Monday, October 31, 2011

Patrick Oppman: "Occupy Seattle" (slideshow)

Patrick Oppmann (slideshow).

"Papantonio: Cain -- The GOP's Latest Sex Pervert" (video)

golefttv, with video (11:26):
Herman Cain's campaign is now having to deal with more than just his usual "stupid talk." Today, his campaign is dealing with allegations of sexual harassment, as well as some potential election law violations. Mike Papantonio talks with Ed Schultz about the future of the Cain campaign.

Frank Rich: "The Class War Has Begun"

"The Bonus Army veterans stage a mass vigil on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in 1932."

Frank Rich (New York Magazine):
What’s as intriguing as Occupy Wall Street itself is that once again our Establishment, left, right, and center, did not see the wave coming or understand what it meant as it broke. Maybe it’s just human nature and the power of denial, or maybe it’s a stubborn strain of all-­American optimism, but at each aftershock since the fall of Lehman Brothers, those at the top have preferred not to see what they didn’t want to see. And so for the first three weeks, the protests were alternately ignored, patronized, dismissed, and insulted by politicians and the mainstream news media as a neo-Woodstock for wannabe collegiate rebels without a cause—and not just in Fox-land. MORE...

"Danny Glover speaks at Oakland OWS in California" (video)

OurGamehenge, with video (08:20):
Danny Glover speaks at Oakland OWS in California. The first 1:30 is footage from Occupy Melborne!

"AFL-CIO President Trumka Denouces Proposed Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid" (video)

AFLCIONow, with video (02:23):
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka reaffirmed on Oct. 28 that the AFL-CIO opposes any cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits or to the federal contribution to Medicaid and he criticized Senate Democrats on the "Super Committee" for proposing—according to news reports—hundreds of billions of cuts.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Michael Moore Warns: OWS Is Not Concerned With Candidates Or Voting To Make Change" (with video)

Josh Feldman, MEDIAite with video from CNN(07:50):
“This movement is so beyond just, hey, let’s get behind this candidate, get them elected to office. Those days are over. You know, we’ve all worked for candidates. We’ve all voted. We’ve all participated. And what have we gotten out of it? We’ve all written to our Congressmen and women, please pass House bill number 3428. What did we get? Where are we? We’re in the worst shape we have been in this country that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. And, and so, this movement is not right now concerned with candidates or specific bills in Congress.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: The headline doesn't capture the full meaning of Moore's remarks. He is suggesting OWS is about about more fundamental change in our politics. WATCH THE VIDEO (scroll down).

"Seattle Central, Occupied!"

Dominic Holden (SLOG):
About 40 tents are set up right now and a trickle of new campers are arriving on the south lawn of Seattle Central Community College in Capitol Hill, where Occupy Seattle is staking its new base tonight. Here's an absolutely terrible photo of the scene:
There are easily 150 people—but it's dark, so it's hard to count them or take a clear photo—and they've built a pretty groovy little village. Some people are ladling out hot soup and one guy is making tea, while others are drumming and shaking maracas, and other folks are smoking cigarettes in the "designated smoking area." I made the mistake of setting up my tent in the designated smoking area and failing to set up my tent in the designated "do slugs of whiskey from a flask" area, because there is no such area, unfortunately. Drinking isn't allowed. In other news you probably won't find surprising, I'm not very skilled at setting up a tent.
They've scattered lots of straw about so it's sort of like being on the set of a play that takes place in a medieval barn, only the cast is wearing Gortex and tight denim.
The sentiment I've heard from campers is that, while a community college isn't what they're protesting (it's an icon of what many of them support), this a good place to send down roots. From here, they can focus on protesting banks, exposing runaway corporate control, and focusing on what matters—instead of expending energy on a squabble with cops down in Westlake Park. As for how they settled here, college president Paul Killpatrick has given his tepid welcome to the Occupiers, and today the American Federation of Teachers-Seattle, Local 1789 (AFL-CIO)—the local teachers' union—declared its support. Protesters give the teachers a lot of credit for cranking cogs behind the scenes to neutralize opposition. I saw a couple cops earlier, but they seem to be on low alert.
Howie P.S.: Some of the comments on this post criticize the decision to give up the high-profile location of Westlake during the evening hours and see the move as a retreat. My understanding is that occupiers will return to Westlake during the daylight hours when that location is alive with people.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Seattle Central Says It's Legal to Occupy the Campus"

Dominic Holden (SLOG):
With only one day to spare before Occupy Seattle moves to his campus, Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) president Paul Killpatrick says he consulted lawyers, thought long and hard, and met with protesters who promised to bring porta-potties. Then today he announced that—while he's worried about the protest's safety risk and "financial impact"—the campus occupation would amount to "lawful freedom of speech activities."

The background harks way back to Monday, when Occupy Seattle voted to move its nighttime base camp beginning on Saturday night to SCCC, despite Killpatrick's resistance. The college followed up two days later with a tepid open letter.

But Killpatrick's memo to the college's "campus community" today declares that the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) "as it is currently written, allows this occupation to take place."

Killpatrick's letter is after the jump. MORE...

Joel Connelly: WA "Election 2011: The hottest races"

Joel Connelly (
Light rail across Lake Washington, tolls to pay for rebuilding the S.R. 520 bridge, and the future of state-run liquor stores top the Election 2011 ballot, along with a spotty list of high-profile races across Western Washington.

