From the New York Times in the USA:
Wal-Mart Finds an Ally in Conservatives
By MICHAEL BARBARO and STEPHANIE STROM
Published: September 8, 2006
As Wal-Mart Stores struggles to rebut criticism from unions and Democratic leaders, the company has discovered a reliable ally: prominent conservative research groups like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute.
Top policy analysts at these groups have written newspaper opinion pieces around the country supporting Wal-Mart, defended the company in interviews with reporters and testified on its behalf before government committees in Washington.
But the groups — and their employees — have consistently failed to disclose a tie to the giant discount retailer: financing from the Walton Family Foundation, which is run by the Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton’s three children, who have a controlling stake in the company.
Wal-Mart and Blairism in the UK: here.
Book on Wal-Mart: here.
The American Enterprise Institute is the employer of Dutch ex-MP Ayaan ‘Pinocchio’ Magan, also known as ‘Ayaan Hirsi Ali’.
Who, while in The Netherlands, claimed to be feminist and pro-gay … IF that could be used to put down Muslims.
Now, she works for the queer bashing, women bashing, corrupt AEI.
There she is now a political (though very probably not physical) bedfellow of infamous Republican gay bashing gay prostitute and fake journalist, James Guckert, aka ‘Jeff Gannon‘.
Wal-Mart and racist US Republican ads: here.
From the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog:
US: prostitute ‘Gannon’ star of tiny pro war demo Linking: 2 Comments: 9
Date: 9/28/05 at 11:29AM (1y19h ago) Modified: 9/28/05 at 2:44PM (1y16h ago)
Mood: Looking Playing: Roxanne, by The Police
Jeff Gannon of Talon News
On Saturday 24 September, there were big demonstrations against the Iraq war all over the world.
Including Washington, DC; capital of the USA.
There, organizers had predicted 100.000 demonstrators: over 300.000 came.
Next day, George W. Bush supporters organized a pro war rally at the same spot.
They predicted 20.000 demonstrators.
Estimates of the numbers who turned up vary between 100 and 400.
One of those (so, on his own, maybe already 1% of total demonstrators) was “Jeff Gannon”.
Fake Jeff Gannon, as Jim Guckert is his real name.
Ex-fake journalist under his fake name, for softball questions at the Bush White House.
Real gay basher.
Real gay prostitute.
And real chickenhawk, like the tiny group of “Gannon” co-thinkers there in Washington.
Gannon had a sign: “Let our troops finish their mission”.
Yeah right, let them die by the thousands for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton profits.
Meanwhile, “Gannon” thinks, I will continue my mission of blow jobs for money. The similarity is in the military uniforms …
Reporters did not record whether “Gannon”/Guckert charged his fellow chickenhawks “special patriotic reduced rates”.
See also here http://thinkprogress.org/2005/09/27/disgraced-fake-journalist-jeff-gannon/
T. Boone Pickens’ financing of “swiftboat” ads: here.
Date: 09/28/05 at 1:05 PM (1y18h ago)
Masters of War
Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead
Copyright © 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music
Link to Post | Reply to Post | Quote Post
US:prostitute ‘Gannon’ star of tiny pro war demo
Date: 09/28/05 at 4:59 PM (1y14h ago)
“Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Funder” Gets $54 Millon Verdict Against Him for Homebuilding Fraud: here.
Wal-Mart Plans Voter Drive, Targets Opponents
Posted by: “Compañero” firstname.lastname@example.org chocoano05
Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:52 pm (PST)
Wal-Mart Plans Voter Drive, Targets Opponents
By William L. Watts
Friday 13 October 2006
Washington – The world’s largest retailer is about to wade into this fall’s elections, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday, distributing information about specific candidates to its 1.3 million employees nationwide.
The information is expected to include quotes from elected officials who have been critical of Wal-Mart Stores, as well as information about their voting record concerning legislation that has affected Wal-Mart’s business, a company official told the newspaper.
