User Picture

Nick Turse: An East-West Showdown in the Heart of Africa?

By: Tom Engelhardt Monday July 18, 2011 6:08 pm

This article originally appeared at To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

A soldier directs a jeep across a dirt road in Africa.

AFRICOM may be part of a massive proxy war between East & West.

For the last two years, TomDispatch Managing Editor Nick Turse has been following the Pentagon and the latest U.S. global command, AFRICOM, as they oversaw the expanding operations of the American military across that continent: drones, a special ops surge, interventions, training missions, bases (even if not called bases), proxy wars.  Short of a major conflict, you name it and it’s probably happening.  Washington’s move into Africa seems connected as well to the destabilization of parts of that continent and the rise of various terror groups across it, another subject Nick has been following.  With rare exceptions, only recently have aspects of the Obama administration’s largely below-the-radar-screen “pivot” to Africa made it into the mainstream media.  Even more recently, global chaos from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria to Ukraine has driven it out again.  As a result, most Americans have no sense of how their future and Africa’s are being entwined in possibly explosive ways.

With this in mind, and with the support of the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund (as well as the generosity of Adelaide Gomer), Nick has gone to Tanzania and South Sudan to explore the situation further himself.  Today, as the first fruits of that trip, TomDispatch has a major story on a development that has, until now, remained distinctly below the radar screen: the Africa-wide contest between the globe’s “sole superpower,” the U.S., and its preeminent rising economic power, China, over which will benefit most from the exploitation of that continent.

Over the next several months, there will be more pieces from Nick on America’s growing stake in and effect on Africa.  The next will address a looming crisis in the world’s youngest nation.  He offers a preview: “My aid agency contacts say that, in September, the United Nations will officially declare a famine in large swaths of South Sudan.  As one humanitarian worker here put it to me, add famine to war and you have a powder keg.  ‘It’s going to get worse,’ says another, ‘before it gets better.’”  Tom

China, America, and a New Cold War in Africa?
Is the Conflict in South Sudan the Opening Salvo in the Battle for a Continent?
By Nick Turse

[This story was reported in partnership with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Additional funding was provided through the generosity of Adelaide Gomer.]

Juba, South Sudan — Is this country the first hot battlefield in a new cold war?  Is the conflict tearing this new nation apart actually a proxy fight between the world’s two top economic and military powers?  That’s the way South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth tells it.  After “midwifing” South Sudan into existence with billions of dollars in assistance, aid, infrastructure projects, and military support, the U.S. has watched China emerge as the major beneficiary of South Sudan’s oil reserves.  As a result, Makuei claims, the U.S. and other Western powers have backed former vice president Riek Machar and his rebel forces in an effort to overthrow the country’s president, Salva Kiir.  China, for its part, has played a conspicuous double game.  Beijing has lined up behind Kiir, even as it publicly pushes both sides to find a diplomatic solution to a simmering civil war.  It is sending peacekeepers as part of the U.N. mission even as it also arms Kiir’s forces with tens of millions of dollars worth of new weapons.

While experts dismiss Makuei’s scenario — “farfetched” is how one analyst puts it — there are average South Sudanese who also believe that Washington supports the rebels.  The U.S. certainly did press Kiir’s government to make concessions, as his supporters are quick to remind anyone willing to listen, pushing it to release senior political figures detained as coup plotters shortly after fighting broke out in late 2013.  America, they say, cared more about a handful of elites sitting in jail than all the South Sudanese suffering in a civil war that has now claimed more than 10,000 lives, resulted in mass rapes, displaced more than 1.5 million people (around half of them children), and pushed the country to the very brink of famine. Opponents of Kiir are, however, quick to mention the significant quantities of Chinese weaponry flooding into the country. They ask why the United States hasn’t put pressure on a president they no longer see as legitimate.


How Worshiping The Market Can Bring Ebola to the US

By: spocko Tuesday December 14, 2010 2:11 pm

Anyone watching The Strain? It combines some real science with zombie/vampire stuff mixed in. What stuck me about the show was how realistic some parts were (like the first CDC team sweep of the plane) combined with a ridiculous number of people carrying the idiot ball. But the part that seems craziest is actually more realistic than people realize.

