How Murdoch’s Times of London and Fox News Coordinate Their Deceitful Reporting on Climate Change
If you wondered whether Murdoch’s various news outlets operate in sync when they misrepresent the facts about climate change, consider the deceitful reporting done by Ben Webster, the Environmental Editor for The Times of London. His smears against the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were immediately amplified and embellished by Fox News in New York. Both Webster’s story and its Fox News incarnation were used to defame the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and to lend an air of legitimacy to the phony “Climate-gate” scandal that had already been debunked by scientific journals and scientific inquiries .
Today we know that one of the Murdoch employees arrested in Britain, Neil Wallis, was deeply implicated in two hacking scandals, the first pertaining to the News of the World, and the second pertaining to the invasion of computers at the University of East Anglia, the victim of the phony Climate-gate scandal touted by Fox News. So it may be worthwhile to take another look at how deceitful reporting within the Murdoch empire can spread like a virus. Look at the opening paragraphs in The Times of London story:
Climate scientists at the centre of the row over stolen e-mails acted with integrity and made no attempt to manipulate their research on global temperatures, an external inquiry has found.
Their research was, however, misrepresented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which failed to reflect uncertainties the scientists had reported concerning the raw temperature data.
An inquiry panel of leading scientists, nominated by the Royal Society, said that the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit may not have used the best methods for analyzing temperature records.
Webster’s second and third paragraphs distort the panel’s findings beyond all recognition.
Last edited by boutons_deux; 07-24-2011 at 11:20 AM.
Koch And Exxon Pay To Write State Legislation Repealing Climate Change Laws
According to tax records and other materials acquired by Bloomberg News, Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, and numerous other corporations paid tens of thousands of dollars to write legislation for lawmakers that would repeal carbon pollution reduction programs in various states around the U.S.
These companies working to dismantle environmental programs are members of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which allows private-sector parties to “pay-to-play” – charging thousands of dollars to sit at the table with legislators and craft bills.
According to Bloomberg News, Exxon Mobil donated $39,000 to ALEC last year and the Koch Charitable Foundation donated $75,858 in 2009, the final year in which tax documents were available. Both companies, along with BP, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy helped draft legislation that has been introduced in Oregon, New Hampshire, Washington State and New Mexico designed to take those states out of regional cap and trade programs:
That's how the UCA rolls, they own government.
shock/crony/pay-to-play capitalism at work by the PIC:
Florida Looks for the Lowest Bidder as It Privatizes 30 State Prisons
GEO Group already manages two of the state's seven private prisons and is a "prime financier of the Republican Party " that gave more than $400,000 to GOP in the 2010 election cycle alone and gave the maximum $25,000 to Scott's inaugural fund.
The Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest corrections company, also has close connections  to GOP statehouses across the country. The company has spent $373,000 in political contributions  in Florida since 2003, over 60 percent of which have gone to Republicans.
And the private prison industry isn't just lobbying to take over state prisons; it's also "working to make money through harsh policies and longer sentences." According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), private prisons spend millions on lobbying  to put more people in jail, which translates to more profits for them. Last year, Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group made over $2.9 billion in revenue.
More the VRWC ALEC conspiracy:
Six Extreme Right-Wing Attacks by ALEC in State Governments
Disenfranchising American Citizens Through Voter ID
Undoing Efforts to Address Climate Change
Filling For-Profit Prisons Through Anti-Immigrant Bills
Opposing Health Insurance Reform
Privatizing K-12 Education
An amazing, surprising paper from AEI on decarbonization:
Corporate tax evasion/avoidance for the predatory, abusive monopoly in your PC
Microsoft's Use Of Lox-Tax Havens Drives Tax Bill To 7 Percent Of Profit
But Microsoft is straightforward about the core reason for its lower tax bill: It is increasingly channeling earnings from sales to customers throughout the world through the low-tax havens of Ireland, Puerto Rico and Singapore.
Microsoft's pre-tax profits booked overseas nearly tripled over the past six years, to $19.2 billion in the fiscal year that just ended, from $6.8 billion in the year ended in June 2006, according to company filings. By contrast, its U.S. earnings have dropped, to $8.9 billion from $11.4 billion in the same period. Foreign earnings now make up 68 percent of overall income.
The change is fueling its shrinking tax bills. According to its 2010 annual report, by keeping a good chunk of foreign earnings away from the U.S., Microsoft has accumulated $29.5 billion overseas -- and that is before the impact of its last financial year.
In theory, the company has saved $9.2 billion in U.S. federal taxes on that figure, though if it brought the entire $29.5 billion back home tomorrow its tax bill would be lower because of credits for foreign taxes paid and other U.S. deductions.
