When's the Playgirl shoot? title=The Koch Brothers’ attempted “hostile takover” of fancy glass-brick-and-steel libertarian think tank the Cato Institute — which Chuck and Dave Koch already control 50% of but are now suing a widow for her dead husband’s stake so as to then rule the world! — has prompted some very public outcries and gossip nuggets (yay!) from angry Cato staffers who are seeking to preserve their intellectual chastity. The Cato people, according to one senior fellow, have been told by Koch toadies that they intend to “transform [Cato] into an intellectual ammo-shop for American for Prosperity and other allied (presumably, Koch-controlled) organizations.” Another has offered his “presignation” should the Kochs ever succeed in their aggressive plot to do things they obviously want to do. And here you libtards all thought the Cato Institute was already a mouthpiece for the Kochs! Well, there’s always more… mouth… piece… shares… whatever… to buy! Let’s just get to the block quotes already.

The Kochs, according to senior fellow Jerry Taylor, have been quietly stacking the Cato board with a hilarious crew of Koch-loyal wingnuts to replace the Honest Libertarians, who just let Cato staffers sit in their offices and think about property rights or whatever all day:

We seek no ‘takeover,’ and this is not a hostile action.

This is at odds with both the words and deeds of the Koch brothers of late. Last year, they used their shares to place two of their operatives – Kevin Gentry and Nancy Pfotenhauer – on our board against the wishes of every single board member save for David Koch. Last Thursday, they used their shares to force another four new board members on us (the most that their shares would allow at any given meeting); Charles Koch, Ted Olson (hired council for Koch Industries), Preston Marshall (the largest shareholder of Koch Industries save for Charles and David), and Andrew Napolitano (a frequent speaker at Koch-sponsored events). Those four – who had not previously been involved with Cato either financially or organizationally – were likewise opposed by every member of our board save for Gentry, Pfotenhauer, and David Koch. To make room for these Koch operatives, we were forced to remove four long-time, active board members, two of whom were our biggest donors. At this moment, the Kochs now control seven of our 16 board seats, two short of outright control.

Why are they forcing out Cato board members, all strong, principled libertarians who have been heavily involved with Cato – financially and organizationally – for years? The answer was given in early November of last year when David Koch, Richard Fink (he of many Koch hats), and Kevin Gentry met with Cato board chairman Bob Levy. They told Bob that they intended to use their board majority to remove Ed Crane from Cato and transform our Institute into an intellectual ammo-shop for American for Prosperity and other allied (presumably, Koch-controlled) organizations. That statement of intent is certainly consistent with what we’ve been hearing from both Kevin Gentry and Nancy Pfotenauer. They’ve frequently complained during their short time on our board that Cato wasn’t doing enough to defeat President Obama in November and that we weren’t working closely enough with grass roots activists like those at AFP.

You may recognize some of these cartoon characters. Charles Koch is Charles Koch; Andrew Napolitano is The Judge who spits and screeches at Fox News teevee cameras all the time; Ted Olson is the evil Republican Establishment Lawyer (who is cool on gay marriage though); and Nancy Pfotenauer is this imbecile operative from the 2008 McCain campaign, whom your Wonkette used to call “Nancy Poopenheifer” for cheap laughs:

And then, of course, there’s a semi-famous wingnut blogger who was nominated for a board seat but was somehow, somehow rejected:

John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog, whose firm counts Koch Industries as a client. Hinderaker has written, “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.” Hinderaker supports the Patriot Act and the Iraq War and calls himself a neocon.

Meanwhile, Julian Sanchez, another famous-for-DC Cato fellow, posts his own account of the Koch Takeover War of Thrones on his personal blog and offers his conditional resignation, should the Kochs succeed in winning majority control and putting more wingnut spokespeople and bloggers on the board who then force all staffers to campaign full-time for Herman Cain or Scott Walker’s write-in candidacy, maybe.

