Wednesday, December 02, 2020

The More Things Change...

There are those already lining up to profit from their connections in the upcoming Biden administration.The Daily Poster, a progressive newsletter, writes
Two former government officials who may now run President-elect Joe Biden’s national security team have been partners at a private equity firm now promising investors big profits off government business because of its ties to those officials, according to government documents reviewed by The Daily Poster.

Pine Island Capital Partners lists former Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy and retired General Lloyd Austin as a partner in the firm, and lists former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken as a partner on a leave of absence. Flournoy and Austin are reportedly among the leading candidates being considered for Secretary of Defense, and Blinken is Biden’s designated nominee for Secretary of State. Pine Island’s chairman is John Thain, the former top executive at Merrill Lynch when the company paid out huge executive bonuses as it began to collapse during the financial crisis....

In Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Pine Island describes one of its investment vehicles as “a newly organized blank check company incorporated in Delaware” that will use its connections to top officials to take advantage of rising government expenditures on the national security agencies that Flournoy and Blinken could oversee. Pine Island’s first filings about the investment vehicle were made in September — the same month Biden suggested that he will not push for significant reductions in Pentagon expenditures, which have reached record levels.

“The reputations and networks of Pine Island Capital Partners’ team, both individually and collectively, will ensure exposure to a significant number of proprietary opportunities,” the company said in one SEC document. “We believe there will be increased demand in the U.S. defense market for advanced electronics, communications, sensor and detection processing and other technologies that enhance the modernization efforts of the Department of Defense’s military readiness. We believe this demand represents strong growth that our management team is uniquely positioned to capitalize on given our combined investment experience and deeply connected partner group of former U.S. defense and government officials.”

The company says Thain and CEO Philip Cooper founded the firm “on the idea that a talented group of accomplished, highly respected, commercially-savvy and long-tenured former government and military officials, when fully aligned and engaged, could enable a first class investment team with better access, better information, better expertise and better management skills than those typically found in private equity firms.”

"This is so explicit that it's astonishing Pine Island even put it on paper,” said David Segal of Demand Progress, a grassroots group pressing Biden to reject Cabinet appointments tied to corporations. “This is not an example of people who happen to work at a big company — these are partners at a firm whose stated business model is to profit from the revolving door and connections gained from time in government."
Emphasis mine. John Thain is a greedy bastard who should have gone to prison after the 2008 financial crisis

Biden has been in Washington D.C. for four thousand years. Let's face it, he's not going to be the one who drains the swamp that was already there when Trump arrived. He may well drain the vastly expanded swamp that Trump created (despite his "drain the swamp" slogan -- another tactic characteristic of fascists), but the "normal" and, sadly, accepted DC corruption will clearly and certainly be allowed to continue. That means great power yielded to corporate lobbyists, K Street lobbyists, ex-politicians who've sold out and become lobbyists, and all those of that ilk who see America as a game.

Biden will probably spend his first term (and I assume that's all he'll have) cleaning up the vast destruction done by Trump, and still not completely succeed -- it will take a decade to get rid of that psychopath's projections, if not longer. America made such a huge, huge mistake. Perhaps even fatal.

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