Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Garfield Students: "Fund Our Future"

Garfield students hang banner overlooking rally at City Hall.Goldy | The Stranger

David Goldstein (SLOG):
Organizers of today's march and rally of Garfield High School students couldn't have hoped for a better outcome. Several hundred students walked out of school around 12:30 pm to protest continued cuts in education funding, and marched to a rally in the city hall plaza. It was a large, enthusiastic, and diverse crowd—"The most diverse Garfield event I've ever been to," one student told me—and well behaved almost to a fault. Every time a student strayed into the street, others would call for them to stay on sidewalk, and bike cops had to repeatedly yell at students to continue crossing against the crosswalk light. It made for slow going.

Students, parents, teachers, and administrators should be proud. MORE...

(Updated) Seattle: "Garfield students march" (video)

UPDATE: Goldy has now posted "The students united will never be defeated," video (00:34): "Garfield High students rally at Seattle City Hall."
Howie P.S.: Today I am the proud parent of a recent Garfield graduate.

Tube3HA, video (00:47):
Protesting education cuts hundreds of Garfield high students march to Seattle City Hall.

The ED Show: Exclusive "Occupy" interview: Scott Olsen

MSNBC-ED Show, with video (06:06):
Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran who had his skull fractured at an Occupy Oakland protest in October, made his first live television interview last night (Nov. 29) on MSNBC’s The Ed Show.

Introducing him as a "tough Wisconsin kid," host Ed Schultz asked Olsen, 24, how he was doing. MORE...

"Ranking says life is good in Seattle, but it’s no Canada"

Vienna, Austria ranked top in the world for quality of life. (Getty Images) (slide show).

Howie P.S.: OH well, Seattle is #48.

Joel Connelly on Occupy Olympia

Protesters, including Regan Bailey, center left, and Heather McKimmie, center right, both of Seattle, demonstrate against budget cuts outside the capitol in Olympia on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, on the first day of a special session of the Washington state Legislature.Photo: AP, Ted S. Warren / AP

Joel Connelly (
The Legislature ought to be putting on the ballot a proposal to close tax loopholes enjoyed by out-of-state banks, or perhaps a modest per-barrel tax on oil companies to restore cuts in cleanup and conservation programs.

Still, sometimes, you take what you can get and come back later for more. The approach has worked -- to near perfection -- in establishing and expanding rights for same-sex couples. Marriage equality is a distinct possibility in next year's regular session of the Legislature.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Ray Kachel took a bus from Seattle to join O.W.S."

Photograph by Wayne Lawrence.

George Packer (The New Yorker):

Until this fall, Ray Kachel had lived virtually all of his fifty-three years within a few miles of his birthplace, in Seattle. He was a self-taught Jack-of-all-trades in the computer industry, who bought his first Mac in 1984. He attended Seattle Central Community College but dropped out; not long afterward, he was hired by a company that specialized in optical character recognition, transferring printed material into digital records for storage. Eventually, Kachel was laid off, but for a long time he continued to make a decent living; keeping up with advances in audio and video production, he picked up freelance work editing online content. He also programmed and played keyboards in a band, and had a gig as a night-club d.j.; sometimes, between technology jobs, he worked in his adoptive parents’ janitorial business. He spent his money on a few pleasures, like microbrewery beer and DVDs. His favorite movie was “Stalker,” the 1979 sci-fi film by Andrei Tarkovsky. “Three guys traipsing through the woods—it’s visually and aurally very, very strange,” Kachel said. “Tarkovsky is famous for painfully long takes, creating an environment that’s uncomfortable without it being clear why.” MORE...

Natalia Abrams on Occupy Colleges: “Our Schools Are Run Just Like Corporations” (video)

MSNBC-Dylan Ratigan, with video (10:02):
Occupy Wall Street protests are staying at the top of the news across the country this week after students across the country hit the streets in a planned general strike — mostly in reaction to the pepper spray incident at the UC Davis campus, and to planned tuition hikes at public universities. MORE...

Harry Shearer; "Ballad of the Pepper Spray Cop" (audio)

Harry Shearer on SOUNDCLOUD, audio (03:02). Harry says
Not a theme song. A meme song. Originally broadcast on Le Show.
Howie P.S.: The Washington Post finds this work of art worthy of their attention and features this line from the lyrics:
“When push comes to shove / what you need isn’t love / it’s a spritz from above / from the pepper spray cop.”
What is weird for me is that I first started enjoying Shearer's political satire almost 45 years ago when he was writing for the UCLA Daily Bruin and I was a fledgling political activist there.

Goldy: This is "Occupy Olympia" (video)

Tube3HA, video (03:13):
After the rallies and before the state troopers wielded their Tasers, protesters peacefully occupied the Capitol Building in Olympia, WA.

