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12 января, 18:00

Pruitt Helped Block Garland Confirmation to Supreme Court, Then Fundraised From Polluters That Benefited

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's choice to be the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), coordinated an effort by Republican state attorneys general to oppose the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Pruitt then used this effort as a basis to request financial support for his federal Political Action Committee (PAC), called Oklahoma Strong. In a March 2015 email (see here) that he sent to supporters of Oklahoma Strong, Pruitt boasted of his effort to block Garland's confirmation. Donors to Oklahoma Strong include major energy interests and leading D.C. law firms. Many of these donors have interests before the courts that could have been significantly affected by the confirmation of Garland. Oklahoma Strong has raised more than a third of its total funds from the energy industry, according to reporting by Politico. These have included contributions from Joe Craft, the President of the coal firm Alliance Resources, and from J. Larry Nichols, the founder of the fracking giant Devon Energy. Pruitt is well known to have strong ties to the energy industry. A 2014 New York Times investigation revealed that Devon Energy lobbyists had drafted letters for Scott Pruitt, which he in turn sent to the EPA and to the Department of the Interior under his own name and with almost no changes. Eric Lipton of the Times received a Pulitzer Prize for this reporting. Other donors to the PAC have included David Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby, and Harlan Crow, the billionaire real estate developer from Texas who is reported to be a close personal friend of Justice Clarence Thomas. Partners from major U.S. law firms with interests at the Supreme Court, including Reginald J. Brown at Wilmerhale and David B. Rivkin at Baker Hostetler have also contributed. On March 16, 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to become a Supreme Court Justice, taking the seat vacated by the late Antonin Scalia. The next day, a letter was sent to Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and to Senator McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, urging them to block Garland's confirmation. That letter was signed by 21 state attorneys general, all Republican. According to the email from Oklahoma Strong, Pruitt had asked his fellow Republican attorneys general to sign the letter, acting in his role as board chair of the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF). The RLDF is a so-called "501C4" organization, which means it is not required to publicly disclose any information about its sources of funding. It was created in 2014 by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), with which it shares staff and office space and holds some joint events. RLDF is highly secretive about what it does. For example, it does not put any details about its activities or meetings on its website. Despite this, the Center for Media and Democracy obtained an agenda for one RLDF meeting via a public records request. This meeting, held in April 2016, featured a session about blocking the Clean Power Plan. Scott Pruitt was a speaker on that panel, which also included David Rivkin, a partner at the law firm Baker Hostetler. Rivkin, also a donor to Oklahoma Strong PAC, is representing the state of Oklahoma in the lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan, which will likely end up at the Supreme Court. Currently, only two funders of RLDF have been identified, both with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. One is Freedom Partners, the mega-fund created by Charles and David Koch, which gave RLDF $175,000 in 2014. The Kochs own Koch Industries, which operates a network of oil and natural gas pipelines and refineries. That isn't the only connection of RLDF to the Kochs. In 2015, RLDF appointed Samantha Dravis as its President, in a shared position with RAGA where she serves as Policy Director and General Counsel. Dravis joined RLDF from Freedom Partners, where she had been the organization's Legal Counsel. The other known RLDF donor is the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which gave RLDF a $25,000 contribution in 2014. EEI is the trade association for the utility sector, and has already engaged in litigation in an attempt to block the Clean Power Plan. Unlike RLDF, RAGA must publicly disclose its funding sources. According to the Center for Media and Democracy's analysis of IRS filings, RAGA has raised almost $4 million from fossil fuel industry connected entities since 2014, including ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and the American Petroleum Institute. The Center for Media and Democracy has previously released other materials on both RAGA and RLDF. These materials demonstrate the efforts of the two organizations to block the Clean Power Plan, and to help stall state investigations into ExxonMobil for its role in promoting climate change denial. A Senate confirmation hearing is expected soon on Scott Pruitt's nomination to be Administrator of the EPA. Following his selection by President-elect Trump, Pruitt has announced that he has stepped down from his position at RLDF, and has said that he will close down his Oklahoma Strong PAC. Despite this, little is known about what RLDF did during Pruitt's time as board chair. As part of the confirmation process, Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have written to Pruitt asking him to disclose information about his role as board chair of the RLDF. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 января, 14:40

Колонки: Елена Шаройкина: Дональд Трамп и глубинная экология

Приходит время отказаться от упрощенного отношения к политическим аспектам экологии. Когда-то верное, противопоставление «экологов» и «промышленников» больше не отражает изменившиеся реалии глобальной экономики. Подводя экологические итоги прошлого года, мне хочется сказать, что самым значимым экособытием 2016-го стало избрание Дональда Трампа президентом США. По возможным последствиям все другие события, какими бы важными они ни казались на первый взгляд (от слияния ГМО-гигантов «Байер» и «Монсанто» до Всемирной конференции ООН по изменению климата в Марракеше), на этом фоне просто меркнут. Трамп известен своим, мягко говоря, скептическим отношением к проблеме «глобального изменения климата», которую он неоднократно называл «китайской мистификацией» и признавался, что не верит «в антропогенный характер планетарного потепления». Аналогичных взглядов придерживаются и многие представители его команды. Так, на должность будущего главы Агентства по охране окружающей среды США номинирован генеральный прокурор штата Оклахома Скотт Пруитт (Edward Scott Pruitt), резко выступающий против зеленой экономики и судившийся в прошлом с администрацией Барака Обамы из-за программы «Чистая энергия», направленной на сокращение выбросов парниковых газов. Как иронично выразился один американский журналист, «если в США и был человек, которого можно назвать ночным кошмаром экологов, то Трамп сумел найти его – это Пруитт». Однако Пруитт – только верхушка айсберга. Гораздо большее значение для понимания «экологической повестки» Трампа имеют его связи с братьями Дэвидом и Чарльзом Кох (Charles G. Koch, David H. Koch), американскими миллиардерами, считающимися главными спонсорами ультраправого крыла Республиканской партии США, в частности «Чайной партии» (Tea Party movement). Они придерживаются либертарианских, «анархо-капиталистических» взглядов и считают, что роль государства во всех сферах общественной жизни, включая защиту окружающей среды, должна быть сведена к минимуму. Являясь почитателями творчества писательницы Айн Рэнд («Атлант расправил плечи») и экономиста Фридриха фон Хайека («Дорога к рабству»), братья Кох мечтают об обществе, в котором бы правили «невидимая рука рынка» и «гений предпринимательства». В подобной картине мира настоящие бизнесмены предстают «героями современного Дикого Запада». Такие проблемы, как парниковый эффект, загрязнение грунтовых вод при добыче сланцевого газа или вред ГМО, должны волновать их не больше, чем колонистов из Старого Света – судьба индейцев. В американских СМИ много писали о связях со структурами братьев Кох избранного вице-президента США Майка Пенса (Michael Richard "Mike" Pence). Но стоит обратить внимание и на Майка Помпео (Michael Richard "Mike" Pompeo), республиканца и участника «Чайной партии», выдвинутого Трампом на должность директора ЦРУ. Будучи конгрессменом от штата Канзас, Помпео был одной из центральных фигур лоббистской кампании в интересах корпораций «Кох Индастриз» (KochIndustries, Inc.) и «Монсанто» против обязательной маркировки генно-модифицированных продуктов в США. Кстати, интересно, усилится ли теперь роль американской разведки в продвижении ГМО на мировые рынки и в смене сопротивляющихся этому политических режимов? Казалось бы, расклад ясен. С одной стороны – Трамп, и вместе с ним «химики», «нефтяники», индустриальные воротилы и фанаты Айн Рэнд, одержимые демоном богатства и игнорирующие угрозы окружающей среде. В противоположном лагере – зеленые, экологи, сторонники устойчивого развития. Но так ли все на самом деле однозначно? И неужели победа Хиллари Клинтон, активно заигрывавшей с зеленым движением, была бы лучшим вариантом для защитников окружающей среды? Эпоха идеалистов-одиночек типа Рэйчел Карсон (Rachel Louise Carson), публикация книги которой «Безмолвная весна» (Silent Spring) в начале 1960-х привела к запрету пестицида ДДТ, к сожалению, стремительно закатывается. Сегодня мы живем в условиях гибридных конфликтов, когда любая идея, любое действие, в зависимости от информационного контекста, могут быть использованы вопреки изначально вкладывавшимся в них смыслам. Давайте посмотрим правде в глаза: значительная часть экологического движения на Западе уже давно утратила свою независимость, присущий ему в прошлом идеалистический запал и превратилась в специфический инструмент для лоббирования корпоративных интересов нового типа. Выступая с критикой нефтяной мафии индустриальной (черной) модели развития, основанной на углеводородном сырье, экологи по факту оказываются на стороне конкурирующей многомиллиардной суперкорпорации под названием «зеленая экономика». Внедрение альтернативных источников энергии, биотоплива и энергосберегающих технологий в силу их высокой себестоимости было бы невозможно без параллельной маркетинговой и пропагандистской кампании по продвижению мер борьбы с глобальным потеплением. Именно таким внерыночным способом зеленые корпорации принуждают национальные правительства субсидировать увеличение доли экоинноваций в своих экономиках. Представители американского «Общества Джона Берча» (John Brich Society), основанного и финансируемого семьей Кох, идут еще дальше и утверждают, что деятельность зеленых, наряду с коммунистами и масонами, является частью «глобального плана иллюминатов по установлению Нового мирового порядка». Как бы абсурдно и комично ни звучали тезисы о «заговоре зеленых», в США они давно уже стали частью политической мифологии, а разделяющий их, по крайней мере на словах, человек буквально через несколько дней станет новым хозяином Белого дома. Помимо конспирологии, есть и другие, более объективные поводы для беспокойства по поводу зеленой экономики. Как выяснилось в последние годы, положительный эффект многих экоинноваций для окружающей среды совсем не очевиден. В частности, расширение объемов посевов ГМ-культур для производства биотоплива сопряжено с использованием опасных гербицидов (например, глифосата), ведет к разрушению традиционного сельскохозяйственного уклада и наносит непоправимый ущерб органическим экосистемам. Энергосберегающие лампы, согласно независимым исследованиям, могут быть фактором, способствующим развитию у человека онкологических заболеваний, а их неправильная утилизация приводит к попаданию ртути в окружающую среду со всеми вытекающими негативными последствиями. Даже безобидные ветряные электрогенераторы («ветряки») при промышленном использовании становятся причиной резкого увеличения смертности птиц, летучих мышей, а также фрагментации сред обитания диких животных. Я ни в коей мере не хочу сказать, что человечеству не надо развивать альтернативные источники энергии или реализовывать программы энергосбережения. Конечно, надо. Еще как надо! Однако было бы наивно считать, что зеленая экономика в том виде, в каком она сегодня развивается, является адекватным ответом на экологические вызовы современности. Если игнорировать принципы устойчивого развития, то подобный подход может оказаться не менее разрушительным для экосистем Земли, чем индустриальный. Поэтому по гамбургскому счету не так принципиально, каково будет финальное соотношение зеленых и черных чиновников в новой американской администрации. Гораздо важнее сама победа на выборах в США такого кандидата, как Дональд Трамп, знаменующая собой кризис нынешнего миропорядка и открывающая путь к глобальным трансформациям. Какой будет новая парадигма отношений человека с природой в грядущем постлиберальном мире – вот, пожалуй, главный экологический вопрос, по-настоящему волнующий меня в связи с избранием Трампа. Норвежский альпинист и неординарный философ Арне Несс (Arne Næss) называл такой взгляд на политические проблемы «глубинной экологией»... Теги:  глобальное потепление, экология, ГМО, зеленые

