These guys aren’t “job creators” – they are hucksters...

Oil oligarchs Charles and David Koch are now worth $50 billion - more than five times what it was ten years ago – making their combined wealth second only to Bill Gates. And it looks like they made a large chunk of their money screwing the rest of us over at the gas pump. According to the Center for American Progress - for the last several years – the Kochs have engaged in rampant oil speculation – meaning they place bets that the price of oil will go up – and when it does go up – they make a ton of money – while the rest of us have to deal with paying more at the pump to keep our cars running.

According to Goldman Sachs – thanks to banksters and the Kochs manipulating oil prices – each barrel of oil is roughly $27 more expensive because of speculation. Between 2004 and 2008, when the price of oil surged from around 30 bucks a barrel to well over 100 bucks a barrel – the Kochs also saw their fortunes surge – from $5 billion to well over $35 billion.

And back in 2009 – ThinkProgress reports that the Kochs admitted they are one of the top 5 oil speculators in the world. These guys aren’t “job creators” – they are apparently among the hucksters who are running up the price of gas and ruining our economy.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 11 years 26 weeks ago

So quite simply it seems to me that an economy acts like hydraulics. The poor is a large piston and the rich are in a narrow funnel. A small amount of pressure on the large piston raises the fluid (finances) in the narrow funnel immensely. The government is sort of the fluid in this case, if it taxes the wealthy, money flows back into the large chamber, if the government removes regulations the fluid fills the small chamber rapidly.

We have a hydraulic economy, and like a hydraulic vise can squeeze an object with immense pressure, the governments policies are squeezing the majority of the American people. And like a hydraulic mechanism, it takes only a small amount of fluid movement to get extreme results.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 26 weeks ago

I was watching Ahmadinajad on CNN and I have to agree with most everything he said...then the arrogant cowards, like so many cockroaches scurrying about, from the US walked out on him...truth was too much to bare for them, I guess. Then shortly after that, CNN started to flash on the screen their own "detractions" against Ahmadinajad while he spoke...and then CNN finally cut in and cut him out of the broadcast with some ridiculous hypocritical smirking news anchor.

Ahmadinajad is more truthful than Obama ever was. He called a criminal fascist country and their criminal murderous and torturous exploits for what they were and are. We are all victims of the exploiting and murderous ruling elite's not just the poor and downtrodden victims of our greed in third world countries anymore. We, the people, are being sucked dry by the parasites that have wheedled their way, by hook, crook, or just plain luck, to the top.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 11 years 26 weeks ago

Larry Swearingen is on Death Row in Texas for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Melissa Trotter. The evidence against him was circumstantial - he had been seen talking to her the day she disappeared. The evidence in his favor is scientific and compelling.

Her body was discovered in an area that had been extensively searched for weeks. The forensic examinations, by seven experts, show that she had been dead for less than five days when discovered. Swearingen had been in jail all during that time, having been arrested on outstanding warrants shortly after the victim disappeared. A Federal judge laid back on procedure - his lawyers should have discovered these facts sooner. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals did order a stay of execution in August; a rare occurrence.

A good synopsis at

Once a government body gets the meat hooks into a likely (and usually not very smart) suspect, the show is on. Any evidence to the contrary is resisted with increasing force and propaganda. It has to be frightening to sensible people that a person who is in jail can be convicted of murdering a person who is not in jail, and then murdered by the state for reasons having nothing to do with guilt.

Should politicians be held liable for the deaths of people who are not provably guilty?

Gotta end this death penalty stuff. Governor George Ryan should be pardoned and given a Nobel Peace Prize for stopping executions in Illinois.

dianhow 11 years 26 weeks ago

You are praising Ahmadinajad ? Pathetic and disturbing ! Why not move then and try to speak your mind over there ?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 26 weeks ago

I would file a RICO lawsuit if I had the resources.

Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 11 years 26 weeks ago

It is true that speculation is the major driver of oil costs in this country. And this makes sense, concerning the Kochs and their escalating fortune. Then stop for a moment and think about who these guys are. It isn't just about polluting the environment: they are also polluting the political environment.

The Kochs backed the John Birch Society, which was a precursor to the bigger Tea Party of today. Tea Party addicts read the books by Skousen ("The Naked Communist") and believe them. This is old paranoia from the '50s and '60s and the Cold War Era. This is ultra-far-right shifting that harkens back to the Koch brothers' father who left the Soviet Union after being screwed by Stalin. It's like this old grudge that turned into a right-wing movement.

