Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fred Thompson: A Folksy Insider

This morning, I searched Google News for Fred Thompson and the word "folksy." Up popped a list of 162 news stories about his likely entry into the 2008 Republican presidential race. These stories report that Thompson has a "folksy" persona, that he has a "folksy" style, that he's a "folksy" populist, and that he's "folksy" just like Ronald Reagan was.

None of the stories I saw--including a front-page piece in The Washington Post--noted that for 20 years, Thompson, a former senator now starring on "Law & Order," had an un-folksy profession: Washington lobbyist. He represented a British insurance company, Canadian cable television, a savings and loan association, and Westinghouse. (For more details on Thompson's days as a hired gun, see this Politco article..) And, by the way, Thompson's presidential campaign is to be led by Tom Collamore, a former vice president of corporate affairs for the Philip Morris tobacco company.

Being a K Street lobbyist for corporations trying to squeeze special interest legislation out of Congress is hardly a "folksy" line of work. No wonder that's not part of the Thompson script.

As for Collamore, at Philip Morris he was in charge of programs to counter anti-tobacco public health efforts. He helped funnel Big Tobacco money to the Republican Party. He was also the beer man. Here's an email he sent in 1995:

[Republican Party] Chairman Haley Barbour called today to check in. We had a good talk about several topics: 1. He thanked us for supplying the beer for their staff picnic this past weekend. A good time was had by all. 2. He also thanked me for providing tickets for his use at the U.S. Senior Golf Open in Washington next week. 3. The primary purpose of Haley's call was to invite me or another [Philip Morris] executive to join him on a trip to Asia the last two weeks of August. He is taking a small group (6-8 couples), representative of the [Republican Party's] largest donors, to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipai and Seoul. There will be numerous meetings with senior government official and conservative government leaders and activists.

Keep those Republican staffers liquored up--good strategy for a lobbyist. And a year earlier, Collamore sent the following email to Philip Morris executives:

PM sponsored [former] President Bush's address to the Texas Restaurant Association's Southwest Food Expo in Houston yesterday and I accompanied him from Maine to Houston and back on one of our planes. He gave a great speech, including a nice pitch for our accommodation program. The Miller booth looked good!

On the way back to Maine the President tried out Molson Ice and loved it. He'd never had an Ice beer before. He prefers dark beers. I was wondering if you could arrange for a courtesy delivery to his house at Walker's Point, Kennebunkport, Maine? I'd recommend a couple cases of Molson Ice, a couple of Reserve (I talked it up, but we didn't have any on board!) and maybe a couple Miller GD. Do you think this is doable as a thank you for his weekend appearance? Please advise-- thanks!!

With Collamore's connections, the Thompson campaign should be loaded with all the beer and cigs it can handle.

Posted by David Corn at May 31, 2007 11:22 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

I remember Reagan and Fred Thompson is no Ron Reagan.

Fred is in a whole different class as an actor. He's not great but far more believable - that could be a problem as we have already tried believable and unbelievable liars.



capt said...

Weakest US growth in four years

The US economy grew at a pace of 0.6% in the first three months of 2007, its weakest rate in more than four years, official figures have shown.

Hit by Americans importing more goods and firms cutting their supply stockpiles, the figure was a downward revision on the initial 1.3% estimate.

The latest figure from the Commerce Department was also worse than market expectations of 0.8%.

It was the slowest rate of growth since the final three months of 2002.

'Bounce back'

Another significant factor for the weak showing was the downturn in the housing market, which posted a 15.4% reduction in new home building during the quarter.


*****end of clip*****

Soft crash or hard landing? This and the poor jobs numbers added to the high cost of gas and the future could be very dark indeed.


capt said...

Fred Thompson, "tough guy" and "folksy cultural conservative"

Newsweek's Howard Fineman -- last seen expressing admiration for the "reassuring" "male" qualities exuded by the GOP presidential field -- was on Hardball last night heaping praise on Fred Thompson. According to Fineman, Thompson not only is "tough on defense," but he himself is "a tough guy." Fineman also swooned: "He's got a strong record on cultural issues as a cultural conservative from the South."

What, in Fineman's mind, makes Thompson "tough on defense" and gives him credibility as "a tough guy"? Fineman obviously means that as a high compliment, but what -- in actuality -- has Thompson ever done that warrants such praise for his alleged "tough-guy-ness"?

Here is Thompson's biography -- his own official, endorsed version. He's been a government lawyer, an actor and a Senator. Though Thompson does not mention it, he also has been -- for two decades -- what a 1996 profile in The Washington Monthly described as "a high-paid Washington lobbyist for both foreign and domestic interests." This folksy, down-home, regular guy has spent his entire adult life as a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington, except when he was an actor in Hollywood.


*****end of clip*****

Another GREAT piece from Glenn Greenwald.

Fred Thompson is PERFECT for the position of pretend president.


capt said...

