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Sun Nov 2, 2014, 01:24 PM

Hey, Kentucky! Mitch McConnell is in bed with the BFEE.



Recently in the news:



Mitch McConnell’s Freighted Ties to a Shadowy Shipping Company

After drugs were found aboard the Ping May, a vessel owned by his wife’s family’s company, Colombian authorities are investigating.

Lee Fang
The Nation, October 30, 2014

Before the Ping May, a rusty cargo vessel, could disembark from the port of Santa Marta en route to the Netherlands in late August, Colombian inspectors boarded the boat and made a discovery. Hidden in the ship’s chain locker, amidst its load of coal bound for Europe, were approximately 40 kilograms, or about ninety pounds, of cocaine. A Colombian Coast Guard official told The Nation that there is an ongoing investigation.

The seizure of the narcotics shipment in the Caribbean port occurred far away from Kentucky, the state in which Senator Mitch McConnell is now facing a career-defining election. But the Republican Senate minority leader has the closest of ties to the owner of the Ping May, the vessel containing the illicit materials: the Foremost Maritime Corporation, a firm founded and owned by McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family.

Though Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail. That’s because, like many international shipping companies, Chao’s firm is shrouded from public view, concealing its identity and limiting its legal liability through an array of tax shelters and foreign registrations. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.

McConnell’s ties to the Chaos go back to the late 1980s, when James Chao began donating to the senator. In 1993, McConnell married James’s daughter, Elaine Chao, a Republican activist and former Reagan administration official who would later serve as secretary of labor in the George W. Bush cabinet. James Chao emigrated to the United States from Taiwan, and founded the Foremost Maritime Corporation upon settling in New York. The company has grown significantly over the years, from acting as maritime agent during the Vietnam War to controlling a fleet of approximately sixteen dry-bulk cargo ships in operation today.

SNIP...

The firm, however, leaves a faint online trace. Foremost’s website FMCNY.com is blank. Records and court documents obtained by The Nation show that the ownership of the company’s vessels—with names such as Ping May, Soya May, Fu May and Grain May—is obscured through a byzantine structure of tax entities. Most of Foremost’s vessels are flagged in Liberia, which ensures that crew members of Foremost’s ships work under Liberia’s maritime labor laws, which critics note allow for intimidation in the workplace and few protections for labor unions. In addition, a Liberian “flag of convenience” allows ship owners to pay lower tonnage taxes than ships that fly the US flag. Maritime companies have increasingly used the Marshall Islands to register their vessels. The jurisdiction boasts of “no taxation, lax regulation, and no requirements for disclosure of many corporate details—even to the United States government,” according to a report in World Policy Journal.

CONTINUED...

http://www.thenation.com/article/186689/mitch-mcconnells-freighted-ties-shadowy-shipping-company?page=full



Gee. Shipping must get more profitable depending with what's being shipped.

By way of background: When Nixon and Kissinger started their detente with China to drive a wedge between Peking and Moscow, Poppy and his entrepreneurial family found many, exciting and new opportunities to make it big.



The Bush family: Middle Kingdom rainmakers

By Zach Coleman
atimes.com, May 21, 2004

HONG KONG - George Herbert Walker Bush arrived in Beijing 30 years ago as the official United States representative to China with one goal above all else: expanding his buddy list.

"My hyper-adrenaline, political instincts tell me that the fun of this job is going to be to try to make more contacts," he wrote in his first diary entry. "And it is my hope that I will be able to meet the next generation of China's leaders - whomever they may be. Yet everyone tells me that that is impossible."

SNIP...

Last month, the government Xinhua News Agency reported discussions that took place between President Hu Jintao and Bush Sr in Hainan Island province during the Boao Forum for Asia about "issues of common concern". Hu delivered the barely veiled message that the US needed to be more sensitive to China's position on Taiwan's independence in order to get more cooperation on the US priorities of trade and terrorism. Bush Sr replied, according to Xinhua, that Bush Jr "highly valued the important role that China has made in the efforts for peaceful solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula".

US companies also still see the Bushes as Middle Kingdom rainmakers. In December, Bush Jr invited a business group founded by Prescott to send 50 members to a reception on the White House lawn for visiting Premier Wen Jiabao. And a group of bankers and financiers travelled from the US with Bush Sr last month to an environmental protection conference in Shanghai that featured top officials from the standing committee of the National People's Congress and other government bodies, according to the Shanghai Star.

