In Your Base, In Fact Destroying The Credibility Of Your Doodz

Here’s the Up With Chris Hayes story that Anne Laurie was talking about earlier today:

A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”

It was pretty obvious that this was the plan and has been Wall Street’s response for some time now: demonize the Occupy movement among independents/swing voters to divide them from supporters (“They’re Dirty Effing Hippies and criminals!”) and further divide and demoralize the remaining supporters by trying to split them from the Democrats (“The Dems are just as much Wall Street lackeys as the GOP, there’s no difference!”)…all to avoid losing the “populist” mantle the Tea Party currently has, giving them license to happily loot the treasury and make the rest of us suffer.

It’s a pretty good plan from an Evil Overlord perspective, and it has made headway into reducing support for the movement.  Well, that was before the whole park evicting and pepper-spraying of grandmothers and college kids sitting peacefully on the sidewalk started happening.

I’m thinking that might change as a result.

68 replies
  1. 1

    850,000.00?

    Talk about “soak the rich.”

    I hope the ABA spends a lot of money on this because I don’t think it will be successful.

  2. 2
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Let’s not ever abbreviate when referring to the American Bankers Association.

    The American Bankers Association should not be confused with the American Bar Association or the American Basketball Association.

    The American Bankers Association is something every American can relate to.

  3. 3

    This would fit well under a new category, The Banality of Evil.

    Also love the part about how “OWS bears many of the hallmarks of a well-funded effort and media reports have speculated about associations with George Soros and others.” They must think their potential clients are morons.

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    … lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford …

    It would be terrible going through life with a name like Geduldig. Whenever you introduce yourself, some asshole who thinks he’s funny says, “But I didn’t sneeze.”

    The other three, though … I don’t what their excuse for being evil is. Probably just the profit.

    .

  5. 5
    J says:

    Surely you mean ‘grandmothers and college students drawing contact from pepper spray’!

    Feeble irony, I know, but i don’t know how else to respond.

  6. 6
    J says:

    @JGabriel: ‘Geduldig’ means ‘patient’ in German, an odd family name and a bit of a misnomer here.

  7. 7
    M-pop says:

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank Zandar and all the frontpagers and commenters for keeping this front and center on Balloon Juice.

  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    This would fit well under a new category, The Banality of Evil.

    Or, alternately, The Bankality of Evil.

    (Pause. Crickets.)

    Sheesh. Tough audience.

    They must think their potential clients are morons.

    To be fair, it’s possible that CLGC just think their potential clients’ target audience of Tea Partiers and Fox News / Megyn Kelly* fan-bois are morons.

    (Amittedly, Kelly’s latest hair bob is kind of hot. Pity about the personality beneath it.)

    .

  9. 9
    russell says:

    A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests

    Fuck them.

    I read this, and I then I go send some money to OWS. Later on I’m going to the Dollar Store to stock up on maglights and some other stuff the Boston OWS is asking for, which I will deliver over the weekend.

    And I’m not a crazy wild-eyed radical hippie. I’m a late-middle-aged, white, upper middle class lawn-mowing suburban householder with a white collar day job.

    This is not a phenomenon that is going to be diverted by ‘optics’.

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank Zandar and all the frontpagers and commenters for keeping this front and center on Balloon Juice.

    Seconded.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    Hey, They;re just giving a voice to the voiceless, you know?

    Did you read the lasted from Coulter?
    A few shootings at Kent State was a good thing.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....te-6590282

  11. 11
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    Too bad it was unsolicited and the ABA told them no thanks. It could have been a great story.

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    trollhattan:

    Did you read the lasted from Coulter? A few shootings at Kent State was a good thing.

    That woman is a foul excrescence on the body politic. If Conservatism is an angry boil filled with malodorous pus, Coulter is the mite that dines on it.

    .

  13. 13
    Shlemizel says:

    Why would they change their plan? The morons masquerading as low information voters are not paying attention. All they know is that there has been violence and it must be the DFH fault or the liberal media would be crucifying the cops.

    OWS = violence, the story is planted & will grow.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JGabriel: Ew. Apt, but ew.

  15. 15
    muddy says:

    Up with Chris Hayes is a great show. Horrible hour, thank the gods for dvr.

