Planned Parenthood refuses to account for spending

It is a neat trick to disguise your business as a cult.  Generally this is the domain of some dubious religious hucksters of questionable denominations, east and west.  But you got to hand it to Planned Parenthood, Inc.  They have their followers convinced that what they're doing is religion.

Hence, their resistance to open their accounts and explain what they're doing with all the money they get from taxpayers.  During an Assembly Budget hearing earlier this week, Planned Parenthood again refused to answer questions about their finances -- such as its annual budget, annual revenue and executive compensation -- put to them by legislators. 

The kicker here is that these legislators actually support Planned Parenthood in principle -- they just want to make sure that the taxpayer money spent by them isn't wasted.  But just like any corrupt religious scam job, Planned Parenthood holds that you don't ask questions of god... even if it is your job as a legislator to protect taxpayers.

What's at stake is a proposed $7.45 million supplemental contribution to Planned Parenthood from New Jersey's taxpayers.

Two weeks ago, at a different committee hearing, Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi and Nancy Munoz asked the same questions.  They requested a breakdown of how the money would be spent, what the organization’s annual federal and state revenues are, and how much it pays its executives.  Why Planned Parenthood needs $7.45 million in taxpayer dollars, and how those dollars will be spent, still has not been answered.

To answer these questions, Planned Parenthood sent its Political Director.  That's right, they pay someone to be their Political Director.  Why?  Are they in politics or women's health?

When asked to produce a budget, the political director looked for a time as if she was going to find one up her bottom, but it wasn't there.  So she had to reply to the committee that she had no budget to share with them.  No budget?  Who works that way?  She also couldn't produce an answer as to what Planned Parenthood's annual revenues were.  For that answer, she didn't even go through the motions of finding it up her bottom.  When asked about executive compensation (what rich know-nothings like herself pocket) she flatly refused.

Why would working class taxpayers wish to spend their hard-earned money on an organization that pays an arrogant white-collar hack like her?

We understand that for the uneducated few, Planned Parenthood is synonymous with "women's health."  But it's not.  It is only one of many providers all jostling for market share.

No, you say?  It's a non-profit organization?  Sure, and so was the NFL.  And so are a lot of organizations that make billions and pay their executives millions.  Setting up as a "not-for-profit corporation" is simply a business model -- it's not an "I'm not greedy" pass.

And Planned Parenthood is greedy.  It wants total market share.  That's why it organized the way does -- to spend millions on lobbyists and even more on grassroots marketing -- to convince American women that only they provide the services that, in fact, hundreds of other organizations provide.  We're sure Macy's would like to have the same deal.

Planned Parenthood uses well-paid lobbyists and political pressure to secure government money with as little questions asked as possible.  They want to keep all the vittles for themselves and starve their competition.  Planned Parenthood wants to have a monopoly -- and we all know what that does to consumers and taxpayers.  Consumers pay more and have less choice.  Taxpayers get ripped-off.

Planned Parenthood is a classic case of crony capitalism, delivered by that master of Wall Street chicanery himself... Governor Goldman-Sachs 2.0, Phil Murphy.  On Thursday, February 15th, the entire Assembly is set to vote to give that $7.45 million to a business that won't answer basic questions about how they spend it.

And if passed, you know that Governor Goldman-Sachs 2.0, Phil Murphy, will sign it -- no questions asked.  Just like those bailouts they gave to his corrupt friends on Wall Street.  No questions asked...

NJBIA hires Buteas, or why NJ will remain last place in business climate

Year after year after year, New Jersey remains the worst place to start a business in America.  The worst business climate in America, the worst taxes, the worst regulations.

A big part of the reason for this is the lack of a tough, no-nonsense pro-business voice in Trenton.  You can't win if you don't fight your corner.

What was once called the "business-lobby" in Trenton has become so hollowed out and so filled with accommodationists that it recently attacked the Trump/GOP tax cuts just to curry favor with the incoming administration of Democrat Phil Murphy.  What in the hell is going on when business attacks a corporate tax cut on behalf of a governor who has promised to raise taxes on millionaires???

