Today is

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Mask Comes Off - Happy Halloween!

TRICK or TREAT, money or eat.

A poor attempt at humor.

Check out Rep. Paul Ryan Exposed! for attempting to humor us that the GOP's donor base are friends of the poor.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Townhall Report: Paul Ryan In Damage Control Mode?

I attended Ryan's Townhall in Janesville and for the most part walked away with nothing new or substantive to report from his presentations.

But Ryan has changed his demeanor somewhat. Not that he's done an about-face from his usual brash and cold snark-poopery, but he has backed away incrementally from his heavy partisanship and demagoguery of President Obama and Democrats in much of his presentation. At least that is how it appeared in Janesville.

He did however answer almost every question with a long and drawn out explanation oftentimes deluding its core premise to the point where few people probably remembered what the question was in the first place.

For the most part, he was playing to the audience and each questioner individually, giving them exactly what they wanted to hear but without offering a clear answer. For instance, he was asked whether he thought corporations are people. Instead of giving a simple yes or no with a supporting reason, he attempted to teach the audience why corporations should be treated the same as people.

Only one question was handled short and swift by the congressman. It happened early in the session when a constituent asked Ryan about whether his oath to Grover Norquist was before or after he entered office. Ryan replied he's been in office since 1998 and signed the pledge later. End of story. Next!

Another interesting question, or statement, came later on from someone who thought it was unfair that public sector workers make 30% more and usually have better benefits than private sector workers. Ryan replied that he agrees, that it's not right taxpayers are funding employees compensation and benefits better than what the taxpayers get. Of course that's nuts. But soon afterwards came a question about his speeches referencing class warfare, resentment and class envy.

He replied...

"I don't think it's healthy for us to be stoking the flames of envy and resentment, I don't care about rich people, because they are already rich. What I worry about is making it easier for people to become successful, who's never seen it before... -- Paul Ryan

Doh! So, it's okay to fuel wage envy, resentment and division between taxpayers and public sector workers, but not okay if one of the sides is rich? He wants to make it easier for people to become successful, but is a proud member of the anti-union party? Oh well. This is typical Ryan.

But it doesn't end there. Ryan said he doesn't care or worry about the rich. Then why does he worry about their feelings?

"Don't tax them so much and don't regulate business so much, because that causes uncertainty, and that feeling keeps them from creating jobs." -- Paul Ryan

Oh poor dears.

In between, Ryan mockingly complained about the run-around he recently got from hospitals and insurance providers on costs and billing after one of his kids had their tonsils removed. Soon after again, in response to a question about how he intends on turning patients into consumers shopping around for a double by-pass, he brags about how his health care proposal would help that because everyone would have the same plan he now enjoys as congressman. So you wouldn't really have to shop because hospitals would be competing for your business automatically with costs and prices set by a shopper's consumer market. Like Best Buy. That's about how most of the Townhall went. His responses were loaded with simple hypotheticals and overly agreeable answers loaded down with deliberately convoluted talking points that were often irreconcilable with each other. In other words, his answers were double-loaded. That's Paul Ryan in a nutshell.

Lastly, possibly an extension from his recent Heritage Foundation speech, Ryan takes on a populist tone by explaining that government rigged a system of tax shelters and exemptions in favor of the 1% and the only way to correct this outrage is to "broaden the tax base and lower the rates," as outlined in his proposals.

Hmmm. It's mirror time!

SodaHead Excerpt:
Ryan has also opposed efforts to close offshore tax loopholes, a record 51 times since he took office. He voted against an amendment in 2006 that would have barred funding for government contracts with U.S. companies incorporated offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. In 2004, he opposed an amendment that would have prohibited the Export-Import Bank from approving direct loans to U.S. companies incorporated offshore to avoid U.S. taxes.

He's like a broken record.

He backed away from the heavier rhetoric about his schemes to destroy Social Security and Medicare. However, any support Ryan gives these programs seems to come providing only if they are transformed into pure welfare programs for the destitute. But as far as an actual jobs plan? Ryan doesn't have one unless you think the rich need the certainty of more taxcuts and deregulation so they "feel" better about creating jobs - is a jobs plan.

The more I thought about this townhall, the more I realized that there was absolutely no reason for Ryan to have one unless he wanted to divert public opinion away from his Kill Medicare proposal and the damage he incurred at his recent Rotary Club Townhall where seniors were tackled and handcuffed for speaking their mind. Which seems to be the only logical conclusion.

Note: The Janesville Police Department had 30 officers assigned to work Ryan's Townhall at the Pontiac Convention Center. There were about a dozen protesters carrying signs outside at the parking lot entrance. No seniors or demonstrators were arrested.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Walker a Classic Hypocrite Accepting Pay Raise After Promoting Shared Sacrifice

It's funny how the mainstream media worded Scott Walker's pay increase. The story is, the raise wasn't part of his pay plan. It was approved by the previous administration, so then it's okay.

But not being part of his plan never stopped him before when he left no stone unturned reversing nearly everything the previous administration and state Democrats have mandated over the years, except the part where they get pay raises. That stone he left alone.

Politiscoop noted the blatant hypocrisy of Scott "state is broke" Walker after he initiated his union busting war which in effect ended Wisconsin's mandate that public employers negotiate with unions.

Politiscoop Excerpt:
The plan freezes base pay, and creates a new system for merit pay while suspending funding for it during the current two-year budget. Scott Walker has been leading the call to inform all Wisconsinites that the state is broke, so shared sacrifice is necessary.

The fact is Walker is getting approximately a $7,000 a year raise paid for on the backs of public sector employees.

Politiscoop also has a screenshot showing Walker's contribution to "shared sacrifice."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Video: Oakland Police Adopt Terrorist Tactics

This is pretty sickening. The worst part in my view was when a group of people rushed to the aid of the fallen protester and another tear gas canister explodes in their midst. Make no mistake, attacking those coming to the aid is a vicious guerrilla tactic used by terrorists to instill further paranoia and terror upon their victims. There was no excuse for this.

