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Posted by on Nov 19, 2011 in Guest Contributor, Media, Politics | 7 comments

Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel

The times they are a changin’; the serpents are a-writhing’. MSNBC reports this morning [emphasis added]:


Exclusive: Lobbying Firm’s Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street (VIDEO)
Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:53 AM PSTby Jonathan Larsen and Ken Olshansky
(crossposted from MSNBC’s “Open Channel” blog)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.” […]



No doubt, these were the same jerks screaming about “class warfare” mere weeks ago. Now, they’re planning it.

This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Clearly the 1% own the media reporting on the 99%. Which they slyly allude to in the letter, you might say:

Advertising Creative and Placement Strategy

While it is not yet clear if, when, where and to what extent paid advertising may be necessary, the cost and reach makes it a potential strategic advantage for you in a message war against a grassroots movement like OWS. The key is to use the information identified through the survey research to develop hard-hitting, compelling creative [sic] that can move numbers, combat OWS messages and provide cover for political figures who defend the industry. By developing and clearing this creative now it can be ready for immediate deployment immediately [sic] as it becomes necessary. A strong placement early in a transition to adopt the OWS movement will send a powerful political signal about the risks of carrying that through.

Deliverable: Three creative concept options based on results of the survey research as well a national/Beltway and state- and district-specific placement plan (including all mediums — TV, print, radio, mail and online) based on political targeting.

And make no mistake. The 1% are going to the mattresses. Consider the unvarnished honesty of that proposal.

We can combat OWS and any politician foolish enough to support them through targeted advertising (we’ll develop the “creative” now for rapid “deployment”) all the way down to specific districts, using “all mediums — TV, print, radio, mail and online.”

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps …

This will not surprise us, which is no surprise — just as “immediate deployment immediately” engenders no surprise in us until it’s pointed out. We are used to lousy usage of English, just as we are used to Machiavellian political machinations. But we have inadvertently substituted “used to” for “approve of.”

Because it ought to sicken us. This is WHY the 99% (both left and right) feel that they have no voice in the political process. Consider that the Tea Party is considered just as much an enemy as OWS is:

Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism. Both the radical left and the radical right are channeling broader frustration about the state of the economy and share a mutual anger over TARP and other perceived bailouts. This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

As ye deal with my contemners …

Or, translated: Mr. Scrooge! Cratchit’s kid might be embarrassing to you this Christmas. So let’s launch a targeted media campaign turning this “Tiny Tim” character into a socialist, communist, wealth-distributionist. And we’ll monitor his Facebook and Twitter feed to make sure he doesn’t make any impact on national policy.

It may be easy to dismiss OWS as a ragtag group of protestors but they have demonstrated that they should be treaded more like an organized competitor who is very nimble and capable of working the media, coordinating third party support and engaging office holders to do their bidding. To counter that, we have to do the same. Putting the cornerstone elements of a plan in place right now will prepare firms to respond quickly and collectively at the earliest and most influential point when embracing OWS goes from concept planning to execution. The cornerstone elements of a plan include: survey research and message testing, opposition research, targeted social media monitoring, coalition planning, and advertising creative and placement strategy development.

And, just in case you thought that “targeted social media monitoring” is not what it appears, the P.R. boys spell it out:

Targeted Social Media Monitoring
The transparency of social media platforms offers an excellent opportunity to anticipate future OWS tactics and messaging as well as identify extreme language and ideas that put its most ardent supporters at odds with mainstream Americans. These platforms may not be a place where engaging OWS supporters directly could be successful but with sophisticated monitoring and analytical tactics it could provide exceptional political intelligence.

Deliverable: We will conduct and report on an audit of most active social media platforms used by OWS with the identification of trends in their engagement. This audit will offer analysis of those trends and identify effective reporting tools to develop actionable intelligence that could be rapidly acted on when a campaign becomes fully operational.

And, oddly, they seem to think that Tiny Tim Cratchit is a banker, else this is just boilerplate:

Specific initial opposition research tactics will inclde:

  • Comprehensive media analysis of OWS and their leaders
  • Records search and obtainable open records requests of leaders’ histories including civil and criminal information, litigation history, tax liens, bankruptcies, judgments and other associations
  • Associated business and record search including Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission filings, sanctions, regulatory actions, and litigation

IRS and FEC filings? OWS? Really?

So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave …

Because, naturally, the mega-rich manipulators cannot believe that the 99% could possibly organize without the help of someone … just like them. Or, rather, someone who represents the projection of what they believe themselves to be. Consider that the writer and reader of this “pitch” for $850,000 BOTH are assumed to believe that the following is undoubtedly TRUE:

Opposition research

OWS bears many of the hallmarks of a well-funded efforrt and media reports have speculated about associations with George Soros and others. It will be vital to understanding who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show they have the same cyunical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way. A key strategic goal will ultimately be to show any evidence of fraud on the other side.

Because, as well-funders themselves, this MUST be their “opposite” numbers. But, as with Hari Seldon and Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy, “opposite” isn’t always the opposite that you think it is. (Is the opposite of love hate? Or is it indifference?) There is a way of thinking in evidence here that betrays a commonly-accepted worldview, but, alas for them, a worldview that has a high probability of differing radically from actual facts.*

[* Example: George W. Bush and Dick W. Cheney were CERTAIN that Saddam Hussein had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and that he was allied with al-Qaeda.  When these ‘facts’ proved untrue, the entire operation became confused, etc. Nor, without those ‘facts’ was there any reason for invasion. If, on the other hand, “George Soros” does NOT exist as the “Anti-Koch” in their dialectic version of the Multiverse, “intelligence” will mean looking for a connection that isn’t there. This is always debilitating to the success of any intelligence-gathering operation.]

What ought to bother us is the fundamentally stalky, psy-ops nature of the proposed battle plan. This is a battle plan, and no blow would seem too low. And the beauty of it is that it is utterly divorced from any issues in the fight. It could as easily apply to any issue you’d care to name: global warming, cigarettes, soft drinks, pizza as a vegetable.

Because even if THIS particular proposal isn’t funded (and, since Citizens United, funded anonymously), others of virtually identical design WILL be, and, in fact, probably already ARE under way. It’s no accident that every misdemeanor at any camp in the “Occupy” sphere is reported as tantamount to the Manson Killings. A similar memo was undoubtedly circulating weeks ago, stating, as in this memo:

an excellent opportunity to anticipate future OWS tactics and messaging as well as identify extreme language and ideas that put its most ardent supporters at odds with mainstream Americans.

Now, we can look at this memo and see what the ten year old sees when he deduces that his parents are hypocrites because they forbid jumping on the beds, but jump on THEIR bed early in the morning when they assume the ten year old is asleep. Or we can understand what we’re presented with with a more adult discernment.

But don’t wonder why your voice isn’t heard.

Oh, and today”s title? Well, coincidentally, 150 years ago today, the words to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” were written.

from The American Civil War (“The American Civil War presented day by day”) blog:

Anti-slavery writer and poet Julia Ward Howe was staying in Washington, DC with her husband at Willard’s Hotel when she overheard a company of Wisconsin volunteers singing a marching song called “John Brown’s Body” at a review on November 18, 1861. Howe was impressed by the tune and the passion with which the men sang the tune, but felt the lyrics were not inspirational enough. She later described what happened:

I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly. I awoke in the gray of the morning twilight; and as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind. Having thought out all the stanzas, I said to myself, ‘I must get up and write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them.’ So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen which I remembered to have used the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.

And here are Howe’s words as originally written:

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

Julia Ward Howe

Three cigars and Lee’s battle plan.



A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.


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