April 28, 2024

USA: O’Keefe Media Group Uncovers Who Is Really Running The White House. Wow, This Is Some Eye Opening Information.

GlobalAwareness101 published O’Keefe Media Uncovers who is really running the White House. Soooo... hmm this is the most powerful person in Washington DC. Wow, this is some eye opening information. I created the background for this video and add the extra large captions to share on my social media. I only included 7 minutes of the original O'Keefe Media undercover video in my personalized version that you can watch in the tweet above that James O'Keefe shared. But the beginning of my video has extra content not shared in his video when James contacts the guy for a comment. Social media only allows us to upload 10 minute video is reason why I didn't just include the entire second part. Click the button on the lower right side of the screen to enlarge my video.

The Intercept
written by Deconstructed
January 24 2023

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN is naming Jeff Zients to be his next chief of staff. Zients, a corporate Democrat, was previously in the White House helping steer its pandemic response and leading vaccination efforts. Before that, Zients helped oversee two health care companies embroiled in Medicare and Medicaid fraud allegations, which they paid tens of millions to settle. This week on Deconstructed, Intercept reporter Daniel Boguslaw and The American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner join Ryan Grim to discuss Zients’s past in the world of for-profit health care. Zients is also a former Facebook board member, worrying progressives pushing for the administration to rein in Silicon Valley.

Over the weekend, we learned that White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain will be leaving his job, making way for Jeff Zients, who played a variety of different roles in the Obama administration but has spent most of his time in the private sector.

Now, Bob Kutner, writing in The American Prospect, described Zients like this on Monday: “For starters, Zients is from the plutocratic wing of the Democratic Party, having become very rich from taking two David Bradley ventures public, the Advisory Board Company and the Corporate Executive Board. When he was 35, Fortune estimated his net worth at $149 million.”

Now, my colleague Dan Boguslaw, back when he was himself at The Prospect, wrote a piece diving deep into Zients’ background in the world of for-profit health care. And both Dan and Bob are joining me now on short notice, and I appreciate it. Bob, thanks so much for joining me.

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And so the guy who takes over the negotiations is Jeff Zients, who had been OMB director, who had been acting OMB Director, then OMB director, then director of the National Economic Council, and was a dedicated deficit hawk, along with Bruce Reed, and so you’ve got the deficit hawk-wing [laughs] of the Biden administration really taking over at a time when the Democrats have a pretty good hand if they play the hand they’ve been dealt.

RG: And Dan, there’s a little bit of irony in Zients being an austerian, particularly when it comes to Medicare, given that what you’ve uncovered in your own reporting is that some of the healthcare companies he owned were alleged to have committed Medicare fraud.

So what kind of business executive are we talking about here? What were the types of healthcare companies he was making his money from?

DB: Yeah, so there was a wide spread of companies. I mean, he basically amassed this private fortune, as Bob wrote, taking these huge companies public, but afterwards, he started sucking up all kinds of different health conglomerates and health firms. Now, two of those firms that were eventually folded into his company surfaced in these DOJ suits that basically showed the companies were overcharging through Medicare, they were creating all types of different false billing practices. And, in one case, the whistleblower basically said that this was not a clerical oversight. This was coming from the highest levels of these different companies’ management, and that they’re being encouraged to see in the whistleblowers’ words, whether they could get away with this. And beyond the obvious complaints that were surfaced, a lot of these companies were effectively preying on a weakened American healthcare system. Companies that were outsourcing all different types of medical practices, from radiology to hospice care, and basically, trying to cut costs in the private equity model, and at a cost to the people trying to rely on these different companies for care.

I think the other element here is what Zients’ more recent record as Biden’s Covid czar shows. Unlike the willingness of Ron Klain to at least meet and hear progressive advocacy groups out, Zients was extremely resistant to any of the calls from progressive organizations advocating for things like a waiver of vaccine IP rights to try to boost access in third-world countries to cheap vaccines; there was a lot of pressure on him to try to supercharge the Defense Production Act. And I think, in this case, his unwillingness to mobilize on the sort of wartime scale that the DPA was created for, had disastrous results. I mean, there was this incredible series of powers that could have enabled him to mobilize massive domestic production of PPE tests, and I think that type of mobilization could have gone a long way, not only to provide direct resources to people during the pandemic but also push back on some of the fear-mongering from the anti-vaccine voices from the GOP by saying: Look, there’s this economic explosion that’s going to happen from this. There’s the ability to create new production facilities to do all kinds of expansion in that sector. And ultimately, he shut it down and really phoned it in with the bare minimum.

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However, what’s easy to forget is that the inner circle who are closest and longest-tenured with Biden are people like Zients and other relatively conservative old boys — or in the case of Anita Dunn, old girls — and the one exception to that was Ted Kaufman, who sort of aged out and ended up not getting a senior position with Biden. So that the default setting of Biden, leaving aside the industrial policy, and the climate change, and some of the labor stuff — which is fabulous, much better than we expected — but the default setting of the Biden administration is guys more like Jeff Zients, tragically

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RG: And Dan, that brings us to Facebook, which you might be surprised if you’re just casually following things, or you wouldn’t be surprised if you’re following a little more closely, that the new White House chief staff was on the board of directors, very recently, of Facebook.

DB: Yeah. And I think this gets to something that Bob mentioned about the good old boy network, which is that Zients has had his fingers enhanced all over D.C. I mean, when he left the Covid czar position, there were lots of write-ups about the big cocktail party he had to make sure that he saw everyone he needed to see on his way out the door.

He owns these bagel shops across Washington. And even though he was floated as one of these potential picks months ago, alongside Susan Rice and Ricchetti, he kept a pretty low profile and did a lot of his networking and back-channeling in a quiet way. But you see spikes of that effort in instances like when I published several pieces on him. And they were some of the only criticism that was out there. The Times had never looked into his financial history. And these revelations were so novel that the entire Washington Post editorial board ended up responding to my article and trying to refute it. And you see these backchannel ways that Zients has done very well for himself in Washington, even though they only emerge in the media through glimmers.

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RK: Yeah, so, right. Just the kind of encomium you need.

And one anecdote that really gets at this was when Zients was called in as this sort of consultant guru to fix the Obamacare website rollout debacle. And basically, he just oversaw a team of consultants. There’s reporting that he brought them, I think, pies, I believe; maybe it was bagels, I’m not sure. But he was instantly hailed across all the publications as Mr. Fix it, she had saved not only the website but Obamacare as a whole. It was all taken at face value, like a straight press release, copy and paste.

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