What does the future hold in the Koch Fight for Think Tank Glory? Stay tuned to your Wonkette for more updates on this terrible Beltway insider baseball story that interests maybe 34 people in the country.

[Volokh Conspiracy, Julian Sanchez]

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  • littlebigdaddy

    Needz moar Ron Paul blimps dropping bombs.

  • chascates

    Needz moar Ayn Rand books dropping memes.

  • slithytoves

    intellectual ammo-shop for American for Prosperity?

    I think the gun powder in those shells is past due.

  • Come here a minute

    Looks like your precious free market has fucked you over, Thinkers of Cato.

  • They fire blanks, those Kochs

  • memzilla

    Welcome to the Free Market, you apologist a**hats. You're about to get bitch slapped by the Invisible Hand.

    • Tundra Grifter

      What is the sound of the Invisible Hand clapping?

      • MadBrahms

        The answer is "liberty". Followed by the sound of right-wing hacks cleaning out all of their desk drawers.

      • horsedreamer_1

        John Cage?

  • veritass

    The invisible hand of billionaire plutocrats at work. Couldn't have happened to a nicer organization.

    • tessiee

      "What they so constantly do to everybody else, they will *never* do to me." — Lynda Barry, re every dysfunctional relationship ever

  • LesBontemps

    Richard Fink (he of many Koch hats),


  • el_donaldo

    I honestly thought they'd already fired Julian Sanchez back when they got rid of Will Wilkerson. I don't know if that means I should care about what happens to Cato, or if it's too late and I already don't give a shit.

  • SorosBot

    Wait, is the Cato institute an intellectual think tank, or are they libertarians? Those are mutually exclusive categories; Randroids are intellectually bankrupt and can't think.

    • Honestly, I think Krugman summarized it best, both about the hackisness and pathological dishonesty of Cato ("We totally never said 'privatization'!"), and of the correspondingly even more egregious hackisness demanded by the Kochs.

      • Fukui-sanYesOta

        I have a feeling that the Kochs want the Cato institute to write fodder for ALEC, a very scary organization.

        Somewhere on that site is some of their "proposed legislation" … which then makes it almost word for word into actual legislation passed in Florida and Wisconsin by their respective Koch-sucklers.

        • Chichikovovich

          Yes – in one case in Florida a state congresswoman introducing some legislation forgot to take off the cover sheet that proudly advertised that the entire proposal was written at ALEC.

          • Hell, in Baja Nebraska a bill can't get considered unless it bears the ALEC logo

        • ALEC is terrifying, and no one really cares.

        • Rotundo_

          Intellectual Ammo-Shop evidently translates out to "More clever ratfuckers to write local and state legislation to enslave anyone not clearing a million or two a year.". So the Kochs aren't too pleased with the mental wattage of their current crop of ratfuckers and need to upgrade. Raiding Cato for a few that have done the yakkychat and sunday gasbag shows for intellectual cover makes sense from a PR standpoint, but why all the legal fuss over Cato? Just start another one and hire the talent away from it, cash in your shares and put the money into a think tank that thinks just like they want it to. It is all considered charitable donations, why not just pull up roots and plant elsewhere?

          • HistoriCat

            You don't walk out on a star and you don't say "no" to a rich asshole. It's not enough for these fuckers to be calling the shots at a think tank. They said they want this one and they are damn well going to crush anyone who tries to stop them.

          • Fukui-sanYesOta

            The thing with the Cato institute is that it has a reputation for intellectual firepower. Now, I've certainly not agreed with what they've put out, but there was at least thought behind it.

            In my opinion, now the Kochs' interest is in using the intangibles – ie the name recognition and reputation, with no direct monetary value – to further its legislative clout via ALEC.

            These fucks are anti-American.

  • Another has offered his “presignation” should the Kochs ever succeed

    Not exactly Horatius at the bridge but it passes for heroism among the chattering classes.

