Monday, January 11, 2021

communist populist opportunist mitch let them eat tweets on flying saucers

Rich 1% getting richer.
Poor 99% getting poorer.
as always ...
as described by Marx and many others.
Go to college and study the history of economic thought.

Why democracy fails,
elites take over.
Occupy Wall Street failed.
Occupy DC failed.
Headed toward Biden Kamalass genocidal dictatorship.
War declared on uneducated white people.
You must have high esteem social credit score according to the emperor.

Sheeple are stupid.
sheeple need a shepherd to survive.
Sheeple cannot count votes,
Sheeple will not count votes,…
Shepherd is needed count votes for them.

Sheeple are too stupid to vote right.
Sheeple vote against their own interest.
Sheeple need constant barrage of TV Radio electronics to tell them how to vote.

Establishment controlled by globalists, elitists, deep state swamp creature.
Democrats and Republicans different piles of the same shit

Poor 99% are about half Democrats and half Republicans.
Rich 1% also about half and half.
Don't look to politicians to solve the problems of the sheeple.

Both left wing and right wing can see some problems.
Catastrophe looming without change.
Civil war, mass destruction, totalitarianism, dictatorship,….

-------------------

political scientists
Jacob Hacker and
Paul Pierson.
new book
"Let Them Eat Tweets."

And what it talks about is this phenomena that they call
plutocratic populism.

The idea is that the plutocrats in the country,
the big money, have an agenda in the Republican Party - tax cuts for the
super-rich and deregulations on polluting industries.

And that sort of
thing is just not broadly popular.

And so to win elections, they've got
to form an alliance that broadens the coalition to get voters.

And so what they've done is struck up a kind of an expedient pact with
lower-educated white nationalists, who are attracted to the populist
rhetoric that takes on the elites and

says the system is rigged and that
minorities are getting ahead of them.

A lot of the rhetoric is sort of
tinged with racism.

And so you have this strange, bifurcated alliance
going on, where you've got actual elites - some of the richest sort of
corporate powers in the country have an alliance with the people who
feel, themselves, left out and sort of stepped on.

That coalition is very much represented in these two people.
Mitch

McConnell represents the plutocrats.

And Trump represents the populists.

And so they have to work together to get reelected.
Neither of them has
got enough popularity on their own to win an election.
But if they
unite, they can win reelection even if they detest each other

GROSS: McConnell is one of the wealthiest people in the Senate.
And
Kentucky is one of the poorest states in the country.

a billboard with a big, blown-up picture of Mitch
McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao.
And they're in their black-tie kind
of, you know, going-out regalia.
And underneath it, the sign says, we're
rich. How y'all doing?

And the obvious message is, Mitch McConnell and
his wife are doing very, very well.
But the state of Kentucky, which is
extremely poor, is not doing well under McConnell's representation in
all these years in the Senate for it.

So it's a reflection, also, of the
fact that McConnell has become one of the richer members of the Senate
during these years.

He was not born rich.
And he came from, actually, a pretty hardscrabble
family, at least on his mother's side.
He had a middle-class upbringing.
But at one point in his life, he shed his first wife and announced to
friends,
that he had a plan, which
was he wanted to find a rich wife.
He had a mentor who'd married rich.
And he said he wanted to be like this man
who was also a senator from Kentucky.

So he was going to look for a rich wife.
And the person who told me the
story, remembering the dinner when McConnell announced this, said, and,
boy, did he ever find one.

And the woman that he found was Elaine Chao,
who is an heiress to a very lucrative shipping - maritime shipping
company that her father founded and built.

McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, is secretary of transportation.
Is that one of the things McConnell is getting out of their relationship?
she's a
woman, therefore, she wasn't hired for her own ability.
(Laughter).
Mitch McConnell to have a wife who is the secretary of
transportation. Let's just face the facts here.

The Transportation
Department hands out tons and tons of grants to every state.

That allow
whoever's in office to say, I brought you this bridge.
I fixed this road
for you.
It's a place where patronage takes place.
And so it's very nice
for Mitch McConnell to have that relationship.

He's been accused by
POLITICO of having set up a situation where his wife is favoring
Kentucky, giving it more grants than other states.