It all makes for a lucrative niche. There are no publicly disclosed figures on how much the family has made overall in the last three decades as China brokers. But the deals continue to add up.

CONTINUED...

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/FE21Ad01.html



One thing that voters in Kentucky and throughout the USA need to know, while their middle class existence evaporates over decades since Nixon's first trip to see Mao in 1972, things have gotten very, very good for the wealthy. And the wealthier one is today, the faster one's wealth grows. It's miraculous, almost, even creating a class of super-wealthy people in a "classless communist country."

So today, enormous inequality is something the Chinese people now share with the people of the United States. Of course, they're not supposed to know about that, too.



China blocks New York Times website after story on leader's family wealth

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri October 26, 2012

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Chinese authorities on Friday blocked access inside the country to the English and Chinese websites of The New York Times after they published an article reporting that family members of Premier Wen Jiabao had amassed a fortune worth billions of dollars.

Citing corporate and regulatory records, The Times said it had pieced together evidence showing that Wen's relatives have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion, often hiding their names "behind layers of partnerships and investment vehicles involving friends, work colleagues and business partners."

China reacted angrily to the report, preventing people inside the country from visiting the two Times websites or searching for the terms "New York Times" and "Wen Jiabao" on popular social media platforms.
Big Brother still watching: Internet censorship on the up

"It's trying to blacken China's image and has ulterior motives," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a response to a question about the article, which mentioned Wen's son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law as being among those who had grown rich during Wen's time in power.

CONTINUED...

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/26/world/asia/china-times-website-blocked



Now, though, the Chinese government has started going after their corrupt officials.



Crony Communism in China

By MINXIN PEI
Op-Ed, The New York Times, OCT. 17, 2014

CLAREMONT, Calif. — When Xi Jinping launched his anti-corruption campaign shortly after becoming the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in late 2012, most observers thought he would merely go through the motions, jailing a few senior officials and then carrying on business as usual. His predecessors, after all, had used anti-corruption investigations largely to eliminate their political opponents and consolidate power. Disciplinary actions would spike during the year following a new leader’s appointment and fall the year after that.

But Mr. Xi’s campaign goes well beyond any immediate desire to establish his political supremacy. It is unprecedented in sweep and ambition, taking on the class of 5,000 or so very senior officials who operate the most vital organs of the C.C.P., the government, the military and state-owned enterprises. Its goal is no less than to upend the unspoken system by which China’s elites have been governing since the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989: a self-reinforcing web of relations based on patronage and corruption. As a leader driven by a historic mission to safeguard the C.C.P.’s rule against all odds, Mr. Xi sees endemic corruption as a serious threat to the regime’s long-term survival.

But corruption has penetrated so very deeply into the party-state that it has become the glue that holds it together. And so Mr. Xi’s campaign, which is meant to ensure the C.C.P.’s longevity, seems to pose an existential threat to it in the short or medium term.

SNIP...

Another source of windfall profit has been privatization — which is euphemistically called “property rights reform,” because of a lingering ideological squeamishness about turning nominally state-owned assets into private property. Since the early 1990s, the Chinese government has progressively relaxed its control over the disposal of land and mining resources, for example, allowing local officials unprecedented freedom to transfer these valuable assets to family members and friends. In a major scandal involving Zhou Yongkang, the recently retired internal security czar, his elder son purchased two oil blocks from the state-owned energy giant China National Petroleum Corporation for about $3.2 million and quickly resold them for a profit of more than $80 million. Cao Yongzheng, a crony of Mr. Zhou’s who claims to be able to predict the future, seems to have been given, most likely as a reward for some services, an oil block that brought him nearly $100 million a year, according to an investigation by the highly respected Chinese business publication Caixin.

Based on reports from the offices of provincial and municipal prosecutors, between one-third and two-thirds of all corruption cases in China today involve multiple officials and businessmen. In the 1980s, most corruption was committed by individuals acting alone. This newer, collusive form of corruption is far more pernicious because it is harder to detect and to stop, and it corrodes the institutional integrity of the state.

