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Posts Tagged ‘Influence

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

Radical Re-writing of 1st Amendment Creates Corporate State

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Center for Media and Democracy

The Supreme Court just struck down critically important laws limiting corporate influence on election and public policy. Unless redressed, huge companies like Goldman Sachs and AIG will be able to use their enormous wealth to run campaigns against the President or anyone who opposes their agenda. You can help rebuke the Court and help put Americans before corporations by clicking here

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Video: Report – Big Pharma has 2.3 lobbyists for every lawmaker

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lobby healthBy David Edwards and Daniel Tencer      the raw story
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Drugmakers’ victories in Washington could keep health costs high, trade office warns

The pharmaceutical industry spent $110 million in just the first half of 2009 in its efforts to influence health care reform, part of a booming lobbying effort that now has 2.3 drug lobbyists on Capitol Hill for every member of Congress, a new investigative report reveals.

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How graft is shaping health-care “reform”

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From Paying big to buy Congress  Capitol Hill Blue  09/16/09

By ALAN FRAM

Sen. Max Baucus, a leader in the troubled effort in Congress to write a health care overhaul bill, has received more campaign donations from the health industry than any elected federal official except President Barack Obama and three other senators.

Baucus, who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has collected $3.9 million in donations from the health industry since 1989………graft

Baucus’ bill — set to be unveiled Wednesday — is seen as the closest to a draft that might win Senate passage with some GOP support. It’s also the closest to what the health industry wants: It has no government-run insurance option, would require individuals to get coverage and sets up experiments in limiting medical malpractice suits……

Corporate and individual contributions from the health sector to current officeholders have totaled $328 million over the past two decades…….Health insurers alone have donated at least $42 million to lawmakers, including nearly $2 million to the six senators working on the health legislation.

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Written by laudyms

September 16, 2009 at 9:18 am

Debtor’s Revolt?

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LocalPublic opinion polls reveal that Americans are angry about the current economic, healthcare, housing and environmental crises. Polls also document that a significant majority of the population want federal government assistance to fix these problems. But you’ve also got the makings of a huge neo-populist anger brewing, largely because (in the words of Frank Rich), “What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand, from commercial transactions as trivial as the sales of prime concert tickets to cultural forces as pervasive as the news media.” In other words, even the feds might not be able to help.

The approach to financial reform that the Obama Administration has hitherto adopted is a classic illustration of this problem. Financial institutions are now back to business as usual and have provided limited help to the non-financial sector. In fact, some of them are clearly committed to worsen households’ financial position and have oriented their activity toward this end in order to maximize their profitability. Yet, they have received commitments from the taxpayer totaling $23.7 trillion.

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Written by laudyms

August 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Clintonistas enabling Honduran coup

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Honduran coup

The high-powered hidden support for Honduras’ coup

The country’s rightful president was ousted by a military leadership that takes many of its cues from Washington insiders.
By Mark Weisbrot             LA Times
July 23, 2009
Powerful special interests have flexed their muscles and confronted President Obama on the most important legislative priorities of his domestic agenda. But this kind of politics-by-influence-peddling doesn’t stop at the water’s edge. And in foreign policy, the consequences can be more immediate, violent and deadly.

Meet Lanny Davis, Washington lawyer and lobbyist, former legal counsel to President Clinton and avid campaigner for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid. He has been hired by a coalition of Latin American business interests to represent the dictatorship that ousted elected President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras in a military coup and removed him to Costa Rica on June 28.

Davis is working with Bennett Ratcliff, another lobbyist with a close relationship to Hillary Clinton who is a former senior executive for one of the most influential political and public relations firms in Washington. In the current mediation effort hosted by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, the coup-installed government did not make a move without first consulting Ratcliff, an unnamed source told the New York Times.
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Written by laudyms

July 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Fox to Guard Henhouse? Former Monsanto VP May Be Named To Head FDA Safety Working Group

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dead cowby Natasha Chart                http://food.change.org

Obama’s considering appointing a former Monsanto vice president, Mike Taylor, to head the Food Safety Working Group at the FDA.

As Jill Richardson writes at LaVidaLocavore at the link above, Taylor thinks the FDA wastes too much time on food safety inspections at meat packing plants. Further, he believes that one of their main problems is that they have to slow down their line speed too much.

Everyone who’s read anything about the horrendous working conditions at US meatpacking plants knows that incomplete kills before slaughter and worker injuries increase dramatically when line speeds increase.

As also noted at the Ethicurean, Taylor is the reason milk from rBGH/rBST cows doesn’t have to be labeled. Bovine growth hormone is perfectly safe, after all. Except for cows, or humans who drink its breakdown products in milk.

So yes, Mike Taylor is the person we have to thank for putting pus from mastitis-infected cows into the milk supply, and exposing milk-drinking Americans by the millions to greater cancer risks.

This guy is heading up a food safety working group.

I’m just swimming in the changeiness.

Written by laudyms

July 8, 2009 at 9:43 am

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