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Lobbying Firm Proposes ‘Hit Job’ on OWS

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Posted on Nov 19, 2011

MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes brings us a memo written by a Washington lobbying firm staffed with former aides of Republican Speaker John Boehner offering American bankers a near $1 million publicity blitz against Occupy Wall Street and its congressional supporters.

The firm warns executives with the American Bankers Association that the Democratic Party’s adoption of the movement “would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bull’s-eye,” including the possibility that “Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”

The memo alone does not prove that the banking barons are running scared, yet. It was written by seasoned businessmen attempting to stir up and capitalize on the fear that OWS could become a viable political force and a genuine threat to the banking community. But as Hayes says, there are likely many more of these documents being passed around, and that fact should both encourage and terrify the Occupiers. —ARK

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race_to_the_bottom's avatar

By race_to_the_bottom, November 20, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Obama doesn’t say anything for the same reason he has said and done a lot of things to support finance capital. He’s their guy! End of story.

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By gerard, November 20, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Obama doesn’t say anything about Occupiers because he isn’t allowed to. He isn’t allowed to say anything that begins to sound like “liberal” because there are too many voters who might not vote for him if they felt like he wasn’t in the “middle of the road”—which is exactly nowhere. But that is also exactly where 2/3 of the American people want to be—nowhere, where you don’t have to look beyond the end of your nose, where you don’t have to do anything except work (hopefully you still have a job which you might lose if you do anything or say anything etc. etc. etc.) For many, church is a safety-zone. Home (if you have one) is a safety-zone (if you keep the door locked). TV is a safety-zone. Everywhere else—watch your step, Buddy. If you think you are being “surveilled”, what about him?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 20, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

The Democratic Party establishment, Obama included, probably believe that if the Occupations can be transported to the realm of myth and legend—in other words, killed and stuffed—they can be more easily and thoroughly reinterpreted and reshaped to advantage, that is, turned into a political asset.

Bankers and so forth may be lousy at banking, but they’re good at politics.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, November 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

While this is important news, it’s interesting how MSNBC hasn’t asked a very important question: Why does Obama remain silent while police forces brutally repress peaceful demonstrations, kick and punch the elderly and spray nonviolent students? This is the f—king PRESIDENT and nobody wonders why he’s allowing the current crackdowns to go on and not at least commenting. Maybe because MSNBC is uncomfortable with the truth: Obama approves of the crackdowns.

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By litlpeep, November 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

The Occupy movement has nothing to fear from the bankers.  They have repeatedly demonstrated their radical incompetence to even bank.

Occupy needs to fear nothing at all except possibly allowing itself to get pushed into stating intention(s) before it is ready to make the intention public.

Only fools rush in to replace fools who earlier rushed in.  Who needs to hurry and prove they are just as foolish as the bankers have repeatedly proven about themselves?

As Cornel West has said, you cannot kill an idea whose time has come.

The time has come for the USA to engage democracy, democratically, instead of chronically lying about itself being democratic.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

gerard—I’ve been aware that the media lie constantly since I was a teen-ager, and that was a long, long time ago.  I can’t be shocked by hearing of yet another instance.  The interesting questions for me are why there is so much lying, and what to do about it.

Of course capitalists are going to attack democracy.  Capitalism depends on a class system and a property system which have to be fairly authoritarian to work.  Hence capitalism is embodied in a particular kind of state.  Good information give power to the one who possesses it.  Hence it is sequestered and made scarce.  Besides lying and secrecy, we also have our IP laws.  Freedom is not free—in fact, it’s not even freedom.

I certainly don’t comment on Truthdig to fulfill some kind of moral obligation.  I have been commenting on the Net for decades, and I am pretty sure it does nothing.  It is entertaining, I suppose, and at first I learned a lot from people of diverse beliefs.  On a few occasions I have done someone some good personally and individually more or less by accident, but I might have done a lot better by ‘going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down on it.’

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By gerard, November 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Well Anarchissie, it may not shock you, but it shocks me. And at the same time, I, too, have become too calloused to be surprised.
  The good thing is, that it is exposed.  But secrecy, bribery, threat, character defamation and plans to frustrate massive democracit protest—all in four pages and “one of many”—if it doesn’t shock you when you stop to think about it, my next question would be “What happened to your political and moral sensibilities, and why are you bothering to comment on Truthdig or anywhere else?”

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, November 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

What’s shocking about it?  Offering to propagandize people, and doing it if paid ample sums, seems like business as usual.

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By gerard, November 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Shocking, but not shocking.  Glad it got out early on. Thank you TD!

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