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Posts Tagged ‘Influence

Video: Israel owns the USA – Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

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Barack Obama: Liar, Warlord, and Corporate Shill – Stephen Lendman

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May 31, 2010

(ThePeoplesVoice) – It shouldn’t surprise because no one gets the top job or any government position of power unless they’re safe-  yet, naively, most people thought Obama was different. Many still do.

As a candidate, he promised change, a new course, sweeping government reforms, addressing people needs, and “ensur(ing) that the hopes and concerns of average Americans speak louder in Washington than the hallway whispers of high-priced lobbyists” – the same ones who bought and now own him. He promised peace and delivered war; real health and financial reform, not same old, same old; help for millions losing jobs, homes, hope and futures, not handouts to Wall Street and other industry favorites; regulatory oversight, not the usual incestuous government-industry ties, making disasters like in the Gulf possible, and when they happen conspiring with offenders in coverup, distortion, lies, and a total disregard for the environment, wildlife, and way of life for thousands – let alone permanent damage to a vital ecosystem.

At the same time, Big Oil gets billions in subsidies, special tax breaks and other financial benefits, besides operating in a regulatory-free environment.

The 1995 Outer Continental Shelf Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (DWRRA – courtesy of Bill Clinton) exempted royalties on defined amounts of deep water production. After its 2000 expiration, the law was redefined and extended to promote further deep water drilling.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) defines it as having a water depth of 200 meters (656 feet). To be eligible, leases must be in the Gulf of Mexico, west of 87 degrees and 30 minutes west longitude (the Florida-Alabama boundary), and MMS must determine that the site isn’t economically viable without relief.

Given longstanding MMS-industry coziness, it’s practically rubber-stamp. DWRRA also reduced royalties on pre-November 28, 1995 leases, decided by the Interior Department Secretary on a case-by-case basis – again, practically assured by officials with close industry ties.

The 2005 Energy Policy Act was one of the friendliest ever with over $10 billion in handouts. It lets oil giants pay federal royalties in barrels of oil and grants exemptions on some wells, subsidizes a new R & D program for ultra deep water drilling and unconventional oil and gas development, creates hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax breaks, increases what oil and gas companies can deduct on pipeline expenses, provides more liability protection besides the $75 million cap (established by the 1990 Oil Pollution Act after the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, an amount too small to matter).

As an Illinois senator, six months into his term, Obama supported it, an early clue to where he stood, and how he hoped to gain – the usual “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” payoff.

It worked hugely with BP, the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) reporting that its employees and political action committees gave more to him than to any other federal candidate in the past 20 years.

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BP Gulf catastrophe typifies corporate behavior in America

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010  by Mike Adams  NaturalNews

The Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe, now in its 35th day, has struck land, coating tourist beaches, marshes and shorelines with a greasy black filth that metaphorically represents the corporate greed that now dominates the U.S. economy.

We are all awash in the dark slime of corporations gone bad, and now we’re paying the price for allowing these companies to dominate our media, our government and our entire economy.

You might think government regulators could have prevented all this, but that’s hardly the case. This disaster isn’t merely about a government regulation failure; it’s about what happens when you let corporations rule Washington.

Reporters threatened with arrest by U.S. Coast Guard under orders from BP

British Petroleum has been steamrolling both the federal government and the press over this oil catastrophe in the Gulf. For starters, the U.S. Coast Guard is now threatening to arrest journalists who try to cover the story by invoking “BP rules” that forbid journalists from conducting investigative journalism. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010…)

As reported by CBS News: “When CBS News tried to reach the beach, covered in oil, a boat of BP contractors with two Coast Guard officers on board told us to turn around under threat of arrest.”

In other words, the U.S. Coast Guard is now protecting the financial interests of corporations by trying to censor a story the public needs to see.

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Propagandized in America- the chains of illusion

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By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report May 10, 2010

part of a longer article: The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy’s Death Spiral From Greece to the United States

Part of the reason we are in this mess, and the main reason why the American people don’t even know what is happening to them, is that the illusion machine (television) has removed the American population tragically far from reality. The gap between the news we see on TV, and what is actually happening in the world today, is the most severe it has ever been. We have been bred to be completely removed from reality. As famed American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “We live exposed to the greatest flood of mass suggestion that any people has ever experienced.”

The American people need to understand that creating, manipulating and controlling public opinion through mass media propaganda is a science. As social psychologist Kelton Rhoads wrote in his study, Universal Persuasion, Everyday Influence:

“Make no mistake. There are legions of influence agents operating in our society. They thrive — they exist at the pinnacles of power — by getting you to think things and to do things they want you to think and do… Most people are either unaware of these influences, or when they are, vastly overestimate the amount of freedom they have to make up their own minds. But the successful influence agent knows that if he can manage the situation and choose the correct technique, your response to his technique will be as reliable as the springing of a mousetrap.”

