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A call to arms for a class war, from the top down 

The Powell Memo: A roadmap for the 1 percent revolution, Part 1
Jump to full article: The Bloomington (IN) Alternative , 2012-05-01
Author: Steven Higgs

Intro:

Two months before he was nominated for the Supreme Court, Lewis F. Powell Jr. penned a confidential memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce calling for an aggressive counterattack by business against the progressive ideology that had gripped the nation.

Lewis F. Powell's 1971 memorandum to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce --- "Attack on American Free Enterprise System" -- may or may not have been the first shot fired in the nation's late-20th-century right-wing revolution. But from the document's title to its ominous conclusion -- "Business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late" -- it was a literal call to the political arms that have subsequently driven the nation's devolution from democracy to oligarchy. . . .

In a brief introduction to the document itself, the Primary Sources website declares, "The memo is credited with inspiring the founding of many conservative think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the Manhattan Institute."

In an October 2011 speech at Public Citizens' 40th anniversary gala in New York City, journalist Bill Moyers pinpointed its submission as the moment today's ruling oligarchy began taking form. An excerpt titled "How Wall Street Occupied America" was published in the Nov. 2, 2011, issue of The Nation.

"The rise of the money power in our time goes back 40 years," he said. "We can pinpoint the date. On Aug. 23, 1971, a corporate lawyer named Lewis Powell -- a board member of the death-dealing tobacco giant Philip Morris and a future justice of the Supreme Court -- released a confidential memorandum for his friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We look back on it now as a call to arms for class war waged from the top down." . . .

Schmitt credited the Alliance for Justice's 1993 report "Justice for Sale" with reviving interest in the Powell Memo. He termed the report "a superb and still-relevant analysis of the use of corporate and right-wing foundation funds to reshape the legal academy, to introduce judges to 'law and economics' dogma, to promote tort reform and to build right-wing public-interest law firms." . . .

Still, Schmitt said, the Powell Memo has been "routinely invoked as the blueprint for virtually all of the conservative intellectual infrastructure built in the 1970s and 1980s - 'a memo that changed the course of history,' in the words of one analysis of the anti-environmental movement, 'the attack memo that changed America,' in another account." "The memo is credited with inspiring the founding of many conservative think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the Manhattan Institute."

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Altria Group: Falling Smokeless Products Volumes a Worry  

Jump to full article: Trefis, 2012-04-30

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· WTO

Big Tobacco backs Australian law opposers ($$) 

Jump to full article: Financial Times (uk), 2012-04-29
Author: Christopher Thompson

Intro:

- FT.com PMI said the company was openly supporting governments that challenged Australia on plain packaging.

“We have been in contact with many of these countries, including on the trade and legal issues associated with the [plain packaging] policy,” it said. “It is commonplace for affected industries to support countries in WTO disputes and we are open to supporting governments that challenge Australia on plain packaging.”

BAT said the company was happy to provide legal support to member states, but it was “up to them” to accept it.

However, the news drew a sharp response from anti-tobacco campaigners.

“It is very concerning that tobacco companies are using legal action as a delaying tactic against a government that is trying to protect the health of its citizens,” said Robin Hewings, tobacco control manager for Cancer Research UK.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the London-based Action on Smoking and Health, accused the tobacco companies of “getting others to do their dirty work”.

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Industry Affairs Committee Discusses Programs with Altria  

Jump to full article: American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA), 2012-04-26

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· E-cigs
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Altria Group Inc. Earnings Call Nuggets: E-Cigarettes and Marlboro Black 

Jump to full article: Wall St. Cheat Sheet , 2012-04-27
Author: Alex Capel

Intro:

Nik Modi - UBS: Just curious on your thoughts in that category I mean is this something you think Altria should get involved in is it a category you think is viable I mean certainly there is a lot of different viewpoints of snus I am just curious on your viewpoint on the category.

Michael E. Szymanczyk - Chairman and CEO: We pay attention to all of these I guess emerging segments, and watch what's going on, and do some research and so we've been monitoring this one for some time, around for a while there is pretty high awareness, but it represents still pretty small business proposition and so we are mindful of it, paying attention to it. That's about all I can say about it.

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Philip Morris USA Makes Master Settlement Agreement Payment of Approximately $3.5 Billion 

Jump to full article: Business Wire, 2012-04-16

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Altria Reports 2012 First-Quarter Results; Reaffirms 2012 Full-Year Reported and Adjusted EPS Guidance 

Jump to full article: Business Wire, 2012-04-26

Intro:

Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO) today announced its 2012 first-quarter results and reaffirmed its 2012 full-year guidance for reported and adjusted diluted EPS.

“New products introduced over the past few years by USSTC helped drive Copenhagen and Skoal’s combined performance and contributed to the smokeless products segment’s strong first-quarter results.”

