Koch Brother Says Obama Deserves Zero Credit For Getting Osama, Calls Prez A ‘Hardcore Socialist’

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DAVID KOCH: “I don’t think he contributed much at all. He just made the decision, it was obvious where the guy is. He was one of the worst terrorists organizing attacks on the United States. I mean, no president in his right mind would not approve that decision to go eliminate him. So he’s getting a lot of recognition and his polls have jumped up, but his decision was the easiest of them all. The real hard work was done by the intelligence and the SEALs.” MORE

THINK PROGRESS: “Obviously, the SEALs did the work here. But making decisions is the president’s job. And he made the right one. It’s easy to forget that we actually had a huge controversy during the 2008 campaign about precisely this issue. Barack Obama said he would act unilaterally to kill high-value al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan, and John McCain slammed him for it. George W Bush chimed in as well […].  Obviously it’s not the case that Obama is temperamentally more of a unilateralist than Bush or McCain. But he may just have a better sense of what’s important and what’s not. I like to think, though, that part of the Kochtopus_Shirt_Cropped.jpg difference is that Obama takes the United Nations seriously. The UN Charter is often viewed in American circles as circumscribing American sovereignty, but in this case it’s relevant that the US had authorization from the UN Security Council to take “all necessary steps” to neutralize the “threat to international peace and security” posed by al-Qaeda. The President’s judgment was that that entailed striking the compound without telling the unreliable Pakistani security services in advance. Both Obama’s predecessor and his opponent in the campaign said they wouldn’t do that, and if they’d followed through on their word Bin Laden might have gotten away.” MORE

RELATED: Not only hedge funds, banks and other speculators manipulate the price of oil. So do big energy companies, such as Koch Industries. The chemicals and petroleum company does it by purchasing large stocks of oil and storing it in offshore supertankers and giant containers. Then it sits on those supplies until oil prices rise. That strategy is called “contango,” which is when the future price of a commodity is expected to top the current price. This isn’t unusual in these markets. It just means that demand at some point down the road is forecast to exceed supply. Unlike pure speculators dealing in futures contracts, however, companies like Koch actually buy and hold oil. And because that reduces supply, as demand increases gas prices rise. Fortune’s Jon Birger estimated in 2008 that a 200,000-barrel-a-day decrease in oil supplies could boost gas prices by upwards of 40 cents a gallon. The use of contango as a trading strategy, which can hurt investor returns, is no secret. Investment firms have even designed mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that aim to soften the impact of contango. But Koch’s stockpiling of oil appears to be less widely known. The company complements this approach with an aggressive lobbying campaign in Washington to block financial reform, especially efforts to tighten regulations on commodity and derivatives trading. MORE


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