Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

INSIDE STORY

  • Obama is expected to nominate Jack Lew, currently his Chief of Staff, to serve as Treasury Secretary. Lew is the architect of Obama's "grand bargain" and "fiscal cliff" deals with Republicans. He is said to have been involved in the negotiations with the Reagan Administration that led to creating the "Social Security surplus" which has been milked for corporate welfare through the decades since, accumulating massive debt to the Social Security system that "our leaders" are now working tirelessly to avoid paying back. Lew was head of Citigroup when it got $45 billion in federal bailout, from which he got $944,518 in bonuses. Lew claims the financial meltdown was not due to the Wall Street deregulation by the Clinton Administration, which he was part of as Director of OMB. "I don't believe that deregulation was the proximate cause," he said at a Senate hearing in 2010.
  •  The Airline Safety Index Top Ten
    1.  Finnair
    2.  Air New Zealand
    3.  Cathay Pacific
    4.  Emirates
    5.  Etihad
    6.  Eva Air
    7.  Tap Portugal
    8.  Hainan Airlines
    9.  Virgin Australia
    10.  British Airways    
No US airline made the top 20, Southwest Airlines coming in highest at No 21.

  • Back in college I took one class where the instructor had us survey the same news story in multiple newspapers so that we got an idea how various media might treat a particular item.  Yesterday I checked three papers in Maine (all owned by the same corporation) to see how they covered our unity rally in the state capital the day before.  The Kennebeck Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel were exactly the same.  But the Portland Press Herald had one slight difference.  Let me illustrate.  The Journal and Morning Sentinel both ended with this:

    While views ran the gamut from the anti-establishment -- Bruce Gagnon of Bath said "corporations have been very astute" at taking over both Republican and Democratic parties to peoples' detriment -- [Lew] Kingsbury said he's encouraged by rising leaders in the Democratic Party.
    He hopes they won't "buckle to a bullish governor" with veto power.
    "This is the best I have felt about Maine politics in a long time," he said.

    The Portland Press Herald ended with this:

    Music from Alamoosic Lake, an Indian Island-based Native American singing and drumming band, held the crowd's attention until Lew Kingsbury of Pittston, an organizer of the Occupy Augusta movement, rallied the crowd with a megaphone in front of signs that said "No East West Corridor" and "Money Out of Politics."
    Kingsbury said he's encouraged by rising leaders in the Democratic Party.
    Portland is the bastion of Democratic Party politics in Maine.  Could the "more liberal" Portland paper have pulled my quote out because they didn't want their readers to see anyone claim that the Democrats have been taken over by corporate money?

    The majority owner of the three papers is billionaire hedge fund manager Donald Sussman who is married to our Congresswoman Rep. Chellie Pingree, a liberal Democrat.  In the last election Sussman gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to "progressive" organizations in Maine to help them elect Democrats to the state legislature.

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