Here is what you will miss if you are part of the 53 percent of registered voters who, according to Secretary of State Sam Reed, will NOT mail in ballots by midnight on Nov. 8. The hot issues and races: MORE...
Howie P.S.: Best soundbite from the story:
The key question: Which is more distasteful, having Washington in the liquor business or letting a big company buy an election?

"Progressives clash with Boehner over standing with the 99%!" (with video)

BoldProgressives with video (03:00) from CNN:
On Oct. 26, these bold candidates fought for the 99% -- delivering 35,000 "We stand with the 99%" messages to Speaker John Boehner.
Howie P.S.: I was disappointed that no candidates from Washington state were involved.

"Liberals get 'deja vu' and complain Dems have bungled in debt talks"

Mike Lillis (The Hill):
Liberals on and off Capitol Hill agonized Thursday that supercommittee Democrats had bungled early negotiations over a budget deal and put their party in a position to be bested again by Republicans.

By proposing significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as an early offering, liberals said the panel Democrats weakened their party’s negotiating position as Republicans, who have ceded no ground on their central anti-tax message, sat back and watched.
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee ( PCCC), a liberal activist group, echoed Welch’s message Thursday, saying the Democrats’ early offer to cut Medicare and Medicaid is “just incompetent negotiation strategy.”

“If Democrats on the [supercommittee] are proposing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or other middle-class benefits, that is fundamentally out of step with what the 99 percent of Americans are crying out for right now,” Green said in an email. “The middle class has sacrificed enough — it’s time for Wall Street and the wealthy to finally pay their fair share, and voters need Democratic politicians to get that.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: I'm having a deja vu experience here , but I didn't know you could get one, too.

Dylan Ratigan: "International Friday Megapanel with Rapper Ari Melber" (with video) with video (01:28):
The Friday (International) Megapanel — Ari Melber, Krystal Ball and Matt Miller — discuss the big stories of the week, including White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley dropping an “f-bomb” in an interview with Politico.
Then, perhaps the clip of the week: Megapanelist Ari Melber utilizes his deep knowledge of 50 Cent lyrics in a political analysis of voter loyalty to the President in tough economic times, much to the delight of the panel and the Twitterverse. MORE...

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Change with an Asterisk" (with video)

Brian Shapiro (Commenting on Ben Smith's blog), with video (01:29):
This isn't news. Obama also took money from lobbyists during the 2008 campaign. I made a YouTube video about it then, citing the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and International Herald Tribune. People just didn't want to listen then. I got a few dislikes and negative comments. Maybe this time people won't believe everything Obama tells them.
Howie P.S.: When the sound stops on the video, it's not a mistake. It's a technique.

For Cops And Politicians: "It's Not Up To You" (with image)


"Obama Backers Tied to Lobbies Raise Millions"

President Obama's car, outside a fund-raising brunch for his campaign that Mr. Obama attended in Medina, Wash., in September. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Eric Lichtblau (New York Times):
Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid.

At least 15 of Mr. Obama’s “bundlers” — supporters who contribute their own money to his campaign and solicit it from others — are involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies. They have raised more than $5 million so far for the campaign.

Because the bundlers are not registered as lobbyists with the Senate, the Obama campaign has managed to avoid running afoul of its self-imposed ban on taking money from lobbyists. MORE...

"Why Occupy Wall Street Has Left Washington Behind"

Gordon Lafer (The Nation):
As the weeks tick by, the protests at Zuccotti Park and across the nation are driving home this profound realization: this is a fight that can’t be won by voting. MORE...

Greg Sargent: "The true nature of Obama’s political dilemma"

Greg Sargent:
If Obama reads one thing on the Web today, I hope it’s this piece by Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein. It’s a very well argued takedown of the idea that Obama risks alienating the middle by aggressively drawing a sharp ideological contrast with Republicans over the need for expansive government action amid our severe national crisis.

The key to the piece is its identification of Obama’s political dilemma. As I’ve been noting here regularly, Obama’s problem is that even though the public supports his jobs policies, Republicans are likely to benefit from blocking them anyway — because voters may end up blaming Obama for the sense of dysfunction and continued suffering that will result from government’s failure to act. Winning the moral high ground by forever seeking compromise won’t help matters. Mann and Ornstein put it better:

The voting public might now say that it is more conservative and desirous of a more limited role for government, but that’s more an expression of their general frustration with the state of the economy and the seeming failure of ambitious government initiatives to produce tangible results than their true convictions. Move beyond these labels to ascertain public views on specific policy options and you quickly realize that a conservative swing in public opinion is a chimera...
Maneuvering tirelessly to stake out some elusive political center, in other words, won’t help Obama win over swing voters. It’ll just set him up for another year of looking weak and ineffectual...Obama should likewise know by now that working with a supercommittee whose Republican members are under orders from their House and Senate leaders to oppose all revenue increases is a fool’s errand. And imagining that a substantial center in the American public will respond positively to such an approach is pure fantasy ... if there is any hope of achieving bipartisan policy success, it will come from Republicans believing that blocking the president’s initiatives or offers will cause them political harm...
Obama’s new approach of turning up the heat — by calling out Republicans for their obstruction and their opposition even to ideas they have previously embraced, like a continuing payroll tax cut — actually has more chance of achieving ... policy outcomes ... than his conciliatory approach. Obama, at the center of today’s political spectrum, should therefore be explicit and forceful in communicating the stark differences between the parties and the source of inaction and gridlock in Washington.