Footage of Scott Olsen being shot by Police at Occupy Oakland

Does Paul Ryan have Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Paul Ryan, you know the progressives are a cancer, labor unions are like Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, and not voting for TARP would usher in Barack Obama's liberal fascism Paul Ryan, was reportedly accusing Obama of “preying on the emotions of fear, envy and resentment” in a bizarre speech at the Heritage Foundation.

Imagine that.

Nearly every Ryan quote posted in this Politico article was mind-blowing introspective identity transference - that is, he accused Obama of the very economic, social and political transgressions Ryan himself has perfected to a fine precision against the wage earning class for the past decade.

Politico Excerpt:
[...] said the class warfare that threatens the U.S. is “[a] class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society. And their gains do come at the expense of working Americans, against entrepreneurs, and that small businesswoman who has the gall to take on the corporate chieftain.”

Just imagine if you can, that the one congressman whose legislative record demonstrates an eager willingness to use government power to rig a system of trade, credit, capital and taxation to the advantage of connected crony capitalists, made the above statement. Had Michael Moore, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders made that statement - fine. But completely preposterous coming from Paul Ryan unless of course it was part of a confession.

Even more so, Ryan accused Obama of setting up straw men and scapegoats (have you ever been to a Ryan townhall?), and engaging in intellectually lazy arguments, as he tries to build support for his jobs plan.

Intellectually lazy arguments? Have you checked out the latest Politifact editorial where they laughingly analyze a wildly hypothetical statement from Ryan? Seriously, the JS Politifact is now fact-checking his hypotheticals. Just wonderful. Ryan, who rarely makes reality-based non-fictional statements to support his ideological-based schemes to defraud trillions out from Social Security and Medicare recipients, leaves his enablers at Politifact with grudgingly little more than fabrications in their effort to prop up and defend him from statements made by those evil democrats.

Politifact gave Ryan a "half true" rating when he claimed that a 100% tax on millionaires would fund only four months of government operations. But get this, Politifact even goes so far as to bolster Ryan's misfire by stating that had he drawn his hypothetical from more current data, his point would have been stronger showing government would run for an even shorter period.

Of course nobody ever suggested taxing millionaires at 100%, so their editorial was little more than low-grade windbaggery masquerading as a fact-check analysis. But Ryan constantly draws on this kind of class-based rhetoric to, you guessed it, to set up straw men and scapegoats.

After keeping a watchful eye on our congressman for almost ten years now, I'm more convinced than ever that he either has Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personality) or he is a very cunning liar. He can't see the Paul Ryan in Congress that rigs the system against the wage earning class with his wrong-headed proposals and votes, to the one he wakes up to everyday. How can anyone make those statements without first looking in the mirror and seeing themselves? Unless of course he has no reflection.

Others Have Noticed

Crooks and Liars Ryan Blames President For trying to put out fire set by Ryan

The Paul Ryan Watch Ryan Loves Everyone, some restrictions apply.

Think Progress Ryan Wrong on Income Inequality

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is Dylan Ratigan The Antithesis To Wall Street's Rick Santelli?

Remember when Tea Party windbag Rick Santelli ranted on the floor of the CME Group to express his outrage over the notion he may have to pay his neighbor's mortgage, particularly if they bought far more house than they could actually afford? But he made no such outburst when the government wound up paying premium dollars for bundles of devalued mortgages that the Wall Street Big Banks gambled with and lost?

Back in early August, Dylan Ratigan during his MSNBC Show went on a similar but much more inspiring tangent describing how tens of trillions of dollars are being extracted from the U.S.A. by a wired and rigged system of trade, capital, credit and taxation legislated on purpose by a Congress that is bought and paid for by the wealthy few.

About one month after Ratigan's outburst, the first few hundred protesters began to arrive in New York for the Occupy Wall Street movement, their numbers and visibility soon surged and more "occupations" eventually popped up across the country.

Dylan Ratigan's moment, in case you missed it:

Some credit has to go to Van Jones since he was out earlier in the year organizing the Rebuild the Dream movement.

WaPo Excerpt:
Something fresh is afoot in this country, drawing its inspiration from the Arab Spring. It’s what Van Jones, head of Rebuild the Dream, has taken to calling “the American Autumn.” Yes, that Van Jones, the one the White House unceremoniously dumped overboard after Glenn Beck preposterously called him a communist. Now Jones is back on stage — and so is a strain of American populism that many have been waiting to see emerge.

One reason may be the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that allowed Wall Street, and the rest of corporate America, to, well, occupy the public square. When that decision came down, it was almost as though big business said: We’re not even going to pretend any more. We run this country.

But I think Ratigan's "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" Howard Beale moment came at a crucial time following a post-exhaustion from our protests and summer recalls here in Wisconsin to provide for the perfect bridge to help reconstitute that confidence and focus it into a national movement.

Now it's only fitting that the Occupy Wall Street/99 Percent Movement has reciprocated the fervor and brought out the more activist side from Ratigan. The MSNBC global finance correspondent started a new crusade on behalf of campaign finance reform and established a foundation called Get Money Out with the goal of amending the Constitution to forbid private campaign contributions. As of this writing he’s racked up more than 228,000 signatures.

Please sign his petition, post it on Facebook and send it to ten friends. It's a good beginning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Video: Elizabeth Warren On Why We Support #OWS

A New State Quarter?

Townhall - Protest Paul Ryan

Friday, October 28
8:30am - 11:00am


Pontiac Convention Center
2809 N. Pontiac
Janesville, WI


Created By Lisa Buening Sheldon - Event Facebook


Monday, October 24, 2011

Drinking Liberally Janesville Chapter Now Official!

When? First Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm

Where? Speakeasy Lounge and Restaurant, 19 North High Street

Hosted by Ken Pearson | Chuck Ogg | Lars Prip

Subscribe to the Janesville mailing list

Contact the chapter leaders

Sign-up at their website to receive updates.

Ron Johnson Buys Expensive Digs In D.C.

JS Online Excerpt: Daniel Bice

For someone who vowed to serve as a "citizen legislator," U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson certainly is acting like a seasoned Washington insider.

