Duty to Warn: Draining the Swamp?
Duty to Warn
Draining the Swamp?
But Infesting the White House with a Group of Right-Wing Extremists, Pro-Corporate Lobbyists and Assorted “Deplorable” Washington Insiders?
By Gary G. Kohls, MD
“Our Glorious Leader
has ascended to God Emperor. Make no mistake about it: we
did this. If it were not for us, it wouldn’t have been
possible. ... [T]he White race is back in the game. And if
we’re playing, no one can beat us. The winning is not
going to stop.” -- A revealing quote from the
Neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, which claims to be the “#1
Alt-Right” website, following Donald Trump’s election
(Stormfront’s motto is: “White Pride Worldwide” and
its symbol is):
And KKK ex-Grand Wizard David Duke couldn’t help but celebrate the part that his white supremacist movement had in electing Trump”. Duke proclaimed the day after the election: “make no mistake about it, our people played a HUGE role in electing Trump!... You arrogant, unthankful, degenerate pieces of shit no longer have absolute power.”
And the image below makes clear one of the reasons that southern white supremacists and southern states rights’ advocates have had so much power since the South’s humiliating defeat150 years ago in the War Between the States. The hard core among them don’t think that the “godly” cause of white supremacy over non-whites was actually lost. Trump has given hope to them, and now the White House and control over the US might be a possibility. And theocratic Southern Christian Fundamentalists, with whom the KKK types seem to have a silent relationship, agree, for, as Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed revealed during the last part of the 20th century:
Christians have got to do is take back this country, one
precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state
at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will
see a country once again governed by Christians...and
Christian values." “I want to be invisible. I do guerilla
warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know
it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until
election night." -- Ralph
Two months ago Hillary Clinton unwisely made the now-infamous statement saying that half of Donald Trump’s supporters were what she libelously characterized as “a basket of deplorables”.
She was speaking at the LGBT for Hillary Gala in New York City 2 months before election day. In the speech, Clinton went on to explain the phrase by saying that many of Trump’s supporters were "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic."
Hillary could have legitimately elaborated by adding to her list ofl anti-democracy hate groups some of the following groups of ardent Trump supporters: sociopathic groups like the Ku Klux Klan; far right-wing activists like David Duke; assorted NeoFascist groups, white supremacy groups (pro-Trump “Make America White Again”) and the hundreds of well-armed paramilitary vigilantes across America (as listed in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s archives at: https://www.splcenter.org/issues/hate-and-extremism).
Perhaps a more progressive Hillary Clinton could have added some of the following white collar, Wall Street and War Street parasitic predatory capitalist and investor groups who thrive by feeding at the “Corporate Welfare Trough” who increase wasteful military spending, expand the American Empire, privatize Social Security and keep the for-profit prison system privatized and highly profitable for investors.
There are many antidemocratic American groups that have emerged, since the Trump campaign’s success, from both Washington insider “swamps” and non-Washington outsider “swamps” who are feeling their oats and are becoming energized Trump sycophants because of his vote-getting “promises”, most of which will not be kept.
Most Trump voters aren’t crypto-fascists or even racists. They voted that way because they wanted to give the middle finger to the establishments of both major political parties, neither of which had been very responsive to their needs for seemingly generations. Many Trump voters, even if they couldn’t articulate it, wanted to say “F… You” to the sea of predatory corporations that have kept them in perennial consumer debt, credit card debt, educational debt, mortgage debt, and healthcare debt and also dependent on the multitude of addictive consumer products (including their medications) that they can’t stop purchasing or swallowing (legal addictive psychiatric drugs, illegal addictive street drugs, nicotine, caffeine, spectator sports (especially NFL football), videogaming, entertainment and pornography all come to mind).
Prior to having the nomination stolen from him, Bernie Sanders had energized a lot of the lower 99% of the minority and oppressed population (both white and non-white, some of whom also wanted to give the finger to the Democratic Party establishment that had repeatedly ignored them for all those years). Bernie particularly resonated with young people because he was exposing a lot of the establishment’s corruption that those voters had suspected but had not heard articulated so powerfully.
So when Bernie was cheated by the Democratic National Committee, many of those young voters naturally became disillusioned and some of the less progressive ones were even attracted to Donald Trump, the other anti-establishment candidate. Some of them voted for Trump, even if they had to hold their noses, symbolically saying “F… You” to America’s Two Party system and the corporate elites who had control over both of them; and the enthusiasm that Bernie had generated went to waste.
I take no pride in saying “I told you so” to the misbegotten Hillary campaign insiders who dissed and cheated Bernie and his supporters (offered no apologies), but I agree with many political pundits that Bernie would have beaten Trump last Tuesday.
I attach below portions of my (prophetic?) June 14, 2016 Duty to Warn column that was published soon after Hillary became the Democratic Party nominee. The column was titled: “Why Many Bernie Supporters Will Soon be Abandoning the Democratic Party”, and the pertinent subtitle was “Why Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Organizers and her Democratic Party Super-Delegates Will Some Day Regret Sabotaging Sanders’ Candidacy”.