05 января, 20:41

Coachella's Owner Under Fire For Alleged Ties To Anti-LGBTQ Groups

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The excitement surrounding Coachella reached fever pitch this week when it was announced that Beyoncé would headline both nights of the annual music festival in April.  Amidst the buzz about the star-studded lineup, which includes Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead and Bon Iver, some more troubling news has come to light. Coachella’s owner, Phil Anschutz, is reportedly a key donor to a number of high-profile, right-wing groups that have opposed LGBTQ rights for years.  The 77-year-old entrepreneur, who is the chairman of the Anschutz Corporation, is listed as a key “enemy of equality” in an infographic produced by the Washington, D.C.-based LGBTQ advocacy group Freedom for All Americans. The infographic indicates that Anschutz has donated thousands of dollars to the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the National Christian Foundation, all of which have been staunch opponents in the fight for LGBTQ equality, through the Anschutz Family Foundation.  The Anschutz Corporation’s subsidiary, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), presents music and entertainment events around the world. AEG is also the parent company of Goldenvoice, which produces Coachella and manages the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers basketball teams.  Reports of Anschutz’s allegeties to conservative groups is nothing new; the Freedom for All Americans infographic was produced in July 2016, and was re-printed by The Washington Post that same month. A 2009 Politico article pointed to Anschultz’s decision to purchase two conservative publications, the Weekly Standard and the Washington Examiner, in hopes of maintaining them as “a megaphone for his right-wing views.” In 2013, Greenpeace slammed Anschutz as a “financier of climate science denial groups,” highlighting his ties to Charles and David Koch, who have repeatedly backed efforts to block renewable energy standards.  However, Anschutz’s political affiliations re-surfaced this week following the announcement of Coachella’s 2017 lineup, with detailed reports in Esquire, Teen Vogue and Refinery29, among other publications.   When contacted by The Huffington Post, an Anschutz Corporation employee would not comment on the reports, and said, “We do not have a media relations department or press department and we do not accept these type of calls.” HuffPost has also reached out to Coachella’s press department and is awaiting comment.  However, the Anschultz Family Foundation released a statement to the Colorado Springs Independent’s Indy Blog in July 2016, saying the group “donates to hundreds of worthy organizations each year, and it does not attempt to dictate to those organizations how to spend their monies.” That statement continued: “Those donations are made in accordance with our process and guidelines, and neither process or guidelines identify or reference in any way sexual orientation or gender issues... Mr. Anschutz, and the Anschutz companies, invest in many businesses employing tens of thousands of people. In all instances, personal lifestyles are neither a requirement or limitation to employment.”  Now that’s some food for thought when considering those Coachella tickets this spring.   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

03 января, 07:53

Trump expected to name Marc Short legislative affairs director

Short was a top aide to Mike Pence during the general election

01 января, 04:26

Trump kicks biographer off golf course

Harry Hurt, who was golfing with David Koch, had written a critical book about the president-elect.

29 декабря 2016, 00:35

HUFFPOST HILL - Twitter Getting Real Close To Solving This Whole Israel Thing

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!  We’re back from the War on Christmas front ― our brigade lost a lot of good men in our sneak attack on the song “Christmas Shoes.” President-elect Trump tweeted about the “smooth transition - NOT!” recalling the famous “assholeidontlikesayswhat’ conversation between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. And outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry made a last-minute plea for Middle East peace. Sadly, no one was around to translate his speech from Charlie Brown Teacher into Hebrew for the disinterested Israelis. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, December 28th, 2016: TWEETFUL TRANSFER OF POWER - Vivian Salama: “Although Trump didn’t detail his complaints in his morning broadsides on Twitter, the president-elect has made it clear that it didn’t sit well with him when Obama recently boasted that he would have won the election if he’d been running. Trump’s largely respectful tone about Obama since the election evaporated in his latest tweets. ‘Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks,’ Trump tweeted. ‘Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!’ Trump also took direct issue with the Obama administration’s decision to let a U.N. Security Council resolution critical of Israel pass. ‘We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,’ he said in a two-part tweet. ‘They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but ... not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!’” [AP] @jeneps: Asked about his morning tweets on the transition, Trump says it’s going “very, very smoothly. It’s very good. You don’t think so?” Check out Trump’s first presidential portrait. DOESN’T HURT TO TRY: KERRY URGES FOR ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN PEACE -  Reuters/HuffPost: “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Wednesday that the future of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was in jeopardy, and laid out parameters for future peace talks, saying the United States could not stay silent. In a speech just weeks before the Obama administration hands over power to President-elect Donald Trump, Kerry defended the U.S. decision to allow the passage of a U.N. resolution last week demanding an end to Israeli settlements, saying it was intended to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution. ‘Despite our best efforts over the years, the two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy,’ Kerry said in a speech at the State Department. ‘We cannot, in good conscience, do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away.’ … The Israelis are looking past President Barack Obama and expect they will receive more favorable treatment from Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20. The Republican used his Twitter account on Wednesday to denounce the Obama administration, including its U.N. vote and the nuclear accord it reached with Iran last year.” [Reuters/HuffPost] IVANKA TRUMP’S COMPANIES USE CHEAP FOREIGN LABOR - We’re guessing she’s not going to get a stern talking from dad about this. Laura Holson and Rachel Abrams: “Cheap production overseas means more coin in the coffers of Ms. Trump and the shoe, accessory and clothing makers that are her partners, among them Marc Fisher footwear, the G-III Apparel Group and Mondani. (Ms. Trump’s company, which is privately held, does not disclose its financials.) Almost all of her goods are made overseas, according to a New York Times review of shipments compiled separately by Panjiva and ImportGenius, two trade databases. ImportGenius tallied 193 shipments for imported goods associated with Ms. Trump for the year through Dec. 5, mostly Chinese-made shoes and handbags. Her dresses and blouses are made in China, Indonesia and Vietnam, according to a review of hundreds of clothing tags and financial documents filed by G-III.” [NYT] Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill ABORTION STILL UNDER ATTACK ACROSS COUNTRY - So let’s all be grateful for the 15-square-block radius of the Upper West Side where abortion will still be legal in 2019. Laura Bassett: “Republican state legislatures enacted more than 60 abortion restrictions this year and introduced more than 500, according to an analysis by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Ten anti-abortion laws were ruled unconstitutional and blocked by the courts, but lawmakers are outpacing the lawsuits and finding new ways to chip away at reproductive rights…. The slew of new laws continues a six-year trend toward eliminating access to abortion. States have enacted more than 300 restrictions since 2011. The Supreme Court’s decision this year in Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt only struck down two of these laws ― a pair of restrictions in Texas that required abortions to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, or mini-hospitals, and required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. But it set a legal standard on which courts can rely as they consider laws that restrict access to abortion without any benefit to women’s health.” [HuffPost] OBAMA TO ANNOUNCE AMERICA VERY DISAPPOINTED IN PUTIN - And will ask him kindly to stop taking over the U.S. from the inside. Ellen Nakashima: “The Obama administration is close to announcing a series of measures to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election, including economic sanctions and diplomatic censure, according to U.S. officials. The administration is finalizing the details, which also are expected to include covert action that will probably involve cyber-operations, the officials said. An announcement on the public elements of the response could come as early as this week.” [WaPo] WHAT OBAMA CAN STILL DO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - Aside from separating the recycling at his new Kalorama Heights mansion. Nathalie Baptiste: “In 2010, the United Nations established the Green Climate Fund, a mechanism for wealthy countries to finance efforts by poor countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. Four years later, President Barack Obama pledged $3 billion to the fund. In March of this year—despite objections from the GOP-controlled Congress—the administration submitted its first payment of $500 million. The funds came from the Economic Support Fund, $1.9 billion that Congress had already appropriated to the State Department for the promotion of economic and political stability in countries with special conditions…. So climate activists are calling on the White House to deliver the rest of the funds before Obama leaves office on January 20. Last week, more than 100 organizations, led by Corporate Accountability International, signed a letter urging the Obama administration to hand over the remaining $2.5 billion to the GCF before Inauguration Day.” [Mother Jones] DEMS TARGETING EPA PICK’S KOCH / FOSSIL FUEL TIES - Alexander Kaufman: “Six senators urged President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency pick on Wednesday to reveal his ties to a secretive fundraising group that enables fossil fuel companies to make anonymous donations to politicians. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt helped found the nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund to collect campaign contributions from companies like oil giant ConocoPhillips and coal mining titan Alpha Natural Resources, The New York Times reported in December 2014. Pruitt now sits on the group’s board. The group, which keeps the identities of most of its donors secret, received $175,000 in 2014 from Freedom Partners, a business organization that organizes political activities for the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who run the privately held chemical and oil giant Koch Industries…. [The letter was signed by] Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.).” [HuffPost] PRESIDENT-ELECT NOT VERY ADMIRED. SAD! - Well, we just found the next thing that will keep Trump from paying attention to his security briefings. Jeffrey Jones: “Americans are most likely to name President Barack Obama as the man they admire most in 2016. Twenty-two percent mentioned Obama in response to the open-ended question. President-elect Donald Trump was second at 15%. It is Obama’s ninth consecutive win, but the seven-percentage-point margin this year is his narrowest victory yet…. Incumbent presidents typically win the distinction ― in the 70 times Gallup has asked the question, the president has won 58 times. The 12 exceptions were mostly times when the sitting president was unpopular, including 2008, when Americans named President-elect Obama over President George W. Bush.” [Gallup] WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS? Ryan Grim, Laura Barron-Lopez and Matt Fuller: “The Huffington Post spoke with 11 of the 45 members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the House of Representatives and found the vast majority skeptical but willing to work on an infrastructure bill with Trump, even if Trump cuts House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenant, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), out of the process…. William Lacy Clay Jr., who represents St. Louis, perked up at the thought of Trump bypassing Democratic leadership and working directly with the CBC. ‘He’s got my attention, if that’s their approach. I don’t have a problem with it,’ he said, adding that St. Louis, being a transportation hub at the center of the country, has a number of infrastructure needs.” [HuffPost] KEEP THE GOVERNMENT’S HANDS OFF MY OBAMACARE! - Sure, now Democrats think they’ve figured out how to make people like the Affordable Care Act. Lauren Fox: “In a letter Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked local communities to help them organize protests against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act…. In the letter, Schumer, Pelosi and Sanders designated Jan. 15 the day of action and asked activists to ‘organize a rally or other event’ back in the states. Democrats are calling Jan. 15, ‘Our first stand. Save health care.’” [TPM] Just why is the GOP in such a big hurry to repeal Obamacare anyway? HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn has a theory. BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a cat Christmas pranking a girl. WAIT, WHAT? The headline on this story reads like it was made from the National Enquirer edition of the Magnetic Poetry Kit. Brady McCombs: “A high-ranking polygamous leader was released from jail Wednesday after pleading guilty in a multimillion-dollar food-stamp fraud case, becoming the second of 11 defendants to accept a plea deal in the crackdown on the sect based along the Utah-Arizona border. [AP] COMFORT FOOD - The most awkward TV news bloopers of 2016. - The heart-wrenching social media posts from Carrie Fisher’s pet, Gary the Bulldog. - Brick dominoes is definitely not for cucks. TWITTERAMA @ProffJeffJarvis: [Pandering remark about 2016 being a bad year] @ElaheIzadi: can you start a gofundme to protect me from the passage of time @morninggloria: attending the deploraball would be like a long-term IUD for the part of my brain that gets turned on Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected]) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 декабря 2016, 21:07

