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Fri Dec 27, 2019, 12:39 AM

Moscow Mitch

MITCH MCCONNELL, RUSSIA SANCTIONS, AND RUSAL’S INVESTMENT IN KENTUCKY

The Moscow Project
July 31, 2019

Excerpt...

A bipartisan majority in the Senate tried to block Trump from weakening the sanctions, but McConnell protected Deripaska and Russia and torpedoed the bipartisan effort.

* In a rare bipartisan moment, Democrats were joined by eleven Republicans in an effort to block the deal and to enforce sanctions against Deripaska’s companies.

* However, McConnell came out forcefully for lifting the sanctions, making a floor speech “accusing Democrats of politicizing the sanctions.”

* McConnell and the remaining Senate Republicans prevented the bipartisan group from reaching the 60 vote threshold. The Trump administration officially lifted the sanctions in January 2019.

McConnell soon reaped his reward. Shortly after the sanctions were lifted, Rusal announced a massive investment in Kentucky, giving McConnell a political boost in a re-election year.

* Merely three months after the sanctions were lifted (April 2019), Rusal announced it would be investing $200 million into a Kentucky aluminum mill run by Braidy Industries, becoming a 40% stakeholder in the project.

* According to The Wall Street Journal, this mill would be “the largest new aluminum plant built in the U.S. in nearly four decades.”

* The deal was hardly a coincidence – the investment was made possible because former top McConnell staffers lobbied on behalf of Braidy Industries for the project.

* McConnell, it seems, had his eye on this project for a while. In August 2018, just months after Rusal was first sanctioned, McConnell spoke on the Senate floor about Braidy Industries, highlighting the jobs that the new aluminum mill would be bringing to Kentucky.

* The state of Kentucky invested $15 million in the project, which is expected to bring 550 jobs to the area.

Just last week, Robert Mueller told the American people that Russia is still interfering in the democratic process. In response to recent criticism of his continued efforts to block election security bills, McConnell complained about being “accused of ‘aiding and abetting’ the very man I’ve singled out as our adversary and opposed for nearly 20 years: Vladimir Putin.” But McConnell’s long pattern of protecting Trump and Russia speaks louder than his complaints.

Continues...

https://themoscowproject.org/dispatch/mitch-mcconnell-russia-sanctions-and-rusals-investment-in-kentucky/

And his fiends...


21 replies, 2274 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Moscow Mitch (Original post)
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 OP
dalton99a Dec 2019 #1
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #11
dalton99a Dec 2019 #13
2naSalit Dec 2019 #2
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #12
oasis Dec 2019 #3
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #14
eppur_se_muova Dec 2019 #4
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #16
mountain grammy Dec 2019 #5
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #18
rickyhall Dec 2019 #6
dalton99a Dec 2019 #15
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #19
burrowowl Dec 2019 #7
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #20
dchill Dec 2019 #8
Kid Berwyn Dec 2019 #21
SleeplessinSoCal Dec 2019 #9
brush Dec 2019 #10
Stuart G Dec 2019 #17

Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 12:40 AM

1. Kick

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:33 AM

11. MM: "Election Security Is Socialism"

Mitch McConnell’s Opposition to Federal Election Security Is Hitting Home

Kentucky officials say local voting systems are “one emergency away from disaster.”


AJ Vicens
Mother Jones, Nov. 25, 2019

Excerpt...

Larry Norden, director of the Brennan Center’s election reform program, says McConnell’s position is not only hurting his own state. “His role as to what’s happening in Kentucky is the same as his role in the other 49 states,” he says. “At the end of the day, around the country, election jurisdictions are underfunded, we don’t have national standards or a floor for election security for the most part. And he’s one of the main reasons we don’t.”

Snip...

McConnell has largely stood in the way of increased federal funding. In June, Congressional Democrats passed the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, which would have allocated over $1 billion to states and mandated voting machines be manufactured in the United States, use voter-verified paper ballots, and not be connected to the internet.

In July, Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes wrote to McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) noting that their state was one of just three with elections scheduled for 2019, and urging the senators to support the SAFE Act. “Securing our election systems is a matter of national security,” Grimes wrote. “The Commonwealth and this nation need your leadership.”

Snip...

McConnell has been forced to address his opposition to federal election security legislation several times. In June he told Fox News that such efforts were part of a House Democratic push for “full-bore socialism.” As long he was the majority leader, he pledged, “none of that stuff is going anywhere.” Alongside his stated view that states should keep control of elections, some have speculated that he’s avoided the issue for fear of upsetting President Trump, who links the topic to the Russia investigations that plagued his first two years in office. “[He] knows full well that blocking election security legislation makes it easier for Russia and other foreign powers to attack the next election,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told Politico in early August at a cybersecurity event. “And my sense is this is a price Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are willing to accept.”