In this clip the CDC is overruled in a medical quarantine situation by the Director of Health and Human Services.

There is no way this would happen in real life in the US. I just can’t suspend my disbelief when they get stuff like this wrong. When it comes to people’s health the medical community always has the final say, like Bones had over Captain Kirk on the Enterprise.

But then I remembered when Christine Todd Whitman overruled the EPA and ignored the medical community and doctors’ advice regarding people working at ground zero after 9/11.

The EPA was not given full control over its press releases in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Administrator Whitman issued a memo on September 12 announcing that ‘all statements to the media should be cleared through the NSC [National Security Council] before they are released,’ and the New York Post reported that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was ‘the final decision maker’ regarding the release of information by the EPA.6 In addition the OIG report details how the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) pressed the EPA to ‘add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones’ from agency press releases. For example, information discussing the potential health risk for ‘sensitive populations’ from exposure to particulate matter was discouraged from inclusion in a press release by a CEQ official, and language discussing detected levels of asbestos was softened. The involvement of NSC and CEQ officials raises questions as to whether public health concerns were trumped by political and security priorities.

–World Trade Center Rescue Workers Believed EPA, Ended Up Sick
Union of Concerned Scientists.

What were Whitman’s motives for downplaying the risk? “Political and security priorities.” Now of course the circumstances in that case were extraordinary. But decisions like this are made all the time under less extraordinary circumstances.

Ebola outbreak: Liberia shuts most border points

We are focusing on Ebola because it is news. We won’t get Ebola here in the US for a number of reasons. One reason is Ebola doesn’t have a good lobbying and PR firm. When it comes to infectious diseases, it helps to have people in high places. People who want to describe their pathogen as “naturally occurring,” who delay life saving performance standards, dictate which words doctors can use to describe a condition and most astonishingly, convince everyone the burden of protection is on the victims in order to avoid responsibility for their problems.

People in the US are not dying from Ebola, however they are dying from Salmonella, Listeria, Norovirus, Campylobacter spp, E.Coli O157:H7, and host of other food-borne pathogens.

Our doctors know that protecting the lives of the people is more important than the parts of economy that might be negatively affected in the short term. But as we see in this fictional show and in real life, sometimes the doctors aren’t in charge when it comes to prevention and spread of disease. What would seem outrageous behavior if it happened with one infectious disease is considered the “industry standard” when it comes to another.

Paul Ryan’s New Poverty Plan Focuses on Opportunity, but Comes up Short

By: WI Budget Project Wednesday July 30, 2014 8:11 am

The changes recommended by Ryan would make it harder to respond to rising needs and would do little to expand opportunity.

Paul Ryan has a released a new poverty plan that advocates consolidating federal safety net programs and turning the money over to the states. It’s always worth taking a look at changes that could make anti-poverty program more effective, but Ryan’s approach would decrease opportunity for individuals living in poverty, not increase it.

Ryan frames his new proposal as aimed at giving low-income people the tools they need to make ends meet and lift themselves out of poverty. According to his proposal, Expanding Opportunity in America:

A key tenet of the American Dream is that where you start off shouldn’t determine where you end up. If you work hard and play by the rules, you should get ahead. But the fact is, far too many people are stuck on the lower rungs…There are many factors beyond public policy that affect upward mobility. But public policy is still a factor, and government has a role to play in providing a safety net and expanding opportunity for all.

Ryan believes that a fundamental redesign of how federal anti-poverty programs deliver services can help expand opportunity across the board. He calls for combining the resources for 11 different federal low-income programs into a single block grant, called the “Opportunity Grant,” which would be given to states to use in anti-poverty efforts.

Ryan’s plan also calls for:

  • Requiring states to implement work requirements and limits on the duration that individuals could receive assistance;
  • Revising federal mandatory sentencing guidelines so as to reduce prison time for non-violent low-level offenders and make it easier for them to re-integrate into their communities; and
  •  Improving the federal Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers by expanding eligibility and increasing credit amounts.

