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KoKo's Journal
KoKo's Journal
March 10, 2016

At Secretive Meeting in Sea Island, GA Tech CEOs And Top Republicans Commiserate, Plot To Stop Trump

When I saw one of the Reporters on "Democracy Now" today talking about the 50 Private Jets from all over the world who flew into Secluded Sea Island Georgia for this Secretive Meeting, I was immediately reminded of another secretive meeting, many decades ago, reported about in the book "The Creature from Jekyll Island" (also off the Georgia coast) which also a meeting of the Grand Wall Street Wizards to create the Federal Reserve Bank in 1910. But, this time the urgency is to Stop Donald Trum





Karl Rove shared focus group findings that give hope to the GOP establishment.

Billionaires, tech CEOs and top members of the Republican establishment flew to a private island resort [Exclusive, Secluded Sea Pines Island] off the coast of Georgia this weekend for the American Enterprise Institute's annual World Forum, according to sources familiar with the secretive gathering.

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

Ryan Grim Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post
Nick Baumann Senior Enterprise Editor, The Huffington Post
Matt Fuller Congressional Reporter, The Huffington Post


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

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

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

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

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

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

Rove's presentation was on the subject of how William McKinley won in 1896, according to an agenda subsequently obtained by HuffPost. McKinley's campaign manager, Mark Hanna, is often referred to as the first Karl Rove -- the first true political operative in the U.S. system. McKinley was running against William Jennings Bryan, a populist and a bigot who riled up the masses by assailing coastal elites and bankers. The race took place in the first Gilded Age. In today's Gilded Age, the parallels are clear.

Continued at......


March 9, 2016

Why the Media and Party Elites are Rushing to Nominate the Weakest Candidate

by Bill Curry Who was White House counselor to President Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut. He is at work on a book on President Obama and the politics of populism.

For two years, media has swallowed and peddled the Clinton inevitability line. She's the one Dem even Trump beats

The nation may be divided but at least its pundits speak as one. They all say Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are killing the competition. Pundits love to issue death certificates. On Super Tuesday they sounded like the coroner of Munchkin Land. (He’s not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead!) They’re wrong. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and especially Bernie Sanders are all alive and kicking. It ain’t over yet; not by a long shot.

If Clinton and Trump win their conventions, it’ll be the first time both parties nominated their weakest candidate. Trump is the one Republican almost any Democrat can beat; Hillary the one Democrat Trump can beat. The response of the party establishments is instructive. Republicans engage in a mad scramble to stop Trump while Democrats do all they can to help Hillary seal the deal.

Fear of Trump unites Republican elites as nothing but hatred for Obama ever did; Senate leadership with House rank and file; libertarians with militarists and supply siders; the Kochs with Karl Rove. A few of the phonier evangelicals defected to Trump but most, like the pope, know a fake Christian when they see one. All the factions now join the RNC, Fox News and every corporate lobbyist in town in a late, frantic effort to turn the tide. On Tuesday, Trump routed them all.

Democratic elites are just as united in opposing Bernie Sanders: members of Congress, gay and abortion rights lobbies, African-American leaders, most of labor and many of the same corporate lobbyists battling Trump. Sanders is a reformer and an honest, decent man. Trump is a louche, lying fascist with the impulse control of a hyperactive four-year-old. Yet Trump, not Sanders, is laying waste his party. Are Democrats simply more skilled in the art of suppression? If so, who knew?

But things aren’t as they seem. Sanders is doing better and Trump worse than the media thinks. Each race will now shift; whether enough to stop Clinton or Trump depends on strategy, execution, luck and other things impossible to poll. Elites may hold on for one last round but these insurgencies threaten their long term survival. Since their survival threatens ours, that’s great news.

Clinton owes some of her early success to the frontloading of Southern states. Super Tuesday is a scheme hatched in the ’80s by a bunch of white, male, mostly Southern Democrats who thought a regional primary would help “centrists” like themselves get a leg up on liberals. But they forgot, not for the first or last time, about African-Americans, lots of whom live in the South and vote Democratic. In ’88, Jessie Jackson and Al Gore split the region, thus allowing Northern social liberal Mike Dukakis to slip through the net.

This year Super Tuesday finally worked as planned; hindering a progressive, aiding an insider. There was a twist: African-Americans who now dominate the party in the South made it work. I doubt they prefer Clinton’s neoliberalism to Sanders’ democratic socialism. The win owed more to loyalty to Obama and other trusted leaders, and to Hillary’s skills and connections. By Saturday, eight of the 11 states of the old Confederacy had voted. In them she won 68 percent of the vote. Ten of 39 states outside the South had voted. In those states Sanders took 57 percent of the vote. On March 15, the Confederacy will be all done voting. The race begins then.