There's an internal
investigation taking place within the Transportation Department of this.
Elaine Chao's people have denied it.
Mitch McConnell, interestingly,
didn't deny it.
He made an ad boasting about it saying, you see?
I bring
you more stuff in Kentucky than anybody else has.
And what I discovered
when I was reporting was that Mitch McConnell was very important in
getting Elaine Chao that job.
As soon as Trump was elected, Mitch
McConnell was on the phone reaching out to the people in the Trump
administration saying, Elaine Chao would like to be the secretary of
transportation.
And, lo and behold, she got the job.

what McConnell is getting out of
the relationship with Trump or why he is not standing up to Trump - some
of McConnell's major donors are, reportedly, Fox News executives,
including Rupert Murdoch
mean
that McConnell is reluctant to call out some of the things that Trump
echo - that he hears on Fox News

a very sticky relationship. In the most
recent filing period at the FEC, which just - these numbers that just
came out, they showed that four of Mitch McConnell's top five disclosed
contributors are executives at Fox News, so there's a working
relationship there.

Fox has all kinds of regulatory needs and
issues that the government can help it with.
Mitch McConnell wants to keep the dollars flowing to himself.
a very close and financial relationship there

McConnell is losing the support - and maybe even
the respect - of some people who have been close to him a long time,
some powerful people.

David Jones co-founder of Humana health care giant.
And he backed all of McCain's Senate campaigns.
And Jones and Humana gave
$4.6 million to the McConnell Center at the University of Kentucky.
he and his two sons sent two scorching letters - to McConnell. And they share those letters with you. Can you r

Jones McConnell had actually called the single most
influential friend and mentor I've had in my entire career
Stand up
for the Senate; stop letting it be a bystander and to use his,
"constitutional authority to protect the nation from
President Trump's incoherent and incomprehensible international actions."

powers of the
Senate to constrain an errant president are prodigious and it is your
job to put them to use.

They got an answer back to their first letter to
Senator McConnell, who they'd known well personally; they're all from
Louisville.

And the letter back from McConnell basically sort of was the
pat on the head saying, don't you worry;

President Trump had one of the
finest national security teams that he had ever had the honor to work
with.
another letter pointing out that half that national security team, by
then, had either quit or been fired or, in some other way, sort of
jettisoned - saying, are you still telling us that you have confidence
in this president?
And they then wrote an even more scorching letter
back to McConnell saying, do something, basically; stand up to this
president.
What's the point, they asked, of confirming judges if the
republic is crumbling around it?

Dave Jones Sr.
was, again, one of the strongest supporters of Mitch McConnell in his
entire career.
And he is astounded and disappointed in McConnell for not
standing up for the constitutional role that the Senate should play and
pushing back against a president that they see as kind of ruinous to the
country.

McConnell has also apparently lost the political support of his
three daughters.
Porter McConnell, the youngest one who has, I think, a
graduate degree in political science, is actually - fascinatingly to me
anyway - is a progressive activist.
She works for an organization called
Take on Wall Street.
She runs a campaign there for Take on Wall Street.
It's mostly labor unions who are pushing back hard against big money in
American politics and against the sort of unfair role that they see as
the power of the finance community in American politics.

And specifically, Take on Wall Street has gone after Blackstone, the
gigantic private equity and hedge fund company - finance company on Wall
Street which has been, interestingly, the biggest donors to her father's
political campaigns and to groups that are allied with him.

So she's
really going straight at her father's funding in the kind of work that
she's been doing.

McConnell as the master of the Washington, D.C., money machine

nobody has done more than he has to engineer the
current campaign finance system in which

billionaires and corporations
have virtually no spending limits
self-dealing and influence
peddling are common.

How did he become the master of the D.C. money machine?
he came
into politics around the time of Watergate, when there was sort of a
national outcry against corruption and against the role that big money
was playing in American politics.
There was big pushback going on.
in 1973, he was part of that pushback.
He wrote an editorial saying that
money is a cancer on politics and that there needed to be public funding
of presidential campaigns.
he sounded like a liberal Democrat
for about two minutes.

But pretty soon he started running for office himself,
and when he did,
his tune changed completely.
So that by the mid-'70s, he was teaching a
class in Louisville - kind of a night class - on politics,
he told
his class there were three things that you needed to succeed in
politics,
money,
money,
money.
And that pretty much has been the theme of his career.