All totalitarian movements started in a just such a hard-right political shift according to Sheldon S. Wolin, professor emeritus of politics at Princeton and author of 2008's "Democracy, Inc." Are we witnessing such a shift (think: pre-Hitler Germany) in America today? And now it is funded and led by these radical right-wing, ultra-wealthy purveyors of paranoid politics.

Republicanism, going back to one of its founders, Machiavelli, has NEVER been partial to populist movements. Republicanism is always pro-aristocrat and anti-populist. So is the TP really a "populist" movement? It isn't. It is simply millions of people who are being duped out of fear. Or, as one pundit put it: They have the football, but they're running toward the wrong goalpost.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 26 weeks ago

They are not "job creators" they are job degraders and job exporters. They are happy with things as they are; there is no economic crisis for them. They have many reasons to want to continue the recession with policies that caused it.

We don't need them. We'll nationalize industries or, maybe better yet, start cooperatives and worker owned businesses. We don't need them for "work". All we gotta do is work - ourselves.

johnbi's picture
johnbi 11 years 26 weeks ago

HEY LOOSER, what do you think they do with there money eat it?

johnbi's picture
johnbi 11 years 26 weeks ago

Question. which country do you think keeps the world from going into another WORLD WAR?

Dr Joseph Sniddlehoffer's picture
Dr Joseph Snidd... 11 years 26 weeks ago

If you want to really hit these guys where it hurts, authorize a hundred new drilling permits and open Alaska areas now prohibited and get that cross Canada pipeline going. Oil prices will drop like a rock and these guys, just like the Hunts with silver in the 70's? will have their corpulent bodies scrubbed raw. But of course, the Democrats consider oil drilling evil and if that means the Koch's et. al. making billions, it is a small price to pay. Besides that, Democrats ride bikes and the oil price does not impact them. (Last line is sarcasm for those that can not tell.)

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 26 weeks ago

Let's face it, we will never stop the relentless greed of parasites like the Kochs. So with the absence of laws to prevent their sort of economic terrorism, we need a simple corrective measure...... TAX THE LIVING HELL out of their ill-gotten wealth. At least this way the money could be directed back into the hands of its rightful owners...those who drive to work and heat their homes. For example, give it back in the form of rebates or refunds on energy expenses.

This type of price fixing would never be allowed to happen in a socialistic society living under a democratic government. Industries like energy would have some type of government control or ownership. In other words the economy would be under the control of the general public, not the KOCHS!

Call To Account's picture
Call To Account 11 years 26 weeks ago

It's much worse than that they just "place bets" on the price of oil.....
They intentionally set out through the pure force of money, to game the system and rob us all by manipulatively distorting the basic free market price discovery factors of supply and demand--- through massive, unregulated buying and selling of paper oil futures (which also happens to impact the ongoing cost of energy to the world).
It's a pure gambling operation using essentially counterfeit chips, ie. promises to buy or sell at a specific price in the future... whether or not they will actually be able to do so and stay in business (think AIG). It's the dirty little secret of how market insiders in many markets prosper by manipulatively exploiting the process to the detriment of everyone else.
The same kind manipulations in gold and silver markets has produced an increasing disconnect of blatantly finagled futures prices-- from those of the actual physical metal itself. The difference is that in manipulating the price of oil, a resource essential to America's national security and well being, the whole country (and world) is made to suffer solely to further enrich an insatiably voracious few.

PLSzymeczek's picture
PLSzymeczek 11 years 26 weeks ago

Tax them for not creating well-paying jobs in this country.

jstrahan's picture
jstrahan 11 years 26 weeks ago

It's time to draw a line in the sand, starting with the 2012 elections. The real problem is the news media from the press to t.v. and radio is controlled by the right wing, much of which is financed from fats cats like the Koch brothers. The right wing needs to become a bigger player in these markets to inform people of the danger represented by the real enemies of this country such as the Koch brothers. We need more Thom Hartmann's and we need to expand coverage for people like Thom. The worst nightmare for such people is exposure and factual information. Let's start with getting more people to donate to programs such as Free Speech t.v. What I do with everyone I know who preaches the Republican talking points is to give them copies of sections of "Unequal Protection" and it shuts them up.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 26 weeks ago

Ahmadinejad hasn't sent his armies around the world murdering innocent civilians, and installed hundreds of military bases in those countries, in order to steal other peoples resources and impress powers on them as the US has continually done. Ahmadinejad may be no angel but he still speaks the truth about what the US has done and continues to do. Ahmadinejad may be a hypocrite but the US is so much bigger a hypocrite than Ahmadinejad will ever be.