The company plans to specifically target local, state and national leaders who appeared last summer at a series of anti-Wal-Mart rallies organized by Wake Up Wal-Mart, a union-backed group that has called for better pay and benefits for Wal-Mart employees.
“Our associates are very proud of the Wal-Mart they work for and we feel they have a right to know what some politicians are doing and saying about the company,” David Tovar, director of media relations at Wal-Mart, told the Star Tribune.
The company’s critics said the move might backfire.
“There’s an old adage that there are two things you don’t talk about at work, and that’s religion and politics,” Chris Kofinis, communications manager at Wake Up Wal-Mart, told the paper. “Once they’ve told people they support Candidate X instead of Candidate Y, they’ll upset everyone who supports Candidate Y.”
Bush Plans Campaign Visits
While some congressional Republicans have distanced themselves from the White House amid President Bush’s low approval ratings, two GOP lawmakers with troubled campaigns plan next week to embrace the president.
Bush is set to make appearances next week for Rep. Don Sherwood of Pennsylvania and Sen. George Allen of Virginia, the Associated Press
Both lawmakers had been expected to easily win re-election, but now face tough battles. Sherwood was undercut after a woman filed a lawsuit alleging that in 2004 he had choked her in a fight at his Capitol Hill apartment. Sherwood has admitted to having an affair with the woman, but denied hurting her. The case was settled out of court.
“Mr. Sherwood has certainly admitted to what is going on. And the president also believes that we’re all sinners, we all seek forgiveness and, in this particular case, he’s supporting Don Sherwood’s candidacy,” White House spokesman Tony Snow told the Associated Press.
Allen, who had once been touted as a potential 2008 presidential candidate, was put on the defensive after he referred to a campaign volunteer for Democratic opponent Jim Webb as “macaca,” a term that’s considered a racial slur in some cultures.
“George Allen is not a bigot. Period. And you’ve had a number of black leaders who’ve come forward to make the point,” Snow said. “So the president, absolutely, supports his candidacy.”
Snow told the wire service that Webb has problems of his own stemming from a 1979 article he wrote that criticized the admission of women into the US Naval Academy and questioned the ability of women to serve in combat.
William L. Watts covers Congress and politics for MarketWatch.
Coleman lawyer was at center of 2004 Swift Boat Vets scandal
Published: Sunday February 1, 2009
Norm Coleman’s efforts to force a reconsideration of the recount that showed him losing his Minnesota Senate seat to Democratic challenger Al Franken are being led by attorney Ben Ginsberg, who has a long history of involvement in questionable Republican campaign activities.
Not only was Ginsberg one of the senior lawyers in the Bush v. Gore recount case in 2000, but in 2004 he was at the center of a Republican scandal when he was found to be advising both the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign.
When the Swift Boat Veterans first began running commercials which falsely suggested that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry had lied about his Vietnam War record, the Bush campaign was quick to deny having any connection with the group.
However, it soon turned out that Ginsberg, who was the chief outside counsel to the Bush-Cheney campaign, was also giving legal advice to the Swift Boat Veterans on complying with campaign finance rules. Ginsberg resigned from the campaign in August 2004 following these revelations.
At the same time, Ginsberg was also serving as counsel for Progress for America, another massively-funded 527 organization with many similarities to the Swift Boat Veterans. During the last three weeks before the November 2004 election, Progress for America was the largest-spending outside group, buying $16.8 million of television and radio time, while the Swift Boat Vets were second with $6.3 million. These two groups were also linked in other ways besides their reliance on Ginsberg’s advice, such as their use of the same advertising firm, Mentzer Media Services.
Ginsberg’s ties to Progress for America appear to have been particularly close. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, “During the fall of 2003, reported Peter Stone of the National Journal, Ginsberg talked ‘across the country to prominent fundraisers,’asking them to serve on PFA’s advisory board and to rope in large soft-money contributions.”