  16. 16
    jafg says:

    This is precisely why the movements biggest strength is that it is leaderless. It because a much harder target to go after.

  17. 17
    Shlemizel says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    The targets of their potential customers ARE morons as they have clearly demonstrated for the last 30 years.

  18. 18
    jafg says:

    This is precisely why the movements biggest strength is that it is leaderless. It becomes a much harder target to go after. They have to spend more time and effort and money attacking pieces of it.

  19. 19
    gbear says:

    @The Spy Who Loved Me:

    It’s a great story anyway. The PR firm has direct, undeniable ties to Bohner, and it reveals so bluntly (& cluelessly) how the rich successfully game the system.

    And it could be that the ABA was considering it but then ran away once it got leaked to Hayes.

  20. 20
    Social outcast says:

    Why do they need money to attack OWS? The media is doing these kinds of stories for free already.

  21. 21
    Geeno says:

    That’s another reason the American Bankers’ Association turned it down. They already had someone else on the case.

  22. 22
    Cacti says:

    The 1% is so effing predictable.

    Hire professional propagandists to lie for you (PR & Journalists) and professional goons to brutalize your opposition (police). Have your proxies say that the lies and violence are about “health, safety, order, etc.”

    Rinse and repeat.

  23. 23
    Nellcote says:

    (“The Dems are just as much Wall Street lackeys as the GOP, there’s no difference!”)…

    Michael Moore is that you?

  24. 24
    gbear says:

    @Social outcast: The media isn’t attacking OWS for free. They are being very well compensated for attacking OWS.

  25. 25
    handsmile says:

    [I got a rather late start on firing up the Balloon Juice machine this morning, so I’ve chosen to post this somewhat tangential comment on this active thread.]

    Re: Corporate media coverage of police assaults during OWS protests

    Has anyone seen coverage on the broadcast networks, cable networks, public television/radio, or major newspapers on either of these two incidents: a) the brutal beating of Iraq war veteran Kayven Sabehgi during the Occupy Oakland protest on November 2; b) the pepper-spraying of 84-year-old Dorli Rainey during a demonstration in Seattle earlier this week?

    For context, currently on the Guardian website, the Sabehgi beating is the third most viewed story, and on Thursday its senior arts editor, Jonathan Jones, wrote a story opining that the still photograph of Rainey being led to safety after the assault would become the iconic visual image of the Occupy movement.

    I’d be very grateful for any comments/links on this matter. I’m pursuing my own research, but thought I’d do a canvas here as well.

  26. 26
    ppcli says:

    @J: Or perhaps: “regrettable events transpiring to facilitate the removal of grandmothers and college students”

  27. 27

    Even if the ABA turned this down it’s still worth promoting. As Wikileaks taught us, it’s good to see how the gears of the oppressive machine operate.

  28. 28
    Origuy says:

    @handsmile: Here’s the link to the San Francisco Chronicle’s story. It has the Guardian video. I couldn’t find anything on the sites of the Oakland Tribune or the San Jose Mercury News.

  29. 29
    JGabriel says:

    @The Spy Who Loved Me:

    Too bad it was unsolicited and the ABA told them no thanks.

    Shorter ABA: We’ve already got someone we trust, on retainer, working on it.

    .

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Ew. Apt, but ew.

    I suspect any accurate comparison to Coulter is going to involve an Ew Factor.

    .

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @JGabriel: That’s my normal reaction to her, yes.

  32. 32
    Samara Morgan says:

    why does the Right think War on American Youth is going to be a win for them?

  33. 33
    boss bitch says:

    Yep, both parties are the same.

  34. 34
    MattMinus says:

    @Shlemizel:

    “OWS = violence, the story is planted & will grow.”

    Was listening to Sean Hannity the other day, and if he was your only news source, you’d think OWS was something out of a Bruegel painting. He’s very hung up on accounts of fucking, shitting, and VD.

    I guess there were some tents set up as a safe space for women, and he was referring to these as “rape tents” and “rape rooms”.

    Best of all, he has audio of some idiot (likely a cop) talking about throwing molotov cocktails at Macys, and he springboards from this to branding the whole movement terrorists and demanding that they be treated like Al Quaeda.

  35. 35
    PIGL says:

    How many steps to El Salvador?

    There exist:

    An upper class starting to notice that they are being noticed?

