The Occupation Comes to DC

October 9th, 2011 at 12:00 am | 177 Comments |

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This Saturday, October 8, protesters swarmed Freedom Plaza to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. Billing themselves as a sister occupation to “Occupy DC,” these protesters set up tents and proclaimed their intent to stay despite only having a permit to use the Plaza until Sunday. Not satisfied with the media coverage, FrumForum sent this author to the protests. What I found was certainly surprising.

Upon entering Freedom Plaza in the late afternoon, I at first doubted I’d come to the right place due to the presence of a large truck emblazoned with the Coca Cola label at what was allegedly an anti-corporate protest. However, as I soon learned, the truck was actually part of a completely separate exhibition that was taking place on the Plaza at precisely the same time as these protests. The protesters didn’t seem to mind the presence of representatives of their nemeses so close, though. A few even crossed the barricades to partake of some corporate goods before returning.

But then, several protesters were confused about the purpose of this protest. One younger protester who had previously been audibly yelling at her mother that “No buildings in the history of forever have ever collapsed due to fire damage,” told this reporter that “This isn’t Occupy DC. Occupy DC is at McPherson Square. This is ‘Human Needs, Not Corporate Greed.’ And like, it’s against the war.” However, other protesters didn’t seem so sure, as several signs spotted read “End the Fed” and “Corporations are Soylent Green!” One man, holding a sign that read “Arm Yourself Against Fascist Pig! Violence Now” had some choice words for passers by:

“Stand up for your country! Stop being a bunch of sheep! Stop being a bunch of cowardly sheep! Stand up for your country! Abolish the Fed! Better get those guns ready! We’re gonna have our Spring in America soon! We’re gonna have our Spring! Yeah! America ain’t invulnerable to a revolution! America ain’t invulnerable to a revolution! It can happen here! Get caught on the wrong side! Get caught on the wrong side, get caught against the people, and you’ll see what happens! Stand up for your country against these coward-ass politicians! They don’t represent me! Obama don’t represent me, Bush don’t represent me, none of them represent me! This is a protest, this ain’t no tourist walk! This is a protest! This is a revolution taking place!”

These incitements to violence were not universal. The Socialist Workers Party, who declined to be recorded, sported several signs opposing the war. Some protesters were so strongly anti-violent that they even marched on the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and “shut it down” because they felt that some of the exhibits tacitly supported war. Signs could be spotted in a large group of protesters who were marching in circles that read simply, “We love you.” The effect was somewhat spoiled, however, by other signs that read “F**k you, disgusting greedy unconscious mosquitos! You are a virus = We will find the cure!”

Even Ron Paul supporters showed up to the protest – 2 of them, to be precise. One of them told FrumForum that she had voted “straight Democrat” up until 2008, but now thought Obama was a “lying son of a b***h” and wanted to End the Fed and bring the troops home.

However, perhaps the most eloquent statements came from a small group of protesters who had set up signs protesting what they saw as unfair discrimination by the DC police force against skateboarders. “Everyone has a unique story, but we all have similar views. We all want equality, we’re not little people, we are people. I don’t see these people as out-of-towners. I see ‘em as my neighbors, because they’re fighting for the same thing that I’m fighting for, which is the right to fight,” said one of these brave souls.

Recent Posts by Mytheos Holt



177 Comments so far ↓

  • Bingham

    I’d hit that.

    • Moderate

      She’s too good-looking to be that upset about anything. What a shame.

      • Watusie

        You two are out of line.

        • ktward

          I’m guessing ill-mannered youngsters. In any case, pitiable slaves to their hormones.

        • Primrose

          Pitiable slaves to bad manners more like it. Think what they like but don’t share it.

          Though I’m always amazed at men’s inability to grasp the idea that physical beauty is somehow at odds with actual emotion. Yet another reason to keep such thoughts to yourself. It is very hard to for women to regard men as equals when insist on spouting such inanities.

    • Southern Populist

      Geez, lighten up a bit. Occasional comments like that keep this place from getting stuffy. This is the Internet not a Harvard seminar room.

      • Primrose

        Amusing for some of immense boredom for others, particularly since if you want that kind of discussion, you can, well, press any string of letters really.

  • tommybones

    I’m so sick and tired of the constant implications that one drinking a coke (or using a cell phone, God forbid) has forfeited his or her right to protest Wall Street criminality.

    Here’s a clue for you, one can drink a coke and still demand social justice.

    Effing moron.

    The author of this idiotic hit piece should be ashamed of himself.

    • Demosthenes

      I thought it was funny

    • Moderate

      Nice try, tommybones. We all laughed at the self-delusion of the Tea Party protesters utterly dependent on Medicare. These anti-corporate kooks aren’t any more self-aware.

      • Curiosity

        “JOIN US AFTERWARDS AT STARBUCKS!”

        lol!

        • Polifan

          http://occupywallst.org/about/
          Seems like there all a lot of people who are fed up in general about a lot of things. I haven’t seen much press on this.

        • Curiosity

          Most of the coverage I have seen has been negative – which I don’t really buy. Yes there are always crazy and incoherent people at these sorts of things, but I wish they wouldn’t get all the media focus.

        • Polifan

          Curiosity- Who is the founder or founders of the movement? I found one website #ows (listed above)??? Seems a bit centrist.

        • paul_gs

          The originators of the protests are Canadians out of Vancouver from an anti-consumerist magazine called AdBusters.

          http://www.adbusters.org/

      • Dragonfly

        Yup, yap at the oil companies while everything in their lives is made from petroleum based products.

        The oil companies pull in nothing compared to the government taxes on oil and gas, and the government burns it on their welfare for votes program, to include illegal aliens, while the oil industry spends what they pull in on research and development.

        • balconesfault

          One can consume gasoline, and still be appalled at a political system where oil corporations have the power to manipulate our environmental policies, our foreign policies, our tax policies, through the power of the cash they feed into the political system.

          In the aggregate, these protests aren’t against the existence of Corporations, or even Wall Street (I say in the aggregate, because there are certainly some whose thinking is incredibly muddled). Rather, it’s against the dominion that Corporations have our politics, having successfully transformed government into a cash cow.

        • tommybones

          Exactly. The OWS movement isn’t against the existence of corporations or their products. It’s about corporate ownership and control over our government. Not difficult to comprehend, unless you would rather choose the path of willful ignorance and post funny pictures.

        • Dragonfly

          Well, you voted for your messiah, and what did that buy you?

          Tax dollars to Brazil so they can drill off their shores.

        • tommybones

          Dragonfly,

          “what did that buy you?”

          Exactly the point!!! It should have bought us a representative government, but didn’t. Now you are coming around.

          The OWS movement clearly recognizes the corruptive influence of Wall Street infects the Democratic party also. That’s why they are rallying. They want real change in Washington, including Obama. What’s wrong with that?

          One would literally have to be born yesterday on the back of a turnip truck to deny Wall Street has WAY too much power over our government.

        • balconesfault

          Tax dollars to Brazil so they can drill off their shores

          Wow. Anyone spouting that line is just advertising proudly their ignorance.

          Ignorance of how the US international development bank makes loans around the world.

          Ignorance of how those loans come with strings attached – the money in the loans is to be spent primarily, often completely, on goods and services produced in the US.

          Ignorance of how oilfield service companies and heavy equipment manufacturers in the US have benefited from Brazil spending that loan money.

          Ignorance of how many, if not most, of the jobs created thanks to those loans were probably in the Houston metroplex, boosting Perry’s claim to be a “job creator”.

          Ignorance on so many levels should no go unrewarded. You win the prize today, Dragon.

      • wileedog

        The photo kind of makes a point though.

        Where else, exactly, can I buy a video camera made by someone not in a huge corporation like Sony? Can I get razor blades or hair dye produced by the small cosmetics company down the street? Who else makes sharpies?

        Everyone in that photo has goods from large corporations because that’s pretty much the only source people can buy anything from anymore. If you can’t scale like Walmart – and of course get your labor for pennies on the dollar overseas – you can’t compete.

        • Dragonfly

          The consumer dictates who survives and who dies – always did and always will.

          Unless, of course, someone like Obama is in office and doesn’t open drilling in America, but instead subsidizes Brazil doing so with hard-earned American tax dollars.