First, Johnson hired a former lobbyist as his chief of staff. Then he announced that he was running for a top GOP post in the Senate and created a leadership fund.

Now it turns out that Johnson has paid cash for a $1 million-plus D.C. house within walking distance of his Senate office.

No sleeping on a cot in his legislative office for this first-term Republican.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

$6 million In State Aid Withheld From Janesville Schools, District Will Have To Tax Taxpayers Again

The Janesville School Board is scheduled to set the district's tax levy on Tuesday. The Janesville School Superintendent Karen Schulte is recommending the board tax to the maximum allowable limit.

JG Excerpt: (Oct. 23, 2011)
Schulte has noted that the board has levied less than the maximum tax in six of the past eight years.[...] As a result, an estimated $6 million of aid was not levied over the last two years," Shulte said.

In addition, the state will allow an extra $1 million in aid "if and only if the district uses its taxing authority to raise taxes to the maximum allowable under the law by fiscal year 2012-13.

"The state clearly wants school districts to raise taxes first," Schulte wrote.

Of course they do. Otherwise Walker and state politicians would have to raise taxes statewide and clearly, they would rather pay someone else do it for them. Besides, the more we tax locally, the more state aid they get to withhold in future years to balance the state budget without raising taxes. This is a gravy train for state Republicans.

So, what Scott "state is broke" Walker was willing to do in order to balance his budget is withhold hundreds of millions in state aid dollars from the very taxing communities that funds state aid, and then bait those same taxpayers to raise taxes onto themselves again to make up for the difference. It's like paying twice.

No, it IS paying twice.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Booting Wall Street Ryan Should Be Job One

Why Paul Ryan? You have to ask?

For one, Ryan's hometown of Janesville is typical of the capital exhausted industrial communities in the 1st congressional district of Wisconsin that have had their wealth and potential legislated out from their pursuit of prosperity over the past 30 years.

Last year, local business, labor, education, governmental and health care leaders gathered together and scheduled a once in a lifetime presentation about what they need for economic recovery from the federal government. They proposed a list of eight items totaling $40 million and turned it over to the White House counsel of community recovery, Dr. Ed Montgomery. Rep. Paul Ryan was not present at this event. Instead, he was elsewhere promoting his hyper-partisan GOP recruitment booklet "Young Guns." Yet at Townhalls, he begins his presentation by claiming he's the area's "federal guy," and those are issues he wishes to discuss. I bring this episode up primarily as an example of Ryan's concern and response to the economic suffering and injustice occurring on the Main Streets of his district. Apparently, he's got other priorities.

If you consider Ryan's overall congressional voting record against the working poor and the middle class, his misguided personal ideology based on the fictional writings of anti-American Ayn Rand, his harsh polluting hyper-partisanship, his sycophancy for old money and his ideologically calculated proposals that would turn Social Security and Medicare over to Big Insurance and the capital markets on Wall Street - Paul Ryan is easily the Number One Wall Street Congressman.

Now it is true that Democrats and Republicans have both taken campaign donations from Wall Street just like they have from labor unions, but how many congressional's political philosophy and even further, their entire reason for congressional existence is built on the wealth expansion of the private Wall Street merchants (the few) at the expense of everything public (the many) on Main Street? Two or three perhaps. But make no mistake, Paul Ryan is at the top. He is it! Pat Toomey might be a distant second. Timothy Geithner is up there too but he's not an elected congressman.

Ryan also voted for TARP. But he did so against the 100 to 1 wishes of his district constituency and instead voted with the 1%. People wanted a market based solution, not a government solution to the crisis. He not only voted for it, but he was one of the GOP's top point men pushing for its passage on the Hill.

Ryan is also the guy who rubber stamped party-line annual deficits totaling almost $6 trillion during the Bush error and who boldly, almost mockingly so, defies everyone in his district except the top 5%. Yet, he wins re-election again and again. By comparison, Russ Feingold not only voted against TARP, he voted to end it twice afterwards and authored the Control Spending Now Act, which would have taken unspent Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds and use them to pay down the debt. Hello Tea Party? Feingold, far more fiscally responsible than Ryan can ever dream to be and courageous enough to cast principled constitutional votes that frequently rankled Wall Street and his own party, lost to a corporate driven empty suit by the name of Ron Johnson. It doesn't defy logic because once an elected official takes a balanced legislative approach in dealing with the rigged Wall Street status quo - they're finished politically. Alan Grayson was another one. Toast. Wall Street and their corporate media enablers crushed Feingold and Grayson with the help of the Tea Party, of all people. Ryan in the meantime appears to freewheel on by.

So Ryan voted for and promoted the Big Bank bailouts. Some might argue that TARP was justified. Perhaps so, but only providing that the same level of economic justice was distributed across Main Street America. It wasn't. In addition, not a single person has been indicted or convicted for destroying over twenty percent of our personal net worth, so there was a gaping absence of social justice as well, and those are just two of the many reasons why we have ongoing protests today. Again, Paul Ryan seems to get a pass on this.

After Ryan completed his now infamously known ideological manifesto "Roadmap for America's Future," he submitted it first to the barons on Wall Street for their approval before presenting it his constituents. Now, I can understand some might not read too much into that, but his "Roadmap" deals with our most important personal health and national economic stability programs - Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. These three cornerstones of American Exceptionalism belong to the American people - not the profit-takers on Wall Street to decide their fate over. But Ryan belongs to Wall Street. In my view, Ryan submitting his Roadmap proposal to Wall Street for approval before to his constituents was extremely symbolic of where his loyalty is placed.

In fact, Ryan belongs to Wall Street so much that when the U.S. Government was teetering on default due to the crisis fabricated by Republicans, he again went straight to his masters on Wall Street for advice and consent. He, along with Eric Cantor, issued a report that Wall Street would be just fine with the US flirting with default for a few days. Never mind the wishes of the American people.

But his ideologically-driven budget manifestos take the cake. I can't think of any other congressman out of the House or the Senate that has proposed to legislate more theft of private capital under the conveyance and auspice of the U.S. Government to the merchants on Wall Street than Paul Ryan. No one. So, this is where the Occupy Wall Street/99 Percent movement should come into play. Crack pot ideas designed to sell out America should be exposed and their authors should be called out and banished, not applauded. Time is of the essence.