CONTINUED...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/opinion/crony-communism-in-china.html?_r=0



In China, corruption is the "glue" that holds the country together. The good people of Kentucky need to know that Mitch and his ilk are part of the same corruption, brought to both China and the USA by the BFEE and its cronies. With new members, the Senate may yet help the nation get unstuck from that very same glue.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hey, Kentucky! Mitch McConnell is in bed with the BFEE. (Original post)
Octafish Nov 2014 OP
demwing Nov 2014 #1
Octafish Nov 2014 #13
spanone Nov 2014 #2
Octafish Nov 2014 #14
Robbins Nov 2014 #3
Octafish Nov 2014 #15
Ykcutnek Nov 2014 #4
Octafish Nov 2014 #16
JEB Nov 2014 #5
Octafish Nov 2014 #17
Fred Sanders Nov 2014 #6
Ykcutnek Nov 2014 #8
Octafish Nov 2014 #18
Initech Nov 2014 #7
Octafish Nov 2014 #20
fredamae Nov 2014 #9
Octafish Nov 2014 #21
katmondoo Nov 2014 #10
Octafish Nov 2014 #22
czarjak Nov 2014 #11
Octafish Nov 2014 #23
ReRe Nov 2014 #12
WillyT Nov 2014 #19

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 01:37 PM

1. heavy

 

but probably beyond the attention span of the average McConnell voter

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Response to demwing (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 09:50 PM

13. In sum: ''Mitch is a crook.'' Take Social Security. Mitch and his chums want to...

Senator Mitch McConnell And His Pals Stole $2.5 Trillion Of Our Social Security Money

by: Hillbilly
Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 17:00:58 PM EST

Yup it's true. $2.5 or $2.6, depending on who's counting, Trillion of our Social Security money is gone. Senator Mitch McConnell and his pals have spent it. All $2.5/$2.6 Trillion of it and gave us a IOU. That worked OK as long as there was more money coming into Social Security than going out. But now when there's less coming into Social Security than going out and the IOU's are due Senator Mitch McConnell and his pals pretend to be worried about the solvency of Social Security. Really? It's sock it to Grandma time.

SOURCE w/links: http://www.hillbillyreport.org/diary/2465/senator-mitch-mcconnell-and-his-pals-stole-25-trillion-of-our-social-security-money

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 01:41 PM

2. they will only love him more

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Response to spanone (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 09:53 PM

14. Elaine Chao, the wage earner in Mitch McConnell’s household

By Laurie Bennett
Muckety, September 14, 2012 at 9:56am

Few people are in greater demand in the corporate board room than Elaine Chao.

She brings significant government and nonprofit experience - as Peace Corps director under George H.W. Bush, labor secretary under George W. Bush, and president and CEO of the United Way.

She is also married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Chao sits on the boards of three Fortune 1000 companies - Dole Food, Protective Life, and Wells Fargo.

Next month, shareholders of News Corp. will vote on her nomination to join their board, which would increase her Fortune 1000 membership to four.

According to proxy statements, Chao received more than $340,000 last year for her corporate director posts, in addition to income as a public speaker, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a contributor on Fox News.

CONTINUED with a great interactive map...

http://news.muckety.com/2012/09/14/elaine-chao-the-wage-earner-in-mitch-mcconnells-household/38241

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 01:50 PM

3. If polls are right

They don't care as long as they can stick it to black guy.

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Response to Robbins (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 09:56 PM

15. Well. It's about time people thought more about what really counts.

I had hoped, six years ago, the President would use his Bully Pulpit to spread some of those ideas among the People in Kentucky and across the entire nation. He shouldn't have trusted the media to do it.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 01:53 PM

4. The only thing voters in this state care about is coal.

 

McConnell could do a line off the back of an elderly woman waiting in line for the LIHEAP program he always votes to cut and they'd still vote his sorry ass back in.

Every. Fucking. Ad. speaks of stopping the "President's WAR ON COAL"

McConnell is very unpopular in the state, but the coalfields will likely carry him to victory.

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Response to Ykcutnek (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 10:01 PM

16. Well, jobs and coal.

When I visited Kentucky in 2012, I was amazed to discover that the Toyota Plant in Georgetown pays zero property taxes. My hosts never heard Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. quote, "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society." They did appreciate learning it, though.

PS: Here's what I saw at the Yuko-En on the Elkhorn:



Truly wonderful place, Kentucky, and its great people.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 01:54 PM

5. Greed, graft, corruption:

 

The cynical accept it as the way things work. The skeptical try to pull back the curtain and reveal it (thanks Octafish). The naive like looking at the pretty patterns on the curtain as presented by our corrupt media. I hope for new members of the Senate and have but a slight hope they can extract our nation from the "glue".