Donald Trump's EPA Pick Urged To Come Clean On Ties To Secretive Koch-Funded Group

Six senators urged President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency pick on Wednesday to reveal his ties to a secretive fundraising group that enables fossil fuel companies to make anonymous donations to politicians. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt helped found the nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund to collect campaign contributions from companies like oil giant ConocoPhillips and coal mining titan Alpha Natural Resources, The New York Times reported in December 2014. Pruitt now sits on the group’s board.  The group, which keeps the identities of most of its donors secret, received $175,000 in 2014 from Freedom Partners, a business organization that organizes political activities for the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who run the privately held chemical and oil giant Koch Industries.  “Before the Senate votes to confirm you to run EPA, it is important that you provide a full disclosure of your relationship with the energy industry so we can determine how that will influence your ability to run the agency,” read a letter signed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.). The senators are all members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the committee’s chair who last year infamously displayed a snowball on the Senate floor as evidence of climate change being a hoax, derided the letter as a “baseless political stunt.” The Rule of Law Defense Fund denounced the letter as “partisan obstructionism” and called on Pruitt to dismiss it as having “no legal significance.” “Aside from disrespectfully lecturing you about the purpose of the agency you have been nominated to lead, and with which you are acutely familiar, the Democrats seek information about RLDF that they are not entitled to under the law, including confidential donor information,” Charles R. Spies and James E. Tyrrell III, lawyers representing the Rule of Law Defense Fund, wrote in a letter to Pruitt later on Wednesday. “The Democrats’ letter is transparently a partisan fishing expedition intended to smear your confirmation process and gin up fundraising support from radical, far-left environmentalist groups.” Pruitt’s ties to fossil fuel companies run deep, making him “too extreme,” the Denver Post declared in an editorial, to lead an agency tasked with defending the environment from polluters. He led the charge to block President Barack Obama from implementing his Clean Power Plan, a set of new EPA regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions from utility companies.  function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The 48-year-old once signed his name to a letter to the EPA, authored by lawyers of a major oil and gas company in his state, that criticized estimates on emissions from natural gas drilling sites.  After publishing 84 pages of correspondence in 2014 between Pruitt and the company, Devon Energy, The New York Times called the communications evidence of an “unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda.”  “We have been troubled that as Attorney General of Oklahoma you used, nearly verbatim, industry talking points in official correspondence your office sent to EPA concerning EPA’s estimation of methane pollution in your state,” the senators wrote in the letter. “Your relationship with the Rule of Law Defense Fund (the Fund) has received less attention but is no less troubling.” This year, Pruitt defended Exxon Mobil Corp. as it fought off Democratic state attorneys generals’ probes into its history of funding a disinformation campaign that questioned fossil fuels’ role in global warming. In May, he wrote an op-ed criticizing the attorneys general as a “climate-change gang” just three weeks after Exxon Mobil donated $50,000 to an association Pruitt led for two years, The Huffington Post reported last week.  Pruitt is even suing to block an EPA rule to protect streams and wetlands under the 1972 Clean Water Act.   “The confirmation process, starting with your responses to Committee questions before your hearing, is an opportunity for you to dispel the notion that the advocacy you have undertaken on environmental issues as Attorney General of Oklahoma has been directed by and for the benefit of the energy industry,” the senators wrote. “Accordingly, we look forward to your timely response to this request.” This story has been updated with comments from Sen. Jim Inhofe and the Rule of Law Defense Fund. Read the senators’ full letter below. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=585ab45de4b0d9a59456ba9d,584875c7e4b0f9723cfff87e,584856f1e4b0b9feb0dab14f,58507c5ae4b0ee009eb44512,58503b7de4b0e05aded63a07 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 декабря 2016, 21:07

Donald Trump's EPA Pick Urged To Come Clean On Ties To Secretive Koch-Funded Group

Six senators urged President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency pick on Wednesday to reveal his ties to a secretive fundraising group that enables fossil fuel companies to make anonymous donations to politicians. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt helped found the nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund to collect campaign contributions from companies like oil giant ConocoPhillips and coal mining titan Alpha Natural Resources, The New York Times reported in December 2014. Pruitt now sits on the group’s board.  The group, which keeps the identities of most of its donors secret, received $175,000 in 2014 from Freedom Partners, a business organization that organizes political activities for the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who run the privately held chemical and oil giant Koch Industries.  “Before the Senate votes to confirm you to run EPA, it is important that you provide a full disclosure of your relationship with the energy industry so we can determine how that will influence your ability to run the agency,” read a letter signed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.). The senators are all members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  The Rule of Law Defense Fund denounced the letter as “partisan obstructionism” and called on Pruitt to dismiss it as having “no legal significance.” “Aside from disrespectfully lecturing you about the purpose of the agency you have been nominated to lead, and with which you are acutely familiar, the Democrats seek information about RLDF that they are not entitled to under the law, including confidential donor information,” Charles R. Spies and James E. Tyrrell III, lawyers representing the Rule of Law Defense Fund, wrote in a letter to Pruitt later on Wednesday. “The Democrats’ letter is transparently a partisan fishing expedition intended to smear your confirmation process and gin up fundraising support from radical, far-left environmentalist groups.” Pruitt’s ties to fossil fuel companies run deep, making him “too extreme,” the Denver Post declared in an editorial, to lead an agency tasked with defending the environment from polluters. He led the charge to block President Barack Obama from implementing his Clean Power Plan, a set of new EPA regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions from utility companies.  function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The 48-year-old once signed his name to a letter to the EPA, authored by lawyers of a major oil and gas company in his state, that criticized estimates on emissions from natural gas drilling sites.  After publishing 84 pages of correspondence in 2014 between Pruitt and the company, Devon Energy, The New York Times called the communications evidence of an “unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda.”  “We have been troubled that as Attorney General of Oklahoma you used, nearly verbatim, industry talking points in official correspondence your office sent to EPA concerning EPA’s estimation of methane pollution in your state,” the senators wrote in the letter. “Your relationship with the Rule of Law Defense Fund (the Fund) has received less attention but is no less troubling.” This year, Pruitt defended Exxon Mobil Corp. as it fought off Democratic state attorneys generals’ probes into its history of funding a disinformation campaign that questioned fossil fuels’ role in global warming. In May, he wrote an op-ed criticizing the attorneys general as a “climate-change gang” just three weeks after Exxon Mobil donated $50,000 to an association Pruitt led for two years, The Huffington Post reported last week.  Pruitt is even suing to block an EPA rule to protect streams and wetlands under the 1972 Clean Water Act.   “The confirmation process, starting with your responses to Committee questions before your hearing, is an opportunity for you to dispel the notion that the advocacy you have undertaken on environmental issues as Attorney General of Oklahoma has been directed by and for the benefit of the energy industry,” the senators wrote. “Accordingly, we look forward to your timely response to this request.” This story has been updated with comment from the Rule of Law Defense Fund. Read the senators’ full letter below. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=585ab45de4b0d9a59456ba9d,584875c7e4b0f9723cfff87e,584856f1e4b0b9feb0dab14f,58507c5ae4b0ee009eb44512,58503b7de4b0e05aded63a07 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 декабря 2016, 18:12

Is Trump's Foreign Policy the New Mainstream?