It may be faint praise, but at least Ryan’s new proposal isn’t as extreme as his budget proposals in 2012 and 2013, which called for big tax cuts for the wealthy and changes that would result in deep cuts for assistance for the most vulnerable (“Paul Ryan Dusts off and Re-Introduces the Budget He Campaigned on,” March 12, 2013). Ryan’s new anti-poverty proposal would maintain the same level of overall anti-poverty funding for each state (in theory anyway – see more on that below), which represents a divergence from his previous approach. And some of Ryan’s proposals deserve a second look, especially his ideas about reforming sentencing and beefing up the EITC.

But despite a few bright spots, Ryan’s approach to anti-poverty programs would likely increase hardship, not decrease it. That’s because block grants, by design, are a poor choice to deliver anti-poverty funding. Reasons why include:

  • Policymakers can’t quickly adjust block grant amounts to respond to changing economic circumstances. Under Ryan’s proposal, the SNAP program, also known as food stamps, would change from “from an entitlement that responds automatically to increased need into part of a sweeping block grant that gives each state fixed funding for the year and, thus, cannot respond in the same way,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
  • Block grants are susceptible to cuts. “History shows that block grants that consolidate a number of programs or may be used for a wide array of purposes typically shrink — often very substantially — over time,” according to CBPP.
  • New work requirements would add administrative costs. And since SNAP makes up the biggest share of federal anti-poverty funding, combining programs into a single block grant would mean that states might have to reduce SNAP benefits to cover those additional administrative costs.

Ryan’s proposal to expand the EITC is praiseworthy, but the expansion depends on cuts to other low-income programs to offset the costs. Ryan’s plan would pay for the EITC increase by cutting the Child Tax Credit, eliminating “a flexible funding source that helps states meet the specialized needs of their most vulnerable populations,” and ending a program that provides fresh fruits and vegetables primarily to children in schools in low-income areas, among other cuts. That’s not a successful pathway to reducing poverty.

We need to continue to talk about how to improve anti-poverty efforts. But the changes recommended by Ryan would make it harder to respond to rising needs and would do little to expand opportunity.

by Tamarine Cornelius

Over Easy

By: Ruth Calvo

Over Easy

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

Two Palestinian journalists were killed in attacks on Gaza during the recent bombardment, bringing to eight the number of journalists who have lost their lives in these events.

According to an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), the two journalists were killed in the artillery shelling of Shojayah market. A third journalist was seriously injured.

The two who died were Sameh Al-Aryan, 26, of Al-Aqsa TV, and photojournalist Rami Rayan, 25, who worked for the Palestinian Media Network. Photojournalist Hamed Shobaky, of Manara Media, was severely wounded in the same incident.

Ahed Zaqout, 49, a presenter on Palestine TV sport programmes, was killed in his apartment during an attack on the Italian tower in Gaza City.

Jim Boumelha, the IFJ president, said: ‘We express our anger and condemnation at the killing of these journalists, the latest victims in this ongoing cycle of intimidation, violence and murder against media workers in Palestine.’

Dire results are predicted from Argentina’s debt default brought on by vulture creditors’ victories in court over their purchase of debt from that beleaguered country.

Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after hopes for a midnight deal with holdout creditors were dashed, setting up stock and bond prices for declines on Thursday and raising chances a recession could worsen this year.

After a long legal battle with hedge funds that rejected Argentina’s debt restructuring following its 2002 default, Latin America’s third-biggest economy failed to strike a deal in time to meet a midnight deadline for a coupon payment on exchange bonds.

Even a short default will raise companies’ borrowing costs, pile more pressure on the peso, drain dwindling foreign reserves and fuel one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

Health emergency measures including quarantine are being put into effect in Sierra Leone as a result of the outbreak of the ebola virus there.

Ernest Bai Koroma said the epicentres of the outbreak in the east would be quarantined and asked the security forces to enforce the measures.

The UN says more than 670 people in West Africa have died of Ebola since February – 224 of them in Sierra Leone.

This includes Dr Sheik Umar Khan who led Sierra Leone’s fight against the virus. His funeral is on Thursday.


Wednesday Watercooler

By: Kit OConnell Wednesday July 30, 2014 8:32 pm


A bottle of Bulleit Bourbon with a glass.

Many “craft” whiskeys actually come from a factory in Indiana.

Tonight the Watercooler is in solidarity with the Unist’ot’en Camp, for their actions to evict Transcanada helicopters and workers from their land.