“The 2016 Democratic primaries have been frustrating for many progressives who have had their political juices awakened and energized by the nonviolent political revolution of Bernie Sanders, his New Deal/Fair Deal politics, his democratic socialist candidacy and his support for oppressed and discriminated-against minorities (including Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, Palestinians, Muslims and the LGBT community, among others).
“But the Democratic Party, once the mortal enemy of fascism, corporate monopolies, governmental rule by wealthy elites and fraudulent elections, has sabotaged, through any number of backroom deals (and with the willing help of the corporate-controlled media), Sanders’ highly respected, altruistic candidacy. The Democratic national leadership has unfairly denied him the well-deserved nomination. Because of the intransigency of their pro-Wall Street, pro-War Street, wealthy insiders in the party hierarchy, they will soon regret what they have done as much as the GOP will soon be regretting the choice of the xenophobic, sociopathic, paranoid, narcissistic megalomaniacal Donald Trump as their party’s leader.
“Both political parties have had their agendas shaped by billionaire corporate and militaristic plutocrats and Wall Street tycoons who have purchased large numbers of mercenary lobbyists, lawyers and federal and Supreme Court judges and also the loyalties of the vast majorities of elected legislators (both at the state and national levels) via massive amounts of campaign cash. The classic truism of “whoever pays the piper, calls the tune” still holds in 2016.
“It is truly rare to find altruistic politicians in America who are capable of igniting the imaginations and hopes of millions of folks, especially minorities and the younger generations, who have been “feeling the Bern”.
“The Wall Street/War Street NeoCons (now tragically in total control of the GOP and in positions of majority power in the Democratic Party) have been somehow allowing a small minority of idealistic politicians to exist in America, I suppose partly for window-dressing. As Rush Limbaugh once proclaimed (after the GOP started feeling its oats in DC in the mid-90s): "I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus—living fossils—so we will never forget what these people stood for."
“But there have been other American idealists throughout history that have also felt something resembling ‘the Bern’. Such people-power movements have happened only a handful of times over the past American century. Each movement’s progressive leadership has been ‘disappeared’, snuffed out or ‘suicided’, either by intimidation, assassination, smear campaigns or some other political intrigue such as imprisonment (as in the case of democratic socialist and labor union leader Eugene Debs, who was convicted in 1918 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for his antiwar activism [where he continued his run for president on the American Socialist Party ticket, garnering nearly a million votes]).
“History tells us about the brief appearances of past progressive movements that promised to benefit the ‘common man’, like ‘Fighting Bob’ LaFollete’s Progressive Party era, Eugene Debs’s persecuted Socialist Party, FDR’s New Deal era, the antiwar, liberal efforts of JFK, RFK and MLK, Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone’s people’s campaign, Ralph Nader’s Green Party candidacy, Occupy Wall Street’s efforts, the disappearing democratic wing of the Democratic Party and, most importantly, all those millions of eager progressive-minded college-age Bernie supporters who so clearly see the dire need for a true political revolution.” Snip
One of Donald Trump’s sure-fire applause lines – besides pledging to “make America great again”, pledging to put Hillary Clinton behind bars, and forcing Mexico to pay for his multi-billion dollar border wall - was his pledge to "drain the swamp" in Washington. Un-appreciated by most his true believers, Trump’s transition team and likely appointees are heavily populated with swamp creatures who are already mired in Washington or, what actually might be worse for the nation, New York’s Wall Street.
Trump’s supporters and assorted partners in crime include white collar corporate bigwigs from both Wall Street’s Big Banks and War Street’s Big Weapons industries. These elite swamp creatures are behind-the-scenes multimillionaires campaign contributors (who expect handsome returns on their “investments”) that have also funded right-wing think tanks, anti-environmental activist groups, climate change deniers, oil industry lobbyists, former federal bureaucrats, pro-industry academics, corporate lawyers, and assorted special-interest lobbyists.
Below are excerpts from a list of individual and their conflicts of interest. The information came from: http://bigstory.ap.org/7f2605f079334fddb0dfb341010b68ea.
The original AP article mentioned Trump’s frequently stated promise to “Drain the Swamp in Washington” and was titled“Trump Relies on Washington Insiders to Build Administration”. Below I have excerpted pertinent details about those insiders: These theme of the piece prompted me to consider sub-titling this portion of the column:
A Basket of Swamp-dwelling Bureaucrats that Trump won’t Flush Down the Drain
“An internal organizational chart for the Trump transition team lists more than 30 names, some well-known within the GOP establishment. They are tasked with helping to select and vet Trump's Cabinet, as well as map out the key policy initiatives the new administration will pursue.
“Their areas of experience and policy expertise on the chart hint at future efforts to restrict abortion, strip away consumer protections, boost defense spending, and dismantle environmental regulations. Key members of Mr. Trump's team are also advocates for sweeping privatization of government programs, including Social Security.
"’Personnel is policy’, said Republican operative Ron Kaufman, who also served in George W. Bush's White House.