        • tommybones

          Except powerful billion-dollar corporations buy political influence which stacks the deck in their favor, removing consumer protections/choice. What choice do we have in, say, telecommunications, other than between one mega corporation and another?

        • Primrose

          Read a little bit more about Walmart. Walmart controls their suppliers because of their size. Small firms can’t do that. So they are can’t price competitively so they die. So I, who rarely enter into Walmart, can’t buy from someone small.

        • hlsmlane

          The point is that government should control corporations, not the other way ’round.

        • paul_gs

          Large corporations are the only entities on the face of the earth capable of producing many of the incredible goods we purchase.

        • tommybones

          So? What does that have to do with those same corporations owning our government??? They don’t need to own the government and dictate policy to make those products.

        • paul_gs

          I’m not convinced by the argument that corporations do own the government. Average Americans are among the richest people in the world with most having access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world and protected by the most stringent environmental regulations and consumer safeguards.

          The system is under duress at present for sure, but a sour economy doesn’t help corporations (of which ordinary Americans are the major owners of) either.

    • LauraNo

      I was just about to post about this too, “I am already thoroughly fed up with the dishonest claim…” but I see you beat me to it. Very few people are actually opposed to capitalism and there are not enough of them to matter. But people without a good argument are forced to use a bad one, even if it’s based on a lie.

    • Primrose

      Well, the fact that most items are from big corporations, is part of the feeling that one can’t escape them.

      But even so, you can be perfectly comfortable with capitalism but not at all desirous of corporations to run the country, or for their interests to be the only thing our country places any importance to. Just because you participate in capitalism, doesn’t mean you think the only persons who count are corporate ones. Too bad the writer doesn’t get that.

    • Ray_Harwick

      It’s not really. The Coke and cell phone references are Straw Men. See, it was the financial industry that destroyed the economy, not Coca Cola. That’s what makes this article so idiotic. Well, that and the idea that Holt is a “journalist”.

  • arvan

    So the fact that corporations own and control every aspect of our lives means that we must either surrender ourselves to them utterly and be their thralls, or else go die alone in the wilderness?

    Wake up. White-knighting for some plutocrat in a mansion on the other side of the country won’t make him any more likely to have mercy on you when he decides to line his pockets with another round of layoffs. You need to figure out which side is actually fighting for your rights, and which side simply wants to use you and discard you like so many other “resources”.

    • Demosthenes

      I am all in favor of a return to Glass-Steagall style regulations as well as some kind of fundamental reform of campaign finance to undo the damage of Citizens United. However these protests are not merely anti-corporatist, they are anti-corporation or even anti-capitalist. Something positive may yet emerge from them, at the moment though it seems unlikely that they will end up serving anything beyond generic milquetoast liberal boilerplate. I would love to be proven wrong!

      • Bingham

        ” These protests are not merely anti-corporatist, they are anti-corporation or even anti-capitalist. Something positive may yet emerge from them, at the moment though it seems unlikely that they will end up serving anything beyond generic milquetoast liberal boilerplate. I would love to be proven wrong!”

        Agreed.

        • NRA Liberal

          Agreed.

          I’m at the NYC Occupation every day and I tell people that I’m not anti-capitalism…I just want it to work for everyone.

      • paul_gs

        I’ve never heard a good, coherent argument against Citizens United. More likely, it is simply the latest item for progressives to work themselves into an outrage about.

        • Primrose

          Yes you have heard good arguments. You just never made the effort to listen. The power of corporations to buy influence is corrupting. It is impossible for individuals, or even smaller non-profits to compete. While corporations may employ many people, their interests are by definition to the few, for no greater social good than profit, and not even limited to citizens, or American interests.

          This club like power silences rather than promotes speech.

          It also makes it even more likely that our elected officials will cease to pay attention to the electorate as they chase after the ability to buy thought.

        • paul_gs

          Thanks for commenting Primrose. Now I can say I still haven’t heard a good argument against Citizens United.

        • Primrose

          OK, Paul GS, why is silencing speech and further corrupting the political system a good thing?

        • SerenityNow

          Seriously, Paul_gs, where have you been since the Supremes decided that corporations are interchangeable with individual citizens? Consider this, citizens are mortal but corporations need never die. Corporations are run by rich executives who report to rich executives who get appointed to boards of directors by rich people. Rich people tend to be and vote Republican. Citizens United was enacted by five Republican versus 4 Democratic Justices. Citizens United states that corporations have the same rights of free speech as individual citizens and the most important right is the right to spend money to influence elections even though corporations have access to a lot more money than individuals. What about these facts are you unable to understand?

  • Curiosity

    This is off topic, but could somebody please explain how you can add italics, quotes, or bold characters? At one point there were buttons that appeared, but it has been a long time since I have seen them. I get the sense that people are using text modifiers to begin and end italics, quotes, and bold characters. Anybody willing to share their secrets?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Moderate

      The buttons still show up for me. Are you running any kind of script-blocker?

      Anyway, bold is (b) insert text here (/b), except with [ ] instead of ( ).

      Italics is (i) text (/i), same substitution. Underline is u, quote is q, block quote is blockquote.

      • Curiosity

        Testing…
        Testing…
        1..2…3….

        Aha! It works!

        I owe you one moderate! Thanks again!

        • PracticalGirl

          Something else: On my PC, the buttons show up for me when I log in from Google Chrome, but not Internet Explorer

        • balconesfault

          Same … the buttons are there in Firefox, but not IE.

        • Watusie

          Hey you two – that is the universe, telling you to ditch IE already!!!!

  • SteveT

    I came up with my set of very concrete demands I would make if I was allowed.

    Have a whack at them. They’re not all inclusive of course.

    1. The Volker Rule — no speculating with client funds
    2. The Tobin Law –financial transaction fee
    3. Rating agencies assigned at random, paid from pool by investment banks.
    4. Shareholder proxy of at less 50% for all Executive pay –say top 2% of company.
    5. Eliminate carried interest loophole
    6. Only allowed to buy/sell derivatives of securities where you also own the underlying asset or security as well.
    7. Stop the current AG settlement on CDO losses from mortgage meltdown. Recover closer to 100% on the dollar.
    8. Overturn Citizens United.
    9. Reinstate Glass Stegal.
    10. Limit Campaign Contributions to $50 and only for individuals.
    11. No PACs.
    12. No quasi campaign type spending.
    13. Investment banks limited to 15-1 leverage.

    We’d still have banking and the free markets after this list, just with a lot less speculation, it would be boring. Oh, and take a zero off the end of the bonus.

  • Dragonfly

    If they really feel disenfranchised they ought to join Perry and secede from the country – move to Mexico, Cuba or Venezuela.

    • balconesfault

      Or hey, motivate fellow Amerircans to look at the system differently and vote to limit Corporate interest. There’s a nice Democratic thought.

    • Houndentenor

      One could say the same about the Tea Party protestors from 2009.

      They have every right to protest. People are angry and with good reason. They are making themselves heard. It’s their right.

  • Bobby McGee

    So, it was a completely separate protest from Occupy DC, but you are going to title and tag the piece as about the occupy movement anyway. What a transparent hit piece.

    Also, we keep getting told these movements are going away, now we are at this. Funny that.

  • Fart Carbuncle

    A bunch of pro-Obama nuts.

    Meh.

  • TerryF98

    The NYT has a good piece on this.

    “At this point, protest is the message: income inequality is grinding down that middle class, increasing the ranks of the poor, and threatening to create a permanent underclass of able, willing but jobless people. On one level, the protesters, most of them young, are giving voice to a generation of lost opportunity.

    It is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation. That’s the job of the nation’s leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself. It is also the first line of defense against a return to the Wall Street ways that plunged the nation into an economic crisis from which it has yet to emerge.”

    The girl with the “Fuck You” sign sums up a lot of peoples feelings toward the Wall street people who gambled, lost and were bailed out by the taxpayer only to go back to the same ways indifferent to the consequences.

    And it sums up the feelings of those who are against the activist supreme court who legislated in the citizens united case. Bringing forward a case that was not even before them.

    It also sums up the feelings of the people who hate the results of that terrible judgment, the increasing use of corporate money to influence policy and demean the political process itself.

