Barf Warning #2: Watching This Video of Mika Brzezinski Talking about Her Weekend with the Kochs May Also Induce Vomiting!

By Elaine Magliaro

One would expect a conservative Republican like Joe Scarborough to be enamored of the billionaire Koch Brothers. Earlier this week, he spoke of Charles and David Koch in glowing terms on his MSNBC show Morning Joe after he and his co-host Mika Brzezinski had attended a policy forum hosted by a group affiliated with the wealthy businessmen on Sunday. I wrote about it in my post titled Barf Warning: Watching This Video of Joe Scarborough Talking about the Koch Brothers May Induce Vomiting!

Josh Israel, one of my sources for that post, said that Brzezinski had also “fawned over” the billionaire oil magnates. On Monday, she had said that her weekend with the Kochs was “awesome” and “so fascinating.”

This morning, Mika gushed over the Kochs and her experience at the forum again. Brendan James wrote about it at Talking Points Memo. James said that Scarborough “hasn’t been shy about his support for the industrial billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch, but it took a weekend in Palm Springs for his liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski to see the light.”

James:

Brzezinski interrupted a discussion on Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” about the Kochs’ plan to drop nearly $1 billion on the 2016 election cycle to share how much she learned after attending the brothers’ “American Recovery Policy Forum,” this past weekend in California.

“I thought the different programs they have had, the conversations they had, addressed really interesting questions,” she said of the speakers at the event. “The kind of questions we address here at the table.”

“A surprise to me,” she continued, grasping for words before raving about Charles Koch’s wife. “Liz Koch, ever met her? She’s a ball of fire! And she’s got this incredible program for helping the poorest of the poor kids in several inner cities that she’s developed.”

Brzezinski added that there was a lot of “ignorance out there about the Koch ethos.” She said, “I mean, it’s everything that you don’t think, and you don’t know. There are different facets of the story you get to see when you actually go and observe events like this.”

Mika dear, do tell us more about the Koch ethos so we won’t be so ignorant on the subject. And do fill us in on the “different facets” of the Koch story.

BTW, Mika, this is for you—just a little peek at the Koch “ethos” from Tom Dickinson:

But Koch Industries is not entirely opaque. The company’s troubled legal history – including a trail of congressional investigations, Department of Justice consent decrees, civil lawsuits and felony convictions – augmented by internal company documents, leaked State Department cables, Freedom of Information disclosures and company whistle¬-blowers, combine to cast an unwelcome spotlight on the toxic empire whose profits finance the modern GOP.

Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch’s pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers.

And here’s something else for you about the Koch ethos, Mika:

In 2001, Lee Fang (ThinkProgress) said that the University of Masschusetts Amherst had “scored Koch as among the top ten worst air polluters for its carcinogenic chemicals.”

Lee Fang:

Much of the entire Koch political machine is geared towards ensuring that Koch Industries never has to compensate the people and ecosystems damaged by Koch Industries pollution. Koch front groups — from Tea Party groups to think tanks — have diligently promoted Koch Industries’ bottom line by denying global warming, fighting regulations on Koch’s cancer-causing chemicals, and snuffing out investigations into Koch’s environmental crimes…

Oh, Mika, there are so many more “facets” of the Koch story we don’t know. How I wish I had the time to research them all. I do hope you’ll fill us in because, you know, you’re now an expert on the magnanimous oil magnates after spending the weekend with them!

SOURCES

Scarborough’s ‘Liberal’ Co-Host Becomes A Sudden Koch Bros. Convert (TPM)

REPORT: How Koch Industries Makes Billions Corrupting Government And Polluting For Free (Part 2) (ThinkProgress)

Morning Joe Hosts Receive Special Invite To Closed Koch Event, Lavish Koch Brothers With Praise (ThinkProgress)

Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire: Together, Charles and David Koch control one of the world’s largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system. But what they don’t want you to know is how they made all that money (Rolling Stone)

Tim Dickinson of “Rolling Stone” Looks at the Koch Brothers’ “Toxic Empire” (Flowers for Socrates)

Barf Warning: Watching This Video of Joe Scarborough Talking about the Koch Brothers May Induce Vomiting! (Flowers for Socrates)

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29 Responses to Barf Warning #2: Watching This Video of Mika Brzezinski Talking about Her Weekend with the Kochs May Also Induce Vomiting!