Tell your Senators to vote 'no confidence' in the Attorney General and to ask for his resignation.
Common Cause HERE


Gerald said...

Nazi Americans love movie stars as politicians. Fred Thompson will be a formidable candidate.

Personally, I do not care if he is the next president as long as the Democrats pick up 30 to 40 more seats in the House and 10 to 12 more seats in the Senate.

Gerald said...

It will be kick ass time for the Democrats.

micki said...

Well, ABC News reported last night that Fred Thompson has a looooooooooong history as a lobbyist.

So, his non-folksy career path is not being ignored by all 'MSM.'

micki said...

Yes, Gerald, lots of Americans are captivated by 'movie stars' especially folksy ones who are tall and 'reassuring.'

I heard that Tim Griffin is resigning in Arkansas to become Thompson's campaign manager. Hmmmm.

Looks like the Karl Rove could have decided who's going to sit in the Oval Office. Remember Griffin is a Karl's protege.

micki said...

Is Tim Griffin related to that idiot Michael Griffin at NASA who made those mind-boggling remarks about climate change?

capt said...

Former CIA agent Wilson and publisher say they are suing CIA

NEW YORK -- Simon & Schuster and author Valerie Plame Wilson, a former covert agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, said Thursday that they are suing the CIA for attempting to block her efforts to write a book about her years of service.

Wilson became the focus of controversy when several Bush administration officials were accused of leaking her covert status to journalists in 2003 after her husband, former envoy Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly raised questions about the intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq. In a subsequent federal prosecution, former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Wilson's memoir, "Fair Game," is due out in October, and the publisher said it was asking a New York federal court to declare that Wilson can list her years of service in the agency, even though officials have said such information is considered classified. In a statement, Simon & Schuster said these dates are already part of the public record, in an unclassified document released by the CIA and also on a website,


*****end of clip*****

And for the defense Victoria "She was not" Toensing.


capt said...

Cowering In The Suburbs of Berlin

Somebody needs to write the sequel to John Kennedy’s "Profiles In Courage". Let’s call it "Profiles In Cowardice". I know a really, really good case study for Chapter One.

Kennedy’s original book told the stories of senators who stood up to great political and social pressure, taking the courageous stands their hearts required. I always thought the point was perhaps a bit too well taken, given that we are talking here about legislators casting votes and thereby generally only risking their present careers – not soldiers at the front, or Gentiles hiding Jews from the Nazis. But it does take some real fortitude sometimes to be the lonely voice of sanity when everyone around you has completely flipped. Perhaps that is why we hardly see it happen anymore, ever since the sad day Paul Wellstone’s plane went down (high marks to Russ Feingold and Robert Byrd, though.)

It’s one thing not to be terribly courageous, and quite another to indulge in the worst imaginable cowardice, with the worst possible repercussions for other people’s lives. There’s a lot of room in between for your garden-variety member of Congress to attend fund-raisers, provide "access" to corporate lobbyists, and march in hometown Fourth of July parades, all without doing too horribly much damage to the country they’re meant to be serving.

This week, however, the leadership of the Democratic Party wrote Chapter One of "Profiles In Cowardice". Of course, that wasn’t entirely a surprise. Most Democrats bought into this war, along with the rest of Bushism, from the very beginning. It turns out that this gang of mealy-mouthed nothing-burgers really is the party of effete Quislings that Republicans make them out to be. At a time of moral, constitutional, international, governmental, political and environmental crisis, the Democrats have taken a firm stand on the issue of trying not to offend anybody in America. And, of course, getting themselves reelected.

At least you can’t say that they have no principles. And at least you can’t say that they’re inconsistent. They never fail to fail. And they never disappoint while disappointing.

But what marks out the most recent act of shame is the sheer egregiousness of it. In 2002, Karl Rove arranged a congressional vote on the Iraq war resolution right before midterm elections. That alone was the height of political cynicism on his part, showing that nothing was beyond politicizing by the Bush administration. It was only one year after 9/11 (which history may yet show to itself have been the greatest act of political cynicism ever, or ever imaginable), Bush was riding high, people were scared, war seemed to many like an appropriate policy, and an Iraq marketing campaign of which Madison Avenue must have been in awe was in full swing. There was no excuse, even under such circumstances, for Democrats like Clinton, Edwards and the rest to vote for the war. Yet, you could at least understand why they did. You could partially excuse them if you were so inclined (I wasn’t), precisely because of the outrageousness of the situation they were placed in by regressive forces inside and out of the White House. Heck, you could even argue that they were fulfilling their role as faithful representatives of their constituents’ will, even as they were abdicating their responsibilities as leaders of those same citizens.

But this... This there is no excuse for. Not now, not ever. This is precisely the inverse of the situation in 2002, which makes it mind-boggling to contemplate just what would be required for Harry Reid to close the sale here. Just what is necessary for the Democratic leadership to acquire the political courage for doing what was the morally correct thing from the very beginning?


capt said...

