Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, March 6th, 2012.

Kochs vs. Cato


Something else that’s been going on while we’ve been making merry over Rushbo (who is down nine advertisers now) — the Koch Brothers have gone to court to gain control of Cato Institute. The Kochs have lavished big bucks on Cato over the years, and now they want to collect. Jane Mayer writes,

Clearly, many libertarians who have long been funded by the Kochs genuinely believe that their cause is about promoting individual liberty and peace by reducing the role of the government—in other words, lofty, laudable goals, not just some hackish partisan political agenda. Suddenly, however, they are confronted with the news that the Koch brothers, who control half the seats on Cato’s board, have, as the Cato Chairman Bob Levy told the Washington Post, been choosing “Koch operatives,” their goal being to align the institute more closely with the Republican Party.

Indeed, several eye-opening insider accounts appeared over the weekend, suggesting that what Charles Koch, the C.E.O. of Koch Industries, essentially wants is to transform Cato into an “ammo” shop, manufacturing whatever ordnance it takes stop President Obama from getting re-elected next November.

Alex Pareene:

The Kochs have sued for the right to buy the shares in Cato held by the widow of co-founder William Niskanen. Their aim is basically to make Cato into another arm of their explicitly partisan messaging machine, along with Americans for Prosperity. To that end, they have already attempted to install some ridiculous Republican Party hacks on Cato’s board of directors — hacks like John “Hind Rocket” Hinderacker, the attorney and “Powerline” blogger with no history of support for “liberty” to speak of. Current Cato peopleAle are upset. Some have preemptively resigned, even. (Well, announced an intention to resign upon the completion of the Koch takeover, anyway.)

Regarding the original Toolie award winner — see Paul Krugman.

Alex Pareene argues that we should care about this development, because in the past Cato has sometimes broken with the Republican Party line on some issues. That may be, but they are also the institution that is still hosting a policy paper on insurance insurance. And Krugman remembers,

Cato is, among other things, a place that had something called the Project on Social Security Privatization, which it renamed the Project on Social Security Choice when it turned out that “privatization” polled badly — and tried to purge its records, to make it look as if they had never used the word privatization.

I say let ’em take over Cato, and Reason magazine as well, and any other “libertarian” institution they’ve been keeping afloat with their money all these years. Go ahead and strip away the veneer of “independence” that was a sham, anyway. Libertarianism has been little but a mouthpiece for the plutocracy for years. It’s time to flush them out in the open and reveal them to be the tools that they are.

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Meanwhile, the Republicans Are Still Looking for a Candidate

Frothy, Mittens, n00t, Republican Party

We’ve been having so much fun I’ve been forgetting about the presidential primaries. So today is Super Tuesday. Nate Silver has Mittens winning Massachusetts and Virginia for sure and probably Ohio also, with Frothy a close second. Newt will pick up Georgia, and Frothy likely will take Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Mittens should end up with at least half of the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination.

Meanwhile, a few Republicans are beginning to suspect that the GOP brand is perhaps being compromised by extremism (ya think?) and have suggested that a good bottoming out, à la Barry Goldwater in 1964, might not be a bad thing. But they don’t think it will happen this year, because if Mittens is the nominee and loses, the whackjobs will see it as proof that they should have found a certifiable screaming lunatic real conservative to run.

Via Annie Laurie, Doghouse Riley:

THE 2012 Republican Presidential primaries will be remembered, if at all, for having taught us any number of things we already knew.

Rush Limbaugh is a human cloud of flatulence. Rick Santorum is a 10th century religious lunatic. Newt Gingrich is to serious politics what Newt Gingrich is to academic history.

Nobody likes Mitt Romney.

Of course the preeminent truth is that the whole goddam party is insane, and that the Press, having ignored the over-abundance of evidence of this for a generation, now finds itself incapable of dealing with this. Aside from the customary writing of scripts designed to encompass all such facts as aren’t truly inconvenient. Those, as always, get ignored.

The thing is, everyone on the planet whose head is screwed on all the way can see plainly that the GOP has driven itself into a ditch in the clown car. The only ones who can’t see it are most Republicans, and that’s because they are demented. So I don’t see them learning any lessons, no matter watch.

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