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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
eXile TV / Tea Party / April 25, 2011
By Mark Ames


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:




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

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  • 1. tanya  |  April 25th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to point out that Russian Oligarchs have No political influence/power unless they support Putin. Hodorkovsky is an example. As for Russians being cynical and skeptical – may be at their kitchen tables ..
    They are slaves and will put up with anything.
    In “Business Russia” it is hard to find a person that doesn’t steal, can’t be bribed and easily scared into submission. And if you are an American and are subjected to political intimidation at your place of work, why not get another job?

  • 2. RobertD  |  April 25th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Disappointed to discover that “Koch” is not actually pronounced like “COCK”.

  • 3. darthfader  |  April 25th, 2011 at 11:31 pm


    Thanks for doing what you do instead of not doing it.

  • 4. Duarte Guerreiro  |  April 25th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Jesus Christ, Mark, whats with the fawning commenters here who pretend they’re not swooning over your glasses? You look like a burned out History Professor who knows the end of civilization is nigh.

    Just print your speech notes in giant letters, like Hitler did.

  • 5. Lavrentij "Anarch99" Lemko  |  April 26th, 2011 at 5:00 am


  • 6. pmx?  |  April 26th, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Feels like things like this, wealth ineaquality, are happening all over the world.

    Whe have our fare share of oligarchs in the country, but here in Mexico they dont rule from shadows, nobody really rules in Mexico, politicians and businessmen alike pillage and plunder equally, with politicians emptying the state coffers and oligarchs the land itself.

    Both are just as deadly they just go about it very different ways, one just chooses to go for the jugular instead of the aorta.

  • 7. svirgula  |  April 26th, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Adworeable! The glasses remind me of Mr. Limonov in the 70s!

  • 8. High Plains Drifter  |  April 26th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Gavin McInnes here. Just wanted to chime in and say I think I’m still pretty young looking for a 40-plus, unlike you Ames.

  • 9. Lavrentij "Anarch99" Lemko  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:01 am


    That is a good question. In the US, though, politicians (and media elites) are the trained monkeys of oligarchs. Regulatory capture is a tool for the oligarchs. If you step out of line, though,

    “First came the carrot, then came the stick.”

  • 10. High Plains Drifter  |  April 26th, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Burn!! That was somewhat hipsterish of me. My appologies for the seemingly innocent remark, just a little ribbing for the growing fame that Ames seems to be experiencing.

  • 11. Re Tanya  |  April 26th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    May I allow myself to assume that you are from Russia like myself and if so why do you think that people over here have any bloody choice and rebel against Putin & his Mafia “dudes”. You should know what kind of political chaos there had been only 10 years ago. Or you’d rather have a Libian type revolution, which might lead to NATO intervention. I only disagree with you, but I don’t judge you.
    As for Mark, you are a fantastic journalist and you speak the truth. The rich in western europe allowed people to have all those rights from the enlightenment era, knowing quite well that there is always a price for those rights.

  • 12. Wyse Guy  |  April 26th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Good to see you on Democracy Now, Mark Ames 🙂

    I started watching Democracy Now 4 years ago, and I have to admit and reading the eXile around the same time, and I have to admit, its good to see them both intersecting in this wonderful and cute way.

    I think you were very happy when Amy bought up that question relating to you and Russia, and how your Russian experience related to what you were doing in the United States right now. Admit it, you were sooo angling for it and your Russian experiences to be validated 😉

    It was great to see it all come together with Amy Goodman, on Democracy Now.

    Well good job Ames, you bask in your vindication, after that, get out and get back to fighting the Koch brothers.

    The Americans will be organising behind you.

  • 13. David  |  April 26th, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Gavin McInnes here again. I’ll try and come up with something snide, just as soon as I wax my mustache into an ironic youthful Shakey’s Pizza curl.

  • 14. mt  |  April 26th, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    On the subject of US turning into Russia – remember the Russian epidemic of metal theft from their infrastructure in the 90’s? Well, that’s upstate New York in the last few years:

    Trains delayed by theft of signal cable –

    Search the same paper of record for “copper” – 584 results.

  • 15. ref  |  April 26th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    It annoys me when Daily Show treats the Tea Party as something that’s a serious organization or when other critics don’t denounce it as a phoney group for billionaires.

    Why the hell won’t they let you guys on the Daily Show?

  • 16. Hon Kee Mufo  |  April 27th, 2011 at 6:42 am

    because the daily show is a sham… as long as it is still out there getting treated as some sort of leftist institution, we will know we’re still in the wilderness.

  • 17. helplesscase  |  April 27th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I think this is one of the better interviews you’ve given. You’re best when you’re calm and have time to pontificate.

  • 18. tree  |  May 10th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Anyone who thinks that Russians are slaves and Westerners are free people is naive. Western folks have no control over their lives like everyone else, even though they may think that they do.

    Sorry for this vulgar comparison, but working class people in any country are kind of like pigs (geese/chickens/turkey/any other domestic animal) fed only to be slaughtered and eaten at a Christmas dinner (that’s how it used to be in the old times, at least in Europe – farmers raised animals and killed and cooked them around winter holidays). Western pig may be a bit fatter, have a bit more room to walk around because this pig has a richer owner who can feed its domestic animals better and house them in better conditions. But this pig will be eaten when the time comes just like everyone else. This pig doesn’t have a choice, it cannot avoid becoming Christmas dinner.

    At least Russian working people do not like their lives and try to run away from their cruel destiny. Western working people love their lives and will go to slaughter not realizing what happened to them and why.

  • 19. gyges  |  May 11th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    You might be interested in this story, Billionaire’s role in hiring decisions at Florida State University raises questions

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