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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Mark Ames


UPDATE: We’ve set up a “FOC the RATS!” website, click here.

Mark Ames unveiled on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show the long-awaited answer to waffentwerp Grover Norquist’s anti-tax crusade: It’s called Real Americans For Tax Reform. [Read the transcript of “Manifesto” below the video.]

Folks, we all agree that the American middle class’s Golden Age was during the Eisenhower presidency of the 1950’s. And we also know that the top tax rate under Ike for the richest Americans was 91%. That’s 91%. Repeat: The rich paid 91%. So if America is going to be great, we must tax great.

Already, Real Americans for Tax Reform has formed a coalition with the Foundation On Constitutional Reform to create a new mega-movement of grassroots activists called RATrFOCRs. The goal: To force every single Democratic Party candidate to sign a pledge to raise taxes on the top .1% riches Americans, so that they pay the same tax rate they would have paid under President Eisenhower, during the Golden Years for America’s middle class. In other words, the richest Americans would have to pay a 91% tax rate again. Sure, it’d mean the rich would have to take a bit of a haircut, but if Ames can do it [see photo], so can Bill Gross.

Watch Ames roll out RATrFOCR on the Dylan Ratigan Show, and behold the magic of history: (more…)

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Posted: July 14th, 2011

This article was published in The eXile on December 28, 2005.

The Putin regime’s latest moves to tighten controls over foreign NGOs are being portrayed in the West as yet more proof of Russia’s savage authoritarianism and anti-Western paranoia. While only a drunken apologist could deny Putin’s authoritarianism, the real question is whether or not the crackdown on NGOs is a symptom of mere tyrant-paranoia, or if Putin’s crackdown is based on some unpleasant realities that our media isn’t bothering to explore. (more…)

Posted: July 13th, 2011


I just came across a massive dump of FBI files on the YIPPIES–the legendary 60′s youth movement led by Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. They declassified and released over 6,600 pages of FBI surveillance and intel on the Yippies—unfiltered, a direct wormhole to that era.

And what an awful fucking era it was. People were either mean or stupid, on a scale that almost makes you appreciate today’s problems. Almost. (more…)

Posted: July 6th, 2011

I’ve often wondered why the American Right has been so quiet about V.S. Naipaul. He’s easily the most talented reactionary writer in the English language–maybe the only living talent left in the right-wing zombiesphere. The American Right devotes an insane amount of resources into manufacturing hagiographies on anyone whom they believe makes them look good–even the Soviets couldn’t compete with today’s American Right when it comes to glorifying their pantheon of degenerate cretins like Ayn Rand, Phyllis Schlafly, Friedrich von Hayek… (more…)

Posted: July 1st, 2011

Since no one else in the pro-drug camp will say it, allow me: Ron Paul is a drug war asshole. He’s a con artist playing a shell game with our liberties with his slippery proposal that the answer to this savage 40-year war on individual liberty is to transfer the power to destroy lives from one authority (federal) to another equally cruel authority (state). In doing so, Dr. Paul has shifted the moral debate about the drug war from one of barbarism and injustice to his crusty old Confederate gripe about states’ rights versus federal authority. (more…)

Posted: June 23rd, 2011

I just picked up an old paperback copy of a Vietnam War book called SEALs: UDT/SEAL Operations in Vietnam by Tim Bosiljevac. The book chronicles the early history of the Sea, Air and Land Teams, from their founding under President Kennedy through the end of the Vietnam War. The SEALs were created to be the Navy’s superhuman version of the Green Berets: “a naval guerrilla/counterguerrilla [force] with an emphasis on direct action raids and missions on targets in close proximity to bodies of water.” I love that line, “in close proximity to bodies of water.” That could mean a puddle…or hell, when you consider that human beings are about 70% water–“bodies of water” could mean just about anything. (more…)

Posted: June 21st, 2011

Update: By popular demand we’ve now included the transcript to Ames’ conversion rant. See below.