    • balconesfault

      The girl with the “Fuck You” sign sums up a lot of peoples feelings toward the Wall street people who gambled, lost and were bailed out by the taxpayer only to go back to the same ways indifferent to the consequences.

      Not only indifferent – but the Wall Streeters acted as if they had no responsibility in the economic meltdown that resulted from their overleveraging and overspeculation … and went back to battling any attempt to add any regulations that would put a brake on the herd mentality they showed in the 2000′s that drove us over the cliff. What’s more, any attempt to tax the billions they earned from that speculation in the 00′s in order to repair any of the damage that ensued became “wealth redistribution” and “confiscation”.

      For an awful lot of the Wall Streeters – not all, but far too many – “Fuck You” is a much nicer sentiment than what crowds could be driven to start chanting were they being incited to express their Second Amendment rights.

      • ktward

        Not only indifferent – but the Wall Streeters acted as if they had no responsibility in the economic meltdown

        Indeed. Check this out from a longtime WS trader who is actually sympathetic to OWS (emphasis mine):

        And then there are the folks who work on Wall Street … “I kind of think they are misguided in their protesting, but I understand it,” said Alan Valdes, who has traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for 35 years. He says he sympathizes with the protesters. “I definitely see their point,” Valdes said. “The banks aren’t loaning, that’s a fact, they’re just sitting on this cash. Corporate America is just sitting on TRILLIONS of dollars. So you can see their animosity. They’re not getting hired. Most of them are young kids out of college, not finding jobs and not getting hired right now, so I think it’s a problem. But again, I think they’re misguided in blaming Wall Street. We had very little to do with it.”

        http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/09/sunday/main20117793.shtml?tag=cbsnewsTwoColUpperPromoArea

    • Primrose

      I agree with that line, the point is the protest.

  • TerryF98

    If you think all that is going on with this movement is left wing hippy outrage than think again.

    There are self admitted Right Wing plants stirring up problems to be blamed on the left.

    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/10/08/standoff-in-dc/print

  • Houndentenor

    This is the liberal version of the Tea Party with all the inconsistencies and issues that go along with that. I share their concern about the unchecked power of multinational corporations. That doesn’t mean that I have to go live on a commune and grow and make my own everything. That’s just not a practical solution. To suggest otherwise is simply ridiculous.

  • Oldskool

    This protest seems likely to have more overall support than the tea party and more likely to notice if lobbyists or a cable news networks try to co-opt them.

  • Watusie

    @Moderate & his photo:

    You’ve just established the principle that people who buy or use services built by or provided by union labor cannot complain about unions.

    I thank you.

  • Kevin B

    I wonder if these two movements, the Tea Party and Occupy Whatever are the beginnings of the replacement parties for the current Republicans and Democrats.

    The Tea Party has insisted that it is not a Republican group. It’s seemed to be more an offshoot of Fox News at times, but they claim to be retroactively opposed to the Bush Presidency. It’s sometimes hard to pin down exactly what they stand for, because they present a leaderless face. Anyone who tries to claim a leadership position can be disowned in a heartbeat, for almost any vague infraction (see Perry, Cain. Christie seems too smart to risk it). If pressed to list their positions, I’d say “small government, low taxes, and ‘I want my country back’–nostalgia for something that may not have ever existed.”

    The Occupiers (my name, for convenience) are so recent that pinning them down is even harder, but they’re similarly leaderless. Also, coming from the left means coming from a lot more directions. I’d say “Anti-corporate, anti-wealth-gap, ‘it’s our country too’ progressives.”

    I’m only brainstorming, but I think the next election is going to be interesting (in the Chinese proverb sense of the word), as the ids of the left and the right compete for control, and for the hearts and minds of the American middle.

    • SerenityNow

      +1 observation.

      I would add that both the TP and OWS share an overarching discontent with the political status quo, the inability of our elected leaders to achieve anything of substance. In so many ways the current administration represents a potential interregnum as we choose up sides and redefine the distinctions between Left and Right.

  • Graychin

    “Holt, go to the protest and write a piece making fun of the protesters.”

    Mission accomplished.

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Ghandi

    I see that we’re already at Stage Two.

    • TerryF98

      Or stage 3.

      Rep. Peter King: ‘We Have To Be Careful Not To Allow [Occupy Wall Street] To Get Any Legitimacy’

  • zaybu

    I don’t know why people have missed the underlying message of the OWS:

    the system has been good to 1% of the population, it has been miserable to the other 99%.

    The protest isn’t a movement, it isn’t a political party, it isn’t against corporations as if corporations don’t have a right to exist or that the protesters can’t use products made by corporations, blah, blah, blah…

    Where it will lead, who knows? But like the tea-party had a right to voice their frustrations, whether you agree or not with their message, the protestors of the OWS have the same right of freedom of expression to express their dissastifaction with the system.

    • paul_gs

      I’d say the system has been good to 90% of the people.

      • Primrose

        Obviously, you have a very limited circle of acquaintances.

      • zaybu

        paul_gs wrote: I’d say the system has been good to 90% of the people.

        Perhaps you live in a different country but in the US, the median income was worse in 2010 than in 1968 on an inflation-adjust basis.

  • Southern Populist

    These Occupy Wall Street protests will never go anywhere. An effective anti-Wall Street movement needs to narrowly focus on banking issues that touch everybody across the entire political spectrum.

    The movement should focus on things like globalization, bailouts, corporate welfare, privatizing profits while socializing costs, fractional reserve banking, predatory lending and debt usury, abusive practices like the BOA debit card fees, underwater mortgages and the big banks foisting their mortgage losses on the middle class, and the control of the American money supply by the private, for-profit banking cartel otherwise known as the Federal Reserve Banking System.

    Instead, the Occupy Wall Street movement is diluting their appeal by linking their core points about Wall Street to a bunch of peripheral left-wing causes like animal rights and the union and moveon.org agendas.

    This is the problem with spontaneous so-called “leaderless” resistance. Spontaneous outrage can only take the outraged masses so far.

    Once groups with money, organization and professional experience get involved in the mass protest movement, it is inevitable that those groups are going to take take over the spontaneous movement and co-opt their agenda.

    We saw this with the Tea Party movement as well. It started as a disorganized, leaderless, spontaneous mass movement that blew up in response to the Barack Obama presidency. It was never solely an “astro-turf” movement, as some progressives absurdly and dishonestly maintained.

    But the Tea Party movement eventually evolved into a de facto astroturf movement once the Dick Armey faction became involved and grew in influence (Dick Armey’s Tea Party Express is a proxy for the Koch brothers).

    Because the Dick Armey faction had money, organization and well-paid professional help at their disposal, they were able to steer the entire Tea Party movement away from making perfectly valid complaints about taxes and government and toward an agenda that benefits plutocrats like the Koch brothers.

    Unions, moveon.org and other sundry left-wing hatchet orgs are now in the process of co-opting the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    The net effect will be to ensure that anyone who is not already a leftist Democrat will never take a close look at Occupy Wall Street’s main grievances. This will include most middle class independents and virtually all of middle class red state America. The net effect will also be to ensure Occupy Wall Street is steered toward serving the union agenda and the agendas of the other professional groups that get involved.

    - DSP

    • wileedog

      Instead, the Occupy Wall Street movement is diluting their appeal by linking their core points about Wall Street to a bunch of peripheral left-wing causes like animal rights and the union and moveon.org agendas.

      In fairness, I think its the other way around. These movements desperate to get any kind of media attention like the Tea Party does are jumping on board a bandwagon that didn’t start with anything to do with them.

  • Southern Populist

    @tommybones: “I’m so sick and tired of the constant implications that one drinking a coke (or using a cell phone, God forbid) has forfeited his or her right to protest Wall Street criminality.”

    Perhaps the Tea Party’s opponents won’t be so quick in the future to make dumb points like “they hate government but love their Medicare.”

    The fact is, it is damn near impossible to live life without using mass produced products and services delivered by large corporations and an American and international economic system that is dominated by plutocrats, Wall Street and banking interests

    It’s not as if anyone has an alternative, is there?

    Likewise, it’s not as if anyone has an alternative to Medicare whether the person is part of the Tea Party movement or not.