The fact that Obama’s actual jobs policies and even his ideological disposition represent the middle of public opinion — even as generalized disapproval of him is running high — is absolutely central to understanding what’s happening in our politics right now. Yet it’s rarely acknowledged by our top shelf pundits. Obama’s best hope for winning Congressional action on the economy is to try to communicate this to Americans as clearly as possible and hope that they come to understand who is responsible for all the paralyis in the face of the crisis. Read the whole thing.

"Occupy Wall Street: The Right's smear machine goes to work"

A woman is dressed as Lady Liberty at an Occupy Seattle rally in downtown Seattle near the Westlake Center on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011.

Joel Connelly:
The Seattle cab driver pulled over and given a ticket, for the offense of honking his horn to support Occupy Seattle, was hit with a greater penalty than bank and home mortgage executives who set off America's Great Recession.

Is it any wonder that national opinion surveys -- the latest, a CBS News/New York Times poll -- show a plurality of Americans supporting the goals of nationwide protests dubbed Occupy Wall Street?

The protests have alarmed the country's right-wing media and its wealthy keeper-manipulators. The tireless promoters of the Tea Party "citizen" protest in 2009 have set out to discredit what has in 2011 become a big, spontaneous -- if loosely organized -- citizen protest. MORE...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"If you don't understand why we are here..." (photo)

H/t to Norman Goldman.

Andy Borowitz: "Concerning Occupy Wall Street---A Letter from Goldman Sachs"

Borowitz Report:
Dear American:

American corporations have taken a beating recently. We’ve been accused of everything from buying elections to subverting the Constitution to being puppet-masters of the Supreme Court.

To these charges we say: Well, duh. MORE...
Howie P.S.: I have to keep reminding myself that Borowitz is a humorist because he doesn't tell any jokes.

H/t to Pamela Eakes.

"Cities Begin Cracking Down on ‘Occupy’ Protests"

"Moises Montoya, a union member in Oakland, delivered a message of congratulations and support for the Occupy Oakland cause."

Protest organizers said many of the troublemakers in Oakland and elsewhere were not part of the Occupy movement, but rather were anarchists or others with simply with a taste for mayhem.

“The people throwing things at police and being violent are not part of our ‘99 Percent’ occupation,” said Momo Aleamotua, 19, a student from Oakland. “They’re not us, and they’re not welcome. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Unlike the tea-baggers, the occupiers don't arrive packin' and pissed.

Greg Sargent: "My 10-year-old son gets it" (image)


Greg Sargent, image.

Bob Marley "Rat Race" (video)

tutlarsen, video (03:00).

(Updated) "Jon Stewart takes aim at Seattle mayor for 'Weather Blunderground' " (video)

UPDATE: Amy Rolph ( links to a longer Stewart clip, video (05:18). "Seattle officials respond to Jon Stewart weatherization joke" is now posted on

KING5, video (02:03):
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is lampooned by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart. The criticism is about the mayor's handling of a home weatherization program. Linda Brill reports.

Greg Sargent: "Populism goes mainstream"

Greg Sargent:
Beyond whatever fate awaits Occupy Wall Street, one thing is now clear: Efforts to marginalize the critique of the current system that the protests embody — and the larger arguments about inequality and economic fairness that they have set in motion — as radical or extreme are proving a complete failure.

Polls are showing that pluralities or majorities agree with the protests — including the moderate voters who are supposed to be culturally alienated by outsized protest tactics. New Yorkers continue to embrace the protests. Dem candidates, refreshingly, are refusing to be frightened away by GOP efforts to tie them to the protesters’ excesses. Top shelf columnists are earnestly discussing the protests as an important phenomenon, regardless of their durability, and concluding that it’s time for a serious national conversation about inequality, economic justice, and what our failure to address these issues portends for the future. Obama advisers are claiming that they will be central to Campaign 2012.

And perhaps most tellingly, the “class warfare” shrieks from the right are growing louder. MORE..
Howie P.S.: I am still waiting for Governor Moonbeam to utter a word or two on this.

Ari Melber: OWS Targets "Governor 1%" (video)

MSNBC-Dylan Ratigan, video (04:25).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SHOUT OUT! to Oakland: "Neil Young Ohio (Live at Massey Hall)" (video)

NME, video (03:26).

"Obama Not Implicated In California Medical Marijuana Crackdown, U.S. Attorney Claims" (with video)

Lucia Graves (HuffPo), with video (03:06):
The crackdown comes even as 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, according to a recently released Gallup poll, up from just 36 percent in 2006.

When asked to respond to the claim that the Obama administration isn't implicated in the decision, Ammiano was indignant.

"Somebody's going to have to fall on their sword about this," he said. "This is becoming more of a mainstream issue. I mean, this was really a mistake." MORE...

Howie P.S.: The last minute of the video is stacked against the use of medical marijuana.

Darcy Burner is running for Congress again (WA-01)

It has come to my attention that Darcy Burner has joined "the crowded field" running for the Democratic nomination for the seat in the U.S. Congress being vacated by Jay Inslee (WA-01).

"Occupy Seattle: THE FUTURE" (video)

Occupy Seattle, video (04:63):
Filmed and edited by MJ Sieber. Music by Joanna Newsom.

"Disappointed Democrats protest Obama's SF visit"

"Demonstrators from the 350 group hold signs as they stand on an original Keith Haring statue before President Obama's appearance in downtown San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011. The 350 group are demonstrators against the Keystone XL pipeline."