Microsoft's effective worldwide tax rate fell to 17.5 percent in the last fiscal year, down from 25 percent the previous year and 31 percent in the year to June 30, 2006. The company said it expects to owe tax at an effective rate in the next year of between 19 percent and 22 percent.
Few companies, including Thomson Reuters, pay the standard U.S. corporate rate of 35 percent thanks to loopholes and deductions but the Microsoft tax rate is still at the low end when compared with other large technology companies.
In their last reported fiscal years, Google Inc's effective tax rate was 21 percent, Apple Inc's 24 pct, and IBM's was 25 percent.
The UCA loves the tax policies it pays for.
How Shadowy Right-Wing Front Groups Engineered Our National Embrace Of Debt Reduction Over Job Creation
– Founded in 2010 by former Bush admin flak Gretchen Hamel, the group Public Notice has quietly pumped millions into advertising about debt reduction: Public Notice sponsored at least $3 million on a debt ad called “Shovel” that falsely claims the spending doesn’t create jobs, an undisclosed amount for online ads promoting a highly produced web series on the evils of government spending, a debt pledge that features pop singer Justin Bieber, and what is believed to be another multimillion dollar ad buy recently for a commercial, appearing like a PSA, that warns that government spending is akin to cocaine addiction. To warp elite opinion, the group sponsored billboard ads at Reagan National Airport and on buses and bus shelters near Capitol Hill. Although Hamel does not reveal her donors, she is connected closely with the Koch network of billionaire and investors. Last year at a right-wing donor conference attended by top hedge fund manager Steve Schwarzman and Charles Koch, Hamel gave a presentation on “Framing the Debate on Spending.”
– Retired investor Pete Peterson has dedicated $1 billion of his personal wealth to reducing government spending; much of that money has gone to a multifaceted marketing campaign: The Peterson Institute has spent $1 million underwriting a movie about the debt, at least $1,010,232 developing a children’s debt sports game that also directs users to a Econ4U, a front group created by infamous lobbyist Rick Berman, and millions more for a TV ad campaign called “Hugh Jidette,” an MTV-U cable television series that misleadingly conflates personal debt with the national debt, a newspaper partnered with the Washington Post, and even a program at Columbia University to develop a national debt-related K-12 curriculum.
– Corporate astroturf lobbyist Rick Berman has spent large amounts orchestrating a scare-mongering campaign over the national debt. Along with his connections to the Peterson network mentioned above, Berman has set up a campaign called “Defeat the Debt” to push the public into believing the national debt is the country’s top priority. He has run ads on television, purchased billboards throughout the Washington D.C. metro area, and aggressively marketed his campaign to Capitol Hill staffers. Last year, Berman purchased an ad during the Super Bowl — spending approximately $3 million — that showed schoolchildren pledging allegiance “to America’s debt, and to the Chinese government that lends us money.”
– A network of other right-wing groups have used a series of public relations gimmicks — like barnstorming bus tours filled with highly paid GOP operatives posing as Tea Party activists — to orchestrate an astroturf effort to build support for cutting spending over creating jobs. Groups like Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Tax Reform sponsored a group called Spending Revolt that toured the country organizing debt-related rallies with Republican candidates last year. The group, which has organized events with the Ohio Coal Association, gained countless local press hits appearing as a genuine citizens groups, despite the fact its sponsors are corporate lobbyists. This year, Americans for Prosperity has continued a separate effort to organize debt-themed rallies. American Majority, a group founded after Obama’s election by two GOP operatives, has quietly provided training efforts across the country to mobilize around the issue of the national debt.
This is only a snapshot of the debt-related public relations campaign; millions more have been spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, and other big business advocacy groups.
UCA never sleeps:
U.S. Chamber To Rank Politicians On Whether They Vote To Keep Contractor Donations Secret
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to members of the House telling them that voting for federal contractors to be more transparent about their political spending will negatively impact their legislative scorecard.
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports legislative proposals to ensure that political spending -- or the lack thereof -- continues to play no role in federal contracting decisions," the Chamber's R. Bruce Josten wrote in the letter sent on Wednesday.
"Therefore, the Chamber supports amendments that have been offered by Rep. Cole to several Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bills considered by the full House, and any similar amendments should they be offered to the remaining FY 2012 appropriations bills," he wrote.
Koch Joins Wellpoint to Help Fight Wisconsin Recalls in Battle With Labor
Republican and Democratic groups are pouring money into Wisconsin with eight legislative recalls scheduled this month and control of the state Senate hanging in the balance.
