Washington Post: “The eight generals who commanded American forces in Afghanistan between 2008 and 2018 have gone on to serve on more than 20 corporate boards… Stanley McChrystal is the runaway corporate leader.”
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Paul Krugman: “You don’t hear much these days about ‘economic anxiety.’ Most observers acknowledge that the rise of the Trumpist right was driven by racial and social antagonism, not economic populism.”
“Yet there is an economic element to political extremism, just not what you’d think. Right-wing extremists, and to some extent even more mainstream conservative media, rely on financial support from companies selling nutritional supplements and miracle cures — and that financial support is arguably a significant factor pushing the right to become more extreme. Indeed, right-wing extremism isn’t just an ideological movement that happens to get a lot of money from sellers of snake oil; some of its extremism can probably be seen not as a reflection of deep conviction, but as a way of promoting snake oil.”
Stacey Abrams announced she’s going on a paid speaking tour around the country this fall.
Former Senator Al Franken (D-MN) announced on Twitter his “The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour Tour” with 15 events scheduled for later this year.
Said Franken: “My promise is that you’ll laugh, you’ll think, and you’ll leave hopeful about our future. Unless I’m in a bad mood that night.”
The 2020 Trump campaign accounted for up to 3% of all credit card fraud claims in the entire country, the New York Times reports.
Wall Street Journal: “Values-based investing options for conservatives have lagged behind those available to investors concerned about climate change, diversity and animal rights. Now conservatives are taking a page from liberal investors when it comes to their escalating criticism of technology companies that have banned former President Donald Trump and others from their platforms.”
“The fund boycotts Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and roughly 20 other companies that it views as overly progressive in their corporate politics.”
The Daily Beast identified five companies that appear to have gone back on their suspension of donations to Republican lawmakers who objected to the 2020 election results: AT&T, Cigna Health, Ford Motors, Pfizer, and Wells Fargo.
HuffPost: “Amazon announced plans to stop selling all books that frame transgender and other sexual identities as mental illness, a decision it reached after four Republican senators complained to CEO Jeff Bezos last month when the company pulled a single book on the subject from its virtual shelves.”
The Washington Post has an eye-opening look at the big cuts fundraising firms take to help new candidates running for office go viral — many of who are running in deep-blue districts with little chance of winning.
An example: “By the end of Kim Klacik’s campaign, she would raise a staggering $8.3 million and pay nearly $3.7 million of it to Olympic Media… Klacik, now a frequent Fox News and Newsmax commentator, lost to Mfume in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District by more than 40 percentage points.”
Associated Press: “Since its creation, the Lincoln Project has raised $90 million. But only about a third of the money, roughly $27 million, directly paid for advertisements that aired on broadcast and cable, or appeared online, during the 2020 campaign.”
“That leaves tens of millions of dollars that went toward expenses like production costs, overhead — and exorbitant consulting fees collected by members of the group.”
Also interesting: “Of the $90 million Lincoln Project has raised, more than $50 million has gone to firms controlled by the group’s leaders.”
Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg tweeted that he was launching a pillow company to compete against MyPillow, which is led by Trump supporter CEO Mike Lindell.
Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Treasury secretary, collected more than $7 million in speaking fees during more than 50 in-person and virtual engagements over the past two years, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“President Trump’s private company filed a trademark application last week that suggested that it is starting a new line of business: organizing ‘telerallies’ for political campaigns,” the Washington Post reports.
“That could mark a shift in the company’s business model. Since Trump took office, his business has been paid millions by political campaigns, including Trump’s reelection effort. But it always remained one step away from politics: The company rented out ballrooms and office space to campaigns but did not market itself as a political company or offer services related to rallies or reaching voters.”
“The trademark application suggests that has changed. By filing it, trademark experts said, the company is saying it intends to enter this business soon.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s education company is giving away its educational booklets — such as “The Kids Guide to President Trump” — for free, or just $1 per item, in a “patriotic bundle” special, the HuffPost reports.
“But the offer is far from free. Parents across the country described a bait-and-switch scheme that they said duped them into signing up for $20-per-month subscriptions without their knowledge. Many said that Learn Our History ignored their repeated requests to cancel the subscriptions, leaving them locked into payments for products that they never wanted in the first place — all so their children can learn Huckabee’s version of history, which critics described as ‘pretend,’ ‘kiddie propaganda’ and ‘full of Christian nationalist revisionism and right-wing political propaganda.'”
The Lincoln Project has a new video suggesting Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is getting rich off of the president’s campaign.
Their message: “Don, you got conned… by your IT guy.”
“West Virginia appears poised to become the first state in the U.S. to allow gambling on politics, a move that would let people turn their Trump-versus-Biden predictions into cash,” Bloomberg reports.
“The West Virginia Lottery, which oversees betting in the state, said Tuesday that officials initially approved a plan to let FanDuel Inc. and other sportsbooks offer political wagers, but needed time ‘to fully work through the implications and research it further.'”
“Subpoenas issued to people with ties to President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his associates indicate a broad federal investigation into possible money laundering, obstruction of justice and campaign-finance violations, and suggest that prosecutors are looking closely at the work of Mr. Giuliani himself,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports the federal investigation into two associates of Giuliani “is exploring a wide range of potential crimes — including wire fraud and failure to register as a foreign agent — as prosecutors dig into the pair’s interactions with the president’s personal lawyer and the main pro-Trump super PAC.”
Politico: “What these grassroots supporters may not realize is that, in making small, repeated contributions, they have, in aggregate, delivered a huge payday for the middlemen, often large banks and financial institutions that process those payments.”