    Private armies composed of ex soldiers and cops, armed to the teefs.

    Heavily militarised police forces whose loyalties are questionable at best.

    A media and poltical class that are 99% corrupted, who exist simply to further corruption.

    Legal instruments for disappearance and torture, both widely supported in the public.

    So how many steps do you reckon?

  36. 36
    eemom says:

    What, no comments on this thread about how OWS better get their asses to Capitol Hill and start drafting some legislation or everyone’s gonna forget all about them and start listening to the republicans again?

  37. 37
    Suffern ACE says:

    @eemom: Well, rather than whining about their arrests, they should hire their own media stategests to throw money around to control the optics.

  38. 38
    handsmile says:

    @eemom: (#36)

    Patience, it’s still early. The more implacable OWS pearl-clutchers haven’t gotten back from brunch.

  39. 39
    Bex says:

    @handsmile: My only research consists of watching the network news shows (don’t ask). They are much too busy covering the retirement of someone named Regis something and the fact that a 30-year deceased actress’s body might be exhumed.

  40. 40
    andrewsomething says:

    @eemom:

    I just don’t understand what these people want. I mean I saw one person with a sign about banks, another with a sign about corporate greed, and another about money in politics. How are any of these things even connected? If they’re so against corporations why do they use computers? Also, feces.

  41. 41
    Karen says:

    You all must have more faith in the average voter than I do.

    And you all must have faith that even if the average voter isn’t a member of the Idiocracy, that vote suppression won’t work.

    And finally, Balloon Juice must really be a threat to the 1 percent because they’re sending more trolls here than usual.

    As Rachel Maddow says, talk me down…

  42. 42
    cathyx says:

    @Karen: No kidding. All of a sudden there are many posters who I don’t recognize posting comments against the protests. Maybe that lobbying firm is hiring them.

  43. 43
    handsmile says:

    @Origuy: (#28)

    Thanks very much for the info and the link.

    @MattMinus: (#34)

    The video of that provocateur threatening to “molotov” Macy’s (and just before the holiday shopping season, the horrors!) has gotten substantial airplay among local New York City television stations. (Don’t know, but would expect that it would have been “wurlitzered” on CNN and daytime MSNBC as well.)

    Also, a Balloon Juice veteran and frequent commenter posted the clip to illustrate how undisciplined and unfocused (and thus unworthy) the OWS protest is.

    A number of commenters on Occupy-related threads on this blog have expressed surprise and disbelief that security forces in New York, Oakland, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Boston, UCal-Berkeley, -Davis, etc., etc. (sadly, grimly) have engaged in such oppressive and even unlawful behavior against non-violent OWS protestors, given the extensive photo and video documentation by “citizen media”/fellow demonstrators.

    What has become increasingly and alarmingly evident as the Occupy movement has endured is that police forces realize that the corporate media will not broadcast, much less recycle, images/footage of their aggressive actions. They feel free to engage in and escalate this behavior because there is little or no process/structure for scrutiny and accountability. Moreover, executive city officials sanction and praise police methods.

    Meanwhile, consumers of the corporate media see and hear, repeatedly, derision and distortion of the Occupy movement, as well as odious cliches and caricatures of the protesters themselves.

  44. 44
    handsmile says:

    Don’t know why there are line strike-throughs in my comment #43 above. More playful antics from the tireless comment gremlins I guess.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Yutsano says:

    @handsmile: FYWP is always the proper response.

  47. 47
    Maude says:

    @handsmile:
    On AP, the story of the pepper spray and students showed up this afternoon.

  48. 48
    Chris T. says:

    @handsmile: WordPress takes “-” at the start of a word to mean “I want this to be all written in strikethrough”. So you wrote hypen-Davis (which I must write without a leading hypen, hence spelling it out) and it did strike-out until the next hyphen.

  49. 49
    Redshift says:

    @The Spy Who Loved Me:

    Too bad it was unsolicited and the ABA told them no thanks. It could have been a great story.

    Assuming you believe them. It’s not like the trade association for big banks has any reason to lie about it, right?

  50. 50
    Redshift says:

    @Karen:

    You all must have more faith in the average voter than I do.
    __
    And you all must have faith that even if the average voter isn’t a member of the Idiocracy, that vote suppression won’t work.