  1. bettykath says:

    Looks like Mika can be co-opted by glitz and glamor.

  2. bigfatmike says:

    Thanks for the trigger warning.

    But I think it is a wonderful thing that America is the kind of country where even an ordinary looking guy can get so rich that the best looking girl in the room will sit close and tell him that he is brilliant… um I meant “awesome” and “so fascinating.”

    Money is so affirming.

    Of course that does open the question of what she would say if he just lost his job, his mortgage was under water, and his 2001 hoopty needed a thermostat for the radiator?

  3. swarthmoremom says:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/230989-paul-defends-koch-brothers-from-liberal-haters “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a likely presidential contender, defended billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch from “liberal haters” who won’t leave the largely Republican mega-donors alone.

    Asked in an interview Tuesday night on Fox Business Network about the Koch brothers potentially bankrolling a liberty-minded Republican presidential candidate, Paul focused his answer on the pair’s detractors.
    “I think one thing that’s important for all the people who bash them to know is that, much of what they do is for the concept and the ideas of free markets and liberty. It has nothing to do with government,” Paul said.

    “And I defy any of the liberal haters that are out there to find one instance when they have ever asked for a subsidy or a special government break. I have never heard of any and what they’re wanting is to be left alone, like most businesses in our country,” he said.

    Paul told Fox Business Network’s “Kennedy” that he thinks it’s “horrible” that Democrats “have sort of vilified” the brothers “for their own personal gain.” “

  4. Elaine M. says:

    swarthmoremom,

    REPORT: How Koch Industries Makes Billions By Demanding Bailouts And Taxpayer Subsidies (Part 1)
    3/1/11
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/03/01/146847/charles-koch-welfare/

    Excerpt:
    — As Yasha Levine has reported, Koch exploits a number of government programs for profit. For instance, Georgia Pacific, a timber company subsidiary of Koch Industries, uses taxpayer money provided by the U.S. Forestry Service to provide their loggers with taxpayer-funded roads and access to virgin growth forests. “Logging companies such as Georgia-Pacific strip lands bare, destroy vast acreages and pay only a small fee to the federal government in proportion to what they take from the public,” according to the Institute for Public Accuracy. Levine also notes that Koch’s cattle ranching company, Matador Cattle Company, uses a New Deal program to profit off federal land for free.

    — Koch Industries won massive government contracts using their close relationship with the Bush administration. The Bush administration, in a deal even conservatives alleged was a quid pro quo because of Koch’s campaign donations, handed Koch Industries a lucrative contract to supply the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve with 8 million barrels of crude oil. The SPR deal, done initially in 2002, was renewed in 2004 by Bush administration officials. During the occupation of Iraq, Koch won significant contracts to buy Iraqi crude oil.

    — Koch Industries has been the recipient of about $85 million in federal government contracts mostly from the Department of Defense. Koch also benefits directly from billions in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and ethanol production.

  5. Never underestimate the power of prostitution professionalism. Then again, the actual journalist in that family was her father. How far doth the apple fall . . .

  6. Elaine M. says:

    The Real Welfare Queens
    A new report shows corporations like Koch Industries have gotten billions in government subsidies.
    BY David Sirota
    2/28/14
    http://inthesetimes.com/article/16362/the_real_welfare_queens

    Excerpt:
    Consider Charles and David Koch. Their company, Koch Industries, has relied on $88 million worth of government handouts. Yet, as the major financiers of the anti-government right, the Kochs are still billed as libertarian free-market activists.

  7. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/01/27/oligarch-party-koch-bros-vow-nearly-1-billion-2016-elections “The political network backed by right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaigns, a stunning amount on par with both the major political parties, the Washington Post reported Monday.

    According to the Post, “[t]he new $889 million goal reflects the anticipated budgets of all the allied groups that the network funds. Those resources will go into field operations, new data-driven technology and policy work, among other projects, along with likely media campaigns aimed at shaping the congressional and White House elections.”

    “We have never seen this before. There is no network akin to this one in terms of its complexity, scope and resources.”
    —Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics

    The Koch Brothers announced the historic budget to donors attending the annual winter meeting of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce in Palm Springs, California. About 450 donors and supporters attended the gathering, including four GOP presidential hopefuls (Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas) and six newly elected Republican senators.

