Friday, August 31, 2012

Joe Kennedy III's Marshall Group and Bain Capital Campaign Contributors

If you check out the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website, you’ll notice that among the top financial contributors to Joe Kennedy III’s current campaign to win election as Brookline’s representative in the U.S. Congress is a Marshall Financial Group executive named Dennis M. Mathisen—who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Feb. 21, 2012, for example, Mathisen made two campaign contributions, totaling $12,500, to Joe Kennedy III’s campaign committee. And, in addition, another Marshall Financial Group executive who lives in Cohassen, Minnesota, named Peter M. Mathisen, made two campaign contributions, totaling $7,500, to Joe Kennedy III’s campaign fund between Feb. 8 and Feb. 14, 2012.

Coincidentally, an article, titled “Collapse of a Loan Powerhouse,” by investigative reporter Jennifer Bjorhus—which was posted on the Minneapolis Star-Tribune website on Sept. 1, 2010, contains the following reference to the apparent involvement of Dennis Mathisen and his Marshall Financial Group’s failed BankFirst and Marshall Bank subsidiaries in the U.S. banking industry’s sub-prime mortage scandal that helped trigger the post-2008 U.S. economic recession:

“…In addition to the failure of its own banks -- BankFirst and Marshall Bank -- Marshall loans helped wipe out at least six other small banks across the country…according to bankers and federal regulators….Marshall's driving force, Chairman Dennis Mathisen, staunchly defends the organization as a victim of the country's real estate collapse, nothing more.

“But interviews with bankers who worked with the organization, former employees, a growing cache of court documents and the reviews of bank regulators themselves show that the organization's problems went much deeper. BankFirst, for instance, had a `large volume’ of poorly underwritten loans in an 18-month period that started shortly after Mathisen bought the bank, regulators concluded.

“In 2003, under Mathisen's leadership, Marshall snapped up a small Minnesota bank… and renamed it Marshall Bank. In early 2005, Marshall bought BankFirst in Sioux Falls, S.D....Critics accuse the Marshall organization of reckless lending. Whether a loan failed didn't affect the organization's upfront fees or commissions to the team that originated the loans or the team that sold them to participating banks -- a point regulators made when they reviewed BankFirst's failure….

“The Marshall ripple effect is still on the FDIC's radar, said an FDIC official, speaking on condition of anonymity. He said regulators have identified five failed banks in which bad BankFirst loans were a `material’ percentage of the bank's capital and played a role in their demise: Bank of Wyoming in Thermopolis, Wyo.; Venture Bank in Lacey, Wash.; Mutual Bank in Harvey, Ill.; MetroPacific in Irvine, Calif., and First State Bank of Flagstaff, Ariz….

“In 2007 regulators ordered BankFirst to stop syndicating loans….Regulators shut BankFirst down for good…

"…BankFirst's losses stemmed from `pervasive internal control deficiencies,’ according to a damning 37-page report that the internal watchdog arm of the Federal Reserve Bank released in February [2010].

“The problems included such things as not managing risk, poor loan underwriting and a pay structure that rewarded excessive risk-taking. Loan originators were paid commissions based on the size of the loans, not on quality and with no repercussions if the loan went bad….

“Mathisen dismisses as a formality the letter the FDIC sent him and other BankFirst executives and directors in March [2010], demanding that they help pay for the losses that the FDIC's insurance fund incurred as a result of the bank's failure…. “
Besides accepting thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Dennis Mathisen and Peter Mathisen, Joe Kennedy III’s campaign also accepted a $5,000 campaign contribution on Mar. 31, 2012 from the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Bain Capital’s Sankaty Advisors fixed income and credit affiliate, Jonathan Lavine. Most of the $2.5 million in campaign contributions that Bain Capital executives have made since January 2011 have gone to fund the campaigns of Republican Party candidates. But besides helping to fund Joe Kennedy III’s run for Congress, Bain Capital executive Lavine (who also sits on the board of trustees of Columbia University and is a Director of the Boston Celtics) has also contributed another $50,000 since January 2011 to support the campaigns of other Democratic Party candidates. On June 27, 2011, for example, Lavine made a $30,800 campaign contribution to the DNC Services Corporation; and on Mar. 9, 2011 Lavine made a $19,200 campaign contribution to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In addition to receiving campaign contributions from Marshall Financial Group and Bain Capital executives, Joe Kennedy III’s campaign committee also received: two contributions, totaling $7,500, from Boston real estate developer Robert Beal on Jan. 30, 2012; a $5,000 contribution from Casablanca Capital executive Donald Drapkin of New York on Feb. 16, 2012; a $5,000 contribution from Starwood Capital executive Madison Grose of Greenwich, Connecticut on April 30, 2012; a $5,000 contribution from Kramer Capital LLC executive Donald Kramer of Greenwich, Connecticut on Mar. 29, 2012; a $5,000 contribution from Carlyle Group executive Perre Sarkozy of New York City on Apr. 11, 2012; and a $5,000 contribution from Billionaire Viacom executive Sumner Redstone of Beverly Hills, California on Mar. 31, 2012.

So don’t be surprised if the Kennedy Dynasty’s latest candidate for Congress ends up representing the special, private economic interests of the Marshall Financial group, Bain Capital and “the 1 percent” of the U.S. population (that has apparently been bankrolling his election campaign since 2011) if he takes over Barney Frank’s seat in the House of Representatives—instead of representing the public interest of 99 percent of the people who live and vote in Brookline.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Obama's Rahm Emanuel, Wall Street and Chicago Daley Machine Connections

“In late 1998…Rahm Emanuel, a departing senior political aide to President Bill Clinton, ventured out to an elegant restaurant in Dupont Circle…John Simpson, who ran the Chicago office of…Wasserstein Perella & Company, had flown to Washington to meet with Mr. Emanuel at the behest of Mr. Simpson’s boss, Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor and renowned Wall Street dealmaker who had gotten to know Mr. Emanuel.

“`I had this idea that this could work and that it had upside,’ said Mr. Wasserstein, now chairman and chief executive of Lazard, the investment bank….Shortly afterward, Mr. Emanuel accepted an offer, nudging him down what has by now become a well-trodden gilded path out of politics and into the lucrative world of business.

“Mr. Emanuel, who was chosen last month to become President-elect Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, went on to make more than $18 million in just two-and-a-half years, turning many of his contacts in his substantial political Rolodex into paying clients…Mr. Emanuel built up strong ties with an industry now at the heart of the economic crisis…After Mr. Emanuel left banking to run for Congress, members of the securities and investment industry became his biggest backers, donating more than $1.5 million to his campaigns dating back to 2002, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Mr. Emanuel also leaned heavily upon the industry while he was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 midterm elections. Financial industry donors contributed more than $5.8 million to the committee…Friends of Mr. Emanuel’s from his private-sector days said he still checks in with them regularly….It was Morton L. Janklow, the literary agent for several former presidents, who introduced Mr. Emanuel to Mr. Wasserstein…Mr. Emanuel met Mr. Wasserstein in his New York office,…His connections certainly helped drum up business and contributed to his hiring, former colleagues said. Indeed, a partial list of clients from Mr. Emanuel’s Congressional financial disclosure in 2002 is easily linked up to the various strands of his political career, including his time as a fund-raiser for Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago and then for Mr. Clinton’s first presidential run.

“The clients included Loral Space & Communications, run by Bernard L. Schwartz, one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, who said he got to know Mr. Emanuel while he was in the White House; the Chicago Board Options Exchange, whose chairman and chief executive, William J. Brodsky, became friends with Mr. Emanuel while he was working for Mayor Daley; and Avolar, a business aviation company whose top executive, Stuart I. Oran, was formerly in charge of governmental affairs for United Airlines, a role in which he said he interacted with Mr. Emanuel at the White House.