On July 22, 2014, the Unist’ot’en camp evicted a TransCanada crew working on the Coastal Gaslink pipeline within their territories in northern BC. If caught tresspassing again, TransCanada’s equipment will be confiscated.

Are you a fan of whiskey? If you’re drinking what you think is a small distillery’s “craft” whiskey, you may be in for a shock: many so-called craft whiskeys come from a single, large-scale factory. From the Daily Beast: 

These are the standard selling points of the craft-distilling movement, with its locavore lingo, terroir talk, and handmade hype. But, in the new crowd of micro-distillers, it is now standard for the alcohol being sold to come not from their own distinctive stills, but from a hulking factory in Indiana.

Lawrenceburg, Indiana (not to be confused with bourbon-locale Lawrenceburg, Kentucky) is home to a massive brick complex that cranks out mega-industrial quantities of beverage-grade alcohol. The factory, once a Seagram distillery, has changed hands over the decades and was most recently acquired by food-ingredient corporation MGP. It is now a one-stop shop for marketers who want to bottle their own brands of spirits without having to distill the product themselves. MGP sells them bulk vodka and gin, as well as a large selection of whiskies, including bourbons of varying recipes, wheat whiskey, corn whiskey, and rye.

[...] Upstart spirits companies selling juice they didn’t distill rarely advertise the fact. But there are ways to tell: whiskey aged longer than a distillery has been in business is one of the telltale signs that the ‘distiller’ is actually just bottling someone else’s product. [...] Part of the problem is the competition. MGP has plenty of aged whiskey ready to go in the bottle right now. An upstart distiller has to buy a still and learn how to use it; then buy all the ingredients and actually ferment and distill them; buy barrels and build or lease warehouses in which to put them; and then sit on the investment for years. Todd Leopold, master distiller at Denver’s Leopold Bros., has managed to do it. But how much easier, he says with disdain, for those who just buy whiskey off the shelf and market it. ‘All that they do is hire salespeople, make up a BS story, and boom, they look like a distillery,’ Leopold says.

Housekeeping notes:

  • Please review our About Us page if you need a refresher on site rules, and
  • We encourage you to use our flag system — if you see an abusive comment, user or post, please flag it rather than replying. We review every flag and take the best action available to us.
  • If you have questions or concerns about Firedoglake-specific issues, please limit their discussion to Watercooler posts rather than starting new posts or making off-topic comments in others. But remember,
  • Firedoglake editors and staff are not allowed to comment on any moderation decisions.

The Watercooler is an open conversation. Ask questions, share links and your thoughts.

The Emperor’s Rage: Let Chaos Envelop the World!


By James Petras99GetSmart


Obama speaks emphatically while holding a microphone

Obama: The Chaos President.

Chaos reigns and spreads as enraged leaders in the US, Europe and their clients and allies pursue genocidal wars.

Mercenary wars in Syria; Israel’s terror bombing on Gaza; proxy wars in the Ukraine, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia.

Tens of millions of refugees flee scenes of total destruction.  Nothing is sacred.  There are no sanctuaries.  Homes, schools, hospitals and entire families are targeted for destruction.

Chaos by Design

At the center of chaos, the wild-eyed President Obama strikes blindly, oblivious of the consequences, willing to risk a financial debacle or a nuclear war.  He enforces sanctions against Iran; imposes sanctions on Russia; sets up missile bases five launch minutes from Moscow; sends killer drones against Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan; arms mercenaries in Syria; trains and equips Kurds in Iraq and pays for Israel’s savagery against Gaza.

Nothing works.

The Chaos President is blind to the fact that starving one’s adversaries does not secure submission:  it unites them to resist.  Regime change, imposing proxies by force and subterfuge, can destroy the social fabric of complex societies:  Million of peasants and workers become uprooted refugees. Popular social movements are replaced by organized criminal gangs and bandit armies.

Central America, the product of decades of US direct and proxy military interventions, which prevented the most basic structural changes, has become a chaotic, unlivable inferno for millions.  Tens of thousands of children flee from their ‘free market’- induced mass poverty and militarized state and gangster violence.  Children refugees at the US border are arrested in mass, and imprisoned in makeshift detention camps, subject to psychological, physical and sexual abuse by officials and guards on the inside.  On the outside, these pitiful children are exposed to the racist hatred of a frightened US public unaware of the dangers these children are escaping and the US government’s role in creating these hells.