Carla Marinucci,Joe Garofoli(SF Chronicle):
In a powerful display of profound disappointment with President Obama, some of the Democratic Party's biggest donors gathered Tuesday - not inside his tony San Francisco fundraiser at the W Hotel, but outside on the sidewalks carrying signs in protest of his policies. MORE...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"DC Douglas' "Why #OccupyWallStreet? 4 Reasons." (video)

lancebaxter, with video (04:25):
Actor, voice over talent and non-political figure D.C. Douglas chimes in with his take on OWS - Occupy Wall Street.

Thanks for the amazing support my video has received! Special thanks to John Cusack, Roseanne Barr, Karoli, OneVoice2,, Charles Gaba & Daily Kos and Lawrence O'Donnell (for airing a portion on The Last Word 10/11/11)!

Video features:
Elizabeth Warren (Bookended)
#OccupyBoston General Assembly
Senator Byron Dorgan
Alan Greenspan
Senator Carl Levin
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
Senator Susan Collins
Daniel Sparks, Goldman Sachs POS
Representative Alan Grayson
Senator Bernie Sanders
Democracy Now Anchor

Matt Taibbi: "OWS's Beef: Wall Street Isn't Winning – It's Cheating" (with video)

Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone) with video (07:23)from CNN:
When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money. MORE...

Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman Talk OWS on ‘Charlie Rose’ (video), video (24:33):
A discussion about Occupy Wall Street with journalist Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

"Sean Lennon at Occupy Wall St, Oct 23, 2011 (Day 37) cover Madonna's Material Girl" (video)

NewYorkRawVideos, with video (05:44):
Recorded October 23, 2011, 6pm. Sean Lennon, his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Rufus Wainwright, Dustin Hamman, and others perform an impromptu cover of "Material Girl" by Madonna ....but not until Josh Fox of the film "Gasland" talks to the crowd about hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking". They dedicate the song to Ben Bernanke, and Hank Paulson.

Seemed they picked this song only because of the verse,
"Living in a material world" which they repeat over, and over again.
H/t to Chris Bowers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dominic Holden: "Three Hours with Occupy Seattle's General Assembly"

Dominic Holden (SLOG):
Last night, Occupy Seattle's General Assembly planned to vote on giving up its nighttime base camp at Westlake Park and moving to Seattle Central Community College.

If you've never been, the General Assembly meets every evening at 6:30 p.m. and makes all final decisions for the "collective." It operates on a system akin to Robert's Rules if Robert had, say, just ingested a pound of ecstasy. MORE...

Howie P.S.: I haven't attended a GA yet but I suspect the "pound" dosage is an exaggeration.


scottmcfann, video (07:12).

MTV's "True Life: I'm Occupying Wall Street" Turns Movement Into Reality Show (with video)

HuffPo with video (04:22):
Though networks typically dispatch embeds during campaign season, MTV took a different approach to the tactic when it dispatched youth into the Occupy Wall Street protests for its show "True Life."

"True Life: I'm Occupying Wall Street" will premiere on Saturday, November 5, at 6 p.m. et. Four MTV embeds protested in Zuccotti Park with Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and immersed themselves in the cause.

The special will take viewers to "the front lines" of the Occupy Wall Street protests and follow the four embeds as they become "swept up in the cause." The special will focus primarily on the point of view of the younger demonstrators whose anger is seemingly focused on the concept that they graduated college and expected to find employment, but have been having difficulty in finding steady jobs during the recession.

Greg Sargent: "For critics of #OWS, it's always 1970"

Greg Sargent:
Conservatives highlighting the excess of Occupy Wall Street, while trying to sound a self-fulfilling prophesy that it will alienate the middle of the country, are trying to exploit a cultural fault line that’s persisted for decades — between ordinary working-class and middle-class voters, and liberal activists who resort to outsized tactics. This time, there isn’t yet any reason to believe it’s working. MORE...

'Occupy' Roundup (with video)

Frank Rich:
What’s as intriguing as Occupy Wall Street itself is that once again our Establishment, left, right, and center, did not see the wave coming or understand what it meant as it broke. Maybe it’s just human nature and the power of denial, or maybe it’s a stubborn strain of all-­American optimism, but at each aftershock since the fall of Lehman Brothers, those at the top have preferred not to see what they didn’t want to see. MORE...
A founder of ‘Occupy Wall Street’ talks about movement’s origin and what comes next"(RAW STORY):
I think also a lot of us have been disappointed by what’s happened with the Obama Administration. I know I can speak for myself that I was really hopeful that we would have some change. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, that not every dream we’d have would be answered, but that we wouldn’t really be seeing the man who promised to close Guantanamo, keep it opened indefinitely, extend wars, give tax cuts to the rich, you know, do all these things you’d expect Bush to do. MORE...
"Occupiers Have to Convince the Other 99 Percent" (Chris Hedges):
The occupation movement’s greatest challenge will be overcoming the deep distrust of white liberals by the poor and the working class, especially people of color. Marginalized people of color have been organizing, protesting and suffering for years with little help or even acknowledgment from the white liberal class. With some justification, those who live in these marginalized communities often view this movement as one dominated by white sons and daughters of the middle class who began to decry police abuse and the lack of economic opportunities only after they and their families were affected. MORE...
"Michael Moore & Cornel West on OWS, Iraq & the Progressive Discontent Obama Faces in ’12 Vote," with video from Democracy Now!:
As Occupy protests against inequality and corporate greed continue across the United States and around the world, we’re joined by Michael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and activist, and Princeton University Professor Cornel West. MORE...