One of Mr. Emanuel’s major deals was the purchase in 2001 of a home alarm business, SecurityLink, from SBC Communications, the telecommunications company that was run by William M. Daley, the former secretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and the brother of Chicago’s mayor….Mr. Emanuel’s biggest transaction came in late 1999 when he landed an advisory role for Wasserstein in the $8.2 billion merger of two utility companies, Unicom, the parent company of Commonwealth Edison, and Peco Energy, to create Exelon, now one of the nation’s largest power companies.

“John W. Rowe, the former chief executive of Unicom who now holds the same position at Exelon, sought out Mr. Emanuel after he went to Wasserstein… Mr. Rowe…was first introduced to Mr. Emanuel by Lester Crown, the billionaire scion of Chicago’s influential Crown family.

“Tax returns Mr. Emanuel released while first running for office and reported in news articles, along with Congressional financial disclosures, reveal his steep financial ascent while working at Wasserstein. He earned more than $900,000 in 1999, his first year at the firm; nearly $1.4 million in 2000; and $6.5 million in 2001, when he left the firm in midyear to run for Congress. He collected $9.7 million more from the firm in deferred compensation in 2002….The bonanza Mr. Emanuel reaped would come in handy when he ran for the House seat vacated by Representative Rod R. Blagojevich, now governor.

“Mr. Emanuel contributed $450,000 out of his own pocket to his campaign in the primary, and his leading rival accused him of trying to buy a seat in Congress.

--from a Dec. 4, 2008 New York Times article by Michael Luo, titled “In Banking, Emanuel Made Money and Connections.”

“…At the end of the summer of 1989, Obama was an intern at Sidley Austin, a prestigious Chicago law firm that also happened to employ...Michelle Robinson…Michelle left Sidley Austin to become an Assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley…The move was not without its benefits. Michelle Obama's stint at the mayor's office gave her, and her husband, access to Chicago's political class...Michelle helped give Obama an invaluable new base in Chicago politics...After 18 months, she left the mayor's office…”

--from an Aug. 25, 2008 Time magazine article

Obama’s Rahm Emanuel, Wall Street and Chicago Daley Machine Connection

On reason 2012 Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama failed to bring much radical democratic change to the United States between 2009 and 2012 might be because of his political and personal historical and current links to rich white politicians like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to the corrupt Daley Machine of Chicago’s Regular Democratic Party organization and to various super-rich white bankers from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. As Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter observed in his 2010 book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One:

“Obama and Rahm…had a teasing relationship based on Rahm’s legendary profanity…By October [2008] Rahm had become an important part of the campaign…The soon-to-be president…had to convince Rahm Emanuel to give up his dream of being the…speaker of the House.

Rahm was in all the early meetings, but nailing down a commitment from him to be chief of staff taxed Obama’s persuasive power…The two men spoke in person about the job at least half a dozen times…If he took the job, Obama said, he’d be his `right-hand’ man on everything…

“Michelle Obama’s father, Fraser Robinson, held his job as a worker in the city water department in part because of his political work as a precinct captain in the Regular Democratic Party organization

“…Obama asked his…campaign economic advisors…to assemble a team of 8 to 10 big thinkers for conference calls every 5 days or so…Three former treasury secretaries were on the list: Robert Rubin, the…senior advisor (and former chairman) at…Citigroup.., Larry Summers, the…Rubin protégé.., Paul O’Neill, the…former ALCOA chairman…Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker were often on the line. The second richest-man in the world had met Obama in 2004…His endorsement gave the candidate a boost…Volcker…had known Obama since mid-2007…

“…During his years at the top of Goldman Sachs, the Clinton administration (where he…served as treasury secretary), Citigroup, and the Hamilton Project…[Robert] Rubin mentored scores of…young policy types. More than a dozen of them eventually worked in important positions under Obama and maintained their relationship with Rubin. [Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Michael Froman, Philip Murphy, Gene Sperling, Jason Furm, Jacob Lew, Gary Gensler, Diana Farrell, Lewis Alexander, Lael Brainard and David Lipton]…

Summers quickly became Obama’s dominant economic advisorBuffett…had invested heavily…in Moody’s, one of the corrupted ratings agencies that gave cover to the reckless…Summers had taken a…hands-off view…of regulating derivatives while at the treasury department in the 1990s and as late as 2008 made more than $5 million consulting on them for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw and Co….The New York Times revealed that Summers was a consultant for Taconic Capital Advisors as early as 2004, when he was still president of Harvard and lecturing faculty members on why they couldn’t moonlight…Obama and his economic advisors met in Miami on September 19 [2008]…”

  So it’s not surprising that the undemocratic control of both Chicago’s city government and the U.S. federal government by Wall Street investment bankers and Billionaire U.S. plutocrats like Warren Buffett and Lester Crown has continued under the Democratic Obama regime since 2009.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Columbia University's Bain Capital - Sankaty Advisors Connection

As the Columbia University website notes:

“Jonathan Lavine is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sankaty Advisors, Bain Capital’s fixed income and credit affiliate, which he founded in 1997… Before the formation of Sankaty, Mr. Lavine worked in Bain Capital’s private equity business which he joined in 1993...Mr. Lavine is a Trustee of Columbia University and former Chair of the Columbia College Board of Visitors...Mr. Lavine also is a member of the ownership group and a Director of the Boston Celtics…He was a 2008 recipient of Columbia’s John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement.”

  Yet an article by John Nichols, titled “Romney Still Reaps Huge Profits From Bain’s Vulture Capitalism,” that was posted on The Nation’s website on July 16, 2012 contains the following reference to the Bain Capital private equity firm that Columbia Trustee Lavine is affiliated with:

“…Romney…helped to create Bain Capital, a private equity firm that makes its money by buying functional US manufacturing and service firms and rendering them dysfunctional. Bain guts American companies, ripping out whatever parts are profitable and then tossing the workers aside.

Bain forces cuts in wages, benefits and pensions. It outsources work. And it offshores production—harming American workers and communities and undermining American industries….Romney continued to be intimately involved with Bain as the company began to focus more and more of its energies on the shuttering of US factories and the transfer of the work done in those factories to foreign countries….Through arrangements that he made, Romney remains one of the prime beneficiaries of every move that Bain makes….He remains a direct beneficiary of Bain’s buccaneer pillaging of the US economy…Romney continued to collect a share of the corporate buyout and investment profits enjoyed by partners from all Bain deals until 2009… Romney has collected profits from twenty-two Bain and Bain-related funds…. “

  Besides sitting on the board of trustees of tax-exempt Columbia University, Bain Capital/Sankaty Advisors’s Chief Investment Officer contributed $19,200 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Mar. 9, 2011, $30,800 to the DNC Services Corporation on June 27, 2011 and $5,000 to Joe Kennedy III’s congressional campaign committee on Mar. 31, 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' Open Secrets website.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

PBS's Big Oil/Foundation Links

A multi-foundation effort to generate support for the PBS NewsHour has resulted in $3.55 million of special funding for the news program, according to MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, which produces the NewsHour. The participants in the initiative are Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation….”

--from a May 30, 2012 press release of the PBS NewsHour

“…Chuck Hagel is…Co-Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board; Chairman of The Atlantic Council; a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board and Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future; and is a member of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) board of directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Chevron Corporation; the Advisory Boards of Deutsche Bank Americas; Corsair Capital; M.I.C. Industries; is a Director of the Zurich Holding Company of America; and is a Senior Advisor to McCarthy Capital Corporation….He co-chairs the PBS National Policy Advisory Committee.”

-- from the Public Broadcasting Service [PBS] website

PBS’s Big Oil/Foundation Links

(Note: The following historical article was written in 2002.)

