Betsy Devos’ Aide Behind Reopen America Protests

In case you missed it, there was a bombshell revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show that prominent republican operatives are behind the reopen America protests that are springing up across the country in opposition to stay-at-home orders issued to prevent the spread of covid-19. One of those prominent republicans, per AM Joy, is Greg McNeilly, a longtime political aide to the Devos family. McNeily was apparently behind the recent reopen America protests in Michigan which were highly promoted by Fox News and it’s number one customer President Trump.

AM Joy’s host Joy Reid perfectly nailed down what these so-called protests boil down to–rich people getting regular folk out on the streets to advocate for what they(rich people) want and that is, a return to making profits, the human cost be damned! Joy Reid specifically said, “You do have very very wealthy people who see their own interests as getting as many people back on the cog in the wheel as possible for themselves who are then creating these supposed grassroots movements, sort of astroturf movements…..The Devos family…. is one of the groups promoting this group the MIchigan Freedom Front. It’s run by Greg McNeilly the longtime political adviser to the Devos family, who are prolific Republican donors and have funded Conservative causes for decades. McNeilly was campaign manager for Dick Devos the husband of current U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos..”

It is vitally important for the public to understand the point Joy Reid is making and that is, these so-called protests we are witnessing across the country in opposition to covd-19 stay-at-home orders are not organic grassroots protests from regular folk clamoring for their freedoms. Instead they are well organized and financed campaigns led by rich republicans like the Devos family, who are desperate to get the economy back up and running regardless of how many human lives are expended in the process.

It cannot also be left unsaid that President Trump who for all practical purposes leads the coronavirus task force, has also shockingly encouraged such protests–essentially urging the public to disobey the recommendations of his own task force that people continue to stay at home to curb the spread of the disease. Of the many reckless actions President Trump has undertaken while in office, encouraging the public to protest reasonable stay-at-home orders in the face of a pandemic certainly ranks at the very top.

Bottom line folks, it is important that we remember who is really behind these so-called protests. As Joy Reid perfectly put it, it is rich folk looking out for their own financial interests. Your duty, especially if you are a person of color and thus more susceptible to death from covid-19, is to exercise due diligence and make sure your local officials are basing their “reopening” decisions on scientific data as opposed to going along with Trump’s/Republican party politics. The best way to do that is to ensure covid-19 testing numbers and results at your locality support the conclusion that it is safe for you or your family member to go back to work. Simply put folks, look out for yourself and your family when making covid-19 related decisions and be very skeptical of the reopen America “protests” that are designed to deceptively suggest that the public is raring to go back to work. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, NFL star Malcolm Jenkins gives the same prudent advice.

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You may reach the author via email at author@grassrootsdempolitics.com or author@emolumentsclause.com

Austrian Video Reignites TrumpRussia Questions

In case you missed it, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently veered into a story about Austrian politics that even by her own admission, appeared awkwardly off topic. However a few minutes into the Austria segment, it quickly became apparent as to how the story was 100% relevant to the current situation in American politics especially as it relates to the ongoing TrumpRussia controversy.

Maddow featured a bombshell video that is reportedly making rounds in Europe showing details of how the Kremlin helped install an ex-Nazi political party to power in Austria. The video which is apparently seven hours long, shows a meeting between an Austrian politician and a Russian woman, the niece of a Russian Oligarch, scheming on how the Kremlin will install the politician’s party(Freedom Party) to power in return for lucrative government construction/infrastructure contracts. In other words, the Russians help the Austrian get elected and once he is in office, he swings Austrian government contracts to companies run by the Russian Oligarch. The full Maddow segment is available here but relevant clip is below.

Maddow summed up the bombshell video thus; “The blonde lady who you see there whose face is pixellated, she is posing in this interaction as the niece of a Russian Oligarch who would like to support the Freedom Party. That’s who these Freedom Party guys think she is. She is visiting from Russia with a whole bunch of money to spend to help them out. In this video which stretches for seven hours, the Vice Chancellor of Austria, the guy in the front of the screen here, head of the Freedom Party….a group founded by ex-Nazis, who they[Russians] elevated to the number two person in that government, he chats with this young woman about what he wants from her uncle, what he wants from a Kremlin-connected Russian Oligarch to support his party and to support his political aspirations. He tells this woman that this Russian Oligarch should use Russian money to take control of the biggest tabloid newspaper in Austria, turn that tabloid into a mouthpiece for the Freedom Party, help them get elected. Once they get control of the government, the Russian Oligarch should then form a construction company and then this guy who would then be running the government would make sure that all the road building contracts, all the big infrastructure contracts in Austria would then go to the new construction company secretly set up for that purpose and run by the Russian Oligarch who spent all that money to get the ex-Nazi party in charge. So you pay for us to get in power, we will pay you. You infiltrate our country and our press on behalf of Russia. You install a Kremlin-friendly far right political party in Austria and once we are in there we will pay you back in cash with public contracts. Win win win!”

Millions of Americans followed closely Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into TrumpRussia. Any one of them presented with the details of this video of the Kremlin’s operation in Austria would immediately be struck by the shocking similarities this video has to the Russian influence in our 2016 elections. The first image that comes to mind when watching this Austrian video is the infamous Trump Tower meeting where Don Jr and other senior members of the Trump campaign met with now confessed Russian agent Maria Butina. Was a similar deal struck–help us get elected and we will pay you back with government contracts?

Fox News and The National Enquirer also come to mind. The Austrian politician is seen begging the Russians to buy an Austrian tabloid newspaper and turn it into his political party’s mouthpiece to help him get elected. Was Fox News, The National Enquirer, or both of them influenced by Russia to help Trump get elected in 2016? Are they still being influenced by Russia for Trump’s benefit as we head into 2020?

