Cenk Uygur discusses corruption and Russia on The Young Turks.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

All right. Everybody knows how much I dislike Russian disinformation, right? So we’re pretty well known for that. And I’ve gotten into giant battles with right wingers and left wingers who are in favor of Russian disinformation. I’ve pointed out exactly how they’re doing the disinformation, et cetera, right? So I’m reading an article called Judicial Independence: Threats Foreign and Domestic. Okay. And it’s about Russian disinformation. I’m like, okay, I’m super interested in it. In the middle of the article, it’s like an interviewer or something with David F. Levi and Suzanne Spaulding, and then some judges and other folks involved. These are all giant DC establishment figures. I don’t mean that they’re gigantic. I mean that they’re part of the giant establishment in DC. They’re normal bureaucrats, right?

They, they work in defense industry, then they work in the government, they work in think tanks, and they don’t think any of this is incestuous. The fact that they think that they’re, part of their paycheck comes from giant defense contractors, which I’ll get back to. They don’t think that that’s a conflict of interest. They think it’s, it would be conspiratorial to think that they would care about their own salaries, et cetera. Anyway, these guys are writing about, so, and in the beginning of the conversation, I’m totally agreeing with them. Putin’s a danger, this is what he’s doing, et cetera. And then they throw in a random line, it was Spaulding who did it. She’s like, and you know, of course the problem is trial lawyers. Wait, why are trial lawyers a problem?

It’s not because they sue corporations like BP and, and other giant, Johnson and Johnson, giant corporations, right? No, because there was once a trial lawyer at some point on RT. My English teacher back in I think in the eighth grade, Mr. Pember used to do this sometimes when I was making points about symbolism that I thought was in a book. And I was like, what are you doing Mr. Pember? He’s like, Cenk, you’re stretching. You’re stretching. Okay. And then I thought, why is she’s stretching to attack trial lawyers in this, in the middle of this argument about Russian disinformation, et cetera, right? And other countries disinformation. I mean, it was just so out of the blue. But, and she’s like, you have to worry about domestic threats too. In fact, that’s the title of this, whatever this thing is, right? And threats foreign and domestic. And apparently the threat domestically is people exposing corruption in America. Whoa, boy. Okay, then I’m in a world in trouble.

Guess what, Suzanne and David and all the rest, yes, I think, and by the way, over 90% of Americans think that politicians are corrupt. And yes, judges take, some are elected, not all of them, some are. They take campaign contributions. And a lot of those are from corporate executives, et cetera, and from industries. And then people like Suzanne come in and go, oh, you think a judge would be affected by hundreds of thousands of dollars given to his campaign? That’s outrageous. Are you serious? I mean, that’s the kind of gaslighting that is four-dimensional chess of disinformation. Like we did a story yesterday on the show, oil and gas industry has put in $123 million in lobbying last year into Congress. That’s a ton of money, $123. But people like Spaulding, I guess would say, I don’t know, would have to ask her specifically, but almost every establishment figure says, no, no, no, no. Those, that is not legalized bribes. Their business interest. Oh, they have no interest in their business interest just for the general welfare. They’re just doing it for charity.

And they happen to give it to politicians who happen to give them back, you know how much in subsidies, what they spent $123 million. You think maybe they got a hundred twenty four, hundred twenty five million? No, they got back $16 billion in subsidies from us, from the taxpayers. That’s so, that corruption is so obvious. No, of course, they’re doing it for their business interests, and they’re gaining in a phenomenal rate of return from the very, very corrupt politicians. By the way, the judges that are not elected, that don’t get campaign contributions, which I call legalized bribes, because they’re absolutely positively legalized bribes and the entire country believes that, except for the people who that live in DC. But the other judges are picked by those same slime ball politicians who got legally bribed by those same corporations. And look, Lewis Powell wrote a memo in 1971, literally saying, we should have quote “activist judges.”

That the Chamber of Commerce should find activist judges to put on the Supreme Court so that they could basically take over the Supreme Court on behalf of corporations. And Richard Nixon thought that was such a good idea, he put Lewis Powell himself on the Supreme Court. And at that time, the amount of times that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporations was small. Now, it is gigantic after the takeover, the corporate takeover of our Supreme Court. But the, and I read more, and so Spaulding is outrage by all of this and says, no, how dare you suggest that any judges would be partisan. Look, this is the kind of gaslighting that makes us lose all faith in institutions. We see Sam Alito, Gorsuch, et cetera. They all go up there and they go, eh, Robert’s famous words, I’m just callin’ balls and strikes. Just callin’ balls and strikes. And then they, Gorsuch, Alito, Clarence Thomas, they go up there and then they rule, rule in favor of Republicans every time, every time.

And corporations almost every time. And then they go, and then Spaulding comes in and goes, not only is your lying eyes lying to you, and they’re not partisan, even though they’re, they voted the same direction every time. Not partisan. No, but not only that, if you accuse them of being partisan, you are having people lose faith in institutions and hence you’re helping the Russians and Vladimir Putin. You’re stretching, Suzanne, you’re stretching. Okay, that’s insane. So how am I allowed to criticize the corruption or can I never complain about corporate rule at all? And, and then, but notice she didn’t attack like progressive media, the only part of media left that actually does honest journalism. Remember right wing media, mainstream media, they get into nonsense wars over culture wars and, oh, M&M’s and stuff.

