April 23, 2010 archive

Stop Too Big To Fail: Astroturfing The Anger Over Wall Street

Justin Elliott writes at TPM Muckraker Wednesday April 21, 2010:

Rent-A-Front: New Group Wages Stealth Battle Against Wall Street Reform

In the last few weeks, a new player entered the financial reform fray with a $1.6 million ad buy, a respected economist on board, a blitz of opinion columns on left-leaning websites, and a message, cooked right into the group’s name — Stop Too Big To Fail — that liberals could love.

But as TPMmuckraker has looked into the group, every indication is that Stop Too Big To Fail is an astroturf operation funded by corporate interests to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to reform.

The group’s leader has a long history running a rent-a-front operation: offering up his services to large corporations who are willing to pay top dollar for a “consumers group” that will engage in stealth advocacy on behalf of industry. The group refuses to divulge its funding sources. The respected economist whose support the group touts now says he was deceived. And Stop Too Big To Fail has links to DCI Group, one of Washington’s best-known astroturf operators.

Besides all that, Stop Too Big To Fail’s real goal is clear: kill the financial reform bill.

Earth Day Sunrise and Sunset

Cross-posted at DailyKos and firefly-dreaming.

I wonder how you feel on this Earth Day. I wonder what you are doing to make everyday Earth Day. I woke up this morning, insignificant speck that I am in a corporate world and considered my own actions.

I watched the sunrise and remembered this day forty years ago with the words I heard this week about Ronald Reagan ringing in my ears “We’ve lost thirty years.”

Because of watching Earth Days on PBS I remembered that on that first Earth Day I went downtown to see a closed Fifth Ave. That Mayor Lindsay closed the street to honor Earth Day and everyone saw a bright a shining future ahead.  

Social Class and the Tea Party Show Biz

You all, I hope, have read Paul Street’s and Anthony DiMaggio’s piece on MRZine, “What ‘Populist Uprising’?”, about the actual identities of the participants in “Tea Party” movement.  This actually reveals something interesting about Street himself — that someone who actually wants to “resist empire” is willing to admit that the only resistance to make it to the TV screen is, in fact, a charade.  

(crossposted at Orange and at Firedoglake)

There Ain’t No Easy Way Out


I Won’t Back Down

I know what’s right, and I got just one life…

Sextillions of Infidels! Earth Day 2010

Today I come to sing…to praise.

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than

the journey-work of the stars,

And the pismire is equally perfect, and

a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren,

And the tree-toad is a chef-d’oeuvre for

the highest,

And the running blackberry would

adorn the parlors of heaven

And the narrowest hinge in my hand

puts to scorn all machinery,

And the cow crunching with depress’d

head surpasses any statue,

And a mouse is miracle enough to

stagger sextillions of infidels.

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, Leaves of Grass


The Book of Lasthorseman

I have a worldview that is not of this world.  I know this.  It reduces an essay to an incoherent rant which is taken in as many different ways as there are readers of it.  All of us endure this journey of life, note I did say endure here and not dance through, skip through happily or sing through.  You are now sitting there pondering not reading the rants of a grumpy old man but my latest point is that everybody is a product.  You, I and the rest of all living humans on this planet are a product of their place of birth.  You, I and the rest of the humans on earth are a zero order species and I can do it without a single link.

Paul Hardcastle’s “19”

Paul Hardcastle has updated his original song “19” made twenty five years ago, just released a few days back, I’ll let him explain

19/04/10  The Story of 19

25 Years ago, I recorded the song ’19’. The idea came about whilst watching a documentary which highlighted the plight of young men and women who fought in Vietnam. “In World War 2 the average age of the combat soldier was 26, in Vietnam he was 19.” These words really made me stop and think.

When I first approached Chrysalis Records with the Demo of ’19’ most people there didn’t believe it would get any attention as there would be no interest from the media, and I quote “the public don’t want to hear a song about war.”

Two people thought otherwise,

Load more