The largest of PFA’s funders was Dawn Arnell, of the subprime mortgage giant Ameriquest, who donated $5 million. According to the Wall Street Journal:
“During the housing boom, the subprime industry succeeded at more than just writing mortgages. It also shot down efforts by some states to curtail risky lending to borrowers with spotty credit. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., until recently one of the nation’s largest subprime lenders, was at the center of those battles. Working with a husband-and-wife team of Washington lobbyists, it handed out more than $20 million in political donations and played a big role in persuading legislators in New Jersey and Georgia to relax tough new laws. Those victories, in turn, helped blunt efforts by other states to crack down on reckless lending, critics of the industry contend.”
Ginsberg’s ties to Progress for America may also indicate how he came to serve as Coleman’s lawyer. PFA was founded in 2001 by Tony Feather, a long-time associate of Karl Rove and partner in the DCI Group and its sister firm, Feather-Larson-Synhorst (now known as FLS Direct.) Feather stepped aside from running PFA when he began working for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign but handed its operation over to DCI employee Chris LaCivita, who also served as an adviser to the Swift Boat Veterans on media strategy.
Coleman himself is also intimately connected with FLS-Connect. As of last September, he had paid the firm almost $645,000 in consulting fees for the 2008 election and over $1.5 million since 2001.
Not only that, but according to a complaint filed last fall with the FEC by the DFL Party (the local name for the Democrats), “The owner of FLS-Connect, longtime Coleman confidant and powerful Republican operative Jeff Larson, is the treasurer of Coleman’s political-action committee.”
That complaint alleged “illegal in-kind corporate contributions” to Coleman by two groups which had run issues ads attacking Franken for his support of the Employee Free Choice Act. Those groups were also FLS clients.
It was further reported that “Coleman rents living space in the English-basement apartment of a million-dollar townhouse that Jeff Larson owns in Washington, D.C., for which Coleman pays far under market value. In addition, Coleman shares the apartment with offices of FLS-Connect.”
Just recently, the DFL Party filed a fresh complaint with the FEC concerning the recount, suggesting that it is being illegally funded by the Republican National Lawyers Association:
“The complaint, filed today with the FEC, alleges that: the RNLA is funding Coleman’s recount committee with illegal contributions in excess of legal limits; the RNLA is funding Coleman’s recount committee with illegal contributions from corporations; the RNLA has failed to register with the FEC, as its contributions to Coleman’s recount require it to; and Coleman has failed to report any contributions from the RNLA.”
Perhaps Ginsberg’s network of “prominent fundraisers” — or at least those who haven’t been caught in the subprime mortgage meltdown — should be scrutinized for any interest they may have in the Minnesota recount.
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> AARP To Withdraw From Controversial Conservative Group Amid Rising Pressure
> AARP activists attend a campaign event for then-presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) in March. AARP is trying to make Social Security a focus in the election.
> AARP announced on Thursday that it plans to let its membership in a controversial conservative group expire at the end of the year, a clear response to mounting pressure from its members and progressive organizations.
> AARP is one of many organizations that sponsor the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful corporate-backed lobbying group focused on influencing state-level legislation.
> The Center for Media and Democracy, a Wisconsin-based progressive research and advocacy outfit, exactly a week ago revealed the mammoth seniors group’s sponsorship of ALEC’s annual meeting last month in Indianapolis, Indiana.
> Almost immediately, a number of liberal groups and labor unions, including Social Security Works, the American Federations of State, County and Municipal Employees, and ClimateTruth.org , launched a public campaign to get AARP to cut its ties to ALEC. They argued that AARP’s involvement with ALEC contradicted its mission to represent older Americans, since ALEC has taken many positions that are harmful to seniors.
> ALEC has supported privatizing Social Security in the past, opposes the expansion of Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act and has helped pass voter identification laws that often disenfranchise senior citizens, the groups noted.
> The progressive organizations, many of which are longstanding critics of ALEC, sent AARP a strongly-worded letter urging it to withdraw from the group and began an online petition campaign to pressure AARP to do so. Social Security Works told activists in an email blast that the petition had received over 53,000 signatures within 24 hours.