“Altria delivered strong financial results in the first quarter of 2012 as adjusted diluted EPS increased 11.4%,” said Michael E. Szymanczyk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altria. “The performance of our tobacco companies’ premium brands and effective cost management drove increases in adjusted operating companies income and margins in the smokeable and smokeless products segments.”

“Our tobacco companies are pursuing initiatives to build their premium brands for the long-term. PM USA supported Marlboro’s new brand architecture with brand-building initiatives, which helped drive Marlboro’s year-over-year and sequential retail share increases,” said Mr. Szymanczyk. “New products introduced over the past few years by USSTC helped drive Copenhagen and Skoal’s combined performance and contributed to the smokeless products segment’s strong first-quarter results.”

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Altria profit up 3.8% as cost controls work 

Jump to full article: CBS MarketWatch, 2012-04-26

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Philip Morris trademark lawsuit dismissed 

* Philip Morris defends its right to trademark in Moscow court
Jump to full article: Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) (ru), 2012-04-25

Intro:

The Moscow Commercial Court has dismissed the Philip Morris tobacco company's lawsuit and supported the patent agency's decision to deny the trademark registration of Optima Zolotaya cigarettes.

The Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks ruled that the trademark is confusingly similar to some trademarks previously registered by British American Tobacco-Java.

The agency believes the word "Zolotaya" can be seen as an independent element, which would infringe on the British American Tobacco-Java's trademark rights.

Last March Philip Morris attempted to challenge the agency's decision, claiming that the word "Zolotaya" on a pack of cigarettes is not perceived separately from the word "Optima." However, the Patent Disputes Chamber found these arguments unconvincing.

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Earnings Preview: Altria Group Inc.  

Jump to full article: Associated Press (AP), 2012-04-24

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Big Tobacco Tells DC Circ. It Needn't Share Data With DOJ ($$) 

Jump to full article: Law360, 2012-04-20
Author: Erica Teichert

Intro:

Tobacco companies Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. told the D.C. Circuit Friday that they do not need to provide expanded marketing data to the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a settlement of earlier racketeering charges despite a lower court's call for it because the order was substantially changed without cause.

Philip Morris, parent Altria Group Inc., and the other two companies told the D.C. Circuit during a hearing that a Washington federal judge erred in revising a data-sharing...

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Philip Morris International Earnings Rise 13% ($$) 

Jump to full article: The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, 2012-04-19

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· Switzerland
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World service  

Anglo-Saxon firms may not want to practise Swiss law, but with WTO work and changing tax regulations they would be foolish to stay away
Jump to full article: Lawyer News, 2012-04-23
Author: Patrick Brandt, Counsel, London

Intro:

The general health of the disputes and arbitration market has meant that Palay’s replacement at Winston & Strawn in Geneva, partner Ricardo Ugarte, is also optimistic about where his office is going.

“The story for Winston & Strawn is that we’re trying to expand our disputes practice in Europe, Asia and globally as much as possible, using places like Geneva as a foothold,” he says. “We’re definitely headed in the right direction. We’ve continued with our plans and it’s about the chemistry of the team and making sure we’re working together. We’re rebuilding successfully.”

Ugarte says the team has acted on recent disputes for clients such as the Kingdom of Jordan. The fact that tobacco giant Philip Morris - a key client for the firm as a whole - has its international operations centre in Lausanne is also important.

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STOCKMAN: Philip Morris focuses on the global market 

Jump to full article: Boston (MA) Globe, 2012-04-24
Author: Farah Stockman

Intro:

The first time I ever smoked a cigarette, I was in fifth grade, at a sleepover. My friend stole a Marlboro from her mother’s purse and eight of us girls put it up to our lips in her back yard in the middle of the night. By the time I reached high school, some of my friends had already gotten hooked. They showed off by puffing smoke rings and pointing out subliminal pictures hidden on a pack of Camel Lights.

But in recent years, the coolness of smoking has faded away, in one of the most profound cultural changes of our generation. Today, only 19 percent of Americans smoke, compared to 42 percent in 1965, when the surgeon general declared the habit deadly. . . .

Luckily for Uruguay, a number of allies have stepped in to help. The World Health Organization, which promoted a global anti-tobacco treaty that 173 countries have ratified, has issued strong statements in support. And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation is helping Uruguay pay legal bills to fight PMI. “There is a commitment to see Uruguay win,” said Dr. Kelly Henning, director of public health programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We don’t want countries to think they can’t put in place measures to protect their citizens against the harms of tobacco.”

It is fitting that America, birthplace of the Marlboro Man, is helping other countries kick the habit.

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Philip Morris Earnings: Strong Top-Line Growth Driven by Asia  

Jump to full article: Trefis, 2012-04-23

Altria/Philip Morris
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