    “We have never seen this before,” Sheila Krumholz, who runs the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, told USA Today. “There is no network akin to this one in terms of its complexity, scope and resources.”

    That network aims to advance a conservative platform that prioritizes austerity, deregulation, and privatization while opposing efforts to address climate change.”

  8. Elaine M. says:

    Gene,

    How clueless and gullible is she? One weekend with the Kochs…and Mika believes everything they fed her? No, it is we little folk who are ignorant of the Koch’s ethos. She now knows better.

  9. buckaroo says:

    Our government has embarked on a gross, out-of-control experiment, expanding the money supply 400% in just six years, and more than doubling our national debt since 2006. It took our nation 216 years to rack up the first $8.5 trillion in debt… then just 8 more years to double that amount. And this is precisely why so many questions about the economy and our future remain. For example…
    Why has there been very little inflation thus far? How will we possibly pay back all this debt? And of course, perhaps the most important question of all: Why has nothing “bad” happened after our government printed more than $4 trillion new dollars out of thin air and borrowed $9.4 trillion more?

    • bigfatmike says:

      “Why has there been very little inflation thus far? How will we possibly pay back all this debt? And of course, perhaps the most important question of all: Why has nothing “bad” happened after our government printed more than $4 trillion new dollars out of thin air and borrowed $9.4 trillion more?”

      You almost sound like you want something bad to happen. It must be frustrating when you economic ideas are demonstrated to be false.

      We will probably pay back some of the debt the same way we paid back debt from WWII. The rest of the debt will be paid back by increased tax revenues generate by growing economic activity when the economy begins to expand. It ought to be clear that no nation state should try to pay down debt during the downturn. Boom times are the right time to pay back debt.

      We have not had inflation because the economy is about 10% below the production possibility frontier. There is simply not enough demand to generate inflation no matter how much money they print. If you are having trouble selling an item it is hard to raise the price of the item – seems pretty obvious. If nobody is buying an item then there is no one to bid up the price of an item – seems pretty obvious.

      But don’t tell the austerity hawks – it might ruin their day.

  10. Henny Penny, more commonly known in the United States as Chicken Little and sometimes as Chicken Licken, is a folk tale with a moral in the form of a cumulative tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. The phrase “The sky is falling!” features prominently in the story, and has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. Versions of the story go back more than 25 centuries; it continues to be referenced in a variety of media.

    There are several Western versions of the story. [. . . ]

    The moral to be drawn changes, depending on the version. Where there is a ‘happy ending’, the moral is not to be a ‘Chicken’ but to have courage. In other versions where the birds are eaten by the fox, the fable is interpreted as a warning not to believe everything one is told.”

    So you were saying about the money supply?

  11. Oh . . . wait. The topic here isn’t the money supply, is it?

    • bigfatmike says:

      “Oh . . . wait. The topic here isn’t the money supply, is it?”

      I thought we were talking about Mr. Deep Pockets, himself.

      Do you think they keep their money in big neat stacks or do you think they have big piles of it, like a piles of leaves in the fall, so they can jump off a table and land in cushy piles of 100 dollar bills?

      Do you think they carefully lock it all away in the wall safe every night? Of do you think they keep a wheel barrow full of it close to the bed so they can shower themselves with money if they wake up in the middle of the night?

      If they are rich enough to drop a billion on an election the way some order out for pizza, what do they do with their money in those quiet, private moments when most of us are perseverateing over how to pay the phone bill?

  12. bfm,

    “what do they do with their money in those quiet, private moments”

    To paraphrase “Dr. Strangelove”, I suspect it has something to do with “precious bodily fluids”.

  13. bigfatmike says:

    ” Those resources will go into field operations, new data-driven technology and policy work, among other projects, along with likely media campaigns aimed at shaping the congressional and White House elections.”

    Wouldn’t it be simpler, not to mention more efficient, if we just had the Federal Election commision set up a web site so politicians and voters could offer their votes to the highest bidder?

    We use free markets to achieve efficient economic solutions.

    Why not a free market of votes to achieve efficient political solutions?

    BTW, I hope someone will inform the Koch brothers that I would never let my high political ideals stand in the way of using my vote to achieve an practical, real world result – lets talk.