Previous RNR Feature: Post 9/11: Faces Of Debt

Related Reading:

Let's Put Paul Ryan Back Into The Wisconsin Backwoods Where He Belongs

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy Townhalls Scheduled By Wall Street Congressman

That's a switch, huh?

Dear Friends and Neighbors

Come join me this week or next for one of my listening sessions. I want to hear from you and have important information to share as I continue to work for you in Washington.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Wow, but who will be doing the listening? I have to hand it to the guy. He's got no shame.

Friday, October 28, 2011
9:00 - 10:30am
Pontiac Convention Center, 2809 North Pontiac Drive

List of Townhalls

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Plenty Of Excuses Available From 'Job Creators'

Gov. Scott Walker couldn't be more bold-faced about his own incompetence with job creation than in this recent statement published about his meetings with the state's so-called 'job creators.'

Titled: Walker asks job creators for input.

The Daily Reporter Excerpt:
Walker promised that in his first term the state would add 250,000 jobs. But the state’s economy has followed national trends and remained sluggish.

After making a spectacle of themselves and smearing the state of Wisconsin as a "Tax Hell" under Gov. Jim Doyle, it appears as though the state's establishment has no lack of new excuses for their dismal record on job creation and economic expansion. Blaming "national trends" is one to simply remind everyone not to place the blame where it was always due, and they don't want anyone to lose sight of the fact that it's only one man they're trying to put out of his job.

Additional Perspective:

Democurmudgeon: Walker Blames Jobless "Open for Business" Plan on National Slowdown

Janesville, Rock County Budgets Shorted By Almost $9 million

The latest reports show that Walker's class war budget cut $2.6 million in state aid shared revenues away from Rock County government. Walker also cut $5.43 million from the Janesville School District and another $864,000 in shared revenue from the City of Janesville. These figures of course don't include the cuts to Beloit, Milton or Edgerton and the many townships and villages in the county. Of course those revenue cuts will have to be made up with local tax increases or new fees, or teacher, public employee or service cuts. Our individual state income, property and sales taxes will not be going down proportionally since Walker will be diverting the captured revenue for state government spending.

Legislated through provisions in Act 10, the confiscation of these shared revenues from the pockets of local government agencies and services has allowed Walker to increase government spending by $1.1 billion and to expect a $300 million surplus after two years.

As a result of this massive revenue shift, Janesville city officials are for the first time considering the creation of a city wheel tax to make up for the Walker imposed shortage.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Janesville Rocked In Solidarity

About 40 local residents occupied two street corners at Court and Main in downtown Janesville on a breezy and beautiful Saturday afternoon to stand in solidarity with the 99 Percent/Occupy Wall Street global protests. While drivers in passing cars honked their horns to show their support, the peaceful demonstration carried on in polite conversation rocking to the tunes of solo singer/guitarist Bill Breitsprecher.

The restoration of the American Dream, jobs not cuts, taxing Wall Street and stopping Paul Ryan were the primary themes on the signs carried by the the rally participants. After about two hours, the group slowly began to disperse. There was no sign of pro-Wall Street counter protesters at this event.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

CitiBank Branch In NY Arrests Customers For Trying To Close Their Accounts

This is a new tactic. If a bunch of people decide to go to their bank to pull out their money and shut down their accounts in protest to the bank, can they all be arrested for picketing inside the establishment?

Everything seemed fairly peaceful until the police arrived. Watch Video:

Bank of America says you can't be a good customer and protest them at the same time.

FireDoglake Excerpt:
So, Bank of America customers must choose: are you part of the 1% or are you not? Do you protest the Bank of America fees, charges, user fees, payments, debit card fees, service charges, account fees and extra charges for accessing your own money? Or are you a customer?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

If Allowed Only One, I’d Take Public Campaign Financing As The Solution Hands Down

Democratic reform is the issue behind every issue.

It’s is so easy to lose sight of the most obvious solutions in the face of all of our pressing problems. We have so many grievances against our government and the corrupted free markets that it boggles the mind to even consider beginning where to start. Should we mount a major defensive for our safety nets against the likes of Congressman Paul Ryan? What about all the reverse flow commerce and jobs outsourcing caused by our so-called free trade agreements? How about strengthening our progressive system of taxation by ending all loopholes and taxing all capital gains the same as earned income? What about fixing or abolishing Wall Street? How about creating a national energy policy? What about reducing costs of health care? What about...? In my view, none of this will ever happen until we take our government back and the only way, the only way to do it is by removing the money.

It all revolves around money. In my view, the very first thing to do is reverse Citizens United. But that's really not genuine reform since it merely restores our wobbly election system to the time of the first 225 years of our nation. We have to remove all private money from the electioneering process of our public officials. We need to restore the public in our Democratic Republic.

People in the Tea Party have it relatively easy. They want to cut taxes everywhere in order to starve and smash our Constitutional government. It’s been easy for them to succeed because they have been co-opted by the wealthy few and major corporations, so they can easily buy politicians, lobbyists and legislation. And, who doesn't like a tax cut? But we need to remove that system of bought government before anything positive for the common good can or will happen. Of course this would put the OWS movement at the opposite end of the spectrum set by the Tea Party. I don't care. I'd say bring it on. It’s all about money and when it comes to good government, our number one priority must be to remove the moneyed influence. This is what I want more than anything right now.

I’ll even go as far as to say that without the complete end of privately financed campaigns as our number one national priority, OWS will go nowhere and our country will likely die a long slow death.

Some Advice and Consent For The OWS Movement

Today!! Occupy Janesville Event Facebook

Is corporate greed really the problem? Some think the correct frame for the Wall Street protest should be against the rise of privately held government. I see these as two different but equally serious issues.

The following 8 pointers are from the Florida Progressive Coalition Blog

1. It's all about attracting more and more people. The way we make change is by gathering together so many people that they can't ignore us.

