Are Your Brawny Paper Towels Funding Tea Party Madrassas?

They say we’re a consumer driven society. We’re a nation of consumers. We’re being sold things every time we turn on the TV, pick up a magazine, or listen to the radio. They sell us desire. They sell us need. They sell us love.


They also sell us hate. And some of us are more prone to buying it than others.

“The most radical President ever to occupy the Oval Office.”


That’s the sound of an anti-government movement of hate funded by billionaires being sold to “average Americans.” Sort of a Tea Party madrassa, if you will.

The Tea Party’s funders are serving up their manufactured narratives and the public is eating it up. “The people are concerned about the insensitive of building a mosque on hallowed ground” is one such false narrative. And how about “The people are very anti-government, very mistrustful of government right now.”

Gee, we were mistrustful after a Republican lied us into a war, yes…and stole our freedoms in the name of freedom…yes….but we were not mistrustful when Obama took office and began keeping his many promises…no, we weren’t mistrustful until this manufactured narrative sank in nice and deep, permeating the fabric of our national dialogue until even liberals were suggesting that the government sucks, both sides do it, and who cares.


These manufactured narratives serve a certain elite segment of the population. A segment that has been funding the Tea Parties; the radial anti-government movements multiplying around the country, taking firm root in places like Texas and Alaska, where they put on a big show of shunning big government and yet can’t live without it.

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker uncovered the billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama and in her stunning expose, she reveals that the Koch brothers are behind the Tea Party. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products.

Mayer reports:

“The anti-government fervor infusing the 2010 elections represents a political triumph for the Kochs. By giving money to “educate,” fund, and organize Tea Party protesters, they have helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement. Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and a historian, who once worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based think tank that the Kochs fund, said, “The problem with the whole libertarian movement is that it’s been all chiefs and no Indians. There haven’t been any actual people, like voters, who give a crap about it. So the problem for the Kochs has been trying to create a movement.” With the emergence of the Tea Party, he said, “everyone suddenly sees that for the first time there are Indians out there—people who can provide real ideological power.” The Kochs, he said, are “trying to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies.”

And the Koch brothers know better than to get dirty themselves. A former Koch adviser said, “They’re smart. This right-wing, redneck stuff works for them. They see this as a way to get things done without getting dirty themselves.”

Yes, indeedy. There’s the admission that your average Tea Partier will never quite grasp. Oh, and in what can only be a rather predictable denouement, the Koch brothers owe part of their fortune to Joseph Stalin. So those Tea Partiers holding up signs calling Obama Hitler? Yeah. Tools of the highest order. These are the people who will claim they didn’t know any better if anyone gets seriously hurt due to their endless hate speech. This is almost as disturbing as finding out that a Saudi owns majority stock in Fox News, who’s busy selling these same people the notion that to be a Muslim is bad and by the way, your President is a Muslim.

It would be sad if they hadn’t been spitting on this country for the past year and half.

Fred Koch was one of the original members of the John Birch society, so here’s where we start our connection to Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party racism in general.

The Koch brothers’ fortune goes into “educating” Tea Partiers, sort of like the Taliban’s madrassas. Is it any wonder they are racists? It is any wonder they see “Commie Marxist libertards” lurking in every non-neo-conservative? Is it any wonder these folks are NUTS? Sadly, the Tea Party movement and the modern day Republican Party are endangering the lives of our soldiers on our own soil, by their efforts to stir up anti-Muslim feelings over Park51. This is, of course, a common GOP get out the vote tactic, but it is being taken to dangerous lows now.

A clever person would think twice before dedicating their life to such paranoid and racist fears. But, no one ever accused a Tea Partier of being clever.

By framing it their accusations in fear and racism regarding Muslims and our President the Right jacks up the stakes that no real debate ever takes place. And furthermore, doing so consistently begins to automatically delegitimize their movement.

I fear for my country. I fear for our troops, whose lives are dependent upon Muslims in Afghanistan. I fear that a political party so bereft of morality is willing to do anything to regain power, including destroying the very foundation of this country. But most of all, I fear that Americans will do nothing to stop them.

Because we did nothing when they lied to us about WMD. We did nothing as Bush invaded a sovereign nation. We did nothing when Sarah Palin tossed around her “pallin’ around with terrorists” jihad.

Exactly when will we do something? When will it be enough?

28 Replies to “Are Your Brawny Paper Towels Funding Tea Party Madrassas?”

  1. incredible post Sarah. What do the words grass roots mean to us today after the revelation that the tea party just isn’t. I think we all need to understand that any political party, or political movement is totally controlled by big money. there is never such a thing as a little guy on the street having a say in anything. The anger the tea party expresses is given to them to express. the anger, or suppose that anger at the right wing nut jobs express are given to them by the big money in the right wing media.

    Joe Scarborough was right. This is going to be a tremendous embarrassment to the right wing in a couple years. But guess what? The people such as the ones you describe above will remain nameless and faceless. It will neither be a victory or a defeat for them.

    but unfortunately trying to boycott Koch industries is impossible. Just like BP. You cannot get away from the products that BP puts out in your everyday life up to and including the asphalt you drive on. And you can’t get away from giving Koch industries money. All you can do is try

  2. Well done, Not-That-Sarah!

    Here in VA, I know a number of folks that have jumped onto the Tea Party bandwagon–NONE of them followed politics until The Black Guy became president. Not one of them. What blows their minds most of all is that white people actually voted for him–they just cannot get their heads around that fact.