  14. Elaine M. says:

    Mika Brzezinski Is Head Over Heels In Love With The Kochs
    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/01/mika-brzezinski-head-over-heels-love-kochs

    Excerpt:
    Oh, the life of starry-eyed so-called journalists who think it’s just awesome to be in with the in-crowd. Watch Mika, in particular, go on about how great it was to be invited into the inner sanctum of Koch donors and friends in Palm Springs last weekend…

    See, liberals? The Kochs are just misunderstood. When you meet them, you realize they’re just a ball of love and fire. Sure, they might be oligarchs but they like me!

    Hey, Mika! Come over to my place and let me walk you through the last five years of what they’ve bought with their billiions while they smile sweetly to your face. They’re not so bad if you like having knives shoved in your back while they smile and offer you a drink. Not at all.

  15. eniobob says:

    You know what the buzz word had been the last few years about the “LIBERAL” media ?
    Now you will real see what the word “CORPORATE” media is really all about.the GOP controlled house has been very busy,hacking at Social Security,ACA,Defunding even more of the IRS than they had last year,DHS on life support right now.If you didn’t know you won’t know.

    CORPORATE MEDIA on display.

  16. pete says:

    Gene Howington says:
    January 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm
    bfm,

    “what do they do with their money in those quiet, private moments”

    To paraphrase “Dr. Strangelove”, I suspect it has something to do with “precious bodily fluids”.
    ==================================================

    Great, something else to think about when a couple of bills stick together.

  17. Muhahahahaha, er, um . . . one lives to be of service, pete?

  18. Bob Kauten says:

    So, buckaroo,
    Who exactly is all that debt owed to? Hint: 50% or so is owed to one country.

  19. Elaine M. says:

    Nightly Show: The Koch brothers aren’t against big government as long as it’s just the two of them
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/nightly-show-the-koch-brothers-arent-against-big-government-as-long-as-its-just-the-two-of-them/

    Excerpt:
    On last night’s Nightly Show, host Larry Wilmore and his panelists discussed the undue and potentially undemocratic influence the Koch Brothers have on the American political system.

    “Here’s why I’m suspicious of the Koch Brothers and these types of people,” Wilmore began. “They’re always for reducing government, they’re against centralized power, but aren’t they setting up an oligarchy by being the ones who make all these decisions?”

    “Absolutely,” comedian Hari Kondabolu replied. “The number of different rich people they have working together to consolidate their money and create a system — it’s real evil stuff. It’s almost corny. You can’t imagine it being so over the top.”

    “It’s like Austin Powers or something?” Wilmore asked.

    “It’s funny,” Kondabolu said, “because it’s in the open, too. There was always this stuff about the Illuminati, the secret group of people controlling the world — but no! It’s two old white dudes! And they’re brothers! They’re not underground, they’re in Palm Springs!”

  20. Elaine M. says:

    Jon Stewart: Do the Koch brothers want control of our democracy, or ‘would they settle for handjobs?’
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/jon-stewart-do-the-koch-brothers-want-control-of-our-democracy-or-would-they-settle-for-hndjobs/

    Excerpt:
    Jon Stewart mocked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wednesday for rushing to the defense of billionaires Charles and David Koch and their plan to spend nearly $900 million on the 2016 elections.

    “You may think to yourself, ‘That’s f*cked up.’ Aren’t those guys gonna want something in exchange for spending the gross national product of many countries on one election cycle?” Stewart asked. “And is the thing that they want control over the levers of our democracy, or would they settle for handjobs?”

    Stewart showed footage of Cruz denouncing allegations about the Koch Industries heads’ political involvement as “grotesque and offensive” during their recent donor conference in Palm Springs.

    “In fact, they’re the picture of benevolent god-kings,” Stewart said, motioning toward a picture of the Kansas-based siblings. “All hail the clamshell brothers.”

    Politico reported that a straw poll taken at the conference showed more support for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) among possible GOP presidential candidates, but Stewart argued that the Kochs’ spending was more impressive than anyone in the field.

    “I think they should just have the $900 million run for office,” he suggested, before announcing, “Give it up for the next president of the United States: Johnny Actualcash.”

  21. bron98 says:

    it is ok for Soros to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence our elections but let a rich guy who is on the limited government, free market side do it and all hell breaks loose.