I am an American who is ashamed of the behavior of our leaders and our military and the blood thirsty corporations and banks that are behind it all. I have no intention of moving to Iran or anywhere else. As long as we can still speak out (freedom of speech)...and that is fast becoming taboo and perhaps even illegal...we need to tell it like it is...speak truth to power.

We are not far behind Iran and China or even Uzbekistan in suppression of our "freedoms" of being able to speak out and to object to what our leaders have done in our name. Just because I agreed with most everything Ahmadinejad said about the US does not mean that I believe he is much better and is worse only because he is a step ahead of those criminals in the US who are working for the same kind of oppressions. He does...because he can...and our ruling elite are working on it. With Homeland Security, and everything else that happened since 911, that has worked to destroy our freedoms...our financial and health well being...the real evildoers are doing everything they can to make us xenophobic and afraid of the boogieman. They strive to turn our attention away from their own evildoing and concentrate on false flags and the specter of "terrorism". It used to be "communism" till that could no longer play. Ray Gun even hinted that we might have to "fear" some extraterrestrial biological entities that might invade the earth. Boo!!!! Are you scared? Of Ahmadinejad? or of the evil banksters and Wall Street scumbags and the other corporate leeches that are sucking our economy dry?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 26 weeks ago

And if you all think that Obama is finally starting to turn around and fight for us against Wall Street and the banksters you are being fooled yet again by Obama's slick tongue lies. It is just last minute political blather in a last ditch effort to win some of his original (jilted) supporters back to his side. Jobs bill? Increasing taxes on the rich? Yeah, right! ha ha lol...

The Republicans would rather have a Republican President and majority in congress but their puppetmasters, the ruling elite, know that even if they don't get a Republican...they still have..maybe something even better...a Republican who says he's a Democrat and makes a few speeches pretending to tax the rich while ending up stabbing us all in the backs as he has proven to have done already.

Obama was the trojan horse that threw us all off guard and let everything the Republicans wanted slide by without a mass uprising. Had the Republican won instead of Obama...they would have had a lot of opposition (at least the Democrats would not have felt any obligation to support a real Republican President as they did in supporting the fake Democrat President) and maybe even riots in the streets when they tried to bail out the banksters and Wall Street.

National Strike_New Constitution USA's picture
National Strike... 11 years 26 weeks ago

Your "hydraulic comparison" is quite good, but for those who are not mechanically inclined, let me put it this way: There are only 540 elected folks in D.C. who (by proxy of the billionaires) are putting the squeeze on 308,000,000 Americans. If the hydraulic fluid runs out (i.e. cash stops flowing into government/corporations), the squeeze stops.

The only way those in power will adhere to the will of the people is through a National Strike. Until the revenue streams dry up for repressive government institutions (state government/US federal government) or their corporate masters, they have no incentive to listen to the will of the people. This National Strike should have a list of demands that which can only be satisfied with a completely new constitution.

Can you think of ways to effectively pull off a National Strike?

Can you think of any principles you'd like to put into a new constitution?


arky12's picture
arky12 11 years 26 weeks ago

I definitely agree that they are not "job creators". the true job creators are a well educated and paid work force through their buying power. Through the destruction of jobs and the so called "creation" of low wage jobs that barely provide for the basic necessities of life, they have nothing left for discretionary spending. We the people are the "producers" of the goods that the "job creators" buy, thus creating more jobs and so on.

arky12's picture
arky12 11 years 26 weeks ago

I personally would like to tax these speculators out of existence. I don't recall the name of the tax that was abolished in the 60's where they taxed the transactions. A transaction tax? Yes, most definitely we need that again in this country. Not only for the much needed revenue it would produce but also to help greatly drive down the price of oil which in turn could lower the costs of many goods produced in this country. Their speculations not only increase costs at the pump, but with almost everything we buy, due to higher production and shipping costs. It should be highly illegal for anyone not directly affected by a commodity to speculate on it simply for their own profit.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 11 years 26 weeks ago

Doesn't this sound illegal to anyone? Aren't athletes criminalized for betting against their team--manipulating scores or outcomes? Wouldn't being in the business exclude the Kochs from "tampering" with prices? What is REALLY wrong with this picture?