    • Chichikovovich

      Count this principled resignation as active the moment the people who will have as their first agenda item the immediate firing of my ass with extreme prejudice take control"

      • ShaveTheWhales

        Yeah, it does sound like that, doesn't it?

  • When it comes to defeating Obama in November, this will certainly do the trick.

  • e_z

    Not now Cato – Inspector Jacques Clouseau

  • Generation[redacted]

    Incomprehensible wingnut gibberish is incomprehensible.

  • elburritodeluxe

    A real Koch fight…

  • I thought Newt Gingrich was the GOP's "Intellectual Ammo-Shop."

    • His powder got wet

      • UW8316154

        He's taking propecia?

    • Rotundo_

      Newt is more like one of those manure cannons they spray liquified hogdoo on fields with prior to plow and planting activities. There isn't so much in the way of single ideas being spewed forth as a continuous flow of babbling nonsense (moonbases for our conquest of the moon and Mars no doubt among literally tens of thousands of other silly assed ideas)

    • bureaucrap

      He's really more the "Intellectual Sub-shop", where you can get your conservatism in foot long sizes, with lots of utterly fake "Cheeeeeze"(R), lots of reprocessed pork, lots of snake-oil slathered on it, and lots of little American flags stuck into the top. Yummy.

  • prommie

    Survival of the richest.

  • So if these Kochsuckers are successful with the takeover of the socialist whore Cato Institute, will the Brothers K hang a picture of Che in the Cato lobby just for lulz?

  • elviouslyqueer

    Pfotenauer? Isn't that a naughty sexual practice involving thumbscrews, rancid buttermilk, and a rabid siamang?

    • widestanceromance

      A pfine up pfist for that.

    • Thank you for introducing me to this siamang thing.
      No thanks that now, while regarding the image of the two Koch dolts, having "We Are Siamese / If You (Don't) Please" from Lady & the Tramp playing in my head~

    • tessiee

      AND a Kochbib.

    • MosesInvests

      When Nancy Pfotenauer made her crack about "real Virginians", Jon Stewart (an alumnus of William and Mary) responded "What the pfuck?!"

  • "Intellectual Chastity"? Those CATO girls are walking around with soiled pantaloons and a hitch in their steps from the Ayn Rand Broomstick that got broke off during their full-moon free-market orgies.

    • SorosBot

      They should have just held a copy of Atlas Shrugged between their knees!

  • offered his "presignation"

    Sounds like an inadvertent portmanteau offered by a Palin with a bun in the oven that's too early to exploit, yet not too late to use to excuse oneself from present commitments.

    • SayItWithWookies

      And when Trig gets a bath, that's called a propwash.

  • fuflans

    an intellectual ammo-shop for American for Prosperity and other allied organizations.

    can we use the 'r' word yet?

    • user-of-owls

      Don't be retarded, of course I can. You? Meh, not so much.

      • Chichikovovich

        You can use the r-word without deletion…. you must be The Chosen One.

        • user-of-owls

          But you already knew that, of course.

          • Chichikovovich

            Ben oui

            We humbly buttsechs beseech thee to use your awesome powers to bring a "see all replies" button to our land.

      • Boojum_Reborn


      • Boojum_Reborn

        But not the t-word.

  • MissTaken

    “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice."

    We saw the giant codpiece and Mission Accomplished banner and yet we still managed to miss his genius. We are so blind.

    • Generation[redacted]

      The codpiece was for safety! And the banner was to congratulate the crew on their mission of bringing this genius of a President safely on board. Nothing more.

    • user-of-owls

      We truly are. The poor man even tried to get us to understand through interpretive dance, but still we did not see.

    • GOPCrusher

      Anyone that believes this shouldn't be in a think tank. Drunk tank, yes. Think tank, no.

    • Rotundo_

      Hinderaker should have those words tattooed on his forehead in reverse so that every morning he gets to review them for posterities' sake. Without that reminder, I think he would probably lose sight of being the only human being even more worthless than Dubya. Please do note the distinction between worthless and destructive and all those other superlatives which Dubya can still lay full claim to along with Cheney, The Undead.