The Republican State Leadership Committee, based in Alexandria, Virginia, has spent about $370,000 on the special elections, while the Washington-based Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has spent about $250,000, according to documents filed with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in Madison.
Wellpoint Inc. (WLP), an Indianapolis-based health insurer that has been critical of the new federal health-care law, is among the top donors to Republican organizations active in the contests, including $450,000 to the RSLC and $250,000 to the Republican Governors Association.
Wellpoint gave $842,000 to the RSLC for the 2010 elections. State officials are playing a key role in implementing -- or fighting -- the new health law. Kristin Binns, a Wellpoint spokeswoman, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.
“Big Labor has made Wisconsin their Waterloo,” the RSLC states on its Website, seeking donations to help the Republican lawmakers facing recall elections following their support of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s legislation to take away bargaining rights of state workers. Walker said the law was necessary to trim spending and balance the state budget.
Republican Cash Advantage
Overall, the national groups trying to elect Republican governors, legislators and other state officials almost doubled Democratic fundraising, new Internal Revenue Service records show.
The Republican groups reported raising $28 million between Jan. 1 and June 30, compared with $15 million for their Democratic counterparts. Unlike the national political parties, these committees can accept contributions from corporate and union treasuries, and unlimited donations from individuals.
The RSLC’s chairman, Ed Gillespie, is a former aide to President George W. Bush. Gillespie worked with former Bush political strategist Karl Rove in 2010 to create American Crossroads. American Crossroads and its related organization Crossroads GPS spent $38 million last year in support of Republican congressional candidates. In March, Crossroads GPS spent $750,000 in ads supporting Walker’s new anti-labor law, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.
“Wisconsin is a huge priority,” said Carolyn Fiddler, a DLCC spokeswoman.
VRWC attack on labor pits unions and other workers against "slave wage" prisoners. No need to export jobs, just give the jobs to prisoners.
New Exposé Tracks ALEC-Private Prison Industry Effort to Replace Unionized Workers with Prison Labor
Many of the toughest sentencing laws responsible for the explosion of the U.S. prison population were drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which helps corporations write model legislation. Now a new exposé reveals ALEC has paved the way for states and corporations to replace unionized workers with prison labor. We speak with Mike Elk, contributing labor reporter at The Nation magazine. He says ALEC and private prison companies "put a mass amount of people in jail, and then they created a situation where they could exploit that." Elk notes that in 2005 more than 14 million pounds of beef infected with rat feces processed by inmates were not recalled, in order to avoid drawing attention to how many products are made by prison labor.
The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor
prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program ). While much has been written about prison labor in the past several years, these forces, which have driven its expansion, remain largely unknown.
Somewhat more familiar is ALEC’s instrumental role in the explosion of the US prison population in the past few decades. ALEC helped pioneer some of the toughest sentencing laws on the books today, like mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders, “three strikes” laws, and “truth in sentencing” laws. In 1995 alone, ALEC’s Truth in Sentencing Act  was signed into law in twenty-five states. (Then State Rep. Scott Walker was an ALEC member when he sponsored Wisconsin's truth-in-sentencing laws and, according to PR Watch, used its statistics to make the case for the law.) More recently, ALEC has proposed innovative “solutions” to the overcrowding it helped create, such as privatizing the parole process through “the proven success of the private bail bond industry,” as it recommended in 2007. (The American Bail Coalition is an executive member of ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force.) ALEC has also worked to pass state laws to create private for-profit prisons, a boon to two of its major corporate sponsors: Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group (formerly Wackenhut Corrections), the largest private prison firms in the country. An In These Times investigation  last summer revealed that ALEC arranged secret meetings between Arizona’s state legislators and CCA to draft what became SB 1070, Arizona’s notorious immigration law, to keep CCA prisons flush with immigrant detainees. ALEC has proven expertly capable of devising endless ways to help private corporations benefit from the country’s massive prison population.
Top Companies Claim To Fight Global Warming, But Sponsor ALEC’s Climate Denial
The fight against global warming pollution requires the investment of everyone, including the world’s multinational corporate giants. Many companies have taken official stances on climate pollution, pledging to reduce their greenhouse footprint in order to reduce the threat of a destabilized climate.
However, a number of these same companies are sponsoring toxic, far-right denial of climate science. The American Legislative Exchange Council pushes an extremist denier agenda throughout the United States, funded in secret by corporations. ThinkProgress has acquired a list of the sponsors of ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting, held last week in New Orleans, LA.