A Very Interesting, Nuanced Read at......

March 9, 2016

The Brazilian Earthquake--by Pepe Escobar

The Brazilian Earthquake

by Pepe Escobar March 8, 2016

Imagine one of the most admired global political leaders in modern history taken from his apartment at 6 am by armed Brazilian Federal Police agents and forced into an unmarked car to the Sao Paulo airport to be interrogated for almost four hours in connection with a billion dollar corruption scandal involving the giant state oil company Petrobras.

This is the stuff Hollywood is made of. And that was exactly the logic behind the elaborate production.

The public prosecutors of the two-year-old Car Wash investigation maintain there are “elements of proof” implicating Lula in receiving funds — at least 1.1 million euros — from the dodgy kickback scheme involving major Brazilian construction companies connected to Petrobras. Lula might — and the operative word is “might” — have personally profited from it mostly in the form of a ranch (which he does not own), a relatively modest seaside apartment, speaking fees in the global lecture circuit, and donations to his charity.

Lula is the ultimate political animal — on a Bill Clinton level. He had already telegraphed he was waiting for such a gambit, as the Car Wash machine had already arrested dozens of people suspected of embezzling contracts between their companies and Petrobras — to the tune of over $2 billion — to pay for politicians of the Workers’ Party (PT), of which Lula was leader.
Lula’s name surfaced via the proverbial rascal turned informer, eager to strike a plea bargain. The working hypothesis — there is no smoking gun — is that Lula, when he led Brazil between 2003 and 2010, personally benefited from the corruption scheme with Petrobras at the center, obtaining favors for himself, the PT and the government. Meanwhile, inefficient President Dilma Rousseff is herself under attack engineered via a plea bargain by the former government leader in the Senate.

Lula was questioned in connection to money laundering, corruption and suspected dissimulation of assets. The Hollywood blitz was cleared by federal judge Sergio Moro — who always insists he’s been inspired by the Italian judge Antonio di Pietro and the notorious 1990s Mani Pulite (“Clean Hands”) investigation.
And here, inevitably, the plot thickens.

Round up the usual media suspects

Moro and the Car Wash prosecutors justified the Hollywood blitz insisting Lula refused to be interrogated. Lula and the PT vehemently insist otherwise.

And yet Car Wash investigators had consistently leaked to mainstream media words to the effect, “We can’t just bite Lula. When we get to him, we will swallow him.” This would imply, at a minimum, a politicization of justice, the Federal Police and the Public Ministry. And would also imply that the Hollywood blitz may have been supported by a smoking gun. As perception is reality in the frenetic non-stop news cycle, the “news” — instantly global — was that Lula was arrested because he’s corrupt.


March 9, 2016

"Donald Trump and the Mob," CNN--Plus: "21 Questions for Donald Trump"-- David Kay Johnson

The Republicans have sent Romney out there to "Stop Trump" and the Media now has misgivings over their Promotion of Trump...but, Look Here....They All Knew back in July of 2015! Good Reads.......


Donald Trump and the Mob

Chris Frates, CNN Investigative Correspondent

Reports going back decades tie Trump to NY, Philly mob families
"Little Nicky," "Chicken Man" and "Crazy Phil"

CNN)Donald Trump's glittering empire of New York skyscrapers and Atlantic City casinos have long had a darker side, allegations that the mob helped build them.

Trump's alleged ties to New York and Philadelphia crime families go back decades and have been recounted in a book, newspapers and government records.

"The mob connections of Donald are extraordinarily extensive," New York investigative journalist Wayne Barrett told CNN in an interview.

Barrett, the author of the 1992 unauthorized biography "Trump: The Deals and the Downfall," wrote that Trump's life "intertwines with the underworld."

The allegations are getting new scrutiny as Trump runs for president, largely on his record as a successful, and extraordinarily wealthy, businessman. As Trump cements his leads atop the polls, questions about how he made his billions, and who helped him make them, are starting to take center stage.

A Trump spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.

To be sure, organized crime had ties to the New York and New Jersey construction industry in the 1980's and early 1990's, making contact between developers and mafia-controlled companies almost unavoidable at times.

"There was a certain amount of mob association during which the father and he were building, which was very difficult to avoid in the New York construction world,"
Barrett said, adding, "He went out of his way not to avoid them, but to increase them."

