n 2005, Joe Biden’s brother bought an acre of land with excellent ocean views on a remote island in the Caribbean for $150,000. He divided it into three parcels, and the next year a lobbyist close to the Delaware senator bought one of the parcels for what had been the cost of the entire property. Later, the lobbyist gave Biden’s brother a mortgage loan on the remaining parcels.
The Virgin Islands land deal, reported here for the first time, furthers a pattern in which members of the Biden family have engaged in financial dealings with people with an interest in influencing the former vice president.
In this case, a Biden staffer left the Senate in the early ’90s to become a lobbyist. Both before and after the land transaction, his clients benefited from Biden’s support and appropriations requests. A firm the lobbyist co-founded — which features a testimonial from Biden praising his “emotional investment” in his work on its website — specializes in federal contracts for niche law enforcement and national security programs for which Biden long advocated.
After the land deal, Joe Biden vacationed elsewhere on the tiny island, which once protected a nearby submarine base before it became a tropical getaway, on at least three occasions.
A Biden-Trump Election is a Win-Win for Wall Street
On the Republican side, the plutocrats are comfortable with Trump. The problem was the Democratic side of the ledger. The plutocrats did not like Warren, but they hated Sanders. Their goal was to defeat Sanders at any cost and to select a Democratic candidate on which they could depend. Buttigieg rose and then fell. Bloomberg spent a lot of money, rose and then fell. Biden was really their last chance. A Biden-Trump election was the plutocrats’ dream scenario.
Biden Is A Product and Supporter of the Plutocracy. Biden has been and continues to be a willing participant in the system of legalized corruption. He has always relied on donations from Wall Street and the billionaire donor class and he has returned the favor by supporting policies that aide Wall Street to the detriment of Main Street. (See this article for a detailed analysis of Biden and his relationship to Wall Street and billionaires).
- Biden Relies on Wall Street and Billionaires. Wall Street has always supported Biden. According to the Center for Responsive Politics the entire finance capital sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has been the largest business sector contributor to Biden’s various senatorial and his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns. Between 1990-2007, this sector invested $6.87 million in Biden. And that support has continued for his 2020 presidential campaign. The finance capital sector’s investment in Biden is just behind its investment in Trump and much greater than its investment in any other Democratic candidate. In terms of small donors, Biden has raised $25.3 million or 37% of total funding from small donors – much less than Sanders.
According to the Center on Responsive Politics, the Financial Sector as a whole (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has invested $47.2 million in the 2020 presidential election so far. Of this total, $10.3 million or 22% has gone to Trump; $10.1 million or 21% has gone to Biden and just $2.8 million or 6% has gone to Sanders. And it is clear that Biden is due for a massive increase in funding following Super Tuesday. These figures are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg and will soon explode; after all, the Financial Sector invested $338 million in the 2016 presidential election.
Biden also relies on billionaires. According to an updated Forbes article as of January 2020, sixty-six billionaires have given to Biden’s campaign. Most of these billionaires are from the financial capital sector. Also, expect Biden to pick up the backing of the 94 billionaires who previously supported Buttigieg and Klobuchar – the two candidates who suspended their campaigns and endorsed Biden immediately before Super Tuesday. In addition, there is a Super Pac that supports Biden called “Unite the Country.” Super PACs can legally spend unlimited amounts of money and can buy ads to support or oppose particular candidates. They are not supposed to be controlled by or tied directly to campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Unite the Country spent $8.9 million as of March 5, 2020. The finance/insurance/real estate sector accounted for $5 million or 56% of the total raised by this PAC. All these figures will increase substantially in the near future
- While Biden speaks of change – He literally promised Wall Street and billionaire donors that “nothing will fundamentally change… if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.” In his first campaign speech delivered to a largely union crowd in Pittsburgh, Biden stated “Let me say this simply and clearly, and I mean this: The country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers, CEOs and hedge fund managers. It was built by you. It was built by the great American middle class.” In an interview, Biden stated, “It’s high time we helped Main Street.” His website is full of plans to increase taxes on the wealthy, enhance Social Security, expand government social services and get tough on Wall Street.
All these statements and plans sound very progressive. But based on past policies and current statements, it is apparent that Wall Street does not have to worry much about Biden actually delivering on his anti-Wall Street rhetoric. As detailed in a previous article, Biden has supported and often led the fight for legislation that further consolidated the financial industry, eliminated laws that had curbed Wall Street’s penchant for excessive speculation, and increased protections for banks while eroding protections for consumers. And he supported trade deals that benefitted Wall Street and other big corporations while eliminating 4 million U.S. jobs primarily held by union manufacturing workers. Conversely, he is culpable for the failure to pass legislation that would have helped strengthen unions and protect the rights of consumers.
And Biden even admitted all of this when he gave a wink and a nod to Wall Street and the billionaires at an elite fundraiser in NY City last year. Biden stated “The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins, but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change…I need you very badly. I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.”
When you've got nothing to offer, nothing to inspire, all you can sell is 'hate the enemy.'
They don't hold Joe Biden accountable, they don't try to push him to the left. They just offer story after story attacking Donald Trump -- for what he said, for what he didn't say, for what his daughter did, for what some family member says . . .
They're like an obsessed ex. It's frightening.
They should be leading us to a better world, focusing on our needs, preparing us for what to fight for should Joe Biden win and giving us the strength to press on should we end up with another term of Donald but instead they just do the work of the Democratic Party -- whore.
They're a joke.
The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has determined climate change and the interlocking issues of war, militarism, and the now-normalized and still illegal U.S. interventionism pose the greatest threats to humanity.
That is why we have launched a campaign demanding all 2020 candidates for local, state and federal offices in the United States take a position on U.S. interventionism (read our official statement).
BAP’s goal has always been to educate people on the connection between U.S. foreign interventions and the domestic war on African people and other oppressed groups (see No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad).
In 2019, the Trump administration announced “Operation Relentless Pursuit,” a program that claims to support local "crime fighting" efforts by injecting federal funding for a “surge” of new hires and equipment, as well as coordination of federal agents at the local level.
Of the seven targeted U.S. cities, four are predominantly African:
Baltimore (62.8% African)
Cleveland (50.41% African)
Detroit (79.12% African)
Memphis (63.9% African)
The Nixon-era "War on Drugs” actually was a war on Africans, since it was an aspect of the state's counter-insurgency effort against the Black Liberation Movement. Trump's Operation Relentless Pursuit is an initiative in the same vein, being the latest version of the ongoing war against the African working class.
Operation Relentless Pursuit is the logical extension of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which is primarily responsible for transferring more than $4 billion in military-grade equipment to local police forces over a 15-year span. Along with “Deadly Exchange”—whereby Israeli Defense Forces train local U.S. police executives—these three programs represent the core elements of the U.S. national security state's repressive strategy to contain the resistance of oppressed communities and peoples in the United States.
In August 2018, in the course of researching a book on the lead-up to the Iraq war, I went to see Powell at the office in Alexandria, Va., that he has maintained since leaving the Bush administration in early 2005. Powell, who is now 83, is as proud and blunt-speaking as he was during his career in public service. Over the course of our two hourlong conversations, he made clear that he was all too aware of the lonely turf he was destined to occupy in history.
It was not the turf that anyone, least of all Powell himself, would have imagined for him in 2001. He entered the Bush administration as a four-star general of immense popularity and political influence. He left it four years later, discarded by Bush in favor of a more like-minded chief diplomat, Condoleezza Rice. He mournfully predicted to others that his obituary’s first paragraph would include his authorship of the U.N. speech.