TNI Staff Security, Americas A new poll indicates that many Americans agree with what Donald Trump said during the campaign. With the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the American public opted for change. A new poll from the Charles Koch Institute and Center for the National Interest on America and foreign affairs indicates that the desire for a fresh start may be particularly pronounced in the foreign policy sphere. In many areas the responses align with what Donald Trump was saying during the presidential campaign—and in other areas, there are a number of Americans who don’t have strong views. There may be a real opportunity for Trump to redefine the foreign policy debate. He may have a ready-made base of support and find that other Americans are persuadable. Two key questions centering on whether U.S. foreign policy has made Americans more or less safe and whether U.S. foreign policy has made the rest of the world more or less safe show that a majority of the public is convinced that—in both cases—the answer is that it has not. 51.9 percent say that American foreign policy has not enhanced our security; 51.1 percent say that it has also had a deleterious effect abroad. The responses indicate that the successive wars in the Middle East, ranging from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya, have not promoted but, rather, undermined a sense of security among Americans. The poll results indicate that this sentiment has translated into nearly 35 percent of respondents wanted a decreased military footprint in the Middle East, with about 30 percent simply wanting to keep things where they stand. When it comes to America’s key relationship with Saudi Arabia, 23.2 percent indicate that they would favor weaker military ties, while 24 percent say they are simply unsure. Over half of Americans do not want to deploy ground troops to Syria. Overall, 45.4 percent say that they believe that it would enhance American security to reduce our military presence abroad, while 30.9 percent say that it should be increased. Read full article

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22 декабря 2016, 10:59

Trump meets with another conservative adversary: Billionaire David Koch

The impromptu meeting represents the latest example of a longtime Trump adversary conferring with the president-elect at his winter retreat.

15 декабря 2016, 13:18

America’s New Dealmakers-in-Chief

Trump’s picks to run Treasury and Commerce are wildly successful. But are they the right guys for the job?

13 декабря 2016, 20:01

Donald Trump Under Pressure To Keep Obama's VA Secretary

WASHINGTON ― Veterans groups are pressuring President-elect Donald Trump to keep President Barack Obama’s secretary of Veterans Affairs, saying there are serious concerns with the names he has put forward as his own choices. On Friday, six veterans organizations ― the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America and American Veterans, or Amvets ― met with Trump officials and asked them to retain Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter and Gamble who took over the troubled VA department in 2014.  “We all want McDonald,” Joe Chenelly, the executive director of Amvets, told The New York Times. “He has a good business mind, he is experienced and we feel we can trust him.” The Military Times reported that Trump’s team did not reject keeping McDonald, even though during the campaign, Trump was intensely critical of what was happening at the agency under his watch.  Last year, he called the VA “probably the most incompetently run agency in the United States” and said, “I’d fire everybody, I’d get it ― it would be so good. It would be so good. ... We have a bunch of guys that don’t know what they’re doing and tremendous corruption.” So far, the frontrunners for the VA job seem to be former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Pete Hegseth, the former head of Concerned Veterans for America. CVA was founded by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.  Rick Weidman, executive director for policy and government affairs at Vietnam Veterans of America, told The Washington Post that McDonald needs a “chance to make his mark.” “None of the other people being mentioned are viable,” he added.  McDonald said he is not sure whether he is seriously being considered to stay on at VA and has not yet met with Trump. “When I got a call from the (Obama) White House in 2014, my personal purpose in life is to help others, so I jumped at the chance to serve,” he said Friday in an interview with The Military Times. “I have not been approached, and I’m making plans according to that. But service is important.” McDonald took over at the VA for ret. Army Gen. Eric Shinseki, who came under intense criticism for not doing enough to fix the backlog of claims from veterans waiting for care. During his tenure, there was also a scandal in which employees were found to have been covering up the months-long wait times that veterans faced.  Veterans groups have been concerned that Trump may seek some sort of privatization of the VA. He has proposed allowing veterans to essentially opt-out of the VA system and make greater use of private doctors.  “Bob McDonald would obviously be a good pick to remain the head of the VA, but only if Donald Trump guarantees to veterans that he will not privatize veterans’ health care, or turn it into voucher-care,” said Jon Soltz, the chairman of the progressive group VoteVets, which did not meet with Trump. “The major veterans service organizations need to make that clear. Bob McDonald is great, but re-appointing him to merely oversee the dismantling of veterans’ health care would be pointless, and a non-starter.” During the campaign, VoteVets spent millions of dollars on running anti-privatization ads and Soltz said it would revive them if Trump tried to do anything along those lines.  Trump shocked many veterans and military officials last summer by going after Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who criticized Trump at the Democratic National Convention. Khan’s son lost his life saving his fellow service members in Iraq. Trump responded by attacking Khan, who is Muslim, and his family, implying that his wife did not speak at the convention because she wasn’t allowed to do so because of her religion.   Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 декабря 2016, 22:31

Автор конспироложествует. Но интересно.

Андрей Фурсов: «Американский социолог говорил мне: «Наша перестройка будет более кровавой»Известный историк о Трампе как последнем шансе для умирающей белой расы и ковчегах для бегства американской элиты...— Вообще, мировая система управления намного сложнее, чем комбинация «Ротшильды — Рокфеллеры». Дело в том, что сами Ротшильды уже в XIX веке были всего лишь топ-менеджерами очень большого кластера, куда входили Рэдинги, Сэмюэли, Флеминги, отчасти Бэринги, (всего около 40-50 семей). То, что после длительного молчания у нас стали писать о Ротшильдах и Рокфеллерах — это хорошо, но есть и обратная сторона этой медали: упоминание исключительно двух семей, чьи имена давно уже стали нарицательными, затеняет реальную структуру мирового правящего класса. К примеру, у нас ничего не пишут о братьях Кохах в Америке, которые поддерживают правых (миллиардеры Чарльз и Дэвид Кох, считаются противниками Барака Обамы и курса, который он олицетворяет — прим. ред.). У нас только ленивый не пишет о Бильдербергском клубе, еще радостно добавляя, что это и есть мировое правительство, а вот о клубах «Круг» (Cercle) и «Век» (Siècle) ничего не пишут, хотя это очень важные структуры....

09 декабря 2016, 13:14

DeVos' Michigan schools experiment gets poor grades

Despite two decades of charter-school growth, the state’s overall academic progress has failed to keep pace with other states.

08 декабря 2016, 18:55

Charles Koch is a rare thing, a businessman besotted with ideas

CHARLES KOCH may well be the most demonised businessman in America, with his younger brother, David, a close second. Journalists argue that he is the mastermind of the country’s vast right-wing conspiracy. Lunatics have made death threats. The ultra-rich, particularly those who made their original fortunes in oil and gas, are supposed to make amends by giving their money to liberal causes. The Kochs have instead spent hundreds of millions backing conservative political causes (though Charles Koch has no love for Donald Trump), lobbying for lower taxes and attacking the idea of man-made global warming. Mr Koch doesn’t come across as Dr Evil. True, the headquarters of Koch Industries is a collection of black boxes outside Wichita, Kansas; the security screening is rigorous. But its CEO has more of the air of a university professor. Despite his $40bn fortune, he lives in a nondescript neighbourhood in one of America’s most boring cities, puts in nine or more hours a day in the office and lunches in the company canteen. He doesn’t seem that interested in his surroundings: complimented on the firm’s art collection, he says his wife takes care of that...

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08 декабря 2016, 02:02

Koch Industries takes aim at House Republican tax reform plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Koch Industries, the private conglomerate owned by billionaire conservatives Charles and David Koch, warned on Wednesday that a Republican tax reform proposal meant to encourage U.S. exports could have devastating effects on the economy and consumers.

08 декабря 2016, 01:02

Koch brothers announce layoffs

The billionaire brothers, who sparred with Donald Trump, are reorganizing their advocacy network.

06 декабря 2016, 02:10

HUFFPOST HILL - HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Handing Out Slips Of Paper That Just Say "zillow"