Some of the profits that San Francisco-based Chevron Texaco has made during the last ten years have gone to PBS's Washington, D.C. outlet, WETA-TV. In 1992, for instance, a foundation grant of over $2.4 million was given to WETA-TV by Chevron to fund PBS¹s National Geographic Specials. That same year Chevron¹s foundation also gave money to the following other ³non-profit² organizations:

Stanford University was given 3 grants, totaling $455,000, by Chevron

University of California-Berkeley was given 2 grants, totaling $217,000 by Chevron

The American Enterprise Institute For Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C. was given a $70,000 grant by Chevron

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. was given a $60,000 grant by Chevron

The National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C. was given a $65,000 grant by Chevron

The NAACP in New York City was given a $55,000 grant by Chevron

Among the ³non-profit² organizations who received foundation grants from Chevron two years later, in 1994, were the following:

San Francisco¹s KQED/Channel 2, which was given a $152,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The San Francisco Opera Association, which was given an $86,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The African American Institute in New York City, which was given a $90,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, which was given another $70,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

Stanford University, which given 4 grants, totalling $495,000, by Chevron¹ s foundation

University of California at Berkeley, which was given a $342,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The Hoover Institute On War, Peace and Revolution in Stanford, California, which was given a $120,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in D.C., which was given another $100,000 in tax-exempt money by Chevron¹s foundation.

Although the assets of Chevron¹s foundation exceeded $34.3 million in 1995, it only gave $21.7 million away during that same year‹despite the fact that Chevron made a $930 million profit.

ChevronTexaco¹s foundation is not the only foundation that gets its grant distribution money from a business involvement in the oil industry. The MacArthur Foundation¹s $2 billion-plus corporate stock portfolio included at least $31 million in oil company stock a few years ago. The Sister Fund¹s assets are derived from Hunt Oil, a firm which sometimes competes with Chevron in the marketing of Middle East and African oil. And, as long ago as 1973, The American Oil Industry: A Failure of Anti-Trust Policy pointed out the following about the relation between large U.S. foundations and the oil industry:

"Some of the largest foundations in the country have been established with oil money. A foundation can be both a means of retaining control and seeking favorable tax treatment.

"Of the first 30 largest foundations in the United States in asset rank, seven have major holdings in oil company stocks and are associated with oil company founders. The three largest in terms of the market value of assets are the Rockefeller Foundation with $831 million, the Mellon Foundation with some $668 million and the Pew Memorial Trust with $367 million in 1971.

"An examination of these foundation assets reveals a known truth: that the Rockefeller and Mellon families are the sources of great wealth deriving from the oil industry. If the assets of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund are added together they total approximately $1 billion. Similarly, if the assets of the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the Scaife (Sarah Mellon) Foundation are combined, they too total in the neighborhood of $1 billion.”

In 1972, when Chevron went under the name of Standard Oil of California, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund owned $8.9 million worth of stock in this company; and the Commonwealth Fund owned $11.1 million worth of Standard Oil of California/Chevron stock. The president and CEO of the WETA-TV station which received $2.4 million from Chevron in 1992 was PBS Director Sharon Rockefeller.

(conclusion of 2002-written historical article)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Obama's Axelrod Family-IGS-ASGK-AKPD Connection

“An organization's ability to compete successfully in a Global marketplace is impacted by governing bodies worldwide. Policy makers and influences in every market have the potential to impact a client's business operations and competitiveness. IGS works with business units, Senior Management and General Counsels to ensure that the organizations policy opinion and concerns are understood and promoted….”

--from the Interactive Global Solutions [IGS] website

Michael Axelrod has grown up in the business of electoral politics, beginning his career in a variety of campaign management capacities for AKPD Message & Media, a firm created by his father, David Axelrod, former White House Senior Advisor and campaign strategist for Barack Obama. With his extensive campaign and corporate client experience, Axelrod, an international corporate and public affairs consultant, has experience working with corporate and political leaders and campaigns in Latin and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He currently has projects and teams in places throughout every area of the globe.

“While at AKPD Message & Media, Mr. Axelrod was part of the strategic team behind such political clients as the `Obama for America’ presidential campaignMr. Axelrod also worked with clients on day-to-day messaging and strategy as well as developing the firm's international political practice. He directed the campaign strategy in AKPD's work for Francisco de Narváez, who defeated former president Nestór Kirchner in the legislative midterm elections in Buenos Aires, Argentina…Mr. Axelrod currently sits on the board of a private equity firm that makes real estate investments in small to mid-market assets, portfolios of assets, operating companies with underlying real estate assets and strategic investment programs and joint ventures. Based out of Denver, Colorado, the firm has invested over $875 million throughout the world….”

--from the Interactive Global Solutions [IGS] website

Obama’s Axelrod Family/IGS/ASGK/AKPD Connection

As Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter noted in his 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, during the 2008 U.S. election campaign, 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Obama “relied on a few longtime advisors, starting with David Axelrod” and “Axelrod was a former reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune…” The same book also observed that after Obama appointed him to be the Obama White House’s “Senior Advisor to the President” following the November 2008 election, “Axelrod figured there were…two issues that could stop him [Obama]: unemployment and Afghanistan.”

Coincidentally, an article by Dan Mihalopoulos that appeared in the July 19, 2012 issue of the Chicago Sun-Times contained the following reference to former White House Senior Advisor to the President” Axelrod (who became the Senior Strategist for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2011):

David Axelrod — the top campaign adviser to President Barack Obama — sold his ownership stake in ASGK Public Strategies in 2009, when he became a senior White House adviser.

“But Axelrod didn’t cut his ties to the Chicago public relations firm completely. He still has an office there. His name is on the door. His old partners are still paying him…five annual $200,000 payments…Now, two of the firm’s clients — Citibank and the Chicago Cubs — have a lot riding on decisions to be made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Axelrod friend and former White House colleague…Citibank…wants to help finance Emanuel’s…Chicago Infrastructure Trust…The Cubs…want Emanuel’s help in financing a major renovation of Wrigley Field…

ASGK quietly has played a role in a number of major issues at City Hall...The firm’s executives don’t register as lobbyists…

“Another Axelrod-founded firm — AKPD Media and Messaging — recently produced ads critical of the Chicago Teachers Union…AKPD oversaw Emanuel’s ad blitz during his mayoral campaign, and the firm is a paid consultant to his political committee, state records show.

“Like ASGK, AKPD continues to pay AxelrodAKPD owed him $2 million, to be paid over four years, when he became a White House aide, Axelrod told federal ethics officials.

“Both AKPD and ASKG are housed at the same River North address that’s also home to Axelrod Strategies, the firm he founded upon leaving the White House last year….ASGK’s managing partner, Eric Sedler, won’t talk about the work the firm is doing for the Cubs and Citibank.

“Dennis Culloton, spokesman for the Cubs’ owners, won’t say what ASGK is doing for the team but says it was hired in the past year.

“The team needs support from Emanuel and the City Council to advance its $300 million plan to rehab Wrigley…. Citibank and a fund called Citi Infrastructure Partners — which won’t talk about ASGK’s work — were two of the five financial institutions that Emanuel singled out at a March 1 news conference with former President Bill Clinton at which he announced the formation of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust...Ald. Will Burns (4th) — who voted for the trust — works for ASGK. Its website lists him as a managing partner….”

Also, coincidentally, the son of the Senior Strategist for Obama’s re-election campaign—Michael Axelrod—is a Partner in the Interactive Global Solutions [IGS] firm that, according to its website, engages in the following government-related activities on behalf of its clients: 1. “Direct Federal lobbying and legislative advocacy;” 2. “International legislative and regulatory advocacy; “3. “Effective interaction with U.S. Attorneys General;” and 4. “Advocacy for Foreign Governments seeking to establish pro-active relationships.” The IGS website also provided the following biographical information about a few of the IGS business partners of Obama Campaign Advisor Axelrod’s son:

“…Patrick Egan…served six years at the International Republican Institute, including as director of the Regional Program for Europe and in Baghdad, Iraq...He was a… visiting fellow at NATO Headquarters in Brussels…

“Kevin Gilna, based in Dublin Ireland provides…government services…His clients include some of the largest financial, trade and energy companies in the world….Mr. Gilna served as Senior Advisor to John Bruton, European Union Ambassador to the United States…Mr. Gilna also served as a Senior Advisor to Mr. Bruton during his period as Prime Minister of Ireland opposition….Mr. Gilna also served as Director of Elections for Prime Minister Bruton…Prior to that, Mr. Gilna was Director for Public Affairs for the Irish Construction Industry Federation (CIF), which represents over 3,000 construction companies…

