Posts Tagged ‘Bank of America’

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO:

At Big Journalism, Liberty Chick has posted on Think Progress’s whitewashing of convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin from the Chamber of Commerce/HBGary story. She concisely explains the background and echoes my findings regarding Think Progress’s decision to eliminate Kimberlin from the story:

Think Progress, a project of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress Action Fund, has been fiercely pushing a story about leaked emails that suggest the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was aware of espionage work being performed against American citizens by one of its private security firms. . . .

But the reports are noticeably silent on one crucial component of the story.

The primary focus of the Chamber’s investigation was actually none other than the organization known as Velvet Revolution, and one of its co-founders, Brett Kimberlin.

Recognize that name? That’s because we told you all about this convicted domestic terrorist, known as the Speedway Bomber, who in 1981 was finally convicted of a week-long bombing spree in Indianapolis, IN in which eight separate bombs caused extensive property damage, destroyed a police cruiser, and severely maimed a man, eventually leading to that man’s suicide.

I think Liberty Chick also makes some good observations about the tactics of the firm hired by the Chamber. Understand that they not only gathered information on opponents, but they also spoke of planting false documents purportedly by their enemies. We cannot sanction such activity, and it’s important to say so. Liberty Chick says:

In the end, I don’t agree with what HBGary Federal did or how any of the firms involved have handled this. Having been a target of such attacks myself of numerous occasions, I might have actually shared some common ground with folks like Brad Friedman and other leftists on this issue. But the left’s intentional deception makes it so difficult to do so.

To that I would add: their deception and their own use of thuggish stalker and harassment tactics makes it difficult to sympathize.

Let’s all remember how Brett Kimberlin stalked Karl Rove in a Safeway, conned Rove into posing with him by pretending to be Rove’s fan, and then took a picture of Rove’s car . . . complete with license plate. And let’s all remember how Brad Friedman published those photos on his blog.

As I revealed yesterday, Brett Kimberlin has written numerous e-mails to my bosses, complaining about me and calling me a stalker. In his latest, he said:
“I have already reported him to the Bar and to the ethics board and have motions in court addressing his reprehensible conduct. He is very close to getting sued and having a criminal complaint filed against him for harassment and stalking.”

In addition, two secretaries in my office told me that Kimberlin called them ranting about me, calling me a racist, a stalker, and saying he was going to get a restraining order against me. There is more.

Read the rest of this post at Patterico…

Think Progress, a project of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress Action Fund, has been fiercely pushing a story about leaked emails that suggest the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was aware of espionage work being performed against American citizens by one of its private security firms.  The story first launched a few days ago as an exclusive on the progressive blog, when it reported that hacked emails obtained from the pro-WikiLeaks group “Anonymous” reveal that the US Chamber conspired to sabotage opposition progressive activist groups including ThinkProgress, Change to Win, SEIU, BradBlog and StopTheChamber, among others.  By this morning, the story was all over the lefty blogosphere, on sites such as AlterNet, Huffington Post, Raw Story, and in a press release from Kevin Zeese, our fan from IndictBreitbart.org.

But the reports are noticeably silent on one crucial component of the story.

The primary focus of the Chamber’s investigation was actually none other than the organization known as Velvet Revolution, and one of its co-founders, Brett Kimberlin.

Recognize that name?  That’s because we told you all about this convicted domestic terrorist, known as the Speedway Bomber, who in 1981 was finally convicted of a week-long bombing spree in Indianapolis, IN in which eight separate bombs caused extensive property damage, destroyed a police cruiser, and severely maimed a man, eventually leading to that man’s suicide.  In short, a community was terrorized for a week, and a potentially indirectly related murder remains unsolved today.  Indiana certainly remembers Brett Kimberlin.

As it turns out, despite the months of deafening silence on the left in response to questions about the ally they’ve so warmly embraced, some bigger characters apparently had taken notice.

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[original post 5/24/2010]

If you haven’t read by now all the headlines on this story, you’ll want to start at the beginning and read the first post, SEIU Storms Private Residence, Terrorizes Teenage Son of Bank of America Exec.  Because as each day passes, new facts are popping up.  The story seemed so outrageous at first.  After all, the thought of over 500 screaming and chanting protesters surrounding a Bank of America lawyer’s private residence while the man’s teenage son, home alone, hid frightened inside a bathroom – it’s just so extreme, even by SEIU’s standards.

I knew something was up when the following day, Fortune magazine editor Nina Easton, a neighbor of the targeted residence, published an account of the incident and was almost immediately attacked by what seemed like practically a coordinated dogpile of writers from several specific sources.

In almost mirror fashion to the Town Hall events last August, when both the Huffington Post and Media Matters seemingly tried to cover up and dismiss the violent acts that SEIU committed against Kenneth Gladney, the same players were again out in full force.  As our Larry O’Connor wrote, both outlets behaved less like journalists and more like arms of the SEIU press office, dismissing SEIU’s bad behavior and attacking an innocent party with fabricated conflicts of interest as a method of distraction and intimidation.

payne-podestaBob Borosage, Erica Payne, and John Podesta

 

And now we learn this:  Erica Payne, the guest who was invited to appear Friday on Megyn Kelley’s Fox News show and proceeded to blame the Tea Parties for the behavior of SEIU?  She was co-founder of Democracy Alliance, the very organization that spawned and is a donor to Media Matters.  SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger is also the Vice-Chair of its Board.

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[original post 5/21/2010]

Alinsky Rule #12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Nina Easton just became the left’s latest target.  Why?  So that SEIU can hide from the truth about its financial liabilities to Bank of America (more on that after the jump).

seiu-MOB

Easton, a Washington Editor for Fortune Magazine, wrote a column early morning Wednesday, addressing the outrageous protest organized by SEIU and National People’s Action, where 700 protesters stormed the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America.

