This is pretty ugly stuff. Western Journalism reports that former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer strong armed one company, Stillwater Mining Company, into making him chairman at $181,000/year (though he had no experience in the mining industry) and into granting him over $660,000 worth of stock. Schweitzer then allegedly tried to pull a similar thing with a second company, Mines Management Inc., which told the former governor to take a hike. Schweitzer then allegedly initiated a PR campaign designed to damage the stock price of the company.
All the Ex-Im Bank transaction data was online. Then as political pressure built to end the New Deal era program the data suddenly disappeared. Then it was back minus important pieces of the original data. Below Veronique de Rugy continues to hold the Export-Import Bank’s feet to the fire.
We’re not referring to Sacramento…Da dum dum. We are referring to Governor Brown’s “behest payments.” Money which is given to the governor which he can then distribute to the charities of his choosing. So far it’s been a banner year for such payments.
We’ll see. But we are very pleased that crony capitalism has emerged as a key issue in the 2016 presidential race. It is one which we obviously believe is of vital importance.
GE got caught with its pants down. It over leveraged itself like much of Wall Street before the 2008 Crash and then begged Hank Paulson in Bush’s Treasury to save the company from its bad bets. Which Paulson did – or rather WE did. Now, fully indemnified and then some, GE is getting rid of its financial division. Exiting the scene free and clear. No problem. No pain. Everything’s fine. No Thank You to the taxpayers.
If you want to undermine the very spirit of this country a national police force would do it. Such a thing is anathema to the core principles of the United States republic. Such a force would be dangerous in the extreme. It would be a move toward real totalitarianism. Not “totalitarianism.” But ugly, soul crushing, totalitarianism.
Today Chris Christie’s deputy chief of staff pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the in the “Bridgegate” affair, where lanes on the George Washington Bridge were closed to punish the Mayor of Fort Lee for not supporting Christie in the most recent gubernatorial election. It’s another blow to the New Jersey governor’s presidential bid.
But as Bloomberg reports, “Bridgegate” is merely a symptom of a port authority system which is rife with inside dealing, corruption, power plays, and mindless bureaucracy. New York’s harbor is a vortex big city nastiness.
I can’t speak for the organization which put this video together, Represent.us, but I will say that the video is very good and well worth a view.
For crying into our pillows, kill this crony program. It is entirely in the hands of congressional Republicans who are supposed to be for smaller government. This one should be easy.
But it’s not easy because the big companies want their welfare. They want the American taxpayer to subsidize their loans, because, well, because they deserve it. And many supposedly conservative Republicans don’t want to upset their corporate sponsors.
This is how it’s done folks. Regulate your competition away. Enjoy fattened bottom lines courtesy of your sponsored politicians in Washington.
Of course consumers have fewer choices, overall quality is likely diminished, entrepreneurs go out of business, and employees lose jobs. But hey, it’s a crony world. You actually thought you’d get a fair shot? Ha! You’ve got a lot to learn my soap making friend.
The US Chamber of Commerce loudly proclaims that it operates in the “spirit of free enterprise.” Sadly that is not true.
The Chamber is beginning to show its true colors as a truly anti-crony lobby gains strength in Washington and in the country generally. Some of the enemies of crony capitalism are Republicans. One such Republican is Congressman Jeff Sessions, who wants to end the Export-Import Bank, “Boeing’s Bank.” This annoys the Chamber which wants to make sure that taxpayers continue to subsidize loans for its client(s).
The supposed champion of “the spirit of free enterprise” even ranked Harry Reid, Harry Reid, ahead of Congressman Sessions (someone who appears to actually believe in the spirit of free enterprise) on its scorecard.
Big political shifts are happening.
That’s not illegal, but it is scandalous.
There’s a household name at the nexus of the foundation and the State Department for every letter of the alphabet but “X” (often more than one): Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Chevron, (John) Deere, Eli Lilly, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, HBO, Intel, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Monsanto, NBC Universal, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, Rotary International, Siemens, Target, Unilever, Verizon, Walmart, Yahoo, and Ze-gen.
The set includes oil, defense, drug, tech, and news companies, as well as labor unions and foreign interests. It includes organizations as innocuous as the Girl Scouts and those as in need of brand-burnishing as Nike, which was once forced to vow that it would end the use of child labor in foreign sweatshops. This list of donors to the Clinton foundation who lobbied State matters because it gives a sense of just how common it was for influence-seekers to give to the Clinton Foundation, and exactly which ones did.
Here are the top ten.
The Crony Awards are just a great thing. I mean, what’s better than shaming cronies? Hats off to the folks at The Atlas Society for their efforts. The most important awards ceremony of the season. And way cooler than the Daytime Emmys.
It is like a never ending onion peel with the Clintons.
I’ll give them this – they stay busy.