize their organizational structure and the techniques they have employed to subvert our democracy. They are like poison ivy, sucking life out of a grand old oak tree. The record shows that clearly. We will just have to highlight it. Most importantly of all, we will continue to provide better alternatives to their unkind and ungenerous schemes. America is strong, because America is kind. The strong are always kind. We can do better than Charles and David Koch.