The proposed $200 million investment in Senator Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky by a formerly sanctioned Oligarch who was a key TrumpRussia suspect also comes to mind. Is Oligarch Deripaska getting “paid” by Mitch McConnell for helping Republicans win the White House in 2016? Remember Sen Mitch McConnell was one of the Senators who voted down efforts to keep sanctions on Derpaska’s businesses. If the U.S. Senate had left the sanctions intact, Deripaska’s company Rusal would not have been able to invest $200 million in Kentucky.

Maddow also points out the troubling role of Steve Bannon in Russia’s global quest for political dominance. Bannon who was part of the Trump campaign and helped craft Trump’s far right nativist, even xenophobic message, is apparently now based in Europe helping nativist political parties like the one featured in this Austrian video, gain political power in Europe. There is no question that Putin’s Russia is behind Bannon’s efforts in Europe, just like they were during our 2016 elections.

Bottom line folks, this Austrian video is yet another stark reminder that despite Trump’s constant dismissal of the TrumpRussia conspiracy as a hoax, the Russian global political operation is alive and well. Yours Truly sincerely hopes that this seven hour video depicting Russian election meddling in Austria will be carefully perused by the relevant U.S. law enforcement agencies as a blueprint of how Putin’s global election meddling scheme works. Importantly, U.S. law enforcement agencies should look at the implications of this Austrian story to our current political climate. Americans for example would like to know why a formerly sanction Russian Oligarch with deep ties to the Kremlin is all of a sudden making a significant investment in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. Isn’t this exactly the kind of pay-for-play scheme we see in the Austrian story? This video should also be cause for further inquiry into the infamous Trump Tower meeting featuring Natalya Veselnitskaya. Lastly but not least, there should be more light shed on the troubling actions of Republican Party operative Steve Bannon who is seemingly helping Russia install nativist, xenophobic governments in Europe. Does that help or hurt the U.S.?

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Liz Warren;”Fox News Is A Hate-For-Profit Racket”

Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has thrown down the gauntlet on Fox News calling the network a “hate-for-profit racket”. This stems from a squabble the Dem Senator has been having with the conservative news network after she recently declined their invitation to appear for a town hall at the network. Sen Warren initially slammed Fox News saying it is an illegitimate news network that hires a few credible journalists to make it palatable to sponsors. In essence, Sen Warren argued that she didn’t want to give Fox News undeserved credibility by participating in its town hall. It’s important to point out that other Democratic Presidential candidates have participated in Fox News’ town halls.

Sen Warren said about Fox News, “Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket. It’s a racket. And much of America is starting to catch up to them, and that means that they are losing right now, sponsors. This is all about money. They lose sponsors because sponsors don’t want to be associated with the hate. I will find many ways to reach out. I will talk to Fox News reporters, but what I’m not going to do is give them a full hour of my time so they can raise money and raise credibility off it.”

It is not hard to argue with Sen Warren’s reasoning especially if you consider one of the leading lights at Fox News Jeanine Pirro, who has arguably made some of the most hateful and divisive comments ever made by a national news anchor. Jeanine Pirro, a former Judge if you can believe it, was suspended for this hateful rant against a sitting U.S. Congresswoman

Naturally the Warren-Fox News tussle has received a lot of mainstream media coverage, and deservedly so. However, lost in the mainstream media noise is the central argument Sen Warren set out to make–that Fox News is not a legitimate news network. The question as to whether Fox News is a legitimate news network is a very important question if one is to give a fair hearing to Sen Warren’s concerns. Yours Truly has raised this very question in a previous post about the obscene Trump-Fox News affair.

Bottom line, Yours Truly will not fault the mainstream media for covering the fact that Sen Warren will not participate in Fox News town halls because it is a valid news story. However Yours Truly takes great issue with the fact that some in the mainstream media are quick to attack Sen Warren’s Fox News stance without addressing her core argument that Fox News is not a legitimate news network. Reasonable people will agree that if Fox News is not a legitimate news network, then Sen Warren or any other Democratic candidate for that matter, should not be faulted for refusing to participate in the network’s charade.

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Is The Surveillance State Targeting Dems Using Twitter

California ACLU Technology and Civil Liberties Director Nicole Ozer penned a very troubling piece in December 2016 on how federal spy centers aka fusion centers are increasingly using Twitter for mass surveillance.


According to Nicole’s piece a company called Dataminr, partly owned by Twitter, provides the federal spy centers(fusion centers) with tweet data, including GPS location, which the spy centers use for surveillance purposes. Twitter says it stopped Dataminr from providing tweet data to fusion centers in 2016 but given the Trump administration’s demonstrated hostility towards any form of criticism especially on Twitter, any reasonable person would go back and verify whether Dataminr has indeed stopped its cooperation with federal spy centers.

The article also points out that this kind of Twitter surveillance is  directed more at minorities and political activists. It is therefore not a stretch to suggest that #TheResistance movement which has grown in leaps and bounds on Twitter since December 2016 when Nicole Ozer penned her article, has also become a target of these federal spy centers(fusion centers). In other words there is reason to believe that Dem activists are increasingly being subjected to surveillance by these federal spy centers over their anti-Trump tweets–a clear cut violation of their first amendment rights.

Bottom line congressional Dems must demand hearings on this troubling nexus between Twitter and federal spy centers to make sure the public(especially Dems) are not being punished with unconstitutional surveillance for their anti-Trump posts on Twitter

Alternatively, because congressional Dems have developed a reputation for weakness, ACLU’s Nicole Ozer should revisit the issue and inform the public as to whether Dataminr really terminated its cooperation with federal spy centers as Twitter alleged in 2016.

Yours Truly already knows the answer to this question but will give Twitter/Dataminr the benefit of the doubt nonetheless.

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