    Paying into Medicare is compulsory right?

    It’s not as if anyone in the Tea Party has the ability to opt out of Medicare or anything else the government mandates any more than the Occupy Wall Street protestors can realistically opt out of using their Visas and cell phones.

    - DSP

    • Watusie

      Anyone can opt out of using Medicare. Afterall, we have the best healthcare system in the world right here in America, based on free-market principles. If you are a 65-year old cancer survivor in need of a heart bypass, there is no reason why you can’t take out a private insurance policy and get it taken care of. Right?

      Or is it your understanding that becasue you have paid 1.45% of your wages for Medicare, you then have to use it, exclusively? Isn’t that like saying that because you also pay into Social Security, you can’t also have your own plan of private savings for retirement?

      • Southern Populist

        It’s theoretically possible to not use it after being forced to pay for it. It’s not realistically possible, however, because of numerous factors outside the control of everyone who uses Medicare. Likewise, it’s theoretically but not realistically possible to quit using Visas, corporate products and petroleum products. When there is no realistic alternative, it does not make much sense to criticize a group for not choosing an alternative. And no, no one can opt out of paying for Medicare.

        • Frumplestiltskin

          DSP has never heard of the Amish I take it. You would be surprised at how easy it is to do so, it just takes self discipline though.

    • balconesfault

      Perhaps the Tea Party’s opponents won’t be so quick in the future to make dumb points like “they hate government but love their Medicare.”

      A bad comparison. Nobody is protesting Corporate America’s right to collect enough money to build the cameras and cars and cell phones they use.

      But the Tea Partiers are in fact out there protesting Government’s right to collect enough money to fund the Medicare Programs that they demand Government fully fund.

      • paul_gs

        It’s dishonest to attribute the attitude of a few nutty Tea Partiers to ALL Tea Partiers.

    • LauraNo

      I think the point is, the people complaining about Medicare love their own Medicare. It’s not socialist when it’s for them, just when it’s for those no-good others.

  • Southern Populist

    I have been making the point for a while now that Barack Obama is a faux progressive when it comes to opposing Wall Street.

    The smart Lefties, Independents and Righties realize this as well.

    And, please, for all you Barack Obama ideologues out there who care more about protecting Obama than actually scrutinizing what he has done to reign in Wall Street, don’t serve us up another helping of your thin gruel “Obama is not as bad the GOP.”

    OK; so Obama is not as bad as the GOP. Granted, so what; what an endorsement; is not being as bad as the GOP the standard now? Is that what’s going to help the middle class?

    And please, don’t serve up any of that “Obama signed Dodd-Frank” gruel either.

    Given the scale of the damage Wall Street has inflicted on the American middle class, the ongoing impoverishment of the American middle class, and the wealth transfers from the middle class to the top 1%, Dodd-Frank was a pathetic response.

    The Democrats had power from ’09 to ’11 that they are probably not going to see again for a long time.

    It really says something about the ability and willingness of the Democrats to stand up to Wall Street given that Dodd-Frank was the most they were willing to do at the height of their power — and at the height of the economic crisis.

    A must read below for anyone who has not seen it.

    - DSP

    • Southern Populist

      Unlike previous Democratic presidents, including John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama’s base primarily lies not with the working and middle classes, who would have demanded effective job action, but with the rising power of the post-industrial castes, who have largely continued to flourish even through the current economic maelstrom.

      From the beginning, Obama has been nurtured and supported by an array of influential leaders in finance, technology and real estate who supported his rise. In the run-up to his nomination, he attracted more money from Wall Street than Hillary Clinton, New York’s senator. Later, he pummeled the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), by a wide margin among financiers.

      To be sure, Obama’s ground game relied on organized labor, particularly public-sector unions, African-Americans, Latinos and progressive activists. But these groups have not emerged stronger from his three years in office.

      Instead, the major winners of the Obama years have been the big nonprofits, venture capitalists and, most obviously, the financial aristocracy. These have all benefited from the Ben Bernanke-Timothy Geithner — previously the Bernanke-Henry Paulson — policy of cheap money and near zero-interest rates, which have depressed the savings of the middle classes but served as a major boon to Wall Street. This has benefited mostly the wealthiest 1 percent, which owns some 40 percent of equities and 60 percent of financial securities.

      http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=5AC8BD0B-A0BA-4120-BA39-06A276CF2125

      • balconesfault

        These have all benefited from the Ben Bernanke-Timothy Geithner — previously the Bernanke-Henry Paulson — policy of cheap money and near zero-interest rates, which have depressed the savings of the middle classes but served as a major boon to Wall Street.

        Seriously?

        The problem the middle class has faced isn’t that interest rates were too low to allow their meager savings to grow at a 4% annual compounded rate instead of a 0.5% annual compounded rate.

        It’s that the middle class by and large didn’t HAVE any savings when Obama took office, but rather on heaping pile of debt that had to be repaid and rolled over.

        Higher interest rates would have killed any private sector job growth, while driving many many more Americans out of their homes. It would have been incredibly stupid.

        Yes, the wealthy have found ways to profit. The wealthy pretty much have the leverage to play ANY system that’s set up to their maximum advantage – the only reason some took a bath during 2008-2009 was because their own greed got them too far out on a limb.

        I can assure you had interest rates been allowed to drift upwards the same people would have profited massively under that scenario, just with much more hurt and long-term damage to the middle class.

        The only way to tilt the playing field back from the uber-wealthy is to raise the tax levels on the money they can skim from the system via the advantages in the marketplace that their uber-wealth provides them.

        And while Obama’s attempts to raise those taxes have been fairly moderate (given the comparative economics of the Clinton years and the Bush years, I think it just takes a rabid ideologue or an idiot to argue that the top bracket should be 35% instead of 39%), and while he’s had to deal even those moderate increases away in order to pass critical legislation to keep millions of Americans from losing their homes, I still give him more than enough credit in this sphere to be committed to supporting his 2012 election over anyone else out there in the competition today.

    • Oldskool

      is not being as bad as the GOP the standard now? Is that what’s going to help the middle class?

      Considering what Rs did during the Shrub years and what they’ve done the past two years, most any other party or candidate is better than a Republican. You could probably find more reasonable people in the Taliban.

  • rbottoms

    Did someone say F*** YOU?

  • ktward

    Even Ron Paul supporters showed up to the protest – 2 of them, to be precise.

    “Precise”? I see no indication that Holt interviewed even the majority of protesters, much less every one of them. It’s this kind of lazy rhetorical construction that lays bare the pretense of legit journalism.

    Anyhoo, here’s my take:

    While the impetuses (impeti?) fueling their respective protests are notably dissimilar, it’s impossible not to see tactical parallels between OWS and the Tea Party movement’s own genesis.

    In terms of influence on the body politic, OWS can only hope to prove as successful as the TPM. What remains to be seen is whether or not OWS can morph itself into a more widely palatable form than did the TPM whose net unfavorabilities continue to rise.

    To my mind, however, the single most telling dissimilarity between these two movements has to be their demographics. The old TP folks might win some battles– clearly, they already have. But from an historical perspective, it’s the youngsters that win the war. Time is, after all, on their side.

    I’ve never been more encouraged post ’08.

    • Demosthenes

      impetus is a 4th declension noun so the plural is impetūs in Latin although “impetuses” is also OK in English

      :)

    • indy

      Well, if the TP is the parallel to draw here, I’m trying to remember the timeline. I think it took about 8-10 months (is that right?) for the TP to fully develop a head of steam. If the OWS movement also fits in that timeframe, I’m thinking there will be a lot of buildup going into the election next year. Then I’m wondering how the ex-wall street executive candidate will fare in such an environment?

      BTW, I saw 8-10 demonstrators in front of a bank here in the midwest, complete with V masks. It’s a major college town so I’m not jumping to conclusions, but has anyone seen anything similar?

      • ktward

        I’m only speaking to existing parallels that we can readily identify. Given the inherent disparities between the movements, I’m not sure that projecting a timeline is instructive.

        But yeah, I suspect it’s safe to speculate that OWS could have a measurable impact on 2012 elections. If that turns out to be true, unless something unpredictably weird happens between now and then it will not benefit any current GOP candidate.

