The Young Turks podcast is hosted by former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur and Anna Kasparian. I started listening to Uygur when he did a progressive radio program with TCM host Ben Mankowitz. Uygur later hosted a news program on MSNBC 2010 – 2011.
On the October 27 podcast, Uygur and his panel talk about the awarding of a $300 million contract to Whitefish Energy, a company owned by a buddy of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to do work in Puerto Rico. Only a few months ago, this company had two permanent employees.
There were charges of cronyism when the no-bid contract was awarded and now, as if it couldn’t be worse, details of the contract between the company and FEMA have been leaked. According to an article in the Hill, the deal between the Trump headed government agency and the small Montana company prohibits the “government from reviewing labor costs or profits related to the company’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico.” According to the contract, the government is not allowed to “audit or review the cost and profit elements” of the work.
The contract also prohibits the government from making “any claim against Contractor related to delayed completion of work.”
When San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin called for the deal to be voided, the company threatened in a tweet to stop work.
“They are threatening not to do their job which frankly is quite irregular for a company hired to the work for the public sector,” Yulin tweeted in response.
Two House committees and a federal watchdog have all opened investigations into the deal.
As one of the panelists on The Young Turks asked: “Why bother going into organized crime when you can go into politics?”
See The Hill, “Whitefish Energy contract bars government from auditing deal.” By John Bowden, 10/27/17
The Young Turks Podcast.
Jack Kingston is a former Congressman from Georgia. He gave up his House seat in 2014 to run for the Senate and lost. Not even Georgia would elect him. Now, he has a lift as a CNN commentator. His tweet this morning was about doing away with the Mueller “witch hunt.”
According to reporting by NPR, even before Trump had been inaugurated, Kingston was in Russia briefing American businesspeople about what they might expect from the incoming administration “Trump can look at sanctions.” Kingston told NPR in Moscow. “They’ve been in place long enough.”
Kingston described his role in the Trump campaign as “an active soldier in the foxhole…” Kingston was in Moscow at the same time as another Trump operative, Carter Page. (NPR. Lucian Kim “Trump‘s Men in Moscow” 12/14/16).
After taking a principled stance against Trump, Flake and Corker voted to strip consumers of the right to join in class action suits against exploitative banks and predatory lenders. This is about more than Trump. This is about the Republican Party and Fox News and Sinclair. We have to fight all three of them.
In the vote last night, the Republicans sided with Wall Street bankers, protecting them from lawsuits and forcing customers who have been defrauded to sue individually, which is impossible for most people. Forced arbitration is forced loss. Only about 9% of arbitration cases find for the consumer. As Chuck Schumer said, this is “helping the powerful against the powerless.” As Elizabeth Warren said: This act is to “hand big banks their biggest win” since the financial crisis.
I’m not in love with the Democratic Party myself, but every Democrat voted to preserve the right of consumers to collective lawsuits. Every Republican but two sided with the big banks – their donors. You choose which side you’re on. Veterans groups opposed this move, the AARP opposed it. The fricken American Legion opposed this vote. Shelton Whitehouse called the Republican vote “donor maintenance.”
The Tax bill being written in the House raises the tax rate on those at the bottom of the economic scale. Your Republican Party at work for you.
Fox News is evidently wall-to-wall outrage about the Clinton campaign partially funding opposition research. The Trump campaign at least tried to collude with a foreign government to get hold of opposition research.
If Flake and Corker think Trump is a danger to democracy, they have a moral obligation to support impeachment. If not, their moral outrage means nothing.
Republicans are bowing out of the political system to cash in outside the formal political arena. They’ve never had to run for office before. They are the product of gerrymandering and voter suppression. Just think abut how they reacted when they had to confront some hard questions at town hall meetings. They had never had to do this before and now they’re running for the hills.
Rick Stengel from Time Magazine stopped Nicole Wallace’s show this afternoon on MSNBC to point out the idiocy of broadcasting Sarah Huckleberry Sanders’ press conference. He called it exactly what it is “propaganda” and “disinformation.” The questions are useless, the answers lies. Thanks to Rick Stengel.
John Kelly didn’t just make a mistake. He covered for Donald Trump. He lied about a Congressperson for political purposes. These guys are not the “adults in the room.” They are not the answer. They are not what is going to save us from the destruction of Trump and the Republican Party.