Welcome to the new age of corporate cronyism.  Phil Murphy is a Wall Street capitalist, masquerading as a social justice warrior, who understands very well the uses of government.  There is a corporate model that has adjusted to an era of a declining middle class, permanent foreign sources of near-slave domestic labor, and the taxpayer-supported off-shoring of jobs; when legislation can be bought, winners chosen, regulation used to destroy competition, eminent domain used to clear a corporate path; when the income taxes of working families are used to subsidize the property taxes of rich corporations and their corporate favorites; when bailouts are provided to counter huge corporate screw-ups.

So the corporate community is adjusting too.  Going with the flow and getting in line to suck-up and earn rewards.

Of course, this is only an option for those really big corporations who play it crooked, hire insider lobbyists, make fat political contributions -- and fatter donations to the approved "not-for-profits" -- and who maintain the "right" points of view.  The remainder -- those 99 percent of business enterprises in New Jersey -- they aren't going to get in on any deals.  Not big enough.  What is big enough is the shaft that will be progressively forced up their bottoms.  More regulation (both real and "feel good"), more and higher taxes of every variety, and less freedom -- freedom to think, to speak, to associate, to earn a living, to exist outside of government or corporate favor. 

And so we come to a small concession to Governor Goldman-Sachs 2.0 by the former "business lobby" over at NJBIA.  Who can blame them?  As students of history, they know that even under Stalin a favored few capitalists prospered (even as most starved).  They want to represent "the favored few."

So who can blame them for hiring yet another organization Democrat.  This one as Chief Government Affairs Officer.  Fresh from the Murphy transition team, Democrat Councilwoman Chrissy Buteas is also president of the far-left Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey.  The Women's Political Caucus is an anti-traditional values organization that calls itself "multi-partisan".  Hey, they have a point.  In a world with 57 genders, why have just two parties?

Here's to another decade of being in last place!  And its millions of lost dreams.

Murphy bullshits in announcing appointment of Lehman brother to NJEDA

"Once you get to Wall Street, no matter how you got here, you give up your right to say you are a man of the people." (BBC:  The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers)

Apparently, the above is true for everywhere other than New Jersey, where the last two elected Governors from the "party of the people" have been Wall Street operators of the worst kind.  Yep, investment bankers.

Now that "man of the people" -- Goldman-Sachs' own Phil Murphy -- has brought on an alumnus of another great moral beacon... Lehman Brothers.  Hey, these Wall Street brothers look out for each other.  After all, they do speak the same language.  Greed? Power?  As only one "master of the universe" can to another?

Here is how Governor Murphy put it -- in his announcement of the appointment of Tim Sullivan to be Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority:

"Prior to joining (New York) city government in 2010, Sullivan worked at Barclays Capital in New York as chief of staff to the Head of Global Investment Banking, which is a position he also held at Lehman Brothers prior to its acquisition by Barclays in 2008.  He began his career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers in 2003 as a health care banker, focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as capital markets transactions for leading companies in the managed care, biotechnology, and healthcare services sectors."

What?  Oh, we see.  The global economic meltdown was merely an "acquisition" of one company by another.

Well, there are alternative interpretations:

"On September 15, 2008, the firm (Lehman Brothers) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following the massive exodus of most of its clients, drastic losses in its stock, and devaluation of assets by credit rating agencies, largely sparked by Lehman's involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis, and its exposure to less liquid assets.  Lehman's bankruptcy filing is the largest in U.S. history, and is thought to have played a major role in the unfolding of the late-2000's global financial crisis.  On September 16, 2008, Lehman filed for bankruptcy.  Global markets immediately plummeted, and systemic risk was uncorked.  This market collapse also gave support to the 'Too Big To Fail' doctrine.  The following day, Barclays announced its agreement to purchase, subject to regulatory approval, Lehman's North American investment-banking and trading divisions along with its New York headquarters building.  On September 20, 2008, a revised version of that agreement was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James M. Peck.  The next week, Nomura Holdings announced that it would acquire Lehman Brothers' franchise in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia, as well as Lehman Brothers' investment banking and equities businesses in Europe and the Middle East.  The deal became effective on October 13, 2008." (Wikipedia)

