THE TWEED RING



THE CIRCLE JERK, the TWEED RING, and TODAY

We can differ on opinions but we can also be civil about it. Something Washington hasn't learned yet.  I carried a Republican Voter Registration Card for 40 years, yet I changed and voted split tickets, I voted for the person whom I felt could do the best job.  Isn't that's why we have elections? The best person for the job, what a novel approach, instead of the “Party line”.  I guess I am called an Independent now, since I have a NPA card. “No Party affiliation”   I find it’s the party mentality thats evil.  And the GOP wins hands down because if they turned the right side up, the graft would be overwhelming.

I am a believer in teaching history which seems to be missing in our schools, so we will probably make the same mistakes again.   We forgot about PT or physical training which gives us a nation of fat kids and obesity.  We don’t do math we calculate math and it goes on and on.


THE TWEED RING
For those who follow discounted rhetoric (the accusations and lies) and in the case of President OBAMA, I always hear about the Chicago political machine, another dumb down statement, and that the President is a product of that machine.

OK Chicago, part of the Illinois State law Jusridiction has some fairly loose laws concerning campaign donations and how influence is peddled. But it is still within the law and if you obey the law, all have a fair shot at success.

Well pilgrim, they got it from somewhere, it was no different in NY, and probably modeled after Tammany Hall. In a piece by David Wiles and I wish you would read the entire article, I quote a few lines as I consider this some of the best writing on this matter.    (www.albany.edu/~dkw42/tweed.html)

But to me whats most important is that the tenets of Tammany are literally the rules of today in politics. If you grab a few lines from the article, the politics of today are not new.  Thats the whole enchilada, we might have the best political system in the world only if the players, the laws and the people are there live it, follow it and to protect it.  We don't and as I always tell you, "the real answers are found if you follow the money”.

They made Chicago look like the Pope ran it compared to NY. Well today even that could be a problem with disclosures about the “Inconsistencies in Vatican accounting principles”.   Since it was in Latin, we asked the Vatican translator Cardinal Fifarci in his encyclical entitled “ Cutame-inna”

The Tweed Ring were outright thieves and Tammany Hall did have a series of reoccurring scandals. An estimated 75 to 200 million dollars were swindled from the City between 1865 and 1871.  Tammany represented a form of organization that wedded the Democratic Party and the Society of St. Tammany.   The weave of city politics was the triangulation of the Mayor's office, the Democratic Party and the Social Club organization. The book, Plunkett of Tammany Hall was first published in 1963 and contains chapters like:

😰    “Honest and dishonest graft”   
😰    “The curse of civil service reform”   
😰    “Reciprocity in patronage”   
😰    “Tammany leaders not bookworms” 
😰    “Dangers of the dress suit in politics”
😰    “Bosses preserve the nation”
😰    “On the uses of money in politics”
😰    “Tammany,  the only lasting democracy.”

Plunkett's formula for staying on top for seven decades of New York City rule was; " Tammany is the ocean, reform the waves, and there is a lot of unofficial patronage to ride out the storms if you know the ropes. Why don't reformers last in politics? Because they are amateurs and you must be a pro. Politicians do not have to steal to make a living because a crook is a fool and a politician can become a millionaire through “honest graft".

"When we remember Ellis Island was in New York harbor (with the Statue of Liberty) and it is estimated that two fifths of the American population have relatives that were processed through that in migration site, the Plunkett "plain talk" starts to make sense. 

Corruption

"Think what the people of New York are. On half, more than one half, are of foreign birth. They do not speak our language, they do not know our laws, they are the raw material with which we have to build up the state....there is no denying the service that Tammany has rendered the Republic. 

There is no other organization for taking hold of untrained, friendless men and converting them into citizens. Who else in the city would do it?  There is not a mugwump who would shake their hand.

"For that city context Plunkett advises those concerned with local governing; " Don't go to college and stuff your head with rubbish; get out with your neighbors and relatives and round up a few votes you can call your own. Study human nature and make government warm and personal." 