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!  We look forward to Ben Carson’s tenure as HUD secretary and all the times he’ll accost people living in boxes and tell them that “if you give a man a fish…” Mitch McConnell may attach Jim Mattis’ civilian/military waiver to the NDAA, but no one is taking our suggestion to call it the Rubicon Rider. And a fake news story about Comet Ping Pong got real scary this weekend when an armed wingnut entered the pizza place. Presumably he missed that AllNewsSoTrue.us item about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being written on the patio of 2Amys. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, December 5th,  THE LATEST FROM TRUMP’S SECRETARY OF STATE PAGEANT - Major Garrett: “The ‘serious’ names on the list remain former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 2012 GOP nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus (ret.). Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, is in the mix, too, but he’s on the outer edges of intense consideration. But even that list is subject to alterations. The most interesting development in the State merry-go-round is the re-emergence of former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Sources close to the transition tell me Bolton – initially boxed out of consideration – has moved back into contention due to his foreign policy experience, his pro-Trump advocacy during the campaign and his sharp-elbows approach to diplomacy. Bolton has always had supporters on the transition team and up-and-downs that have befallen Giuliani, Romney and Petraeus have given him new life and a possible opening, the sources said.” [CBS News] LOL BEN CARSON - We can’t wait for his confirmation hearing, and his prepared statement which will surely just be a framed inspirational poster that he’ll hold up and read from. Alana Horowitz Satlin: “President-elect Donald Trump is nominating Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who has never held public office, as his secretary of housing and urban development. In a statement released Monday, Trump called Carson a ‘distinguished national leader’ with a ‘brilliant mind.’ … As HUD chief, Carson would be tasked with setting housing policies for the Trump administration, including access to affordable housing and community development. Carson’s comments on certain anti-discrimination policies ― he has called one plan a ‘mandated social-engineering scheme’ ― are likely to worry some fair housing advocates’” [HuffPost] Rep. Ted Lieu’s statement on Carson: “Remember the famous commercial where a man is flying a helicopter and reveals he’s not a pilot but he did ‘stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night’? Trump’s nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to lead HUD reminds me of that commercial. Do you have any experience running a large federal agency or knowledge of housing and urban development?’ ‘No, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.’” [HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery] Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill HISTORY’S BRUNCHIEST COUPLE FIND THEIR NATURAL HOME - Then there’s also all that deep conflict of interest stuff. David Wright: “Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are house hunting in Washington as they look to move from New York City to D.C., CNN has learned. The couple’s planned move with their three children reflects the expectation that Kushner will serve as an adviser to President-elect Donald Trump in some capacity, though the precise role ― potentially complicated by nepotism laws ― remains to be seen…. [T]he president-elect has signaled that he may look to put his adult children in charge of managing his sprawling business empire while he serves as president. Trump is planning a December 15 news conference to provide details about his plan for his businesses. Still, such a plan ― which the Trump team has portrayed as a ‘blind trust’ ― would do little to preclude conflicts of interest from arising, since Trump insists he will maintain close contact with his kids while they manage the family’s international network of business interests, even as he steers US foreign policy.” [CNN] From Jason O. Gilbert in McSweeney’s: “Why I’m Leaving My Job At The Illuminati And Joining The Trump Administration.” SNEAKY, SNEAKY, SNEAKY - Kelsey Snell, Karoun Demirjian and Ed O’Keefe: “Republican leaders in the House and Senate are considering adding a measure to the upcoming year-end spending bill that would make it easier for retired Gen. James Mattis to be confirmed next year as Donald Trump’s secretary of defense. Mattis needs an act of Congress to make him eligible to lead the Pentagon because under the law the defense secretary has to be a civilian for at least seven years before taking office…. The measure currently under consideration would allow Republicans to potentially avoid a showdown with Democrats when Mattis’s nomination comes up for a vote next year, according to several senior House and Senate aides, by essentially dispensing with the waiver issue this month. No final decisions have been made, but on Monday, lawmakers floated adding the measure to the spending bill, the aides said. The waiver being considered would only apply to Mattis and would not change the overall law.” [WashPost] MCCARTHY THROWS WATER ON TRUMP’S TARIFF TALK - This is really going to hurt his chances of nabbing a selfie with Scott Baio. Matt Fuller: “If President-elect Donald Trump thinks he’s going to impose a 35 percent tariff on companies importing goods, he might want to check with Republicans in Congress. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested Monday that Republicans would not be in favor of imposing the 35 percent tariff on foreign goods that Trump proposed Sunday in a series of tweets…. ‘I don’t want to get into some sort of trade war,’ McCarthy said, still downplaying the policy differences between Trump and congressional Republicans…. [T]he majority leader said Republicans were intent on overhauling the corporate tax code so that businesses would stay in the United States. ‘That’s the best way to solve this problem,’ McCarthy said. But he also made it clear that he doesn’t believe high tariffs are the best way to keep or create jobs in the United States. ‘I think history has taught us that trade wars are not healthy,’ he said.” [HuffPost] @mkraju: No Dems and just three Republicans on the Senate floor listening to David Vitter’s farewell address MICHAEL FLYNN HAS BATS IN THE BELFRY - Only a matter of time before this loon convinces Trump to bomb, like, Costa Rica because he misread something on InfoNewsReport.xu. Matthew Rosenberg: “Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for national security adviser, has a well-established penchant for pushing conspiracy theories about Islamic law spreading in the West and the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Less well noticed was his willingness throughout the presidential campaign to indulge in conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton. Six days before the election, Mr. Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, tweeted a fake news story that claimed the police and prosecutors in New York had found evidence linking Mrs. Clinton and much of her senior campaign staff to pedophilia, money laundering, perjury and other felonies. ‘U decide,’ Mr. Flynn wrote in the Twitter message on Nov. 2, though it appeared there was little doubt what he thought.” [NYT]  Flynn’s son ― who works on Trump’s transition team ― is no better. TRUMP SUPPORTERS’ HANDS FIRMLY CUPPED AROUND EARS - Can someone please record James Earl Jones saying, “This... Is NewsForYou.biz” Ariel Edwards-Levy: “More than four in 10 Americans, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey, agree with Trump that he’s faced unduly negative coverage. A similar percentage, though, say Trump’s behavior toward the media has been unacceptable as well. A 41 percent plurality of Americans think media coverage of Trump has been generally too negative, with 17 percent saying it’s been too positive and 23 percent that it’s been about right. But many are also uncomfortable with the way Trump has interacted with the press. Forty-three percent say the way Trump treats journalists is unacceptable, while just 33 percent think he treats them in an acceptable way…. A 56 percent majority of Trump voters say that if a national media outlet reported that Trump said something untrue, they would be more inclined to believe him than the news outlet. Just 2 percent say they’d believe the media, with another 38 percent saying it depends on what the story is.” [HuffPost] RYAN: OBAMACARE REPEAL IS VITAL AND ALSO SOMEHOW WON’T CHANGE ANYTHING - Straight making up things worked so well for Trump, Ryan’s decided to test it out. Craig Gilbert: “House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday he envisions an extended transition from Obamacare that ensures ‘no one is worse off’ after Congress votes to repeal the program…. Ryan said there will be an early repeal vote next year, but after that, ‘clearly there will be a transition and a bridge so that no one is left out in the cold, so that no one is worse off. The purpose here is to bring relief to people who are suffering from Obamacare so that they can get something better.’ Some Republicans have suggested it would take years to perform the complex process of phasing out and replacing the health care law. Critics and some analysts have predicted that a GOP strategy of quickly voting to repeal the program but delaying its effective end date would create chaos and disruption for the people currently in it.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel] House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is spouting the same nonsense, so get used to hearing it and seeing liberals go apoplectic. THE NORTH CAROLINA GUBERNATORIAL RACE IS OVER AT LAST - Rest easy, Al Franken and Norm Coleman: Your 2008 recount remains the most insufferably lengthy one of all time. Julia Craven: “North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) finally conceded the state’s gubernatorial race to state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) on Monday…. McCrory, who is the first sitting governor to lose re-election in North Carolina, has been fighting to remain in the state’s highest office since election night. Cooper declared victory over McCrory on Nov. 9 following a tight race. But McCrory refused to concede, saying the race was too close to call with Cooper up by slightly more than 4,300 votes.” [HuffPost] GORE MEETS TRUMP - An historic summit between the man who invented the internet and the man who ruined it. Igor Bobic: “President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump met with former Vice President Al Gore on Monday to discuss ‘climate issues,’ the Trump transition team said. The transition team initially announced that Gore was to meet only with Ivanka Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan. After the meeting, Gore disclosed he had also met with the president-elect, describing the conversation as ‘very productive’ and a ‘sincere search for areas of common ground.’ ‘I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump,’ Gore said, according to a transition pool report. ‘The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.’” [HuffPost]  PLAN AFOOT TO INSTALL PEOPLE’S’ CHOICE JOHN KASICH AS PRESIDENT - Hillary Clinton just can’t get into the White House no matter how crazy things become. Kyle Cheney and Gabriel DeBenedetti: “Advocates of the long-shot bid to turn the Electoral College against Donald Trump have been in contact with close allies of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, but the Clinton camp — and Clinton herself — have declined to weigh in on the merits of the plan…. The Democratic electors have already revealed that they’re close to a consensus pick for whom they will vote: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.” [Politico] NATIONAL ANTHEM TO BE REPLACED BY NONSTOP COUGHING FITS - Evan Halper: “When an obscure nonprofit group attacked one of California’s signature green-energy projects this summer — warning a congressional panel that the embrace of solar energy would lead to crippling hikes in electricity bills — officials in the state shrugged off the testimony as noise from the fringe. With Donald Trump’s election, however, that group, the Institute for Energy Research, has moved suddenly from the fringe to the center of power. The president-elect has sent the group’s president, a former Koch Industries lobbyist named Thomas Pyle, to the Energy Department to take charge of its transition. For years, Pyle has led a coordinated national assault on renewable power. His groups and others that belong to the sprawling network bankrolled by Charles and David Koch, whose vast fortune stems originally from oil refining, pressure lawmakers to roll back policies that promote green power. The Koch network gave Pyle’s groups $3 million in 2015.” [LA Times] BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog being lulled to sleep with a song. 27 WAYS YOUR SOVEREIGN FUND SHOULD TOTALLY CONSIDER MORE HIGH-YIELD FIXED-INCOME INSTRUMENTS - BRB selling Comfort Food to Bridgewater Associates. Sarah Krouse: “BlackRock Inc. has hired a new global chief marketing officer from digital media company BuzzFeed as the world’s largest money manager works to bolster its business from individual investors. Frank Cooper, who spent the last 18 months as chief marketing officer and chief creative officer at BuzzFeed, plans to join the New York asset manager in January, according to an internal memo seen by The Wall Street Journal.” [WSJ] COMFORT FOOD - Scenes from the artistic bicycle championship. - A supercut of Chance the Rapper’s favorite noises. - A dramatic enacting of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” TWITTERAMA @NYTMinusContext: Set your meetings, phone calls and emails aside, at least for the next several minutes. That’s because today you’re a bee  @arthurdelaneyhp: Just wait till people find out Donald Trump is a birther who says vaccines cause autism. @timothypmurphy: The president-elect literally said that President Obama’s real name was “Barry Soweto.” Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected]) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

05 декабря 2016, 16:35

Информационная инквизиция и Дональд Трамп

Принятие Конгрессом США законопроекта о создании специальной межведомственной группы по «выявлению тайного влияния России» имеет исторические аналогии. Нечто похожее происходило в 1215 году, когда папа Иннокентий Третий учредил «Отдел расследований еретической греховности», получивший в дальнейшем название Святой инквизиции.  В глазах Ватикана без происков нечистой силы ересь зарождаться не могла, поэтому Святая...

