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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Billionaires meet in secret, plot to hijack the democratic process


Not from InfoWars.
Billionaires, tech CEOs and top members of the Republican establishment flew to a private island resort off the coast of Georgia this weekend for the American Enterprise Institute's annual World Forum, according to sources familiar with the secretive gathering.

The main topic at the closed-to-the-press confab? How to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google co-founder Larry Page, Napster creator and Facebook investor Sean Parker, and Tesla Motors and SpaceX honcho Elon Musk all attended. So did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), political guru Karl Rove, House Speaker Paul Ryan, GOP Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Ben Sasse (Neb.), who recently made news by saying he "cannot support Donald Trump."

Along with Ryan, the House was represented by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (Mich.), Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas) and almost-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), sources said, along with leadership figure Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Diane Black (Tenn.).

Philip Anschutz, the billionaire GOP donor whose company owns a stake in Sea Island, was also there, along with Democratic Rep. John Delaney, who represents Maryland. Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, was there, too, a Times spokeswoman confirmed.

"A specter was haunting the World Forum--the specter of Donald Trump," Kristol wrote in an emailed report from the conference, borrowing the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto. "There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he's done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated."

"The key task now, to once again paraphrase Karl Marx, is less to understand Trump than to stop him," Kristol wrote. "In general, there's a little too much hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and fatalism out there and not quite enough resolving to save the party from nominating or the country electing someone who simply shouldn't be president."

A highlight of the gathering was a presentation by Rove about focus group findings on Trump. The business mogul's greatest weakness, according to Rove, was that voters have a very hard time envisioning him as "presidential" and as somebody their children should look up to. They also see him as somebody who can be erratic and shouldn't have his (small) fingers anywhere near a nuclear trigger.

Rove's presentation was on the subject of how William McKinley won in 1896, according to an agenda subsequently obtained by HuffPost. McKinley's campaign manager, Mark Hanna, is often referred to as the first Karl Rove -- the first true political operative in the U.S. system. McKinley was running against William Jennings Bryan, a populist and a bigot who riled up the masses by assailing coastal elites and bankers. The race took place in the first Gilded Age. In today's Gilded Age, the parallels are clear...
In the 1970s if this sort of thing happened, reporters would be trampling each other underfoot to get at their Pulitzer, screenplay, and book rights. Old enough readers will recall the movies that came out in that decade about the wealthy and powerful interests that plotted against the Republic: Three Days Of The Condor, The Parallax View. All of them triggered by a clumsy break-in by some stupid Stupid Party stooges at the Democratic National Committee's offices followed by the panicked reaction of Nixon and his lieutenants to pay hush-money. This dastardly plot, in which no Yemeni wedding parties were drone-striked into a pink mist, came to light when it was revealed that all conversations in the White House were secretly recorded. There was a movie and everything. How very, very quaint.

Of course, now that there's a new The Man, the Billionaires' Cabal is given a polite distance. Billionaires and Republican Party apparatchiks are united in purpose: Donald Trump must be stopped lest immigration dip perilously below one million people a year and diesel-belching container ships no longer churn the Pacific!

Here's another cozy get-together of the rich, this time with Democratic President Peace Prize, a tad more open to public view:


Billionaire money has become toxic and enables a small class of individuals to hijack national consensus-building for the benefit of a few rather than the nation as a whole. Either their wealth should be confiscated, or they should be made to run the country themselves. This is why I consider Candidate Trump a healthy phenomenon.

By the way, the last time a group of billionaires met at a small island off the Georgia coast, we got the Federal Reserve system.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Political Science 101