consultants are sandburs

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Trump gets kiss of death? [UPDATED - all the way to the end]

Reuters reports, the Koch brothers say they will not spend heavily to oppose his nomination as GOP candidate.

That means he must be in cahoots. What else? That they've looked sensibly at Ted Cruz? That Rubio, RUBIO! is more of a threat to their empire?

It surely bodes ill for Trump. That is certain; an ALEC front man? Whoa. Now Trump must go out of his way to insult them. A caustic tweet is due for credibility. For gravitas. For his base.

Sustaining a livable planet and weaning Middle East oil dependency are important goals, with renewable energy, already in the wind sector heavy on GE and Siemens, i.e., multinational large firms, nonetheless offering employment opportunity in installation and maintenance contracting. That employment need not be linked to capital intensive western coal or foreign oil. We just need to change and Elon Musk with Tesla is leading an automobile evolution away from internal combustion. Carbon dioxide loading of the environment is not inevitable.

Yet the Koch bottom line is to exploit us, and exploit the environment so that their fossil fuel empire advances, damn the consequences.

Last night's televised Sanders-Clinton CNN debate had the one exchange where Sanders pointed out that among the other host of money Clinton has hustled for and gotten, there is fossil fuel money in Clinton campaign and related SuperPAC coffers.

So, here is the "fossil fuel money in politics story" in two charts and a listing from this online page.

First, money to buy influence comes into politics, 2016, as charted (click images to enlarge and read):

Second, money to buy influence goes to open handed politicians, 2016, as charted (for leading recipients):

Third, the listing of the top twenty "fill my sack" "Oil & Gas" fossil fuel money taking politicians:

And, lets not stop there. For those gentle readers for whom the word "Polymet" causes steam to stream from their ears: at this "Energy and Natural Resources" [including mining, obviously] page lists the top twenty open sacks, 2016, which that slush money sector in part fills:

There is a lot more follow-the-money factual truth at's web pages; and any reader wanting to be informed about who pays what to which political myth-maker wanting to snooker your vote; start learning at:

-- and do note that page has the site's top banner menu, where you can explore as much as you can stomach about money in politics: where you've got your one vote against billionaires, millionaires, propagandists, and lobbyists; so do your homework and learn.

The more you explore there, the better you might understand NOT seeing Sanders nor Trump in any of the open sack perp listings.

It means something to me; perhaps to you.

Last, the initial part of this post, the Koch-Trump question is both real and urgent, even if lightly phrased. If the Koch dirty environmentalism camp is satisfied with a likely Trump vs. Clinton situation; there is something big-time wrong with it, as with any likely situation the Kochs find cordial enough to sit back, watch, and enjoy.

So, if Trump is compromised by that Koch claimed disinterest; only Bernie is left unscathed.

Sensible reader comments are welcome. Especially the steam-from-the-ears Polymet opponent viewpoint, re Clinton taking anti-enviro cash, would be welcome to see added to the discourse.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
For all politics being local, check here where your zipcode based search gets specific:

Then, this websearch, for a sample search = clinton fossil fuel campaign contributions fundraisers

Among the return listings for the search, Mother Jones, republishing a HuffPo item; here.

If not caring to read that last item, perhaps a word-search might suffice, e.g., "Keystone XL" or try, "Bernie Sanders" to see what's said of him in the item. Pick your own key word for that item; or better, explore the search return list. You learn by reading, and if you limit what you read a focus on the material might be enough; or better, it might prove to be a good starting point for a more adventuresome research effort.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_______________'s exposing open sack politicians seems to show the open sacks are held by establishment figures.

For GOP friends, the frequent top item or near-top occurrence of "Ted Cruz" in cash-taking lists might suggest a posing anti-establishment knight having feet grounded in slush; a fact worth pondering.

Pondering in terms of who's establishment, who's not, who's legitimately what he/she says, and who's posturing one way, prospering another, and trying to pull the wool over your eyes. A link of interest to the extent healthcare for all is a concern, that item, among other content, stating -

"Ted is very much a visionary," Heidi Cruz Nelson told the Times. "He is very strategic, and he’s very practical, and he does what needs to be done, not what everybody wants him to do."

Yes, very practical. For a visionary. If you're out there depending on a National Guard income to make ends meet, remember the king of federal shutdown brinkmanship threatening your situation has his millionaire's "situation" covered, by Goldman Sachs.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Also, some seem to view the CFR, and trade negotiations grounding as "establishment," although some may think otherwise. "Building a North American Commuity," as a 2005 CFR report involving Heidi Cruz seems to channel thoughts of NAFTA, etc., especially with promo text

When the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States met in Texas recently they underscored the deep ties and shared principles of the three countries. The Council-sponsored Task Force applauds the announced “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” but proposes a more ambitious vision of a new community by 2010 and specific recommendations on how to achieve it.

Anti-establishment knighthood is an interesting thing, when self-conferred.

It squares, somehow in ways readers in comments can explain to me, with Koch brothers' satisfaction, or apparent satisfaction, with Trump and then Cruz, as the current two GOP frontrunners when Koch political largess has been focused on the GOP in ways they consider best for their economic prosperity.

__________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Back at the keyboard after a break. Let's study that last CFR committee membership list, first page: maverick self-starter Ted Cruz's spouse was, "Economic Director for the Western Hemisphere at the [Condoleezza Rice] National Security Council," and "Director of the Latin America Office at the U.S. Treasury Department," and "Special Assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative." All the time having spouse Ted, singing Sanatra style, "I Did It My Way?" Heidi even humming the tune while bouncing around the Wall Street banking elite firm-to-firm and using the green revolving door.

This guy, Heidi's boss in Bushco land, and again, which Wall Street firm? Click the image, and find out.

Bush Administration, the Republicans; but gee - isn't that the very same firm Secretary Clinton took down for over six hundred grand in speech fees?

And where was Robert Rubin before being a Clinton White House muck-a-muck in the '90s?

And where before being Treasury Secretary was Hank Paulson [Paulsen?], the Bushco Treasury Secretary who took the market down the BIG rabbit hole, Sept. 2008; his firm?

No links for the questions, kids, be your own ferret if you cannot guess.

One should wonder: How much Angst would exist in Goldman Sachs headquarters over the outcome of a Cruz-Clinton election scrap? Would they favor one Tweedle over the other? Guesswork. Clearly.

And with the Cruz spouse having served for one who was a trade negotiator and World Bank head? No wonder Ted Cruz is such an outspoken critic of establishment globalization. He's seen it from inside the very belly of the beast and how it can enrich insiders.

Did I say green revolving door? Meant to. Ya betcha. Surely anti-establishment knight errant Ted Cruz should speak at some point soon to the evils of such an established thing, in DC where he serves as "Senator Disagree" because he stands in opposition to a status quo he says is plain and simply wrong.

We await such rhetoric. On pins and needles. In breathless anticipation.

___________FURTHER UPDATE__________
At least the Republican far right wing (WND "news") shows unparalleled consistency; here and here. Distinguished authors; who would argue against that? Two part harmony.

___________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Well, there is that Cruz spousal trade situation; the Clinton history of NAFTA; and lo, Guardian publishes:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about ... trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

Trump embellished this vision with another favorite left-wing idea: under his leadership, the government would “start competitive bidding in the drug industry.” (“We don’t competitively bid!” he marveled – another true fact, a legendary boondoggle brought to you by the George W Bush administration.) Trump extended the critique to the military-industrial complex, describing how the government is forced to buy lousy but expensive airplanes thanks to the power of industry lobbyists.