28 ноября 2016, 14:55

Citing no evidence, TRUMP accuses 3 states of voter fraud -- SCARBOROUGH: Trump ‘furious’ at Conway -- 8 meetings at Trump Tower this afternoon -- THRUSH talks to NYT’s Maggie Haberman -- B’DAY: WaPo’s Matea Gold

Listen to Playbook in 90 Seconds http://bit.ly/2gnkDDR ... Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6EayGood Monday morning and welcome back. The president-elect tweeted this on Sunday: @realDonaldTrump: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” And later: “Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!”Why? It’s anyone’s guess, honestly. He’s the next president of the United States. Full stop. There is almost nothing that will prevent him from getting into the White House. So why is he harping on unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud? Even if these claims had any merit, Trump still won! He’s assembling a Cabinet and preparing to be the leader of the free world. On Capitol Hill, they’re preparing to move a Republican agenda that might become law for the first time in nearly a decade. Members of his party -- many of them eager for Trump to get into the White House -- are also eager for him to stop the sideshow. And with lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill this week for what’s expected to be a sleepy two-week lame-duck session, expect to hear calls for Trump to cut it out.-- “Trump’s baseless assertions of voter fraud called ‘stunning,’” by Andrew Restuccia: “Donald Trump on Sunday used the platform of the presidency to peddle a fringe conspiracy theory to justify his loss of the popular vote, claiming without evidence that millions of people voted illegally Nov. 8. Trump’s tweets marked an unprecedented rebuke of the U.S. electoral system by a president-elect and were met with immediate condemnation from voting experts and others. And they offered a troubling indication that Trump’s ascension to the highest political office in the United States may not alter his penchant for repeating unproven conspiracies perpetuated by the far right. ...“A source close to the president-elect said he felt piqued by the Wisconsin recount demand of Green Party nominee Jill Stein, which Hillary Clinton's campaign said it will participate in, so he hit back. Even though he's won and it shouldn't matter, he isn't letting it go, the source said. Another adviser said that Trump genuinely believes ‘that the Democratic establishment will try to steal’ his victory. So his goal is to hold their feet to the fire.” http://politi.co/2fUIPgf FOUR PINOCCHIOS -- “Donald Trump’s bogus claim that millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton,” by WaPo’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler: http://wapo.st/2gmZJ7N-- “Donald Trump alleges widespread voter fraud in California. There's no evidence to back it up,” by the LA Times’ John Myers: “‘It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him,’ Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, said in a statement. ‘His unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd. His reckless tweets are inappropriate and unbecoming of a president-elect.’ Elections officials in the state’s 58 counties have not yet completed counting the ballots cast this month, but there’s no doubt Trump was trounced by Democrat Hillary Clinton. In returns as of Saturday night … Clinton was ahead by more than 3.9 million votes. The president-elect’s Sunday comments are not in line with any reporting or investigations into intentional acts in California designed to influence the outcome of the vote.” http://lat.ms/2frQc2z CHOOSE YOUR NEWS -- FRONT-PAGE HEADLINE EDITION -- NYT: “TRUMP PROMOTES A BASELESS CLAIM ON ILLEGAL VOTING … NO PROOF OF ‘MILLIONS’” http://nyti.ms/2fHN0hw … WSJ: “Trump takes aim at ‘millions’ of voters … As recount efforts are stepped up, president-elect responds with new claims of fraud” (h/t @Azi) http://bit.ly/2fHGtn6 MEANWHILE Trump has at least eight meetings today beginning at 1 p.m. at Trump Tower. The meetings are all scheduled to last 30 minutes. The meetings will be conducted in this order: Sandeep Mathrani, the CEO of General Growth Properties (1 p.m.); Paul Atkins, the CEO of Patomak Global Partners, and a former commissioner of the SEC (1:30 p.m.); Kathleen Hartnett White, the director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (2 p.m.); Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, a conservative House Republican who backed Trump early (2:30 p.m.); Dave Steward, the chairman of World Wide Technology (3 p.m.); Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma (3:30 p.m.); David A. Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County (4 p.m.) and John Allison, the former chairman of BB&T (4:30 p.m.).-- TRUMP’S UNFILLED CABINET: Agriculture, Treasury, Defense, State, Interior, Commerce, Labor, HHS, Veterans Affairs, EPA, trade representative, OMB director, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and administrator of the Small Business AdministrationKELLYANNE CONWAY vs. MITT ROMNEY -- “Trump aide steps up bid to block possible Romney nomination,” by AP’s Julie Pace: "'People feel betrayed to think that Gov. Romney, who went out of his way to question the character and the intellect and the integrity of Donald Trump, now our president-elect, would be given the most significant cabinet post of all,’ Conway said in one of several television interviews Sunday. She said Romney was ‘nothing but awful’ to Trump for a year.” http://apne.ws/2fHOcli-- JOE SCARBOROUGH called Conway’s comments on Romney an “act of sabotage.” Mika and Joe reported around 6:10 a.m. on “Morning Joe” that Trump is “furious” at Conway’s rhetoric, and said top aides to the president-elect believe that his former campaign manager is “pushing her own agenda.”-- JUST REMEMBER: It’s never good for an aide to get in front of the principal. And if Conway was acting alone in going after Romney, she was putting herself in the spotlight, instead of giving her boss room to maneuver and decide on his own. Donald Trump just won an election -- not Kellyanne Conway. And he should be able to make the decisions without public interference from his aides.TROUBLE IN PARADISE? -- “Donald Trump’s Spending Push Rankles Fiscal Conservatives,” by WSJ’s Nick Timiraos: “Republican lawmakers may stomach larger deficits from a Republican president, but signs of tension are emerging as President-elect Donald Trump looks poised to stand by promises to slash taxes while spending more on big-ticket items, such as infrastructure and the military … ‘You can’t just like spending that your party wants and dislike spending that the other party wants,’ says Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.), who rode to office in 2010 on the tea party wave … For Republicans, the bigger fight will be over Mr. Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan. The president-elect has been passionate about rebuilding roads and ports but sketchy on the details of how to pay for it, stirring concerns among Republicans who are uneasy over approving a costly stimulus program.” http://on.wsj.com/2fHxWRdWASHINGTON, INC. -- “Companies Retool Lobbying as Donald Trump’s Administration Nears,” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus: “Some corporations and lobbying shops had bulked up their Democratic wings during the Obama administration and in anticipation of a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump’s win means they need to restack their Republican operations. ... Still, Republicans’ slim majority in the Senate means corporations need to keep their Democratic lobbyists on the payroll, too, since the GOP will need at least eight Democratic votes in the Senate to pass most major legislation.” With cameos from Mike Duhaime, Paul Brathwaite, Hunter Bates, and Matthew Johnson http://on.wsj.com/2fD1rQC MUST-LISTEN MONDAY -- Glenn Thrush talks to Maggie Haberman for his “Off Message” podcast: http://bit.ly/2g9SB0I TRANSITION WATCH -- “How the Kochs won 2016,” by Ken Vogel and Eliana Johnson: “Charles Koch once likened the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to being asked to choose cancer or a heart attack. Now, Koch's allies are helping to launch Trump's administration, giving Charles and his brother David potential inroads with a president whose campaign they refused to support. The president-elect, in filling out his transition team and administration, has drawn heavily from the vast network of donors and advocacy groups built by the billionaire industrialist brothers, who have sought to reshape American politics in their libertarian image … “Perhaps more surprisingly, despite some predictions of imminent policy clashes, there's already informal communication between the Trump team and the Koch network, and both camps are signaling a willingness to work together on issues of mutual interest. David Koch even attended Trump's election night victory party. How long the comity lasts between Trump and the powerful Koch brothers could go far in determining whether Trump is able to take full advantage of the complete Republican control of Washington ushered in by his stunning victory over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.” http://politi.co/2gycJqtKNOWING KUSHNER -- “For Trump son-in-law and confidant Jared Kushner, a long history of fierce loyalty,” by WaPo’s Shawn Boburg: “Several Trump associates have said that Kushner will be a chief of staff in all but name, with wide-ranging -- if sometimes hard-to-quantify -- influence and a voice equal to incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon. ... In 1997, when Kushner was just 16, then-President Bill Clinton made a stop at the corporate headquarters of the family business, lavishing praise on the Kushners during a speech. To mark the moment, the Kushners gave Clinton a shofar -- a ram’s-horn musical instrument used in Jewish religious ceremonies. ...