    I’ll talk you down. The average voter isn’t being left on their own in all this. I was at the organizational meeting for the grassroots Obama campaign this afternoon, and one of the points of the voter registration phase is that the campaign is well aware of the threat of voter suppression laws, and in addition to the official actions to defeat them, we have to register enough new people to overcome that (to quote Howard Dean, beyond the margin of cheating.) This is not just hoping people have some sense, or things work out okay, this is a fight and we are engaged in it.

    (And you can be too, btw!)

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    @handsmile:

    What has become increasingly and alarmingly evident as the Occupy movement has endured is that police forces realize that the corporate media will not broadcast, much less recycle, images/footage of their aggressive actions.

    I’m not sure how well that works for them. Videos that become big on YouTube (or Vimeo, et. al.) eventually filter up (down?) to news distributors with broader reach — and soon “broader reach” is going to mean internet anyway, not television. I can’t be the only person in the country who has a computer and broadband instead of tv and cable.

    .

  52. 52
    Thymezone says:

    This is the Citizens United effect, isn’t it? When money is made speech, then the contest shapes up as Moneyspeech versus Peoplespeech. That contest is not just class warfare, it’s a core struggle between the people and the tyranny of money and power …. rigged in favor of the money and power.

    Look at what this rigged deal did to the Healthcare Summer and the occupation of town halls by Take Back Our Country disrupters. It was a Take Back moment … for the 1%. They had the resources to get rubes to go out and run an astroturf “populist” movement that was entirely fake from day one. They turned your aunt Matilda’s trailer park into a casting resource for that whole big phony drama. The 1% want their country back, and they have the money to pay for it. Thanks to an apathetic public and a 42% voter turnout in 2010, here we are. They got their country back, at least temporarily. What’s our response? “I won’t vote for Obama again, he didn’t deliver my pony on time.”

    If we want OUR country back, we better get our fucking act together.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    Speaking of filtering, the story has filtered to the ChiTrib, so it must be out there (Trib being what it is): UC Davis launches investigation after pepper spray video; chancellor calls video ‘chilling’. Something finally caught that woman’s attention, probably involving a lot of yelling.

  54. 54
    andrewsomething says:

    @Samara Morgan:
    I thought that was pretty obvious snark. “Also, feces.” should have given it away.

  55. 55
    JenJen says:

    Watched “Up” this morning, and afterwards, over coffee with friends, we were all discussing it.

    I must say, a roundtable featuring Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry, et al, is a refreshing break from the fossilized weekend political punditry of George Will, Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts. It’s about fucking time.

  56. 56
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Thymezone: I’ll have you know that my Aunt Matilda lives in a mobile home community, not a trailer park!

    Furthermore, she doesn’t have her country back. It’s on lay-a-way because she lost her job lugging windshields across the factory floor.

    Even my Aunt Matilda is beginning to see that the people who took the money from her former employers–by packaging their debt and selling it to Icelandic retirees–just may have screwed everybody in sight.

    So keep up the good work, pepper spraying cops and banking lobbyists! You can’t buy this kind of publicity. My goal is to get my Aunt Matilda to vote for Democrats, with a fallback strategy of convincing her it’s not worth bothering to vote for Republican’ts because they never do anything they promise.

  57. 57
    eemom says:

    @andrewsomething:

    toko-loko doesn’t do obvious.

    I liked your comment though.

  58. 58
    Jenny says:

    that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

    but, but, but… our progressive betters keep saying there’s no difference btwn the parties and they call on liberals to stay home to teach the Dems a lesson.

    Oh, who to believe..

  59. 59
    Jenny says:

    and further divide and demoralize the remaining supporters by trying to split them from the Democrats (“The Dems are just as much Wall Street lackeys as the GOP, there’s no difference!”)

    Interesting. I’m glad someone is bringing this up. I have always suspected the usual suspects who say there’s no difference btwn the Dems and Gopers were in reality GOP infiltrators sowing division. A modern corporate version of COINTELPRO.

  60. 60
    tam1MI says:

    Meanwhile, consumers of the corporate media see and hear, repeatedly, derision and distortion of the Occupy movement, as well as odious cliches and caricatures of the protesters themselves.

    I would point out that the same thing happened to the abolitionists and the suffragettes, and to their latter-day descendants the civil rights and women’s rights movements.