[...] Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

[...] It is worth noting that Trump is making a point of assailing that Indiana air conditioning company from the video in his speeches. What this suggests is that he’s telling a tale as much about economic outrage as it is tale of racism on the march. Many of Trump’s followers are bigots, no doubt, but many more are probably excited by the prospect of a president who seems to mean it when he denounces our trade agreements and promises to bring the hammer down on the CEO that fired you and wrecked your town, unlike Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Here is the most salient supporting fact: when people talk to white, working-class Trump supporters, instead of simply imagining what they might say, they find that what most concerns these people is the economy and their place in it. I am referring to a study just published by Working America, a political-action auxiliary of the AFL-CIO, which interviewed some 1,600 white working-class voters in the suburbs of Cleveland and Pittsburgh in December and January.

Support for Donald Trump, the group found, ran strong among these people, even among self-identified Democrats, but not because they are all pining for a racist in the White House. Their favorite aspect of Trump was his “attitude,” the blunt and forthright way he talks. As far as issues are concerned, “immigration” placed third among the matters such voters care about, far behind their number one concern: “good jobs / the economy.”

“People are much more frightened than they are bigoted,” is how the findings were described to me by Karen Nussbaum, the executive director of Working America. The survey “confirmed what we heard all the time: people are fed up, people are hurting, they are very distressed about the fact that their kids don’t have a future” and that “there still hasn’t been a recovery from the recession, that every family still suffers from it in one way or another.”

Tom Lewandowski, the president of the Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council in Fort Wayne, puts it even more bluntly when I asked him about working-class Trump fans. “These people aren’t racist, not any more than anybody else is,” he says of Trump supporters he knows. “When Trump talks about trade, we think about the Clinton administration, first with Nafta and then with [Permanent Normal Trade Relations] China, and here in Northeast Indiana, we hemorrhaged jobs.”

“They look at that, and here’s Trump talking about trade, in a ham-handed way, but at least he’s representing emotionally. We’ve had all the political establishment standing behind every trade deal, and we endorsed some of these people, and then we’ve had to fight them to get them to represent us.”

Now, let us stop and smell the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America – one of our two monopoly parties – chose long ago to turn its back on these people’s concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a “creative class” that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps. The working people that the party used to care about, Democrats figured, had nowhere else to go, in the famous Clinton-era expression. The party just didn’t need to listen to them any longer.

What Lewandowski and Nussbaum are saying, then, should be obvious to anyone who’s dipped a toe outside the prosperous enclaves on the two coasts. Ill-considered trade deals and generous bank bailouts and guaranteed profits for insurance companies but no recovery for average people, ever – these policies have taken their toll. As Trump says, “we have rebuilt China and yet our country is falling apart. Our infrastructure is falling apart. . . . Our airports are, like, Third World.”

[links in original omitted, except the "video" one where emphasis was added]

The Clintons and/or the Cruz spouses, trust them to do something. They will do something. Either of them, given the chance. That would be TPP. To us. Not for us. For Wall Street, where Asian ownership opportunity would be opened to Wall Street in exchange for their getting the jobs. Neat exchange? For some, not for all.

Bernie knows it, and says it, and the two insurgencies - each of them in turn - within each of the hidebound "in control" parties, Trump/GOP and Sanders/Dems, are getting mainstream media garbage thrown at them or else the insurgencies are simply ignored as if people should love the status quo and the direction TPP would take us, and not know actual alternatives are being debated.

Bless the Clintons. Bless the Cruz spouses. Bless Goldman Sachs. Bless TPP. Bless mainstream media. To the extent a channel such as MSNBC now gives some early coverage, await the "economically infeasible" stuff to surface big time against Trump and Sanders, as needed to assure the Clinton candidacy and perhaps derail Trump also. "Economic infeasibility" as well as "political infeasibility" will surface to be hammered more and more regularly as we approach November balloting. This is the wealthiest nation in history, but private bankers control the money supply; that is the Fed's systemic nature; and unwillingness there differs from "infeasible."

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Young Turks and the Carrier video; here. A thought experiment; wouldn't it be a hoot for either a Sanders presidency, or a Trump one, to have Rand Paul appointed Secretary of the Treasury to interface with the Fed?

That would be business not as usual.

Do watch the Young Turks item. It's interesting.

Another hypothetical, that Young Turks news deliverer, he'd make a great presidential press secretary.

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