"Inside Job, Narrated by Matt Damon" (Full Length HD video)

jwrock, video (01:48:39):

'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"It’s A Liberty Walk! Miley Cyrus Releases Music Video Standing Up For Occupy Wall Street" (with video)

Josh Feldman (MEDIAite) with video (02:56) from mileyofficialonline:
We’ve already accepted it’s a slow news day, so we might as well talk about Miley Cyrus. The teen pop sensation (I think that’s the right word) released a new music video this week standing up for the Occupy Wall Street protestors. And by “standing up for,” I mean using footage from the protests and combining them with generic messages about standing up for what you believe in and never giving up and whatever else pop music is about these days. MORE...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A post-Black Friday Fable: "Town keeps Walmart out, opens own store" (with video)

CBS NEWS, with video (04:22):
When the residents of Saranac Lake, NY were faced with having a Super Wal-Mart put in, some 600 residents came together to open their own department store. CBS News business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis reports.
H/t to Occupy Seattle.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"A Thanksgiving Reflection: Looking Beyond Election Day"

Robert Reich:
Most political analysis of America’s awful economy focuses on whether it will doom President Obama’s reelection or cause Congress to turn toward one party or the other. These are important questions, but we should really be looking at the deeper problems with which whoever wins in 2012 will have to deal.

Not to depress you, but our economic troubles are likely to continue for many years — a decade or more. At the current rate of job growth (averaging 90,000 new jobs per month over the last six months), 14 million Americans will remain permanently unemployed. The consensus estimate is that at least 90,000 new jobs are needed just to keep up with the growth of the labor force. Even if we get back to a normal rate of 200,000 new jobs per month, unemployment will stay high for at least ten years. Years of high unemployment will likely result in a vicious cycle, as relatively lower spending by the middle-class further slows job growth. MORE...

Nicholas Kristof: "President as Piñata"

Nicholas Kristof:
President Obama came into office with expectations that Superman couldn’t have met. Many on the left believed what the right feared: that Obama was an old-fashioned liberal. But the president’s cautious centrism soured the left without reassuring the right.

Like many, I have disappointments with Obama. He badly underestimated the length of this economic crisis, and for a man with a spectacular gift at public speaking, he has been surprisingly inept at communicating.

But as we approach an election year, it is important to acknowledge the larger context: Obama has done better than many critics on the left or the right give him credit for. MORE...
H/t to Zachary Carlsen.

"What caused the financial crisis? The Big Lie goes viral."

Barry Ritholtz (WaPo-oped):
One group has been especially vocal about shaping a new narrative of the credit crisis and economic collapse: those whose bad judgment and failed philosophy helped cause the crisis.

Rather than admit the error of their ways — Repent! — these people are engaged in an active campaign to rewrite history. They are not, of course, exonerated in doing so. And beyond that, they damage the process of repairing what was broken. They muddy the waters when it comes to holding guilty parties responsible. They prevent measures from being put into place to prevent another crisis.

Here is the surprising takeaway: They are winning. Thanks to the endless repetition of the Big Lie.

A Big Lie is so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. There are many examples: Claims that Earth is not warming, or that evolution is not the best thesis we have for how humans developed. Those opposed to stimulus spending have gone so far as to claim that the infrastructure of the United States is just fine, Grade A (not D, as the we discussed last month), and needs little repair.

Wall Street has its own version: Its Big Lie is that banks and investment houses are merely victims of the crash. You see, the entire boom and bust was caused by misguided government policies. It was not irresponsible lending or derivative or excess leverage or misguided compensation packages, but rather long-standing housing policies that were at fault.

Indeed, the arguments these folks make fail to withstand even casual scrutiny. But that has not stopped people who should know better from repeating them. MORE...

Sable Verity: "The Occupy Seattle movement has gone from bad to worse - it’s time to occupy home"

Sable Verity:

Last month I wrote about the growing failings of the Occupy Seattle movement and the Occupy movement in general.

I said Occupy is a failed effort that lacks, among other things, organization, unified messages and overall purpose. Aside from taking up space, demanding attention and stroking each other’s misguided interpretation of revolution, Occupy, especially in Seattle, isn’t actually doing much to create the change it claims to want so desperately.

A month later, the same observations ring true. Things have only gotten worse. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Please discuss this among yourselves.

"A Statement from the General Assembly of Occupy Portland"

Occupy Portland:
We remind the people of Portland and the people of the world that we
have come together to address the deepest problems of our economic and
political system, and that these problems have no easy solutions—
especially when those openly seeking the solutions are painted as
filthy, ignorant, violent hooligans by those with a vested interest
in maintaining the current broken system. We remind them who we are:
mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, the unemployed and
underemployed, students, teachers, government employees, laborers, and
pensioners. We remind them, two months after this movement began, and
on the eve of the most lucrative commercial day of the year, to not
lose sight of the original animation of this movement. MORE...