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Response to JEB (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:47 AM

17. The Grinch That Stole Labor Day

by Greg Palast
Aug. 30, 2003

In celebration of the working person's holiday, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao has announced the Bush Administration's plan to end the 60-year-old law which requires employers to pay time-and-a-half for overtime.

I'm sure you already knew that -- if you happened to have run across page 15,576 of the Federal Register. According to the Register, where the Bush Administration likes to place it's little gifts to major campaign donors, 2.7 million workers will lose their overtime pay -- for a "benefit" of $1.53 billion. I put "benefit" in quotes because, in the official cost-benefit analysis issued by Bush's Labor Department, the amount employers will now be able to slice out of workers' pockets is tallied on the plus side of the rules change. Nevertheless, workers getting their pay snipped shouldn't complain, because they will all be receiving promotions. These employees will be re-classified as managers exempt from the law. The change is promoted by the National Council of Chain Restaurants.

You've met these 'managers' - they're the ones in the beanies and aprons whose management decisions are, "Hold the lettuce on that."

My favorite of Chao's little amendments would re-classify as "exempt professionals" anyone who learned their skill in the military. In other words, thousands of veterans will now lose overtime pay. I just can't understand why Bush didn't announce that one when he landed on the aircraft carrier.

CHOICE NUMBER FOUR: BREAK THE LAW

Now I should say that, according to Chao's press office, the changes will actually extend overtime benefits to 1.3 million burger flippin' managers. How does that square with the billion dollar "benefit" to business owners? Simple: The Chao hounds at the Labor Department suggest that employers CUT WAGES so that, with the new "overtime" pay, the employees won't actually take home a dime more. I can hear the moaners and bleeding hearts saying, this sounds like the Labor Department is telling Big Business how to evade the law. Yep, that's what the Department is doing.

Right there on page 15,576 of the Federal Register it says, "Affected employers would have four choices concerning potential payroll costs: … (4) converting salaried employees' basis of pay to an hourly rate that result in virtually no changes to the total compensation paid those workers." And in case some employer is dense as a president and doesn't get the hint, Madame Chao repeats, "…The fourth choice above results in virtually no (or only a minimal) increase in labor costs."

CONTINUED...

http://www.morphizm.com/politix/palast/palast_labor.html

PS: Thank you, JEB! Very much appreciate you grokking and fighting.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 01:59 PM

6. If Grimes's father in law had a ship with kilos of cocaine found on it, what headlines would we see?

Who would be "disqualified"?

But when it is the Turtle....we get crickets.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 02:42 PM

8. CNN did a story on a restaurant her father co-owns because he pays employees minimum wage...

 

He abides by the law and she's attacked for it.

But, yep... crickets on the cocaine story.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:51 AM

18. It'd be on every billboard along every freeway in Kentucky.

It'd be on every nooze broadcast and on every front page in Kentucky.

Ever corporate toad would preach it at every opportunity.

But, as it was Turtle, only crickets.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 02:35 PM

7. The BFEE's circle of greed and corruption knows no boundaries.

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Response to Initech (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:58 AM

20. Interlocking Board of Directors?

So Old School!

In today's BFEE, we're talking about Interlocking Cabinets.



Elaine Chao Is No Frances Perkins

Dick Meister
2005

We should be outraged, but hardly surprised, that President Bush's secretary of labor is as anti-labor as her boss.

Elaine Chao, in fact, is probably the most anti-labor secretary of labor ever. Although the law defines her job as furthering the interests of "the wage earners of the United States," she spends her time furthering the interests of employers. You'd think she was secretary of commerce.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce certainly is quite pleased with her. Chamber Vice President Randel Johnson praises Chao for supporting "the limited role of government" and "free-market principles."

No praise, however, from AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and other labor leaders. They rightly condemn Chao for failing to meet her legal obligations to working people.

Despite her position, Chao rarely has any contact with labor representatives, but plenty of contact with anti-labor business people. She's done nothing to try to combat the pitifully lax enforcement and open employer violation of the federal laws that are supposed to guarantee union rights to workers, but has put in place regulations making it even easier for employers to circumvent the laws -- and drawn plaudits from them for doing so.

The Labor Department is charged with helping create jobs, yet despite the claims of Chao and Bush to the contrary, the administration's record on job creation is the worst since the Depression administration of another notably anti-labor Republican, Herbert Hoover.