“…Daniella Landau…served as a senior public policy adviser with the law firm of Baker, Donelson, where she helped craft and implement legislative strategy for clients such as American Airlines, Lockheed Martin, L3 and…Ms. Landau was previously Managing Director of Government Affairs for American Airlines, where she helped develop, implement and direct legislative and regulatory strategy. Prior to joining American Airlines, she spent three years as a senior media adviser with the public affairs firm of Burson-Marsteller. There, she helped coordinate message and communications strategies designed to promote successful passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Also in 1992/1993, Ms. Landau served on the Clinton/Gore transition team…

“…David Metzner…began his public policy career as the Director of Legislative Affairs for The Singer Company, where he assisted the CEO and other senior executives in developing corporate positions on tax policy, international trade and national security…. In January 2009, Mr. Metzner completed his six year Presidential appointment as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In this capacity, he…led the Board's initiative in creating the Kissinger Institute on China-United States Relations. Mr. Metzner serves on the Institute's Advisory Board which is chaired by Dr. Kissinger…

“Tom Schilling...has served as a strategic communications consultant to such Colorado corporate leaders as StorageTek, First Data Corp., Interlocken business park, FlatIron Crossing shopping mall, U.S. Bank and Piper Jaffray….

“Sean Tonner...offers clients expertise in developing and executing effective corporate growth strategies as well as providing sound political consulting…Over the course of his career, Mr. Tonner has worked on numerous political campaigns in the U.S. and abroad, including Bush-Cheney...Most recently, Mr. Tonner has been working with clients in Central Europe in election strategies and business development with global corporations….Mr. Tonner has also amassed impressive corporate affairs experience developing and executing successful strategic plans for companies including Western Union, HealthOne, Wal-Mart, Noble Energy and others….At the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Army and attended Reconnaissance, Airborne, Ranger, Desert and Jungle warfare training. In addition, he served as a scout for the 24th Infantry Division in Desert Storm...”


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Did Founder of Ford Foundation Help Finance Germany's Nazi Party?

Ford Foundation Founder Henry Ford accepting medal from German Nazi Government officials
In the 21st-century, the tax-exempt Ford Foundation (that Billionaire Industrialist Henry Ford apparently set up as a tax-dodge near the middle of the 20th century) redistributes some of the investment income that it obtains from its multi-billion dollar stock and hedge fund portfolio to wealthy tax-exempt universities/real estate development institutions such as Columbia University, in the form of tax-exempt “charitable grants.” In December 2011, for example, the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship Program division apparently gave a self-serving $1 million “charitable grant” to the Trustees of Columbia University’s private library system “to archive and provide access to” the Ford Foundation’s own International Fellowship Program’s “paper and electronic records.”

Coincidentally, during the 1920s the founder of the Ford Foundation, Henry Ford, apparently helped fund the Nazi Party in Germany. As a muckraking journalist named George Seldes observed in his 1943 book Facts and Fascism:

“Henry Ford’s picture for years hung over Hitler’s desk in the Brown House in Munich. The Nazis in their early days boasted that they had the moral and financial support of the richest man in America…

“To many persons Ford has always been our No. 1 Fascist. (Newspapermen usually give that spot to William Randolph Hearst, and there is an unending argument as to which of the two has done more harm to the mind of America, but no one doubts that both have spread more fascist poison in this country than any other pair of prominent men…)

“It was general knowledge in the early 1920s, when it was not treason to aid Hitler, that Henry Ford was one of his spiritual and economic backers…

“The most credible evidence regarding Ford’s financing of early Nazism was given in the treason trial of Herr Hitler himself…On February 7, 1924, Herr Auer, vice-president of the Bavarian Diet, testified in the Hitler trial as follows:

“`The Bavarian Diet has long had the information that the Hitler movement was partly financed by an American anti-Semitic chief, who is Henry Ford. Mr. Ford’s interest in the Bavarian anti-Semitic movement began a year ago…Herr Hitler openly boasts of Mr. Ford’s support…A photograph of Mr. Ford hangs in Herr Hitler’s quarters..’”


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ford Foundation Gave $6.1 Million To Obama Transition Team Co-Chair Podesta's Think-Tank After 2009 Obama Inauguration

Tax-exempt foundations like the Ford Foundation are not supposed to be involved in politically partisan politics. Yet since the 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the Ford Foundation (according to the grant data base on its website) has given 18 “charitable grants,” totaling over $6.1 million to the “Center for American Progress” think-tank of John Podesta—the co-chair of the Obama campaign’s transition team during and after the 2008 U.S. presidential election. As Jonathan Alter noted in his book The Promise: President Obama Year One:

“The Obama transition team was run by John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s last chief of staff…In mid-October [2008] Obama held a secret meeting in a…Reno hotel room to talk about the White House staff…It was important that no word of the meeting leak. Two of Bill Clinton’s chiefs of staff, Podesta and Erskine Bowles, flew out for the meeting, and a third, Leon Panetta, was on the phone…It sometimes seemsed as if Obama was staffing his administration through a single Washington think tank, the Center for American Progress, founded and run by John Podesta...More than 50 people from CAP would join the administration...”

The same book also indicated how the Democratic Obama Administration failed to restore economic prosperity to the United States during its first term in office:

“Obama’s debut was rocky by any standard…The official unemployment rate stood at 10 percent but that didn’t include discouraged workers no longer in the job market or those seeking longer hours…The stimulus, officially called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was…too slow in creating jobs…He failed…to convince the middle class that he was focused enough on their number one concern…jobs…He failed to attach more conditions to the bank bailouts…Obama…refused the pleas of liberals to nationalize the banks…”

  According to the website of the Center for American Progress's think tank:

“John Podesta is Chair and Counselor of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund….Prior to founding the Center in 2003, Podesta served as White House chief of staff to President William J. Clinton. He served in the president's cabinet and as a principal on the National Security Council. While in the White House, he also served as both an assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff…Most recently, Podesta served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition, where he coordinated the priorities of the incoming administration’s agenda, oversaw the development of its policies, and spearheaded its appointments of major cabinet secretaries and political appointees…..”


Political Research Associates' Edelman-Bundy Foundation Connections

“Jim Dempsey, Vice President for Public Policy, has been with CDT since 1997. From 2003 to 2005, he served as Executive Director; he currently heads CDT West, in San Francisco. At CDT, Mr. Dempsey concentrates on Internet privacy, government surveillance, and national security issues…Mr. Dempsey has been a member of the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age (2004-2011); the Bill of Rights Defense Committee advisory board (2002-2012); the Board of Directors of the Defending Dissent Foundation (2007-2012); the Industry Advisory Board for the National Counter-Terrorism Center (2005-2006), and the Transportation Security Administration’s Secure Flight Working Group (2005).”

--from the Center for Democracy and Technology website

Chip Berlet…is on the advisory boards of the Defending Dissent Foundation, the journal Totalitarian Movements and Political Religion, and PRA's Public Eye magazine, and is a vice-president of the Defending Dissent Foundation. For thirty years Berlet was senior analyst at Political Research Associates…”

--from the website

Political Research Associates’ Edelman-Bundy Foundation Connections

(Note: The following historical article was written in 2002.)

In a 1998 book that was subsidized by the MacArthur Foundation, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, entitled The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy: Brothers In Arms, a contributing editor of Katrina vanden Heuvel's Nation magazine, Kai Bird, recalled that in June 1968, then-Ford Foundation President McGeorge "Bundy arranged fellowships totaling $131,000 for eight members of" the mysteriously-slain Robert F. "Kennedy's campaign staff." Bird also noted that recipients "included Frank Mankiewicz ($15,000 for a study of the Peace Corps in Latin America), Adam Walinsky ($22,200 for a study of community action programs) and Peter Edelman ($19,090 for a study of community development programs around the world)."