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Occupy Everywhere: Michael Moore, Naomi Klein on Next Steps for the Movement Against Corporate Power" (video)

Democracy Now! with video (58:56):
How does the Occupy Wall Street movement move from "the outrage phase" to the "hope phase," and imagine a new economic model? In a Democracy Now! special broadcast, we bring you excerpts from a recent event that examined this question and much more. "Occupy Everywhere: On the New Politics and Possibilities of the Movement Against Corporate Power," a panel discussion hosted by The Nation magazine and The New School in New York City, features Oscar-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore; Naomi Klein, best-selling author of the "Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism"; Rinku Sen of the Applied Research Center and publisher of ColorLines; Occupy Wall Street organizer Patrick Bruner; and veteran journalist William Greider, author of "Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country." [includes rush transcript]
Howie P.S.: Naomi Klein, underlying the significance of the Occupy Movement, says "This is a no kidding around moment." Joe Biden, if he could, might say it in his own way.

Black Friday and OWS Compared


H/t to Shirley Cedillo.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am thankful for Janeane Garofalo (with video)

MEDIAite with video (03:24) from Countdown on Current TV:
Appearing on Countdown Wednesday evening with guest host David Shuster, actress-comedienne Janeane Garofalo criticized the Republican’s 2012 political strategy of labeling President Obama as elitist — or “uppity” as Rush Limbaugh has on his program. “It always works on a certain segment of the population. If you are trying to appeal to the worst in us,” Garofalo observed. “Quite literally, the worst in us and you’re trying to go to the limbic brain of anxiety, fear, intolerance, hatred, bitterness, ignorance, you have to just use these very simple, as they say, dog whistle words.” MORE...

"Occupy Seattle camp" (slideshow)


2011 Thanksgiving Roundup

President Barack Obama speaks on the economy and jobs to a New Hampshire crowd on Tuesday. Credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Raymond Gellner (Liberal Examiner):
President Barack Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus bill which was passed in Congress during the first month of his Administration and which received opposition from all but three Congressional Republicans has thus far resulted in the employment for 5 million or more Americans according to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2011 third quarter ARRA accounting report released on Tuesday. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Here's little more time-sensitive information for your Thanksgiving:
...the tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey only dates back to 1989, with president George H.W. Bush’s first official Presidential turkey pardon. According to, an old story had circulated that President Abraham Lincoln had pardoned the first turkey in 1863.

The story says that Lincoln’s son Tad became so attached to a Christmas turkey that it was kept as a pet. Lincoln didn’t pardon the turkey, he just let his son keep the bird. MORE...
Howie P.P.S.: To be clear, I am not saying that there is a complete moral equivalency (saving jobs=pardoning turkeys) here. Finally, Glenn Greenwald offers us something else to be thankful for today; "Bush and Blair found guilty of war crimes for Iraq attack." H/t to Marcia Kato.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"SCCC Board Proposal to Ban Camping on College Property! Come Support Occupy Seattle Today at Noon!"

Occupy Seattle:
Jill Wakefield requested a special meeting for noon today (11/23) so the district's board of trustees can vote on an emergency proposal to ban camping on college property. The ban, which would take effect immediately, is aimed solely at Occupy Seattle's camp at the Seattle Central Community College on Capitol Hill.

Special Board Meeting Notification

Please be informed that a special Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled to be held on November 23, 2011, at 12 noon in the Seattle Community College District Office Boardroom, 1500 Harvard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122.






Fifteen minutes are regularly set aside for others to express their views on any matter except those restricted to Executive Session. Anyone wishing to speak to the items on this meeting Agenda will be recognized when the item is being discussed.

Proposed Emergency Rule on Camping

"Occupy Protester Passes Obama A Note Criticizing His ‘Silence’ Over ‘Police Brutality’" (with video)


MEDIAite with video (01:00) from C-SPAN:
Following a speech at a Manchester high school in New Hampshire, an Occupy protester handed President Obama a note that criticized his “silence” over the “police brutality” going on over the protests. Obama took the note, paused and studied its contents for a few moments before continuing on to shake hands at the event.MORE...

WA: "Make plans to Occupy the Capitol next week"

the STAND:
On Monday, Nov. 28, the Washington State Legislature will convene for a special legislative session called by Gov. Chris Gregoire with plans to cut another $2 billion in state services. This is on top of the $10 billion in cuts over the past three years, which have eliminated thousands of jobs, cost families their health care coverage, increased school class sizes, sent college tuition skyrocketing, and shredded our social safety net.

Washington citizens opposed to these cuts plan to occupy our State Capitol in Olympia during the special session to tell our lawmakers that we have had enough! The Washington State Labor Council is urging all union activists and supporters of good jobs and our quality of life in this state to participate in these actions. MORE...

Joan Walsh: "Should liberals be more thankful for Obama?" (with video)

Joan Walsh (Salon) with video (08:13) from MSNBC:
I got to debate Jonathan Chait about his much-discussed New York magazine piece, “When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?” on “Hardball” Tuesday night. He’s aiming at President Obama’s liberal critics, but in fact his article proves that criticism is nothing new. Apparently, we’ve always been unreasonable, because Chait’s survey of Democratic presidents going back to FDR finds that the left has always found a reason to squawk. But he seems to think we’re particularly unreasonable when it comes to Obama. With Thanksgiving ahead, I found myself wondering whether liberals should be more grateful to the president. MORE...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"Gregoire, clearly pissed, gave an uncharacteristically tough defense of her "demoralized" state workforce" (with video)

Eli Sanders (SLOG) with video (46:54):
After she announced her drive for a half-cent sales tax increase yesterday, Governor Chris Gregoire was asked the above question by a reporter.