"Obama's war on weed"

Ray Stern (Miami New Times):
In a strange about-face, the president tries to hack medical marijuana off at the knees.---The new federal crackdown on medical marijuana announced on October 7 by the four California U.S. Attorneys sent chills throughout the industry. It was a stunning reversal by the Obama administration. Only two years ago, Deputy U.S. Attorney General David Ogden wrote his infamous "Ogden Memo," announcing the feds wouldn't bother businesses in compliance with their own state laws. It proved a dose of Miracle-Gro to California, where pot-selling stores multiplied since voters approved the state's 1996 medical marijuana law. By late last year, California reportedly had more dispensaries than Starbucks outlets. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Jed Gottlieb (Boston Herald) writes about Ziggy Marley's "uphill battle: the legalization of marijuana" and suggests "he should take a crack at writing that Occupy theme song."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

WA Initiative 502 (Marijuana): "Debating the DUI Question"

Lee (
As for the overall initiative, I still find myself incredibly pained by this whole thing. And depending on how it all plays out in the legislature, it’s likely I’ll vote for it. But I’m still very unhappy that the ACLU and New Approach Washington decided to include the DUI provision. I don’t think it was necessary to pass something. It’s not based on sound science. And now it’s led to an organized effort to kill it from within the ranks of the drug law reform community. I worry that they may have misread the politics behind the failure of Prop 19 in California and will end up having people who normally should support legalization turn against it in large numbers – which doomed the Prop 19 campaign as much as any other factor. No one knows how this will play out, but I do find it ironic that the ACLU was willing to shit on the rights of an unpopular segment of the population in order to have a better chance of securing a popular vote. MORE...

"Posted Prices and the Capitol Hill Stalemate Machine"

Thomas Ferguson (The Washington Spectator):
Under the new rules for the 2008 election cycle, the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] asked rank-and-file members to contribute $125,000 in dues and to raise an additional $75,000 for the party. Subcommittee chairpersons must contribute $150,000 in dues and raise an additional $100,000. Members who sit on the most powerful committees … must contribute $200,000 and raise an additional $250,000. Subcommittee chairs on power committees and committee chairs of non-power committees must contribute $250,000 and raise $250,000. The five chairs of the power committees must contribute $500,000 and raise an additional $1 million. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, and Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel must contribute $800,000 and raise $2.5 million. The four Democrats who serve as part of the extended leadership must contribute $450,000 and raise $500,000, and the nine Chief Deputy Whips must contribute $300,000 and raise $500,000. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must contribute a staggering $800,000 and raise an additional $25 million. MORE...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Obama to Top Bankers: 'I'm Protecting You ... I'm Going to Shield You' (with video)

CEO of JP Morgan, Jaime Dimon

Michael Moore:
On March 27, 2009, President Obama and his economic team met at the White House with the heads of thirteen major U.S. banks: Ken Chenault of American Express; Ken Lewis, Bank of America; Robert Kelly, Bank of New York Mellon; Vikram Pandit, Citigroup; John Koskinen, Freddie Mac; Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs; Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase; John Mack, Morgan Stanley; Rick Waddell, Northern Trust; James Rohr, PNC; Ronald Logue, State Street; Richard Davis, US Bank; and John Stumpf, Wells Fargo.

With the U.S. economy in free fall, the banks the beneficiaries of an extremely unpopular bailout, and a new history-making president in the White House, Wall Street was more politically vulnerable than at any point since the Great Depression in the nineteen thirties.

In his new book Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President, Ron Suskind describes what happened at the meeting: MORE...

Howie P.S.: For some context, here's video (02:00)from "Obama presses bankers to help rebuild US economy" by FRANCE24 from 12/15/09 (nine months later).

"Pete Seeger performs at Occupy Columbus Circle" (with video)

Andrew Jones (RAW STORY), with video (04:01):
Renowned folk singer Pete Seeger performed Friday evening at the Occupy Columbus Circle in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

“The Weavers” band member played his instrument while the crowd sung to “This Little Light of Mine” and “We are the 99 percent.”

"50% of All Workers Made Less than $26,000 in 2010" (with chart)

Derek Thompson (The Atlantic):
Today we get our first look at American wages in 2010 based on payroll taxes reported to the Social Security Administration. David Cay Johnston picks out the most important takeaways, including:

1) Half of all workers made less than $26,364, the median wage in 2010. That means the typical wage is at its lowest level since 1999, after adjusting for inflation. MORE...

Occupy Seattle: "General Assembly notes 10/21" (with audio)

Date/time: 2011-10-21 18:35

Facilitation Team

  • Facilitator: Michael, then Jake
  • Time keeper: Mike
  • Taking stack: Angie
  • Agenda: Russ

Thursday, October 20, 2011

N in Seattle on Joe Sestak

N in Seattle (
As a longtime backer, I wasn’t particularly surprised when I received an email from Sestak a couple of weeks ago. After all, I get messages daily, from dozens and dozens of candidates, legislators, and interest groups. The content, however, was completely unexpected. Noting that he’d soon be here in Seattle (though he didn’t mention the reason for the visit), he invited me and his other Washington supporters to join him for coffee on Saturday so that he could thank us for our help. That was all … just to thank us, just to meet us. No request for a check or Paypal or credit card, not even to “retire his campaign debt”. There was no “ask” of any sort. MORE...

"Lincoln points Obama to the high ground"

E.J. Dionne Jr.(WaPo):
Can President Obama take advantage of the egalitarian sentiment let loose in the country by the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations? Would doing so be consistent with the moderate, conciliatory persona he has cultivated?

The best response comes not from polls but from history. MORE...

Goldy puts McGinn "on the spot" (video) and "What Constitutes a Victory for Occupy Seattle?"

