We want to be clear about one thing right now. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created to help small businesses weather this very large pandemic, and it should be allowed to do that! Actual small businesses should not be shamed for taking PPP money, even if at first glance you think that they are just full of cash dollars. You don't know what they're full of.

Wonkette got the PPP loan. Wonkette is a woman-owned small business with a handful of full-time employees and another handful of freelancers. Wonkette is not full of cash dollars. You don't know what we're full of.

After initially insisting recipients of PPP loans had to be kept secret, because "proprietary information," the Treasury Department on Monday made public all the recipients of PPP money dollars over $150,000, and oh boy, there were some surprises! On top of gabillions of worthy recipients, the disclosure shows that the government program really pulled some people up by their bootstraps, people you might not expect to be eating lobster with government cheese on top. Some might say this is a wee tiny hypocritical. Also some of it is just kind of feels icky, like the number of Kushner-affiliated entities that got the money. And Trump-connected lobbyists.

Let's tick off a few:


Grover Norquist Drowned His PPP Money In The Bathtub, We Bet!

Sure why not:

The Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, a conservative-allied group headed by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, took Covid-19 small business relief funds from the federal government, according to data released Monday.

The nonprofit foundation -- which advocates restraint in government spending and says it works to educate taxpayers on "costly government programs" -- took a loan between $150,000 and $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program [...]

What are we supposed to do with this? Are there JOKES we are supposed to add? Because we are pretty sure the news articles themselves are the jokes. Grover Norquist, who has made his life trying to keep the government from actually spending money to help people in true need, took PPP dollars. That's the joke.

To be clear, the Norquist entity that took money is the foundation, which is separate from his regular Americans for Tax Reform group. The main group is the (c)4, the foundation is the (c)3. If you don't know your nonprofit lingo, don't worry about it, but (c)4s can do overt political activity (c)3s can't do, which is why pretty much every nonprofit you know and love has both.

A statement on Americans for Tax Reform's website said the foundation "was badly hurt by the government shutdown."

"It applied for and received a loan and has as a consequence been able to maintain its employees without laying anyone off," the statement said, adding that the political group didn't oppose the PPP.

That's nice. Perhaps Americans for Tax Reform should reconsider its life choices. Like, for instance, maybe Grover Norquist shouldn't be so mad about the unemployment benefits in the CARES Act (which also established the PPP), and maybe he shouldn't be against a second recovery package.

Maybe he should stop trying to drown America in the bathtub.

We are just suggesting.

Ayn Rand Also Too Drowned Her PPP Money In The Bathtub, We Bet!

If the Grover Norquist one makes you laff, the Ayn Rand Institute also getting PPP money will make you laugh a second time, probably!

The Ayn Rand Institute, named for conservative philosopher Ayn Rand, received a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million, which it called "partial restitution for government-inflicted losses."

It would be a terrible injustice for pro-capitalists to step aside and leave the funds to those indifferent or actively hostile to capitalism," Ayn Rand Institute board member Harry Binswanger argued in May, stating that the organization would "take any relief money offered us."

If capitalists don't take the socialist big governnment bailout money, only socialist big government types will have the socialist big government bailout money!

POSSIBILITY WORTH CONSIDERING: It's almost like folks like this don't actually believe what they say they believe about taking government money. Or like, maybe they don't believe it for people who don't look and think like them, but it's totally OK for them and their friends, because that's different.

Somehow.

We Bet Jared Kushner's Family Drowned Its Money In The Just Kidding, They're Just Greedy Motherfuckers, That Joke Doesn't Really Work In This Context

The Daily Beast went through the disclosures and found some interesting Kushner nuggets! For instance, Observer Media, which is not technically owned by Jared anymore, but rather by his brother-in-law, they got nuggets. (And it saved 41 jobs, apparently!)

And some Kushner hotels:

The SBA materials show that $1 million to $2 million in assistance went to Princeton Forrestal LLC—revealed in Security and Exchange Commission records to be 40 percent owned by the former developer's mother, brother, and sister. Esplanade Livingston LLC, which owns the land on which the company's Westminster Hotel sits, received another $350,000 to $1 million. Mortgage documents filed in Essex County, New Jersey show that Esplanade Livingston LLC is controlled by C.K. Livingston LLC, a company that bears the initials of Jared Kushner's father Charles—and which the former disclosed in 2017 as a source of personal income from the hotel.

That's nice, everybody should get to eat during this perilous moment in American history, even Kushners.

Bathtubs Full Of Deplorables

Also receiving big moneys were the Daily Caller and Newsmax wingnut "news" empire, which is owned by Christopher Ruddy, who is tight BFFs with Donald Trump. (The Beast notes that Tucker Carlson is no longer part-owner of Daily Caller.)

