Tag Archives | Betsy DeVos

Another Putin backchannel

Erik_Prince-57

You remember the excreable Erik Prince, accused Blackwater war criminal and brother of Betsy DeVos? Still up to his un-American tricks:

The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.

The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would likely require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.

Though Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not identify the Russian.

Remember that Alfa Bank server in Trump Tower that was communicating with Russia during the campaign? Spectrum Health has a relationship with Alfa Bank. Dick DeVos, Betsy’s husband, leads Spectrum Health.

And now Erik Prince. Another piece drops into place.

Together, Alfa and Spectrum accounted for 99% of the lookups.

Oh, and there’s this lovely story about Sebastien Gorka.

Betsy DeVos and what the future will bring

Did Betsy DeVos simply federal education regulation?

If you support public, secular education, it’s important to read this. I know it’s long, but it’s important. And I’m tired of trying to point out what these people are up to. I’ve been warning about this for almost 15 years, and now it may be too late to stop them — although I’m hopeful people will fight:

A staple in modern evangelical teachings is the concept of Christian spheres of influence – or what the evangelical business guru Lance Wallnau dubbed the “Seven Mountains” of society: business, media, religion, arts and entertainment, family, government, and education – all of which urge the faithful to engage in secular culture in order to “transform” it. The goal is a sweeping overhaul of society and a merging of church and state: elevating private charity over state-run social services, returning prayer to school and turning the clock back on women’s and LGBTQ rights. It would also be a system without a progressive income tax, collective bargaining, environmental regulation, publicly funded health care, welfare, a minimum wage – a United States guided by a rigorously laissez-faire system of “values” rather than laws.

In the 33 states where Republicans currently hold power, some or all of these goals are being pursued, thanks to both the financial and ideological investment of families like that of Betsy DeVos, whose breadth of influence has now been sanctified in Washington with her appointment to run the Department of Education. This, as she told the Gathering in 2001, is what it means to be in the Shfela. It’s about “changing the way we approach things,” she said, “in ways which will continue to help advance God’s kingdom.”

Just go read it all.

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