"Mayor McGinn Stands With the People at Occupy U-Village" (Goldy-SLOG) with video (01:05):
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (and his iPhone) stopped by University Village this morning to celebrate the grand opening of the new Microsoft Store. Watch as McGinn explains why nobody camping outside the Microsoft Store was arrested.

As always, please excuse the crappy videography; my cameraman was drunk. On the other hand, there's no excuse for McGinn's nervous laugh.
Howie P.S.: I keep telling Goldy he can be the next (or the first, if you prefer) great stand-up political comedian. On a more serious note: Eli Sanders on "What Constitutes a Victory for Occupy Seattle?"

"Sgt. Shamar Thomas Discusses His Experience Confronting the NYPD in Times Square" (video)

Crooks and Liars, with video (05:40):
Countdown's Keith Olbermann talked to former Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas about his experience confronting the police in Times Square during the #OWS protests where he defended the occupiers right to assemble and march peacefully.

Thomas explained he became inspired to get more involved in the protests after seeing some of the police brutality during the first week in October.

"The Neocons Are Coming!"

Leslie H. Gelb (The Daily Beast):
No, no, no, writes Leslie H. Gelb, to the neoconservatives once again rising from the undead to lead America to another war, bigger Pentagon budgets, and a bizarre blame game over Iraq. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Gelb and I share a birthday, among other things.

"Micah White from Ad Busters" on OWS (with videos)

Whatstrending, video (09:50):.
Micah White from Ad Busters Skypes in to talk about the origins and phenomenal growth of Occupy Wall Street.
Howie P.S.: TPM has "Occupy Wall Street Demographic Survey Results Will Surprise You.". Noillusionz has produced what may be the first television commercial for a protest movement, video, (00:33). Nicholas Kristof extends the OWS inequality message to the education arena: "Occupy the Classroom." Zaid Jilani (Think Progress) takes the imapact of OWS in another direction: "Thanks To The 99 Percent Movement, Media Finally Covering Jobs Crisis And Marginalizing Deficit Hysteria."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Occupy (We the 99)" (video) (Updated)

"The Occupy Wall Street movement that started in New York City spread to Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C."

UPDATE: National Journal poll; "Most Back Protests, Surtax.".

jasirix with video (03:12):
Filmed live at Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Pittsburgh by Director Paradise Gray, Jasiri X reconnects with super producer Cynik Lethal to provide a soundtrack for this growing movement that has taken the world by storm. We gonna Occupy!

Preview: "Pearl Jam Twenty" (video)

Watch Pearl Jam Twenty on PBS. See more from American Masters.

KCTS, with video (03:00):
Director and music journalist Cameron Crowe creates a definitive portrait of the seminal band carved from never-before-seen footage, recent band interviews, and concert footage. The two-hour documentary gives an intimate glimpse into Pearl Jam's journey in honor of the band's 20th anniversary. Pearl Jam Twenty premieres nationally Friday, October 21 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on PBS (check local listings).
Howie P.S.: This may seem obvious: Click on "Watch Preview."

Papantonio: "Eric Cantor's Brain Occupied" (video)

golefttv, with video (03:29):
Mike Papantonio appears on MSNBC's The Ed Show to discuss Eric Cantor's sudden change of heart regarding the Occupy Wall Street protestors -- a group that just a few days ago he referred to as a "mob."
Howie P.S.: Joan Walsh is also in the segment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sam Seder: "The one and only Matt Taibbi" on OWS (with audio and video)

The Majority Report, with audio (51:41) and video (03:31).

Howie P.S.: Taibbi doesn't show up until around (12:40) in the audio because Sam first had to bring us some Victoria Jackson.

The New Yorker 'Covers' Occupy Wall Street

This cover was just posted online. I got it from Ari Melber's Facebook page.

Occupy Wall Street Still Occupying (live stream)

Watch live streaming video from occupynyc at

OCCUPYNYC, live streaming video.

Matt Taibbi: "Why Rush Limbaugh Is Freaking Out About Occupy Wall Street" (with video)

Matt Taibbi with video (08:15) from MEDIAite:
This isn't evidence that mainstream politicians are caving to the movement, of course, but what it does show is that those same politicians are endorsing OWS rhetoric, and by extension tacitly admitting the basic truth of the great-many-versus-very-few protest narrative.

Rush chalks this up to a media deception, a mirage of TV images and “media-Democrat-industrial complex” manipulations designed to con the country into believing in the existence of a mass movement.

The reality, of course, is that people like Rush, Romney and Obama are all becoming cognizant of the deep frustrations that exist across the political spectrum and are growing desperate to prevent the powder keg from blowing completely – hence the intense effort to describe OWS as a top-down manipulation. MORE...

"Howard Dean speaks to Georgia Democrats" (video)

GAJournalist, video (08:28):
Howard Dean speaking at a Georgia House Democratic Caucus and Democratic Party of Georgia Event on October 7, 2011 at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta.

Joan Walsh: "The new e pluribus unum: We are the 99 percent” (with video)

Joan Walsh (Salon) with video (14:42) from The ED Show:
Wow, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is running a little scared now. Ten days ago, he denounced Occupy Wall Street as a “growing mob.” On Fox News Sunday, he softened his stance, agreeing “there is too much income disparity” and promising to work on getting the top 1 percent to create jobs and opportunity for the rest of us.