The US-backed Kiev aviation authorities re-directed international passenger airlines to fly over war zones bristling with anti-aircraft missiles while Kiev’s jets bombed the rebellious cities and towns.  One flight was shot down and nearly 300 civilians perished.  Immediately an explosion of accusations from Kiev blaming Russian President Putin flooded Western media with no real facts to explain the tragedy/crime.  War-crazy President Obama and the slavering prime ministers of the EU ejaculated ultimatums, threatening to convert Russia into a pariah state.  ‘Sanctions, sanctions, everywhere . . .  but first… France must complete its $1.5 billion sale to the Russian navy.’  And the City of London exempts the Russian oligarchs from the ‘sanctions’, embedded as they are in London’s money-laundering, parasitical FIRE (Fire, Insurance and Real Estate) economy. The Cold War has returned and has taken an ugly turn… with exceptions…for business.

Confrontation among nuclear powers is imminent:  And the maniacal Baltic States and Poland bray the loudest for war with Russia, oblivious to their positions on the front lines of incineration…

Each day Israel’s war machine chews up more bodies of Gaza’s children while spitting out more lies.  Cheering Israeli Jews perch on their fortified hills to celebrate each missile strike on the apartments and schools in the densely populated Shejaiya neighborhood of besieged Gaza. A group of orthodox and secular entrepreneurs in Brooklyn have organized group tours to visit the Holy Sites by day and enjoy the Gaza pyrotechnics by night . . . night goggles to view the fleeing mothers and burning children are available at a small extra charge…

Again the US Senate votes unanimously in support of Israel’s latest campaign of mass murder – no crime is depraved enough to ruffle the scruples of America’s leaders.  They hew close to a script from the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations.  Together they embrace a Beast from the Apocalypse gnawing on the flesh and bones of Palestine.

But, Sacre Bleu!  France’s Zionists have prevailed on the ‘President-Socialiste’ Hollande.  Paris bans all anti-Israel demonstrations despite the clear reports of genocide.  Demonstrators supporting the Gazan resistance are gassed and assaulted by special riot police – ‘Socialist’ Hollande serves the demands of powerful Zionist organizations while trashing his country’s republican traditions and its sacred ‘Rights of Man’.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off To War MEE Go!

By: Synoia Friday March 18, 2011 3:19 pm

Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.

Money blows toward the camera

“It’s about MEE: Money, Energy and, Empire.”

(Palmerston, who was no slouch when it came to Imperialism).

Let’s examine the evidence:

  1. Middle East in Chaos
  2. US Pushing NATO to Russian Borders
  3. US Oil & Gas Production rising sharply
  4. Russia major energy supplier to Europe & China
  5. Middle East Oil Production at or past peak

This is a theory, constructed to fit the set of facts listed, and to try to provide an Hypothesis which meets the facts, explains the US’ behavior, lists the possible outcomes and discusses the probabilities of those outcomes.

It’s about “MEE:” Money, Energy and, Empire.

Following Syria’s agreement to dismantle its poison gas arsenal (a wise decision given the potential blowback from the use of Poison Gas), and Russia’s help in removing that excuse for arming the “opposition” in Syria – who are also the “Opposition” to the Iraq Government, one of the US’ “interests,” countering the US’ Money and Empire – which the US likes to think is an irresistible force – is The Russian immovable object.¸

The US then appeared to pivot to expedite the overthrow of the elected, Russian-leaning Ukrainian Government, in February this year. One factor in the overthrow was after the Ukrainian Government considered financial rescue packages from the West and Russia, and rejected the West’s offer. A second factor would include removing Ukraine from Russia’s sphere of influence .

The Ukrainian Government at that time was considered a Russia-leaning Government, which was obviously not the US’ interests, and when in trouble, the US’ had no compunction in putting the boots to a democratically-elected Government which failed to agree with them, even though the Government, had less that 9 months left in its mandate. Despite its protestations to the contrary, democratically-elected governments make the US nervous. What would have happened, if the Russian-leaning Government had pulled off the financial rescue based on Russia’s aid package? Why, it may have been reelected. Can’t have that, can we? Better to remove such an uncertain ally, whose support came from an obviously-fickle electorate not beholden to the Neo-Liberal West, at the earliest opportune time.