Chao has recently been spending much of her time speaking before conservative groups on behalf of Bush's decidedly worker-unfriendly proposals for revamping the Social Security system. And she has warned unions not to use their pension funds to oppose Bush's proposal or to hire or fire service providers mainly on the basis of their position on the proposal.

Unfortunately there's more. Much more. Chao opposes any increase in the pitifully inadequate federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. She opposes affirmative action. She argued that the 170,000 members of the Homeland Security Department should be denied union rights "so we can better protect Americans."

She supported canceling the Labor Department regulations -- 10 years in the making -- that were designed to protect workers from the repetitive motion injuries that hurt and cripple more than two million of them annually and withdrew more than 20 other proposed safety regulations. She slashed the budget for enforcement of the remaining regulations and virtually all other department functions aimed at helping workers.

Chao meanwhile is attempting to impose financial disclosure regulations on unions that would require them to spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars to track and report their expenditures in great, unprecedented and clearly unnecessary detail. Those are the regulations first suggested in 1992 by former Republican leader Newt Gingrich as a way to "weaken our opponents and encourage our allies."

CONTINUED...

http://www.dickmeister.com/id157.html



Thanks to the munificence of their Betters, the People get to enjoy the privilege of picking up the tab for the greedheads.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 02:55 PM

9. This hasn't even been

reported on MSM!
And likely Won't be and it is a BFD!
"McConnell’s ties to the Chaos go back to the late 1980s, when James Chao began donating to the senator. In 1993, McConnell married James’s daughter, Elaine Chao, a Republican activist and former Reagan administration official who would later serve as secretary of labor in the George W. Bush cabinet. James Chao emigrated to the United States from Taiwan, and founded the Foremost Maritime Corporation upon settling in New York. The company has grown significantly over the years, from acting as maritime agent during the Vietnam War to controlling a fleet of approximately sixteen dry-bulk cargo ships in operation today."
"Foremost Group is the source of most of Senator McConnell’s fortune through gifts and inheritance from his in-laws. It is a shadowy corporation, utilizing a complex scheme of shell companies to skip out on millions in taxes annually."

It sure doesn't look Good for McConnell to claim :Geee, how could I Possibly know?"

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Response to fredamae (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:43 AM

21. Elaine Chao, the Rumsfeld of the Labor Dept

Media Blackout on Bush’s War Against Labor

by DAVID SWANSON
CounterPunch, Dec. 20, 2004

EXCERPT...

The media continues to refer to Elaine Chao as the "Secretary of Labor," although she has little contact with labor and is generally known for repealing an ergonomics rule that had been 10 years in the making, and eliminating the right to overtime pay for millions of Americans. Chao is one of only six cabinet secretaries staying on for another term (or five if Rumsfeld departs). On December 16, Chao moderated a panel discussion on "Preparing for Jobs in the 21st Century." Labor was not represented on the panel, other than in the name of the department that is part of Chao’s job title.

Substantive comments on Chao’s performance for the past four years aren’t part of most media accounts of her re-appointment. Agence France Press on December 10th noted that she was an immigrant. Susan Page at USA Today on December 10th marveled at the diversity of Bush’s cabinet, noting that Chao is an Asian-American woman, as did Joe Klein 17 days later in Time.

No one offered similar praise for the Bush Administration’s rampant nepotism, but many accounts noted that Chao is married to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the second-highest ranking majority senator. Some accounts noted nothing else about her. John Mercurio of CNN on December 19th offered Chao as an example of a "safe nomination," because she’s the wife of "a very popular Republican senator."

Of the few accounts that went into any more depth than that, most of them quoted questionable assertions from Chao and included no analysis of her credibility or even opposing opinions from anyone else. The one media outlet that offered any critical observations was the Louisville Courier-Journal (McConnell is a senator from Kentucky). In a December 10th article, the Courier-Journal provided a "balanced" report on opposing opinions:

"Business organizations have praised Chao for her efforts to reduce what they view as unnecessary regulation and to make compliance with federal labor laws easier. But organized labor and Democratic critics have attacked Chao and the administration, citing what they say are workplace safety reductions and other policies hostile to working people."