  • paul_gs

    It’s always entertaining to see progressives gather together into a mob of fools.

    • Frumplestiltskin

      I feel the same way about inbred ancient teabaggers with their pointy hats and their faux Patriotism. I think combined they might have an IQ over 100. Watch out paul_gs, history is gonna pass you by so try to make the most of this final teabagger whine before they shuffle off the mortal coil.

    • TerryF98

      “It’s always entertaining to see progressives gather together into a mob of fools.”

      I am guessing the “Fuck you” lady has a message just for you.

      • paul_gs

        When progressives get together, they almost always deliver a message: smashed windows, burning cars, rampant violence.

        • rbottoms

          Uh huh.

          [blockquote]
          Immediately after the incident began hitting the newswires Howley published a “Breaking News” story with The American Spectator online in which he reveals that he had consciously infiltrated the group on Friday with the intent to discredit the movement. He states that “as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator — and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story.”

          It is highly likely that the events that occurred would not have taken the turn they did if it were not for Howley’s admitted adventure in an effort to discredit the Occupy movement. So before the public, the media, and officials turn their attention negatively towards the protests and the protesters there needs to be a critical eye turned on the role of the American Spectator and the role played in these events by its editorial staff. If arrests were made at this incident, and even if none were, the admissions of Howley published brazenly in the pages of his Conservative magazine and bragged about on his Facebook page should lead to an official investigation into his role and that of his employer in the events in Washington D.C. today and should be seen as at least part of the causal nexus that led to the inappropriate use of force that along with Howley negatively affected many who were innocent of any crime other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

          Ironically Howley concludes the story of his adventure mocking the lack of courage of the protesters, who he admitted did not seek – as he did – to confront the authorities, by praising the courage of the guards who twice pepper-sprayed him.

          “As I scrambled away from the scene of my crime, a police officer outside the museum gates pointed at my eyes, puffed out of his chest, and shouted: “Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.” He was proud that I had been pepper-sprayed, and, oddly, so was I. I deserved to get a face full of high-grade pepper, and the guards who sprayed me acted with more courage than I saw from any of the protesters. If you’re looking for something to commend these days in America, start with those guards.”

          The admissions of Patrick Howley, published in The American Spectator for all to see, require those across the country, both the public and its officials, to take a closer and more critical look at today’s event’s in the Nation’s capital. Who was really to blame for the chaos and disruption of a Federal Museum? Who should be held responsible for those who were harmed in the melee that took place after Howley admits he defied the orders of the legal authorities and stormed into the building? And how should the story of today’s events unfold in the Nation’s media over the next several days?
          http://my.firedoglake.com/cgrapski/2011/10/09/american-standard-editor-admits-to-being-agent-provacateur-at-d-c-museum/

          http://spectator.org/blog/2011/10/08/standoff-in-dc
          [/blockquote]

  • valkayec

    It seems right now the OWS protests are not interesting in presenting solutions, they’re presenting the problems. They want people across the country and those with influence to recognize the problems extant in the US. If the protests last which is still an unknown given the coming winter, I’m sure they’ll begin to lay out what policies they’d like to see enacted. It’s also possible (probable) that with their advanced technological expertise and use of social media that the movement could grow exponentially and become very organized.

    While the protesters refuse to ally with either party or become co-opted by an group or union, they can make use of the resources/knowledge gathered by these other organizations to become more organized.

    For another take on OWS, http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/occupywallstreet/

  • Primrose

    You know in all our this protest isn’t quite right. It’s foolish, its naive, it doesn’t have good port a potties riffs, we are not being wise.

    We are being like the ass in Orwell’s Animal Farm. The ass always sees what is going to happen but never actually takes action or takes a side. These people are there. They are making their voices heard, letting those with the power to make change realize they exist.

    As a lapsed flack I can tell you that sometimes the entire point of a a media event, is to get the brand name out there.

  • Dragonfly

    “The OWS movement clearly recognizes the corruptive influence of Wall Street infects the Democratic party also. That’s why they are rallying. They want real change in Washington, including Obama. What’s wrong with that?”

    Nothing is wrong with that – America needs the change – Obama OUT.

    And he needs to be replaced with someone who will bring the corporate tax rate to 10% in order to help keep American companies from not growing and taking it abroad, as well as close the kind of loopholes Obama and the Dems gave to GE.

    Also, we need to stop tax dollars from subsidizing the growing of businesses (ex.: Solyndra) and the research and development of businesses. Let them pay their own way – sink or swim. Politicians should not pick and chose which companies get tax dollars and which ones don’t – it’s corruption – kickback for their elections. Leave the taxpayer’s money alone in this respect.

    And put Frank and Dodd in jail where they belong for wrecking the banking and housing industry.

    • tommybones

      Parody? Has to be….

    • Watusie

      “someone who will bring the corporate tax rate to 10% ”

      I just had a flash back there to 2008 when the Republicans were holding up Ireland, with its 11% corporate tax rate, as the model for us all to follow. Guaranteed to magically create jobs.

      Of course, less was said about it after Ireland’s economy collapsed.

      • Dragonfly

        LOL – comparing Ireland to America is really, really, stupid.

        • balconesfault

          Indeed.

          http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/220321/emerald-miracle/chris-edwards

          Chris Edwards
          March 16, 2007 5:00 A.M.
          Emerald Miracle

          “On Saint Patrick’s Day, we wear green and celebrate the culture of Ireland. I’ll be down at the pub Saturday, but I’ll be toasting Ireland’s success at attracting greenbacks — all that investment flowing into the Emerald Isle and the resulting prosperity. …

          Now if only we could chase the leprechauns out of this country and cut our corporate tax rate, we’d be enjoying Irish-level growth rates by next St. Paddy’s Day.”

  • ottovbvs

    I thought Frum or at least his acolytes were telling us for days this was going nowhere? Were they wrong?

  • rbottoms

    [blockquote]The following photograph taken by opednews.com shows a confrontation in the lobby of the National Air and Space Museum between two individuals and an officer shortly before video shows officers with the Museum’s security forces rush outside indiscriminately pepper-spraying numerous individuals.

    It appears that one of the two in the confrontation with the security officer is Patrick Howley, Assistant Editor of The American Spectator.

    Immediately after the incident began hitting the newswires Howley published a “Breaking News” story with The American Spectator online in which he reveals that he had consciously infiltrated the group on Friday with the intent to discredit the movement. He states that “as far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator — and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story.”

    According to Howley’s story he joined the group in its march toward the Air and Space Museum but the protesters on the march were unwilling to be confrontational. He states “they lack the nerve to confront authority. From estimates within the protest, only ten people were pepper-sprayed, and as far as I could tell I was the only one who got inside.”

    He claims that upon arrival at the Museum the group of approximately one hundred protesters split into two factions with the smaller of the two “rushing the doors,” the majority “staying behind.” Howley then admits in his piece that he snuck past the guard at the first entrance in order to “infiltrate” the building and then confronted another guard. He then “sprinted toward the door” at which time he was first hit with pepper-spray.

    As he describes his next actions “I forced myself into the doors and sprinted blindly across the floor of the Air and Space Museum, drawing the attention of hundreds of stunned khaki-clad tourists (some of whom began snapping off disposable-camera portraits of me).”

    Fully inside, despite the orders of the security guards that the Museum was closed to the public, Howley made his way upstairs – to the location where a banner was unfurled protesting the Museum’s exhibit of unmanned drone weapons.

    “I strained to glance behind me at the dozens of protesters I was sure were backing me up, and then I got hit again, this time with a cold realization: I was the only one who had made it through the doors. As two guards pointed at me and started running, I dodged a circle of gawking old housewives and bolted upstairs.”

    He then found himself “stumbling around aircraft displays with just enough vision to keep tabs on my uniformed pursuers. “The museum is now closed!” screamed one of the guards as alarms sounded. “Everyone make your way to the exits immediately!” Using my jacket to cover my face — which I could feel swelling to Elephant Man proportions — I ducked through the confused tourists and raced out the exit. “Hey, you!” shouted a female guard reaching for my arm. “Get back here!” But I was already down the steps and out of sight.”