In recent years Peter Edelman has been sitting on the board of a foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, which subsidizes the alternative media work of Chip Berlet's Political Research Associates [PRA] group. In 2002, for instance, Peter Edelman's Public Welfare Foundation gave a $50,000 grant to Political Research Associates to provide "general support for research center that collects and disseminates information on extremist groups and provides information and training to local, state, and national organizations working to counter extremist activity." PRA's form 990 also indicates at least $90,000 in additional grant money was given to Political Research Associates by Peter Edelman's Public Welfare Foundation between 1993 and 1996; and in 1999, another grant of $50,000 was given to the Political Research Associates group by the Public Welfare Foundation.

Prior to working as a staffperson for RFK and then receiving his Ford Foundation fellowship from former National Security Affairs advisor Bundy, Public Welfare Foundation board member Edelman worked as a law clerk to a Supreme Court Justice named Arthur Goldberg. According to the 1982 book Rooted In Secrecy: The Clandestine Element in Australian Politics by Joan Coxsedge:

 "Arthur Goldberg, the General Counsel of the CIO engineered the expulsion of the Left from this organization...After the left-wing purge of the CIO, Goldberg worked to achieve union with the conservative American Federation of Labor [AFL] headed by rabid anti-communist and long-time CIA stooge, George Meany, and what was left of the CIO."

Public Welfare Foundation board member Edelman is also both the political godfather/rabbi of U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton and a former Clinton Administration official. According to the Center for Responsive Politics' web site, Public Welfare Foundation board member Peter Edelman also gave two campaign contributions, totalling $1,500, to Hillary Rodham-Clinton's campaign on September 26, 2000 and another $1,000 campaign contribution to Senator Rodham-Clinton's campaign on November 9, 2000. Marian Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund NGO also gave a $1,000 campaign contribution to Hillary Rodham-Clinton on November 9, 2000.

In the late 1990s, the Massachusetts-based Political Research Associates [PRA] was also given a $120,000 grant by the San Francisco Foundation. The board of trustees and/or the investment committee of the San Francisco Foundation has included the following members of the Bay Area Establishment in recent years: 1. Levi Strauss Foundation Board Member Peter Haas Jr.; 2. Advent Software Inc. Chair and U. of California-Berkeley Foundation board member Stephanie Marco; 3. Equidex Inc. Chair and former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg James Hormel; 4. Oakland Private Industry Council CEO Gay Plair Cobb; 5. Brookings Institute Trustee Emeritus and U. of California-Berkeley Foundation board member F. Warren Hellman; 6. Stanford University Trustee Leslie Hume; 7. Pacific Gas & Electric [PG&E] Chief Finance Officer Kent Hardy; 8. Seneca Capital Management Founder Gail Seneca; and 9. Foundation for Chinese Democracy Chair/President Rolland C. Lowe. In addition, the San Francisco Foundation presently controls over $695 million in assets and takes in about $15 million a year in investment income from its corporate stock portfolio.

Contributions exceeding $5,000 were also made to Political Research Associates by the following other individuals or foundations between 1993 and 1996: William & Robie Harris ($32,000); Jean Hardisty ($125,588), Thomas P. Jalkut ($85,000), Hannah Kranzberg ($5,000), Sister Fund ($20,000), CS Fund ($30,000); Funding Exchange ($12,000); Haymarket Peoples Fund ($17,000); Ms. Foundation for Women ($15,000); Nathan Cummings Foundation ($80,000); the Stresand Foundation ($7,500); Threshold Foundation ($27,825); Tides Foundation ($69,260); Unitarian Universalist Veatch ($50,000; Sylvia Goodman ($11,000); Michael Kieschnick ($29,279); Albert A. List Foundation ($75,000); US Trust ($5,032); The New Land Foundation ($5,000); and PRRAC ($10,000). In 1999, additional contributions exceeding $5,000 were made to Political Research Associates by the following individuals and foundations: Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program ($25,000); The Prentice Foundation ($5,000); Stephen & Diana Goldberg Foundation ($10,000); Tides Foundation ($57,550); Albert A. List Foundation ($25,000); Carol Bernstein ($5,000); Irving Harris Foundation ($25,000); Nathan Cummings Foundation ($55,000); Thomas Jalkut ($15,000); Nancy Meier ($15,025);; Warsh-Mott Legacy ($20,000); Chambers Family Fund ($25,000); and the Ms. Foundation For Women ($15,000).

At least $11,000 in politically partisan campaign contributions have also been made by a Jean Hardisty of Political Research Associates since 1992, according to the Center for Responsive Politics web site. On November 15, 1999, for instance Ms. Hardisty gave a $1,000 campaign contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. And on September 12, 2000, Ms. Hardisty gave a $1,000 campaign contribution to KidPAC.

In the acknowledgment section of the 1995 Eyes Right! book which Chip Berlet edited, the Establishment Foundation-sponsored Political Research Asociates executive wrote: "An extra tip of the hat to Matthew Rothschild of The Progressive for his special assistance." Coincidentally, in recent months Berlet joined Progressive magazine editor Rothschild in attempting to smear and marginalize 9/11 conspiracy journalists and researchers, while apparently failing to do much political research into possible links between the Ford Foundation, the Trilateral Commission, the Carlyle Group and/or the Bush White House.

(conclusion of 2002-written historical article)

Helen Gurley-Brown's Role in Hearst Corporation's `Cosmopolitan' Magazine History

(The following article first appeared in the 9/9/92 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly newspaper, Downtown.)

The Hearst Corporation’s Cosmopolitan editor for most of the 30 years prior to 1992 was Jaws and Star Wars movie producer David Brown’s wife—Helen Gurley-Brown. After Mr. Brown came across some copies of old letters his wife had written to a former boyfriend, he “encouraged her to attempt a book on a subject she was well-acquainted with: the life of a single woman,” according to Contemporary Authors. Ms. Gurley-Brown—whose father was an Arkansas state legislator—then wrote the Sex And The Single Girl and Sex In The Office books of the early 1960s.

After making a bundle from her Sex And The Single Girl, Gurley-Brown “and her husband worked out a format in the Summer of 1964 for a magazine to be called Femme," according to Current Biography 1969. The publisher of Gurley-Brown’s books—a man named Bernard Geis—next arranged a meeting with another man—then-Hearst Corporation President Richard Deems—and interested the Hearst Corporation president in Gurley-Brown’s 20-page dummy for Femme magazine. Deems then appointed Gurley-Brown as the new Cosmopolitan editor in March 1965.

After William Randolph Hearst I purchased Cosmopolitan for $400,000 in 1905, it had continued to be a muckraking magazine for a few years prior to World War I. But, following World War I, although its circulation was around one million, it was no longer such a magazine. Its editor between 1918 and 1931 was a man named Ray Long of the Algonquin Round Table literary set that included writers like Dorothy Parker. Four years after the new head of Hearst’s magazine division, Richard Berlin, had Long replaced as Cosmopolitan’s editor in 1931, Long committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth with a rifle. As Cosmopolitan editor, Long had been paid $185,000 per year [in 1930s money] in 1931.

Under Berlin’s management during the Great Depression, Cosmopolitan and most of the other Hearst magazines remained profitable ventures, while the newspapers of Hearst’s media empire were losing so much money that the whole company was in danger of going bankrupt. But in 1939 Berlin was able to secure an $8 million loan from the president of Bank of Italy, A.P. Giannini, which enabled the company to survive until the increased World War II demand for newspaper ad space by U.S. business restored the profitability of Hearst’s newspaper chain.

By the early 1960s, however, Cosmopolitan’s circulation had dropped to below 800,000 and its income from ad sales had dropped by 20 percent. So the men who managed the Hearst Corporation’s magazine division were willing to authorize Gurley-Brown to change the format of Cosmopolitan in accordance with her Femme magazine proposal, in an attempt to increase the magazine’s marketability among 18-to-34-year-old women office workers.