ALEC denies that global warming is causing glaciers to retreat or sea level to rise. Not only does ALEC deny the threat of climate change, they even argue that “substantial global warming is likely to be of benefit to the United States”:
“There is no ‘scientific consensus’ that global warming will cause damaging climate change.”
“Even substantial global warming is likely to be of benefit to the United States.” [ALEC, Energy, Environment, and Economics, 5th Edition]
At the annual meeting, ALEC hosted a session touting the “benefits of carbon dioxide.” ALEC also supports the repeal of Section 526, which prohibits federal purchases of high-carbon fuels.
The radical anti-science agenda of ALEC stands in direct contravention to the official public policies of its funders, which include top health care companies like Bayer, Merck, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, and top energy companies like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Entergy:
at the right-wingers here denying global warming but in fact are just stupidly duped by the VRWC strategy of denying global warming
U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Battles Anti-Bribery Statute
Not only is the Chamber taking on something as seemingly unassailable as an anti-bribery law, but it's doing so just as the movement the FCPA launched is finally taking hold across the globe, corruption fighters say.
And without much organized opposition -- at least so far -- the Chamber's army of lobbyists is making serious headway in Congress, even among Democrats.
The Chamber is not overtly taking a pro-bribery position. Rather, its lobbying blitz couches the proposed changes as tune-ups, a few safeguards needed to protect against overzealous prosecutors.
"Our proposals are aimed at preserving existing law enforcement tools so that the government can pursue the bad actors while ensuring that the good actors have clarity and more certainty under the law, which is clearly lacking today,"
Attacks on Science Education Intensify: “There Seems To Be a Lynch-Mob Hate Against Any Teacher Trying to Teach Climate Change”
What’s currently seeping into classrooms across the country is far, far worse—more ideological, and more difficult to stop. We’re talking about outright climate denial being fed to students—and accurate climate science teaching being attacked by aggressive Tea Party-style ideologues.
Science magazine just released a report on the state of affairs out there in this place called America, and it’s ugly. From the piece:
“It’s very difficult when we, as science teachers, are just trying to present scientific facts,” says Kathryn Currie, head of the [Los Alamitos High School’s] science department. And science educators around the country say such attacks are becoming all too familiar. They see climate science now joining evolution as an inviting target for those who accuse “liberal” teachers of forcing their “beliefs” upon a captive audience of impressionable children.
“Evolution is still the big one, but climate change is catching up,” says Roberta Johnson, executive director of the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) in Boulder, Colorado. An informal survey this spring of 800 NESTA members found that climate change was second only to evolution in triggering protests from parents and school administrators. One teacher reported being told by school administrators not to teach climate change after a parent threatened to come to class and make a scene. Online message boards for science teachers tell similar tales…
“There seems to be a lynch-mob hate against any teacher trying to teach climate change,” says Andrew Milbauer, an environmental sciences teacher at Conserve School, a private boarding school in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin.
Milbauer felt that wrath after receiving an invitation to participate in a public debate about climate change. The event, put on last year by Tea Party activists, proposed to pit high school teachers against professors and climate change deniers David Legates and Willie Soon in front of students from 200 high schools. Organizers said the format was designed “to expand knowledge of the global warming debate to the youth of our state.” When Milbauer and his colleagues declined to participate, organizer Kim Simac complained to the local papers about their “suspicious” behavior. Milbauer corresponded for a time on the organization’s blog until Simac wrote that Milbauer, “in his role as science teacher, is passing on to our youth this monstrous hoax as being the gospel truth.”
Another sign that America is in permanent decline, led down by ideologues paid by the VRWC/UCA and by "Christian" dominionist/creationist/evangelical theocrats. Rationality, critical thinking, and science is being attacked to be replaced by extreme, self-serving ideologues.
Businessman Behind Effort To Dismantle Health Care Hints At Campaign Against Federal Banking Regulation
network of front groups advancing the “Health Care Compact,” a massive deregulation idea to turn over federal money used for health reform, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs to state governments along with the power to use that money however they see fit, even if it has nothing to do with actual health care.
The cancer is well-advanced. Therapies that rely upon the federal government to self-restrain will not work. The states must engage. We are left, then, with two broad options:
1. Compacts, that allow for piecemeal deconstruction of the federal state (BTW: Gov. Perry signed the Health Care Compact yesterday, making it the fourth state to join. There will be a big push in 2012 in many more states, and we are adding an Education Compact and Banking Compact to the mix.)
If the Banking Compact looks anything like Linbeck’s Health Care Compact, he could obliterate what’s left of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and the other financial regulators that are already under-staffed and partially captured by bank lobbyists. Linbeck’s “piecemeal deconstruction of the federal state” will be as disastrous for banking regulation as it is for health care.