    Howley refers to the Museum as “the scene of my crime.” In light of his detailed description of his activities today the fact that they clearly document the commission of the crime of trespassing on federal property, if not the intent to incite a riot there, these admissions should not be taken lightly or ignored. As a result of Howley’s activities a large number of people were subjected to pepper-spray attacks including journalists and tourists who had nothing to do with the protest. Given the negative light that the press is attempting to spin this incident with regard to the ongoing occupations, from Wall Street and D.C. and now spreading to Main Streets across the country, the presence and admitted activities of this self-proclaimed agent provacateur should be brought to the attention of federal law enforcement officials.

    http://my.firedoglake.com/cgrapski/2011/10/09/american-standard-editor-admits-to-being-agent-provacateur-at-d-c-museum/

    http://spectator.org/blog/2011/10/08/standoff-in-dc
    [/blockquote]

    Rat f*****g comes to D.C.

  • Nanotek

    Tea Party = old guard
    OWS = young guard

    I enjoy seeing the establishmenteers and the 1% elites huff and puff, desperate to draw the attention from where OWS is putting it … they can’t stand seeing working families fight back against their war on the middle class

    • Primrose

      Despite the hopes expressed early by some posters, I’m very sure she wouldn’t.

  • JimBob

    OWS crowd are perhaps the dumbest people I’ve ever seen. One thing for sure, they’re losers.

  • Dragonfly

    There is no sense with these loons who are out there ranting really, really nothing except the rich – the rich.

    It’s all propaganda BS to try to grease the people into thinking we need to tax the rich, when what it is really all about is the Dems wanting the Bush tax cuts to expire.

    They are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2011, and if they do EVERYBODY’S taxes will go up starting Jan. 1, 2013, which is why some may have heard Obama say the tax hike he wants won’t take affect until 2013 – but that’s all he is saying, as well as it will tax the rich. But he leaves out that the bottom bracket gets hit the most, and the middle gets affected too, as well as the loss of child credit deduction and more ‘Marriage Penalty’ to be added.

    The Bush tax cuts, whether they are let to expire or not, will carry through 2012 as is, but if they expire it’s back to the taxes prior to the cuts.

    This will effect the bottom bracket the most – the bottom bracket got the highest percentage of a cut. They went from 15% to 10%, the next several brackets up went up 2% each, and the top bracket went to 35%. Mind you, this is only federal tax – there’s also state, local surtaxes, property, sales, fees, gas tax, cigarette tax, luxury taxes, tax on alcohol, you name it, the Dems are taxing it. They need to pay for their welfare dependency for votes program, to include giving it to illegal aliens to line them up for votes, too.

    The Bush tax cuts also doubled the child credit deduction – from $500 to $1,000 per child.
    And the Bush tax cuts lessened the ‘Marriage Penalty’.

    If the Bush tax cuts are left to expire they will hit the lowest bracket the most. They will have to give up an extra 5% to the feds, the added child credit deduction, and at a time the cost of gas, food, etc. have risen, while a lot of them haven’t seen a raise in a few years, and their health insurance has gone up because of ObamaCare.

    This will break some of them down into welfare – right where the Dems want them for their welfare dependency for votes program. The one-eyed king adding more blind to their ranks – socialist pigs, by chance or design – ain’t no doubt about it.

    The Bush tax cuts must not be let to expire. They must be extended, then made permanent when the Repubs take back control.

    There is a stipulation in the last Bill that calls out for looking at letting them expire through the next Bill (Nov. I believe), and this is why the Dems have their union and left-wing loons out their barking at the rich.

    It’s not about taxing the rich – they can have their accountants shift the shift, and they themselves can hide money – like Buffett – take less pay and put it into capital gains tax status for less. It’s about taxing the working stiff – the bottom bracket, and taking their added child credit deduction from them, along with the lessened ‘Marriage Penalty’.

    The Democrats MUST be held off, then booted from office for their disgusting ways.

    • balconesfault

      They are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2011, and if they do EVERYBODY’S taxes will go up starting Jan. 1, 2013. The Bush tax cuts, whether they are let to expire or not, will carry through 2012 as is, but if they expire it’s back to the taxes prior to the cuts.

      Why don’t you focus your blame on Bush and the Republicans who passed a bill where his tax cuts expired?

      • Nanotek

        “It’s not about taxing the rich…”

        yeah it is … in eight years Wall-Street destroyed 20% of American’s wealth built up over two centuries … and then we bailed them out and now they’re sitting on untold wealth …

        working class Americans, contrary to conservative political correctness, are not disposable …

        • Dragonfly

          Wall Street didn’t destroy America – the Democrats in Congress and their rubberstamp, Obama, did.

        • Nanotek

          apparently you were napping from 2001 to 2008

          nice try

        • Dragonfly

          Then the Dems took the majorities in both houses of Congress on Jan. 3, 2007 – 11 months later the nation went into a recession, because of the banking and housing mess Frank and Dodd created, then the stock market crash of October 2008 because Obama and the other Dems running for office were ranting their election class warfare cry about raising taxes, to include capital gains. Investors were listening and decided to get out while they still had their shirts on – DOMINO.

        • balconesfault

          You ignored the point.

          Why did Bush propose a tax cut that would expire in 2010?

          There’s a very important answer to this question. Let’s see if you’re well enough informed to know it.

      • Dragonfly

        The tax cuts are still in effect – they haven’t expired.

        Yak about what if whatever – NOT – stick to the facts.

        “Nanotek // Oct 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm

        apparently you were sound asleep from 2001 to 2008

        nice try”

        We were doing rather well until we were hit ion 9/11, then were coming out of that, then katrina, then were coming out of that, and doing OK.

        Then the Dems took the majorities in both houses of Congress on Jan. 3, 2007 – 11 months later the nation went into a recession, because of the banking and housing mess Frank and Dodd created, then the stock market crash of October 2008 because Obama and the other Dems running for office were ranting their election class warfare cry about raising taxes, to include capital gains. Investors were listening and decided to get out while they still had their shirts on – DOMINO.

        Dems are rotten for America.

    • Southern Populist

      Yes, Obama’s position on the Bush tax cuts shows he can’t be taken seriously as a representative for middle class interests.

      He wants the whole package gone which will raise taxes for everyone not just the wealthy.

      The wealthy can afford to pay more, but everyone else will be harmed. Obama knows that of course. He doesn’t care that people who can’t afford it will be affected.

      • Dragonfly

        That’s exactly right – he is using smoke and mirrors with ranting about taxing the rich.

        He had all the majorities, passed all his right over the heads of the Repubs and the American people, but failed to tax the rich. Interesting, to say the least.

        It’s all about the Bush tax cuts, and they will hit the lowest bracket the most.

        This goes to show how deceitful Obama really is. Yapping about taxing the rich, yet the taxes will hit the lowest bracket the most, as well as all the middle brackets, and with a loss of child credit deduction.

        I see that and it shows me that he is not an honest person.

        • balconesfault

          Why did Bush propose a tax cut that would expire in 2010?

          There’s a very important answer to this question. Let’s see if you’re well enough informed to know it.

        • Dragonfly

          Get a grip – Bush gave us the cuts, and Obama is trying to take them away in a very deceitful manner.

          The Bush tax cuts were to get us through 9/11 and Katrina – they were working – then we ended up with the Dems in control and their wrecking the economy even worse. The nation – the people – are in no position to let the Bush tax cuts expire right now – if not for Obama and the Dems with their ruination we wouldn’t have to extend them, but we must – the economy stinks because of what the Dems did to it.

          And just think of the costs to the taxpayers having the added security and clean-up for the loon goons who Obama and company have out there ranting about the rich so they can sell cutting the Bush tax cuts.

          Obama is the worst president America has ever had.

          He is OUT come election time – ain’t no doubt about it.

        • balconesfault

          The Bush tax cuts were to get us through 9/11 and Katrina

          Really? That’s your answer?

          Bush pushed for tax cuts in March of 2001 because we needed to get through 9/11 and Katrina?

          Amazing. Just amazing.

          Get back to me when you want to provide an honest answer for why the Bush Tax Cuts were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010.