In a recent Federalist article, David Marcus writes that Trump bought the property that his Atlantic City casino Trump Plaza would one day occupy -- for twice market price -- from Salvatore Testa, a Philly mobster and son of one-time Philly mob boss Philip "Chicken Man" Testa. (Springsteen fans might recognize the elder Testa from the opening lines of the song, Atlantic City.)

In his book, Barrett writes that Testa and a partner, who together headed a Philly mafia hit-squad called the Young Executioners, bought the property for "a scant $195,000" in 1977. In 1982, Trump paid $1.1 million for it.

"The $220 per square foot that Trump paid for the Testa property was the second most expensive purchase he made on the block, even though it was one of the first parcels he bought," Barrett wrote.

The casino was built with the help oftwo construction companies controlled by Philly mobsters Nicademo "Little Nicky" Scarfo and his nephew Phillip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti, according to, as Marcus notes, a New Jersey state commission's 1986 report on organized crime.


21 Questions For Donald Trump

July 10, 2015 4:41 pm --Featured Post, Politics, Top News

David Cay Johnston

I have covered Donald Trump off and on for 27 years — including breaking the story that in 1990, when he claimed to be worth $3 billion but could not pay interest on loans coming due, his bankers put his net worth at minus $295 million. And so I have closely watched what Trump does and what government documents reveal about his conduct.

Reporters, competing Republican candidates, and voters would learn a lot about Trump if they asked for complete answers to these 21 questions.

Here are 21 Questions for Donald Trump:

So, Mr. Trump…

1. You call yourself an “ardent philanthropist,” but have not donated a dollar to The Donald J. Trump Foundation since 2006. You’re not even the biggest donor to the foundation, having given about $3.7 million in the previous two decades while businesses associated with Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment gave the Trump Foundation $5 million. All the money since 2006 has come from those doing business with you.

How does giving away other people’s money, in what could be seen as a kickback scheme, make you a philanthropist?

2. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman successfully sued you, alleging your Trump University was an “illegal educational institution” that charged up to $35,000 for “Trump Elite” mentorships promising personal advice from you, but you never showed up and your “special” list of lenders was photocopied from Scotsman Guide, a magazine found at any bookstore.

Why did you not show up?

3. You claimed The Learning Annex paid you a $1 million speaking fee, but on Larry King Live, you acknowledged the fee was $400,000 and the rest was the promotional value.

Since you have testified under oath that your public statements inflate the value of your assets, can voters use this as a guide, so whenever you say $1, in reality it is only 40 cents?

4. The one-page financial statement handed out at Trump Tower when you announced your candidacy says you’ve given away $102 million worth of land.

Will you supply a list of each of these gifts, with the values you assigned to them?

Continued At:

March 7, 2016

Bernie Bern's Is Up Kick Starting the CNN Debate! He's On Fire!

Applause, Reality..............

Lets go with our Dems...I think Bernie is Better for Change...but, lets give our Dems Applause for "Talking about Issues" and not Penis Size!

Bernie and Hillary Fighting for Flint, Michigan. Why would anyone want the Democratic Debates to just be all about Hillary when Two Dems are FIGHTING FOR US!

Keep BOTH IN to the END...to fight against Trump/Cruz/Rubio!

We Dems shouldn't be a One Candidate Party when there are So Many Issues that Need to be Addressed.

March 6, 2016

Andrea Mitchell Inteviewed Jane Sanders, 3/3/16 and it's a Great Watch

As much as I dislike Andrea, I thought that Jane did a very good job handling her questions. What a wonderful First Lady she would be. Soft spoken but with integrity and determination. 's

Andrea Mitchell Reports 3/3/16

Jane Sanders: He has moved the agenda of Dem party.

Senator Bernie Sanders’ wife and closest advisor Jane Sanders joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the new developments in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and how Bernie Sanders is continuing the race regardless of the number of delegates. Duration: 5:34

It won't embed on DU but here is the link:


March 3, 2016

Bill Clinton "Bull Horn" Appearance Outside New Bedford Polling Place Raises Questions

(There were Bernie Supporters there who filmed it...Video is a "Must Watch" to see what actually went on)

Bill Clinton Appearance Outside New Bedford Polling Place Raises Questions

The former president’s megaphone speech happened just hours after a controversial West Roxbury visit.

By Kyle Clauss | Boston Daily | March 1, 2016, 6:04 p.m.


via YouTube

Former President Bill Clinton’s public appearances this Super Tuesday have some crying foul over potential violations of Massachusetts election law.

