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The Donors Trump Administration

It is no secret Donald Trump is an independent, incompetent, narcissist and that he and his fascist cohorts like Steve Bannon were not ready to govern. Perhaps because they didn’t think they’d win, they are subsequently struggling to provide both policy and nominees, thankfully wasting most of the critical first one hundred days.

What seems to be the best kept secret is the importance of the Koch Donors Trust network and political minions from both Utah and Wisconsin to a Trump Administration.

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Before both the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff in Oregon and the 2016 election of President Trump, I wrote of how the Koch and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints private business interests, among the most substantial on the planet, coincided with public lands policy in the west, including enabling the Bundys and their militias:

“To the point, the Church and the Koch Brothers will oppose any policies that negatively affect their financial portfolios. Is it any wonder they oppose any law or regulation that would affect these interests?

And, they both have never been shy engaging their supporters in the political process – even fomenting sedition – to protect their interests.”

The tie that binds is the nationalist, anti-communist, uber free market, John Birch Society. an offshoot of the earlier Liberty League of which Fred Koch was also a part. This was a direct response to Wisconsin’s “Fighting” Robert LaFollette’s Progressive Era reforms that lead to those of the New Deal.  From its inception the Koch machine has heavily invested in Wisconsin, currently claiming credit to 3,000 jobs in all the major resource extraction industries including pipelines, minerals, and forest products. Beyond ideology, these investments are why the Trust’s network dedicated millions turning the formerly progressive state for over half a century into the ALEC model it is today.

However, the Kochs also have substantial investments in the extraction of western public lands resources, their alliance with theo-constitutionalists in the State of Deseret consistently leading that charge, as each is in agreement with the capitalist oriented Mormon dogma that “everything temporal is spiritual” including all extractions of financial, natural and human resource.  Populated and operated by Mormon theo-constitutional radicals since its inception, the JBS enjoys a special place in the hearts of Mormons who revere former spokespeople Cleon Skousen of pocket constitution fame and Prophet Ezra Taft Benson. The New Yorker in Confounding Fathers: The Tea Party’s Cold War Roots said Benson, “denounced Democratic officeholders and intellectuals (including the historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.) as socialists and Communist sympathizers, warned that “the Constitution will be endangered and hang, as it were, by a single thread,” and praised the John Birch Society as “the most effective non-church organization in our fight against creeping socialism and Godless Communism.””  To this day Mormons maintain a stronger a membership/leadership presence in the organization than the now insidious Boy Scouts of America.

Arguably, the Koch network’s greatest political and legislative successes have been in both states, with each adhering to the Donors Trust Tea Party agenda of “right to work”, school vouchers, and piss on you taxation and environmental deregulation. While they share most ideological, business and legislative ambitions, what characterizes the Mormons from their Wisconsin Koch counterparts is the theo-constitutional ideology of being the God’s chosen people and how this view relates to Zion’s dominion over the public lands of the West.

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The JBS network has been hard at work in Wisconsin since the 1940s, the face of organization lunacy McCarthy who unseated Progressive Robert LaFollette, Jr. It is why the John Birch Society moved its headquarters from its original location in Massachusetts to Appleton, WI in the 1980s – the homes of both McCarthy and David Prosser.

Republican Prosser began his career as a District Attorney in Outagamie County. As a kid, I campaigned for him – my first political endeavor going door to door with leaflets – my grandparents being friends with his parents. Elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1979, he quickly became Minority Leader and eventually Assembly Speaker when the GOP took the chamber. In 1998, he was appointed by former Governor and G.W. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

From the 70s to the present, Prosser, who with my grandfather helped bring the JBS to Appleton, used his influence to implement the grand plan to reshape the current Republican party in Wisconsin and kill Progressivism. When the Tea Party hit the streets in 2010, the GOP political machine that he and the JBS/Trust network built was already in place for Reince Priebus and Scott Walker to implement while Prosser, as Chief Justice, presided over the judicial review.

In this author’s view, the since retired Prosser was a master politician most responsible for changing the political landscape of Wisconsin and, with the election of Trump, the nation. He is well respected among the party elites and, although an asshole who choked a fellow justice that just happened to be both female and a liberal rival, is no doubt proud of his accomplishments.

House Speaker Paul Ryan began his political career as a legislative aide for former Republican Senator Bob Kasten who just happened to be a foreign policy adviser to the 2016 Trump Campaign.  After Kasten lost his 1992 Wisconsin Senate seat to progressive Democrat Russ Feingold, Ryan became a speechwriter for Empower America, now known as the Koch Freedomworks.  In 1995, Ryan became the Legislative Director for then Senator and now Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas – the home of Koch Industries.

With Ryan, Priebus lead the way for Tea Party success in the Wisconsin legislature as Chair of the Wisconsin Republican Party, an indication of that success Walker’s election as Governor, saying“Early on, when the jury was still out on where the tea party was going, Reince was there early making the case.” Walker was elected in 2010 at the height of the Koch promoted movement and, with Priebus, Prosser, and a packed GOP legislature, by 2015 completely eliminated the Progressive Era reforms known as the Wisconsin Idea that earned the state the moniker “the laboratory for democracy”, executing the coup de grace to LaFollette Progressivism.

Next, the New Deal.

Priebus is a skilled administrator, evidence of his management converting a once core blue state to red and guiding the GOP through the morass of the 2016 election as Chair of the Republican National Committee. Unlike his former counterpart Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman, Priebus seems to operate under the necessary premise that all politics are local and allowed the party system to work as intended, even as the establishment pressured him to do otherwise before and after Trump won the nomination. Also unlike Wasserman, his demeanor is mostly unthreatening, almost likeable. For example, while in law school he interned with the NAACP Legal Fund in California. He also interned with the Wisconsin Supreme Court during Prosser’s tenure.

The role of Priebus as White House Chief of Staff is to oversee both Trump and the Executive Office of the United States – the federal bureaucracy. Priebus is a perfect choice for working closely with his friend Speaker Ryan, the two working in tandem as the real CEOs of the nation. The value of both Ryan and Priebus and should not be underestimated – by Trump.

***

The Donors Trump Administration must do the dirty work of implementing policy, to make certain words and deeds receive favorable oversight, and to push the coordinated paperwork between the Executive and Legislative. To do this, Priebus needs a skilled, trusted, on-the-same-page bureaucrat like himself to coordinate with and push paper between the branches of government, a friend with a benefit who can bring the Senate to bed. This is where Rob Porter and the Utah Congressional delegation with its many respective chamber committee chairs are best suited for the task – for that earlier mentioned public lands price.

Interim White House Staff Secretary Porter is the former Chief of Staff for Skousen Freeman and Senator Orrin Hatch. Before this, the former Harvard Republican Club President Porter was General Counsel for Ohio’s Senator Rob Portman and for the Judiciary Committee’s Senator Mike Lee of Utah who himself has been mentioned as a Trump SCOTUS nominee. Portman was also a Law Clerk with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and like Priebus is a skilled, liked, well versed bureaucrat who knows and plays well with Washington insiders and top dog oligarchs.

Hatch, a vampire, is the longest currently serving member of the Senate. He has so far been instrumental shepherding Trump nominees, invoking the “nuclear option” as Chair of the Finance Committee, suspending the rules to ram both Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price through to the floor for confirmation.

Sagebrush rebellion radical and Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock, home of the now again contested Grand Staircase Escalante Canyon National Monument, who with several other Commissioners from other Utah Counties call themselves The Posse, wrote an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune, “Hatch and Trump are the dream team rural Utah needs. I wrote about Pollock and their exploits in Utah, the Kochs and Their Malheur Monster. Far from rural in scope it seems if Dracula himself wrote it, as I couldn’t give any better description of the importance of Hatch to a Donors Trump Administration than does Pollock in ‘his’ piece:

“The majority of the president’s key priorities — from fixing our tax code to repealing Obamacare — will require Hatch’s input and ultimately his approval as chairman. To move any reform through Congress, the president will continue to need Hatch’s cooperation, experience and advice.

Perhaps this is why, only a month into his presidency, Trump has already held multiple meetings with Hatch in the Oval Office. Thanks to his tremendous influence in the Senate, Hatch will continue to have more face time with the president than almost any member of Congress.”

Not to be forgotten, Hatch is also on the Judiciary Committee, giving him great leverage over SCOTUS nominees during confirmation. This could help his junior Senate partner Mike Lee – also a member of the Judiciary Committee along with the always important to Deseret Energy and Natural Resources Committee with Porter’s former boss Sen. Portman – who has been mentioned as a future Trump SCOTUS pick.

In the House, the former history teacher whose voice you hated is Rep. Bob Bishop, Chair of the Resources Committee, who will coordinate with Senator Lee to ensure that all extractive Donors Trump enterprises will be deregulated on public lands, the Antiquities and Threatened and Endangered Species Acts abolished, and provide a soapbox for promoting public lands transfer to states. A real whiner, he was recorded saying to his critics, “If anyone here likes the Antiquities Act the way it is written, die, I mean stupidity out of the gene pool.”

As Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Animal Farm’s Napoleon doppelganger Rep. Jason Chaffetz has his own role to play, ensuring that his committee will never investigate a Donors Trump Administration. With his help, the only investigations into alleged Russian influence in the 2016 election, Trump’s taxes, or most Executive Branch indiscretions of the future will need to come from a Special Prosecutor, press and/or popular revolt.

The quid pro quo is, of course, public lands, Chaffetz having already this Congress proposed a lands transfer bill that was withdrawn after the hunting and wheeled wreckreation industries opposed (he doesn’t care about neoliberal environmentalists like the Outdoor Industry Association). Facing chants of “Do your job!” from 2,000 people attending a recent contentious Town Hall meeting, he responded that his constituents were trying to “intimidate and bully people.” A haughty man, he will try again with future lands transfer bills.

Speaking of sagebrush bullies, fuck Mike “Bloodshed” Noel.

Interviewed for PBS’ Religion and Ethics Weekly, Noel wears Mormon theo-constitutionalism on his sleeve, saying, “We believe strongly that the Constitution was divinely inspired, and even the founders of it were inspired to write the Constitution.”

Chair of the Rules Committee of the Utah House and state legislative leader of the Donors Trust American Lands Council public lands transfer goals, former Bureau of Land Management employee Noel is being sold by the Hatch and the Utah delegation as the agency’s next Director – and he wants to abolish the agency.

During the 2016 Malheur takeover in Oregon, a McCarthyesque Congressional Field Hearing was held in St. George, called by Chairs Chaffetz and Bishop, the goal to berate the BLM and federal public lands managers. Testifying with members of The Posse, Noel implored his brethren while threatening public servants, “This has got to stop. There will be bloodshed. If this continues, there will be bloodshed, I foresee it now.”

And, with that, fuck every one of these Utah politicians who, like McCarthy and the rest of the communist witch-hunters, choose to operate from the bigotry of the righteous, vilifying dedicated public servants both Gentile and chosen alike. Like Donald Trump, they have a proven track record of using their positions of power to go after anyone who opposes their divine goals with malevolent Machiavellian intent, sharing the same basement Degree of Glory.

***

Wisconsin remains a deeply divided state, the internal struggles far more wrenching than the uniformity of Zion. Given it is the home to Progressivism, a term usurped by the Democratic Party, its people are still being violently ideologically pulled, actively participating in the Laboratory. Union busting and environmental deregulation of today are akin to the forests cleared by loggers for the paper industries of oligarchs of the last Gilded Age 125 years ago. In this native Wisconsinite view, we can only hope that there is a Fighting Bob in the near future to step Forward with a new Idea.

Many Mormons hated the idea of voting for Donald the Vile Gentile, instead choosing Independent Utahn and former CIA spook Evan McMullin. McMullin, who got into the presidential race late, garnered 22% of the vote, leaving Trump with only 46% in an overwhelmingly Republican state. McMullin’s platform was entirely the dangers of Trump, making one wonder if he was privy to knowledge of so-called Russian influence in the Trump campaign, the core of the old-school John Birch Society and the Cold War. In any event, McMullin’s success is an indication of the saliency of the ‘anti-commie’ message.  And, even though Trump was sensitive to Utah’s perception of him – he never traveled to the state during the campaign – the evidence is clear that as business people they all have gotten over it.

The Donors Trump Administration has the high probability of policy and legislative success despite the prospect of an independent, incompetent, insane Donald Trump and fascist, dishevelled, apocalyptic Steve Bannon occupying the White House.

The only organization with clarified policy to save the legacy and impeachment of Trump, the Koch Donors Trust network is ready, citizens like Ryan and Priebus, Hatch and Porter of the great states of Wisconsin and Utah able.

Unlike Trump, these vocational citizens who are backed by financial oligarchs with both planetary and heavenly ambition have patiently been working since the Progressive Era reforms of the New Deal to capitalize on this moment.

Like Trump, they are all well versed in the quid pro quo world of the Art of the Deal and appear to have closed it.

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Chris Zinda is an activist and writer living in Oregon.

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