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Amazon, America, and Driving: Jason Hickel @jasonhickel This story is a real bombshell. Reporter Ryan Grim reveals that one of the biggest culprits of Amazon destruction is a US company, Blackstone, whose CEO is close friends with Trump and bankrolls the US Senate leader Republican Mitch McConnell A Top Financier of Trump and McConnell Is a Driving Force Behind Amazo... Steve Schwarzman is the CEO of the Blackstone Group, which partially owns a Brazilian firm that is helping transform the Amazon from jungle to ... theintercept.com 3:27 AM Aug 28, 2019 Twitter Web App 6.5K Likes 6K Retweets spaceconveyor: feelingbluepolitics: feelingbluepolitics: catbirdseat4u: ➣  Go HERE for the dirt   — There’s plenty. Highest recommendation. https://theintercept.com/2019/08/27/amazon-rainforest-fire-blackstone/ “The companies have wrested control of land, deforested it, and helped build a controversial highway to their new terminal in the one-time jungle, all to facilitate the cultivation and export of grain and soybeans.” “Schwarzman, a founder of Blackstone, owns roughly a fifth of the company, making him one of the world’s richest men. In 2018, he was paid at least $568 million, which was, in fact, a drop from the $786 million he made the year before. He has been generous toward McConnell and [t]rump with that wealth. In 2016, he gave $2.5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, McConnell’s Super PAC and put Jim Breyer, McConnell’s billionaire brother-in-law, on the board of Blackstone. Two years later, Schwarzman kicked in $8 million to McConnell’s Super PAC.  “Blackstone employees have given well over $10 million to McConnell and his Super PAC over the years, making them the biggest source of direct financing over McConnell’s career. McConnell’s Senate campaign declined to comment. “Schwarzman is a close friend and adviser to [t]rump, and served as the chair of his Strategic and Policy Forum until it fell apart in the wake of the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally, in which [t]rump famously praised 'very fine people, on both sides.’ In December 2017, as the final details of the GOP tax cut were being ironed out, Schwarzman hosted a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser for [t]rump. Some of [trump’s] dinner companions complained about the tax bill, and days later, [t]rump slashed the top percentage rate in the final package from 39.6 to 37.  …"Bolsonaro has plans to pave significantly more roads in the Amazon that have otherwise been impassable much of the year, a project made feasible by international financing. …"Of course, Hidrovias is also involved in paving B.R.-163 and other development projects in the region. Those projects, such as the paving of the highway, have additional indirect — though entirely predictable — consequences, as they spur side roads that make previously difficult-to-reach areas of the Amazon accessible for mining, logging, or further deforestation. …"A Blackstone spokesperson noted that the fund only owns 9.3 percent* of Hidrovias. But that ignores the 55.8 percent of Hidrovias that is owned by Pátria Investimentos. On Hidrovias’s website, Pátria is described as a company ‘in partnership with Blackstone,’ and it is known in the financial industry to be a Blackstone company.” *Pay no attention to claimed percentages of ownership. What goes on behind ownership curtains is fluidly incestuous. For example, from April 2019: Blackstone Transfers 35% Stake in Brazil’s Alphaville Urbanismo to Pátria (em português) “Blackstone transferred its 35% stake in Brazilian real estate developer Alphaville Urbanismo to its partner Pátria Investimentos. Blackstone and Pátria originally invested R$1.4b in June 2013 for a 70% stake in the company. The two firms formed a partnership in 2010 and Blackstone retains a 40% stake in Pátria.” —– Keep in mind, It’s not like this graft flows directly, or just one way. Trump USDA is paying millions to a shady Brazilian meatpacking company under DOJ, SEC investigation Brazil Subsidiary Hoovers Up $62 Million In Trump Trade War Aid Intended For Farmers Every American farmer who has lost their Chinese market for soybeans – all of them – should be wondering how it was that trump “woke up” one morning with his idea of a trade war with China. Had his close friend Schwartzman told trump the Brazilian road and terminal were ready? There is no question that the Amazon rainforest is burning right now to open new farm land in order to meet China’s soybean market. I wanted Blackstone to get fucked prior to this, now…now I want them to SUFFER.