The prevalence of revealed actors from the Carlyle Group (or the Bilderberg or the . . . ) in every part of our public sphere (and as providers of access to information) today has absolutely nothing to do with fascism descending full speed on our country (world).
Only "truthers" are thinking about those truths.
And our man on the scene, Russ Baker.
I wonder if it seemed this natural a world to the pre-World War II citizens in Germany.
By Russ Baker on Jun 29, 2014
Some things you truly cannot make up. Like this: the museum and archives celebrating and exploring the life (if not really wanting to investigate the death) of John F. Kennedy is getting a facelift—courtesy of ….the Carlyle Group.
This development was noted, without much fanfare, in a variety of major media. If there was a smidgen of irony, I missed it.
Yet, consider this: The ultimate globe-girdling corporation is playing a major role in preserving the memory of a president who at the time of his death was engaged in what may be described as mortal combat with outfits not unlike Carlyle — if smaller and less global. (I write about this in my book Family of Secrets but you can learn a lot more about JFK versus the corporations in Donald Gibson’s Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency.)*
Kennedy was locked in grim battle with oil and steel and banking interests, hated by mining giants and soda pop companies, resisting pressures from the burgeoning defense industry, and on and on. The list of the offending and the aggrieved was endless. Executives were taking out ads to excoriate him, and even showing up at the White House to practically spit in his face.
“Those robbing bastards,” JFK told Walter Heller, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, when Heller mentioned the oil and gas industry. “I’m going to murder them.” — as cited in Family of Secrets, from audiotape held by John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
Why is the museum getting a facelift? Apparently, it is to “enhance the visual and interactive offerings.”
Does none of it have to do with the still-mysterious fire that broke out at the museum complex in Boston at approximately the same time as the bombings of the Boston Marathon? Initial news reports suggested that the fire might somehow be linked to the bombings, an event that led to the precedent-setting lockdown of a major American city in a military-style operation.
As with, well, practically everything about that day, we have since been assured that there was in fact no deeper mystery regarding the museum fire — that its cause was accidental and its timing a coincidence. And of course it may well have been, though I (a past user of the archives’ services) was struck by what seemed like a sheepish lack of openness on the part of library personnel when I made inquiries. Call it a reporter’s instincts.
JFK World vs Carlyle World
JFK, who entered the White House as outgoing president Eisenhower warned about the dangerous growth of a “military-industrial complex,” battled constantly with the same forces that today virtually reign supreme. He was an enthusiast of attempts in the mass media to draw attention to threats to freedom here at home, as seen in such movies as "Seven Days in May," about a military coup against the U.S. government, and "The Manchurian Candidate," about the subversion of our democratic system through mind control.
Times have certainly changed. The CEO of Carlyle, it should be noted, is a Democrat. He worked for Jimmy Carter. Other figures in the Carlyle orbit over the years have been Republicans — including George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker III, and former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci — and high-profile foreigners, including British Prime Minister John Major and members of the bin Laden family.
Carlyle itself is one of the increasing ranks of strange companies that seem to come out of nowhere and are suddenly everywhere and into everything. (You really must treat yourself to a review of its holdings; even in the constrained precincts of Wikipedia, it’s still a wonder to behold — if you just drill down one level, from the military contractors to the pipeline companies, many of which it bought undervalued, reinvigorated with new government funding, and then sold off at great profit.)
As Carlyle puts it on their site:
We are one of the world’s largest and most diversified alternative asset management firms. We manage 120 distinct funds and 133 fund of funds vehicles that invest across four segments, 11 core industries and six continents. Our global size, scale and brand enable us to access opportunities in virtually every market around the world.
Carlyle is the kind of massive, opaque entity that draws its breath and its profits from knowing the right information and having the right connections. As such, it attracts almost no public attention…except when it chooses to do something philanthropic to “enhance” its public image.