        • Southern Populist

          Wasn’t the reason to get it through the Senate? The sunset had something to do with reconcilliation, circumventing paygo, and the Byrd amendment. That’s all I can remember.

        • balconesfault

          The reason was because everyone knew that by the end of the decade, that the Bush tax cuts were going to be responsible for a massive revenue shortfall … and that if we projected those shortfalls out into the teens the deficit projections were going to be astronomical.

          The sales pitch, of course, was noooo … all those economists were wrong, and tax cuts would create a world of magic ponies and supply-side stimulus fairies and all sorts of things that would stimulate investment and make the business cycle irrelevant. And thus, by the end of the decade, the tax cuts would pay for themselves, and everyone would acknowledge their brilliance, and vote them into permanence.

          Instead, any rational actor would realize that the shortfall is real, and huge, and that expiring the Bush tax cuts is a necessary first step towards reducing the deficit.

  • redpetunia

    If Obama was white, the protests would have started at the Whitehouse.

    These people are racists. Treat all races the same, so what if the Man is black, it doesn’t matter, look beyond color, he is the Man, and he has done this to you.

    Brother, if that isn’t racist, we have never had racism in this country.

    • balconesfault

      Of course, they’d be focusing their ire on the guy who has been pressing to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, who signed a financial reform bill that his predecessor would have never signed, who appointed Supreme Court justices who voted for upholding McCain-Feingold restrictions on campaign spending by large corporations.

      That would have made lots of sense.

    • Nanotek

      this is about Wall Street … and looting what we built up over two centuries

      the old guard Wall-Street apologists don’t get it …

      “… if that isn’t racist, we have never had racism in this country.” … wanna bet … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching

  • Southern Populist

    Speaking as a person who has not voted for a GOP or a Democrat ticket this century, I really don’t see what the hell the Democrats have done or even TRIED to do to reverse the trends leading to the destruction of the middle class.

    The impoverishment began under Reagan who had a Democrat congress sending bills to his desk. Globalization, outsourcing, offshoring, and the destruction of the manufacturing base all started under Reagan and his Democrat Congress. We had 8 years of Bill Clinton who did nothing to reverse it. On the contrary, Bill Clinton, Democrat, double-downed on NAFTA, GATT and free trade agreements. Obama did nothing of any significance either his first two years to alter the trend or deal with the fundamental problems.

    If the Democrats are any better than the Republicans for the middle class, it certainly is not by much.

    • Nanotek

      + 1

      but Republicans won’t change … some Democrats may … for me Dems are the lessor of the two evils …

    • JimBob

      We are the worlds largest manufacturer. Yes it is true that fewer people work in manufacturing but that’s mostly due to automation and productivity gains. Yes many corporations have moved offshore, but that’s not always due to cheap labor. Regulations and taxes drive business offshore as much as cheap labor. The really labor intensive manufacturing is going to always search for the cheapest labor. If not China, Vietnam or India.

      We have a very high corporate tax rate. I think 2nd highest in the developed world. Reform the tax code, reign in regulations and most of all return to the classical gold standard. China would not be able to manipulate its currency. The dollar being the reserve currency of the world is a huge problem.

      • Primrose

        I’m fairly certain the econowonks among us have a good answer to your claim that being a reserve currency is bad and gold will save us. So I will leave that to them but you contradict yourself, if labor intensive manufacturing will always go to the cheapest labor then they aren’t going because of taxes and regulation now are they? And if they are low labor manufacturing then by lowering taxes and regulations we are paying more to these companies than we are getting back. (environmental degradation has economic costs too).

        • JimBob

          We’re not going to produce lots of shoes anymore. Very labor intensive. We are the worlds largest manufacturer of automobiles not nearly as labor intensive as it was 50 years ago. In specialty goods like high end audio which is very labor intensive we can still be a world leader. McIntosh Audio has been building some of the finest equipment in the world in upstate New York for 62 years.

          http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/us/Pages/Home.aspx#

          Classical Gold standard kept the balance of payments in trade in check.

          http://mises.org/money/4s1.asp

        • Primrose

          That’s fine JimBob, but that trend has nothing to do with taxes and regulation.

      • balconesfault

        Regulations and taxes drive business offshore as much as cheap labor.

        Not true.

        The really labor intensive manufacturing is going to always search for the cheapest labor. If not China, Vietnam or India.

        In the absence of a smart trade policy, yes.

        We have a very high corporate tax rate. I think 2nd highest in the developed world.

        PricewaterhouseCoopers Average Effective Corporate Tax Rates, 2006-2009

        1 Japan 38.8%
        2 Morocco 33.9%
        3 Italy 29.1%
        4 Indonesia 28.1%
        5 Germany 27.9%
        6 United States 27.7%

        6th, actually. OTOH, there are a lot of countries within a few percentage points of the US … whose governments provide free healthcare to the workers for those corporations, freeing them from the burden of providing that major expensive benefit.

        • JimBob

          Corporate Tax rates

          http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/corporate-tax-rates-for-web.png

          Smarter Trade policy?? Protectionism is the Fools Gold of economics. Managed trade is what we have now and its bad, but not as bad as protectionism.

        • balconesfault

          You do realize that “effective” tax rates, which take into consideration the myriad loopholes and waivers and credits and what have you, is a far more honest way of looking at the corporate tax rate and its effects on whether big business decides to locate one place or another than the “nominal” tax rates, don’t you?

        • LauraNo

          Balcone, some on the right pretend (?) to not understand the distinction between many things beside “effective tax rates” and “tax rates”; racism and noticing racism, protesting too big to fail and anti-capitalism, shared prosperity and socialism, climate change and snow, they think protesting inequality while owning a phone is hypocrisy, they don’t think loopholes for corporations is re-distribution but taxing the rich is, registration fraud is voting fraud…
          A person could go on all day.

    • Nanotek

      says it all

    • paul_gs

      9/11 truthers, dopeheads, comparison of GWB to Hitler, references to the Illuminati.

      Yeah, Occupy NB’s got something really serious going on there.

      • Southern Populist

        Er, I don’t think anyone with a three digit IQ buys the official 9/11 story. 19 Muslims did 9/11 because they hate us for our freedom. You believe that’s the whole story?

        The official story is a lie, and WTC 7 is the path to enlightenment for anyone who cares to study the matter.

        How do two planes take down three buildings?

        • paul_gs

          Thanks Southern Populist for demonstrating that the left is nuttier then the wonkiest Tea Party member.

          If you are at Occupy rally, please try and get interviewed on TV so that your message can get out.

        • Southern Populist

          Take it to Red State, Hannity forum, World Net Daily or some other hole.

        • paul_gs

          WTC 7 is the path to enlightenment . . .

          LMAO! You can’t make this stuff up folks!

        • Southern Populist

          paul_gs is a mission accomplished, let’s roll, axis of evil, they hate us for our freedom type. The kind of mind that believes something like the yellow cake story.

    • Southern Populist

      It is starting to dawn on people that we are headed for a very bleak and dystopian future. It really is time to weep for America when you see a sign like that. The writing is on the wall for sure. It won’t be long for this country.

      • JimBob

        It is bad, but we can recover no doubt. I blame most of our problems on the Bush administration and NeoCons. The idea since the fall of the Soviet Union the United States could do anything it wanted around the world and never suffer any consequences is laughable. The NeoCons are responsible for Obama who has been a disaster of the first magnitude.

        Bush Obama the two worst Presidents in history back to back.

  • paul_gs

    What a hoot it will be if all the Occupy rallies end up being gatherings for 9/11 Truthers.

    • Primrose

      You know Paul GS, 911 truthers don’t have the wider acceptance of the liberal community. They never have. You keep trying to make these equivalency arguments but they don’t fly.

      • DeathByIrony

        Like the Tea Party got hammered with anecdotes about revolution, racism, and incitements to violence?
        It’s the same deal. Only instead of Racism, they’re accused of anarchism, or straight-up Mao style communism.
        They’re all goddamn idiots, sure. But at the end of the day, they’re not the inhuman monsters they’re made out to be.

  • NRA Liberal

    Dear Herman Caine: There you go. Now shut the @#$% up.

  • nhthinker

    Several of the “occupy everywhere” have been taken over by bullhorns and an expectation of everyone in the crowd to repeat every word of the person with the bullhorn.