When I interviewed a lot of people about McConnell's rise, what they
said was you have a man
who's very smart and very ambitious,
but he
doesn't have much charisma.
He's not a great public speaker.
He's not
especially, you know, handsome looking or dynamic seeming.
He's a great
schemer, great long-term planner, but he doesn't have a great public presence.
And particularly in the South, you need to be something of a
showman, and he is not that.

So he needed money more than most people in
politics to win.
He was also running as a Republican in the South, which
used to be pretty solidly Democratic.
He sort of rode the wave of the
Republican Party rising to power in the South, and that took money, too.

And so more than most people,
he's really relied on big money to keep himself in power
and to keep his party in power
'cause many of the policies that the Republican Party represents these days really are not,
popular across the board in the country.
So it takes other things to kind of keep the party in power.
It takes things like big money,
and it takes things like gerrymandering and other kinds
of advantages in the election system.

McConnell's former staffers run an array of groups
which take tens of millions of dollars from undisclosed donors.

McConnell's been very involved in trying to destroy
all the various kinds of campaign finance reforms that were passed since Watergate,
all the limits on spending
and the limits that try to disclose money
so that the public can see where the money's coming from.
It kind of led up to the Citizens United fight that the Supreme Court
ruled on in 2010 that really was the beginning of striking down any kind
of meaningful limits on controlling money.
He's been involved in those fights in various organizations.
He's in favor of more money in politics,
and he's been pretty outspoken about that.

And his aides have gone from working with him in the Senate to running
many of the outside groups that sort of vacuum up gigantic secret
campaign contributions from the biggest businesses in the country.

they are involved in groups
like American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS and various funds that help
Republican senators get reelected.

It's a system that they've built, and
it's a very powerful system that brings outside money and undisclosed
money into getting the Republican candidates reelected.
in return, the elected Republicans help pass legislation that favors big money.

a self-licking
ice-cream cone.
It's a kind of a little circular process in a way where
aides that work for McConnell who go off and become lobbyists.
They represent big industries that need favors from government.
They give huge donations to get McConnell and other Republicans reelected.

And then McConnell and other Republicans do the bidding of these companies in Congress.

Republicans hold up legislation
that might do something about climate change
on behalf of energy companies
that don't want to see America move away from fossil fuels.

Republicans hold up change bringing down drug prices
because they take money from big pharma companies.

They believe these companies are doing the right thing, and they're happy to help them.

And they represent them because these are the people that they think are doing good things for America.

the companies get the legislation they need out of these representatives who have power in Congress.

I interviewed 110 people.
to try to understand Mitch McConnell.
You know, what makes somebody like this tick?
Why does he want to hold power?
What is he trying to do with it?
What larger purpose does he have?
What kind of principles does he have?
give up.
It's all about winning for him.
It's all about holding the power and keeping the power.

John Yarmuth,
who is the Democratic congressman from Louisville, Ky.
known Mitch McConnell for 50 years.
And Yarmuth himself used to be a
Republican back in the days when Republicans were more liberal,
he eventually switched parties and became a Democrat.
was he ever idealistic?
nah,
he never really was.
He always
wanted to be someone,
but he never wanted to do anything.

It's power for its own sake,
is the picture that comes together when you
look closely at McConnell.
And that's what he's doing with Trump. I
mean, he's holding the power.
He's staying in power no matter what is
going on over in the White House because that's how this alliance keeps
both him in power
and the president in power.

Mitch McConnell married Elaine Chao in 1993.
It was his second marriage.
She's an heiress who is now Trump's secretary of transportation.
That's the position she chose when she knew she would get a cabinet appointment.
There are possible conflicts of interest there.
What are they?

MAYER: Well, she would say there are not.
But her family has a privately
owned shipping company that does 70% of its business with China.
It's a very lucrative company. It's based in New York.
Her family are immigrants from China who've become American citizens.
They're American, not Chinese, now.
But they obviously have huge interests in the transportation arena, and she is the secretary of transportation.
So there is the possibility of a conflict of interest there.