In response, Gregoire, clearly pissed, gave an uncharacteristically tough defense of her "demoralized" state workforce.

"Wait a minute, wait a minute," Gregoire said, leaving the podium to grab a large chart that she could hold over the reporter's head. "I don't know how you can say that."

State workers are already sitting next to empty desks and having to do more because so many of their colleagues have been let go, Gregoire said. Now she's proposing to lay off another 1,500 state workers to deal with the current $2 billion budget shortfall. Plus, out of the $10.5 billion that's been cut from the state budget over the last three years, 19 percent of those cuts—almost $2 billion worth—have come out of salaries and compensation for state-employed K-12 workers. "They have stepped up," Gregoire declared, returning to her point that it's now time for voters to step up and approve a small, temporary revenue increase to pay for basic state services.

Watch the video and see a new Gregoire emerging, finally, as she heads into her last year in office.

Howie P.S.: ‎"Why should the voters be willing to sacrifice for themselves if the state worker unions are not willing to do the same?" was the original question Gregoire was asked. Gregoire's defense of state workers comes at about 38:00 in the embedded video above.

Sam Seder; 12 Hour Marathon Highlights (audio)

Sam Seder (majorityfm):
Today's show, w/ @chrislhayes & Janeane "Katherine Harris" Garofalo from our 12 Hour Anniversary Show, is now up!
Howie P.S.: This is what you call a "podcast." Hayes is the 'serious' one and Janeane is the 'funny.' If you're like me, listening to Janeane is the treat you get after hearing Chris Hayes being very intellectual and analytical.

Michael Moore: "Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here?"

Michael Moore:
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement's "vision statement" to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street: MORE...

Sarah Palin promotes a vegetarian Thanksgiving (video)

papakilatube, video (03:09):

Ari Melber and Gene Robinson on Mitt's Lie (video)

MSNBC, video (09:19):
Ari says "Here's my discussion of Romney's lying ad and the impact of OWS, with Martin Bashir and Gene Robinson."
Howie P.S.: Ari (our hometown boy) co-stars here with the Pulitzer Prize winning Robinson.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

(Updated) Rob McKenna's "Promises" (video)

UPDATE: Goldy elaborates:
Rob McKenna keeps promising to spend billions more on education, which is a good thing, I guess, except he won't tell us how he plans to pay for it, other than diverting money from revenue growth and efficiency savings that simply are not there. Essentially, either McKenna can't do math, or he's hoping we can't.

Think about it. Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposed half cent sales tax increase would raise a little more than half a billion dollars a year, and only stave off some of the proposed further cuts to education. Yet McKenna is proposing spending an additional $5 billion on education, without raising taxes.

No doubt it's smart politics for McKenna to run as the "education governor," but unless he backs it up with actual revenue, it's just plain dishonest. MORE...

Washdems, video (01:43).

Robert Reich:"Why We Must Occupy Democracy" (with video)

Robert Reich with video (02:16):
You've been seeing this across the country... Americans assaulted, clubbed, dragged, pepper-sprayed... Why? For exercising their right to free speech and assembly -- protesting the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the top.

And what's Washington's response? Nothing. In fact, Congress's so-called "super committee" just disbanded because Republicans refuse to raise a penny of taxes on the rich. MORE..

"Washington is 49th in the nation in class size."

Jadzia Imani (
Say "NO" to gutting WA State Public Education---To be delivered to: The Washington State House, The Washington State Senate and Governor Christine Gregoire
Stop the cutbacks to Washington state public education. Find another way to make up for the shortfall in the state budget. Sign the petition here. MORE...

Papantonio: "Places To Occupy Next"

golefttv, video (09:39):
When a small group of protestors began to Occupy Wall Street two months ago, no one could have imagined that the movement would have spread across the globe in just a month's time. Instead of disappearing like the folks at Fox News had predicted, the movement is growing with each passing day, as more and more people are becoming fed up with the way corporate America has treated them. The big question now is, what is the next step? Mike Papantonio talks about that next step with investigative journalist Daniel Denvir.

Michelle Obama to students on "the importance of following their passions and chasing their dreams" (video), video (100:41):
First Lady Michelle Obama talks to students about the importance of following their passions and chasing their dreams before a workshop with musicians Lyle Lovett, Darius Rucker, and Kris Kristofferson.

(Updated) "Wash. governor proposes temp sales tax increase"

However, $282 million of her recommendations would require two-thirds support from the Legislature or would have to go to a public vote.