2. Get information about everyone who shows up. We have to be able to contact people for future events and actions.

3. Give people something to do. Protests and rallies are nice. They get people fired up and they can get some media attention. But they aren't enough. We have to take those people who show up to the rallies and give them something concrete to do that will make a difference.

4. We all, every one of us, have to know what we're talking about. The number one way to lose momentum is for us to allow the media to marginalize us as kooks or crazies. If we are all educated and we only give the media educated, thoughtful responses, then we take away the opposition's major weapon.

5. We have to have a coherent message. The media and the opposition are already trying to paint us as having no real point. If they succeed in convincing the public that is true, the movement will die off. People will go home and nothing will change.

6. We have to walk a thin line when it comes to the law. Civil disobedience is a valid tool and it changes the world. But not if it is violent or disrespectful of the very people the 1 percent are already screwing over. We have to be better than the other side, not fall into their tactics or fall for the traps they are setting for us. And keep in mind that law enforcement and other people who may appear to be our opposition at times are getting screwed over by the 1 percent, too. We should be recruiting them, not antagonizing them.

7. At the end of the day, when the protest is over, we have to realize that just showing up and protesting and occupying isn't enough. It is an amazing start, but protests are never successful if they aren't coupled with actions that can change the world. Lawsuits and elections are the key tools in American history (and beyond) that have changed the way the system worked and created progress. We have to use the mass mobilizations as a way to get politicians elected that will fight the 1 percent (like Alan Grayson and Bernie Sanders, for instance) and we have to fund lawsuits that will enforce laws that already exist that protect our rights. Without these tools we can't win.

8. We have to win the media battle. This isn't going to be easy, because the 1 percent owns the media. But they don't own the Internet. Well they do, but they can't stop us from using it. And we have to use it well enough to force the rest of the media to pay attention and do the right thing. When a reporter lies about how many people were at an event, we need to use the web to tell the truth. When a reporter tries to spin a story to undercut what we're doing, we need to use the web to tell the truth. They won't do it unless we force them to.

More here

From Buzzflash - Senator Bernie Sanders offers Six Proposals that can help form a Consensus.

1) If a financial institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.

2) Put a cap on credit card interest rates to end usury.

3) The Federal Reserve needs to provide small businesses in America with the same low-interest loans it gave to foreign banks.

4) Stop Wall Street oil speculators from artificially increasing gasoline and heating oil prices.

5) Demand that Wall Street invest in the job-creating productive economy, instead of gambling on worthless derivatives.

6) Establish a Wall Street speculation fee on credit default swaps, derivatives, stock options and futures.

More here.

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi has come up with five action items for OWS, which he shares with Keith Olbermann in this clip from Thursday’s episode of “Countdown."

Seven suggestions from Shoes4Industry.

1. Lower the SS retirement age to 62, early retirement to age 60. Free up middle and upper management and lower positions for younger, healthier, less expensive workers.

2. Remove the cap on Social Security contributions to pay for new and future retirees.

3. Limit consumer credit interest rates to 15% max. This will reduce consumer debt and promote consumption without costing taxpayers a cent.

4. Lower the eligibility age of Medicare to zero. It’s an insurance (not a health care) program. Younger, healthier contributors will dramatically drive down cost and increase savings. Employers will be out of the health care business.

5. Rescind the Bush tax cuts immediately on those making over $250K and increase the rates on those making over $1M+ to Reagan era rates.

6. Rewrite underwater mortgages by “splitting the difference” between current market value and what is owed, (4% -30 yr. fixed) both parties take a hit, homeowners have incentive to stay and pay and banks are not stuck with vacant, non- performing assets.

7. Make all educational expenses tax deductible.

Who's Shoes4Industry? I don't know, but I found myself in agreement with most of them. But this list could grow very rapidly. 8. Shift the American war machine into neutral. 9. Public financing for all election campaigns. 10. Tax all capital gains as regular income....

What Do You Want For Your Country? A few "99 percent” members know what they want, and in the video below nine of them tell you in just a few words.

Here's an easy read with videos by J. Simpson at Blogging Blue about the importance of OWS and why the right will do anything to stop it.

Lastly, here's a barf bag of toxic nonsense about a Rockford (Il) Tea Party counter-protest of OWS published at the Rockford Star. If you must ...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Will Phony Ron Johnson Vote For Phony GOP Jobs Act?

Titled, "Jobs plan from Senate Republicans unveiled."

Politico Excerpt:
So they’ve rolled out a jobs plan that amounts to a conservative’s dream agenda: targeting labor and environmental regulations, enacting a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, lowering corporate and individual tax rates, encouraging energy production and expanding free trade, according to a draft obtained by POLITICO.

Everything but jobs, but they call it a jobs plan. How could this be? Just two days ago Sen. Ron Johnson jailed 19 constituents for questioning his vote against Obama's Jobs Act because he insisted that economic expansion cannot come from government...

WEAU Excerpt:
He says the Senate voted as it did because economic expansion must come from the private sector, not the government.

Another View

Democurmudgeon - GOP "Jobs" Plan Complete Joke, during Serious Joblessness

Is The Tea Party Crumbling From Occupation?

Just an observation. After completing my regular cruising around through various blogs and newspaper comment sections, I'd swear that the few posters that I identify by from their past comments as genuine Tea Party have hinted that they want to join with and march with the Wall Street protesters. I strongly believe the reasons they gave are legitimate and sincere. These are real Tea Party grassroots bottom-rung people who obviously can relate to the economic injustice message of the Occupy movement. Regular folks. Normally I would love to post their comments here but fear they would be attacked and brutalized by web-stalking Tea Party bull whips.

This article from politico also seems to reflect a heightened sense of desperation from Tea Party leadership (they have leaders?) to discredit and de-legitimize the anti-Wall Street protesters in the hearts and minds of those very same mass subscribers. They must know things are going wobbly.