GROSS: And as you say, McConnell helped smear Joe Biden
by allowing senators to insist that the real Ukraine scandal was the Biden family's
enrichment for their connections with Ukraine's rulers.
And you say any criticism of the Biden family could be made about the Chao family.
Give us some examples of what you mean.

the same criticisms that have been made about the Biden family
have been made about the Chao family
and in the same book and
by the same author who blew up the whole Biden scandal.
Peter Schweizer book called "Secret Empires."

one chapter is about the Biden family's wheeling and dealings in Ukraine,

the next chapter is about the Chao family and Mitch McConnell's wheelings and dealings in China.

And so anybody who wants to try to make an issue of this can see that they both have their problems.

What are the issues in the Chao family?
It's very complicated.
The New York Times series on this subject.
Mike Forsythe, understands sort of China
take a look at that if they want to get all of the details.

Elaine Chao's sister Angela is now one of the people that runs the family company,
she and her father both do.

At the same time they run this American shipping company that does so
much of its business with China,

they have been on the board of Bank of China,
which is a state-run bank that's incredibly important in China,

and Angela Chao and her father have also sat on the board of a holding company
- it's a state-run holding company in China
- that owns the company that builds Chinese warships.
So it has a very strong connection with the Chinese military.

And this is a really complicated and fraught kind of situation for the Senate majority leader in the U.S. Senate.

He is not running that company,
Elaine Chao is not running the company;
her sister is.

But Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao have inherited $25
million of the fortune made by that company.

So there is a direct connection there, financially.

McConnell's sister-in-law Angela, who's CEO of the family business,
is now married to a billionaire, Jim Breyer, who is a venture
capitalist with huge financial interests in China.

supported McConnell campaigns?
Yes, he has, indeed, very strongly.
So you've got - Jim Breyer is
now the brother-in-law of Mitch McConnell.
Jim Breyer's well known in the business world.
He's a terrifically important and successful venture capitalist.
And he is on the board of Blackstone,
the same huge Wall Street finance group that has poured money into McConnell's campaigns.

So it manages something like a half-a-trillion dollars.

So McConnell is very connected in to some of the most powerful business interests in the world at this point.

So you write about a position that McConnell took that, in retrospect, is very interesting now that we're in a crisis with the viral pandemic.

When McConnell tried to repeal Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act,
he introduced an amendment to eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund at the CDC.
What does that fund do?
And how is it related to the pandemic that we're experiencing now?

fund it's about a 12th of the funding of the CDC.
It's almost a billion dollars.
And McConnell introduced this amendment to eliminate the funding for those programs.

Those programs provide funds to the states all over the country, among other things,
to detect outbreaks of epidemics and infectious diseases and to respond to them.

So you can see that there was - you know, if he'd gotten his way, there would have been even less
ability of the states to work against a pandemic like the coronavirus
pandemic that we're dealing with.

Democrats eventually kept some of the funding in there.

Democrats, in more recent years, were
given a choice of either putting money into that fund or funding cancer research,
and they went along with the cancer research.
So that fund's been gutted a lot, and McConnell led the way.

Republicans have described that fund as a slush fund.
made fun of it and said it was paying for
preventive health measures they've really been against.

They claimed that it was paying for things like Zumba classes and tobacco awareness.
They really just didn't want to fund these kinds of preventive health programs,
they wanted to save money.

epidemiologist along with many, many health organizations,
warned this was a disastrous move.

If they'd succeeded in wiping out that fund completely,
you will not be able to fight back against things like Zika and any kind of foreign epidemics.

she felt it was unconscionable to take that kind of money and put it into
tax cuts for the 2017 tax bill that went to the richest people in the country.

So is that what happened?
In order to do the cuts and taxes for the wealthy,
you had to make cuts,
including at the CDC?

2017 tax cuts resulted in hugely reduced money coming into the federal government.
And if you have to make up for those cuts somewhere,
Mitch McConnell suggested cutting was this fund at the CDC that was one-twelfth of its funding,
that's money that goes to the states.

"Enabler-In-Chief," is in The New Yorker.

Jane Mayer is also the author of the 2016 bestseller
"Dark Money: The Hidden History Of The Billionaires Behind The Rise Of
The Radical Right."

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/23/842579283/mitch-mcconnells-calculated-decision-to-become-trump-s-enabler-in-chief-explaine

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