An editorial in the next day’s Courier-Journal began: "Of all the Bush Cabinet members who could have been replaced, none deserved to go more than Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who has botched a war, and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who has failed America’s workers. Had this administration decided to merge the Labor and Commerce departments (not as silly a notion as it might sound, given the obsessive pro-business orientation of the President and his friends), Ms. Chao might have been a rousing success. As it is, she seems to have developed the worst reputation, at least among organized labor groups, of anyone who has held her portfolio." The editorial concludes on this note: "Oh well. At least the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are delighted that Ms. Chao will staying. In Bush World, that’s what counts."

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/12/20/media-blackout-on-bush-s-war-against-labor/

Remember, the Mass Media don't work for the People. They bow to the same master as Wall Street and Washington, the Allmighty Dollar.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 03:05 PM

10. Remember all the last minute things about W.Bush

None of it mattered

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Response to katmondoo (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:44 AM

22. 5-4

One vote cost the Nation, what 224 years?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 04:32 PM

11. Senate work pays pretty good...

Huh, Mitch? Marriage of convenience much? Ahhhh, true love. Elizabeth sure has a keen eye.

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Response to czarjak (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:02 AM

23. Love works in mysterious ways. Take Wells Fargo...

One of the corporate boards on which Dr. Chao sits...



Wells Fargo: Your Neighborhood Mega-Money Laundering, Drug War Profiteering, Prison-Industry Enlarging Bank

Wells Fargo is one big elite networking operation that's not afraid to get its hands covered in blood money.

July 31, 2013
Occupy.com, via AlterNet

Just recently, in late July, Wells Fargo surpassed the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as the world’s largest bank by market capitalization. This followed Wells Fargo reporting a 19% increase in profits over the second quarter as the bank has been busy consolidating the housing market while other big banks have retreated from it. Wells Fargo had amassed a share of almost 40% of the U.S. mortgage market by early 2013.

SNIP...

It gets better. In 2010, Wachovia – which was purchased by Wells Fargo in 2008 – paid a settlement of $160 million for laundering over $100 million in drug money for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels. Further, the bank admitted that it had failed to “apply the proper anti-laundering strictures” regarding the bank’s handling of $378.4 billion in currency exchanges with Mexico between 2004 and 2007. A federal prosecutor commented, “Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” as tens of thousands of Mexicans were killed in an exponentially violent drug war.

Thus, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, not only did the big banks receive sprawling government bailouts (Wells Fargo got $25 billion from the U.S. government), but according to the UN, proceeds pouring in from the global drug trade ultimately helped keep Wells Fargo and others afloat as “the only liquid investment capital” available to them during the crisis. But Wells Fargo didn't just profit from laundering money for major drug cartels -- it also profited, and continues to profit, at the other end of the drug war as a major investor in the prison-industrial complex, specifically with heavy investments in the GEO Group, the second largest private prison company in the United States.

As the largest bank in the world, Wells Fargo is deeply connected with some of the most powerful U.S. and international institutions to ensure that no matter how many crimes it commits -- fraud, illegal foreclosures, money laundering, you name it -- it will continue to consolidate markets, grow larger and presumably get away with its criminal activities for relatively small fines. The Global Power Project examined a total of 26 individuals on the executive committee and board of directors at Wells Fargo to assess their institutional affiliations. The most represented institutions (with three individual affiliations each) are the Council on Foreign Relations and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), followed by Harvard, Citigroup, Chevron, the Financial Services Roundtable and Target Corporation (with two individual affiliations each).

Meet the Elites

Elaine L. Chao, who sits on the board of Wells Fargo, was formerly U.S. Secretary of Labor in the George W. Bush administration, from 2001 to 2009. She was a Distinguished Fellow of the Heritage Foundation from 1996 to 2001 and has resumed that position since 2009. She was also the President and CEO of the United Way of America from 1992 to 1996, Director of the Peace Corps from 1991 to 1992, and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1989 to 1991. Chao is a member of the board of directors of Dole Food Company, News Corporation, Protective Life Corporation, the Institute of Politics of Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a member of Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

CONTINUED...

http://www.alternet.org/economy/whats-wrong-wells-fargo



For the true fetishist, there's nothing like the attraction of money. It's Buy Partisan.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Nov 2, 2014, 04:47 PM

12. Octafish

Octafish: DU's lead Opposition Researcher. Marking so I can come back and read all this. I honestly believe that if McConnell wasn't being propped up by the Koch Bros, that Alison would run away with this election. Later...

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:58 AM

19. K & R !!!

 


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