Hundreds of activists showed up in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (actually one of my favorite places, with incredible modernist architectural gems), on Sunday to protest the political activities of conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Protestors convened outside a resort where the libertarian Koch brothers were meeting in closed-door sessions with donors, strategists, and politicians, including House Republican leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.
The billionaire brothers, who run the chemical corporate behemoth Koch Industries, have been criticized in the past for quietly funding the Tea Party and limited-government, anti-environment initiatives (or waging a covert “war against Obama,” as The New Yorker would more correctly have it).
While protestors faced off against helmeted police officers circling the resort, a Koch spokeswoman defended the meeting.
It “brings together some of America’s greatest philanthropists and job creators … who share a common belief that the current level of government spending in our nation is simply unsustainable,” she said.
This is the eighth such meeting convened by the Koch brothers, and although the guest list is kept secret, past attendees have included Glenn Beck and prominent GOP figures.
Where, per chance, did the Koch family obtain its great wealth? Actually, Pappa Koch formed business alliances with that great defender of liberty, Joseph Stalin… you may remember him from the Soviet Union…
Oddly enough, the fiercely capitalist Koch family owes part of its fortune to Joseph Stalin. Fred Koch attended M.I.T., where he earned a degree in chemical engineering, and in 1927, he invented a more efficient process for converting oil into gasoline. Unable to succeed at home, Koch found work in the Soviet Union. In the nineteen-thirties, his company trained Bolshevik engineers and helped Stalin’s regime set up fifteen modern oil refineries.
And what did the Kochs and Stalin eventually build? Well, this…
Know who your evil sponsor is, really, Tea Partiers!
With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.