Orwell Watch: More Reengineering of Values via Koch Funded “Deep Lobbying”
The 40th anniversary of the Powell memo is this Tuesday, August 23. Louis Powell’s document articulated a vision and major elements of a plan for how major corporations would reshape social values to produce a milieu more conducive to their interests. As Bill Black wrote:
He issued a clarion call for corporations to mobilize their economic power to further their economic interests by ensuring that corporations dominated every influential and powerful American institution. Lewis Powell’s call was answered by the CEOs who funded the creation of Cato, Heritage, and hundreds of other movement centers.
The result was arguably the most successful proselytization in history. And conservatives are not resting on their laurels. One ongoing effort is to cement right wing values by embedding them in the educational process. As we pointed out in ECONNED and here, that strategy reaped enormous rewards in the law arena. The once fringe law and economics movement, which sought to embed the ideas of neoclassical economics in the legal discipline, is now mainstream, and has served the big businesses who funded this push very well.
VRWC is real, and is very effective. Result: the planet's economies and natural resources are fucked, as the VRWC concentrates its wealth and power while everybody else slides backward and downward.
The Wages of Destroying Labor Bargaining Power: Nearly 30% of Job Losses Due to Management Cutting Pie in Favor of Capital
that the benefits of GDP growth, which used to go mainly to labor (via increased hiring and better wages) now benefit capitalists fare more than ordinary workers. The shift towards increases in GDP favoring corporate profits at the expense of labor became pronounced in the weak Bush expansion
High and persistent unemployment in the US has emerged as one of the most important macroeconomic legacies of the 2007-09 world economic crisis. While the decline of business activity in the US was no larger than in Europe, the US is an outlier in its outsized response of the unemployment rate to its decline of output (IMF 2011).
Here we quantify the shortfall of US employment – some 10.4 million missing jobs – and ask: Why did the number of jobs decline so much and why has it recovered so little? Two sets of causes stand out.
First, there has been a changing balance of economic power in the US between management and labour in the past two decades that has led to more aggressive firing of workers when business profits head south.
Second, the large negative output gap (actual real GDP below trend or potential) is not shrinking, due to the “double hangover” persisting in the aftermath of the housing bubble.
The “disposable worker hypothesis”
When the economy begins to sink – like the Titanic after the iceberg struck – firms begin to cut costs any way they can; tossing employees overboard is the most direct way. For every worker tossed overboard in a sinking economy prior to 1986, about 1.5 are now tossed overboard. Why are firms so much more aggressive in cutting employment costs? My “disposable worker hypothesis” (Gordon, 2010) attributes this shift of behaviour to a complementary set of factors that amount to “workers are weak and management is strong.” The weakened bargaining position of workers is explained by the same set of four factors that underlie higher inequality among the bottom 90% of the American income distribution since the 1970s – weaker unions, a lower real minimum wage, competition from imports, and competition from low-skilled immigrants.
But the rise of inequality also has boosted the income share of the top 1% relative to the rest of the top 10%. In the 1990s corporate management values shifted toward more emphasis on shareholder value and executive compensation, with less importance placed on the welfare of workers, and a key driver of this change in attitudes was the sharply higher role of stock options in executive compensation.
Cisco and HSBC just laid off 10s of 1000s with the announced objective of "increasing profitability", iow, not because they were in financial trouble, but expressly, blatantly to transfer salaries from employees to mgmt and investors.
and here's Bachmann continuing in the same "fuck every worker harder and deeper"
Michele Bachmann Would Consider Lowering Minimum Wage To Match Cost Of Overseas Labor
She was later asked by a reporter whether changes to the minimum wage should also be considered to balance the cost of labor here and overseas.
"I'm not married to anything. I'm not saying that's where I'm going to go," she said.
People (employees, patients, etc) really have to be ignorant and unthinking to vote against their best interests when they vote for these crazy fucking sociopathic assholes, over and over and over.
Foundations paid $42 million to spread anti-Muslim propaganda
"The report, titled “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” documents which anti-Muslim organizations have played a part in the rise of Islamophobia throughout the country. The seven foundations include "Donors Capital Fund" and Richard Scaife Foundations, which received more than half of the $42 million spent.
The money has also been given to five key "scholars", including Frank Gaffney, who are considered the masterminds of crafting anti-Muslim propaganda. Those scholars are assisted by the likes of Pamela Gellar and David Horowitz, who help pass off the negative information to Fox News, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich among others.
And plenty of ST right-wing assholes got suckered by the VRWC jihad on Muslims.
btw, SOCOM imperialist murderers are now murdering "terrorists" in 100+ countries, and corporate media remains silent, complicit.