    You’re absolutely right when you say that no real debate can take place with them–they can’t even tell you what the ideological values of the true right are, much less discuss them. They can do nothing more than blindly regurgitate Faux News propaganda with an amazing ability to disregard the fact there is not one shred of evidence to support the meme du jour. I try my best not to get sucked into any conversations but when I do, it’s kinda fun to do it the New Left Media way–especially when the name Sarah Palin finds it’s way in.

    Although their racism makes them susceptible to the incendiary rhetoric, I feel very sorry for them in a way because they are mostly middle-aged and up, and at this point in their lives they deserve much more from our country than to be made afraid that the Apocalypse is upon us. Especially on the subject of health care reform, which enraged them almost to the point of heart failure. Right after it passed, one of them was diagnosed with breast cancer–she is unemployed, her husband is on disability (go figure) and she has no health insurance. Somehow, this is blamed even more on President Obama…

  3. I would love to see your commentary and that of others with a like mind go viral.We need a huge voice to bring this country back to sanity.It never fails to amaze me at the blind faith these right leaning groups display.Bush pushed me from a middle of the road stance to the left.Everything the right espouses will undermine the very people who support them .Sadly it’s only the very rich that benefit from their policies.

  4. Thanks, Thomas:-) I wish I knew how to accomplish getting this country back to sanity. They won’t stop trying to divide and undermine this country and our government until they get back into power, at which point they will immediately set out to finish us off.

    I never used to be partisan like this (pre-Bush), but they have gone off the rails and if we don’t speak out, loudly and often, we will all be complicit.

  5. Thanks for this, Sarah. I cross-posted to PG yesterday and have been trying to find out everything I can about the Koch brothers. You know they made a killing during the housing boom:

    Jane Mayer was on Rachel’s show last night, but I have yet to see anything outside of her show talking about this. It’s not so much that they are funding so many rightwing entities, bad enough, but how many people they are influencing with that funding, either directly or indirectly, and are taking advantage of those people’s ignorance, racism and discontent, even their personal circumstances. Their goal is to smash the President in any way possible–they don’t call themselves “radical anarchists” for nothing.

    And I am frankly of the belief that they have funded $arah Palin in the past as well as today, through their various entities. Someone commented elsewhere that her book tour was funded by the Kochs. Between the Kochs and Murdoch the rightwing is able to influence a lot of people on the edge who don’t have the ability to think critically or beyond themselves.

  6. If we follow the logic of name association like Glenn Beck does, if he were to put the Koch Brothers on his blackboard it would lead to Stalin. Their dad built refinery’s for Stalin, therefore tea party members are communists.

  7. I wish I knew how to accomplish getting this country back to sanity.

    Don’t we all. The only thing I do know is that it’s not going to happen by all of us who already agree congratulating ourselves for saying the things that we already agree on to one another. People so seldom change their minds about anything political (I know it has been a long time since I last did), so I’m always interested in what actually does make people shift their positions.

    Sarah, if you weren’t partisan like this before, what changed it for you? Thomas Mullen, how did it happen that Bush pushed you to the left? I’m guessing you’re both well-under 40; I wonder if the factors change as people get older and their allegiances are more entrenched.

  8. Brawny towels are made in Louisiana, a state that can definitely use all of the economic development it can get. If I have to choose between giving those people a paycheck or a taxpayer funded unemployment check, I’ll buy the towels and let them keep their jobs.

  9. Sarah, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this exposure. You proved our nagging long-term doubts. No matter how much Pres. Obama labours to move forward to better USA, until Goliaths like the Koch brothers crushed, nothing good will happen.
    Expose baby, expose, expose more everyday to save us all.

  10. Got to love you guys. I would say the pot is calling the kettle black. For those of you who may not know the saying, it has nothing to do with Obama. It has to do with with hypocricy. Take a look at the federal budget and weep. There aren’t enough wealthy to pay for all the gifts Uncle Sam wants us voters to have. Blame the Democrats and the Republicans but most of all blame each and every American who wants what they want from the government, to the detriment of future generations. You guys are being played just like we were being played, only many of us woke up. Reading the posts on this blog makes my point.

