Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Labels: ALEC, Ayn Rand Institute, Digg Patriots, election, Fox News, George W. Bush, Insurance, Koch Industries, Lies, NRA, OPSEC, propaganda, Romney, Swiftboating, Tea Party
My friend Monica had an interesting little video clip on her blog this morning that shows the much maligned "liberal gotcha media" in action... Soledad O'Brien from CNN gets tough with John Sununu over the difference between his claim that Obama has cut Medicare for seniors and the reality that a Democratic plan would actually just do some funny math and subtract from some kind of future savings. We've seen this before when it comes to the Right Wing budget hawks... They take any savings that Democrats can muster up and chalk it up to a "heartless cut to essential programs"... which of course, never turns out to be the case and then the other shoe drops and it was THEIR cuts that turn out to be the harmful ones.
This is an example of the more obvious and predictable propaganda that we expect from the right in every election... Most of America just tunes it out. But this year, there are much bigger truth-benders out there that voters won't immediately be able to put a finger on.
In 2010, I highlighted the funding behind Tea Party anti-healthcare reform demonstrations and how astroturf shills would dress up as doctors and nurses and "regular concerned citizens" and scream at our legislators about dystopian Nazi death panels...
We later learned that we could place a big chunk of the blame for those demonstrations on Koch Industries, a chemical company that hates regulation of any industry... and probably hates a black guy sitting in the White House as well. But one, more obvious culprit sort of slid under the radar to most of America... That, would of course, be the insurance industry... See, when we talk about "the insurance industry", we're talking about a collective alliance between all different types of insurance. Health Insurance, Auto Insurance, Life Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance... They've all got each other's backs and they don't have yours! Everybody knows it's a racket... and everybody is intimately aware of how much that racket is costing them.
Progressive Auto Insurance has recently been exposed for putting money into the legal defense of vehicular manslaughterers in a desperate attempt to avoid paying out on policies that it created. You know Progressive, right? They have that cute liberal-looking chick named Flo in all of their advertisements...
I hate to break it to ya, America... but Flo and the GEICO gecko are manipulative assholes. There, I said it... These much beloved icons of TV advertising are hiding a sleezy underbelly of cutthroat political propaganda that you can't even fathom. Click here to see who REALLY best represents the interests of GEICO...
Progressive Auto Insurance, if you recall, was rumored to be the principal source of funding for the gay rights advocacy group called GetEQUAL. GetEQUAL spent way too much time maligning other gay rights advocates and Democrats in congress to have been truly helpful in repealing DADT and fighting for equality. Now many of the activists were not privy to these politics at the time they started screaming at the President through bullhorns - but that's how Tea Party-style astroturf works... You can get well-intentioned individuals to do some pretty counter-productive things if you really put your mind to it.
Moving right along... another massive propaganda front against the current President of the United States is being mounted by the FORMER President of the United States... You didn't really think that George W. Bush went anywhere did you? Of course not... and he's not going to sit on the sidelines in this election. Over 70% of Romney's Foreign Policy ministry is made up of old Bush pals... This is not a fact that Romney wants you to be overly familiar with. It's a reluctant alliance... Bush was never really fond of Romney in the beginning but the good people of Salt Lake City, Utah proved just tricky enough to finally secure their guy as the Bush Dynasty's latest incarnation. What does an alliance with Bush get you? One hell of a new "Swiftboat" campaign... complete with Bush loyalists like Chad Kolton and a bunch of Navy Seals who will pretend that Obama's "loose lips" are sinking their ships...
Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc. (or "OPSEC" for short) has all the same trappings as The Swiftboat Veterans For Truth but with a little more of an authoritative air.
Of course, this would be Bush's contribution to the dialogue because one of the group's main objectives is to show that Obama is taking too much credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden, which has been a wound that Republicans just can't stop licking.
Finally and perhaps the most destructive wing of the Republican Ministry of Propaganda that is active in the 2012 election cycle would be the small lobbying groups who control larger groups of ideologically driven special interest groups... These include, but are not limited to, Richard Berman's Center for Consumer Freedom, The Rand Center (which calls for "a revolt against today’s intellectual mainstream"), ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Commission), NRA (National Rifle Association) and the Family Research Council (FRC). In their alliances with right-wing "think tanks", these lobbyists produce massive quantities of anti-Democratic propaganda on a daily basis. They all work in tandem to create special right-wing "talking points" and then saturate the mainstream media with them. Many of the people associated with one of these groups are often associated with the others to varying degrees as well.
One of these very well orchestrated projects was "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" which disguised itself as a response to an impending boycott from LGBT persons but which actually ended up serving to create a new right-wing media personality out of a Chick-Fil-A employee named Rachel. (To read in detail how they pulled THAT one off, click here. To watch Rachel join Fox News in a senseless refutation of "Obamacare" on behalf of all women, watch here.)
Another project that these groups have been working on, which is truly frightening, is "The Real George Zimmerman". George Zimmerman, as everyone now knows is the white/hispanic guy who stalked, shot and killed an unarmed black teen named Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Before that event had even entered mainstream news in any meaningful way, a few websites popped up online which presented a self-defense theory on behalf of Zimmerman. The creepy problem with this concept is two-fold: 1) Zimmerman hadn't even made a self-defense claim at the time and was in hiding while President Obama among others advocated on Trayvon Martin's behalf. 2) The claims being made (supposedly by objective 3rd parties) were all based on smearing the victim's character and circumstantial "evidence" which would later become the key points in Zimmerman's defense when he was finally arrested on charges. The smears, which sought to incriminate Martin in his own murder were entirely based on the victim's race and repeatedly invoked statistics about African Americans and crime levels in the United States.
In this last example, the "hidden agenda" is not merely freeing a supposedly "innocent" George Zimmerman - it is much more complicated than that. ALEC and the NRA have heavily lobbied Florida's government to enact laws like the now infamous "Stand Your Ground" rule of self-defense - an adjustment to the Castle Doctrine. The laws are far reaching and even nonsensical in their deregulation of firearm combat. The idea is that weapons manufacturers can use "panic" in the media to encourage more people to purchase firearms. A shooting like the one in Colorado at a movie theater can be turned into a reason to DEREGULATE gun ownership and encourage MORE people to carry concealed weapons around with them for supposed protection. However, the Stand Your Ground law fails to protect anyone at all and that becomes obvious when the Zimmerman/Martin case is considered. In order to dust away their own tracks and act like nothing shifty is going on, the NRA and ALEC need to do their very best to see it that the case goes down the way they want it to... as mere self-defense. They know that Zimmerman will have to go to jail - that is almost completely unimportant to them. The most important thing that the NRA and ALEC want, they've already achieved (as of yesterday), which is legally disconnecting the case from "Stand Your Ground". Another thing they hope to accomplish is putting enough racially motivated suspicion on the case to further implicate President Obama with the concept they've created from scratch - "black males who are going to get away with things if you let them".