Saturday, March 8, 2014

Propaganda lesson

From Check it out.
Master Charles C.W. (Constant Wanker) Cooke (Oxon.) informs us that Harry Reid treats the philanthopists Charles and David Koch exactly the way Stalin treated Leon Trotsky—or at least the way Big Brother and the Ministry of Truth treated Emmanuel Goldstein, with [jump]
a daily Two Minutes' Hate broadcast from which the entire US population learns that the reason we are unhappy, in spite of Helmsman Reid's infinite wisdom and total control over our lives, is those evil Koch brothers.

I'm not going to break down the merits of the Reid-Stalin analogy, or clamber through the mangrove swamp of Master Cooke's prose*. I just want to call attention to a particularly annoying lie Cooke tells and the means by which he tells it when he mentions, toward the end of the post,
Open Secrets, the non-partisan contribution tracker that rather inconveniently revealed last month that the Koch Brothers barely scrape into the list of the top sixty all-time political donors and, too, that of the 58 organizations that are ahead of them, 48 were described as being politically between “solidly Democrat” and “sitting on the fence”; that six of the top ten were unions; and that Democrats benefited disproportionately from all but two of the most prolific 20 contributors.
Image via Down with Tyranny.
The list he's talking about is that of Top All-Time Donors 1989-2014 (he doesn't link to it, in an omission he would probably call "telling" if it was somebody else's lie), and it is somewhat limited, excluding donations to SuperPacs and dark money groups:
For example, this list does not include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife Miriam donated nearly $93 million in 2012 alone to conservative super PACs — enough to put him at No. 2 on this list. Similarly, the list excludes former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated more than $19 million in the past two years, largely to groups that support gun control. Neither Adelson nor Bloomberg — or the organizations they report as their employers — qualifies as a "heavy hitter" under our current definition. It's also important to note that we aren't including donations to politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers, or the liberal group Patriot Majority — because these groups hide their donors.
Americans for Prosperity doesn't have to disclose its donors because it's a "social welfare organization" classified as 501(c)(4), so we don't know how much money the Koch brothers put in, although it's pretty clearly most of the organization's budget. However, estimates are available:
Americans for Prosperity disclosed just under $40 million in outside spending during the 2012 election... however, their total is likely much higher, as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Americans for Prosperity does not have to report certain forms of spending. On August 13th, Mother Jones reported that Americans for Prosperity spent an estimated $45 million on ads to influence the 2012 presidential election, exceeding their disclosed spending total for the 2012 year. They have also spent heavily to influence 2012 senate races, though the amount they have spent is more difficult to estimate. The Center for Media and Democracy estimates that Americans for Prosperity spent at least $66 million in 2011 and 2012 to influence the 2012 election.
That, even at the low end of what they disclosed, puts them up in the same league with Bob Perry and Sheldon Adelson, only much more evil even than these because it's all concealed (thanks, Supreme Court!). In citing that chart that puts them down at number 59 without clarifying what the chart is actually about, Cookie is being a lot more dishonest than you'd think he would really dare to be.

Incidentally, if there's a real IRS scandal this is it: why hasn't the IRS investigated Americans for Prosperity? If they're a social welfare organization I'm the emperor of India.
Image by Donkey Hotey via Eclectablog.
*Except I just have to mention that he describes the name "Koch" as
the tired, flat clarion call that serves as the unmelodious overture to an increasingly populous parade of folly and of ambition
since the Renaissance instrument known as the clarion was particularly noted for its high, piercing tone, parades don't have overtures, tired, flat, and unmelodious or otherwise,  and an overture like that would hardly attract a continually growing crowd.
Clarion: The Fifth Trumpet
From the Dyson Perrins Apocalypse
London?, England, 1260s
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ludwig. III I (83.MC.72)(Image via MetMuseum)

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