People with power have used this science to divide and conquer the United States. In 1923, Edward Bernays, the Godfather of propaganda wrote: “Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.” William Blum in Rogue State wrote: “Propaganda is to a democracy what violence is to a dictatorship.” Harold Lasswell in 1927 declared: “The new antidote to willfulness is propaganda. If the mass will be free of chains of iron, it must accept its chains of silver. If it will not love, honor, and obey, it must not expect to escape seduction.”

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How Private Health Insurers Purchased Healthcare Reform

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“they all must go!”

Billy Wharton / March 31st, 2010   DissidentVoice.org

In a moment of frank political revelation, Firedoglake reports that Senator Max Bacchus has confirmed that former WellPoint Vice President Liz Fowler wrote substantial portions of the recently approved Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Left-wing opponents of the bill had already claimed that private insurers exercised significant influence on the proceedings in the House and Senate. Bacchus’ revelation takes these claims to a new level as they prove that the private health insurance lobby literally wrote the bill that is being passed off as a “reform” of the healthcare system.

Bacchus cited the contributions made by Liz Fowler during floor proceedings in the Senate. “Liz Fowler worked for me many years ago,” he proudly stated from the microphone, “left for the private sector, and then came back when she realized she could be there at the creation of health care reform because she wanted that to be, in a certain sense, her profession lifetime goal.” Fowler went on to author the influential White Paper that formed the basis for the eventual legislation.

WellPoint is a notorious private insurer. In 2007, it was revealed that the company operated an extensive department entirely dedicated to carrying out procedure denials and insurance cancellations. In 2009, WellPoint’s affiliate, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, sued the state of Maine in an attempt to force the state to guarantee that the company would receive at least a 3% annual return from selling insurance policies in the state. Not surprisingly, the company has also been a campaign contributor to Bacchus’ senatorial runs.

Liz Fowler’s pro-corporate credentials run far deeper than WellPoint. She began her career as an attorney at Hogan & Hartson, a massive corporate law and lobbying firm. The firm is an active campaign contributor, including, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, contributions of $2,000 to Bacchus’ campaigns in 2002 and 2006. There are currently 60 Hogan & Hartson lobbyists working in Washington representing hundreds of corporations, including dozens of health insurers and pharmaceutical companies.

All of this explains why the Senate Finance Committee was converted into the healthcare sinkhole. Senators on the committee received an inordinately high amount of campaign contributions from the health insurance industry, $8 million from PAC’s and $6 million from individuals, in 2010 to insure its loyalty. Liberal proposals for a “public-option” went down in flames here and when single-payer activists attempted to participate in the debate on the bill, Bacchus joked that “we may need more police.” The police arrived promptly and removed anyone who dared to speak against a process clearly designed to screw them.

This is how politics works for the Democrats and Republicans. The door between private industry and public policy has swung wide open. Corporate money rules politics. Bacchus apparently feels confident that the American public has sunk to a level of stupidity so low that he can pass off Fowler’s pro-corporate role as some sort of public service. Shameful.

Fowler and Bacchus are just one manifestation of a larger corrupt political process that has slipped so far out of the hands of everyday Americans that there is no going back. A slogan developed during the most recent financial crisis in Argentina might best capture what needs to happen going forward “they all must go.”

Payday Lenders Spend Big to Fight Regulation

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The Huffington Post Investigative Fund / By Keith Epstein

Industry steps up lobbying efforts as the Senate grapples with financial reform.

March 2, 2010 |

Photo Credit: Lagan Sebert / Investigative Fund

The influential $42 billion-a-year payday lending industry, thriving from a surge in emergency loans to people struggling through the recession, is pouring record sums into lobbying, campaign contributions, and public relations – and getting results.

As the Senate prepares to take up financial reform, lobbyists are working to exempt companies that make short-term cash loans from proposed new federal regulations and policing. In state capitals around the country, payday companies have been fighting some 100 pieces of legislation aimed at safeguarding borrowers from high interest rates and from falling into excessive debt.

Last year, as the U.S. House drew up a financial reform bill, some lawmakers who were courted by the companies and received campaign contributions from them helped crush amendments seeking to restrict payday practices, a review by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund has found.

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Murray Hill Incorporated is Running for Congress

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Murray Hill Incorporated is Running for Congress

Until now, corporations only influenced politics with high-paid lobbyists and backroom deals. But today, thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, corporations now have all the rights the founding fathers meant for us. It was their dream to build the best democracy money can buy.

That’s why Murray Hill Incorporated is taking democracy’s next step — running for Congress. Join us and build a vision for the future we can all be proud of. Vote Murray Hill Incorporated for Congress!

Vote Murray Hill Incorporated for Congress!

Read the Press Release.
What is Murray HIll Inc, the company?

Written by laudyms

February 11, 2010 at 10:04 am

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