“Back on Dec. 7, 2013, the day after [David] Wildstein resigned from the Port Authority [of New York and New Jersey] amid growing evidence that he had ordered the lane closures, Kushner got in touch with him. In an email obtained by The Post, Kushner drew a parallel between Wildstein and his father, who had also resigned as a Port Authority commissioner in 2003 as questions began to percolate about Kushner’s campaign contributions. ‘Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and wishing the best. For what it’s worth, I thought the move you pulled was kind of badass,’ Kushner wrote.” http://wapo.st/2fUGEZQ -- “Kushner took central role in Trump-Abe meeting,” by Nikkei’s Naoya Yoshino: “Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became the first major world leader to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and sources said the meeting was arranged by Trump's son-in-law, who is increasingly receiving media attention as he is likely to play an important role in the incoming administration. Soon after Trump secured victory in the presidential election, Japanese officials sought to set up a meeting quickly. Abe tweaked his schedule in order to visit Trump in New York on Nov. 17. The sources said the swift action was enabled by Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, who is one of her father's closest aides. It was Kushner who informed Japanese officials several days before the meeting that it would take place in Trump Tower.” http://s.nikkei.com/2frq9bP KNOWING STEVE BANNON –– “Combative, Populist Steve Bannon Found His Man in Donald Trump,” by NYT’s Scott Shane: “Interviews with two dozen people who know him well ... portray a man not easily labeled, capable of surprising both friends and enemies, with unshakable self-confidence and striking intensity. ... Fans and foes agree that he is a ‘screamer,’ a volcanic personality who sometimes resorts to offensive or hyperbolic language. ... Mr. Bannon’s backers note that several of Breitbart’s top editors and managers are Jewish -- as was [Andrew] Breitbart himself -- and the site is staunchly pro-Israel. ...“Mary Beth Meredith, Mr. Bannon’s sister, said accusations of personal bigotry against him were ‘absolutely absurd.’ ‘We have interfaith marriages in our own family,’ she said. ‘We have interracial marriages — our family is a microcosm of the U.S.’ Where some perceive racism and nativism, others see a different -ism: opportunism. Whatever may be in his heart, they say, Mr. Bannon was happy to draw a white nationalist following to Breitbart, while denying that was his intent.” http://nyti.ms/2fUIdXOHE’S BACK… -- “Paul Manafort Is Back: The King of K Street is ready for the new Washington,” by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Robert Kolker: “Friends say Manafort wouldn’t want to become a lobbyist again or to have a concrete role with the administration; that would be too confining. But the Washington that Trump’s team will govern in is a place Manafort understands and had a strong hand in shaping. It’s a matter of time, perhaps, before his particular set of skills will be put to use again. And given the Trump team’s apparent warmth toward Russia, there should be plenty for the King of K Street to do — and plenty of money to be made doing it. The night of Nov. 8, [Manafort’s former business partner Roger] Stone got a text from his old friend, at the exact moment one of the news outlets was calling the race for their man. The message was just four words: ‘How sweet it is.’” http://bloom.bg/2fDYn6Z HILL WATCH -- “A Californian will be the first woman of color elected to House leadership. The only question is which one,” by the LA Times' Sarah Wire: “While most attention in Washington is focused on whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) will beat back a challenge in the Wednesday leadership election, House Democrats will also choose between Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.” http://lat.ms/2gn65Ef -- “Early Trump endorsers the new power brokers of Capitol Hill,” by Rachael Bade: “[Rep. Lou] Barletta is a member of Washington’s newest and most exclusive club, a small band of Republican lawmakers who got behind Trump when their own party establishment had him pegged as a surefire general election loser, if he even managed to win the nomination. The few who were willing to endure the ridicule of other GOP lawmakers by placing their chips on Trump early have been vaulted from backbench obscurity to now arguably rivaling the influence of GOP congressional leaders. They, more than the high-profile pols flocking to Trump since he won, have the ear of the president-elect.” http://politi.co/2gxxKFgBEYOND THE BELTWAY -- “Threat letter to Savannah mosque urges Muslims to ‘get out of dodge,’” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Greg Bluestein: “A Muslim advocacy group is planning to step up its outreach efforts after a Savannah mosque received a letter threatening genocide that claimed President-elect Donald Trump is going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.’ The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it plans to host an open house in Savannah in January 2017 with a question and answer session on the religion after the Islamic Center of Savannah received an anonymous letter similar to notes sent to several mosques in California.“The hand-written letter referred to Muslims as ‘vile and filthy people’ who believed in a Satanic faith and urged them to ‘pack your bags and get out of dodge’ because Trump is ‘going to cleans America and make it shine again. And he’s going to start with you Muslims.’ ‘This is a great time for patriotic Americans,’ the letter concluded. ‘Long live President Trump and God bless the U.S.A.’” http://on-ajc.com/2gOavHu FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Syrian troops capture major Aleppo neighborhood,” by AP’s Bassem Mroue in Beirut: “Syrian government forces and their allies captured a major eastern Aleppo neighborhood and several smaller areas Monday, putting much of the northern part of Aleppo's besieged rebel-held areas under government control, state media reported … Aleppo, Syria's largest city and former commercial center, has been contested since the summer of 2012 and a rebel defeat in the city would be a turning in the five-year conflict. If Syrian forces capture all of east Aleppo, President Bashar Assad's government will be in control of the country's four largest cities as well as the coastal region.” http://apne.ws/2gB7V4YTOP-ED -- Barney Frank in the Boston Globe on Dodd-Frank: “Trump’s financial plans promise another Great Recession” http://bit.ly/2fW2axvSPOTTED -- Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden flying coach from PDX to DCA Sunday. Midflight, Wyden used the airplane bathroom sans shoes, walking into the stall in black dress socks. … Newt and Callista Gingrich waiting to board a flight from Ft. Myers to D.C. Sunday. Newt was “furiously typing on an iPad and she’s just chillin’.”BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: WaPo’s Matea Gold, an LAT alum – read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2gBnfyd BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Politico Europe alum Simon TaylorBIRTHDAYS: State Dept. globetrotter Glen Johnson, an AP and Boston Globe alum … Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who was on his Minneapolis high school’s soccer, cross country and debate teams, and was also president of the student council and named “most likely to succeed.” (Read a MinnPost profile: http://bit.ly/1Nem1EE) ... Tim Skoczek … Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is 52 ... Mr. Paul Shaffer is 67 … Jon Stewart is 54 … Gary Hart is 8-0 … former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is 63 … former VA secretary Eric Shinseki is 74 ... Stephen Jordan, CEO of IO Sustainability, is 5-0 (h/t Roxana) ... CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer is 7-0 … Politico’s Cally Stolbach … Trent Edwards, head of development for American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund, is 4-0, who spent the weekend celebrating with his family in southwest Virginia (h/t girlfriend Rebecca Mark) ... AP political reporter Jonathan Lemire (h/t wife Carrie Melago) … Michael Sargeant ... former Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) is 58 ... Jason Reed, a Reuters photographer in Sydney ... Suzi Emmerling, deputy COS at DOT and an OFA and CAP alum ... Andrew Mangino, co-founder and CEO of The Future Project, is 3-0 ... Joy Nadel ... Thomas Crosson, VP of corporate comms at SunTrust in Atlanta … Lesley Lopez, director of comms and publications at the US-China Business Council and a DLCC alum (h/t Ajashu Thomas) ... … NYT’s Elaine Sciolino, author of “The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs” and “La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life” ... Mark McDonald ... Stacie Spector ... David Halperin (h/ts Jon Haber) … Lexie Hosier, digital director for Sen. Thom Tillis (h/t birthday boy Judd Deere) ... Judd Deere, comms director for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge … Paul Ambrosino ... Brady Williamson ... Joe Dennison (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Patrick Mark Callahan ... Carmen Covelli-Ingwell ... Richard Norman is 61 ... Kimberly Spell Brimigion ... Nick Ferderer ... Edward Chapman ... Anna Weinstein, native Vermonter and principal at Podesta Group and a BIO alum … Stephanie Berger … Boehner alum Courtney Loper, now senior director of energy and natural resources at FTI Consulting Strategic Communications in Denver … Ashley Phelps … Jackie Walker … Steve Adamske … Chris Tucker, senior managing director at FTI Consulting … makeup artist extraordinaire Jackie Walker … Bret Hovell, senior director for news and strategic comms at ASU and a CBS News alum ... Tom Barker, a Bush 43 HHS alum now partner at Foley Hoag … singer Randy Newman is 73 ... former NASA teacher in space Barbara Morgan is 65 ... R&B singer Trey Songz is 32 (h/ts AP)