“The team … is in charge of putting together hiring recommendations, working with outgoing appointees, and laying the groundwork for the administration's opening months. snip
“The behind-the-scenes transition operation is being run by Ron Nichol, a senior partner at The Boston Group, a management consulting firm where 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney launched his business career.
“The man put in charge of staffing for the Social Security Administration, Michael Korbey, is a former lobbyist who led President George W. Bush's effort to privatize America's retirement system. (Note that Trump did not campaign to privatize Social Security.)
“Overseeing the transition for domestic issues is Ken Blackwell, the former Republican Ohio secretary of state, state treasurer, and Cincinnati mayor. He is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights.
“Veteran agribusiness lobbyist Michael Torrey is tasked with transforming the Agriculture Department.
“Energy industry lobbyist Mike McKenna, who represents electricity and chemical companies, is leading the Energy Department transition team.
“For the Interior Department there is David Bernhardt, a top lawyer at the agency under President George W. Bush whorepresents mining companies seeking to use resources on federal lands and Indian reservations. (Sarah Palin, an ardent anti-environmentalist and climate change denier, whose campaign slogan when she ran for Vice President with John McCain was “Drill Baby Drill” - is reportedly being considered for Interior Department Secretary.)
“Lobbyist Steven Hart, who focuses on tax and employee benefits, is leading the transition team for the Labor Department.
“Cindy Hayden, a former congressional staffer who is now the top lobbyist for Altria, the parent company of cigarette-maker Philip Morris, is overseeing the transition for the Homeland Security Department.
“Jeff Eisenach, a consultant and former lobbyist who has called for deregulation of the telecommunications industry, is overseeing the transition for the Federal Communications Commission.
“One of Trump's campaign pledges was to spending up to $1 trillion over 10 years on infrastructure projects. But his selection to oversee the transition for the Transportation Department, Shirley Ybarra, has been a champion of "public-private partnerships" to build toll roads and bridges. A former Virginia state transportation secretary, Ms. Ybarra now works as a policy analyst with the libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation, which has received support from conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch.
“Trump has also pledged to renegotiate the Paris climate treaty signed in December, saying efforts to restrict the carbon emissions are harming American industries such as coal mining.
“Trump's pick to oversee the transition for the Environmental Protection Agency is Myron Ebell from the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has voiced the false view that man-made global warming is a hoax. Ebell has called for dismantling environmental protections and assigning international carbon-cutting agreements to the ‘dustbin of history’.
“Trump has pledged to transform a national economy he said was hobbled by bad trade deals and rigged against American workers by Wall Street and the big banks. His list of advisers indicates an interest in rolling back many of the reforms made in the wake of the 2008 recession and appears to signal an interest in deregulating the financial sector.
“David Malpass, who is overseeing the Treasury Department transition, was Bear Stearns' chief economist in the years before the firm's 2008 collapse. A few months before the recession began, Mr. Malpass wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled ‘Don't Panic About the Credit Market.’ ‘Housing and debt markets are not that big a part of the US economy, or of job creation,’ Malpass said in August 2007, predicting continued economic growth. He has complained about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) of Massachusetts.
“Dan DiMicco, who is overseeing the transition of the US trade representative's office, fits in well with Trump's avowed hard line on tariffs. The former chief executive of steel company NUCOR and a board member at Duke Energy, he's likely to steer the US toward far more aggressive trade policy. In his 2015 book, Mr. DiMicco declared that the United States is already in a trade war with China — and that it's losing.
Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R) of Michigan, is taking the lead on crafting Trump's national security team. The former chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mr. Rogers serves on boards for consulting firms IronNet Cybersecurity and Next Century Corp.
“At the Justice Department, Kevin O'Connor, a former US attorney for Connecticut, is overseeing the transition. He briefly served as chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a George W. Bush appointee who resigned from the Justice Department in 2007 amid a scandal over the firing of US attorneys. He was also a partner at the law firm of close Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani. (Note: Guiliani is reported to be a top prospect for Attorney General.)
“Jim Carafano is the Heritage Foundation's vice president for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies and is leading the transition at the State Department. A 25-year Army veteran, Mr. Carafano has been advising Trump on terrorism and border security. In a recent radio interview, Carafano said he told Trump that the next administration must pay more attention to transnational criminal cartels, toughen border security, and fight Al Qaeda globally. (Note: Newt Gingrich is reported to be a top prospect for Secretary of State.)
“Trump has tapped retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who is close to Trump military adviser Michael Flynn, to oversee the transition for the Defense Department. Kellogg was chief operating officer for Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, which governed the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
“Working with Kellogg is Mira Ricardel, a former acting assistant defense secretary during the George W. Bush administration who more recently served as vice president of business development for Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems, a major military contractor.”
Dr Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA. He writes a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, the area’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s psychiatric drugging and over-vaccination regimens, and other movements that threaten the environment, health, democracy, civility and longevity of the populace. Many of his columns are archived at http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn, http://www.globalresearch.ca/authors?query=Gary+Kohls+articles&by=&p=&page_id= or at https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles