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Government by Big Business
Author: BobR    Date: 03/06/2013 13:18:28

He had been in office for a year. Popular with the electorate, he promised to help the poor, something that left the business community aghast. With cries of socialism and wealth redistribution, he was immediately set upon in an attempt to bring down his presidency and ensure the moneyed business community were the ones truly in charge.

Sound familiar? The year was 1934 and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. The potential "coup" was called the "Business Plot", and was meant to be a joint effort between veterans groups and the business community:
The election of Roosevelt was upsetting for many conservative businessmen of the time, his "campaign promise that the government would provide jobs for all the unemployed had the perverse effect of creating a new wave of unemployment by businessmen frightened by fears of socialism and reckless government spending."
[..]
With the end of the gold standard, "conservative financiers were horrified. They viewed a currency not solidly backed by gold as inflationary, undermining both private and business fortunes and leading to national bankruptcy. Roosevelt was damned as a socialist or Communist out to destroy private enterprise by sapping the gold backing of wealth in order to subsidize the poor."
[..]
During the McCormack–Dickstein Committee hearings, Butler testified that Gerald C. MacGuire attempted to recruit him to lead a coup, promising him an army of 500,000 men for a march on Washington, D.C., and financial backing. Butler testified that the pretext for the coup would be that the president's health was failing.

Despite Butler's support for Roosevelt in the election and his reputation as a strong critic of capitalism, Butler said the plotters felt his good reputation and popularity were vital in attracting support amongst the general public and saw him as easier to manipulate than others.

Though Butler had never spoken to them, Butler implicated several prominent businessmen and veteran leaders as backers of the plot. The committee chose not to publish these allegations because they were hearsay.

Given a successful coup, Butler said that the plan was for him to have held near-absolute power in the newly created position of "Secretary of General Affairs", while Roosevelt would have assumed a figurehead role.

Those implicated in the plot by Butler all denied any involvement. MacGuire was the only figure identified by Butler who testified before the committee. Others Butler accused were not called to appear to testify because the "committee has had no evidence before it that would in the slightest degree warrant calling before it such men... The committee will not take cognizance of names brought into testimony which constitute mere hearsay."

In response, Butler said that the committee had deliberately edited out of its published findings the leading business people whom he had named in connection with the plot. He said on February 17, 1935, on Radio WCAU, "Like most committees it has slaughtered the little and allowed the big to escape. The big shots weren't even called to testify. They were all mentioned in the testimony. Why was all mention of these names suppressed from the testimony?"

It's amazing how little has changed over the years. The billionaires - apparently not satisfied with their billions - are still trying to use their money to gain political power. They still use the same tired rhetoric of socialism and redistribution of wealth.

American Crossroads, the Super PAC spearheaded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove spent $105M during the last election cycle trying to get their preferred candidates into office. They were spectacularly unsuccessful. In an rare bit of honesty, he admitted that in the future, they will support the candidates they think can win elections, not necessarily the ideologically pure (who often do poorly in general elections).

With a powerful standing army built over the decades of seemingly non-stop involvement in foreign wars, there is little chance a military-style coup using disgruntled veterans would be plausible these days. What they have now that they didn't back then is a media that can deliver their propaganda 24x7, creating fear and uncertainty as a motivator to an electorate too lazy to dig for the truth and ready to blame someone else for their troubles. The rich oligarchy-wannabes are all to ready to spoon feed them the message of who that scapegoat should be.

I fear that - in this case - the pen truly is mightier than the sword.

66 comments (Latest Comment: 03/07/2013 18:54:11 by Raine)
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Comment by wickedpam on 03/06/2013 13:39:49
Morning

Arrived at work ok - thankfully the heavy snow has held off a bit as we go closer to DC - already had about 2" of wet snow at my place and the city of Manassas really needed to practice keeping the roads much clearer.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 13:58:50
:grunt:

Comment by wickedpam on 03/06/2013 14:12:18
I swear snow days bring out the worst gloating from my teacher friends.

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 14:24:52
Good morning -- the winds are really starting to kick up in the past half hour.

Thank you for the blog, Bobber. You know, Smedley Butler was a bigger hero to me than just writing his book.

Comment by BobR on 03/06/2013 15:45:36
slow blog day!... Is everyone ?

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 15:57:11
Quote by BobR:
slow blog day!... Is everyone ?
I'm here!

Just perusing the interwebs.


Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 15:59:12
Comment by TriSec on 03/06/2013 16:00:55
Blah.



Comment by wickedpam on 03/06/2013 16:10:49
Quote by Raine:
Quote by BobR:
slow blog day!... Is everyone ?
I'm here!

Just perusing the interwebs.


I'm in mode mostly

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 16:18:13
Quote by BobR:
slow blog day!... Is everyone ?



:drops 30 pound block of salt: Yeah, it's been like this the past couple of days.

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 16:37:17
Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/06/2013 16:41:33
I have a new (used) PC to expand my test station, which I am working to load all the software I need. My laptop that I normally lurk on goes back to my cube. Just got on line to check on stuff now.

I'ma gonna again toot the horn of the company I work for..

BTW the daily cost for electricity to do the light show? About $35.

Comment by Scoopster on 03/06/2013 16:58:38
Mornin' all..

Fucking server's caught this stupid FBI scam lockout malware bug that's been going around. I got the lockout bypassed but the machine's running really slow & is unable to load the network, run most of the programs or install new ones (which is always an issue when trying to load a malware cleaner)

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 16:59:54
Quote by trojanrabbit:
I have a new (used) PC to expand my test station, which I am working to load all the software I need. My laptop that I normally lurk on goes back to my cube. Just got on line to check on stuff now.

I'ma gonna again toot the horn of the company I work for..

BTW the daily cost for electricity to do the light show? About $35.

VERY Cool!

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 17:02:18
Unless this storm moves, I really don't think we are going to get the 5-8 they are touting.

Comment by BobR on 03/06/2013 17:02:25
Quote by trojanrabbit:
I have a new (used) PC to expand my test station, which I am working to load all the software I need. My laptop that I normally lurk on goes back to my cube. Just got on line to check on stuff now.

I'ma gonna again toot the horn of the company I work for..

BTW the daily cost for electricity to do the light show? About $35.

:Rachel Maddow: NICE!

Comment by BobR on 03/06/2013 17:03:04
Quote by Raine:
Unless this storm moves, I really don't think we are going to get the 5-8 they are touting.

unless the temperature drops, it's going to be just rain with some sleet

Comment by wickedpam on 03/06/2013 17:10:51
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Raine:
Unless this storm moves, I really don't think we are going to get the 5-8 they are touting.

unless the temperature drops, it's going to be just rain with some sleet


one of my neighbors said its really coming down hard right no in Manassas. I just find it so odd the difference between here and 45 minutes to an hour down the road.


Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 17:13:57
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Raine:
Unless this storm moves, I really don't think we are going to get the 5-8 they are touting.

unless the temperature drops, it's going to be just rain with some sleet


one of my neighbors said its really coming down hard right no in Manassas. I just find it so odd the difference between here and 45 minutes to an hour down the road.
We are on the edge of the snow/sleet line.

I always found that strange myself. In 96 we had an awful storm in the valley, I couldn't get out to drive to work up north in Albany. My boss was shocked and informed me that there was nothing Albany -- H was looking at a foot and a half and no plows for my drivway.


Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 17:15:29
Louie Gohmert has the be the dumbest member of the House. Seriously,the dude is hands down dumb, stupid, brain dead, moronic and I will even say wicked retahded.

Comment by TriSec on 03/06/2013 17:15:39
Say, intrepid DC wing....you've managed to avoid a subway collision and a plane crashing on the 14th street bridge today, yes?



Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 17:16:16
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Raine:
Unless this storm moves, I really don't think we are going to get the 5-8 they are touting.

unless the temperature drops, it's going to be just rain with some sleet



Mmmmm "wintery mix!"

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/06/2013 17:16:36
Quote by Mondobubba:
Louie Gohmert has the be the dumbest member of the House. Seriously,the dude is hands down dumb, stupid, brain dead, moronic and I will even say wicked retahded.


Just like his constituents?

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/06/2013 17:17:22
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Raine:
Unless this storm moves, I really don't think we are going to get the 5-8 they are touting.

unless the temperature drops, it's going to be just rain with some sleet



Mmmmm "wintery mix!"

I'd rather have a trail mix.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 17:18:37
Quote by TriSec:
Say, intrepid DC wing....you've managed to avoid a subway collision and a plane crashing on the 14th street bridge today, yes?




Those are allowed only February.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 17:19:00
Quote by trojanrabbit:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Louie Gohmert has the be the dumbest member of the House. Seriously,the dude is hands down dumb, stupid, brain dead, moronic and I will even say wicked retahded.


Just like his constituents?



No he is dumber.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 17:21:38
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by trojanrabbit:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Louie Gohmert has the be the dumbest member of the House. Seriously,the dude is hands down dumb, stupid, brain dead, moronic and I will even say wicked retahded.


Just like his constituents?



No he is dumber.



He might be the dumbest person in the state of Texas.

Comment by TriSec on 03/06/2013 17:23:59
Exploding right-wing heads, outrage, etc.



BOSTON —Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II is mourning the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying he cared deeply about the poor.

Kennedy, who heads Citizens Energy, said Chavez and the people of Venezuela donated about 200 million gallons of heating oil to Citizens Energy, which distributes oil to lower income families in 25 states and Washington D.C.

The program offers 100 gallons of free oil per family. Kennedy said nearly two million people in the United States received the assistance thanks to Chavez.


Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 17:31:43
Quote by TriSec:
Say, intrepid DC wing....you've managed to avoid a subway collision and a plane crashing on the 14th street bridge today, yes?


It's not called a subway here...

and I believe that was in January.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 17:36:09
Oh I didn't even realize that TP site I liked was a cavalcade of Gohmert's stupidity.

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 17:38:19
I adore our patch editor:
@DelRayPatch
Perhaps the #snowquester had to make some mandatory accumulation cuts? #yourewelcome #DelRay #AlexandriaVA


Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 17:39:43
Quote by Mondobubba:
Oh I didn't even realize that TP site I liked was a cavalcade of Gohmert's stupidity.
I like that about TP -- you can see all of it at once depending on the tag.

Gohmert is an idiot. I bet he think Toe fungus is french cheese.


Comment by TriSec on 03/06/2013 17:52:29
January 12, 1982.

I was making a weather reference, however.


Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 18:18:48
Quote by TriSec:
January 12, 1982.

I was making a weather reference, however.
Hey, we had have a transformer explode this morning -- does that count?


Comment by livingonli on 03/06/2013 18:21:53
Slowly getting up just before the storm hits here. It's starting as rain this afternoon since it's too warm with it changing over tonight. Then we have another patch coming over because it's not supposed to stop here until sometime Friday, and for fun, the east end which got dumped with the most snow in last month's blizzard is supposed to get hit the hardest.

Comment by livingonli on 03/06/2013 18:34:57
There's been some speculation that Prescott Bush was involved in this plot. That may also explain his later role in his dealings with Hitler since he was the only person who violated the Trading with the Enemy act because he continued to do business with Nazi Germany even after Pearl Harbor. And in a switch since son George HW actually fought in WWII unlike the draft-dodging W.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/06/2013 18:58:15
Quote by Raine:
Quote by TriSec:
January 12, 1982.

I was making a weather reference, however.
Hey, we had have a transformer explode this morning -- does that count?



doesn't a transformer blow every morning in Del Ray?

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 19:02:47
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by TriSec:
January 12, 1982.

I was making a weather reference, however.
Hey, we had have a transformer explode this morning -- does that count?



doesn't a transformer blow every morning in Del Ray?



ZING!


Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 19:05:02
Florida finds evidence of voter fraud by GOP-tied firm. Yes, a Republican tied firm, not the perfidious brown of black people. A Republican-tied firm. Oh irony!

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 19:10:25
Quote by livingonli:
There's been some speculation that Prescott Bush was involved in this plot. That may also explain his later role in his dealings with Hitler since he was the only person who violated the Trading with the Enemy act because he continued to do business with Nazi Germany even after Pearl Harbor. And in a switch since son George HW actually fought in WWII unlike the draft-dodging W.

Does Harpers count as a reliable place for info?

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 19:16:44
I found this site, that has the PDF's of what Bob talked about in the blog -- including things that were deleted from the original report.

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 19:26:50
Quote by Mondobubba:
Florida finds evidence of voter fraud by GOP-tied firm. Yes, a Republican tied firm, not the perfidious brown of black people. A Republican-tied firm. Oh irony!
Strategic Allied Consulting -- I knew it before I clicked on the link.

You remember that firm, right? I wrote about it. The shit is deep.

ETA: Of course there was voter fraud. I can't believe it took this long for salon to write this! SMDH. It was Mala who originally got me going down this rabbit hole.



Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 19:35:07
Quote by Raine:
Quote by livingonli:
There's been some speculation that Prescott Bush was involved in this plot. That may also explain his later role in his dealings with Hitler since he was the only person who violated the Trading with the Enemy act because he continued to do business with Nazi Germany even after Pearl Harbor. And in a switch since son George HW actually fought in WWII unlike the draft-dodging W.

Does Harpers count as a reliable place for info?


If Harper's is good enough for
Brother Mouzone, it's good enough for me.

Comment by TriSec on 03/06/2013 19:37:08
Literally a leap of faith here....

So, I drank the last of my Whiskey the other day. I have purposely not replenished my supply of vodka or brandy, either.

I have a Muslim cousin that doesn't touch the hard stuff, but he allows himself an ocassional glass of wine. I'll be the first to admit that this was a pretty big stumbling block for me, but I am giving it a shot. We'll see how long it lasts.

[5.90] O you who believe! intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaitan's work; shun it therefore that you may be successful.
[5.91] The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist?

(Tobacco was unknown in Mohammed's time (PBUH), so smoking is not expressly forbidden. I had to forcibly not smoke cigars last summer; nobody is messing with that this year!)




Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 19:56:08
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Florida finds evidence of voter fraud by GOP-tied firm. Yes, a Republican tied firm, not the perfidious brown of black people. A Republican-tied firm. Oh irony!
Strategic Allied Consulting -- I knew it before I clicked on the link.

You remember that firm, right? I wrote about it. The shit is deep.

ETA: Of course there was voter fraud. I can't believe it took this long for salon to write this! SMDH. It was Mala who originally got me going down this rabbit hole.



I thought they sounded familiar. They do have a long slimy snail trail of voting skulduggery, don't they

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 19:58:41
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Florida finds evidence of voter fraud by GOP-tied firm. Yes, a Republican tied firm, not the perfidious brown of black people. A Republican-tied firm. Oh irony!
Strategic Allied Consulting -- I knew it before I clicked on the link.

You remember that firm, right? I wrote about it. The shit is deep.

ETA: Of course there was voter fraud. I can't believe it took this long for salon to write this! SMDH. It was Mala who originally got me going down this rabbit hole.



I thought they sounded familiar. They do have a long slimy snail trail of voting skulduggery, don't they
Here's what I don't understand -- isn't voter fraud a federal thing?


Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 20:00:19
The snowquester is officially a personal dud. Winter storm watches are slowly being pulled back

There is nothing worse than a winter storm with no snow to play in.



Comment by Mondobubba on 03/06/2013 20:03:53
Quote by Raine:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Florida finds evidence of voter fraud by GOP-tied firm. Yes, a Republican tied firm, not the perfidious brown of black people. A Republican-tied firm. Oh irony!
Strategic Allied Consulting -- I knew it before I clicked on the link.

You remember that firm, right? I wrote about it. The shit is deep.

ETA: Of course there was voter fraud. I can't believe it took this long for salon to write this! SMDH. It was Mala who originally got me going down this rabbit hole.



They are just reporting on the AP wire article, which has the new complaint info and who was actually charged.

Comment by Raine on 03/06/2013 20:10:18
This is a fascinating read on Smedley Butler.
Butler went to Senator John McCormack and told him that there was a fascist plot to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt. Butler claimed that on 1st July 1934, Gerald C. MacGuire a Wall Street bond salesman and Bill Doyle, the department commander of the American Legion in Massachusetts, tried to recruit him to lead a coup against Roosevelt. Butler claimed that the conspirators promised him $30 million in financial backing and the support of most of the media.

Butler pretended to go along with the plot and met other members of the conspiracy. In November 1934 Butler began testifying in secret to the Special Committee on Un-American Activities Authorized to Investigate Nazi Propaganda and Certain Other Propaganda Activities (the McCormack-Dickstein Committee). Butler claimed that the American Liberty League was the main organization behind the plot. He added the main backers were the Du Pont family, as well as leaders of U.S. Steel, General Motors, Standard Oil, Chase National Bank, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Butler also named Prescott Bush as one of the conspirators. At the time Bush was along with W. Averell Harriman, E. Roland Harriman and George Herbert Walker, managing partners in Brown Brothers Harriman. Bush was also director of the Harriman Fifteen Corporation. This in turn controlled the Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, that owned one-third of a complex of steel-making, coal-mining and zinc-mining activities in Germany and Poland. Friedrich Flick owned the other two-thirds of the operation. Flick was a leading financial supporter of the Nazi Party and in the 1930s donated over seven million marks to the party. A close friend of Heinrich Himmler, Flick also gave the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) 10,000 marks a year.
I;m gonna have to take a read at some of those PDF's.




Comment by wickedpam on 03/06/2013 20:19:40
Quote by Raine:
The snowquester is officially a personal dud. Winter storm watches are slowly being pulled back

There is nothing worse than a winter storm with no snow to play in.


\

head west - my neighbors tell me we have snow