Here is something to remember.  When Lehman was looking to put all its poisoned assets into an off-shoot company -- in order for Lehman itself to evade responsibility for them -- guess what name they came up with for this proposed company?  It was SpinCo. 

Maybe that's what we should call this administration... SpinCo.  Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey and CEO of SpinCo.  First in bullshit!

Like all those financial instruments that Wall Street assured us and continue to assure us are A-okay...

Like Gordon Gecko said:  "Moral Hazard is when somebody takes your money and is not responsible for it."  Like big-spending liberals in government?

Maybe George Carlin was right when he mused about why "good, honest hard-working people... people of modest means..." continued to elect economic elites who had no connection to them.  Of course, Mr. Carlin had his own, very special, way of putting it...

Democrat Operative calls out nominee Phil Murphy

New Jersey Democrat operative and trusted party hand-job Devine James posted a nasty tweet about his own party's gubernatorial nominee, Phil Murphy.  Devine posted:  "We are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people."

Murphy, who was a Democrat Party fundraiser and finance chair before President Obama rewarded him with a grace and favor position as an Ambassador, has bragged that he raised more than $300 million for Democrat Party candidates and himself spent at least $2 million greasing the palms of office holders and candidates for public office.

Phil Murphy is a Wall Streeter who made his money at the notoriously anti-worker firm of Goldman Sucks.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Mr. Murphy's career there:

From 1997 to 1999, Murphy served as the President of Goldman Sachs (Asia).[9] In that capacity, he was officed in Hong Kong.[19] During this time Goldman Sachs profited from its investment in Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, a shoe manufacturer which became notorious for its harsh labor practices.[20]

... Then in 1999 Murphy secured a spot on the firm's Management Committee.[7] There his colleagues included Hank Paulson and Gary Cohn, both of whom later served at highest levels of the federal government.[17] This coincided with the Glass–Steagall: aftermath of repeal and made a profound change in how Murphy and his colleagues made their profits, with much greater use of leverage than before.[17]

In 2001 Murphy became global co-head of the Investment Management Division of the firm.[7][21][17] This unit oversaw the investments of foundations, pensions, hedge funds, and wealthy personages, and by 2003 it had amassed some $373 billion in holdings.[17] Hedge funds in particular received large lines of credit from Murphy's unit.[17] Another company initiative that Murphy helped to undertake was the unit that did major business in the emerging markets within the EMEA region.[19]

Murphy thinks of himself as a member of the "elite" and actually bragged about this to the Wall Street Journal in 1998, comparing Goldman Sucks to the United States Marine Corps... but with a different pay scale... and you don't get shot at... and you get to rip-off child workers... and finance regimes that uphold the best traditions of slave labor and human trafficking.

We think Devine James might be on to something. 

Trump/Sanders and the two Americas

Look at these two graphs.  They illustrate the two Americas.

The first shows the ratio between employee compensation to gross domestic product in the United States.  It is at its lowest point in history.

The second shows corporate profits.  They are at an all time high.

These graphs mark the end of America's social contract, according to economist Steen Jakobsen.  The agreement between the ruled and the rulers is broken and marks the rise of heretofore "fringe" candidates like populist Donald Trump and socialist Bernie Sanders.

