Betsy DeVos for Education secretary
From DemocracyNow: The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill has revealed Betsy DeVos’s brother, Erik Prince, the founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater, has been quietly advising Trump’s transition team, including helping vet Cabinet picks. On election night, Prince’s wife, Stacy DeLuke, even posted pictures from inside Trump’s campaign headquarters.
Read more: DemocracyNow
From TheHill: Betsy Devos, a billionaire GOP donor, once served as head of the Michigan Republican Party. She is married to Dick DeVos, the son of billionaire patriarch Richard DeVos Sr., co-founder of the direct-selling company Amway. The DeVos family has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past several decades on philanthropic and conservative causes. She also co-founded the Windquest Group, an organization that invests in technology and manufacturing and has spent millions of dollars lobbying for school voucher programs across the country, The Washington Post reported.
Read more: TheHill
Other Trump donors being handed cabinet positions include Linda McMahon of the WWE professional wrestling circus, Andrew Puzder, Wibur Ross, Todd Ricketts (whose wealthy family helped found and fund the Future45 SuperPAC that spent lavishly to help Trump get elected) and Steve Mnuchin (a Goldman Sachs hedge fund managers who served as Trump’s national finance chairman and helped organize dozens of high-dollar campaign fundraisers across the country).
The bottom line? If Trump was telling the truth about other candidates, he became a slave of his donors when he started taking their money. Trump lied when he said that he would donate $100 million of his own money to his campaign to keep himself “pure.” Rather, to save his own money, he took millions from big money donors, and he is now appointing non-qualified donors to some of our nation’s most important jobs.
Trump’s cabinet choices prove that he is not “draining the swamp,” but stocking it with his crocodile donors: Steve Bannon (Goldman Sachs), Steve Mnuchin (Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager), Gary Cohn (Goldman Sachs director), Elaine Chao (Wells Fargo board and lobbyist), Todd Ricketts (SuperPAC donor who helped channel millions to Trump), Wilbur Ross (bailed out Trump’s Taj Mahal casino), Linda McMahon (WWE founder who donated millions to Trump’s campaign), Betsy DeVos (donated millions to Trump), Andrew Puzder (major Trump donor), Rex Tillerson (has spent more than $170 million lobbying).
No president in recent memory has appointed unqualified donors to policy-making cabinet positions.
Today Donald Trump reaffirmed his stance against gay marriage. Trump said marriage is between a rich guy and his much younger third wife. ― Conan O’Brien
Trump has become the self-proclaimed messiah of a bizarre new cult and religion. American Christians just elected the Antichrist president, putting him in charge of the American government, economy, military and nuclear codes. The elect have been deceived, just as the ancient prophets foretold.
Say what you will about Trump, he is not stupid. He is a smart man with a deep understanding of what stupid people want.―Andy Borowitz
Former public defender, and English professor Seth Abramson suggests that Prince got richly rewarded for his role. Not only was his younger sister, Betsy DeVos, tapped as Education Secretary, but Prince himself has been tapped as a shadow adviser to Trump on intelligence and defense.
A more plausible explanation for DeVos’ presence in the cabinet is that she is one of many prominent fundies Trump named to his administration to repay his massive political debt to the religious right.
Prince? He more than likely bought his way into the administration by giving scads of money to Trump. The Trump administration’s plan to slash corporate tax rates will cost taxpayers more than $10 billion a year.
Republicans led by President Donald Trump have said they want to cut the top corporate rate to 15 or 20 percent, from 35 percent now. FACT CHECK: The official, or “statutory,” corporate tax rate is 35 percent. But the actual rate paid by American corporations is only 12 percent, less than that paid by many middle-class Americans. In fact, US Corporations pay less tax as a percentage of the GDP than corporations in Canada. Or Japan, South Korea, Norway, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Israel, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, and Italy.
Source: OECD StatsExtract interactive database.
Report Calls Out 15 Fortune 500 Companies for Paying No Taxes
The list includes CBS, General Electric, Interpublic Group, JetBlue Airways, Mattel, Owens Corning, PG&E, Pepco Holdings, Priceline.com, Prudential Financial, Qualcomm, Ryder System, Time Warner, Weyerhaeuser and Xerox. As a whole, the 15 companies paid no federal income tax on $23 billion in profits in 2014, and they paid almost no federal income tax on $107 billion in profits during the past five years. All but two received federal tax rebates in 2014, and almost all paid exceedingly low rates over five years.
Read more: Newsmax
The Truth about Trump and the Russian Mafia
David Sater was a top executive at the Bayrock Group — Donald Trump’s most frequent partner on condo and hotel deals — and the son of a reputed Russian mobster. In 2000 he was named as a co-conspirator in a $40 million fraud case that resulted in 19 guilty pleas and the conviction of six mobsters from the Russian mafia and the Gambino crime family.
Tevfik Arif, another Bayrock Group executive who serves as a partner in Trump Soho, was dramatically arrested aboard the world’s largest for-charter luxury yacht and charged with “encouraging” and “facilitating” prostitution. Some of the girls were only 16 years old. Raoul Goldberg, who brought Trump the site for the 45-story Trump Tower Philadelphia, was sentenced to 46 months in prison in 2000 for trying to ship tens of thousands of ecstasy pills into the U.S.
Trump Labor secretary was involved in Epstein’s horrendous, sweetheart plea deal By John Pacenti
Acosta was criticized in two 2009 reports from the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, citing him for failing to supervise a rogue section chief and writing an Ohio judge days before the 2004 presidential election supporting a Republican viewpoint on voter challenges.
Last year, new documents revealed the “sweetheart plea deal’ for Epstein — who was facing substantial prison time — where both Acosta and then-State Attorney Barry Krischer bowed to pressure by Epstein’s powerful cadre of attorneys.
Victims were kept in the dark about the deal that included a federal non-prosecution agreement. Epstein pleaded guilty to two minor state charges.
Read more: Politico
Look Who Bailed Out Trump Towers AND Spent a Christmas Eve With Donald Trump
By Ben Marquis
The Americans for Legal Immigration PAC has sent out a statement accusing President Donald Trump of siding with billionaire George Soros on DACA.
Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson was feeling happy.
After Donald Trump ridiculed Wall Street on the campaign trail, the President-elect tapped former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Steven Mnuchin to be his Treasury secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department. Trump even met with Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn inside Trump Tower.
It would suit Tilson just fine if voters who backed Trump because he promised to rein in Wall Street are furious now that he’s surrounding himself with bankers and billionaires.
“I can take glee in that — I think Donald Trump conned them,” said Tilson, who runs Kase Capital Management. “I worried that he was going to do crazy things that would blow the system up.
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