Why does the GOP establishment fear Donald Trump? And the Democratic establishment fear Bernie Sanders?
Both political parties depend on large donations from banks and corporations. So too do candidates running for office.
What do the banks and corporations get in return?
Money right back at ya. Big money. Directly and indirectly. Money through the Federal Reserve, money through the Export-Import Bank and most of all, money by creating artificial monopolies through selective enforcement of regulations.
First there is direct corporate welfare. This is not the biggest source of income, in fact, it is the least, but it is the easiest for the public to understand so I will begin there and tell more in later posts.
Billions of dollars are given to companies directly from the U.S. Treasury. In fact, twice as much money goes to corporate welfare than to welfare for the poor. The latter is a point that Bernie Sander’s supporters like to make. Look it up yourself.
These grants are smothered in honorable language, “to create jobs, to stimulate the economy, to protect the environment, to redress past wrongs,” the list goes on and on. Special interest groups, some of them well-intentioned, promote these “causes” but in the end, the establishment corporations make most of the money.
There are sometimes very compelling and logical reasons for corporate welfare. When I was in the White House a major company wanted millions of dollars to compete in France. They said that the French saw their company as a cultural invasion and so the French government was subsidizing their own.
But whatever the reason, the bottom line is this, the big companies get money from the government for their business and YOU don’t. If you start a company you are on your own and worse, you will be subsidizing your competition with your very own tax dollars.
Oh yeah, once they get that money they turn around and give it back as donations to the politicians and political parties that helped them get it.
When you read that the establishment is backing Marco Rubio or now, reluctantly, Ted Cruz, that is where some of that backing comes from. When there was a misquote from the Chairman of Goldman Sachs saying he was fine with either Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton as president, that was why it was so widely believed. And that’s why it raised eyebrows when Ted Cruz forgot to report a $750,000 loan from Goldman Sachs that launched his political career.
Forget about liberal and conservative. Think in terms of insider and outsider.
When I worked in the White House conservative businessmen came in to make sure I was onboard for federal dollars going to their companies.
“This is our chance,” they explained. “We are in power. The liberals do it. We have to do it too.”
I also had publishers of conservative magazines and presidents of think tanks come in and lobby me for money for these same “conservative” companies. It didn’t take long for me to see that the companies who got government money were the companies who bought advertising in those same “conservative” magazines and who financed the retreats for their think tanks and gave them research grants.
This is how the liberal-conservative equation has become compromised. Liberals will push for environmental legislation but then exempt companies that give them money. Conservatives will criticize fraudulent welfare abuse but award money to companies that overcharge for worthless services.
Yes, there are good people in the middle of this. People who believe in their cause. Private contractors who give good service to the public, government servants who give their lives to help others. But the poor continue to get poorer and the rich continue to get richer.
The Democratic establishment doesn’t trust Bernie Sanders who would answer corruption with government run socialism.
Socialism is the poor man’s way to “game” the system. They will get YOU to pay for their rent, their food, their education. It’s popularity shows how hopeless the public is about corruption.
The Republican establishment doesn’t trust Donald Trump who keeps saying that Washington is stupid, that it should be run like a business, that contracts should go to the lowest bidder. But there is a reason why they don’t go to the lowest bidder. Corruption
Trump’s answer is a return to free enterprise, supply and demand, the American Dream.
Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s, ill timed toilet break in front of an audience of 7.8 million television viewers is an excellent metaphor for the 2016 presidential election. It happened during the ABC Democratic Presidential Debate, December 19, 2015. Basically, the whole democratic process is now in the toilet. The national media has determined to give the White House to Hillary Clinton and no scandal, no incompetence and no lack of decorum will dislodge them from their task.
“Sorry,” Clinton said when she came back to the podium.
Of course, the mainstream media is well aware that ridicule can be even more damaging than scandal so their handling of the “Clinton Dump” is instructive. The next day the television networks refused to tell anyone in their audience what had happened. If they hadn’t found out on their own through social media they were out of luck. And it had been the smallest television audience for a debate so far this cycle. The Democrat National Committee had arranged for that, making sure it happened the week of Christmas, trying to minimize the possibility of any opposition to Clinton.
Yet the story of Clinton’s departure from the stage was so widespread that they couldn’t ignore it either. The network evening news, with its half hour weather reports, is verging on the cliff of irrelevancy. It had to say something. Thus, at the beginning of the next night’s newscasts the major networks led with a story of Donald Trump’s comments on the Clinton toilet break, as well as his comments on other events. Trump had dismissed the moment as “disgusting.” The networks attacked Trump’s response, and did so without telling their audiences what had triggered it. He had done it again, they intoned, for those who could figure out what had happened. That Donald Trump is just so classless.