We have every right to be amazed that the directors of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum decided they needed money so badly that they would take it from the likes of Carlyle. Even more amazing is that they thought, correctly as it turns out, there would be no criticism of this decision and no consequences.
But really — why be amazed? The world has changed a great deal since John F. Kennedy was precipitously removed from the picture after rousing the ire of the very selfsame kinds of interests that today rule the roost.
(WhoWhatWhy plans to continue doing this kind of groundbreaking original reporting. You can count on us. Can we count on you? What we do is only possible with your support. Please click here to donate; it’s tax deductible. And it packs a punch.)
* More than thirty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the meaning and the legacy of his presidency are as much the subject of controversy as are the facts of his murder. Was JFK a tool of the Eastern Establishment - of the corporate and banking elites - or was he their bitterest enemy?
Did his policies - domestic and international, implemented and unfulfilled - serve to continue the domination of the powers-that-be, or did he attempt, and in many cases effect, a break with America's aristocracy? In this intriguing and penetrating analysis, Don Gibson does not simply replay the standard commentaries on the Kennedy presidency, many of which are ill-informed, even if well-meaning. Gibson looks at what JFK himself said, wrote, and did, contrasting that with the words and actions of his enemies - the Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine, and the corporate and banking magnates themselves, who, as this book shows, truly despised the President.
The current conventional wisdom depicts Kennedy as a cautious, even a conservative president, a Tory Democrat committed to the status quo and to the Establishment. But this book makes a compelling case to the contrary, suggesting that President Kennedy was always willing to do battle for his policies, even in the face of vicious attacks. With its clear and lively style, this book is a revelation to the general reader and to the specialist. It also contains strikingly original insights into environmental elitism. It adds a new and important dimension to the ongoing debate over the Kennedy presidency.
For your further edification (and shocked enjoyment):
I mean you gotta like what the guy says is his purpose.
But . . .
With the new CISPA (CISA) ready and waiting in the wings, Glenn Greenwald's recent promise to release details on exactly who the government has been spying on couldn't have been timed any better... for some ... not so much for those STILL being spied on all this time. Didn't hurt the sale of his new book either, I suppose, which hit the stands on May 13th.
"Milking every red cent he can from his CIA-op “Edward Snowden” leaks, the billionaire’s b*tch, Glenn Greenwald has promised to finally release actual names of people, activists, political critics, writers and groups being illegally and unconstitutionally spied on by the federal government in tandem with various globalist corporate conglomerates.You think he might have led with that story a year ago in order to help stop the madness, right? To let all those people and organizations know everything they are saying and writing is being harvested so they can take appropriate personal or legal action that will protect them, right? wrong." me, May 30Last night Glenn Tweeted that he was going to publish his big story at midnight on his billionaire-backed website, The Intercept. The masses (and the masses of obvious influence peddling bots) were all in a frenzy. FINALLY Big Glenn was going to be the hero he has been marketing himself to be. That would silence all those Snowden Truthers and Greenwald Detractors out there!But then... 8 hours later... came the renege:No, Mr. Greenwald did not release the names of those out here in the real world being spied on by the government with an assist from all those companies that are pushing the new CISPA like their corporate lives depend on it (because they do)"After 3 months working on our story, USG [the United States government] today suddenly began making new last-minute claims which we intend to investigate before publishing" Glenn #BillionairesBitch Greenwald
Click the title above to read more of this post.
Tea Party’s Secret Advantage: Why the Far Right Is Stronger Than Everyone Thinks
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John Roberts, Abysmal Failure: How His Court Was Disgraced by Corporations and Theocrats
The Supreme Court's chief justice once vowed to save the reputation of the court. Here's why he's failed, big-time
It wasn’t quite March 6, 1857, or Dec. 12, 2000, but make no mistake: June 30, 2014, was not a good day for the U.S. Supreme Court. Not simply because it saw the court once again unveil two major decisions decided by a slim majority along partisan lines, but because the argument offered by the majority in the more controversial and closely followed of the two decisions was so conspicuously unprincipled that it will almost surely further erode public confidence in the nation’s highest court. As a Gallup poll also released Monday morning showed, it was already low; I bet it’s about to sink even lower.