The best thing about the movement so far is that it has not been co-opted like the Tea Party has, that it's fully organic and all inclusive. I think we should cautiously welcome real tea party grassroots folks but reject all overtures from any so-called Tea Party leadership or their interloping allies. In my view, we are not here to fight over the size of government as much as we are here to fight for the restoration of good government. That's one simple test for separating out some of the astro-turfing Tea Party riff raff from the genuinely sincere.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wisconsin Legislators Introduce Bill To Restore Collective Bargaining Rights

In September I suggested in two postings that I'd like to see an Assembly/Senate Democrat or two in the state legislature introduce a resolution/bill to repeal Walker's brutal class war Act 10 budget bill. Although this proposal by Sen. Risser and Assemblyman Pocan does not appear to be a full repeal, it certainly looks like my wish came true.

DailyKos Excerpt:
On Tuesday Senator Fred Risser (D–Madison) and Assemblyman Mark Pocan (D–Madison) introduced legislation to restore collective bargaining rights to public servants across the State of Wisconsin.

The bill if passed would,

[include] provisions to reinstate how unions are certified, to again allow for the collection of union dues and to reinstate the ability to collectively bargain for working conditions.

Ron Johnson Admits No Jobs Plan And Won't Vote For One

Nineteen constituents were arrested after they entered Sen. Ron Johnson's downtown Milwaukee office to inquire about why he voted against the American Jobs Act.

WEAU Excerpt:
He says the Senate voted as it did because economic expansion must come from the private sector, not the government.

Johnson Press Release Excerpt
Unfortunately, those who came to my Milwaukee office were more interested in scoring political points than discussing issues. They chose not to meet with my staff, but instead to be disorderly, which unfortunately resulted in their arrest by law enforcement."

DailyKos Excerpt:
Johnson is one callous lying SOB. These people knew that Johnson wasn't at his Milwaukee Headquarters. They are not stupid. They went in to speak with his staff. They were greeted by security and immediately told to leave. Cops instantaneously arrived and zip tied them and dragged them off on charges of trespassing. These protesters are not politicians trying to make "political points." They are his constituents trying desperately to be heard!

Here is that malcontent getting released from the slammer. She had it coming to her for having the gall to walk into her Senator's regional office. An afternoon on ice should teach her to act as if she lives in a representative democracy!

Believe it or not - Ron Johnson actually has a deregulation plan designed to fuel even higher unemployment rates.


Story and Photos at Wisconsin Jobs Now

Update Story and more photos here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reminder: Janesville Recall Elections Forum

With the Recall campaign beginning Nov 15, this forum could not have had better timing.

The Recall Elections (Past and Future)
Lessons Learned... Challenges ahead...

Ted Lewis Director, Rock Valley Education Professionals
Marcia Riquelme, Wisconsin Recall Task Force.
Janis Ringhand, Representative 80th Assembly District

Wednesday, October 12
6 PM-6:30 PM cheese & cracker reception (nonalcoholic potluck)
6:30 PM-8 PM, speakers & discussion

Basics Food Cooperative, 1711 Lodge Dr, Janesville, Wisconsin

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Is It So Difficult To Say That Wall Street Greed Caused Financial Collapse?

I always get a special kick out of people when they professorially insist that the Community Reinvestment Act or Fannie and Freddie (Frank, Dodd, Democrats, etc.) caused the mortgage meltdown.

Unfortunately for me, it's gotten to the point that if I can't laugh in their face in person, I don't bother to make any attempt to convince them otherwise. But since the latest wave of American social and economic justice in the form of protests against Wall Street, a variety of TV pundits and other ignoramuses have come out of the woodwork and continue to lie to the public mostly out of political and economic expediency.

So, I have to ask. IF the Community Reinvestment Act or Fannie and Freddie "forced" banks and mortgage providers to lend beyond their means to home buyers who could not afford - what is stopping them now from lending? The CRA, Fannie and Freddie are all still in play. Banks have greater cash reserves to lend out now than ever before. Nothing has been repealed. Nothing. Since the financial collapse there has been zero reform legislation passed on Fannie and Freddie. Zero, zip, nada. So, I repeat. What is stopping banks and lenders now from borrowing to potential home buyers? Why are people now having such a difficult time qualifying for mortgages? All of the "arm-twisting" federally enforced laws and provisions are still in place. So what is stopping banks, with their arms all twisted into pretzels and their heads squeezed in vices by big bad government, from lending to people who don't qualify today? I'll tell you what's stopping them. Themselves.

That's how it was before and that's how it is now. Short supply and rampant demand fueled by a glut of employed capital fed their own infectious greed to capitalize any which way they could. They literally made stuff up, bundled mortgages and sold them knowing they had little value. Just like today's over supply and lack of demand fueled by a shortage of employed capital feeds their resistance to capitalize any which way they can. They won't. They are not budging today. Their level of risk has changed - arm twisting Federal government or not.

But they now say we need to knock down regulations to spread the prosperity. It's always been such a phony argument from the beginning.

Let's put into words everyone can understand. The CRA, Democrats, Fannie and Freddie did not cause the mortgage meltdown that led to the near financial collapse of the capital markets. A rigged system of capitalism fostering the infectious greed on Wall Street caused it. To claim anything else is an outright lie.

It's Official: Walker Recall Effort Underway

This is it. As reported on the Ed Show, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate announced that recall petitions will be circulated starting Nov. 15, giving supporters of the effort until Jan. 13 to collect 540,208 signatures. Despite gaining confidence from the successful recalls of two Republicans during the summer special elections, there are no illusions of grandeur in the recall of Walker. He has a committed and deep pocketed base of wealthy supporters that are prepared to drop up to $100 million in his defense. Plus, state Republicans have been scrambling to defund Democratic support groups and disenfranchise democratic voters at every turn. No question this will be a monumental task and require a huge effort of boots on the ground and lots of campaign cash.

The recall is justified since Scott Walker misled the state electorate when he stripped away collective bargaining and proceeded to balance the state budget on the backs of school teachers, public employees, the economically disadvantaged and the working poor. As predicted, locals are being forced to either raise taxes or impose new fees on themselves or cut hundreds of public employees in an effort to make up for deep cuts in state aid all the while he increased government spending by $1.1 billion.

So the timing is right and we have truth and momentum on our side. This should be enough to create the perfect storm to boot him out.