Even though libertarian ideals of massive deregulation and privatization led to the 2008 collapse of the global economy (just as these same libertarian ideals led to Russia’s collapse in 1998), nevertheless, America is already back to privatizing and deregulating like never before, as Dylan Ratigan has been reporting. (more…)

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Posted: June 17th, 2011

Mark Ames goes on Boulder, Colorado radio station KGNU to explain the banality of Russian-born author Ayn Rand, the guiding light of the libertarian/teabagger movement. Ames discusses his article “Atlas Shrieked” about how a sad ‘n’ lonely half-wit, Ayn/Alyssa, was nothing but a boring serial-killer groupie mistaken for Yoda by the libertards and teabaggers– despite being ignored as a boring, ridiculous hack in her Russian homeland, where Rand is still largely unknown.

Listen here, and learn:


Posted: May 30th, 2011


Exiled editor Mark Ames went on MSNBC’s “Dylan Ratigan Show” yesterday to deliver a Memorial Day Rant over the death of the American vacation, and how offensive it is that while Americans get less and less time off from their corporate masters,Europeans in Speedos are flouting their month-long vacation times in our faces.

Watch the video here, and have a lousy Memorial Day weekend! (more…)

Posted: May 27th, 2011

An American correspondent stationed in Moscow just forwarded me a WikiLeaked diplomatic cable about me, The eXile, and the Kremlin media-stomping in mid-2008 that killed my newspaper and sent me fleeing home. The June 16, 2008 US Embassy cable–marked “CONFIDENTIAL”–correctly put the crackdown on The eXile in the context of a wider (and scarier) crackdown on other Russian media outlets that coincided with the handover of power from Vladimir Putin to the newly-“elected” President Dmitry Medvedev. The cable was given the highly-ironic header “MEDVEDEV ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND THE RULE OF LAW.” (more…)

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Posted: May 25th, 2011


Before heading back to Moscow in June 2008 to face the Kremlin “audit” of The eXile, which I knew meant the death of the newspaper at the very least, I worked out a deal with my editors at Radar magazine to blog about it for an American audience. I hoped at the very least that it might give me a bit of protection. (more…)

Posted: May 25th, 2011

Yesterday, as President Obama ran victory laps at Ground Zero to the cheers of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” eXiled Online editor Mark Ames was up in midtown Manhattan spreading his buzz-kill message to America from MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show.  Ames describes the post-victory hangover that Americans should be experiencing by now–if they had functioning memories, that is.

Watch the video of Ames ranting about the “Bin Laden Hangover” to Dylan Ratigan:



Watch The Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC every day at 4pm EST. Also, check out Radio Free Dylan at

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

Click the cover & buy the book!


Posted: May 6th, 2011

This story first appeared in

The headline that topped the Drudge Report Tuesday morning had frightening news for its millions of readers: yet another credit ratings agency downgraded America’s debt, this time to “C”—at or near “junk” status in the letter-rating scales used by the big three ratings agencies, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. Clicking on the link takes the reader to a CNBC article [1] headlined, “US Debt Rating Should Be ‘C’: Independent Agency.” (more…)

Posted: May 5th, 2011


Mark Ames goes on the Amy Goodman Show on Democracy Now! to talk about the Koch brothers’ shocking election mailer to their workers, the subject of Ames’ latest cover story feature for The Nation magazine co-authored with labor journalist Mike Elk.

Amy Goodman discusses with Ames and Elk how the Kochs are taking the workplace back a century, to a time before labor laws protected American workers–and how they’re transforming America’s democracy into a Third World, Russia-style oligarchy.

Watch the show here:


Posted: April 25th, 2011

Mark Ames talks with Dylan Ratigan about his investigative article in The Nation magazine, co-authored with labor journalist Mike Elk, exposing the scary and bizarre propaganda and elections influencing that Koch Industries now forces on its employees.

Watch the video here:


Posted: April 21st, 2011

It’s all about making tough choices fer our granchirren’

To all my fellow under-55-ers: If you want to know why we have to fund the over-55-ers’ full Medicare and Social Security benefits, leaving nothing for the rest of us, here’s your answer: All those taxes have to pay for today’s Tea Partiers to ride around on these Hoverounds. That’s right, if there’s one thing Boomers can’t stand, it’s not being able to chase us around the house while hectoring us about fiscal responsibility. Thanks to the Hoveround, there’s no way we can escape from their narcissistic deficit-hawk blather.

