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.”
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.”
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!
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)