Texas governor, Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, barred the teaching of foreign languages about 80 years ago, saying, "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us."

Nicholas Kristof, in “God and Sex”, New York Times, October 23, 2004.

capt said...

"Wars are seldom caused by spontaneous hatreds between people, for peoples in general are too ignorant of one another to have grievances and too indifferent to what goes on beyond their borders to plan conquests. They must be urged to the slaughter by politicians who know how to alarm them." : H.L. Mencken

"The ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down and lets things happen to him." - George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author Source: Inside the Whale, 1940


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

Gerald said...

Justice Gerald and His Wife

I want to share with you a recent dream I had. It was a dream that started with excitement and it ended up a nightmare.

In my dream I was recently nominated and confirmed to be a United States Supreme Court Justice. I was excited and my wife was excited. Soon, the excitement turned into a nightmare because I voted with the majority in favor of an employer over a female employee regarding pay discrimination. I accepted the arbitrary timeline for an employee to file for relief against an employer in pay discrimination.

When I came home my wife said to me that she disagreed with my vote and she added, “Should the pursuit of justice have a timeline?” Of course, there should be no timeline in cases of justice. Having a spouse disagree with her husband is not cause for a nightmare. What became the nightmare was when my wife was asked a question that is normally not asked for a spouse to answer of a Supreme Court Justice's decision, especially in a public forum.

My wife was asked whether or not she agreed with my vote to discriminate against a woman or women? She replied that she spoke to her husband and she told him that she disagreed with his vote. The nightmare also increased when I realized that my wife was saying to herself, the world, and me that she could never say, “Her husband, right or wrong.”

When I awoke, I was in a cold sweat. I was sweating so profusely that a beach towel was required to wipe away the sweat.

As I reflected on my dream turned nightmare, I came to the realization that I am not of primary importance to my wife in her life. I am no better than secondary importance to her. In a week and a half or so we will have been married 42 years. After 42 years of marriage I came to realize that I was not the primary player in my wife’s life. For my wife the primary importance are the questions, “What is right and what is wrong.” I also realized that my wife would never say to herself, the world, and me, “My husband, right or wrong.”

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: June 1

Gerald said...

As I read the June 1 Praying Each Day words, I could not help but realize how much we are enslaved today by Hitler Bush and his practices and policies.



capt said...

'I'm the President!'

President George W. Bush' paranoid megalomania is so rampant that close friends and supporters worry about the man's sanity and fear he has lost his tenuous grip on reality.

Bush, whose arrogant stubbornness knows no bounds, is so wrapped up in his obsession with being President and "commander-in-chief" that his behavior shocks his most ardent supporters.

Writes syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer:

Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated "I am the president!" He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country's destiny."

Arnaud de Borchgrave, the rabid Bush supporter who edits the right-wing Washington Times and runs what is left of United Press International, also reports on the meeting:

The self-described "Decider" is the antithesis of self-doubt. Like an old seadog, he relishes the idea of plowing into rough seas.
When a recent visitor asked him what assurance he could give about his successor in 2009, President Bush replied, "we'll fix it so he'll be locked in." The visitor left perplexed and wondered whether that might mean the U.S. would be in a wider war in the region by then. In any event, it didn't sound like twilight time for Mr. Bush.
A Texan friend of longstanding called on him recently and confided to his Washington hosts that Mr. Bush had said three times, bringing a clenched fist to his chest, "I'm the president." Reminding visiting political opponents of this would be normal, but the close friend said he was a taken aback a bit as he had never before seen Mr. Bush in this mode.

What these close friends see is a madman on the edge, a delusional paranoid whose brain is fried by too many years of hard drinking and probably too much cocaine up his nose.

Compared to Bush, Richard M. Nixon appears sane and stone cold sober. Hell, history will probably cast legendary drunk Ulysses S. Grant as a President more in control of himself.
Not only is he wrapped up in the aura of "I'm the President," but he is now determined that anyone who follows him will have to live with his legacy of lies, deceit and despair - his failed war in Iraq, his cancer on "our country's destiny."

The fate of this nation - and indeed the fate of the world - may well depend on the deranged mind of a truly insane President of the United States.


*****end of clip*****

I'm the president, I'm the decider. I'm the commander guy.

No, he's Crusader Bunnypants the magnificent!


capt said...

New Thread

WTF said...

Can't we get someone to just speak the truth to the american public? How about; get out of Iraq, stop outsourcing american jobs, seal the border and deport the illegals back to Mexico? How hard is that? Damn twerps want it all and want it now. Once again, no make that still fed up with politicians, we need a leader that stands for the majority of americans, not the corptocracy that seems to have stolen our country and won't give it back. Maybe now is the time to take it back and deal harshly with those that did this? Hmm?