In fact, it is the major television networks, now bent on cramming Clinton down our throats who have become classless. We are talking about a handful of old men, who want to see a woman elected president in their lifetime. It will be their gift to their wives and daughters. And while there are many civilized and intelligent Democrat women, whose creation of wealth is less criminal and outrageous than Hillary Clinton, they know that she is the only chance they have to elect a woman in their lifetime and so she will have to do.
Hillary knows this too. And so, say her critics, she did not shrink from extorting every major international company or government on her way through the experience of Secretary of State. “They will all forget this in a few months,” Bill probably assured her. “Look at me. The public forgets. And remember our dinner at Claridges? Old Mr. so and so and his daughter love you.”
When Paula Jones first made her outrageous accusations against Bill Clinton, she was dismissed by the Clinton entourage – and the national media – as “trailer park trash.” No one believed Ms. Jones. Women’s groups ignored her story. The nation dismissed incumbent President George H.W. Bush’s campaign emphasis on character. Obviously, character doesn’t mean much in American society anymore.
But today, after a decade of Bill Clinton, and stained dresses, and endless stories, we know that Paul Jones was not lying. She was being crushed by powerful men who control television and politics in America and the pain and abuse and sexual exploitation of a single young woman did not matter. It could be laughed off. The victims of the Clinton’s must shut up and take their medicine. Laws do not apply. Ask the Clinton’s White House counsel, Vince Foster, who once said, that in Washington “ruining people is considered sport.” Ask Sally Perdue, who was warned not to talk about her affair with Clinton. “We know you go jogging by yourself, a former Democrat Party official allegedly told her, “and we can’t guarantee what might happen to your pretty little legs.”
It is now clear that Hillary Clinton, who turned $1,000 into $100,000 in 92 transactions in less than a year in the commodities market is going to get a pass to power. She will not be asked to answer questions about the conflict of interest of the Clinton Foundation. It now appears she will not have to explain anything to anybody.
Only now we know. It is not Donald Trump who lacks class. And it is not Paul Jones who is trailer park trash. It is the Clintons and it is the wealthy, powerful old men who are delivering up America on a platter. They are asking that once more we put the American dream and the U.S. Constitution in suspension, this time so they can make Hillary Clinton the next president, a birthday gift wrapped in a ribbon, for their indolent daughters.
To put it in Hillary’s own words, “Sorry.” Or, “At this point, what difference does it make?”
President Obama’s comparison of the violence committed by ISIS in Paris and the attack by a deranged man against a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado brought gasps of surprise from some French journalists. “There is no comparison and it cheapens the loss of life here to try to make some dubious political point back home,” I was told. Beyond that, the feeling was that the president’s comparison was illogical.
I spoke with French citizens and government authorities earlier today by Skype and on FaceTime.
Meanwhile, here are some of the points of comparison to consider.
- ISIS speaks for a wing of the Islamic faith that represents millions of followers. Even the most conservative polling data and research confirms this. According to one recent poll, as many as 7% of all Muslims, or roughly 80 million people worldwide believe that the Koran approves of the killing of “infidels” or persons who do not share the same Islamic faith. Meanwhile, the gunman in Colorado can name no group of people, no organization, no religious denomination, no rogue pastor, no NGO, that endorses the killing of persons in the name of “anti-abortion.”
- ISIS is a full fledged – self declared – Caliphate with an estimated $3 million a day in income from oil and international banks who willingly do business with them. The deranged gunman in Colorado lives in a house trailer that by some accounts he doesn’t even own.
- ISIS has an active online presence, with thousands of sites and postings, preaching terror and death to infidels and recruiting followers. There is no online anti-abortion presence advocating death to abortionists or recruiting volunteers to kill them.
- ISIS murders number into the tens of thousands. They have targeted Shiias, Yazidis, Kurds, and Christians. Entire ethnic or religious populations have been wiped out in some villages and cities in the Middle East. By comparison, since 1990 there have been a total of eight murders associated with anti abortion extremists. None of the eight were coordinated. To offer a point of reference, 136 persons have been murdered in the city of St. Louis so far this year.
- Ironically, Islamic laws about abortion are strikingly similar to the views of most Christians and stricter than many. For example, it prohibits all abortions after four months, even in the case of rape. It only makes exceptions in the case of the life of the mother.
Meanwhile, after their initial shock, most French journalists ignored the President’s comments. There was no reference to them in the French media. Most French citizens I spoke with had no idea what the President had said.
“Yes, we see this as a war against extremism,” said one French official. “But how this relates to abortion is beyond me. Donner sa langue au chat.”