For the way the political machine routinely operates, Plunkett states, "What reformers call 'machine' we call organization. In New York City the smallest unit is the election district committee, headed by a captain. 

The election districts overlap with the assembly districts headed by leaders who, in turn, constitute the county executive committee. Assembly leaders are elected in primaries and elect their own party chairmen." 

When George Plunkett died in 1924 he was eulogized this way;" He understood that in politics honesty doesn't matter, efficiency doesn't matter, progressive vision doesn't matter. What does matter is the chance for a better job, a better price of wheat, better business conditions. Plunkett’s legacy is to that practicality.”

   

😰    FRIENDS (FIENDS) OF THE FUEHRER

Tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of think tanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups.  Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich.  Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government and taking seats at the TRUMP table.

FIGHT THE CLIMATE CHANGE,  SO DIRTY FUEL WINS
😰  The fury and loathing directed at climate scientists and campaigners seemed incomprehensible until we realized they were fake, the bloggers and institutes whipping up this anger were funded by oil and coal companies.   Notably Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The CEI calls itself a think-tank, but in reality a corporate lobbying group. It is not transparent about its funding, but we now know it has received:

$2M from ExxonMobil, $4M from a group called the Donors Trust, $800,000 from groups set up by the tycoons Charles and David Koch.  For years, Ebell and the CEI have attacked efforts to limit climate change, through lobbying, lawsuits and campaigns. An advertisement released by the institute had the punchline “Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution. We call it life.”

True it is the life they live from the profits harming others and the environment.

It has sought to eliminate funding for environmental education, lobbied against the Endangered Species Act, harried climate scientists and campaigned in favor of mountaintop removal by coal companies.  

In 2004, Ebell sent a memo to one of George W Bush’s staffers calling for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to be sacked. Where is Ebell now? Oh – leading Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency.


OTHER SCUMBAGS
😰   Another scumbag spinner till TRUMP gave him the dump was Corey Lewandowski, who like other members of Trump’s team came from a group called Americans for Prosperity (AFP) which was founded and funded by the Koch brothers. It set up the first Tea Party Facebook page and organized the first Tea Party events.   With a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, AFP has campaigned ferociously on issues that coincide with the Koch brothers’ commercial interests in oil, gas, minerals, timber and chemicals.

In Michigan, it helped force through the “right to work bill”, in pursuit of what AFP’s local director called “taking the unions out at the knees”. It has campaigned nationwide against action on climate change. It has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into unseating the politicians who won’t do its bidding and replacing them with those who will.

😰   Doug Domenech, from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, funded among others by the Koch brothers, Exxon and the Donors Trust; Barry Bennett, whose Alliance for America’s Future (now called One Nation) refused to disclose its donors when challenged; and Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, funded by Exxon and others. 

😰   This is to say nothing of Trump’s own crashing conflicts of interest. Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of the lobbyists and corporate stooges working in Washington. But it looks as if the only swamps he’ll drain will be real ones, as his team launches its war on the natural world.

😰   Understandably, there has been plenty of coverage of the racists and white supremacists empowered by Trump’s victory. But, gruesome as they are, they are peripheral to the policies his team will develop. It’s almost comforting, though, to focus on them, for at least we know who they are and what they stand for.  The term “led by David Dukes of Hazard is still appropriate".

😰   By contrast, you cannot penetrate the corporate misinformation machine.  Corporate-funded think-tanks and fake grassroots groups are now everywhere. The fake news we should be worried about is constant feed of confected scares about unions, tax and regulation drummed up by groups that won’t reveal their interests or partners.

There are plenty of answers to these tanks but the real one is funding, money is at the root and the media power, but one of them is that we the good guys have simply been outspent.   Not by a little, but by orders of magnitude.  A few billion dollars spent on persuasion buys you all the politics you want. 

Genuine campaigners, working in their free time, simply cannot match a professional network staffed by thousands of well-paid, unscrupulous people.  Some countries call this a form of treason, we seem to relish it here.

Thanks to George Monbiot in the Guardian.




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