And some lobbyists -- lots of Trump-connected lobbyists, it seems! -- and Republican oppo research companies and Trump campaign contractors:

Wiley Rein, the D.C. law firm and lobbying shop that represented clients such as AT&T, Fox Corporation, Verizon, and steel giant Nucor before the federal government last year, received a loan between $5 million and $10 million. [...]

America Rising Corporation, a Republican opposition research firm, has received more than $3.5 million from federal political committees since last year. That firm got a loan worth between $350,000 and $1 million. [...]

Jamestown Associates, a Republican ad-buying firm that works for the Trump campaign, among other notable clients, received between $350,000 and $1 million. TMA Direct, a Republican fundraising firm run by the co-chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee, got between $150,000 and $350,000.

To name a few.

Also these people with friends in high places, as ProPublica reports:

A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump's eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million.

Neat, Donald Trump Jr.'s lettuce dentist is probably a worthy recipient.

What about these people?

Monday's list included a Manhattan law firm whose marquee attorney has fiercely defended Trump for almost two decades. Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP — whose managing partner, Marc Kasowitz, was at one point the president's top lawyer in the special counsel's Russia investigation — was set to receive between $5 million and $10 million from Citibank, data show.

Oh fuck off, Marc Kasowitz, really?

Again, though, everybody should eat. If they needed it -- and more particularly, if their employees and their families needed it -- then they needed it.

Wait, we don't have to include hate groups in that, do we? No, Judd Legum's daily newsletter, please do not tell us this:

The Center for Immigration Studies is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The organization "has a decades-long history of circulating racist writers, while also associating with white nationalists." It received $350,000 to $1 million from the PPP.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has also been designated a hate group by the SPLC. The group's leaders have "ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements." FAIR's founder, John Tanton, "expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population." FAIR received $350,000 to $1 million from the PPP. Immigration Reform Law Institute, which is FAIR's legal arm, received between $100,000 and $350,000.

Well, that's disgusting. Trump's America, everyone.

Oh, Did We Mention YOUR TAX DOLLARS Paid To Send Devin Nunes's Cow To Doggie Daycare, We Mean To Support His Winery?

They did:

Businesses owned by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) received up to $800,000 in loans, per the new disclosure, and four other members of Congress had already reportedly got PPP loans through their business ventures. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), in his most recent financial disclosure filing, reported owning between $50,000 and $100,000 in equity in a California winery, Phase 2 Cellars. That winery received a PPP loan worth between $1 million and $2 million.

We've heard funky things about that winery before, stuff that makes Fucking Devin really sue-y when McClatchy brings it up, but we are just saying they got money. We hope it helped!

Lots of other companies tied to members of Congress and the Trump administration show up on the list too. The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal run through some of what they found:

Foremost Maritime, a shipping business controlled by the family of [Elaine] Chao, the Transportation Secretary, also received money from the program — between $350,000 and $1 million, according to the SBA data. The company was founded by her parents, James S.C. Chao and his late wife, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, while her sister, Angela Chao, is the current chief executive.

Oh for fuck's ...

A charitable-giving manager partially owned by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Renaissance Acquisition Company LLC, received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million. Ms. DeVos has disclosed a stake worth more than $1 million in the Indiana company.

... sake.

Hit those links for so much more. Lots of members of Congress, including ones who actually crafted this very legislation, we're sure it's fine.

Money Money Money Money Money!

Some final bits and pieces you might be interested in. There are even Democrats on it!

Madeleine Albright's consulting firm got money, as did a couple of the Pod Save America guys, for a strategery firm they run that is not part of Crooked Media. Know how those Republican campaign contractors above got money? So did a Democratic firm that does similar Democratic things for the Democrats, called Sage Media Planning and Placement.

Barron Trump's school got a check, and so did the school where the Obama kids went.

Sara Gideon, who's running to kick Susan Collins's ass in the Maine Senate race? Her husband's law firm got money too!

Of course, the Democrats on this list don't have a particular history of policing poor people's grocery store shopping carts to make sure they're not buying name-brand arugula (CALVIN KLEIN ARUGULA), and Democrats tend to believe the government should step in when times get rough, and also for people for whom times are pretty much always rough. So it really kinda is different, say, from GROVER NORQUIST AND AYN RAND'S ROTTING CARCASS.

And again, anybody on this list with a legit small business that needs help keeping afloat through these terrible times should get assistance, even if you personally think they are actually very rich, based on your scrupulous knowledge of their account balances.

At the same time, remember, you only got a $1,200 check (possibly multiplied depending on how many spouses and families you have). And the Trump government really doesn't want you to get any more, in the middle of the worst pandemic of the last century. And all that CARES Act unemployment relief is expiring at the end of this month.

But oh well, Grover Norquist and the Kushners and Ayn Rand's corpse got theirs, so fuck off.

[Bloomberg / Forbes / Daily Beast / ProPublica]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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