In order to understand why Monday was such an important — and unfortunate — day for one of the United States’ most hallowed institutions, it’s necessary to revisit something Chief Justice John Roberts said in an interview way back in 2006. After crediting John Marshall’s legendary diplomatic skills for maintaining the unity and establishing the credibility of the court during its crucial early years, Roberts argued that, after 30-odd years of discord and squabbling, the Supreme Court was “ripe for a similar refocus on functioning as an institution” rather than as a collection of individuals with their separate politics, prejudices and philosophies. If the court failed to come together under his leadership, Roberts warned, it would “lose its credibility and legitimacy as an institution.”
Remember now, this was in 2006, when 5-4 splits on major, hot-button decisions was not yet the norm. This was before Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, before National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, and before Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that ultimate embodiment of the partisan rancor and ideological polarization that’s so defined the Roberts-era court. It’s weird to think of the era of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist as the good old days, but when it comes to the Supreme Court in the modern era, it more or less was.
Cut to today, and it’s hard to conclude that John Roberts is, by the standards he established in 2006, anything more than an abysmal failure. More than at any time since perhaps the Lochner Era, the court is not only seen as a political actor, but is considered a particularly ideological and combative one at that.
Far from ushering in an era of good feelings, Roberts has presided over a court that is at war with itself, one in which justices like Antonin Scalia on the right, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the left, have become partisan heroes whose writings are studied not for their analytical insight but rather to see if they offer any good lines for use as weapons in the Internet’s endless partisan wars. And the public has noticed: In 2005, Gallup asked Americans how much confidence they had in the Supreme Court: 41 percent said “a great deal” or “quite a lot.” That number today? A paltry 30 percent.
It’s in this context that Monday’s two big rulings — Harris v. Quinn and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. — are most properly understood. While it’s true that many of the decisions handed down by the court this summer were unanimous, that harmony was never going to be enough to counterbalance the effects of the court’s two most closely watched decisions coming down, once again, as 5-4 splits. For one thing, the unanimous rulings Roberts engineered were far more internally divided than the 9-0 end results would lead you to think.
For another, the public’s ability to follow or remember Supreme Court rulings is rather limited, which means that when it comes to public perception of the court, it’s the big deal decisions like Citizens United or Hobby Lobby that really count.
So when Justice Alito, who was the chief author of both of this term’s blockbuster decisions, relies on arguments as transparently political as those he wielded to decide Harris and Hobby Lobby, it makes Roberts’ work toward improving the court’s image that much harder.
When Alito argues, as he does in Harris, that home-care workers paid by the state are not real public employees — not because of any intuitive distinction between your mother’s home-nurse and her bus driver, but because doing so is one of the easiest ways for him to rule against unions without taking the politically momentous step of nuking them entirely — it hurts the court. And when Alito echoes Bush v. Gore, as he does in Hobby Lobby, and states that the logic of the majority should not apply to medical services other than birth control — like vaccinations or blood transfusions — it hurts the court.
When John Roberts first assumed control of the Supreme Court, he spoke like a man who wanted to prove that the institution had earned its ostensible reputation as floating above politics and seeing beyond the tribal emotions of the culture war. But as the decisions on Monday showed, the reality is that the Roberts court is as political as ever. In Roberts’ court, it’s not abstract ideas of justice and law and republican government that win the day — it’s corporations, religious conservatives, employers and anyone who worries first and foremost about the interests of the powerful and the elite. Unless John Roberts’ goals were other than those he outlined in 2006, Monday’s decisions can only be interpreted as yet another saddening defeat.
Raise your hand if you ever believed a word John Roberts said before he was appointed to the SCOTUS.
Talk about the Manchurian Candidate.