    It seems to be a brainwashing technique for the person with the bullhorn to command more control of the crowd.

    Never observed that crap at a Tea Party gathering. Also, almost zero arrests at Tea parties.

    • Primrose

      The tea party didn’t have to use bullhorns (though I think some did) they came pre-brainwashed by Fox News and Glenn Beck.

    • balconesfault

      Brainwashing? Or perhaps an attempt by organizers who know they’re going to be held responsible for the actions of the crowd to lay out groundrules and do what they can to make a very disparate group of protestors act responsibly.

      Granted, this is going to be more difficulty given that we already know that some right wingers have joined protests and led the way in the “acting bad” category … and just like factory owners of the 1930′s had no problem hiring locals willing to go out and turn every union march into a brawl, I’ve little doubt that there are people being hired to go into these marches and incite or act reprehensibly.

      Nonetheless, those on the outside should be delighted to have someone on a bullhorn – because it provides a nexus of responsibility should something go amiss. As pointed out earlier, those coming to the Occupy Wall Street rallies are coming for a wide range of reasons, and are being directed there by a wide range of sites. There doesn’t appear to be a massively funded FreedomWorks busing them in and providing directions, and there certainly isn’t direction coming from a Fox News media empire.

      The biggest difference between the OWS rallies and the Tea Party rallies it seems is that those who pull strings in our country quickly felt very comfortable with the Tea Partiers … and are clearly getting increasingly scared by the Occupy Wall Streeters. The former represented no threat to the way business really gets done – it was just adding political leverage to the GOP. The latter could turn into a movement where in some places any corporate funded candidate could be at risk, and that realization is starting to sink in.

  • Primrose

    “This will break some of them down into welfare – right where the Dems want them for their welfare dependency for votes program. The one-eyed king adding more blind to their ranks – socialist pigs, by chance or design – ain’t no doubt about it.”

    Attention Republicans, welfare reform happened two and half Presidential terms ago, under Clinton. You don’t get to use it against Democrats anymore. Period. Expire it.

    Also Dragonfly, you can’t say the Bush tax cuts were set to expire because they were just there for 911 and Katrina and then say there’s a problem with them expiring, and Obama is wrong because of it.

    As for feeling so sorry because the rich will have to pay 4% more, no, your right I don’t. It might not pay for everything in our budget, but it will pay for some of it. So why not pay for some of it

    Anyone making over a million dollars a year (or more in the case of hedge fund managers) who actually feels sorry themselves, feels life is being unfair needs to rethink their life and their connection with reality. Money is not actually the means for keeping score in a game for rich egomaniacs.

    • balconesfault

      Also Dragonfly, you can’t say the Bush tax cuts were set to expire because they were just there for 911 and Katrina

      I still find it insane that Dragonfly actually tried to functionally make the argument that in March 2001 we knew that 9/11 and Katrina would occur.

  • Dragonfly

    “balconesfault // Oct 9, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    The reason was because everyone knew that by the end of the decade, that the Bush tax cuts were going to be responsible for a massive revenue shortfall … ”

    WRONG – YOU HAVE BEEN PROVEN WRONG SO MANY TIMES ON SO MANY ACCOUNTS, balconesfault. I AM SURPRISED YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE WITH YOUR FOOLISHNESS. BUT HIDING BEHIND YOUR SCREEN WHILE FABRICATING SUBTERFUGE IS NOT COURAGEOUS. You’re weak. Weak. Your argument for Obama and the Dem’s failure is weak. Weak. And it is weak because it is false. Obama and the Dems in Congress are to blame for the rotten economy, and they WILL pay for it at the polls come Nov. 2012.

    America was doing fine with the Bush tax cuts after 9/11 and Katrina – we were getting back on track with 4.6% unemployment, the deficit was heading the other way, then the Dems took control of both houses of Congress on Jan. 3, 2007 – 11 months later America was in a recession – Obama, the Dem’s rubberstamp, got in then super-sized the mess.

    Now we have a Republican-controlled House of Representatives who have been putting a lid on the Democrat’s retarded spending, and will continue to do so until America boots the Dems OUT for what they did to America and the American people. My only hope is that the house has what it takes to extend the Bush tax cuts and not let the Democrats tax the American people any more in order to fund their welfare dependency for votes program, to include giving it to illegal aliens while they line them up for future votes.

    • balconesfault

      Dragon “The reason was because everyone knew that by the end of the decade, that the Bush tax cuts were going to be responsible for a massive revenue shortfall … ”

      WRONG

      All Caps don’t actually prove anything, you know.

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/07/republicans_blame_democrats_fo.html

      To understand what’s going on here, you need to go back 10 years to the passage of the Bush tax cuts. In order to maximize the size of the cuts, Republicans had to minimize the influence of minority Democrats on the package. So they chose to run the bill through the reconciliation process.

      But that posed some challenges. Budget reconciliation had never been used to increase the deficit. In fact, it specifically existed to decrease the deficit. That’s why one of its rules was that you couldn’t use it to increase the deficit outside the budget window. Republicans realized they could take that very literally: The budget window was 10 years. So if the tax cuts expired after 10 years, they wouldn’t increase the deficit outside the budget window. They’d also have the added benefit of appearing less costly in the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates, as the CBO duly scored them as expiring after 10 years, which kept the long-range budget picture from exploding.

      • Dragonfly

        LOL – I said your facts are wrong, then you produce a projection – no facts, and that is because there are no facts to show that the Dems have done any good – just the opposite – they took control and ruined the economy.

        Case closed – Obama and the Dems are horrible for the economy – the sooner they are gone the better.

        • balconesfault

          LOL – I said your facts are wrong, then you produce a projection – no facts

          The projection is what the whole legislated expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts was based on.

          I’m sorry this is so hard for you to understand … but it was all because of politics.

          If the text above was too complex for you to wrap your slogan-addled brain around, let me break it down.

          i. The GOP had a congressional majority, but not a big enough one to override a filibuster
          ii. They wanted as big a tax cut as could possibly pass with a 51-vote majority
          iii. rules prohibited them passing a tax cut that would project deficits past 2010 without being subject to filibuster
          iv. all projections indicated that the Bush Tax Cuts, past 2010, would result in HUGE deficits
          v. Legislation was proposed by the GOP to have tax cuts which expired in 2010

        • indy

          slogan-addled

          Excellent choice. I had nicknamed him pea brain, but I’m changing it.

        • Dragonfly

          Obama has accumulated more debt than anything else on the planet in the history of mankind.

          Like I said, case closed.

          You can try to make excuses for that failure all you want – slice it any which way – it’s still baloney – he will join the ranks of Carter – a one term loser.

          And, if not for Clinton seeing most of his tenure with a Republican-controlled Congress, he’d be joining them too.

          Democrats are horrible – ain’t no doubt about it.

    • LauraNo

      Bush added in his 8 years no jobs. Screaming at people, and repeating yourself over and over will not change the facts.

      • Dragonfly

        Even after two major economic disasters, 9/11 and Katrina, Bush had us at 4.6% unemployment.

        Then the Democrats took over – U.S. News & World Report (not a conservative mag.) said that the Obama administration fudged the numbers and we are really at 19% unemployment.

        I know it’s even higher, and I know, on top of that, there are millions of people on furloughs (less hours with less pay), as well as millions who haven’t seen a raise in a few years.

        Also, while Obama, the Dems in Congress, and their staff made sure they all got nice raises and added perks, they failed to give seniors a Social Security COLA 2 years in a row, then Obama intimidated the seniors by saying they might not get their checks if he didn’t get his way, as well as the military maybe not getting their checks either. And notice how he never mentioned that the illegal aliens collecting welfare and foodstamps on the Dem’s line them up for future votes program, may have their checks affected. Nope – screw the seniors and the military, and spare the illegal aliens. Intimidate the seniors and the military about holding back their pay, but not the illegal aliens. It says it all about the Democrat party – they are disgusting.

        • balconesfault

          Also, while Obama, the Dems in Congress, and their staff made sure they all got nice raises and added perks

          Please, tell us more about these nice raises (unprecedented, I’m sure!) and added perks.

          We need more things to make fun of you over.

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