How Corporate and Political Forces Have Almost Neutralized All Avenues of Resistance in US Culture
The only commodity the troll state offers is fear. The corporate trolls, such as the Koch brothers, terrify the birthers, creationists, militia lovers, tea party militants, right-to-life advocates, Christian fascists and God-fearing red-white-and-blue patriots by proclaiming that, unless they vote for Perry or Mitt Romney or Michele Bachmann or some other product of the lunatic fringe of our political establishment, the American family will be destroyed, our children will be corrupted and the country will turn socialist. Barack Obama, who they whisper is a closet Muslim, will take away their guns, raise their taxes and bring homosexual couples into kindergartens.
And underneath it all runs the mantra chanted in unison by all the trolls—terror, terror, terror. The troll establishment spins us like windup dolls and laughs all the way to the bank. What idiots, they think. And every election cycle we prove them right.
The trolls dominate or have neutralized every major institution in the country on behalf of their corporate paymasters. The press, education, Wall Street, labor and our political parties are managed by trolls or have been destroyed by them. Sometimes these trolls speak like liberals. Sometimes they speak like conservatives. Sometimes they are secular. Sometimes they are Christians. But the language they use is a cover for the relentless march toward a totalitarian capitalism and a kingdom where the trolls, if not the rest of us, live happily ever after. Rick Perry and John Boehner overtly make war on Social Security. Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi say they would like to save Social Security but are sadly powerless before the decisions of a congressional super committee they helped form. The result, of course, is the same. We get to choose the rhetoric and manner in which we are deceived and disempowered. Nothing more.
A society is in serious trouble when its political pariahs have at the core of their demands a return to the rule of law. This inversion, with our political and cultural outcasts demanding a respect for law, highlights the awful fact that the most radical and retrograde forces within the body politic have seized control. These forces demand that we serve the dictates of the marketplace. They are destroying all legal impediments to corporate exploitation and profit, as well as dismantling the regulatory agencies that once protected the citizen. They defend torture, offshore penal colonies, black sites and kidnapping (they call it “extraordinary rendition”) of state enemies. They protect and abet financial fraud. They wage pre-emptive war. They refuse to restore habeas corpus. Without warrants, they monitor, eavesdrop on and wiretap tens of millions of citizens. They order the assassination of U.S. citizens. They deny due process. They give corporations the status of persons. They ignore the suffering of the unemployed and the poor, slashing basic social service programs while doling out hundreds of billions in taxpayer funds to corporations. On these key issues, the only ones that really matter, there is no disagreement among trolls from either the self-identified left or the self-identified right. All their public disputes in the election cycle are a carnival act.
The infamous Powell memo that initiated the VRWC as direct response to social progress made in the 1960s.
U.S Right Wing and GOP Presidential Candidates Spreading Paranoid Anti-Muslim Hysteria as Part of Take-Over Strategy
"In 1971, former US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell submitted a confidential memorandum to his friend, Eugene Sydnor, the chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce, an umbrella group representing American big business. Powell, who was serving on the boards of 11 corporations at the time, warned that America was suffering from a surplus of democratic freedom thanks to the legacy of the New Left and the countercultural revolt of the 1960's. He declared, "No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack." Powell warned that "Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries" were joining forces with "perfectly respectable elements of society from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians" to bring down American capitalism.
To roll back the surge of democracy that supposedly threatened corporate predominance, Powell urged the Chamber of Commerce to finance the creation of a new political and cultural infrastructure -- a "counter-establishment" capable of unraveling the liberal establishment. The infrastructure would consist of pseudo-scholarly journals, "experts" promoted through speakers bureaus, campus pressure groups, publishing houses, lobbyists and partisan idea factories masquerading as think tanks. He wrote that operatives of the network would have to affect a "more aggressive attitude," leveling relentless personal attacks against the perceived enemies of big business. By the last days of the Nixon administration, Attorney General John Mitchell was boasting that his conservative friends were going to take the country "so far to the right we won't recognize it."
Though still obscure, the Powell memo is one of the most important documents in American political history. It was the blueprint for the creation of the modern American conservative movement, a political contingent that now controls the Republican Party and influences mainstream American opinion in ways Powell could have never imagined. Powell's vision came to life during the late 1970's, when neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and former Treasury Secretary William Simon gathered together a small group of business tycoons willing to lay down the millions in seed money necessary to raise up a network of conservative think tanks, talking heads, and magazines that would flood the media with right-wing opinions, capture the courts and take control of Congress. Chief among the right-wing sugardaddies was Richard Mellon Scaife, a reclusive billionaire from PIttsburgh, Pennsylvania who controlled much of the Mellon oil fortune.