Those recommendations include a business and occupation tax on oil companies and financial institutions with windfall profits. MORE...
Howie P.S.: This proposal is a little something to be thankful for but it's deader than your Thanksgiving turkey and it hasn't even reached the table. If you want to hear about this in Seattle from The Governor today, you're in luck!: "Governor Gregoire visiting SSCC on Tuesday, Nov. 22; Education cuts are on her agenda"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sam Seder-"Our Interview with Fran Lebowitz (with audio)[11•17•11]"

Sam Seder-Majority Report, with audio (33:39).

Click on "Listen Live" here, on the > on the right.

Howie P.S.: This is MUST LISTEN.

Frank Rich: "What Killed JFK?"

Frank Rich (New York Magazine):
Thanksgiving week is a milestone for Barack Obama, but not one that many are likely to commemorate. The president who seemed poised to inherit John F. Kennedy’s mantle—in the eyes of Kennedy’s last surviving child and brother as well as many optimistic onlookers (me included) in 2008—will now have served longer than his historical antecedent. Obama, surely, does not want to be judged against any JFK yardstick, longevity included. It’s his rotten luck that he incited such comparisons at the start by being a young and undistinguished legislator before seeking the presidency; by giving great speeches; by breaking a once-insurmountable barrier for African-Americans, as Kennedy did for Roman Catholics; and by arriving in the White House with his own glamorous wife and two adorable young children in tow. He has usually shrugged off these parallels gracefully. These days, with his honeymoon long over, it’s particularly in his interest to do so. But Obama can’t escape JFK’s long shadow, and neither can we. Another wave of Kennedyiana has arrived just in time for the holidays: three major new books, all three already best sellers. But in the second decade of the 21st century, what, exactly, are the customers buying?
(SNIP) Manchester or 11/22/63 or any other account of that time, and the vitriol that was aimed at Kennedy in life seems as immediate as today. It’s as startling as that “You lie!” piercing the solemnity of a presidential address like a gunshot—or the actual gunshots fired at the White House last week by another wretched waif. In the end, that political backdrop is what our 44th and 35th presidents may have most in common. The tragedy of the Kennedy cult is that even as it fades, the hothouse brand of American malice that stalked its hero stalks our country still. MORE...

"Parties brace for 'super' fallout"

Hensarling, Murray, Kyl and other supercommittee members couldn't strike a deal. | AP Photo

Manu Raju and Jake Sherman (Politico):
Speaking before television cameras at the supercommittee’s packed inaugural hearing in September, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the panel “has the opportunity to show the American people we can still come together, put politics aside, and solve a problem plaguing our country.”

They didn’t.

Now, both parties are quickly trying to figure out how to turn the committee’s embarrassing failure into a political win for their side.

The Democratic message: We stood up to Republicans looking to gut Social Security, slash Medicare and permanently extend the Bush-era tax cuts for high income Americans.

The Republican counterattack: Democrats wanted little more than tax increases and refused to consider changes to deficit-driving health care entitlements. Both sides are positioning themselves as the party that compromised and sought a middle-ground. MORE...
Howie P.S.: I'm not surprised, are you?

"People Are Awesome: Meet the New York Mom Who Made the OWS 'Bat Signal' Possible" (video)

GoodNews with video (04:29) from AnonOps1337:
A couple of weeks ago, activist Mark Read was preparing to project a message—now dubbed the "bat signal"—onto the Verizon Building for Occupy Wall Street's two-month anniversary. He had gotten a 12K lumen projector from an anonymous donor. He had secured collaborators Max Nova and JR Skola of the art group Dawn of Man. But in order to sustain the projections for more than a few minutes, he needed a room to set up shop. He posted signs in the public housing complex across the way from Verizon, offering $250 for three hours of window use.

"None of the calls seemed to be working out," Mark Read says of the days leading up to last Thursday's protest. "I was preparing to just go back and stalk the building or the lobby."

That's when he heard from Denise Vega, a native New Yorker and single mother of three who was down for the OWS cause from the get-go. MORE...
H/t to Marcia Kato.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shepard Fairey’s Occupy Hope poster—"Mr President, we HOPE you’re on our side"

Gaius Publius (AMERICAblog):
Shepard Fairey is the man who did the iconic Hope poster that boosted the Obama 2008 campaign.

This is his latest, an Occupy Hope poster for the Occupy campaign. As you can see, his thinking seems to have evolved (h/t Amanda Terkel for the link).

Click the pic for a full-sized GIF image, suitable for reproduction. As Fairey said: "[F]eel free to share it." The rest of Fairey's statement is here.

You don't have to agree with his support for Obama — or his hope — to support his support of Occupy.

(Me, I live in Hope that Obama will Change, but I spend part of my day with fictional characters. Maybe that explains it.)

There's certainly no question that this great image stands on its own.

"City Dismisses 9 Cases of Occupy Sacramento Protesters"

Occupy Sacramento Protestors March To Governor Brown's Home

Dan Bacher (AlterNet):
The Sacramento City Attorney’s office today dismissed nine misdemeanor cases of protesters arrested at the Occupy Sacramento encampment at Cesar Chavez Park – and pro bono lawyers said they expected dozens of cases to be dismissed over the next week.

