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PolitiFact Left the House Without Its Pants On

In all of their fact-checking and flaw detection, PunditFact missed the point that I was trying to make.

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)

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(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)Liar liar pants on fire…or are they?

The folks over at PolitiFact’s PunditFact have rated a claim I made on a recent episode of The Big Picture as “Pants on Fire,” but they’ve totally missed the point of what I was really saying.

Talking about the Keystone pipeline and the Koch brothers earlier this month, I said that, “The Kochs stand to make around $100 billion if the government approves the Keystone XL pipeline.”

That claim comes from a study released last year by the International Forum on Globalization, which argued that the Koch brothers’ stand to make around $100 billion if the Keystone project is ever approved, because of their massive holdings in millions of acres of oil-bearing Canadian tar sands.

Now, as they do with all of their fact-checks, the folks over at PolitiFact’s PunditFact methodically broke down that study, pointed out what they said were its many flaws, and came up with the conclusion that the $100 billion number was absurd.

They even went straight to the source, and asked Koch Industries about the claim, which a spokesman obviously said was false. What else was a mouthpiece for the Koch brothers going to say?

But that’s besides the point.

In all of their fact-checking and flaw detection, PunditFact missed the point that I was trying to make.

So, let’s try again.

The most profitable investment in the US right now is to buy politicians, and there’s no one better at that than the Koch brothers.

For the 2014 midterms alone, the Koch brothers and their massive political network spent at least $100 million that we know of. And other estimates say that number could be closer to $200 or $300 million.

That money was used to buy tens of thousands of ads across the country, in an effort to put Koch-friendly lawmakers into power.

And let’s not forget what the Koch brothers are all about. They’re about increasing pollution, doing away with environmental regulations, gutting the EPA, and getting their massive oil reserves in Canada into the US so that they can sell them off and get even richer.

So, with all that in mind, let’s say that the Koch brothers don’t stand to make $100 billion from Keystone. After all, that was just one estimate from one group.

Instead, let’s say that will only make $1 billion from the pipeline project.

Still, wouldn’t they invest $100 million or $200 million in buying politicians to make that $1 billion in profits from Keystone?

Obviously they would, and obviously they did.

Just hours after the final midterm results were in, both Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – both big beneficiaries of Koch money and the Koch machine – said that the Keystone XL pipeline would be at the top of their priorities list when the new Republican-controlled Congress is sworn in in January.

The Koch brothers’ plan worked.

By focusing on a number, which was just one estimate by one group, PunditFact completely missed what I was saying.

The money the Koch Brothers spent in the 2014 midterms was all about buying Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and enough Republicans in Congress so that the Keystone XL pipeline would eventually get passed, and so that the Kochs’ Canadian tar sands oil turn into profits – among other things.

So PunditFact, you may have rated me “Pants on Fire,” but for completely missing the point that I was trying to make, and also for thinking that the Koch brothers themselves would tell you the truth, I’m rating you as “Having Left the House Without Your Pants On.”

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