Plus, it's the absolute right thing to do.

Volunteer - Donate

Wisconsin Dems Recall Headquarters.

United Wisconsin - Putting People First

News and Info

Recall Scott

Walker seeks to set the rules for the recalls

Monday, October 10, 2011

Janesville: Jobs Not Cuts Event

Keep the momentum going!

When: Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 3:00 PM

Where: Main Street & Milwaukee (in Janesville)

What: The media is finally starting to pay attention to the tens of thousands of people demanding Wall Street pay to create jobs, not cuts. This is our chance to push for policies that work for the 99% of us who can't afford lobbyists. Whether protesting banks not paying their fair share, rallying for jobs, or standing in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, we'll amplify our message for politicians: jobs now--make Wall Street pay!

Video: Reagan Would be An Outcast In Today's Radicalized GOP

This video mash-up by Think Progress shows how far off the cliff today's GOP mainstream have gone with their defense of the rich. Their hero Ronald Reagan would be a flaming class war fascist liberal by today's standards. Paul Ryan for instance would claim Reagan's redistribution idea pits people against each other and it does not work. That it's divisive, and it "hardly gives us the kind of attitude we want for businesses to take risks so we can succeed in the future."

Herman Cain: Tax Poor People’s Food To Finance Massive Tax Break For The Rich.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Seniors: Have You Had Your Paul Ryan Moment Yet?

Can it be a cartoon if it really happened? Watch it come to life in this video.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Walker Thugs Plan To Crash Democratic Candidate's Fund Raiser

Janesville resident Yuri Rashkin will be holding a fund raiser on October 16th to bolster his efforts to win the democratic nomination for the 44th Assembly District to face Walker/Koch rubber stamp Joe Knilans. The We love Wisconsin Governor Walker Facebookers (Note: Interesting that it's Walker's and not Knilans love group) posted the following message hoping to intimidate supporters and disrupt the event.

From "We Love Governor Walker" Facebook

To think this is how they react only to a fundraiser for the primary. Wow. Yuri must be doing something right!

From Yuri Rashkin for State Assembly Fundraiser Facebook

Ready To Occupy Janesville?

Main St. Occupation for The American Dream
Corner of Court St and Main St.
51 S. Main St
Janesville, WI 53545

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, 12:00 PM

Let's come together in Janesville Wisconsin to show local solidarity with the brave protesters in New York City. Wall St. told us that their banks were too big to fail. Now is the time for country to stand together and show Wall St that the American Dream is too big to fail!

Event Facebook

Friday, October 07, 2011

Four Scenes Of Citizen Activism Worth Closer Study

These are four recent episodes that I thought were amazing and worthy of close study for citizens who are only now discovering their interest in politics and want to take a more active part in our civil discourse.

In my opinion, the man tackled down and arrested at the Whitnall Park Rotary Club function featuring Rep. Paul Ryan was an act of raw courage and spontaneous peaceful citizen activism. With Ryan jabbering his regular mischaracterizations about "entitlement programs," the senior's naturally powerful "Harry Caray" type announcement broke the dead silence of Ryan's worshipping audience. That the immature congressman callously poked fun at the 71-year-old's predicament only seconds later gave Ryan a senior moment not many of us will ever forget.

Dramatic video: 71-year-old taken Down for questioning Paul Ryan

Unbelievably, this next guy defended Paul Ryan after Newt Gingrich accurately described Ryan's proposals as "right-wing engineering." Identified in the video as an "Iowan voter," and certainly not on our side, I have to hand it to the citizen. While looking Newt straight in the eyes without blinking and saying, "Why don't you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself" the man leaned into Newt even closer with a firm handshake and did so without appearing hostile. Spontaneous perfection. Of course it helped tremendously that the voter claimed to be of the same party. Few politicians could recover from that one. That it was caught on camera with such precision is also remarkable.

Iowan Voter To Gingrich, "You're an Embarrassment to our Party"

Sometimes it takes just a simple written statement that everyone else understands to expose some of the dupes masquerading as congressmen. Remember when Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) was confronted by constituents at a town hall in Geneva over the Bush tax cuts failing to create jobs? It helped that the lady came across like everyone's grandma, but it was the fact-laden question that she articulated so well and finished off cleanly that did the trick. The Congressman was left looking like everyone's fool.

The zinger:
When the Bush tax cuts took effect in 2003, the unemployment rate was 6.2%, now in the ninth year of those cuts, unemployment is 9.1%, so where's the evidence that these tax cuts created jobs?

Town Hallers Expose Empty Suit

This next one is extra delicious because the star of the show had everything turned on. Snappy soundbites and approachable topped off with a union cap. He is one of us! He responded to every loaded question by the Fox News stoolie with the perfect buzzwords of health care, a spontaneous movement, propaganda machine, economic justice, the Bill of Rights, class warfare, the wealth disparity, and even brought up screwball Glenn Beck and his hate machine for contrast. He left Fox with absolutely no wiggle room to spin it against him so they deleted the segment. We need more of this and I'll be the the first to admit that it's not easy to think that fast on your toes and rip away like he did. Bravo!!

#OccupyWallStreet talks to Fox News and CRUSHES THEM

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Links: American Revolution Expanding

Occupy Wall Street Org - Police Use Pepper Spray, at least 20 arrested (video, photos)

Think Progress - Dedicated Page 99% Movement (with frequent updates)

Corporate Media Goes On Offensive Against People Movement This attitude has extended throughout the mainstream corporate media. ThinkProgress has produced the evidence. Watch it:

Crooks & Liars - Wall Streeter To Occupiers: Go Back To Work!

AlterNet - Van Jones," It's going to be an epic battle"

AlterNet - Labor and Progressive groups Join Occupy Wall Street in Solidarity

AlterNet - Clarion call: The revolution Begins at Home

Buzzflash - Law Enforcement Trying To Discredit Wall Street protest?

Common Dreams - Protesters' Message Simple and Clear: Enough is Enough

Common Dreams - Perspective: Why I'm in Solidarity with #Occupywallstreet

Daily Beast - Is This The Leftwing Tea Party?

