US Chamber lobbyists map strategies to discredit progressive critics

From Raw Story:

By Sahil Kapur
Friday, February 11th, 2011

Report claims Chamber hired firm hacked by ‘Anonymous’

WASHINGTON – Lobbyists for the US Chamber of Commerce have been working with firms to develop methods to deceive and discredit the Chamber’s most vocal progressive opponents, according to documents obtained by ThinkProgress.

Lee Fang of the liberal blog reports that the Chamber and its hired firms mapped ways to attack labor and progressive groups that have taken on the powerful business lobby, “in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and”

In one document prepared by a group called Themis, US Chamber Watch is singled out as “one of the most active members of the opposition.” It notes that the Chamber, unlike many of its critics, is “politically connected,” making its opponents “vulnerable to information operations that could embarrass the organization and those associated with it.”

A six-point plan to discredit the US Chamber Watch includes depicting it as a pawn of labor federation Change to Win, and tying it to labor leader Andy Stern and Velvet Revolution. It also proposes swindling the group by creating “a false document” about the Chamber’s finances and, once it’s publicized, providing “explicit evidence proving that such transactions never occurred.”

“Also,” it continues, “create a fake insider persona and generate communications with CtW. Afterward, release the actual documents at a specified time and explain the activity as a CtW contrived operation. Both instances will prove that US Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.”

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Friday Night Fun and Culture


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A Hated Dictator is GONE thanks to the people’s uprising

From World Can’t Wait

Our government must stop supporting torture & repression in Egypt!

As we join the celebration with the people in Egypt who showed such courage in the face of 30 years of repression, those of us living in the United States must stop the crimes of our own government towards the people of the region:

The Mubarak regime was “Made in the U.S.A.” Since 1979, the U.S. has given the regime $35 billion, $1.3 billion per year in military support.  Because of this, Egypt has a large military, and the world’s 4th largest fleet of F-16 fighter planes. Egyptian police who have held 10,000 political prisoners receive training from the U.S. military.  Even the tear gas fired on demonstrators is “Made in the U.S.A.”

Despite decades of torture, disappearing political opponents, and the most open brutality against its own citizens, neither Republican or Democrat leaders plan to reduce military aid to Egypt (LA Times 2/9/11).

The U.S. government and leaders know Egypt is a torture state. The United States, including the Obama administration, knows about the torture, abuse, indefinite detention, political suppression, rape and sexual assault that had been taking place over years under the Mubarak regime.

According to Human Rights Watch, “law enforcement officials have used torture and ill-treatment on a widespread, deliberate, and systematic basis over the past two decades to glean confessions and information, or to punish detainees.” Omar Suleiman – now the vice president – was the intelligence chief responsible for arranging “extraordinary rendition” of prisoners to be tortured in Egypt for the Clinton and Bush administrations, interrogating some himself.

Saturday March 19: STOP These Wars Now! On the 8th anniversary of the U.S. War & Occupation of Iraq, Join the protest!  At The White House 12:00 pm, or wherever you are. U.S. Out of Iraq and Afghanistan! 

The World Can’t Wait (866) 973-4463

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Hosni Mubarak resigns as president

I haven’t done much other than watch how events have been playing out in Egypt.

I don’t feel I can trust American Main Stream Media for information as to what is going on in the world since their complicity in the selling of US involvement in wars.  I should have learned my lesson with the war in Vietnam, but time dulls memories and I let the fuckers do it again with the selling of the war in Iraq.

Mean while I recommend Al Jazeera as a reliable source for information regarding events in the Middle East and North Africa, along with BBC and The Guardian UK.  I also trust Socialist Worker more than The Washington Post on these sorts of matters.

From Al Jazeera:

Egyptian president stands down and hands over power to the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces.
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2011 19:12 GMT

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces.

Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, announced in a televised address on Friday that the president was “waiving” his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Suleiman’s short statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as well as by other pro-democracy campaigners who attending protests across the country.

The top figure in Egypt’s new regime is now Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the country’s defence minister.

After the announcement, he drove past Mubarak’s former palace, where crowds cheered him. He stopped briefly to thank and hail the pro-democracy campaigners before driving in.

In its third statement to the nation since Thursday, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it was examining the situation “in order to materialise the aspirations of our great nation”.

The statement said that “resolutions and statements regarding the … actions to be followed” in order to achieve the demands of the people will be handed down later.

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EXCLUSIVE: US Chamber’s Lobbyists Solicited Hackers To Sabotage Unions, Smear Chamber’s Political Opponents

From Think Progress:

By Lee Fang

Feb 10th, 2011

ThinkProgress has learned that a law firm representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the big business trade association representing ExxonMobil, AIG, and other major international corporations, is working with set of “private security” companies and lobbying firms to undermine their political opponents, including ThinkProgress, with a surreptitious sabotage campaign.