In fact, Cantor said Monday that he’s going to deliver his very own speech on income disparity “and how Republicans believe the government could help fix it” on Friday. A spokesman elaborated: Cantor will talk about on how Washington can assist “a single working mom…a small business owner..and how we make sure the people at the top stay there.”
But what about the Democrats? Is it a given they’ll benefit from the organizing of OWS? I don’t think it’s a given, and I don’t think it should be. On MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” I had the honor to follow Van Jones, founder of the Rebuild the American Dream movement, who expressed progressives’ chagrin at being ignored by the Obama team, if not dismissed as “retarded,” over the last three years. OWS is very wary of being co-opted by Democrats, Jones noted, and he suggested a better outcome was for the Democratic Party to be co-opted by OWS. MORE...

"Bernie Sanders: ‘Occupy’ protests pushing Obama to stand with working people" (with video)

RAW STORY with video (03:18) from Countdown:
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Monday night that the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration presented Barack Obama with an opportunity to stand with working people and push for a new jobs bill.

“I think what the president is catching on to is that the American people want him to stand up tall and straight on behalf of working families who are struggling desperately today and take on the big money interests who are so powerful and the wealthiest people who are doing phenomenally well,” he said. MORE...

"Barack Obama’s OWS problem"

Steve Kornacki (Salon):
Glenn Greenwald noted last week, there are plenty of reasons for OWS supporters to conclude that Obama — who, don’t forget, was Wall Street’s candidate in 2008 — and the top Democrats in Washington are guilty of enabling Wall Street’s most destructive behavior and of paying too much lip service without action to the cause of “the 99 percent.” This may be what is drawing many of them to OWS — a belief that even well-meaning leaders of their own party are no match for the forces that really call the shots in America. If that’s the case, then Obama will need to do more than point fingers at Republicans if he wants to turn OWS into his own Tea Party. MORE...

Chris Hedges on "where the Occupy movement has come from and where it is heading" (video)

OccupyTVNY, video (06:58):
On October 15th Occupy TVNY met with Pullitzer prize-winning author and journalist Chris Hedges in Times Square, New York City where tens of thousands of people assembled on a global day of action. Chris shares his feelings on where the Occupy movement has come from and where it is heading.

Monday, October 17, 2011

BREAKING "Police remove Occupy Seattle tents from Westlake Park"

KING5 News:
Posted on October 17, 2011 at 7:03 AM

Updated today at 7:11 AM

SEATTLE – Police moved into Westlake Park Monday morning and began removing the tents of the Occupy Seattle protesters who defied orders not to camp in the park.

Around 6:30 a.m., officers could be moving through the park. While they moved some tents, it appeared from SkyKING that some of the protesters began tearing down tents on their own.

There were unconfirmed reports of two arrests.

Westbound Pine Street between Fifth and Fourth avenues was closed around 7 a.m. Metro Transit reported that routes 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 43 and 49 were being re-routed for about two hours. Riders were advised to use the stop at Pine Street east of Seventh Avenue.

The city has tried to move the demonstrators to City Hall Plaza and out of the retail core.

Some demonstrators say they'll remain in Westlake Park to carry on their protest against corporate power.

Two weeks ago, 25 people were arrested when police forced protesters to remove their tents.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Nation: "Seattle: Occupied since October 1"

Paolo Cravero (the Nation):
On October 1 Seattle officially joined the nationwide “Occupy” protests by marching in the city’s financial district in downtown Seattle and organizing a permanent camp in Westlake Park. According to OccupySeattle organizers, 1,500 people participated in the first demonstration and about 300 people are regularly occupying the public plaza. The movement came together after witnessing what was going on at Occupy Wall Street, says Aliana, a media spokesperson of Occupy Seattle. “We felt a connection with them,” she adds “and we are trying to convey the same message.”

The protest in Seattle has been peaceful, with few arrests in the past weeks; but things may be about to change. On October 12, Mayor Mike McGinn announced that he had instructed the Parks Department and the Seattle Police to enforce the rules at Westlake Park—no tents, camping or remaining in the park after 10 pm. Two arrests followed the same night. But just hours after the announcement, hundreds of college students from local campuses joined the protest in Westlake Park. In their speeches they were clear in saying that the Occupy movement is “the most important, grass-roots social movement in a generation.”

"Seattle, Occupied"

DEFENDING WESTLAKE Protesters link arms on October 5 to protect their encampment. Police arrested 25 protesters that day.

Paul Constant, Goldy, Dominic Holden, Cienna Madrid and Eli Sanders (The Stranger):
The city's reaction to their presence has been confusing at best. Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle police have been playing the role of abusive husband to the Occupy protests. During the daytime, they are considerate and thoughtful—at one point when protesters were blocking Fourth Avenue and Pike Street to traffic, police negotiated with leaders to open the road back up, avoiding any WTO-style pepper-spray baths—but at night they become cruel. After a rally and march on Saturday, October 8, Seattle police occupied the dry space under the awnings, turning their bikes into barricades and refusing to let protesters protect themselves from the cold rain. Thus far, McGinn will be best remembered as the Seattle mayor who outlawed umbrellas: For reasons that are hard to fathom, umbrellas on the ground were deemed "structures," which he banned in Westlake Park, but if you were "standing and holding" an umbrella, a policeman explained, you were fine. You were also allowed to lie on the pavement under a tarp.

McGinn has blown what could have been an opportunity to be as forward-thinking as the mayor of Portland. Hell, if he had gotten behind the Occupy movement as quickly as some members of his staff are rumored to have suggested, he could right now be gracing magazine covers as the Mayor of Occupied America. Instead he's come across as a quavering, equivocating doofus who doesn't recognize the future when it's literally parked in the center of his own city. MORE...