  • Blueb4sunrise

    Rebecca paying by the word?

    Also, someone has landed the McDonalds Filet-o-Fish account.

  • DustBowlBlues

    Why do I instantly hate Nancy Photpot, or whatever (if you were dealing with sinuses so full of pollen your head is about to blow up, you wouldn't look back to see how to spell it) even though I can't remember who she is or why I hate her, other than the obvious, that she is a kockbot?

    Was it Walnuts' campaign? I haven't even read the whole post, just made it as far as her name and had to take meds from throwing something at the iMac.

    Help an Old here, you young hipsters. Who is this woman I know I hate, based on a visceral (if I were a winger place, I would have said gut, but this is the wonket) reaction to her name?

  • user-of-owls

    This is like when two teams you detest are playing a game and you're wishing that both could lose. Except in this case, you're wishing both would spontaneously combust.

    • HarryButtle

      That's the Black Sunday scenario…you just keep hoping that Bruce Dern shows up with his blimp and kills everyone in sight.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Stay tuned to your Wonkette for more updates on this terrible Beltway insider baseball story that interests maybe 34 people in the country.

    Uh, Jim? I think you overcounted by about 35.

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Clearly, the former board members were just parasites living off of the few actual productive members of the board.

    • "…the few actual productive members of the board."

      Hello, Null Set.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Turning a libertarian think tank into an "intellectual ammo-shop" sounds like quite a feat — one, in fact, that could only begin with the command, "Igor, bring me a brain."

    • L188188

      And what was the name of that brain's donor again?

      • SayItWithWookies

        Abbie. Abbie Normal.

    • tessiee

      "It's pronounced EYE-gor, actually."

  • L188188

    See my vest, see my vest,
    Made from real gorilla chest,
    Feel this sweater, there's no better,
    Than authentic Irish setter.

    -Mr. Burns and the Koch brothers

  • sharethegrief

    The ones who suck most Koch will prevail.

  • OneYieldRegular

    "They’ve frequently complained during their short time on our board that Cato wasn’t doing enough to defeat President Obama in November…"

    "Think tank" seems quite a stretch here. "Scheme tank," perhaps?

  • MissTaken

    intellectual ammo-shop for American for Prosperity and other allied (presumably, Koch-controlled) organizations

    Aren't all ammo shops koch-controlled?

    • Guppy

      I'm wondering why they don't just get their ammo at Wal-Mart like everyone else.

  • Callyson

    Those Kochs are breeding all over the place.

  • Nostrildamus

    Should we be sending arms to the Cato Resistance Army?

    • poncho_pilot

      only if we can somehow pay for it with a tax cut and it involves drug cartels.

    • We're funneling them through Israel via AIPAC

  • orygoon

    What's an honest conservative to do?

    (Totally hypothetical question)

    • Totally hypothetical being, as well

    • ShaveTheWhales

      Actually, I believe that's one of them logical contradictions.

  • BigRadio

    You can never be too rich or too thin-skinned.

  • jjdaddyo

    If Washington DC is Hollywood for ugly people, then what does that make The Cato Institute?

    • Republic Pictures?

      • jjdaddyo

        Ha. And if the Kochs get in there, it will be like a takeover by Troma.

    • Madame Tussaud's on a very hot day?

    • Rotundo_

      The cast and crew of Plan 9 from Outer Space?

    • horsedreamer_1


    • ShaveTheWhales


  • Sounds like they all deserve each other.

  • Lots of hollow points, misfires and jams. Yeah, makes sense.

    • Guppy

      They want to outsource Cato to Kazakhstan?

  • prommie

    I so wish I could be the victim of a hostile cock takeover.

    • MadBrahms

      If you missed it, I'm sure they'll be holding another CPAC next year.