    You don’t change history by giving up and going home.

  61. 61

    […] to undermine OWS and those sympathetic to the movement. From msnbc’s Up w/ Chris Hayes (h/t Balloon Juice): CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on […]

  62. 62
    RDSquared says:

    Don’t know if this would have an impact, and I am in no position and wouldn’t know how to make it work or communicate it, but the list of CLGC is on their site.

    While it’s mostly the usual suspects, it does also include Blackberry and RIM, and Verizon and AT&T.

    Boycott anybody?

  63. 63
    mclaren says:

    This is what makes me boiling mad. It really steams my cajones. I’ve just about had it.

    I mean, what has happened to the Evil Overlords of America? Can’t they do anything right?

    This is a simple smear. Nixon had this kind of stuff down back in 1968. Nixon hired a bunch of deep-black off-the-radar guys like Egil Krogh and G. Gordon Liddy, and he paid ’em with cash. Untraceable cash. Bags and bags full of untraceable cash.

    A lobbying firm? C’mon, Evil Overlords! Use your heads! You pay ex-spooks like Liddy with untraceable cash, and there’s no link to the Evil Overlords at all! But if you hire some ferkakta lobbying firm, why, you have to pay ’em with checks. Hey! Dumbasses! Checks can be traced

    This is total amateur hour. Now, Herbert Hoover, he had it happenin’. That guy sent our General MacArthur to ride down the bonus marchers with horses and bayonets! Man…bayonets! That’s the stuff! Obama, he’s just sending some muggers with badges out to pepper-spray kids in the face. That’s lame.

    Nixon did it sooooooooooooo much more savagely and brutally, boy, Nixon sent a message. When the National Guard marched on those protesters at Kent State, they racked up a body count, baby! That was some serious response! Kill those protesters. Gun ’em down like dogs! That’s the way an Evil Overlord needs to think and act to retain power.

    These Evil Overlords today, they just aren’t cutting it. No sense of self-respect, no attention to detail, no work ethic. It’s pathetic, I tell you. Absolutely pathetic.

  64. 64
    Karen says:

    @Redshift:

    I have no car and I’ve got RA so it’s real hard for me to get around so I’ll sign up for the phone bank like I did last election. Hopefully that will help.

  65. 65
    Karen says:

    @mclaren:

    I grew up in Plainview, NY (Long Island) in the 70s and 80s. Jeffery Miller went to Plainview Old-Bethpage High School and was one of the students killed by the National Guard at Kent State. He was old enough that I didn’t know him but every year his mother spoke to the classes at the high school so no one would ever forget that the federal government doesn’t always have our best interest at heart and will ALWAYS clamp down when their masters demand it. At that time, it was against Vietnam but I’m really beginning to get a Kent State and a 1968 (?) Chicago Democratic Convention protestor vibe and it scares the fuck out of me.

  66. 66
    AA+ Bonds says:

    It’s a good piece of professional work on CLGC’s part. I think their risk assessment is sound. The success of OWS presents a genuine challenge to the power the financial industry uses to keep democracy in check and real reform from happening.

    Democracy in America will be reestablished when even Republicans fear the public consequences of endorsing the ludicrous, suicidal status quo in this country, where substantial financial reform never makes it to the table even after a financial collapse.

    At what point did the overall health of American finance become a private interest?

  67. 67
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Karen:

    I’m really beginning to get a Kent State and a 1968 (?) Chicago Democratic Convention protestor vibe and it scares the fuck out of me.

    In my experience, Chicago in 1968 became the model for police behavior against left-wing demonstrations in this country ever since.

    I realize everyone here was probably on the opposite side back during the trade agreement battles in the late 1990s, but brutal violence on the part of the police was the norm and treated without much concern by the mainstream press, as just “what happens” at demonstrations, a la Chicago 1968. This theme continued through the 2004 Miami protests, and the left-wing protests that have happened at every Republican national convention since before I was born. Hit up some West Coast union guys if you don’t believe me and want to hear some stories about the cops in Seattle.

    What astounds me isn’t the level of police violence – that’s absolutely normal. It’s that the press suddenly considers incidents of police violence against left-wing demonstrators to be worthy of attention.

  68. 68
    xian says:

    @andrewsomething: detecting snark requires affect

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