Through his various foundations, Mellon Scaife helped finance the creation of the pillars of the conservative movement, from the Federalist Society, which spearheaded the right's takeover of the federal court system, to the Heritage Foundation, a think tank that functions as the outsourced brain of the congressional Republicans, to the Media Research Center, a right-wing watchdog group that has helped manufacture the concept of "liberal media bias." The Tea Party, a far-right constellation of pressure groups bankrolled by extraction industry barons like the Koch Brothers, is the latest incarnation of the corporate funded conservative counter-establishment.
Scaife's name turned up again this month in connection with a familiar cabal of right-wing corporate moneymen financing a small and relatively new political network determined to promote Islamophobia throughout America. According to an authoritative 130-page report by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank based in Washington, Scaife and other conservative sugardaddies have pumped $42.6 million between 2001 and 2009 into the Islamophobic network. Most of the money has gone to five figures known for bigoted, extremist views on Muslims, Arabs, and people of color. They are: Daniel Pipes, a neoconservative academic who urged Israel to employ methods of terrorism against Palestinian civilians and "raze Palestinian villages;" Frank Gaffney, a rightist national security wonk who has called the practice of Shariah a form of "sedition;" Robert Spencer, a writer and activist who has said that "everyone knows" most or all terrorists are Muslims; Stephen Emerson, a self-styled terror "expert" who blamed Muslims for the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, which turned out to have been conducted by a right-wing white nationalist terrorist; and David Yerushalmi, a far-right legal activist who has argued that whites are genetically superior to people of color. Behind these figures lies a cadre of equally vitriolic figures like Pamela Geller and Brigitte Gabriel who hype their work. (Read more about the Islamophobic network in my piece, "The Great Fear.")"
No paranoia, the VRWC is real, goes back 40 years, and is 100% responsible for the Human-American shithole the USA has become, and for the permanent decline of USA for the lower 95%.
ALEC Releases Anti-Health Reform Playbook For GOP State Legislators
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a shadowy national conservative group, has released a new playbook for Republican legislators determined to undermine and repeal health care reform. “The State Legislators Guide To Repealing Obamacare” contains 14 specific recommendations officials can take to impede the Affordable Care Act, including rejecting ACA grants from the federal government. The Kansas Health Institute points out that last year ALEC essentially drafted legislation in their state and others implementing several sections of the playbook. The actions of legislators in states like Florida show just how closely Republicans are adhering to the manual. In These Times recently published an expose of ALEC detailing how the organization has colluded with the billionaire Koch brothers to privatize key government functions and destroy public services.
lol...could obama scrub it up anymore this week.
Roosevelt Explains It All
Roosevelt nails EXACTLY the 21st century situation, which is why the VRWC has for 30+ years trashed Roosevelt. He had the balls to expose their game, their corruption, their wars on everybody else.
Last edited by boutons_deux; 09-04-2011 at 06:48 PM.
$1 Million Donation to the Kochs? Meet the Wealthy Right-Wingers Helping Fund the Brothers' Agenda
Twice a year, the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch host secretive retreats for an exclusive list of corporate America's rich and powerful to strategize and raise money for their right-wing political agenda.
In a speech that is part of these recordings, Charles Koch thanks donors who gave more than $1 million to the cause. We checked the audio against a list of participants at the Kochs' 2010 seminar in Aspen that was obtained by ThinkProgress.org and did additional research on these individuals. Below are the names Koch read that appeared on the previous guest list.
Scott Walker and the GOP Reveal Depth of Their Voter-Exclusion Plan
A new Department of Transportation memo reveals how thoroughly Wisconsin Republicans intend to make the newly imposed voter ID process—fiercely opposed by labor—as onerous and expensive as possible for the low-income people seeking the IDs.
Wisconsin's fundamental pillars of democracy have been under sustained pounding ever since Gov. Scott Walker, with a right-wing playbook from the American Legislative Exchange Council tucked under his arm and cash from the billionaire Koch brothers bulging out of his suit coat, was sworn into office back in January.
Within five weeks, Walker had dropped what he privately called “the bomb” on public employees by unleashing legislation known as Act 10, which makes their unions impossible to operate and sustain. The law was approved on a 4-3 vote by the Supreme Court after a fracas in which right-wing Justice David Prosser put his hands on the throat of Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, earning him the nickname “Madison strangler.” Now in effect, Act 10 facilitates the flow of income from public employees to corporations and the investor class in the form of endless new tax breaks.