Hours after he went inside polling locations in Newton and West Roxbury and was photographed posing with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and a Democratic ballot, Clinton visited a polling place in New Bedford and was filmed nearby stumping for Hillary Clinton with a megaphone-wielding Mayor Jon Mitchell.

“I haven’t seen one person be able to come in and be able to vote in here,” says one woman narrating a video of the scene, posted Tuesday afternoon. “It’s completely blocked off. No cars can park here. They are affecting the voting at this poll. It’s ridiculous. This should be fraud, and illegal.”

March 2, 2016

CNN's Jake Tapper: This Week Hillary is Fundraising from NRA Lobbyists and Goldman Sachs in DC

CNN’s Tapper Asks Podesta If Hillary Attending Lobbyist Fundraiser Undermines Her Message [VIDEO]

by Steve Guest

CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta if having a fundraiser with lobbyists from Goldman Sachs “undermines” Clinton’s message and drive “supporters to Bernie Sanders.”

During “The Lead” on Tuesday, Podesta downplayed the possible conflict of interest and said “we’re going to raise money that we need to compete.”

Tapper said, “John, according to the Sunlight Foundation and The Intercept, you’re hosting a fundraiser for Secretary Clinton in Washington, along with several lobbyists who work for firms that lobby on behalf of Goldman Sachs, the NRA. Isn’t this the fundraiser exactly the kind thing that drives supporters to Bernie Sanders?”

“Well look, I think we’re trying to raise the resources that are necessary with respect to her positions,” Podesta said. “For example, there’s no one who’s been stronger, louder, in taking on the gun lobby than Hillary Clinton. She has a record in sharp contrast to Senator Sanders who’s voted five times against the Brady Bill. Voted to provide immunity to gun owners. He’s shifted, to some extent, we welcome that, in the course of this campaign. But she’s going to take on the gun lobby, take on Wall Street with comprehensive plan.”

Tapper interjected, “But aren’t you afraid that it undermines her pitch on Wall Street and the gun lobby when she takes money from federal lobbyists who lobby on behalf of Wall street and the gun lobby?”

“Well, as I understand your reference to the gun lobbies, the person no longer does that, that’s a good thing for the country because we need to beat back the gun lobby. And I think what’s important is that she can stand up, as she always has to special interests, to the people who are taking our country in the wrong direction, and she’ll do that,” Podesta claimed.

“But as you know, there’s a lot of money coming at us from the other side and we’re going to raise resources that we need to raise to compete both in these primaries and then if we become the nominee, as I think we will, in the general election.
Super PACs are already advertising against her and they have been since Iowa. And we’re going to raise money that we need to compete.”

TAPPER's Comment at the very end of Video:

March 1, 2016

"How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable"--Matti Taibbi's Opus on Election 2016

Taibbi at his best! Warning...it's a long read and maybe better to scroll for the many great bits

How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable

He's no ordinary con man. He's way above average — and the American political system is his easiest mark ever

By Matt Taibbi February 24, 2016


President Donald Trump.

A thousand ridiculous accidents needed to happen in the unlikeliest of sequences for it to be possible, but absent a dramatic turn of events – an early primary catastrophe, Mike Bloomberg ego-crashing the race, etc. – this boorish, monosyllabic TV tyrant with the attention span of an Xbox-playing 11-year-old really is set to lay waste to the most impenetrable oligarchy the Western world ever devised.

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average.

It's been well-documented that Trump surged last summer when he openly embraced the ugly race politics that, according to the Beltway custom of 50-plus years, is supposed to stay at the dog-whistle level. No doubt, that's been a huge factor in his rise. But racism isn't the only ugly thing he's dragged out into the open.

Trump is no intellectual. He's not bringing Middlemarch to the toilet. If he had to jail with Stephen Hawking for a year, he wouldn't learn a thing about physics. Hawking would come out on Day 365 talking about models and football.

But, in an insane twist of fate, this bloated billionaire scion has hobbies that have given him insight into the presidential electoral process. He likes women, which got him into beauty pageants. And he likes being famous, which got him into reality TV. He knows show business.

That put him in position to understand that the presidential election campaign is really just a badly acted, billion-dollar TV show whose production costs ludicrously include the political disenfranchisement of its audience. Trump is making a mockery of the show, and the Wolf Blitzers and Anderson Coopers of the world seem appalled. How dare he demean the presidency with his antics?

But they've all got it backward. The presidency is serious. The presidential electoral process, however, is a sick joke, in which everyone loses except the people behind the rope line. And every time some pundit or party spokesman tries to deny it, Trump picks up another vote.


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