Another seven people are scheduled to have their charges dismissed Friday. Another nine, including anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan, will have charges dropped early next week.

In all, charges are expected to be dismissed or not filed against 40 individuals, the City has indicated to Occupy Sacramento lawyers. The Sacramento Police have made 84 arrests at the park since October 6.
As the police crackdowns continue, an investigative news piece in the on November 15 revealed that the repression of the Occupy movement was apparently aided by officials from Homeland Security and other federal law enforcement agencies (

“Over the past ten days, more than a dozen cities have moved to evict ‘Occupy’ protesters from city parks and other public spaces,” wrote Rick Ellis, Minneapolis Top News Examiner. “As was the case in last night’s move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics. And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.”

“The official, who spoke on background to me late Monday evening, said that while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement,” according to Ellis.

“According to this official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules. Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present,” said Ellis. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Occupy Sacramento has a livestream and made news earlier this week: "Occupy Sacramento to protest outside Jerry Brown's loft" (Capitol Alert):
Occupy Sacramento said this afternoon that it will protest in front of Gov. Jerry Brown's Sacramento loft on Saturday.

But the Democratic governor is unlikely to be there: He spends many weekends at his Oakland home.

Cres Vellucci, a spokesman for Occupy Sacramento, said Brown's presence doesn't matter. The protest, he said, is "symbolic of the movement."

Occupy Sacramento said in a release that protesters and labor advocates will rally at Cesar Chavez Park before leading a "noisy march right to the front door of Gov. Jerry Brown's Sacramento home."

Brown has kept quiet about the Occupy Wall Street movement and recent student protests in California.

Vellucci said protesters "don't have a lot of faith in politicians, generally." They are specifically critical of Brown because they think he has not aggressively enough pursued tax increases on the wealthiest Californians, even as the state reduces services.

"Flanders: Will the media now focus on what OWS is really about?" (with video)

Andrew Jones (RAW STORY) with video (01:39) from MSNBC:
In the opinion of Gritt TV host Laura Flanders, the next step in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement needs to come not from the protesters but, instead, the media.

Responding to a question posed by Chris Hayes on his MSNBC show Saturday morning, Flanders placed responsibility on her colleagues with larger platforms to focus on the core elements of the movement instead of mass arrests and police brutality.

“This is why the media are so important, and why I worked in independent media for so long,” Flanders said. “Are we going to allow this story to become what you have describe, which is the image taken away by a lot of people this week? Or are we going to take our cameras where the movement actually has been? MORE...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Heaven Is a Place Called Elizabeth Warren"

Rebecca Traister (NY Times magazine):
The key is not just emotional investment in election-year saviors but also an engagement with policy. A commitment to organized expressions of political desire — like those that have been harnessed so effectively in recent years on the right — have been absent for far too long in Democratic politics. Now, with labor protests, campaigns to block voter suppression and personhood measures and the occupations of cities around the nation, there seem to be some small signs that liberals are remembering that politics requires more of them, that they need movements, not just messiahs. But their engagement must deepen, broaden and persist beyond last week’s elections and well beyond next year’s elections if there is any chance for politicians like Warren to succeed.

Because while she might provide her supporters and her constituents a voice that, if properly tuned, will rattle doors that are now gummed shut, what Elizabeth Warren cannot do is fix this mess herself. MORE...
Howie P.S.: I can see Howard Dean nodding his head vigorously in agreement with the above.

This is what The Devil looks like

"Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures as he speaks during a rally at the Jacksonville Landing, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)"

H/t to Ben Smith.

"Lessons We Can Learn From Egypt"

Egyptians protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square, April 1, 2011. (Photo: Andrea Bruce / The New York Times

Mehrdad Azemun:
In the wake of such a massive, popular and nonviolent win like the Egyptian Revolution and with the seemingly similar phenomenon of Occupy movements sweeping the US, it is easy to want to sift for gold in the form of organizing lessons. But for a moment, let us also remember that Egypt is simply a different society, economy and country than our own. Just because some lessons look attractive does not mean they are transferable.

That said, the most valuable organizing nugget I carried back with me is the continual necessity for acting and thinking boldly. As an organizer here in the US, I was taught to be pragmatic and practical - go for what you can win in a specific time horizon. As an organizer, we ask leaders to dream, to name the things that hold them back from being happy, free and prosperous. And then, we set limits on those dreams, or cut them into bite-sized chunks that are so small, they sometimes bear little resemblance to the massive, audacious canvas that the leaders first painted for us. We negotiate ourselves down before we even get to the real negotiation table. MORE..
Howie P.S.: "Mehrdad Azemun is national field director for National People's Action, based in Chicago, Illinois."

WA: Gregoire says she is “worn out”

Joel Connelly (
Gov. Chris Gregoire said Friday that she is “worn out” from all the budget cutting she has been forced to do the last three years.
Gregoire had already departed the luncheon when she received a stern message in return. A husband-wife team, Tom and Sonya Campion, received an “Outstanding Philanthropists” award at the luncheon.