As I wrote in my post yesterday, “SEIU Storms Private Residence, Terrorizes Teenage Son of Bank of America Exec,” Easton is actually a neighbor of Baer.  When she was startled by the loud, screaming, bullhorn-rattling protesters, she called Baer’s teenage son to check on him.  Home alone, the frightened teenager had locked himself in the bathroom.  After witnessing the entire incident as it unfolded on her neighbor’s private property, Easton criticized the SEIU and left wing groups in her article for crossing the line this time.

Alinsky’s Rule # 12 states,

“Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”

In almost coordinated lock-step fashion, the 12th Rule was promptly and firmly applied.  As Larry O’Connor posted on Big Journalism yesterday, a series of several posts soon followed the publication of Nina Easton’s article:

  • Late Wednesday evening, John Vandeventer of SEIU posted “Nina Easton & the Bank Lobbyists: Too Close for Comfort” in response.  Conveniently, Vandeventer distracts readers by recounting the sob stories of foreclosure “victims”, then quickly focuses the attention on Easton and polarizes his target.  He proceeds to play a guilt by association game to tie her husband to Bank of America through Business Roundtable.  You can read my post from yesterday about that here.
  • Then came Arthur Delaney’s piece from the Huffington Post, with the headline: “Nina Easton, Fortune Columnist, Compares Bank Protesters To ‘God Hates Fags’ Group.”  He ends his piece with a link to an open letter to Easton penned by Al Marshall, SEIU Local 1021 shop steward in Oakland, CA.  Marshall begins his letter by mentioning that he flew out to DC for the protest  from CA because “Wall Street caused” his wife to lose her job, and then him and his wife to lose their house.  (I’d like to know how he could possibly afford those plane tickets, in that case).  The whole tenor of the post is undoubtedly less jovial than his prior day’s, when he gleefully bragged about the whole event.
  • And then, the much anticipated and expected Media Matters post: “Attacking SEIU, Nina Easton fails to disclose husband’s ties to Bank of America“.

Of all of the responses, not a single one of the posts actually addresses any of the issues. None will account for the fact that the protesters were on the private property of a private citizen, though Vandeventer tries to rationalize their actions as acceptable because the police supposedly followed the crowd to the location.  Then, he paints the picture that Baer is lurking in the crowd trying to blend in; rather, the man was trying to get to his front door without creating a scene so that he could get to his frightened son inside as quickly as possible.

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[original post 5/20/2010]

By now, you’ve probably seen the mob-scene that developed on the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America.  This was planned for some time by the SEIU as part of a larger national event, their Showdown on K Street, which was shared with National People’s Action and thousands of other activists from MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups.

Prior to the main event on K Street in Washington DC, SEIU and company made a little pit stop.  According to Fortune magazine Washington editor Nina Easton, 14 busloads of riled up protesters unloaded on Baer’s private property and stormed up to his doorstep, while his teenage son was home alone.  Easton is a neighbor of Baer’s and had called to check on her neighbor’s son when she heard and saw all the commotion outside. Easton writes,

“Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly “outed” him, and slipped through his front door.

“Excuse me,” Baer told his accusers, “I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened.”

Imagine what you would have done if your child were inside that house and that mob was on your front lawn as you tried to reach him.

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[original post 5/13/2010]

The financial reform bill is finally in its home stretch in the Senate, but Americans have yet to fully engage on the issue.  In fact, in recent weeks as I’ve worked with various grassroots leaders across the country to discuss the bill, its impacts on our economy and on us as American citizens, I must admit, it’s probably the first time I’ve ever found myself frustrated at the progress of activism.

It’s a complex issue, and let’s face it, not exactly an exciting one either.  But that’s precisely what the left is counting on.  So, whenever I find myself feeling frustrated that others might not share my same level of fervor on the issue, I remind myself of its complexity and lackluster appeal.  And then, I proceed directly to the source – the bill itself.

I hone in on a few key points in three categories that resonate with most activists I know:  Big Labor, Big Government, and Big Brother.  Put those together in the context of Big Banks, and they spell out big disaster.

As the left goes on demonizing Wall Street and big bankers on one hand, Democratic lawmakers on the other hand are busy making sweetheart backroom deals with them up on Capitol Hill, promoting their legislation to the public as “consumer protection.”  But really, such measures are nothing more than payback to the likes of three-way mortgage entitlement partnership stronghold of the Bank of America, Center for Responsible Lending and Fannie Mae.

Meanwhile Democrats and Obama allies like Organizing for America are also using the issue as a shameless fund-raising opportunity.

ObamaAd

The banks actually SUPPORT this bill – so don’t let that “Main Street Not Wall Street” message fool you, no matter which side of this issue you’re on.

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[original post 1/27/2010]

We saw their fury throughout 2009:  “Capitalism is Dead”, “Kill the Corporation”, “Bust Up Big Banks”, “Greed Kills”, “Bank of America, Bad for America”.  The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) led an all-out assault on Wall Street – and on capitalism and corporations – coining words and phrases that have since become common staples in the vocabulary of the bank-bashing craze.  That fury hit a fever pitch last March when word of the AIG bonuses went public.  It was the SEIU out in front of the protests, at AIG offices, and bussing protestors to the homes of AIG executives.

AIG_Rally_AndyStern_March19

The months that followed saw more of the same.  In April, SEIU hailed the ousting of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner.  That same week, it stepped up its battleplan with the Mother of all Corporate Campaigns against Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO and Chairman – complete with videos, rolling billboards, smear sites, petition drives, letter campaigns, media blitzes and more, while it placed equal attention on Bank of America, forcing the company to respond with a $40 million image boosting campaign of television and print ads.

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