Bahhb's picture
Bahhb 11 years 26 weeks ago

I realize this is probably not the correct place to post this,but I do not see an appropriate place to do so.
Anyway I am writing to point out something that has been bothering me in regard to the radio show.
Quite often when you have thought or callers speaking they are interrupted mid sentance and often lose their train of thought.I realize sometime it is necessary to avoid dead air but many times it is not.sometimes this is done when the host disagrees with the guest but it is also true when he agrees.I find it very frustrating to listen to as i want to hear what people have to say.I fight this daily in my own life as i do verbal battle with the Republicans i work with.people who are too busy interrupting to hear anything I have said.
I typically do not call people out in public but due to the fact that there is apparently no other way for me to communicate my thoughts I have done so here.
I do appreciate the work you do and do agree with most of your politics.Keep up the good work,but please try to be aware of what I have said here.


NewJGal's picture
NewJGal 11 years 26 weeks ago

In my battles with right wing nuts, I have been inspired by Elizabeth Warren to use arguments like

"You keep missing the whole point. I am not in the position to want or ensure that Hersey pays equal to or less than it's fair share of tax. Maybe the tax they paid in 2010 includes what they owed from prior years? We have no idea and it doesn't matter. The tax structure that Bush set up pushed all the tax onto the middle and working classes for the sake of the job creators. Then the job creators left town while we are stilling holding the mortgage. It's like a skip. All corporations are skips. And when they skip on America, I pay and I can't afford un-American companies any more. The budget isn't big enough and I have to make cuts.

I do get a big kick out of this tho. (I am a free-lance writer) Ah ha! That's why this is play."

NewJGal's picture
NewJGal 11 years 26 weeks ago

Yes! Back taxes for every job lost in America!

Bring back jobs, we lower the tax. Corporations have left the working and middle classes with the mortgage. The infrastructure was created to get their products out to market, first in America, then around the globe. They up and dumped us for some cheap labor in another country and left us with all the bills! What bums.

NewJGal's picture
NewJGal 11 years 26 weeks ago

Hershey has hired a lobbyist about the "foreign exchange student" scandal at the chocolate packing plant 400 students were paid subprime wages to pack chocolates. The students organized and protested. I was objecting to paying for the lobbyist.They said I didn't pay. I do, cause corporations pay no taxes, so I have to pick up the slack and I'm tired of it. So this guy gets some numbers and it looked liked Hershey paid about 37% in taxes in 2010. Big deal I argue that what you want me to pay for a good tax accountant too now?

It really was hysterical. But now, I'm feeling it's real too.

I am all for free enterprise as are most Americans, but the taxes that used to spread prosperity to all Americans that contributed either directly or indirectly when innovation was happening in all the aspects of our lives, better foods, better transportation, better clothing, better technologies ... infrastructures were needed to get these products to not only the American people, but outside our country to other countries. That was a huge investment and now that we have, railways, ships and planes moving all this product all over the world, the corporations feel no need to contribute any more for maintenance. Thank you very much people, we're good now, we're moving on to reduce our costs.

First they went to other states to lower their costs and now they have moved right out of the country.

humph !

NewJGal's picture
NewJGal 11 years 26 weeks ago

The rich made their wealth on the backs of all Americans. Why Donald Trump himself on Fox this morning said that he was in Australian on the weekend and everything was neat, tidy, clean. Nothing was falling apart and he comes back to broken down America.

Along the same lines as Elizabeth Warren,

Australia has a 30% flat tax on corporations. That's why it's so nice there. The people that built the infrastructure, PAY to maintain it. They don't flee the country with their millions, leaving all the maintenance on the middle class.

Not sure it's all true, just a cursory glance at Australian taxes, but The Donald made me look.

az_mark's picture
az_mark 11 years 25 weeks ago

I would have to agree with your observations of todays Republican party. What I have also noted is that Todays Republicans are making the same disasterous desicions made by countries in the past. Chile and privatization, Germany and its embrace of authoritarian government. It will take an inormous effort by the sane in this country to avert a complete meltdown of our Democracy.

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