The decision of Hearst’s male managers to let Gurley-Brown alter one of their magazines proved to be a quite profitable decision. After Gurley-Brown and her husband put together her first Cosmopolitan issue in July 1965, Cosmopolitan’s newsstands sales grew between 1965 and 1969 by 300,000—despite the cost of a copy of the magazine also increasing from 35 to 60 cents a copy [in 1960s money]. Since 98 percent of Cosmopolitan’s distribution in the 1960s came from newsstand sales—in which money is made on every copy sold—and not from being mailed to subscribers—the combined increase in both mass circulation and newsstand cost-per-copy proved to be exceptionally lucrative. By the 1970s, Cosmopolitan’s readers and its advertisers were providing about $30 million [in 1970s money] in profits for the patriarchal corporate male-controlled Hearst Corporation each year; and its monthly ad space was selling at $15,000 per page. In the early 1990s, copies of Cosmopolitan were purchased by about three million readers each month. [But by 2007, newsstand sales of Cosmopolitan had apparently decreased to 2 million copies each month].

(Downtown 9/9/92)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ford Foundation, The CIA and U.S. Establishment Conspiracy--Conclusion

“Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick…has a history of ethically questionable connections to financial firms…Patrick, who followed Romney as governor of the Bay State, praised Bain in two separate TV appearances on Thursday.

“`I've got a lot of friends there,’ he said on MSNBC's `Morning Joe,` calling Bain `a perfectly fine company’ with `a role to play in the private economy.’…

“Patrick's close relationship with Ameriquest, once one of the largest subprime lenders in the country, was widely criticized during his first campaign for governor in 2006. As head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in the 1990s, he had settled a discriminatory lending complaint against Ameriquest for $4 million -- a relatively small amount for the lender. Patrick later landed on Ameriquest's board, where he made $360,000 a year, according to a report in the Boston Globe. While serving on the board, Patrick personally lobbied the U.S. Senate to grant Ameriquest’s CEO an ambassadorship, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“Patrick -- who has also worked for Coca-Cola and the Ford Foundation -- stayed on the subprime lender's board during the housing bubble from 2004 to 2006, even as the embattled lender began settling several high-profile predatory lending lawsuits. He resigned from Ameriquest's board during his first run for governor, just prior to the company's financial collapse, but not before he asked Citigroup executive and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to provide Ameriquest with emergency financial assistance, according to the Globe. Citigroup acquired Ameriquest in 2008…”

--Zach Carter in The Huntington Post on May 31, 2012

Ford Foundation, The CIA and U.S. Establishment Conspiracy—Conclusion

(Note: The following historical article was written in 2002.)

The Ford Foundation's Vice-President for Media in recent years, Alison Bernstein, was an associate dean at Princeton University between 1990 and 1992. But for most of the last twenty years she has been on the Ford Foundation payroll. [A poster to the WBAI Listener's Bulletin Board a few months ago remembered Ford Foundation Vice-President for Media Bernstein as being a family relation of the now-deceased former conductor of the New York Philharmonic orchestra, Leonard Bernstein; and as someone who, as a college student, claimed to be anti-Establishment in her politics. But the accuracy of the WBAI listener's memory of Alison Bernstein could not be confirmed.]

As the Ford Foundation's Vice-President for Media, Bernstein implements the media policy priorities that are determined by committees of the Ford Foundation board of trustees and authorized by the Ford Foundation president. In the 1990s and early 21st-century the Ford Foundation board of trustees has included two former CEOs and former board chairmen of the Xerox Corporation, the CEO and board chairman of ALCOA, an executive vice-president and general counsel of Coca Cola Company, the chairman and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., the chairman of Reuters Holdings, PLC, the senior partner of the Akin, Gump,Straus Hauser & Feld lobbying firm, and the president of Vassar College. Other corporations with directors who sat on the Ford Foundation board of trustees in the late 1990s or after 2000 included Time Warner, Chase Manhattan Bank, Ryder Systems, CBS, AT & T, Adolph Coors Company, Dayton-Hudson, the Bank of England, J.P. Morgan, Marine Midland Bank, Southern California Edison, KRCX Radio, the Central Gas & Electric Corp. DuPont, Citicorp and the New York Stock Exchange. A vice-president and general counsel of Texaco Inc. named Deval Laurdine Patrick [who subsequently was shifted into the governor’s office of Massachusetts in 2007 by the Massachusetts Democratic Party and corporate establishment] has also sat on the Ford Foundation board of trustees in recent years.

The Ford Foundation's Board of Trustees' Education, Media, Arts and Culture Committee in the late 1990s, for instance, included the president of Vassar College, the chairman of Reuters Holdings PLC, the former chairman and CEO of Xerox and Clinton crony Vernon Jordan--also a director of Revlon, American Express, J.C. Penney, Sara Lee, Xerox, Bankers Trust, Dow Jones, Union Carbide and Ryder Systems. Clinton crony Jordan also was the chair of the Ford Foundation Board of Trustee's Audit and Management Committee in the late 1990s.

In 2002, the wife of the Bush II White House's presidential historian (Michael Beschloss] sat on the Ford Foundation board of trustees. Ford Foundation Trustee Afsaneh Mashayetkhi Beschloss, a former World Bank managing officer, also was the CEO/president of the Carlyle Asset Management Group. President Bush II's father George Herbert Walker Bush, former Secretary of Defense and former Deputy CIA Director Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of State James Baker and Billionaire Speculator George Soros are also involved in the Carlyle Group that Ford Foundation Trustee Mashayetkhi Beschloss managed. The Ford Foundation board-linked Carlyle Group received $1.3 billion in Pentagon war contracts in 1999, was the 11th-largest recipient of Pentagon war contracts in 2000 and invested heavily in war stock.

A former member of the board of directors of Chase Manhattan Bank, Susan Berresford, was the Ford Foundation president in the early 21st century. Ford Foundation President Berresford was also then a member of the North American Committee of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission--sitting next to other U.S. Establishment figures, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Madeline Albright.

Ford Foundation President Berresford was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, to which the Ford Foundation gave a grant of $100,000 "for the development of a Council Task Force on Terrorism" in 2002. Featured on the Council on Foreign Relations web site at on 9/26/02 was an advertisement for "a New Council book," which stated "Invasion Is The Only Realistic Option to Head off the Threat from Iraq, Argues Kenneth Pollack in The Threatening Storm." In recent years, the vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, Carla Hill, has sat on the board of directors of Chevron (as has National Security Affairs Adviser and former Carnegie Corporation of NY Trustee Condoleezza Rice). Other members of the Council on Foreign Relations include former CIA Director John Deutch, former CIA Consultant/MacArthur Foundation Consultant and current Northwestern University President Henry Bienen, Richard Holbrooke, Billionaire Speculator George Soros and former MacArthur Foundation Director Laura D'Andreas Tyson. A few years ago, the Ford Foundation also gave a $701,130 grant to the Council on Foreign Relations for "core support for the activities of the Program on Alternative Future for Southern Asia, its Energy and United States Policy."

In a 2000 interview with Philanthropy Magazine, Trilateral Commission member Susan Berresford gave the official version of how the Ford Foundation operates:

“We have a senior management team that meets every Monday morning in my office...I approve all grants over $100,000. Grants up to $100,000 can be made by staff at various levels. We budget on a two-year basis, and we work with our board...Every grantmaker writes what we call a program office memo. That is ultimately approved by his or her immediate supervisor and then by someone at a vice-presidential program level. Then, all grants that they make under $100,000 pursuant to that memo, they and their immediate supervisors approve. And anything over that needs my approval. We meet every other week for an entire morning; and all the grants over $100,000 that have been recommended in the prior two-week period are on a list and we talk about them.

“I get a write-up on every single grant. There may be 50 on the list, or ten on the list. I read them all, think about them all, and we discuss some of them...The meeting is really a group discussion. I lead it, and I have to put my signature on the grant in the end, but all the officers of the foundation are there, and any program officer or any staff member who wants to attend can attend and participate.

“...We make grants of $1,000 and we make $50 million grants. We make endowment grants and project grants and general support grants...

“It's a policy-making board instead of a grantmaking board...

“In our foundation we draw our board members from all over the world...It makes more sense for the board to set foundation policy.