Matt Taibbi: "Can Wall Street Protests Succeed?" (video), video (09:13):
Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi on the need for clarity from the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
Howie P.S.: Mr. Taibbi is interviewed by Mr. Imus.

Partisan Wisdom on the Job Creators

Steve Benen: of the key reasons the GOP plans are so vague, while the White House plan is a detailed piece of legislation — the latter lends itself to meaningful scrutiny, while the former makes for nice sound bites on Fox News.

Shouldn’t it tell the political world something important when there are two alternatives to job creation, and one is terrified of economic analysis and examination? MORE...
H/t to Greg Sargent.

"The Actor, the Student, and the Mom" (three faces of Occupy Seattle-with photos)

Their high-risk derivatives almost bankrupted the world.
"Their high-risk derivatives almost bankrupted the world."

Posted by Eli Sanders on Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 6:00 PM-Interviews by Cienna Madrid(SLOG):

Brandon Whitehead, 38

Second day of protesting

"They do hate me. My American dream is different from theirs. I dream of regulating Wall Street, of affordable housing and medicare for everyone. And they hate me for it. Their high-risk derivatives almost bankrupted the world. I want marriage equality. No more war. I want to see an end to corporate tax loopholes and the notion that corporations are people. I want to encourage people to vote, not discourage them. I want a strong and educated middle class. And because of that, they hate me."

Higher education is too expensive.
  • "Higher education is too expensive."

Spencer Alexander, 23
Ecology student at Evergreen State College in Olympia
First day of protesting

"I’d like to see a change in the food system. There are a lot of people in Olympia every day wondering—trying to figure out—where their next meal is coming from. And a lot of them end up eating less than optimal meals—processed foods that are unhealthy. Also, higher education is too expensive and it narrows down who has access to information and a good future. There are a lot of dreams left unfulfilled."

Our founding fathers warned us about corporations.
  • "Our founding fathers warned us about corporations."

Denise Henrikson, 46
Contractor for the US Department of Labor, and a mom
Third day of protesting

"The bankers are paying for our politicians—they dictate our national and global policies. The politicians are sucking up to bankers. Our founding fathers warned us about corporations. They tried to prevent this mess. We have to get their money out of politics—it would change everything."

"Occupy Seattle | Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011" (Photo Gallery)


Seattle Times, with photo gallery:
Shortly after 5pm the group re-occupied Westlake Park with more than 50 tents.

"Thousands protest in Seattle in 'Occupy' movement" (with video)

Tonya Mosley (KING 5 News), with video (02:54):
A sea of people flowed through downtown Seattle streets Saturday in a global action day for the "Occupy Movement."

About 3,000 people crammed into Seattle's Westlake Park on Saturday before marching toward a Chase Bank branch.

Mark and Misha Randall rode the bus from south Seattle.

"We just kind of had our coffee, looked at the paper and thought yeah, let's go down there,” said Misha.

They say the story the world needs to hear is the one they are living.

"I'm starting over. I'm 41 years old and effectively it's wipe the slate clean, it's a do over as if I’m graduating out of high school, you know,” said Misha.

"I was working for a company that had Washington Mutual as a client; when that company failed my job went away within five months and I haven't worked since then,” she said.

"I'm 56 years old and I've worked since I was 14,” said Mark. "We already tried Wall Street and our investments, we tried real estate and that tanked so what do we do, where do you go."

"There's just a fundamental unfairness to it. You work hard, you do what you're supposed to do and that's completely shifted,” said Misha.

And so the Randalls marched with the others.

"The American dream used to be home ownership and now it's just can I save my home,” said Misha.

Mayor Mike McGinn has said those who stay past the park’s closing time of 10 p.m. would be arrested. McGinn has invited them to stay at city hall.

The folks pitching tents said they would stay until they were forced out.

Protests also took place in Tacoma, Olympia, Spokane and in Vancouver, Wash. The Occupy Wall Street movement began about a month ago and has inspired similar protests around the globe.
Howie P.S.: McGinn's threat to arrest people after 10 p.m. appears to have been hollow. If you watch the video, watch/listen to the male anchor convert "pitch tents" into "pitch t*ts, perhaps having been distracted by the reporter's cleavage.

Seattle: "Protest swells at Westlake Park on Saturday" (wiith video)

Emily Heffter and Brian M. Rosenthal (Seattle Times): with video (01:17) from KCPQ-13.
By late Saturday night, at least 150 tents had been set up in Westlake Park, in defiance of the site's 10 p.m. curfew. But there was no show of police force in the area, and no arrests had been made when The Seattle Times went to press. City parks officials left at 10:45 p.m. and said they didn't plan to return until 7 a.m. Sunday.
A "leaderless movement" that started one month ago in New York City's Zuccotti Park, the Occupy protests have spread around the country — Occupy Omaha, Occupy Harrisburg, Occupy Utica — and gained traction internationally (Occupy Perth, Occupy Zagreb, Occupy Helsinki).

The Seattle contingent spent much of Saturday marching, hoisting signs and debating where to pitch their tents.

Police officers were stationed along the edge of Westlake Park as the protesters' numbers grew over the lunch hour from a couple hundred to enough to fill the park and spill over onto Pine Street. At about 3 p.m., the group marched to Chase Bank, with some protesters burning their bank cards to express frustration with corporate America.

At about 5 p.m., hundreds of protesters sat down on Fourth Avenue at Pike Street, chanting and playing drums while the police stopped traffic and confined the protest to a half-block. MORE...