Saturday, July 2, 2011

Push for Austerity Measures Coming to a U.S Congressional District Near You

Testing the Waters for Pushing Austerity Measures

As promised, below is the amateur video footage of the "Deficit" Town Hall Meeting held two nights ago. Again, we have little understanding about Gabrielle Giffords' capacity to function in her role as a congressional representative because she was shot in the head last January. The two guests for this austerity PR campaign seemed to be testing the waters by exploiting Giffords' situation:

The Honorable David Walker -- founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative and former Comptroller General of the United States

Robert Bixby -- Executive Director of the Concord Coalition and member of the bipartisan Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force.

The Privilege of Health Care

We pointed out in our last article the  irony surrounding the health care Gabrelle Giffords enjoyed as a congressional representative.  The willingness of her staff to deny others health care on behalf of the banking industry is downright creepy and does not seem like the choice of someone who was recently severely wounded. The people of Arizona's 8th Congressional District are not being served. Instead, these citizens are being sold a bill of goods they are not liable for.

Building a Phony Consensus

Industry funded nonprofits often engage in phony PR campaigns to build an illusion of a consensus for their agendas.  SPNow's Lee Stanfield bears witness in her account below to that same activity. Performed in concert with industry shills in the audience,  facilitators assign certain strangers a "leadershop role" in each cluster or table.   These so-called 'representatives' manage and shape the message that will ultimately be recorded and cited later to justify austerity measures to other parties.

Dominant Agendas Emerging in Giffords' Team

With no efforts to address the current vacancy in leadership for Arizona's 8th Congressional District, Giffords' congressional staff appears to be commandeered by one or more dominant members pushing agendas.  In a previous conversation with former news anchor and congressional candidate Patty Weiss, I remember hearing Weiss describe a situation as she walked into a room of potential donors.  She was immediately approached by one individual who said, "Either you will start returning these peoples' phone calls, or you will lose this race".  My follow-up question was "Were these people in any way similar to the moneyed interests behind the 2 billion dollar Regional Transportation election?"  Patty replied, "Very".   Giffords, of course, beat Weiss in the primary.   Many have stated that politicians are eventually captured by industry but it appears they are actually born captive to industry.  In the case of Giffords, one should consider whether these dominant forces were involved prior to her injury.

Here's is  Lee Stanfield's account of what took place last Thursday night.  Expect similar shenanigans in your town or congressional district in the near future and be prepared.

J.T. Waldron
Alison has attached a link below to an excellent video of what took place at the town hall, where, despite her being the first person to raise her hand to ask a question, she was not called on or allowed to speak at all, and was forced to leave. In the face of this severe limitation on what it was possible to say, I think Chet, Rick, & Joyce did great jobs of getting in at least a couple of points for "the people"!!! You will hear them on the video.

Thinking back on it, it is now very clear that the entire thing was carefully choreographed ahead of time. I believe it was no accident that there was less than enough time allowed for all the things on the agenda. Then they made attendees feel hesitant to speak up by appealing to our sense of fairness by saying we needed to be brief "in order for everyone to have equal opportunity to speak." They kept all attendees busy, allowing no time for scrutinizing what was being done to us, or for figuring out a way to overcome the obstacles they were throwing up to curtail any free speech on the part of the constituents present.

Then, I am certain that there were a lot of "plants" in the audience. I believe that they purposefully placed at least one staff person or friend of a staff person at each table. Many (if not all) of these were dressed in coats and ties, which then probably resulted in the same thing that happened at my table.... the majority of people at the table looked at  him and said, you look like you would understand this stuff... so why don't you be our Chair? As it turned out, he was a terrible Chair, and wasted tremendous amounts of our time (personally, I can't help but think that was part of the plan). He also was the tie-breaker, and "surprise"..... he always sided with those who leaned to the right in their votes.

I also believe that they  purposefully did not explain any details ahead of time regarding the exercise we were to do, and to make matters even more confusing, we were given only one item-explanation booklet per table. This contained very wordy (often confusing) explanations of the items to be voted on. In fact, no one at our table even knew we had the book of explanations until I happened to see it and brought it to everyone's attention. Unfortunately, by then we had already voted on several of the items, without even understanding what some of them would do. At least one of the items was worded as a double negative, making it even harder to discern whether a yes vote or a no vote  would actually do what you intended.

We were also told that we had only a short amount of time in which to complete the task. In addition (pardon the pun) the format they had us use to tally the monetary values of the various items (in terms of how much $$$ it added to, or subtracted from the deficit) was unnecessarily complicated and confusing, when it could (and should) have been very simple. Again, this was a perfect strategy on their part.

In the end, they did not even take up the packets where we recorded our votes, or make any effort to find out which items were voted for and which against, by the constituents attending.

The only wrap-up that was done after we completed the exercise, was a set of very brief interviews of only about 4 of the "randomly chosen" Chairs ( & there were quite a few tables). They were asked only how much they were able to reduce the deficit, and how smoothly the process went.

The packets recording our votes were never taken up. Instead, we were told to keep them for ourselves. So no one attending and no staff person was able to see how the majority of people in the room voted on any item or on any set of items. 

I questioned a staff person afterward re this and had to insist that my packet be taken, so Giffords could get some feedback from at least one constituent (of course, I am sure they threw it into the "circular file" as soon as I left). I let the staff person know how appalled I was that there was no attempt to get any constituent feedback on the very items the House will be voting on (supposedly in behalf of consituents) !!!

Lee Stanfield


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  1. There is no excuse for the way this woman was treated, it was shameful. The man in the striped shirt should have been slugged for pushing her away. I've lost all respect for Walker. What you need to realize is that Walker is a member of the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) It is the American branch of the Royal Institute of International Affairs an organization that attempts to put the USA back under total British control. Walker is a traitor to this country. As a side note if this lady is an advocate for single-payer health care (Socialized Medicine) then she is clueless(sorry), this country is broke and can't afford it. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. Even if you taxed the "rich" at a 100% level you still wouldn't close the deficit gap, now and future obligations. The idea that you can tax the rich and solve all our problems is Socialist fantasy, class warfare. It won't work.

  2. The mix of capitalism with health care sucks. It has shortened my life and cost me tons. It's like taking a hammer and using it to drive a screw into wood. Not so easy to extol the virtues of free market medicine when you are walking funny from its result.

  3. To Intercept.
    How good does health care work under Socialism? Under Communism I'm sure you most realize it was/is horrific. In England there are all kinds of horrible stories of dirty hospitals and third-rate care. You can't depend on the government for anything, they will screw you every time.