Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thanks, liberal media!

You have to wonder why the Koch brothers would consider spending actual money to buy a newspaper chain when the front page of the local daily is just a phone call away:

The chief lawyer for Koch Industries said Friday that government targeting of conservative political groups is nothing new to the Wichita-based company.

Chief legal counsel Mark Holden said the White House, as early as August 2010, was deliberately trying to politically intimidate Koch Industries.

OMG! Details, please:

Holden said that although he had no direct evidence that the White House had any involvement in targeting Koch for IRS tax scrutiny,* he pointed to what he described as a “disturbing” comment about taxes and Koch Industries made by one of President Obama’s political advisers, Austan Goolsbee, at a White House briefing in August 2010.

Hmm. Was this the same comment he was "deeply concerned" about in October 2010? And that drew forth an op-ed blast against "Chicago-style tactics" the same month?

... Holden has publicly criticized the Goolsbee comments before.

“Some of what I do here reminds me sometimes of the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’ where I have to do the same things over and over,” Holden joked.

HAHAHAHAHA! What a kidder, that Holden!

But Holden said he isn’t joking in bringing up the Goolsbee situation again. He said that when he looks at what Goolsbee said in 2010 and puts it alongside what President Obama was saying about the Kochs in the same month, and puts that alongside the fact that the IRS recently admitted it targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, he sees, at minimum, a “disturbing” pattern of government intimidation.

Read more here:
He is, though, doing the same thing over and over. Here he is in the frontpage exclusive in which Charles Koch "authorized employees to reveal the contents of hundreds of e-mails that the Kochs and employees have received in the last year, some of them containing death threats":

Austan Goolsbee, one of Obama’s senior economic advisers, in a 2010 speech implied that Koch Industries doesn’t pay corporate income taxes, Holden said. This was not only false, Holden said, but raised questions in the minds of some Republican members of Congress about whether a government official was dealing improperly with tax information that by law is supposed to be confidential. There is a federal investigation, Holden said.

And in the October 2012 centerpiece** called "The Kochs' Quest to Save America":

The brothers say they are taking risks by speaking out. Mark Holden, Koch Industries’ senior vice president and general counsel, said there has been a progression of attacks and lies about the company since Obama’s election, including:

Summer 2010: Austan Goolsbee, then Obama’s chief economic adviser, commented on Koch Industries’ tax status during a briefing with reporters in Washington, accusing the company of not paying taxes.

Under federal law, it’s a crime to improperly access or disclose confidential tax information, according to Holden, who suspects the administration was trying to intimidate them because of their political views.

Despite having "no direct evidence" of any connection to the current yelling and screaming, in other words, he gets a chunk of 1A space for the Kochs simply by playing Groundhog Day with his favorite bit of 2010-vintage Chicago-style thuggery. In the face of which, as the "Save America" piece wistfully notes, the brothers are hanging tough:

 ... throughout the history of the world there have been small groups of people who have changed society, Fink said.

They aren’t backing down.

Why buy a cow when the milk is free?

* Yes, the subordinate clause is misplaced. The War on Editing damages puff pieces and real news alike.

** You'll want to enjoy the whole thing yourself, but here's a taste:

WICHITA, Kansas — In January 2009, just days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Charles and David Koch met in their company headquarters in Wichita with their longtime political strategist, Rich Fink.

The country was headed toward bankruptcy, they agreed. Fink told them bluntly that Obama’s administration represented the worst of what Charles and David fear most: a bloated, regulation-heavy, free-spending government that could plunge the country into another deep recession. That day, Fink advised two of the richest men in the nation that it would be the fight of their lives to stop the government spending spree and to change the course of the country, starting with the 2012 election.

“If we are going to do this, we should do it right or not at all,” Fink, 61, recalled telling the brothers. “But if we don’t do it right or if we don’t do it at all, we will be insignificant and we will just waste a lot of time and I would rather play golf. “And if we do it right, then it is going to get very, very ugly.”


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