According to e-mails obtained by ThinkProgress, the Chamber hired the lobbying firm Hunton and Williams. Hunton And Williams’ attorney Richard Wyatt, who once represented Food Lion in its infamous lawsuit against ABC News, was hired by the Chamber in October of last year. To assist the Chamber, Wyatt and his associates, John Woods and Bob Quackenboss, solicited a set of private security firms — HB Gary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies (collectively called Team Themis) — to develop tactics for damaging progressive groups and labor unions, in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and

According to one document prepared by Team Themis, the campaign included an entrapment project. The proposal called for first creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” to give to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then to subsequently expose the document as a fake to undermine the credibility of the Chamber’s opponents. In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to “generate communications” with Change to Win. View a screenshot below:

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Swedish boy, 6, stabbed for ‘wearing pink’

Bullying and the abuse of children for any straying from constructed gender roles is pretty much universal which is why so many LGBT/TQI look back upon their childhood and find them filled with bitter memories.

From The Local: Sweden’s News in English:

February 11, 2011

A 6-year-old boy was stabbed in the neck at a preschool in Jönköping in central Sweden after having been the target of bullies for an extended period of time, reported the local Jönköpings-Posten daily.

The newspaper names the boy as Oskar and reports how his liking for pink clothing, ballet and nail polish left him exposed to regular bullying from other boys in his playgroup.

The newspaper reported that he had also complained to his parents that he had been subjected to taunts that he was “gay” and “a girl”. He had furthermore complained of being excluded from the group, and having been dragged from a climbing-frame.

The incident last week in which the 6-year-old sustained a noticeable injury to his neck after having been stabbed with a blunt knife was the last straw for the parents, who have now moved their son and reported the matter to the Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen).

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Virulent New Wave of Anti-women, Anti-abortion Attacks

From World Can’t Wait:

By Lina Thorne

09 February 2011

Merle Hoffman, director of Choices Women’s Medical Center says: “the right to reproductive freedom is like the right to breathe: it transcends laws.”  Why is that the case?  Listen to a conversation with Debra Sweet, Sunsara Taylor, Dr. LeRoy Carhart, Merle Hoffman and Carol Joffe on why abortion is such an important moral and political right.

And yet, from the “guerrilla activists” trying to take down Planned Parenthood to the state and federal legislators (from both parties) further restricting women’s access to abortion, 2011 has seen more assaults on women’s most fundamental rights yet – more even than under the Bush years.  What we need is an outpouring of resistance to this assault on the humanity of women!
Snapshots of the situation:

Andrew Breitbart, James O’Keefe (both notorious for their attempts to bring down ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, through sending in actors and hidden cameras in an attempt to frame ACORN employees for aiding a pimp), and Lila Rose, a young activist claiming legitimacy by virtue of the fact that she’s a woman, have deployed almost identical tactics as Breitbart and O’Keefe previously used with ACORN in an attempt to show Planned Parenthood assisting underage sex traffickers through use of highly edited and manipulated video footage.
Jodie Jacobson at RH Reality Check writes on how the whole set-up only proves Planned Parenthood provides health care and accurate information for women (which is, admittedly, rare, in today’s climate): Second “Explosive(!)” “Shocking(!)” Live Action Video Reveals… Health Workers Providing Care! Also see: Media Matters: A Refresher Course On Andrew Breitbart’s Dishonest Tactics
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Noam Chomsky: How Climate Change Became a ‘Liberal Hoax’

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Cuomo Says He’ll Push for Vote to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

From The New York Times:

Published: February 9, 2011

ALBANY — Fourteen months after the State Senate soundly rejected legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is preparing to pursue another vote on the matter in the next few months.

Mr. Cuomo, who included legalizing same-sex marriage in his campaign platform, said Wednesday that he intended to ask the Legislature to take up the matter in its current session, which ends in June.

“We’ll be working very hard to pass it,” the governor, a Democrat, told reporters after delivering an encore of his budget address at Hofstra University on Long Island.

His pledge was greeted warmly by gay-rights activists, who have waited with some uncertainty to see whether Mr. Cuomo, faced with a daunting battle over the budget, would make a charged social issue like legalizing same-sex marriage a priority.

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GOP aims to slash $1.6 billion in EPA funding

From Raw Story:

By Sahil Kapur
Thursday, February 10th, 2011

WASHINGTON – House Republicans on the appropriations committee released a plan Thursday that would eliminate $1.6 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget.

The news, as first noted by Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones, is part of a broader GOP assault on the EPA as the Obama administration seeks to use the agency to control greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA, created by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1970, is tasked with enforcing standards for environmental laws in tandem and state and local governments. It also researches and monitors potential environmental health hazards.

In President Barack Obama’s first two years, Republicans successfully blocked Democrats’ attempts at passing comprehensive energy and climate change reform through Congress. As a result, the administration decided to use the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, Republicans have increasingly called for eliminating or reducing the role of the EPA.

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