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NYT Blogs: Trading With The Enemy

-By Paul Krugman

October 3, 2011- Suppose you were going to write a political-thriller potboiler. You might invent something like this: a family of billionaires who support right-wing causes and pose as super-patriots, while actually using their political influence to cover for wrongdoing on multiple fronts — not just endangering workers and the environment, but even making deals with foreign regimes that are actively anti-United States and sponsor terrorists.

Reviewers would, of course, turn up their noses — this is patently unrealistic, super-villains like that don’t exist in real life.

Oh, wait. Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales.

This isn’t a story on Daily Kos, not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s a heavily reported piece from Bloomberg that is utterly damning.

If you have a strong stomach, by the way, skim through the comments and look at the knee-jerk defenses. Marc Rich! Solyndra! George Soros is worse! (No, he isn’t — there’s nothing like this in his record, and he’s spent a lot on humanitarian causes.) Not to mention the remarkable amount of anti-Semitism on display; not that it matters, but the Koch family aren’t Jewish.

So we’re living in a bad novel, and to borrow from Brad DeLong, the hard right is worse than you can possibly imagine, even if you take account of the fact that it’s worse than you can possibly imagine.



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