Continues...

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/11/mitch-mcconnell-kentucky-election-security/

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:50 AM

13. +1. Election security is socialism?

What a fucking asshole

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 12:45 AM

2. K&R

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:43 AM

12. MM: Big Oil Russian Oligarchs Gift GOP Millions

Mitch McConnell’s Ties to Russian Oil Money

The Democratic Coalition
Jan. 28, 2019

Excerpt...

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by Sen. McConnell’s former Chief of Staff, received a total of $3,500,000 ($2,500,000 in 2016 and $1,000,000 in 2017) via Access Industries and a subsidiary. Len Blavatnik is a Russian oligarch with US and UK citizenship who owns Access Industries and donated to Sen. McConnell’s 2016 Senate campaign vehicles.

Snip...

Blavatnik gave a total of $7.35 million to PACs working for high-ranking Republicans including organizations linked to both the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader during the 2015–16 federal campaign cycle. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing donor Blavatnik for his ties to Donald Trump and specifically a million dollar inaugural donation.

Continues...

https://medium.com/@TheDemCoalition/mitch-mcconnells-ties-to-russian-oil-money-db56f16a4824

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 01:12 AM

3. Ditch Mitch!

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Response to oasis (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:51 AM

14. And His Fiends

GOP Senators Tell Contradictory Stories About Moscow Trip

A key Republican came back from the Kremlin seemingly shrugging off Russian aggression. His colleagues are confused as hell by his talk. Inside a controversial mission to Moscow.


Andrew Desiderio
The Daily Beast, Jul. 10, 2018

A top Republican senator shocked his colleagues when he suggested, after returning from a trip to Moscow with fellow GOP lawmakers, that U.S. sanctions targeting Russia were not working and the Kremlin’s election interference was really no big deal.

Now, the senators who joined him for the series of meetings with senior Russian officials are sharply disputing not only Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) conclusions—but also his account of what went on behind closed doors in Moscow.

Continues...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-senators-tell-contradictory-stories-about-moscow-trip?ref=scroll

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 01:14 AM

4. Time to ditch / Putin's bitch / Moscow Mitch ! nt

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 11:08 AM

16. Arrests and Imprisonments Would He'p.

A Senate trial demands impartial jurors. Unfortunately, many in the GOP are tainted and deserve public scrutiny, investigation and prosecution for their work on behalf of Putin. Problem is, William Barr refuses to prosecute traitors if they support Agent Trump.

What we can do is name the so-and-so’s. One excellent resource:



How Putin's oligarchs funneled millions into GOP campaigns

Campaign finance reports show troubling connections between a group of wealthy donors with ties to Russia and their political contributions to Trump and top Republican leaders.


By Ruth May|Contributor
The Dallas Morning News on May 8, 2018

Excerpt...

In 2015-16, everything changed. Blavatnik's political contributions soared and made a hard right turn as he pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.

Snip...

And consider Steve Mnuchin, Trump's campaign finance chairman. Could he have known that the Trump Victory Fund, jointly managed by the Republican National Committe and Trump's campaign, took contributions from Intrater and Kukes? Mnuchin owned Hollywood financing company RatPac-Dune with Blavatnik until he sold his stake to accept Trump's appointment as the Treasury secretary.

Continues...

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/05/08/how-putin-s-oligarchs-funneled-millions-into-gop-campaigns/



Remove the Senate co-conspirators from the jury, then Trump can have a fair trial.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 01:32 AM

5. He sells out America for 550 fucking jobs.

His payoff must be enormous. What a crook.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 06:43 PM

18. FBI, CIA, etc. investigators are always surprised at how little it takes to betray America.

Here’s a nice summation of their impact upon our, eh, situation.



The 1 percent unleashed Trump: Savage capitalism has brought us to the brink of apocalypse

Wages have flattened, and the wealth gap has become an unbridgeable chasm. America was ripe for a populist uprising


ANTHONY J. GAUGHAN
Salon.com, MAY 4, 2016

Excerpt...

Harvard’s military death toll is particularly staggering when one considers that in the early 20th century, Harvard’s student body was drawn primarily from America’s richest and most well-connected families. Those families could have pulled strings to ensure their sons stayed out of combat. But they did not, as powerfully demonstrated by the list of names at Memorial Church and similar memorials across the Ivy League. During the world wars, the upper classes did their part to defend the nation.

Things could not be more different today. Only a small number of Harvard alumni serve in the military, and until recently, the university barred the military’s officer training programs from campus.

Harvard is not unique. Military experience is rare among America’s political and economic elite. None of the current presidential candidates has served in the military, and only 18 percent of members of Congress are veterans, the lowest percentage in generations.

As the children of elites have opted out of military service, middle-class and working-class families have taken up the slack, providing the vast majority of the nation’s service members.

