Today: 21.09.2018
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20.09.2018

The NY Times’ absurd Koch brothers conspiracy.

The half-awake citizen may be unaware just how dexterously the arms of the Kochtopus have reached into every precinct of American life. Not one mile from my home stands a particularly egregious example: the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, home to the New York City Ballet. Koch put up $100 million toward renovating...
Time: 22:06     Date: 22.06.2018
Last US News - Opinion: The NY Times’ absurd Koch brothers conspiracy. NY Post 24 - US News

Look deeper. Just a couple of miles east of the Koch Theater there’s an actual Koch hospital: the New York–Presbyterian David H. Koch Center, a 740,000-square-foot ambulatory-care center that opened its doors this year with the aid of another $100 million Koch gift. Charity? No. Bonanza!

In 2014, David and Charles Koch gave $25 million to the United Negro College Fund. Don’t see the connection? Educated black people read more. The Kochs own Flint Group, one of the world’s largest suppliers of printing ink.

The latest dastardly Koch scheme was exposed on Monday, and for this we must thank Hiroko Tabuchi, a climate-change reporter for The New York Times. In classic 80-foot-blackboard fashion, Tabuchi laid out the devious conspiracy for us.

Using a front group called Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which deployed a sneaky election-rigging tactic known as “talking to people,” the Kochs destroyed a proposal for a light-rail system in Nashville, thus keeping commuters in their gas-guzzling cars and hastening the end of the world via global warming to protect the Kochs’ interests in the barbaric, malevolent seat-belt industry. Actual sentence from the piece: “One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs’ conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seat belts, tires and other automotive parts.”

So how much of their 11-figure net worth did the Kochs’ AFP pump into Nashville in their fell scheme to protect their precious seat-belt industry? Less than $10,000. Apparently that largely went for a mailer sent out a week before the election. For context, the proponents of the rail plan spent $2.9 million. All opponents combined spent $1.2 million. The Kochs say they don’t control AFP activities in individual states in the first place. Anyway, they could find $2.9 million in the change cup of one of their Kochmobiles. For a couple of guys who were determined to destroy mass transit in Nashville, they didn’t seem to be trying very hard.

Here’s a non-fact for which the Times did find room, albeit using enough weasel words to avoid an outright lie: “Supporters of transit investments point to research that shows that they reduce traffic.” Yes, well, supporters of idiocy point to research that shows vaccinating kids is a bad idea, but they’re still wrong.

There’s little reason to suppose that light-rail systems reduce traffic congestion at all, much less reduce it enough to be worth what would have been $9 billion in tax hikes. The only proven method for cutting back on traffic is congestion pricing, according to WonkBlog. It’s not even obvious that light rail much reduces greenhouse-gas emissions in low-density cities such as Nashville.

Given that Nashville voters defeated the light-rail proposal by 64 to 36 percent, it appears that the Koch brothers’ longstanding opposition to gigantic tax-and-spend projects of dubious worth was more consonant with the mood of the voters than was the Times’ philosophy of urging voters to gamble any amount of money on anything that could conceivably have the slightest beneficial impact on global warming.

Opinion

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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