> On Thursday afternoon, AARP decided it would not renew its membership in ALEC, Politico Playbook reported .
> “After hearing from many of you, we’ve decided not to renew our membership to ALEC,” AARP wrote in a message posted on its Facebook page early Friday morning. “We would never work against the interests of older Americans and our engagement with ALEC was NOT an endorsement of the organization’s policies, but an opportunity to engage with state legislators and advance our members’ priorities.”
> AARP, unlike ALEC, opposes Social Security privatization and was a key backer of the Affordable Care Act health care reform law.
> “We will not renew our membership to ALEC. AARP will continue to explore avenues that will enhance our interaction with organizations and elected officials that represent different perspectives in order to further the issues important to Americans 50+ and their families,” AARP said in a statement.
> ALEC did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment.
> After a huge uproar from its members, we are very pleased that AARP is doing the right thing and cutting all ties with the anti-senior ALEC. Linda Benesch, Social Security Works
> AARP had been sending staff to ALEC’s annual meeting since 2014 and paid a membership fee starting this year, according to sources familiar with the matter. AARP claimed it hoped its membership would grant it access to state lawmakers.
> Although AARP’s financial support for ALEC was likely insignificant, progressive groups worried that AARP’s imprimatur lent considerable credibility to a group that would otherwise have a deeply contentious reputation.
> The organizations also found it inconceivable that AARP somehow needed ALEC to gain access to lawmakers. AARP is widely viewed as one of the most powerful public interest groups in the country, with over 37 million members over the age of 50.
> While ALEC is technically an educational nonprofit, it functions as a powerful public policy lobbying group that drafts numerous pieces of model legislation for state lawmakers. In addition to membership dues, corporations often pay ALEC to write and advance specific kinds of laws that benefit their bottom line.
> ALEC’s influence is sometimes comically apparent in conservative state-level legislation. A Florida lawmaker forgot to remove ALEC’s mission statement from a November 2011 resolution calling on the federal government to reduce corporate taxes.
> Stand Up to ALEC, a coalition of labor unions, environmental groups and other progressive organizations, have successfully urged many major corporations to leave ALEC in response to the controversial policies the group supports.
> In recent years, 19 nonprofits and 108 corporations, including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Coca-Cola, have withdrawn from ALEC , according to the Center for Media and Democracy.
> The corporate exodus from the organization picked up in earnest after the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. ALEC was promoting so-called stand your ground legislation, similar to the law in Florida that allowed George Zimmerman, a civilian, to legally kill Martin because he allegedly felt threatened.
> ALEC has also come under fire for providing a forum for climate change deniers. It is an active opponent of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, the initiative aimed at reducing power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions.
> Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt cited ALEC’s work against climate change action when announcing the decision to leave ALEC in September 2014. In ripping remarks , Schmidt claimed that when it came to climate change, ALEC was “literally just lying.”
> Social Security Works, an organization that is fighting to expand Social Security, celebrated AARP’s decision to allow its membership in ALEC to expire.
> “After a huge uproar from its members, we are very pleased that AARP is doing the right thing and cutting all ties with the anti-senior ALEC,” said Linda Benesch, Social Security Works’ communications director.
> Although AARP’s decision to withdraw from ALEC has quieted its critics for now, it is likely to raise questions about the organization’s policy agenda. AARP’s involvement in ALEC is the second major instance this year in which it provoked the ire of progressive groups.
> AARP’s “Take A Stand” initiative , launched in November, mobilizes its members to ask presidential candidates to elaborate on how they plan to reform Social Security to close its long-term funding shortfall.
> The campaign does not distinguish, however, between plans that boost Social Security’s finances by cutting benefits and those that do not.
> Maya Rockeymoore, president of Global Policy Solutions, a progressive think tank, was one of the prominent liberal policy experts who publicly criticized AARP for its neutrality in February.
> “There is no question where AARP should stand: on the side of older adults trying to make ends meet. And their policy prescriptions should reflect that,” Rockeymoore said at the time.
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