Mitt Romney, an immensely wealthy Harvard graduate, revealed the cavalier attitude of the rich toward military service during the 2008 presidential campaign. As the Iraq and Afghanistan wars raged, critics pointed out that none of Romney’s five sons had served in the military. In response, Romney defended his sons by declaring that they served their country by “helping me get elected.”

The fact that Romney viewed working on a relative’s political campaign as the patriotic equivalent of battlefield service revealed just how tone-deaf many in America’s upper classes have become.

Continues...

https://www.salon.com/2016/05/04/the_1_percent_unleashed_trump_savage_capitalism_has_brought_us_to_the_brink_of_apocalypse_partner/



No wonder the Russians like Trump. He’s killing us for them.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 01:40 AM

6. He's just another old bastard that needs to go.

Feet first might be the only way that would work for him, too.

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:52 AM

15. After a lengthy and horribly painful natural disease

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 06:54 PM

19. He probably wouldn't even notice a change.

Guy’s wife is loaded and connected.



Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao

What Is Still Happening: Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and who previously served as George W. Bush’s labor secretary, faced back-to-back-to-back-to-back scandals this summer with a series of pieces about her and her husband’s various public grafts.

First, at the end of May, the Wall Street Journal published a report that Chao had failed to divest her shares in a crushed stone, sand, and gravel company, which supplied construction materials to the transportation sector, a year after she had promised to do so. In the meantime, she had netted more than $40,000. (She has reportedly divested since the report came out.)

A few days later, in early June, the New York Times published a 5,500-word feature on her family’s shipping company, its deep ties to the government of China, the money it has provided Chao and her husband and his campaigns, and Chao’s apparent efforts to use her positions to bolster the business. Among the highlights of that piece: Chao repeatedly sought to include family members and relatives affiliated with the company in meetings with top Chinese officials during overseas trips (this was reportedly stymied by State Department officials); in a response to a Senate confirmation questionnaire, Chao failed to list multiple honorary awards, titles, and appointments she had received in China; her agency has proposed U.S. maritime program budget cuts that would hurt competitors of her family’s business; she took at least 21 meetings or interviews with Chinese-language media in her first year in office, including multiple appearances with her father, the company’s former chairman; she attended an event celebrating a company deal that involved transit projects that fell under her oversight; she did not recuse herself from any decisions affecting the shipping industry. The Times also reported that 13 members of Chao’s family had given $1.1 million to McConnell’s campaigns and political action committees tied to him between 1989 and 2018. The paper noted that Chao’s father had given the couple a gift of between $5 million and $25 million in 2008 that catapulted McConnell to become the 10th wealthiest senator.

One week after the Times story, Politico reported on Chao’s apparent efforts to boost her husband’s political career through favorable Department of Transportation treatment for McConnell-friendly Kentucky communities. Among the highlights of that piece: Chao had an aide on her payroll specifically working as an intermediary to McConnell’s office and dedicated to Kentucky transportation projects; Owensboro, the Kentucky community where the special adviser was from, received an $11.5 million federal grant for a highway-widening project after it was rejected by the previous administration; days before launching his 2020 Senate campaign, McConnell held an event in Owensboro touting his work for the community; after Chao met with a top county official, her department approved “a $67 million discretionary grant to upgrade roads in rural Boone County, another McConnell stronghold northeast of Louisville.”

Finally, two weeks after the Politico report, in late June, Yahoo News reported how a separate McConnell stronghold, the town of Paducah, had benefited from Chao’s largesse. Members of the community of 25,000 had donated $331,029.50 to McConnell’s reelection campaign in 2013 and 2014, contributing at three times the rate of Louisville’s residents and eight times the rate of Lexington’s. Meanwhile: A local marine transportation equipment company received $377,000 from Chao’s DOT in 2017 to boost the town’s dry dock capabilities; Chao helped kill an administration proposal that would have ended a subsidy for small rural airports like Paducah’s; last year, Chao opened a Maritime Administration office in Paducah; and Chao’s department offered a $251,927 grant to the town for maritime highway projects.

Continues...

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/09/elaine-chao-trump-corruption-still-happening.html



Cocaine Mitch was an official line of merchandise for nothing.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 01:56 AM

7. KICK!

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Response to burrowowl (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 08:25 PM

20. Moscow Mitch, the Oligarch's Friend

Oleg Deripaska, as seen on LittleSis:

Russian aluminum billionaire; sanctioned by the US Treasury in April 2018

Metals magnate has been battling rival metals billionaire Vladimir Potanin over control of Norilsk Nickel, world's largest nickel producer. Last year his aluminum giant Rusal raised $2.2 billion in a Hong Kong IPO. Now reportedly planning to list the construction and automobile companies under the umbrella of his Basic Element empire. His car maker Gaz is planning a deal with Volkswagen to build VW and Skoda vehicles in the Volga region. His EuroSibEnergo power company formed a joint venture with China's Yangtze Power; the new outfit will supply electricity to parts of Siberia and, later, northern China. Back from brink during financial crisis: facing margin calls and $20 billion in debt, removed the heads of his two largest companies and personally negotiated with the Russian government, banks and other creditors to restructure loan obligations.