    Now maybe the Kochs expect something for their money, if I was worth a few billion, I would be willing to spend a few hundred million to get people elected who believed in small governments, free markets and individual liberty. My payback would be helping make that a reality, I would not need any favors from government since they would have none to offer.

    My reward would be to live in a free country, to live the rest of my life for myself, for my family. To live my life as I saw fit to live it. That would be my reward and I would be willing to pay dearly to maKe it a reality.

    If the Kochs only reward is a country free from the tyranny of the nanny state, I applaud and encourage their efforts. If they wish to buy favors, well then fuck them, they arent any better than Soros.

  22. “it is ok for Soros to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence our elections but let a rich guy who is on the limited government, free market side do it and all hell breaks loose.” – Bron

    The fallacy of unwarranted assumption combined with simplistic tribalism stemming from the false dichotomy of partisan politics, B. An illogical two-fer.

    You assume the position that those who are against monetizing the electoral process are for it if it is “their guy” spending the money. That would be the case only if everyone – and I do mean everyone – for the removal of money from the political and legislative processes was actually by definition a hypocrite and not basing their stand on some actual principle such as “one man, one vote” or “equal protection” or “no legislation without representation” or any combination of well reasoned particulars based in fact and sound legal and/or political theory as the basis for said position.

    I don’t think the Kochs or Soros or anyone should be allowed to ply our governmental processes with money to get their way. The fundamental holding of Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) – that money is free speech – is built on a web of fallacious tortured logic just like the odious Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) that followed. But every single bad decision regarding lobbying and campaign finance made since 1976 relates either squarely or tangentially on the shoulders of Buckley.

    Buckley was a case that almost made me quit law school.

    But that couldn’t be because I have principles based in sound ethics and sounder skills a legal logic and reasoning fed by a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to maintain a society free of tyranny – including economic tyranny – which operates under truly democratic principles.

    Could it.

    You think you’d be freer under the plutocratic auspices of a Koch-led oligarchy. That’s so wrong it’d be cute if it wasn’t so sad and I didn’t know you have many of the basic logic skills to think better than you sometimes present. Their “movement” isn’t about freedom except their personal desire to do whatever they want free from consequence. They do not give a damn about your freedom and you (conditionally) support them, so I guess they probably actively despise my freedom as one who opposes oligarchical forms of government based on principle. Your Randian-fed delusions about human nature lead you to equate wealth with principle and virtue and that is a false equivalence writ large. They want special treatment and special access and if you think they are going to spend a billion dollars out of the goodness of their heart expecting no return on that sizable investment, then you bought every line of bullshit that zany little dog and pony show with their political sock puppets was designed to sell you. Just like Mika.

    Then again, you seem to fall for the same bullshit over and over from the big “L” libertarian/Objectivst camp about how they are about “freedom”. Maybe that is because you don’t truly understand the nature of freedom as well as you think you do. Maybe that is because Barnum was talking about you. Maybe it is some psychological flaw that doesn’t allow you to see that greed isn’t good and selfishness isn’t a virtue. But what there is no maybe about is the fallacious nature of your above logic, B. False premises are a sure fire way to reach false conclusions. You just did the logic and argumentation equivalent of stepping on a rake only to have the handle smack you in the head.

    Congratulations.

    • bigfatmike says:

      ” The fundamental holding of Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) – that money is free speech – is built on a web of fallacious tortured logic just like the odious Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) that followed. But every single bad decision regarding lobbying and campaign finance made since 1976 relates either squarely or tangentially on the shoulders of Buckley. ”

      If anyone is listening, I would be very interested in seeing an article on Buckley, Citizens and any other relevant cases for non lawyers.

  23. Elaine M. says:

    Bron,

    Who said they thought it was okay for any multi-millionaire/billionaire–including George Soros–to use money to influence elections in this country?

    You need to read more about the so-called “free market” Kochs.

  24. Actually, throw in the fallacy of hasty generalization there too, B.

    A tri-fecta.

    Outstanding.

  25. Bob Kauten says:

    So, Gene,
    Just to summarize, clarify, and to remove any ambiguity:
    You’re saying that bron’s social/economic arguments are full of shit?
    Just trying to follow along, here.
    Thanks!

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