Here it is: You can run…you can walk…you can crawl even. But you can’t hide from the Hoveround:

Posted: April 14th, 2011


Some huckster in Israel claims to have found two old, corroded nails that were used to pin Jesus Christ on the crucifix 2,000 years ago. The huckster, a documentary filmmaker named Simcha Jacobovici, is using his “discovery” of Jesus’ nails to promote a “documentary” he’s putting out that targets the huge, highly gullible Christian Zionist demographic–a demographic whose insatiable demand for religious hoaxes is never matched by the hoax supply side of the curve–especially not hoaxes as clever as this one:


Posted: April 13th, 2011

Does anyone here in this house speak goldbug-babble? Anyone who can make sense of Dr. Paul’s logic in the clip below, I’m curious what the fuck this man is trying to hawk to  his 1988 C-SPAN viewers. I mean I know it’s snake-oil, but even snake-oil pitches have a logic to them. This one just sounds like bat-shit blather.

As far as I can tell, the reason why the Koch brothers hire tools to promote the gold standard is the same reason that robber barons of the 19th century loved the gold standard so much: Gold locks in the power and wealth of those who have all the power and wealth; and gold locks out everyone else who’s not so lucky, condemning them to serfdom. Which leads to Populist uprisings, labor unrest, and all that century-old misery. That would explain why Koch fronts like Ron Paul hustle the gold standard to us suckers as the equivalent to “freedom”–just like coal companies pitching the public the lie about “clean coal”–you want the suckers to believe that a gold standard will offer them the very opposite of the misery it delivers.

That part of the scam I get. Fair enough. But this 1988 gold standard pitch? Makes no sense.


Posted: March 29th, 2011


Update: MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan makes it official: Mark Ames & Yasha Levine “are the two journalists who broke the story about these brothers and the Tea Party in 2009 before anyone believed them.” Watch the episode here and here

It’s been sort of strange watching America’s sudden, belated discovery of the billionaire Koch brothers, and the shock realization about just how much they’ve been manipulating and managing–and ruining–our country and our lives.

It’s been a long time coming. As eXiled readers know, Yasha Levine and I first broke the story about the Kochs inventing the Tea Party as an Astroturf movement way back in February, 2009, on the eve of the very first Tea Party protests. Readers also will recall how the Kochs—using their tools in the mainstream media—waged a campaign to discredit our article. I’m talking of course about Megan McArdle of the Atlantic Monthly, who led the campaign to discredit our investigative piece, which first ran in Playboy. (more…)

Posted: March 25th, 2011

jim-goad1 polaroid

Hello Jim, it’s your mother here. I didn’t want to write this. And I apologize for sending this to The eXiled, but I didn’t know how else to reach you. Jimmy, please listen to me just this one time. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please, I beg you. Why, a mother asks, did you write a groveling letter to Mark Ames that began, “Unlike Matt Taibbi, you’re a good writer”? Jimmy, you’re more confused today at age 50 than when I used to smack you around at age 5. You’re a talentless meathead and a failed Broadway actor with a chip on your shoulder, and it hurts me to see you flaunt it. You’re too vain, and too thick in the skull, to recognize what a complete ass you’re making of yourself today. Jimmy, you’re 50 years old. The 1990s are over. In 5 years you’ll qualify for senior citizens’ discounts. Please, Jimmy, please stop it. Stop being a masochist and hurting yourself. You aren’t a redneck. You aren’t scaring anyone. You aren’t impressing anyone. Mr. Ames seems like a nice Jewish fellow, why do you have to bother him, the way you pestered me and your father? Of course we hit you. You wouldn’t stop whining all the time. You wrote all about it in your “Rape” magazine. Clearly, I should have beaten you a lot more, Jimmy. I failed to prevent you from becoming a 50-year-old monkey, and for that I am sorry.


Posted: March 1st, 2011