“They set the budget level and broad allocations...We set our budget at 5.8 percent of a three-year rolling average of our portfolio value. Then, depending on our judgment about the stock market and other things, we may move around a little bit from that...

“We convene groups of our grantees with groups of our staff who make grants to them...

“...Linda Strumpf is the vice president for investment at the foundation. We have an investment committee of the board. They are in touch regularly and Linda and I talk frequently. We all think hard about asset allocation and the broad investment choices we make...In recent years, we have put a significant amount of money into venture capital and a lot of that in technology, and have done very, very well with those investments.

“...We do not, other than in a very few cases, screen investments.

Besides managing the Ford Foundation's multi-billion dollar unscreened investment portfolio and the rest of the Ford Foundation's $10.7 billion in assets, Ford Foundation Vice-President for Investments Linda Strumpf also has been a member of the investment committee of the Ms. Foundation for Women—which has received millions of dollars in grants from the Ford Foundation in recent years. In addition, Ford Foundation Vice-President for Investments Strumpf is a member of the investment committee of Penn State University—which received over $58 million in war research contracts from the Pentagon in 1999. That same year, the "non-profit," tax-exempt Ford Foundation paid Linda Strumpt, its vice-president for investments, an annual salary of $852,911.

In the December 1988 issue of Multinational Monitor, Jim Donahue reported, in an article entitled "The Foundations of Apartheid and The Nuclear Industry," that in 1988, during the apartheid era, the Ford Foundation had $1.32 billion invested in companies doing business in South Africa, accounting for 43 percent of its total investment value at that time. The Multinational Monitor also noted that in 1988, "eighteen million dollars" of the MacArthur Foundation's investments were in apartheid South Africa-tied companies and "the Rockefeller Foundation held $233 million in corporations doing business in or with South Africa" during the apartheid era.

Multinational Monitor also observed in 1988 that "Nuclear Weapons-Linked Investment Corporations that receive government contracts to build components for nuclear weapons are popular among leading foundations" and "the Ford account for 16 percent of Ford's total investment value, or $496 million, with the largest holding being in nuclear-contract-linked IBM and General Electric."

Although the Ford Foundation posts a list of its recent grants on its web site, it's not that easy to locate on the Internet a list of all the current corporate stocks that are currently contained in the Ford Foundation's unscreened stock portfolio. Establishment foundations have a long tradition of not being eager to make it easy for the U.S. public to know which corporate stocks they own. As Ferdinand Lundberg observed in his America’s 60 Families book long ago: "E.C. Lindeman, the outstanding authority on the internal functioning of foundations, states in his monumental Wealth and Culture, published in 1936, that his `first surprise was to discover that those who managed foundations and trusts did not wish to have these instruments investigated. Had it occurred to me then,' he continued, `that it would require eight years of persistent inquiry at a wholly disproportionate cost to disclose even the basic quantitative facts desired, I am sure that the study would have been promptly abandoned."

What can be easily discovered on the Internet is that over $4 billion of the Ford Foundation's $10.7 billion in assets in 2001 was invested in U.S. corporate stock and over $1.3 billion in foreign corporate stock. From its billions of dollars in corporate stockholdings in 2001, the "non-profit" Ford Foundation received $343 million in dividends and interest income and earned an additional capital gains income of $992 million. Yet on its 2001 annual income, the "non-profit" Ford Foundation only paid a 1% excise tax.

But despite the great power that control over such excess wealth gives to Establishment foundations like the Ford Foundation to influence world history and manage social change on behalf of Ultra-Rich power elite interests, the foundation-subsidized alternative media groups rarely report critically on the world of Big Foundations--or on the U.S. Establishment conspiracies that may be hatched in either the foundation, corporate or national security state apparatus boardrooms. Yet without an understanding of the political economic and cultural role that Big Foundations and Ultra-Rich power elite conspiracy plays in global politics, one can't really understand how the System operates or how world history is determined. And one's political and intellectual consciousness and analysis is going to remain incomplete and partial, in a significant way.

In his article, entitled "Getting Behind the Media: What are the subtle tradeoffs of foundation support for journalists?", Rick Edmunds characterized the ethical issues that develops when journalists--even alternative media journalists--begin to rely on subsidies from the Big Foundation to fund their alternative media work:

“In research the Poynter Institute on the rising number, scope, and dollar amounts of foundation grants for journalism, I found that media recipients are becoming ever more comfortable--and perhaps less reflective--about taking the money...When they show up with much-needed funding for an investigative series or pay the freight for a reporter working on an underreported beat, foundations don't receive the same due-diligence scrutiny for hidden subtext that journalists apply to a corporaet press release or a politician's statement. The effect that foundation money may have on the news business is subtle but real, and increasingly troubling on the ethical front...In public television and radio and at certain serious magazines, foundation funding has become a way of life, and grants can run to seven figures...The percentage of public broadcasting revenue coming from foundations has doubled in the past two decades. And in the world of nonprofit media, a few million a year goes a long way...

“...The lack of overt editorial should not blind us to the more subtle, one might say cultural, ties that bind these news organizations to their funders. There are, for example, any number of opportunities for grant makers to shape the editorial product as it is developed...If the foundations' and recipients' goals have been properly `aligned' not much more may be needed to see that the intent is carried out...

“Lost in the benevolent fog that surrounds most foundations is the notion that they may have more of an agenda, not less, than a sponsoring corporation...Cultural affinity can sometimes make it difficult for editors and journalists to draw the distinction between accepting a grant and accepting a funder's point of view...

“National Public Radio is the heavyweight champion in harvesting these grants...Its income is pushing $100 million, about 40 percent of that from corporations and foundations. NPR consistently declines to say what share of the grants that it receives are restricted to specific content areas...Also, for several years, NPR's reporting unit on money and politics has been supported by a grant from the...Schumann Foundation...”

Speaking of the Schumann Foundation/Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, a KPFA listener and 9/11 conspiracy journalist recently discovered that its President, Public Affairs TV Inc. Executive Director Bill Moyers, also now sits on the board of directors of Billionaire Speculator George Soros' Open Society Institute. But since the former publisher of the Schumann Foundation-subsidized Columbia Journalism Review, Joan Konner, is both a board member of Open Society Institute board member Moyers' Schumann Foundation and the president of Open Society Institute board member Moyers' Public Affairs TV Inc., don't expect the Columbia Journalism Review to question too much the ethical appropriateness of this Schumann Foundation/Open Society Institute board interlocking directorate. And certainly don't expect too much questioning of such institutional relationships by the Schumann Foundation-subsidized FAIR group or by the Open Society Institute-subsidized Pacifica/Democracy Now! or The Nation/Radio Nation.

And if, by some chance, the Ford Foundation's publicity shield ever gets penetrated in a "parallel left" alternative media world which it has been heavily subsidizing in recent years, it still can move quickly to neutralize any negative publicity—by calling upon a "counter-cultural" public relations firm that used to represent the Pacifica Foundation, called Fenton Communications. In addition to having the Ford Foundation as one of its clients during the 1990s, the Ford Foundation web site now indicates that Fenton Communications was apparently given a $300,000 grant "for communications activities designed to promote informed dialogue in response to the September 11 activity, with an emphasis on protecting civil liberties and preventing discrimination"--by a Ford Foundation on whose board sits the wife of the Bush White House presidential historian.

(conclusion of 2002-written historical article)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ford Foundation, The CIA and U.S. Establishment Conspiracy--part 2

(Note: The following historical article was written in 2002.)

For 13 years, a former national security affairs advisor in the Kennedy and Johnson White House during the Vietnam War Era, McGeorge Bundy, was the Ford Foundation's president. As James Ledbetter recalled in his book Made Possible By…:

"The Ford effort took a new twist in 1966, when the Foundation began plotting a system that would unite satellite communication with educational broadcasting. McGeorge Bundy, the former national security advisor who had personally ordered American bombing raids on North Vietnam in early 1965, left the government and moved to the Ford Foundation to oversee this plan...Bundy obtained his position without being knowledgeable about, or even comfortable with, the medium of television..."