A re-elected Ukrainian Russian-leaning government might not force Ukrainian Serfs into the arms of the Neo-Liberal Fascists of the West.

A consequence of the NATO invasion of Ukraine was Russia’s move to secure their only warm water port, a move which was inevitable, both from a study of Russian history, and the current investment in port expansion in the Crimea by Russia and China. Protestations of dismay from the US and other allied countries is deceit at its best. One has no doubt these actions were a part of their analysis of Russia’s response, and Russia’s action came as no surprise, especially after the provocation by the US in Ukraine (The government overthrow). If Ukraine came firmly into the US camp, Russia would be encircled by US allies, except on her Chinese border. Clearly, the goal was to be able to put irresistible pressure on Russia to follow the American Way.

As we analyze the American pressure tactics on Russia, it’s worth noting that Ukraine is also the route for many gas pipelines from Russia to Europe; if the US could engineer trouble in Ukraine, that might make Russia an unreliable supplier of Gas to Europe, enhancing offers from the US to “help solve Europe’s energy problem,” and potentially opening up the European market to Liquid Natural Gas from the US. No one asked the Europeans if they would prefer to be beholden to a different energy supplier, instead of Russia; if the US succeeds, Europe would be forced to acquiesce to US trade demands, instead of Russian demands. They’d still be beholden, but the US would be able to force TTIP and TISA on them, by threatening to withhold energy supplies if Europe fails to sign on the dotted line.

A Few Reasons Why Evan Bayh Needs to Stay Out of Indiana

By: Doug Martin

Crossposted from Schools Matter

Portrait of Evan Bayh

Bayh: Get out, stay out.

With so many people saying Evan Bayh must come back to Indiana to “save” public education and many saying he is considering a run for governor,  it is time to set the record straight and let Hoosiers know about the real Evan Bayh.

Here is just a glimpse (after only a few hours of research) into Indiana’s hero, Fox News’ on-air contributor, and former governor of and senator for Indiana, and it is not pretty.

Anyone who thinks Evan Bayh is good for public education is either lying or has not been informed.  Let’s inform the unformed now and expose the liars.


Back in 2002 in an article for the neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council entitled “How Bush Stole Education,” Bill Gates’ operative Andy Rotherham, the hedge fund-funded Democrats for Education Reform’s former director, insisted that NCLB was more Evan Bayh and Joe Lieberman’s pet project than it was George Bush’s.

Rotherham, who plays a role in my book Hoosier School Heist, claimed that “Mr. Bush’s education agenda is largely a New Democratic one…. The new education bill, which is regarded widely as ‘Bush’s education initiative,’ was largely written by Democratic Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.), along with other New Democrats.”

New Democrats here is a code word for privatizers like Bill Clinton and Bart Peterson, Bayh’s past chief of staff.

Bayh, indeed, was a player in NCLB, the bill which set the dominoes in motion to use standardized testing to turn our schools over to private companies, many of them campaign donors.

So, it makes perfect sense that Bayh—in a scratch-your-back moment—now gets a paycheck from Apollo Global Management, the owners of McGraw-Hill Education which includes the CTB/McGraw-Hill division Indiana taxpayers have a $95 million deal with for ISTEP, despite constant errors and problems. Bayh, too, is a board member of McGraw-Hill Education.

Evan Bayh is also doing lobbying for McGuire Woods, a mega-law firm/lobbying outfit which has represented charter schools in court, has many members on charter school boards across the US, “counsels” charter school bond lenders, and even lobbies for online K12, Inc., the for-profit corporation started by racist Bill Bennett which buys out lawmakers in many states, including Indiana.

In 2011, Bayh joined the board of Fifth Third Bank, a bank also mentioned for various reasons in Hoosier School Heist.


Evan Bayh (who grew up in a small, small town just a coalmine down the street from me, years earlier; just a rabbit-throw down the highway from where Eugene V. Debs is buried) has ALOT of money in his rainy-day campaign closet.  Not much of it comes back home to Indiana.