Meanwhile, a debate erupted over the American acceptance of 10,000 Syrian refugees. It will push the United States ahead of France in the number of such refugees accepted in 2015. And this after a Syrian passport was found near one of the dead terrorists in Paris. This past summer a shocking poll revealed that that 51% of all American Muslims favored Shariah Law over the U.S. Constitution. And a surprising 25% were okay with violence against Americans.
Back at home, Republican presidential candidates wondered if the United States shouldn’t hold off on the influx of Syrian refugees and accept some of the Christian refugees now being slaughtered by ISIS in countries across the Middle East, or even military translators and their families, who helped U.S. ground forces during the Iraq War.
At this Obama was outraged. “When I heard political leaders suggest that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing a warn-torn country is admitted…that’s shameful, that’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”
Which many Christians would contend is the whole point. There is indeed a test. Christians refugees are accepted last or not allowed.
For their part, the mainstream media continues to rigidly cater to the President’s version of the world even when embarrassing events such as the tragedy in Paris interrupt.
A documentary on ABC television points out that Islam and Christianity share common verses in the Old Testament that speak of barbaric executions for crimes against religious laws.
CNN reports on a raid against a Charity in Karachi in which Christian workers were separated from Muslims, the Christians murdered, the Muslims spared, while CNN intones that there appeared to be “no indication of a motive.”
Now both Obama and Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, insist that we must take the 10,000 Syrian refugees or suffer the consequences. “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL,” says Obama.
Has it come to this? We must take them, feed them, educate them and trust they will assimilate or they will blow us up?
The Arizona direct sales company Vemma was recently hit by the FTC and virtually shut down without a judge, jury or trial. The income of thousands, including single mothers, housewives, young businessmen, retirees and disable veterans has been instantly blocked by the government agency. Nobody will be paid, no matter what they have sold or how many years they have worked.
Ominously, among the reasons the FTC gave for its action, are methods that are employed by almost all other Direct Sales companies. If Vemma is unable to survive, it could spell the end of a vibrant industry that involves 18 million Americans, 74% of them women. It may be the last loophole allowing an ordinary person the opportunity to earn extraordinary amounts of money.
What is behind this action?
Shortly after the re-election of Barack Obama a former law enforcement – corporate security specialist called me with some interesting information. A friend in the Justice Department was asking him for details on Multi Level Marketing companies in Utah. They were talking names, income, the nature of their compensation plans and any questionable claims about their products. They would welcome any gossip about lifestyle too. Mistresses? Lavish meals? “Ahh, gonna take out a source of Republican money huh?” my friend joked.
It is no big secret that most entrepreneurs, including the kind who get into MLM’s, tend to be Republicans. Just as people who believe that government has the solutions for society, tend to get jobs in government.
Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway one of the nation’s most successful MLM’s, was a major donors to both the Reagan and Bush presidential campaigns. Frank VanderSloot, of Melaleuca, was the finance chairman and a $5 million fundraiser for Mitt Romney.
I have been an eyewitness to the political power of these companies and their sprawling networks of independence entrepreneurs. In 1984, when Ronald Reagan announced his re-election, he did so at an MLM event at the Atlanta Georgia Dome. Distributors came to the Dome for a weekend of seminars and forfeited the platform to the Reagan Campaign during the afternoon. In another city at yet another event, I spoke just before Reagan to an audience of 10,000 MLM builders.
During the election campaign of George H.W. Bush I would often get a call from campaign manager, Lee Atwater. “I need 500 people with signs cheering for Bush outside of Butler aviation in Raleigh Durham.” Atwater would give me five photo ops with Bush at the foot of the airplane and in return the five MLM leaders would guarantee the crowd as requested. In 1987, George W. Bush, working his dad’s campaign, spoke at an MLM event I arranged, helping to funnel distributors into campaign workers. It is not unlike what the unions do for the Democrats.
I have also been one of the pack who got the message from the top of the network. In 2008 I was building a network in XanGo when word came down to make a $1,000 donation to Mitt Romney. I complied.
It was only a matter of time before Obama would shut down this industry, which is a vibrant part of the economy of every other major western nation and flourishes in Russia.
There are many complaints about MLM. The odds of success are not high, although probably a lot higher than a career in journalism or professional sports or Hollywood or – for that matter – the FTC. The difference is MLM will take anybody and most other opportunities won’t.
In recent years the culture of MLM has diversified. Shaklee, for example, the MLM vitamin giant, is owned by a Democrat billionaire who is a friend of Oprah Winfrey. It will probably be the last one taken down and may even be permitted by the Obama administration to live out its retirement, as long as it remains quiet.