Dollars and Sense - Video: Occupy Your City! (Brave New Foundation)

In These Times - Why The political Class can't understand our demands

Fire Dog Lake - Occupation Everywhere and How you can help

The Nation - Occupy LA Endorsed by City Council Members; Demonstrators Protest at Home of Bank CEO

The Nation - The Politics of Occupy Wall Street: Bernie Sanders, Progressives, Big Unions Endorse; Obama's Silent (John Nichols)

Politico - Protests Reach New Height

The Progressive - Occupy Wall Street Sparks New Mass Movement (podcast)

Washington Post - Movement Gains Momentum

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Two-Faced Ryan Still Scamming With Old Tricks

Ryan’s newest scam involves eliminating tax breaks for employees who are enrolled in their employer’s group health care plans and give workers the tax credit to buy health insurance on an individual basis.

In my humble opinion, this really is nothing new from the two-faced congressman. Embedded in his "Roadmap for America's Future" were provisions offering employees a "choice" to eat a baited T-bone by giving them a tax credit to buy health insurance on an individual basis. This credit would be paid for in part by shifting healthcare tax breaks away from the employer to the worker. Of course this would likely encourage most companies to drop their employer-sponsored group plans. This self-cannibalizing slow-death baiting of American workers is a popular gimmick from Ryan's bag of old sucker tricks. What is new however, is that he's now trying to pawn it off as a replacement for Obama's health care reform package.

PoliticusUSA Excerpt:
According to Ryan, his plan will give consumers the needed incentive to demand more value from their healthcare. He said, “Giving patients and consumers control over health care resources would make all Americans less dependent on big business and big government for our health security; give us more control over the care we get; and force health care providers to compete for our business.”

Okay, we know that Ryan wants to end our employer sponsored health care. But what about his own employer sponsored health care from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program? Although he boasts that his proposals offer insurance plans to individuals the very same standard health benefits Members of Congress enjoy, he doesn't address how Congress and Federal employees would fit under his individual privatization mandate or have the incentive to opt-out.

But to use Ryan's own words then, IF giving consumers Congress and Federal employees individual control over health care resources would make all of them less dependent on big government for their health security and give them more control over the care they get; and give them more incentive to demand more value from their health care - why hasn't Paul Ryan lead the way and opted out of his employer's group health plan?

Nothing was more telling than when Democrats proposed a simple House resolution requiring members of Congress to publicly disclose whether they will continue to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The entire Wisconsin Republican House delegation including Ryan voted "NO." Mind you, that wasn't a vote to opt-out of the Federal Employee Program, it was merely a request to publicly disclose their current status.

With that minor disclosure, they couldn't even muster the courage to stand with their own convictions.


Monday, October 03, 2011

Janesville City Council Member Running For State Assembly

Janesville City Council Member Yuri Rashkin has announced his candidacy for the 44th District Assembly. This brings the number to two of locally well known and qualified candidates stepping up to challenge Republican Joe Knilans, the squatter currently occupying the district seat. Kevin Murray, a member of Janesville's School Board, announced his intentions earlier.

Wisconsin Act 43 Assembly Redistricting Map.

Yuri Rashkin's State Assembly Facebook here.

Kevin Murray's Election Webpage unavailable.

The Best Among Us

I prefer posting excerpts with links to the original source for credit and proper attribution, but thought the only way to do this one justice was to post it in its entirety.

By Chris Hedges

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.

To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher.

Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.

The only word these corporations know is more. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies.

Who the hell cares? If the stocks of ExxonMobil or the coal industry or Goldman Sachs are high, life is good. Profit. Profit. Profit. That is what they chant behind those metal barricades. They have their fangs deep into your necks. If you do not shake them off very, very soon they will kill you. And they will kill the ecosystem, dooming your children and your children’s children. They are too stupid and too blind to see that they will perish with the rest of us. So either you rise up and supplant them, either you dismantle the corporate state, for a world of sanity, a world where we no longer kneel before the absurd idea that the demands of financial markets should govern human behavior, or we are frog-marched toward self-annihilation.

Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope. They know that hope has a cost, that it is not easy or comfortable, that it requires self-sacrifice and discomfort and finally faith. They sleep on concrete every night. Their clothes are soiled. They have eaten more bagels and peanut butter than they ever thought possible. They have tasted fear, been beaten, gone to jail, been blinded by pepper spray, cried, hugged each other, laughed, sung, talked too long in general assemblies, seen their chants drift upward to the office towers above them, wondered if it is worth it, if anyone cares, if they will win. But as long as they remain steadfast they point the way out of the corporate labyrinth. This is what it means to be alive. They are the best among us.

Click here to access OCCUPY TOGETHER, a hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Videos: 700+ Wall Street Protesters Arrested

There you go, man, keep as cool as you can.
Face piles
Of trials
With smiles.
It riles them to believe
That you perceive
The web they weave
And keep on thinking free.
-- Moody Blues from "In The Beginning"

Hartmann: OccupyWallStreet ...Who's going to win the Revolution?


Youtube - Occupy Wall Street Protesters Take Brooklyn Bridge - 400+ Arrested HD (6:45)

Youtube - Occupy Wall Street on BBC (2:19)

RT Video w/report - American Spring: Brooklyn Bridge shut down by protesters. (3:42)

NPR Excerpt:
Legal observers with the National Lawyers Guild watched the events and plan to offer legal assistance. Bina Ahmad, wearing a bright green cap to signify her role as a Guild observer, said she saw police using unnecessary violence.

Reuters Report Excerpt:
Filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon have stopped by the protesters' camp [...] The group has gained support among some union members. The United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which has 38,000 members, are among those pledging solidarity.

Similar protests are sprouting in other cities, including Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. The size of the protests and enthusiasm is growing.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Video: Champagne Sipping Spectators Become Face Of Wall Street Bourgeosie

These hapless spectators gathering between capital pillars and gloating while sipping champagne high above the protesters have suddenly become a symbol of Wall Street's gluttony.

Politico: Masters of The Universe Readies Assault Against Warren