  11. You don’t have a clue exactly what big Govt pays for, but you’ll learn soon enough. We have a pension, state and private, shortfall coming and Uncle Sam will look to you and me for the money to make up the shortfall. I do know for a fact that we, the tax payers, are paying one woman $65,000 a year. She stays home, with six children all on SSI. She gets food stamps, her housing and utilities paid. She owns a car but it is in her mother’s name. Then there is the 50 plus year old woman who is on Medicaid. She isn’t taking care of her grandchildren because she has none. She just doesn’t want to work and pay for her health ins. There are millions out there who have learned how to milk the system and they will demand and get just as they are doing now. There was a tea party event in my town and on that day a thousand or so were celebrating liberity while a group of women with baby carriages were pushing them around the state capitol demanding more benefits. Then there were the three young women who went to the emergency room for pregnancy tests because they didn’t want to spend their own money to buy the kits from the drug store. They wanted them for free. When they were told they had to pay they left. None were married. 70% of out of wedlock births are in the black community but don’t despair, the white community is working to catch up with them. They have a ways to go though at just 30% of out of wedlock births. Men are becoming nothing more than sperm donors. Who needs a man when there is the goverment. On the 1st and the 15th the baby daddy shows up for a little sex with the baby mama and some of the welfare check. In my state a business has to shut down for 3 months a year because a majority of their work force quits so as to not lose their section 8 housing money. Yep, our government has all these wonderful programs that are bankrupting our country.

  12. Edward Bernays. A man who 99% of Americans have never heard of. And yet he almost singlehandedly taught the big corporations how to change the country into me, me, me consumerist ‘happy machines’ and nothing has been the same since.

    You can learn about Edward Bernays from a BBC documentary called the Century of Self. There’s four segments of an hour each, but you only need to watch the first. You’ll never see America the same again. And you’ll realize that movement conservatives have used the same methods for their agenda. Now all we need to do is take those same methods and turn them to OUR advantage.

    Stop the trailer and then click on the red box that says “watch film now.”

  13. I especially recommend the above documentary for Loves Liberity. Would this person care to define liberity, as I can’t find it in the dictionary.

  14. The Kocks have a great idea! Lets go back to the days of the great depression when there was no Soc.Sec. No unemployment compensation and plenty of starvation and homelessness.Guess what! It’s worked well until the obstructionists get their greedy hands on the reins, then the problems begin with runaway spending, tax cuts for the rich and no regulation.The GOP has created the largest deficits in the history of this Country .

  15. You are indeed incorrect in most everything you posted. I will assume the name you used is correct- that you do indeed love liberty- but that is where your facts end. You would do well to do some actual research to find your facts, because someone has been feeding you an extra large helping of bologna. The scenarios you are claiming are almost impossible to have taking place for the dollar amounts you allege.

    However, as this article states, the Koch brothers are the money behind the Tea Party. Now the TP claims that raising taxes on people like the Koch’s keeps them from creating jobs. Well, they have had the same tax breaks since 2001. It seems to me they keep getting richer and still have allowed jobs to go away- not be created. If they can afford to spend millions of dollars for the tea party and other right wing politicians, what is wrong with having them pay 3% or so more in taxes? They have spend more than that to influence our elections.

  16. But you have not awaken! You are buying into the lies that you are being fed! Your earlier post confirms that. You don’t have the facts straight in your claims so you are operating under false pretenses.

  17. The problem for me Shauna- is how much do those workers get out of that? I would be willing to bet they don’t pay anymore than they have to and yet the Koch’s wealth has increased while the rest of us are getting poorer. Do they know what a living wage is?

  18. I believe the Kochs have another agenda besides spreading fear and hatred.I think they want to see democrats defeated because of their stand on environmental issues.They are one of the nations worst polluters and the dems will make them clean up.Republicans can be bought and don’t really care about ecology.I believe our country is at a crossroads here and the bad guys are winning.This bodes so badly for our children.If we don’t stop this war on mother earth who will.Where do we expect our children to live.

  19. No, but how many of us use the products that Kock Bros. own or produce?
    We need to get a list and get the word out. It worked against Glenn Beck.
    I certainly will not be using Brawny towels any more.
    If enough of us stop buying things based on who manufactures them, then part of their strategy, ‘selling us things’ becomes useless.
    The lycra will be hard to give up though!!!

  20. It is typical of Liberals to say things like “I think we all need to understand that any political party, or political movement is totally controlled by big money. there is never such a thing as a little guy on the street having a say in anything. The anger the tea party expresses is given to them to express. the anger, or suppose that anger at the right wing nut jobs express are given to them by the big money in the right wing media.”

    It is easy for them to brush things off as being totally of “Foxnews” and those “evil big companies.” They say this because they are truly afraid that there is a group of people genuinely worried about the direction that this country is going. Global warming is a sham, that is only an issue due to the tons of money in government funding for “research.” If all the scientists spoke the truth that man has had little impact on the climate change of the Earth, in regard to normal warming and cooling trends, then the government wouldn’t need to give them any more money. Liberals also don’t want to acknowledge that Obama is just an empty suit and the likes of Soros, and big labor unions are the ones really running this Presidency.

    FYI, I just bought a case of Brawny trash bags.

  21. The Koch brother’s ultimate plan is to decimate the middle class pay structure and this is starting in wisconsin and union busting and will proceed to private unions.Once that occurs the minimum wage will be lowered to the point of complete enslavement of the people to corporate America.As long as they have drones to toil in their plants for the most meager amount possible and illegals to mow their estates and babysit their kids.IT’S ALL GOOD!!!!

  22. This is diabolical! Who can give up the strength and absorbency of Brawny towels? But,as Marx said, “The last Capitalist we wipe up will be with the one who sold us the paper towel.” Or something like that.

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