In a September 26, 1996 press release that was issued by the Ford Foundation following its former long-time president's death, the Trustees of the Ford Foundation stated:

"The Trustees of the Ford Foundation are deeply saddened by the death of McGeorge Bundy on September 16 [1996]. Mr. Bundy served as President of the Foundation from 1966 to 1979. He forged new lines of work in such critically important areas as civil rights, overseas development, and security and arms control. His intellect, candor, and high standards left an indelible mark on the Foundation's culture. The work of the Foundation today builds on Mac's legacy and we are in his debt."

Yet evidence exists that former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy was apparently one of the White House officials responsible for planning crimes against humanity during the Vietnam War Era, in violation of the Nuremberg Accords.

On May 11, 1961, for instance, former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy signed "National Security Action Memorandum 52" which approved a program for covert action against North Vietnam that included forming "network of resistance, covert bases and teams for sabotage and light harassment" in North Vietnam. And on September 10, 1964, former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy signed "National Security Action Memorandum No. 314," which approved the resumption of naval patrols and covert maritime operations off the coast of North Vietnam.

According to The Pentagon Papers, each maritime operation against North Vietnam after October 1964 had to be approved in advance by former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy. And among the maritime operations approved in advance by the now-deceased former Ford Foundation president were "ship-to-shore bombardment of North Vietnam radar site" and "underwater demolition team assaults on bridges along coastal roads, bridges and rails" in North Vietnam.

In a February 7, 1965 memorandum to Democratic Party Leader Lyndon Johnson, former Ford Foundation President McGeorge Bundy next recommended that the U.S. adopt "a policy of `sustained reprisal'" against North Vietnam; and on March 2, 1965 the Johnson White House's "Rolling Thunder" bombing campaign against North Vietnam was begun.

On April 6, 1965, former Ford Foundation President Bundy signed "National Security Action Memorandum No. 328," in which he stated:

"We should continue roughly the present slowly ascending tempo of ROLLING THUNDER Operation...We should continue to vary the type of target, stepping up attack on lines of communication in the near future, and possibly moving in a few weeks to attacks on the rail lines north and northeast of Hanoi.

"Leaflet operations should be expanded to obtain maximum practicable psychological effect on the North Vietnamese population.

"Blockade or aerial mining of North Vietnamese ports needs further study and should be considered for future operations...Air operations in Laos...should be stepped up to the maximum remunerative rate..."

By the time McGeorge Bundy retired as Ford Foundation president in 1979, millions of people in Indochina and over 57,000 U.S. military personnel had lost their lives, as a result of the militaristic actions authorized by the "National Security Action Memorandum" which the former Ford Foundation president personally signed.

A few years before his death in 1996, the former Ford Foundation president had been named as a "Scholar-in-Residence" by the same Carnegie Corporation of New York foundation which was to give a $25,000 grant to Pacifica in 1996 to launch the Democracy Now! show. As the Carnegie Corporation of New York's "Scholar-in-Residence," former Ford Foundation President Bundy co-authored a 1993 book with Stanford University Professor Sidney Drell and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff William J. Crowe (who also sat on the board of directors of a Big Oil company called Texaco in the early 1990s), entitled Reducing Nuclear Danger.

In the acknowledgement section of their book, Bundy and his co-authors noted that "the book is the product of a decision in 1990 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to invite the three of us to work as co-chairmen of a Carnegie Commission on Reducing the Nuclear Danger;" and "we must express our warmest personal thanks to Dr. David A. Hamburg, the president of the Carnegie Corporation" and "the staff of the Carnegie Corporation has helped with unfailing kindness and understanding."

Former Ford Foundation President Bundy and his co-authors then expressed their support for the immoral 1991 high-technology U.S. military attack on the people of Iraq, on behalf of Big Oil's special interests, by writing:

"Saddam Hussein has provided a sharp reminder of a different nuclear danger--that nuclear weapons may come into the hands of unpredictable and adventurous rulers. We learned in Iraq that when international awareness, will, and capability are all three sufficient, it is possible to take effective action against such danger...The case of Saddam is unique both in the breadth of the international judgment that a bomb under his control would be unacceptably dangerous and in the strength of the American presence and engagement created by his aggression against Kuwait. Multinational action against the Iraqi bomb has been effective, at least in the short run...

"It is now evident that if Saddam's effort had not been interrupted by the war he provoked, he would probably have had nuclear weapons sometime in the 1990s--quite possibly in the first half of the decade. Knowing Saddam as it now does, the world has been shocked by this narrow escape. It is not surprising that an effective consensus has developed, growing in strength as the process of inquiry and dismantling has continued in Iraq, that the international community should see to it that leaders such as Saddam do not get the bomb."

Yet three years after the former Ford Foundation president who was one of the U.S. Establishment leaders responsible for crimes against humanity in Vietnam joined his co-authors in rationalizing a pro-war policy in relation to Iraq, the Ford Foundation board of trustees asserted in 1996 that "the work of the Foundation today builds on Mac's legacy and we are in his debt."

Perhaps a brief look at some of the corporate connections of those who sit on the Ford Foundation board of trustees--and at how the Ford Foundation operates--might indicate how "the Foundation today builds on Mac's legacy" by, for instance, sponsoring alternative media groups which generally attempt to marginalize anti-war/anti-corporate 9/11 conspiracy journalists and researchers?.

(end of part 2 of 2002-written historical article)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Black Worker `Not Seasonally Adjusted' Unemployment Rate Increases To 15 Percent In July 2012

The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all Black workers in the United States increased from 14.8 to 15 percent between June and July 2012; while the “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black male workers over 20 years-of-age jumped from 14 to 14.9 percent during the same period, according to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data. In addition, the “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all white workers in the United States increased from 7.5 to 7.6 percent between June and July 2012; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for white female workers over 20 years-of-age jumped from 6.8 to 7.4 percent during the same period.

Between June and July 2012, the total number of officially unemployed Black workers in the United States increased by 19,000 (from 2,780,000 to 2,799,000), according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data; while the total number of unemployed Black male workers over 20 years-of-age in the U.S. labor force increased by 64,000 (from 1,172,000 to 1,236,000) during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data. In addition, the total number of jobless white workers in the United States increased by 149,000 (from 9,344,000 to 9,493,000) between June and July 2012, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data; while the total number of unemployed white female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 359,000 (from 3,667,000 to 4,026,000) during the same period, according to the “not seasonally adjusted” data.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased from 10.3 to 10.5 percent between June and July 2012; and the total number of unemployed Latina female workers over 20 years-of-age increased by 5,000 (from 1,022,000 to 1,027,000) during that same period. The official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Black female workers over 20 years-of-age was still 12.7 percent in July 2012; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” rate for all female workers over 20 years-of-age in the United States increased from 7.6 to 8.2 percent between June and July 2012.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Black youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 38.1 percent in July 2012; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age was still 29.4 percent during that same month.. In addition, the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for white youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States was still 21.7 percent in July 2012; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all youths between 16 and 19 years-of-age in the United States was still 24.5 percent during that same month.

The official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all female workers over 16 years-of-age in the United States (Black, Latino, Asian-American and white) increased from 8.4 to 9 percent between June and July 2012; while the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all male workers over 16 years-of-age was in the United States was still 8.2 percent in July 2012.. In addition, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for all workers in the United States increased from 8.4 to 8.6 percent between June and July 2012. During the same period, the total “not seasonally adjusted” number of officially unemployed U.S. workers also increased by 216,000 (from 13,184,000 to 13,400,000).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ August 3, 2012 press release:

“…In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.2 million. These individuals accounted for 40.7 percent of the unemployed…The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.2 million in July. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job…

“In July, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force…These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey…Among the marginally attached, there were 852,000 discouraged workers in July…Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them…

“Utilities employment declined in July (-8,000). The decrease reflects 8,500 utility workers who were off payrolls due to a labor-management dispute.

“Employment in…mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government showed little or no change over the month…”