And Democrats running with no gas money from Bayh or the Indiana Democratic Party on the campaign trail this year should know that, in May, Bayh gave $4,000 (page 11) to Cory Booker’s US senate campaign.

The former mayor of Newark, NJ, DFER hedge fund-supported Booker is the Walmart/Amway/Bradley Foundation operative who has worked for white billionaire school privatizers since his Black Alliance for Educational Options/Bush years.

In 2012, Bayh’s election committee dished out $2000 to Andre Carson, Indiana’s DC corporate schooler (page 9).

Carson met with his Gulen friends a week or so ago, just on the heels of the FBI raiding the Gulen charter school in Indy.

One of Bayh’s own protégé’s worked at Indy’s Gulen school. Teach Plus’ Patrick McAlister–IPS board member Caitlin Hannon’s campaign manager, former TFA member, and teacher at Gulen’s Indiana Math and Science Academy–got his big break as an intern with Evan Bayh back in 2008.

But Bayh and Andre Carson have another thing in common, and that is Christel DeHaan.

When the media and Democratic Party in Indiana painted DeHaan as merely a Republican mega-donor during the Tony Bennett charter school grading scandal, they hushed the fact that DeHaan has given campaign funding to Obama, Joe Donnelly, Andre Carson, and Evan Bayh.

Since 2011, Andre has received $10,200 from DeHaan (see here, here, here, and here).  Bayh has received $3,000 since 1998 from Tony Bennett’s princess, shockingly even more than Indiana Democratic Party’s evil foe Mike Pence did when he was in DC (see Pence’s $2,000 from DeHaan here and here).

The Indiana Democratic Congressional Victory Committee is a DeHaan breadwinner, too. It got $10,000 from DeHaan in Sept. 2012.  In 2010, she gave the same group another $10,000.  In 2008, Oprah and Mitch Daniels’ friend DeHaan gave the group $5,000 and another $1,000 in 1998.

If all is this is not enough to shake you, school voucher-supporting Republican School Choice Indiana’s Fred Klipsch, Walmart and DeVos’ main Hoosier front-man, gave Evan Bayh $2,000 in 1997 (scroll down the page here).

Democrat for Education Reform’s hedge fund manager Joel Greenblatt donated $1,000 to Bayh in 2004.

Former Gotham Capital hedge fund manager Daniel Nir, a good Bayh buddy, has also loaded (see here and here) Evan’s campaign chest.  Gotham Capital is thick in the school privatization movement.

Bayh, too, is giving campaign money to DFER’s favorite son, Michael Bennett in Colorado (see page 10 here).

My new research reveals tons.  In fact, the powers-that-be used the Black Alliance for Educational Options and the DFER (both started by many of the same people, and people from Indiana, as I note in Hoosier School Heist) to make it look like the Republicans and Democrats were both on the same page, for once, because school reform was good for children.  That was the hoax.  Then came NCLB. Then came the heist.  Evan Bayh was bought by DeHaan and Klipsch a few years before Bart Peterson was making his move to school-privatize Indianapolis.

Bayh in many ways is as much a grandfather of the corporate school movement as anyone from the rightwing.


As most know, Indianapolis’ first school privatizer Bart Peterson was Bayh’s chief of staff.  Other Bayh people have been and are still part of the heist.

Stan Jones, who Bayh selected for the Higher Education Commission in Indiana, now works for the Bill Gates Foundation.

The board of the Indianapolis Lighthouse Mission Charter School–now part of a multi-state outfit–had three people that used to labor for Bayh on it when the school applied for its charter several years ago.

Former Bayh and Peterson official Doran Moreland now is employed with the Friedman Foundation, a group funded by the Koch Brothers, the Bradley Foundation, and others highlighted in Hoosier School Heist.

Moreland runs Rocketship Education in Indiana, the charter school promoted by the Jonas Brothers and other billionaires.


We have some great candidates running for office in Indiana under the Democrat Party name this election, and it’s time to support them.And them only.

Since so many Indiana Democratic corporate school reformers want to run for governor, the Associated Press recently asked if there was a civil war brewing in the Indiana Democratic Party.  Who knows.  But maybe it’s time to start one before it’s too late.