Clearly, Walker and his allies both in Wisconsin and nationally are intent on constructing a plutocracy that redistributes income and wealth upward to the richest 1 percent and the corporations they control. They have made great progress: The richest 1 percent now vacuums up the same share of national income—about 24 percent—as they did back in 1928. But of course you can’t have a secure plutocracy alongside a thriving democracy; as long as the majority of citizens enjoy full democratic rights, they pose a mortal threat to the privileges of the select few.
GOP 2012 Strategy: Disenfranchise Democrats, Rig Electoral College
If the GOP presidential nominee carries the GOP-leaning districts but Obama carries the state, the GOP nominee would get 12 electoral votes out of Pennsylvania, but Obama would only get eight—six for winning the blue districts, and two (representing the state's two senators) for winning the state.
“State legislatures could gerrymander the Electoral College.”
Think of it as a continuation of the GOP’s war on voting. The most basic of democratic rights should not be a left vs. right issue but one that both parties work to uphold. Unfortunately, instead of improving our democracy, Republicans are working harder every day to undermine it.
Repugs, like the UCA, don't GAF about USA, Human-Americans, democracy, freedom, only about smash-mouth, corrupt politics and consolidating political power to stuff their own pockts.
As in Wisconsin, UCA media blocking out true (not tea bagger false) popular demonstrations:
Blackout: CNN, Fox, and MSNBC Ignore Thousands Of US Day Of Rage Protesters
Most Americans are being kept in the dark about the US Day of Rage by the corporate cable news giants at CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC who have imposed a de facto blackout on the protest.
Even though estimates have varied from hundreds to as many as 50,000 protesters flooded into Manhattan and others cities to take part in events around the country to, “nonviolently disrupt the disloyal, incompetent, and corrupt special interests which have usurped our nation’s civil and military power, spawning a host of threats to our liberty, lives and national security,” the three cable news networks have devoted no airtime to the story.
This is becoming an all too familiar scene. In Wisconsin hundreds of thousands of regular people took to the streets each weekend to protest the theft of their rights, and were completely ignored by CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
Sarah Palin’s Iowa tea party speech was 1/50 as big as the Wisconsin protests, yet she was deemed worthy of national media coverage.
The theft of the American pension
America is in the midst of a retirement crisis. Over the last decade, we've witnessed the wholesale gutting of pension and retiree healthcare in this country. Hundreds of companies have slashed and burned their way through their employees' benefits, leaving former workers either on Social Security or destitute -- and taxpayers with a huge burden that, as the baby boomer generation edges towards retirement, is likely to grow.
Over the last decade, some of the biggest companies -- including Bank of America, IBM, General Motors, GE and even the NFL -- found loopholes, abused ambiguous regulations and used litigation to turn their employees' hard-earned retirement funds into profits, and in some cases, executive compensation.
many companies, including a lot of the largest companies in the country, were hiring experts to change their pension plans. They all claimed they were doing it to make themselves more modern and better for the mobile workforce, but it struck me as unlikely that a lot of companies would be doing something that was apparently costing them money just to make employees happy. I ultimately figured out that they had found a way to use the accounting rules to profit from cutting benefits.
A striking example was Lucent, which inherited about 100,000 retirees when it was spun off from AT&T. From the beginning, Lucent kept saying, "We are crippled by these retirees," but the truth is, they also received more than enough actual money from AT&T to pay every dime of benefits for all the current and future retirees. Bit by bit, they cannibalized these benefits. They eliminated a death benefit, which is a very simple thing that says, if you work for us for 25 or 30 years, and you die, your widow will get $50,000 dollars or whatever per year. Lucent said they couldn't afford that. So they took it away and saved $400 million that had been set aside physically in the pension plan for these folks. At the same time, they awarded more than $400 million in bonuses to executives.
The antecedent, the patron saint of "fuck the employees, while mgmt/investors grab as much as they can steal" was St Ronnie firing 28K ATCs after 2 days strike, was the opening salvo and official Repug Presidential sanctioning of the War on Employees.
6 Ways the Rich Are Waging a Class War Against the American People
1. Registering the Poor to Vote is 'UnAmerican'
2. Unemployment Benefits Have Created a 'Nation of Slackers'
3. You Can't Really Be Poor if You Have a Color TV!
4. Food-Stamps: 'A Fossil That Repeats All the Errors of the War on Poverty'
5. 'The Main Causes of Child Poverty Are Low Levels of Parental Work and the Absence of Fathers.'
6. Taxing Working People Less Than the Rich Is 'Perverse'
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