Oligarchs are coming out of the woodwork, with billionaires setting off fireworks just in time for Fourth of July.
Oligarch Willis Johnson
First. Tennessee billionaire, Willis Johnson, gifted South Dakota governor, Kristi Noem, with one million dollars — to fund her state to send 50 National Guard troops to Texas, in order to help guard the U.S./Mexico border.
There have been no criminal wrongdoings. Everything has long been properly rigged, so this private-public, multi-state maneuver is legal. It’s just that…
Experts have voiced concern over a possible precedent being set where wealthy donors are essentially given command of the U.S. military for their political motivations.— Rebecca Klapper, Newsweek
South Dakota is slick. In 2017, state lawmakers managed to overturn a new anti-corruption law, which voters had initiated via election ballot, by declaring a state of emergency.
Americans for Prosperity Foundation
Second. The Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Foundation just won a case they brought before the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision made the state of California strike down a law that required nonprofit organizations (like AFP) to reveal the names of large donors. The National Review explains the case, from the conservative point of view. (Though you may think it sounds like gobbledygook, objectivity demands that we hear the other side’s view.)
The AFP Foundation is funded by the famous behind-the-scenes Koch Brothers, and their billionaire cronies. David Koch died in 2019. The lone Charles Koch continues to forge on, with only hard, cold financial support from ultra-wealthy peers. Without David, his confidence took a hit. Last year, Charles admitted their relentless, decades-long promotion of Republican partisanship may have been a mistake.
Nevertheless, AFP won this new case against California. Charles is probably feeling more steady. And Vox sums it up for everyday Americans:
The decision is, simply put, a disaster for anyone hoping to know how wealthy donors influence American politics.— Ian Millhiser, Vox
A Happy Mask-Free Fourth of July
Oligarchs: 2, Democracy: 0.
Wait, let’s make that… Oligarchs: 3, Democracy: 0.
We need to recognize the win of wealthy oligarchs in the pharmaceutical industry. Thanks to them, Americans can celebrate independence mask-free this year. Big Pharma oligarchs deserve every dollar of profit from the Covid Virus vaccination (and projected boosters), because they get all the credit.
That is, the U.S. Government allows Big Pharma to take all the credit. For instance, according to Forbes…
It is not really “Moderna’s vaccine.” It would be more appropriately called the “People’s vaccine,” as Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program, has noted. It’s “the NIH’s vaccine. It is not merely Moderna’s vaccine. Federal scientists helped invent it and taxpayers are funding its development. We all have played a role. It should belong to humanity.”— Judy Stone, Forbes
Happy Fourth of July! Whether regular Americans get any credit, or not. Whether our labor is fairly remunerated, we get to vote, receive a traffic ticket without a salad of police brutality — or not. This weekend we celebrate our freedom from royal rulers, and give a nod to Big Money oligarchs — for being the winning team.