But when it comes to economic issues, they all magically agree. Don’t lift student debt. Don’t do paid family leave. Don’t do Medicare For All. And the beloved politicians, for the Fox News, they’re Trump and the Republicans. For MSNBC, they’re Biden and Pelosi and the Democrats. They can’t be touched. And magically, Fox News, MSNBC, don’t talk about corruption. Magically, they talk about how companies are woke, but they won’t, because oh my God, they care about diversity or something, but they won’t talk about the giant amount of money that they’re giving in legalized bribes to politicians who then always vote in their direction. And give away billions in, in totality, trillions of our money, right? But when you point that out, people are like, no, I don’t see it. I, establishments like, no, I don’t see it at all. 93% of Americans believe that corporations, that politicians work for their donors and not for their voters.

Are you saying 93% of Americans are working for Vladimir Putin? You guys are getting absurd. And the thing is, Putin actually did do disinformation. But now nobody’s gonna believe the Spauldings of the world because they attached their corporate agenda. They put their establishment talking points in there. But what’s interesting is she didn’t attack progressive media. She attacked trial lawyers. That’s what got me. Like, what a curveball. What a curveball. Why, why try lawyers out of all the professions in the country? Why not like the blockers or the Twitter guys, et cetera, that are actually doing the disinformation? No, because trial lawyers don’t just talk against corporations, they sue corporations and cost them a lot of money. So all of a sudden we went from Putin to, hey, those trial lawyers that are pretty much the only people left in the country holding corporations accountable. Oh, they’re the real domestic problem.

So then when you point out, like she is a senior advisor, I looked it up at Center for Strategic and International Studies, that’s very well known. Tons of famous Washington establishment figures are in it. So, I was like, I’m curious where the funding comes from. Now, some of it is, comes from the US government, that they have their own interests, but other governments, Japan, et cetera. Okay, that, that looks like, like normal, let’s put it that way. It looks normal. Then also randomly, well, or maybe not randomly, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics and General Atomics. Huh? Giant defense contractors. And you’ll never guess what these, that organization constantly is in favor of, American foreign policy that’s super aggressive and goes and picks fights across the world. Huh? Now, and by the way, most importantly, even if you say no, we’re not picking fights, we had to defend ourselves against Iraq who did 9/11, thereby telling people, you’re totally disingenuous.

You know Iraq didn’t attack us on 9/11. You know you were in favor of that war. I don’t know the specific people at all, but the defense contractors certainly were in favor of that war. And the fact that they got rich off that war just yet another coincidence. Okay. So you don’t think that those companies that are donating to this organization to help their bottom line, do you not understand how capitalism works? You must maximize profit. And so, if you all of a sudden you have just like in the Powell memo, he said, get these think tanks to do the thinking and analyzing for the people in Washington. So then they load ’em up with corporate donors who then load ’em up with Washington bureaucrats that say challenging corporate corruption, whether it’s in politics or in judges, pointing out obvious partisanship in judges, they’re all part of Putin’s plan.

Come on, please. You’re so obvious. And yet a lot of people in DC they’ll look at this video and think, outrageous. Can you believe he thinks $123 million would affect politicians? Can you believe he thinks it’s connected to the $16 billion they got in subsidies? Can you believe he thinks the defense contractors would like to make money, would like to maximize profit? And the way they do that is by engorging themselves on the defense budget. Ah, no, we need every dollar in that defense budget. Coincidentally, CSIS has that position, but totally coincidentally to their donors, right? There’s, we did another story yesterday, $1.1 trillion when you include Veterans Affairs, et cetera in, in defense spending. But if you just took the defense budget, it’s over $800 billion every single year and yet we have trouble shooting down balloons. Then other politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, all of a sudden they agree, come on TV and go, we need more defense spending.

Really, we need more defense spending to shoot down balloons? Or is it that the guys that are funding your campaigns and sometimes funding the campaigns of judges, et cetera, or not in favor of reduced federal spending on defense? They want more spending. Of course, of course. And look, this is, defense is just part of the corporate machines. Last thing. And they say, you, you know, these judges are heavenly and, and they’re all angels. And by the way, look, guys, don’t lose all faith. We have, we, TYT is all about restoring faith in institutions, fighting back, bringing hope back, getting democracy back so we can and we will win these fights in the long run. But what does not help is establishment gaslighting in favor of corporate rule. So she says, oh no, don’t, I don’t see partisanship in judges, even though it’s all staring us in the face. You lose all credibility.

But then you look at guys like Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, we told you that a couple times. Gorsuch rules in a case, he’s the only judge that looked at it that said yes, a trucker who decided to go home because he was literally freezing to death, can be fired by his company because he disobeyed orders. So if your corporation says you should freeze to death, you must freeze to death, otherwise you should be fired. Every judge has said that was mental, except Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s like, I’d like to be on the Supreme Court. I’ll do the most maniacal ruling in favor of corporations saying that they even allowed to order their employees to die. And if they don’t follow that order, they can be fired. Federalist Society goes, oh, we like Gorsuch. And then Kavanaugh says, SeaWorld, where Killer Whale killed an employee. SeaWorld goes, couldn’t have seen that coming. Killer is literally in the title of the animal. It’s a killer whale. Kavanaugh in that case goes, no, not guilty. Corporations are never guilty.=.

And people like Spaulding come in and go, how dare you besmirch the good reputation of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch? Of course, corporations should be allowed to do anything super extreme and they just coincidence, the two judges in America that said it was okay for corporations to have their employees die and not do a thing about, they’re not responsible for it, they’re not liable for it. They wind up on the Supreme Court. But again, coincidence, all of the money flowing into all of these politicians and judges and everyone in, and these think tanks and these institutions all in Washington, and they all have massively pro corporate positions nearly every time. But the gaslighting says, all a coincidence. No, that’s how you lose faith in institutions. I think that’s why the right wing has just gone out of control because they’re like, look, I don’t know what’s true, but I know what’s not true. And that’s the establishment telling me nonsense about how millions of dollars do not affect human beings. Absolute nonsense.