Sonya Campion spoke her mind. “I hope when the governor presents her next budget next week, it is not just cuts but revenues that she proposes,” Campion said. She received a strong ovation.

“Expanding philanthropy is not replacing government,” argued Campion, who helps non-profit groups tell their stories, and led a fund raising campaign to preserve open space and crucial wildlife habitats and migration corridors in the Methow Valley. MORE...

"Exclusive: Lobbying Firm's Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street" (with video)

Jonathan Larsen and Ken Olshansky (MSNBC) with video (04:54) from "UP with Chris Hayes;
A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.” MORE...
Howie P.S.: Here's a panel ("Occupy Under Fire") from the full Chris Hayes show (44:23) with retired Philadelphia police Captain Ray Lewis, Laura Flanders, Melissa Harris-Perry, Michelle Goldberg (The Daily Beast) and James Poulos.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Glenn Greenwald: "Here’s what attempted co-option of OWS looks like"

Glenn Greenwald:
What is missing from America is a healthy fear in the hearts and minds of the most powerful political and financial factions of the consequences of their continued pilfering, corporatism, and corrupt crony capitalism, and only this sort of movement — untethered from the pacifying rules of our political and media institutions — can re-impose that healthy fear. When both parties are captive to the same factions, then — by design, as AIPAC has so effectively shown — one can’t subvert the agenda of those factions simply by voting for one party or the other. MORE...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dorli Rainey in Seattle:"We are losing our freedoms every second we stand around and do nothing."

Cienna Madrid (SLOG):
In front of the municipal tower, two security guard concierges politely directed protesters to their destination—SPD headquarters and the department's Office of Professional Accountability—where fresh-eyed 84-year-old activist Dorli Rainey waited, surrounded by members of the press, eager to talk about the Occupy movement and police accountability.

"I would like to get all elected officials in one spot and create a plan that would allow us free speech with more teeth than the resolution the council passed on Monday," Rainey said. "Tuesday, they let loose the cops. So I would like to see some accountability over there [she gestures at City Hall] and over there [she gestures at the King County courthouse].”

Rainey said she has no plans to file a complaint with SPD's Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) for being pepper sprayed on Tuesday. Still, she'd like to see SPD pay for how they've treated protesters. “I want their budget cut," she said. "They need to clean house. Get rid of the poisons. [That pepper spray] was big, like a fountain.”

And she doesn't regret blocking the street during Tuesday's protest. "I’d do it again. And if it happens again, it happens... We are losing our freedoms every second we stand around and do nothing.”

More photos and interviews after the jump. MORE...

"Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis Arrested at OWS, Calls NYPD Rationale ‘a Farce’" (with photos/video) with photos/video (06:52)from paulus1st:
Today 200-plus people were arrested before 1:00 p.m. in New York City for participating in peaceful, non-violent protests related to Occupy Wall Street, which has seen perhaps its most trying turn of events in the past week. Among those arrested was retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis (pictured above), who said, “All the cops are just workers for the one percent, and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited.”

Ray Lewis, who retired in 2004, has a lot of interesting things to say, and I want you to hear as much of it as possible.

“They complained about the park being dirty,” he said over the OWS Livefeed last night. “Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park. That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting.” MORE...

Howie P.S.: Shout-out to Goldy--HE'S FROM PHILLY!

The FDL Membership's Occupy Supply fund has raised an incredible $120,000 - 100% of which has been committed to preparing occupations across the US for the cold winter months.

We've already spent $81,835.71 on union and American-made winter weather gear, like -40 degree socks, hats, scarves, base layers, generators, food, sleeping bags and a lot more. Our reporter Kevin Gosztola has brought the Occupy Supply fund to over 50 occupations across the country, meeting with protesters and purchasing the things they need with the help of FDL members, the Machinists union, and volunteers.

FDL Members have also organized a dedicated national supply chain of 'Occupy Liaisons,' working directly with the occupations to assess needs and then collaborating with the Supply Fund to quickly distribute cold weather gear to those who need it most.

Every day, more and more occupations ask for our help - but we need your support to continue to fulfill their requests through the winter and beyond.

Can you please donate $20 or more to help us send occupations as much cold weather gear before winter as possible?

Click here to see the items and donate:

Goldy: "What Exactly Is It that Occupy Critics Don't Get About Civil Disobedience?"

An if you think their civil disobedience has been an inconvenience to you, trying being a participant. Do you think the protesters like marching through the freezing rain? Do you think they enjoy camping out on the pavement, or getting themselves arrested or beaten or doused with pepper spray? Do you think the organizers of yesterday's action wanted to piss off motorists and bus commuters? Of course not. But this is what works. Faced with corporate media hostile to their agenda, if they want to get their message heard, the protesters have no choice but to give reporters the one thing that they can't resist: A great fucking story. MORE...
Howie P.S.: Like Herman Cain, I've had all these thoughts about the "inconvenience" argument spinning inside my head. Goldy got me straightened out.