The danger for other MLM’s is the nature of the attack on Vemma. They have been hit hard on “auto-ship” a policy that has products automatically shipped to a distributor unless he or she opts out in advance. That, the FTC, contends, makes it a pyramid scheme. Most former members of the Book of the Month Club or the Literary Guild are familiar with auto-ship. If you signed up you got a book every month. You could opt out but if you didn’t you had to pay for the book or send it back. In our new “victim society” the FTC has determined that this is illegal.
It was also wrong, they say, that Vemma prospected college students. Universities are now places where beer pong is a sport, abortions are choice, date rape is so rampant that universities refuse to publicly publish the numbers but selling vitamins to your roommate is now a crime.
(Donations to defend the industry should go to the Direct Sellers Defense Fund, Morrie Aaron: email@example.com)
Jimmy Carter held a press conference today, announcing details on his growing battle with cancer.
“I will never lie to you,” Jimmy Carter said back in 1976. And so far, he never has.
The dignity, humility and integrity of Jimmy Carter is best illustrated by what he hasn’t done.
Unlike presidents who followed him he has not made millions off of interviews or speeches. Or taken speaking engagements from companies who needed influence. He hasn’t used his Foundation to trade influence for money. He hasn’t taken bribes in return for influencing policies for friends.
Unlike many of the most recent presidents he hasn’t used the courts to block researchers or writers from accessing his presidential papers. He has been accessible. He simply has nothing to hide. I interviewed him the year after he left office.
Unlike the last three Democrat presidents who preceded him, he did not have sex with young subordinates on his own White House staff.
What is striking is that there has not even been a single charge of impropriety. One can disagree with his political views but one cannot find anything wrong with his character.
Jimmy Carter followed Richard Nixon into the White House. Nixon, who was caught in a lie over the Watergate Scandal, created what was called the Imperial Presidency. His new White House Secret Service uniforms looked like Prussian police officers. By contrast, President Jimmy Carter insisted on carrying his own bags when he got off Air Force One.
It is said that Jimmy Carter redefined the post presidency. Most early presidents were careful to retire and stay out of the limelight. There were exceptions. Ulysses Grant got involved in tawdry business deals with his sons and probably would have gone to prison if he had not been a former president.
In more recent times, Coolidge, Truman, Eisenhower, all kept the tradition that held, former presidents were seldom seen and never heard.
Carter changed all of that. Determined to be useful, he volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and helped build houses for the needy. There he was, the former president, on a rooftop, pounding nails in the sun. The media couldn’t resist. He showed energy and compassion and his Carter Foundation impacted the world.
Jimmy Carter’s political rise was a Cinderella story. He was a candidate for president who showed up in Iowa the year before with a 2% recognition factor. That doesn’t mean that 2% of the state supported him, it means only 2% even knew who he was. But by the summer of 1975, right where we are now in the presidential cycle, Jimmy Carter stunned the nation by winning the important Iowa presidential summer straw poll. It thrust him into the nation’s limelight where he has remained ever since.
It is hard to explain the euphoria that accompanied the Carter election as president. He was a Democrat who publicly identified himself as a “born again” Christian. Which put border states into play and reshuffled the electoral college numbers as Republican evangelicals crossed over to support him. It forever changed the strategic map of American politics.
His family was a hoot.
Lillian Carter, the president’s mother, was a huge personality, well ahead of her time. Outspoken and courageous in her political views, Lillian was a Southerner who spent her life exposing racism. A world traveler, a nurse, a former Peace Corps volunteer to India, she became a delightful bon vivant of the Carter First Family.
His sister, Ruth Carter Stapleton, was a well dressed, good looking, faith healer.
His brother, Billy Carter, was the personification of the old Southern country boy. When Carter won the Iowa Caucus reporters descended on his tiny gas station in Plains, Georgia where Billy held court with a beer can in his hand. “My sister is a faith healer,” Billy said. “My brother thinks he’s going to be president. I’m the only sane one in the bunch.”
It was an exciting and compelling time of hope. America was coming out of Watergate and corruption. There was hope that this president could restore integrity to the White House. He did that. But the economy sagged, Islamic terrorists seized power in Iran and the Soviet Union threatened the end of the world. American turned to Ronald Reagan.
The Soviet threat is gone now, but the economy still struggles as American finds its new place in a post industrial era and unfortunately, the corruption is back. The IRS, the Veterans Administration and other agencies are tainted. The front runners for both parties include a Republican who openly brags that “I buy politicians and they do what the hell I tell them to” and a Democrat who is trying to survive charges that she offered her power for sale to even foreign buyers.
Jimmy Carter’s press conference today was a reminder that at least once, in recent American history, someone held power without corruption.