    • Guppy

      Get a tan and move to Arizona.

  • Tundra Grifter

    Julian Sanchez' weak little conditional presignation is the worst attempted Koch Bloch ever.

    • A dirty trick from…

      Oh, the hell with it. WAY too easy.

  • Tundra Grifter

    "They’ve frequently complained during their short time on our board that Cato wasn’t doing enough to defeat President Obama in November.."

    Yet The Daily Caller tells us it's Media Matters for America that is a political organization pretending to be a non-profit 501(c)(3).

  • barto

    Richard Fink (he of many Koch hats)

    Not Dick Fink, really? I thought his brother Jimmy was wearing all the Koch hats these days.

  • barto

    Hey Cato, better rewrite those by-laws tuot suite…

  • poorgradstudent

    Awww, it's always adorable when Libertarians face the consequences of their own free market idolatry, like a kitten who gets its head stuck in a jar.

    • Loaded_Pants

      Except you want to help the kitten.

  • Abernathy

    I can't decide which is funnier: Cato producing something that could be called intellectual or AFP using something that could be called intellectual. Unless by "intellectual ammo," he means special bullets you can use to kill intelligence; I can see them both digging that.

  • Eve8Apples

    Cato resignations and presignations? So much for all the Koch "job creator" bullshit.

  • bureaucrap

    What of Cato's policy positions would change in a new "AFP-friendly" regime? I suppose they could lobby for more (clearly anti-libertarian) "welfare for the rich" positions, but aren't they doing that already? More drug testing for workers but not owners? Haven't they already backed away from laissez-faire positions on "illicit substances"? It's hard to see that (aside from the change in ownership) that the average Cato politihack would notice anything different.

  • Isyaignert

    "We seek no ‘takeover,’ and this is not a hostile action." Really?

    Remember, "To Serve Man" isn't a butler's manual, it's a cookbook.

  • Didn't the Kochs get a lot more bang for their buck when they had their "intellectual ammo" fired by FOX News? How many voters take a pamphlet published by Americans for Prosperity into the voting booth with them?

  • MadBrahms

    "Shooting blanks", another item to add to the "things the Koch Bros. share with Rush Limbaugh" file.

    • Guppy

      It's a good thing, too. Otherwise, think of all the knocked-up Dominican rentboys!

  • Have you seen Poopenheifer lately? When she had her most recent plastic surgery done, she must have taken a photo of Dana Perino into the doctor's office and said, "I want to look exactly like that."

  • horsedreamer_1

    Is Preston Marshall the scion that done sued that Guess? model with the big knockers?

  • Veritas78

    The funny part is that the Koch brothers apparently think that the Cato Institute's intellectual "reputation" will somehow put a gloss on their other creepy thing.

  • Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son" will hang prominently in the lobby of the new KOCHato Institute.

  • tessiee

    I like the part where the Koch Brothers are all like, "You must pay the rent", and the widow Washburn is all like, "I can't pay the rent".

    • ShaveTheWhales

      I'm hoping this involves a paper napkin.

  • ShaveTheWhales

    I thought these guys were opposed to Koch hats.

  • phlox✔

    A quote from Cato the Elder (Died 149 BC):
    Anger so clouds the mind, that it cannot perceive the truth.

  • Negropolis

    How's that Citizens United thingy workin' out for you, you fucking Plutocrats?

    Fight! Fight!

  • Negropolis

    Wait, did Johnny Hinderaker just call Dubya an idiot savant?

  • The thing is, I kinda agree with the Powerline guy: Bush was kinda like a painter. The only problem was, all of his works were Piss Christ.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    "… President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.”

    Words fucking fail me. Poe's Law can barely cope with idiocy of this magnitude.
    The cretin should try pasting this horseshit on Dumbya's Conservapedia page … they'd ban him in an instant, as an obvious troll.

  • ttommyunger

    Hinderaker can call himself anything he wants, I know a fucking asshole when I see one.

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