Shoo, Blimp. I’ve Got a Sammy

Well, it turns out that sun and fun with the Koch brothers in Rancho Mirage more closely resembled life in Baghdad’s Green Zone, but thank heaven, the plutocrats were ready. The Kochs, you see, have an awful lot of money, more than $40 billion between them, and consider that amount (with a lot left over for themselves) sufficient to buy what remaining parts of the government they don’t already own.  Understandably, most Americans think these assets might be worth a touch more, and some of them are even so impudent as to try to crash their little party to tell them so.  As you’d expect, they reacted in the manner of the Red Queen, hiring legions of thuggish “security services,” probably on loan from Blackwater or Halliburton, who essentially occupied the area with support, but scant direction, from local police.  Security was so ridiculously tight, and hostility to media so rampant, that they even bounced a guy from Politico.  Really.  (Nonetheless that revered publication posted a nice story anyway; a reluctant h/t…)

Unwittingly or not the Politico story that resulted was interesting…  Who knew that the Koch brothers hate liberals with a fresh vengeance, now that the subversive hippies found out who bought the 2010 elections, when such a thing is none of their damned business?   Hell, these guys have spent decades hiring expensive lawyers to sue environmentalists, labor groups, and communities into submission, and used to be satisfied with that, when all the kings think tanks couldn’t move the peasants’ opinion fast enough, but things have clearly changed since Citizens (!) United.  Remember, the last time these two heard the word “no” was perhaps from a girlfriend in high school, and it shows.  Thus emboldened (and enriched by the Bush years), a few unaccustomed peeps of public criticism  sent them into overdrive; they went ahead and brought in their own military to essentially occupy the city of their choosing, just like the other third world plutocrats with whom they’ve grown so chummy.

Me, I’ve decided that if you want to avoid living under a kleptocratic dictatorship and/or military occupation, stay away from places with date palms and/or camels.  This decision is especially difficult for a cocktailhag like myself, but I think it’s worth it.  Seriously though, the “optics” of holding a confab of larcenous political and financial elites to explicitly plot how best to exploit the recent, self-aggrandizing Supreme Court decision they flagrantly bought themselves, and then do so under quasi-military “security” are more than usually astonishing.  It’s painfully obvious that they just don’t give a damn anymore, and I find that unsettling.  They know, now, that while some hippies can hire a blimp or so, together they can “hire” the US military, and best of all, without paying, and do so repeatedly.  They’ve already found the guy who leaked the invitation, and are presumably rendering him someplace where the broomstick will fit his butt. With that kind of private sector efficiency, why not just let the Kochs take over “security” here, too?  Put Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani in charge, unless they’re too liberal by now, thanks to the cuckoos the Kochs have lovingly groomed since then.

This isn’t the first time, and it’s unlikely to be the last, that shadowy, private security firms will sweep in to tame uppity Americans, but at least in this case it was nonviolent and a bit comical in its own way.  Best of all, it indicates that even such would-be potentates as the Kochs have found that after the first billion, money can only buy you the opposite of love.  Is it worth it?

They could, if they wanted, emulate normal Americans, who follow laws, pay taxes, and earn something closer to their worth, relieving themselves of the bother and expense of having their own military.   But they’ve chosen a different path, and expect the rest of us to pay for it, as soon as they figure out how, down in Rancho Mirage.  If I were them, I’d want my privacy, too.  Fortunately, I can’t afford it, so I’ll never end up like the Kochs.

Lucky me.


  1. nswfm says:

    This is when the t-shirt that says “Fuck you, you fucking fucks” would have been a good fit for the occasion. CA told them to get lost in November’s election. Stay out you Kochs. I have no problem telling them No to their faces. While wearing said T-shirt.

  2. Funny Diva says:

    Thanks for the excellent installment of Snark, O Cocktailhag!

    I hear there’s a new TV show about Portland. I think they should base at least one character on you!

    • cocktailhag says:

      Sadly, I don’t think I’d fit…. I smoke cigarettes (ok, American Spirits, but still…), have a closet full of furs, and have a lot of disdain for the righteous bicyclists they always have on. I only sporadically go to the Farmer’s Market, and the damn thing is right downstairs.

      • Funny Diva says:

        Guess you’re right. You’d be too unconventional for a love-letter to Portlandia–the City that never left the ’90s.
        I still say you’d be fabu, dahlink.

  3. retzilian says:

    I’m seriously considering getting a cigarette machine and rolling my own with tobacco. It’s 90% cheaper. If I’m going to keep smoking, I’d like to spend a lot less money.

    I’ve never owned a fur. I’d like one right now, it’s ridiculously cold here.

    Re the Koch’s, clearly they have lost it. This is so bizarre. I’m glad Jane Mayer is somewhat untouchable.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Never owned a fur? I think we need to have a telethon or something. Yeah, those Kocks are kooks, and getting worse all the time, but at least now they’re providing a bit of entertainment value

  4. mikeinportc says:

    retz, CH, you not only can roll your own, you can grow it too. It’s relatively easy. I’ve grown an ornamental variety before ( ‘Shiraz’) , with no trouble . ( CNY used to be a big tobacco growing area , so cool climate isn’t a problem. ) I gave the leaves to a neighbor, at the end of the season. He found it satisfactory. Not sure how he cured it. Probably hung it in a dark area of the barn.

    Here’s a source of seed , & rolling papers. I’ve dealt with them for 20+ years. Very reliable, and the two times there was a mistake, they corrected it that day , and sent something extra with the correct items.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Hmmm. I guess I could churn my own butter, too, but I’m also too lazy for that.

      • dirigo says:

        For a long time I’ve made my own golf balls out of bird feathers, like in the old days.

        I give up some distance of course, but there’s the inexplicable satisfaction of taking a slam at something I created on my own.

        Except for an occasional strange look from a fellow golfer, I take care of business and score pretty well.

  5. mikeinportc says:

    :) ))))))
    It’s not that difficult . Just add water . ( On a periodic basis, not just once , unless the rain hits right ;) ) I didn’t even fertilize it , although you might have to, if in a container . The flowers are attractive , and somewhat fragrant. Just wanted to puch a hole in that box has you addicts beholden to the tobacco companies . ( I won’t say it’s good for you, but it’s less damaging .)

    “……but there’s the inexplicable satisfaction of taking a slam at something I created on my own.”

    Yep. Thought it might be the same for lighting up.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I was kidding, of course, but my 4 x 9 balcony seems unsuited to agriculture. I’ve seen tobacco plants, and they are attractive…. Maybe it’s something I could put into my next garden.

  6. mikeinportc says:

    “beholden to the tobacco companies”

    ps …& the state.