Seattle: "Occupy protest marches on bridge, blocks traffic" (with slideshow)

Protesters gather on the University Bridge in Seattle during an Occupy Seattle and labor union protest. Occupy Seattle protesters and labor union members gathered on the bridge to call for the government to spend more money on infrastructure. The protesters shut down the Seattle bridge during rush hour. Photo: JOSHUA TRUJILLO / SEATTLEPI.COM

Rush hour was jammed in Seattle on Thursday evening as hundreds of Occupy Seattle and union protesters occupied University Bridge.

Some protestors came north from Capitol Hill at around 4:30 p.m., while others came down from a rally at the University of Washington.

Police estimated a peak crowd size of about 600, but at one point the event looked like it reached a crowd size of about 1,000. The crowd swelled quickly as people marching from various locations met on the bridge. But the masses didn't stay long, thinning to about 300 people shortly after 6 p.m. MORE...

Greg Sargent; "In the end, it’s all about the Bush tax cuts"

Greg Sargent:
When you step back and think about it, it’s kind of striking how central the Bush tax cuts have proven to our politics in recent years — and how central they will continue to be through at least next year, when the argument over them will help decide the Congressional elections and presidential race.

They are a defining issue at the heart of the broad ideological argument between the two parties. They were central during the 2010 elections, and they will again be central in 2012. They are a key cause of our current fiscal problems, and now they’re at the center of the supercommittee’s likely failure to do anything to solve those problems. MORE...

Watch Rick Steves protesting recent dispensary raids and talking about legalization of marijuana (video)

repealprohibition, video (02:46):
Travel guru Rick Steves advocating for an end to cannabis prohibition in front of the Federal Building in Downtown Seattle during a protest of recent dispensary raids.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"This Is What America Looks Like"

William Rivers Pitt:
Let's get a few things straight right from the jump.

First of all, despite all the gleeful obituaries that have been appearing across the scabrous landscape of the "mainstream" news media, the Occupy movement is not, in fact, over. Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have sent in cops like thieves in the night to dispossess peaceful protesters and destroy books in New York City, but there are hundreds of Occupy camps still standing from one side of this nation to the other. As for the seedcorn New York protest, well...if you're one who opposes what they've been doing, you can cross your fingers and toes to your heart's delight in the hope that matters are settled in the Big Apple, but you best be prepared for disappointment, because those people have set their caps to accomplish what they endeavored to do back in September, and they are far, far more organized and determined than people like you seem capable of apprehending.

A setback like this only adds fuel to the fire. We're talking about people who are so committed to the ideals of the Occupy movement that they abandoned the soft conveniences of modern existence - walls, a roof, a bed, plumbing, locks on the doors and the soothing babble of cable TV - to sleep in a park surrounded by strangers for almost two months. Raise your hand if you've ever gone camping for two full months, anywhere. It has been hot, it has been cold, it has rained, it has snowed, and, oh yeah, there was the ever-present threat of catching a billy club over the head or a face full of NYPD mace for their trouble. You think they're going away after enduring all that? MORE...

"The Villain Occupy Wall Street Has Been Waiting For"

AP / Julia Xanthos
Robert Scheer:
In the pantheon of billionaires without shame, Michael Bloomberg, the Wall Street banker-turned-business-press-lord-turned-mayor, is now secure at the top. What is so offensive is that someone who abetted Wall Street greed, and benefited as much as anyone from it, has no compunction about ruthlessly repressing those who dare exercise their constitutional “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” that he helped to create.

You would think that a former partner at the investment bank Solomon Brothers, which originated mortgage-backed securities, a man who then partnered with Merrill Lynch in the high-speed computerized trading that has led to so much financial manipulation, would have some sense of his own culpability. Or at least that someone whose Wall Street career left him with a net worth of $19.5 billion would grasp the deep irony of his being the instrument for smashing Occupy Wall Street, the internationally acknowledged symbol of opposition to corporate avarice. MORE...

(Updated) Sam Seder Narrates Today's OWS Day of Action (live streaming videos)

UPDATE: Here's Sam's LIVE WEBCAM on US Stream.

Here's the The Other 99 livestream link and the link to Sam's live audio stream.. I like watching The Other 99 livestream from the streets of New York City while listening to Sam's live audio stream that functions for me as narration (click on "Live Stream").

Norm Stamper on Police and OWS: They 'Haven't Learned From Our Mistakes' (The Nation, with audio)

Teresa Cotsirilos (The Nation), with audio (07:57):
Are the nation’s police officers against the Occupy movement? “Yes, no and maybe,” said former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, in an interview on WNYC’s The Takeaway. Drawing on his own struggle to ethically police Seattle’s WTO protests in the 1990s, Stamper urges police forces to strike an appropriate balance between safeguarding civil liberties and enforcing local law.

“I’m very discouraged by what I’m seeing today,” he said. “It suggests that they [national police forces] haven’t learned from our mistakes—and specifically from my mistakes.” You can read Stamper’s recent analysis of paramilitary policing here.