This may be why new polling shows little taste for such measures as increasing the charitable deduction on taxes paid by wealthy individuals and corporations.  In a time when clearly the rich keep getting richer, voters have become skeptical of letting those rich direct how their potential tax dollars are spent instead of leaving it up to "democratically" elected legislative bodies.  New research by writers such as Jeremy Beer and others suggests why this is so -- and we will be examining Beer's findings in depth next week -- but for now, just consider this passage:

"Even though it sits on $42 billion in resources, and despite the fact that homelessness is one of its strategic areas of concern, the Gates Foundation will not provide direct assistance to any of the displaced people sleeping outside its $500 million Seattle headquarters... modern philanthropy is more concerned with problem solving than with people, more invested in 'high modernist ideology' than in particular human beings... contemporary philanthropy seems more enamored of generic anthropos than of the flesh-and-blood poor we encounter face-to-face. Indeed, twenty-first century philanthropy seems allergic to charity."

Many have noticed the deeply undemocratic, narcissistic nature of the twenty-first century rich.  They worship at the altar of a high church peculiar to themselves.  Charity becomes a form of self-worship. 

The celebrity Bono, reportedly worth $600 million, is a world-class tax avoidance artist who off-shores his business enterprises to avoid paying taxes while he operates a charity, called the One Campaign, that lobbies governments to use the tax money of working people to do what Bono wants done.  Meanwhile Bono links his for-profit musical tours with One Campaign initiatives and derives free positive publicity that translates into increased sales.  The One Campaign has been criticized for "using only 1.2% of their funds for charitable causes."  in response, the One Campaign admitted that it "does not provide programs on the ground but instead is an advocacy campaign for their funding."

They left out that they also make Washington, DC insiders rich with consulting fees.  One such insider is Sue McCue, the Rutgers University Governor who runs the Democrat Party SuperPAC that is responsible for collecting the heads of GOP Assemblywomen Donna Simons, Caroline Casagrande, and Mary Pat Angelini; and Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi. 

The One Campaign's latest initiative was the Electrify Africa Act, signed into law by President Obama on February 8, 2016.  Money from the One Campaign created an Astroturf  campaign that collected 360,000 names in support of the Act and a twitter-based lobbying effort aimed at Congress.  One Republican opponent of the legislation noted:  "American taxpayers spend more than $40 billion per year on foreign aid... Given America's out-of-control deficits and accumulated debt that threatened our economic future, I cannot justify American taxpayers building power plants and transmission lines in Africa with money we do not have, will have to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back."

It was also attacked from the Left, with one prominent critic writing in the Huffington Post that "the Electrify Africa Act has merely demonstrated that Congressmen neither know much about nor have a plan for Africa's energy industries."

Increasingly, average Americans are noticing how rich corporations devalue the democratic process and how their corporate charitable arms are just an extension of their public relations lobbying.  For example, the elected Legislature of the State of Georgia recently passed legislation designed to protect "religious freedom."  In response, some unelected but very rich Hollywood types protested what the elected Legislature had done.  Hollywood was joined by Big Business, in what has become an almost annual ritual (Arizona, Indiana...) to threaten and bully a Governor and convince average Americans that corporate money is more powerful than citizens' votes.  Reporting on the Georgia Governor's veto of a bill he had formerly supported, the Associated Press wrote: 

"Within days of its passage, Coca-Cola and other big-name Georgia companies joined prominent Hollywood figures urging Deal to reject the proposal. The Walt Disney Co., Marvel Studios and threatened to take their business elsewhere. The NFL said it would be a factor in choosing whether Atlanta hosts the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowl."

Until last year, this same NFL called itself a tax-exempt non-profit organization and used its charity status as an excuse to get taxpayers to build its stadiums.  If anyone wants to know why people give up and quit voting, this sorry episode is it.

But something has happened and it shows itself in more ways than just Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  People are done putting up with it.  As Mike Griffin of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board said, "We're not going to quit.  We definitely don't want to have Gov. Deal listening to Wall Street and Hollywood over the citizens of the state of Georgia who expect him to support religious liberty."

A conservative Baptist attacking Wall Street?  Looks like the old Republican coalition is starting to break up.  When it does, we can't imagine who is going to support all those business tax breaks.