Deripaska got his start in the aluminum business, thriving in the Wild West days of 1990s post-Soviet capitalism. Since then, he has expanded his business empire into energy, agriculture and aviation.

He has also been a business associate of Paul Manafort’s, paying the U.S. political operative to serve as an investment consultant after Manafort began work as a consultant in Ukraine in 2005.

In 2014, Deripaska filed suit in the Cayman Islands, alleging that Manafort had disappeared after taking nearly $19 million intended for investments and failing to account for the funds.

It is not clear how that dispute was settled, but last year, while serving as Trump’s campaign chairman, Manafort wrote emails to a Russian former employee indicating he would be willing to conduct “private briefings” about the campaign for Deripaska. Manafort’s spokesman has said the emails were an innocuous effort to collect past debts, and Deripaska’s spokeswoman has said he never got the message and received no briefings. Deripaska has denied any involvement with the U.S. presidential election.

More: https://littlesis.org/maps/2593-untitled-map

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 02:14 AM

8. K&R.

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Response to dchill (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 08:36 PM

21. Leonard Blavatnik is American Oligarch

Russian-American billionaire, knighted by the the Queen of England

Immigrated to U.S. from former Soviet Union 1978 at age 21; arrived penniless. Found way to Harvard Business School and Columbia U. Founded industrial holding company Access Industries 1986. Len partnered with school friend, now billionaire, Viktor Vekselberg, and later Mikhail Fridman. Acquired stakes in newly privatized Russian companies. Trio made first fortune merging Tyumen Oil and British Petroleum; firm became Russia's second-largest oil company. Fridman's right-hand man, German Khan, sued BP for control over lucrative business. Reinvested in chemicals (Basell), metals (Rusal), real estate (New York City). Stepped down from Warner Music board in January. Said to put in a matching $90 million bid for the Israeli daily tabloid Maariv, battling casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Blavatnik was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1957. He moved with his family at a young age to Yarsoslavl, Russia, roughly 3.5 hours north of Moscow by car. After graduating from Moscow State University, Blavatnik immigrated to the U.S. in 1978 when he was 21 years old to study computer science at Columbia University. He became an American citizen in 1984. Two years later, in 1986, he started his investment company, Access Industries, and got an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1989.

Armed with an American passport and Russian connections, Blavatnik was well positioned to invest in state-controlled companies that converted to private ownership in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union was dismantled. He and Viktor Vekselberg, a former classmate, formed Renova, Access’ Russian affiliate, to acquire stakes in aluminum firms and then coal companies.

Through a series of shrewd investments buoyed by partnerships with various Russian oligarchs, including Vekselberg and Mikhail Fridman (net worth: $13.1 billion), Blavatnik made his first millions during the chaotic post-Soviet days. One acquisition was oil company TNK, prior to its merger with British oil and gas conglomerate BP in 2003. At the time, TNK-BP was Russia’s third-largest oil company. A decade later, the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft bought TNK-BP for $55 billion dollars. Forbes estimates that Blavatnik pocketed $7 billion from the sale.

Blavatnik also owns Warner Music Group, an American record label group that he purchased for $3.3 billion in 2011. He’s got another $2 billion in Access Technology Ventures, a fund with a portfolio that includes Alibaba, Facebook, Snapchat, Spotify and Yelp.

He was knighted by the the Queen of England in June 2017 for his philanthropic work in the United Kingdom. And earlier this year, in February, he reportedly purchased New York City’s most expensive townhouse in the Upper East Side for a record $90 million, adjacent to the townhouse he purchased in 2007 for $51 million.

Having built his fortune during the Soviet Union’s economic collapse, he has spent the majority of this millennium getting his assets out of Russia while carving his name on to the biggest and brightest institutions in the Western world.

Source:

https://littlesis.org/person/14962-Leonard_Blavatnik#

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 03:21 AM

9. from July and nobody seems to care how corrupt the GOP has become

Maybe everyone is corrupt. It's truly sad.

America, we hardly knew ye.

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Response to SleeplessinSoCal (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 05:21 AM

10. One big flaw in our system is the Senate majority leader has too much power.

With all bills, moves, federal judge approvals and even impeachments having to go through Moscow Mitch makes him/the Senate a fourth branch of government, just as powerful, or even more powerful than the president as everything goes through him.

Changes need to be made.

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Response to Kid Berwyn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 11:13 AM

17. Kick

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