22 марта 2013, 13:43

Что делать Атланту? Или о производстве замолвите слово

Итак, снова трещат копья вокруг Айн Рэнд и ее «Атланта», на сей раз вокруг экранизации романа. Что ж, это не ново. В 2012 году Библиотека Конгресса США провела выставку под помпезным названием «Книги, которые сформировали Америку». Перед событием эксперты библиотеки составили список из 88 книг, которые, по их мнению, отвечали всем требованиям «формирующей книги». Странно, что среди книг не оказалось Библии (возможно, по причине самоочевидного лидерства), но в остальном список мало у кого из критиков вызвал сомнения… за исключением одного пункта. Пресса взорвалась негодованием по поводу нахождения среди 88-ми романа Айн Рэнд «Атлант расправил плечи». Впрочем, это произведение подвергалось остракизму не в первый раз. К тому времени роману исполнилось уже 55 лет, и он все это время оставался одной из самых популярных книг в Америке… и самой ругаемой в «приличном обществе». В 2008 году, перед первым избранием Барака Обамы, тиражи новых изданий «Атланта» снова взлетели до небес, и к 2010 году суммарный проданный тираж книги перевалил за 7 миллионов экземпляров. Это очень много, но отнюдь не рекорд. Так, «Над пропастью во ржи» имеет на своем счету около 65 миллионов экземпляров, а «Убить пересмешника» – примерно 30 миллионов. Но есть одно существенное обстоятельство. «Атлант» – в основном американская книжка, всерьез не продвигавшаяся на внешние рынки. При этом ее тиражи поднимаются с нуля до миллионов, когда перед Америкой вновь и вновь встает всерьез выбор магистрального направления развития. В упомянутом 2008 году «Атлант» набрал в продажах совокупный миллион экземпляров, то есть, по четверти миллиона на новеллу – столько же, сколько Catcher Сэлинджера. А «Пересмешник» перешагнул за цифру 150 тысяч лишь в 2011 году благодаря «величайшему культурному событию современности» – Виктория и Дэвид Бекхэм назвали свою дочку в честь автора романа, Харпер Ли. В том же 2011 году кабельное, Интернет и DVD-продажи Amazon взорвала документальная лента «Айн Рэнд и пророчество Атланта» (Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged). Интерес к фильму был сумасшедшим, а реакция критики была весьма прохладной. Впереди были выборы-2012, и Голливуд готовил целый пул предвыборных прообамовских фильмов, которым будут рукоплескать критики, и Киноакадемии останется лишь выбрать среди них достойный Оскара. В том, что Голливуд бросил все свои силы на переизбрание лево-либерального президента, ничего сенсационного не было. Куда интереснее было то, что «важнейшим из искусств» решили воспользоваться и справа. Неудивительно, что обратились при этом к самому проверенному материалу, острота которого не была потеряна за полвека. В 2011 году вышла экранизация первой части «Атланта». Сюжет «Атланта» состоит в том, что в недалеком будущем (по Айн Рэнд – в 60-х годах, по режиссеру Джону Путчу – после перевыборов Обамы на второй срок) государство сильно вмешивается в экономические дела корпораций и, радея «о всеобщем благе», вводит «Закон равного распределения», отнимая у предпринимателей свободу деятельности, авторское право, возможность устанавливать цену на свою продукцию и нанимать тех людей, которые им кажутся наиболее перспективными. Это порождает ответную реакцию – предприниматели, инженеры и менеджеры «расправляют плечи». Следуя призыву таинственного изобретателя Джона Голта, они в массовом порядке начинают уходить, оставляя свое дело. Мир сваливается в хаос, заботиться об экономике, инфраструктуре и рабочих становится попросту некому. Критика разорвала картину в клочья, и большого прокатного успеха она не имела. Но поскольку фильм и его фрагменты постоянно циркулировали в Интернете, собирая весьма приличную аудиторию, а на 2012-й, самый горячий год был намечен выход второй части фильма, в которой «общество всеобщего блага» окончательно губит всю инфраструктуру Америки, навстречу одному «Атланту» бросили другого. В 2012 году на экраны вышел широко разрекламированный фильм Cloud Atlas, который на русский язык был переведен, на мой взгляд, совершенно неверно – «Облачный Атлас». В действительности и роман Дэвида Митчелла, и его экранизацию стоило бы перевести как «Порочный Атлант»[1]. Разница в классе актеров, режиссеров, продюсеров и всей съемочной группы была колоссальной. Да и бюджет у лево-либерального «Атланта» был на порядок выше – $102 миллиона против 10. И это не должно удивлять. Разумеется, какие-нибудь братья Кох с удовольствием выделили бы на экранизацию Айн Рэнд хоть $200 миллионов, но все же влияние и деньги – вещи не эквивалентные, особенно, когда речь идет о некой специфической области деятельности. Прийти в либеральный Голливуд с мешком денег и рассчитывать на то, что Спилберг, Вачовски, Кэмерон или даже автор оскароносного «Арго» Афлек станут снимать что-то вроде «Атлант расправил плечи», просто смешно. Им ведь потом еще жить и зарабатывать в Голливуде, давно определившемся со своей политической ориентацией! Поэтому, сколько бы просмотров ни собирали в Интернете ролики со стародавними интервью Айн Рэнд, как только дело коснулось Фабрики Грез, рассчитывать на звездную команду для перенесения на большой экран ее творения и на успешный прокат не приходилось. Сняли как сняли. С теми, с кем сняли. И хотя, на мой взгляд, фильм все равно получился неплохой и достойный просмотра хотя бы дома – на DVD или онлайн, – на этом разговор собственно о фильме можно было бы и завершить. Однако куда интереснее то, что очередное явление публике «Атланта» сопровождается уже ставшей привычной за 55 лет весьма агрессивной реакцией «приличного общества». Когда я посмотрел первые две части «Атланта», я, разумеется, поделился с друзьями не только ссылками, но и впечатлениями. Картинка получилась интересная. Мне даже показалось, что это вообще кино не для всех. Какие-то душевные и интеллектуальные струны «Атлант» трогал только у части аудитории, и эта часть аудитории вполне понимала, о чем этот фильм, и сопереживала героям. Начались даже споры о том, как можно было бы переложить фильм на другую фактуру, более футуристическую или, наоборот, на нашу, отечественную. Поэтому мне очень любопытно было, какова будет реакция на фильм гуманитария, академического философа. Я подумал, что если она будет безразличной, то тайна невероятной популярности «Атланта», с одной стороны, и невероятного раздражения большинства интеллектуалов на него, с другой, так и останется нераскрытой. Однако мой коллега по цеху Василий Ванчугов поставил смелый эксперимент, причем, как надлежит настоящему ученому, добровольно поставил его на себе. Он посмотрел обе части фильма «Атланта» и написал на них рецензию. Если бы Василий этого не сделал, рецензию отечественного философа на данный кинофильм я бы, ей-Богу, придумал сам. Придумал бы в самом провокационном ключе. Под псевдонимом, разумеется. В моей притворной рецензии философ не только клеймил бы позитивизм, но и вообще индустриальное общество, капитализм, предпринимателей, «всех этих менеджеров» и, разумеется, увязал бы коммерческий провал картины с содержащимися в ней идеологемами: критики выдвинули фильм на «Золотую малину» (анти-премия за худший фильм) – значит «Золотой малины» достойны и все идеи Айн Рэнд; главная героиня недостаточно красива – значит и капитализм отвратителен и не эстетичен; а что спецэффекты не те, что в «Аватаре» и вовсе означает, что позитивизм может обмануть лишь людей недалеких. По реакции на мою провокацию я бы смог измерить градус идеологического противостояния «Атланту». Если бы интеллектуалы поддержали такого рода логику, то мы действительно имеем дело с идеологией, и в «Атланте» есть что-то такое, что заставляет одних читать и перечитывать (в другом варианте – смотреть и пересматривать) его, а других – раз за разом пытаться не оставить от него камня на камне. Надо сказать, всамделишная рецензия профессора Ванчугова оказалась куда удачнее моих провокационных замыслов. Все изложенные мною выше приемы, в ней были использованы, но я бы никогда не смог изобразить того искреннего презрения философа к материальному производству, каковое выказал автор. Основной эмоциональный нерв рецензии, по сути дела, держится на призыве к читателям возмутиться демонстрацией на экране «производственной темы»: рельсов, шпал, поездов, цехов и производственных совещаний. Остановимся на секунду и задумаемся: может быть, и правда переборщили? Не думаю. Огромное количество первоклассных кинолент изобилует профессиональными тонкостями различных профессий. Самые успешные фильмы и сериалы о юристах просто-таки являются учебниками англо-саксонского права. Фильмы о художниках и музыкантах наполнены рассуждениями о «грации линий» и «изящности звука». С программистами и хакерами дело похуже – мало кто обладает столь серьезными знаниями в области IT, чтобы отразить работу этих ребят адекватно, но все равно с экрана так и сыплются «IP-адреса», «прерывания», «хосты» и «файерволы». И так далее и тому подобное. Фильмы и сериалы о полицейских, разумеется, отчасти берут тем, что там присутствует захватывающий сюжет, но и здесь профессиональная деятельность людей показана в мельчайших деталях – от шкафчиков в раздевалке до экипировки патрульной машины. То есть и о полицейских можно. Лучше всего, если в фильме есть грязный коп, но сойдут и честные ребята. Все ОК. Вот тут крепится рация, вот тут – наручники. Не раздражает. Врачи – вообще отдельная тема. Посмотрев «Доктора Хауса» или «Скорую помощь», можно научиться делать интубацию, диагностировать напряженный пневмоторакс и узнать все об антибиотиках широкого спектра. Да что там! Даже работа коронера и судмедэксперта, выведенная на экран, никого не возмущает. А там ведь и смотреть-то иной раз неподготовленному зрителю сложно – спецэффекты позволяют изобразить разлагающуюся человеческую плоть весьма правдоподобно. Полагаю, интеллектуального зрителя нисколько не оскорбляют фильмы о проститутках, наркоманах, неудачниках, домохозяйках… Особой популярностью пользуются киноленты об аферистах. Так чем же не устраивают рельсы, металл, производство? Чем не устраивают инженеры, предприниматели, менеджеры? Исходя из текста рецензии можно было бы предположить, что все дело в травме коммунистического прошлого, где фильмами про заводы и колхозы граждан пичкали постоянно, и были эти фильмы всеми поголовно нелюбимы. Но те фильмы не любили тем больше, чем ближе зрители были к заводам и колхозам: на экране трактора были исправными, цеха чистенькими, водители непьющими, в жизни – отнюдь. Интеллигенция все больше посмеивалась или игнорировала. Идиосинкразии точно никакой не было, больше раздражали пустые полки магазинов и некачественный коньяк. В Советском Союзе все были в равных условиях. Как говорит Жванецкий, мы делали вид, что работали, они делали вид, что платили. Напоминание же о капиталистических «рельсах-шпалах» есть прямое указание на источник материального изобилия и, что важнее, относительного материального благополучия тех, кто к «рельсам-шпалам» никакого отношение не имеет. И пока материальное производство «знает свое место», делает все, что мы едим, носим, в чем живем, ездим и через что выходим в Интернет, причем делает молча, все в порядке. Совсем другое дело, если интеллектуалу сказать, что «рельсы-шпалы», вообще говоря, могут и исчезнуть – возьмут «враги рода человеческого» и перестанут эксплуатировать наемный труд и производить что-либо. Еще хуже, если появляется популярная идеология, канализирующая раздражение участников производственных совещаний столь милым сердцу философа кампусным социализмом. Практически весь американский чайный бунт последнего времени основан на этом раздражении и недовольстве. Автор рецензии сам прекрасно формулирует одну из причин такого недовольства. По его мнению, небесный свод держат и держали «совсем другие герои». Несложно догадаться, что это интеллектуалы, в высшем своем изводе – философы. Дело уже давно не в философии позитивизма или весьма эксцентричных воззрениях самой Айн Рэнд. Сегодня ее «Атлант» – с одной стороны, напоминание, что не стоит из благоустроенных университетских помещений указывать индустрии на ее ничтожное место в жизни общества, с другой, это своего рода манифест причастных к «рельсам-шпалам». Манифест, как и фильм, такой, какой есть. За неимением лучшего. И вместо того, чтобы ждать второй, более удачной попытки «добавить в позитивизм попкорн» (выражение Василия Ванчугова), я бы посоветовал философам пересмотреть свое отношение к пресловутым капиталистам, да и вообще к представителям экономического класса и, относясь к ним с заботой и благодарностью, попробовать привить им какую-нибудь другую идеологию вместо «Атланта». Ведь будь я предпринимателем, то по прочтении рецензии профессора я бы испытал острый приступ желания перестать платить налоги. Совсем. Расправить плечи. [1] Если следовать автору романа Дэвиду Митчеллу, то переводить на русский язык и роман, и фильм следовало бы «Порочный Атлант», поскольку в интервью радио BBC автор сказал: «Само название „Порочный Атлант“; порочность относится к постоянно меняющимся проявлениям Атланта, к неизменной человеческой природе, которая всегда остается и всегда будет оставаться таковой. Так что темой книги является жажда, с которой люди охотятся на отдельных лиц, группы — на группы, народы — на народы, племена — на племена». Вот теперь замените порочного Атланта на облачный атлас, и станет понятной бессмыслица перевода названия на русский язык. Фильм Вачовски и Тыквера бичует различные исторические проявления «Атланта», намекая, что это «тот самый Атлант». Дмитрий Дробницкий

09 января 2013, 01:44

Как устроена бизнес-империя братьев Кох, главных противников Обамы

Миллиардеры Чарльз и Дэвид Кох создали компанию с выручкой более $100 млрд, теперь они борются за «настоящую демократию» Человек, который, по оценке Forbes, входит в число 50 самых влиятельных людей в мире, топ-20 самых богатых и, пожалуй, в дюжину самых ненавидимых людей на планете, постоянно рефлексирует. Однако, учитывая, что Чарльзу Коху исполнилось 77 лет, это простительно. Простительно потому, что недавно он назвал президентские выборы «виной всех войн», и потому, что Koch Industries является второй крупнейшей частной компанией в Америке (после Cargill) с выручкой $115 млрд. Читать далееПохожие статьиПравила бизнеса Ларри ЭллисонаЗачем друг Путина спас магазин, в котором собираются российские оппозиционерыПочему России выгодна новая администрация Барака Обамы