Tag Archives: Occupy Wall Street

Koch Brothers, Allies Pledge $100 Million At Private Meeting To Beat Obama

This really is shaping up as a pivotal election in the social and political history of the US….

And the 1% know it….

They will do anything– and spend anything– to stop President Obama’s re-election or the 99% from gaining any ground in through House and Senate elections.

They will try to take over the airways with propaganda and lies trying to drive down turnout and stomp down Democratic turnout and motivation….

And thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court and the “Citizens United” decision there is nothing we can do about it….

We are about to see if an election can truly be bought in the USA….

From the Huffington Post:

At a private three-day retreat in California last weekend, conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections.

A source who was in the room when the pledges were made told The Huffington Post that, specifically, Charles Koch pledged $40 million and David pledged $20 million.

via Koch Brothers, Allies Pledge $100 Million At Private Meeting To Beat Obama.

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STOCK Act Opponent NC Senator Richard Burr Stands To Gain From Natural Gas Investments

It’s a real shame we couldn’t get rid of Burr when he was up for re-election a couple of years ago, but I’m afraid Elaine Marshall just wasn’t the right candidate with the right resources to run against him.

And the Democratic Senatorial Committee and Democratic National Committee weren’t much help either…

He is such a corporatist non-entity, he should have been easy pickings if we had had the right candidate with sufficient resources at the right time.

But that was also the height of the Tea Party insanity….

Burr taking positions like this and having this obvious conflicts of interest should make it much easier to retire him next time.  It truly takes guts- and stupidity- to vote AGAINST insider trading laws for Senators!

From the Huffington Post:

Sen. Richard Burr’s vocal opposition to the STOCK Act raised some eyebrows in Washington this week, and with good reason.

Burr, a North Carolina Republican who was one of just three senators to vote against the ban on congressional insider trading Thursday, owns investments in the natural gas industry that would benefit from legislation he co-sponsored offering tax credits for natural gas-fueled vehicles.

Burr has investments in the gas industry valued from $133,298 to $219,337, according to his 2010 filings. His portfolio includes $36,000 worth of stock in Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. producer of natural gas. He also holds more than $25,000 in shares of Loews Corp., a holding company with subsidiaries engaged in the exploration, production, marketing and transmission of natural gas.

He was on the losing side of Thursday’s 96-3 passage of the STOCK Act, that would tighten rules for lawmakers and their aides using inside information for personal investments. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he’ll bring the STOCK Act to the House floor next week.

Burr’s investments pose “a very clear conflict of interest,” said Craig Holman of the advocacy group Public Citizen. He said the STOCK Act “will make members of Congress much more cautious in any particular sector, including natural gas.” While the STOCK Act wouldn’t prohibit such investments, “members of Congress will have to think twice about any kind of trading activity they do,” Holman said.

via STOCK Act Opponent Richard Burr Stands To Gain From Natural Gas Investments.

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Mitt Romney Relying Heavily on Small Group of Super-rich Donors

Well, if it wasn’t clear before, this certainly makes it clearer….

Mitt Romney is the Chosen One of the 1%….

I just hope the 99% of the rest of us turn out to vote against this out-of-touch, elitist schmuck…

From the Washington-Post:


One of Mitt Romney’s strongest assets as the GOP presidential front-runner is also a potentially serious liability in the race: his heavy reliance on a small group of millionaires and billionaires for financial support.

A quarter of the money amassed by Romney’s campaign and an allied super PAC has come from just 41 people, each of whom has given more than $100,000, according to a Washington Post analysis of disclosure data. Nearly a dozen of the donors have contributed $1 million or more.

The preponderance of mega-rich supporters poses a political challenge for Romney, who has struggled for weeks over questions about his vast wealth, his history as a private equity manager and a series of gaffes that seemed to highlight his privileged station. He stumbled again on Wednesday when he told a CNN interviewer that he was “not concerned about the very poor, because they have a safety net.”

via Mitt Romney relying heavily on small group of super-rich donors – The Washington Post.

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Mitt Romney Quotes Lesbian Poet Concerned About Income Inequality On The Stump

This woman may be the spiritual Grandmother of Occupy Wall Street and the biggest One Percenter Robber Baron in the GOP Game is quoting her…

Although I’m sure he doesn’t know who she really was and what she really stood for-typical shoddy work by the GOP Candidates.

The only thing that saves the GOP Candidates from embarrassment over incidents like this is the fact their voters don’t care about little things like facts…

And are too poorly educated and fanatical to get the point anyway….

And the candidates will just shamelessly lie their way out it if anyone calls attention to these disconnects…

From ThinkProgress.com:

Mitt Romney regularly incorporates lyrics from “America the Beautiful” into his stump speeches. Little does he probably realize that the hymn was written by a progressive feminist lesbian who composed it to critique country’s greed, excess, and growing economic inequality. The original third-verse lyrics Katharine Lee Bates wrote in 1894 were as follows:

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee

Till selfish gain no longer stain

The banner of the free!

She later rewrote the stanza, toning down the rhetoric but maintaining that wealth was not what made America great:

America! America!

May God thy gold refine

Till all success be nobleness

And every gain divine!

Given Romney’s vast personal wealth and his ongoing defense of the one percent, plus his opposition to same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights, he might wish to rethink which American poets he chooses to highlight in his speeches.

Both Rick Santorum and Rick Perry fell into a similar trap last year when they highlighted Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America,” despite Hughes’ record as pro-gay, pro-union, and pro-immigration. (HT: Mombian.)

via Mitt Romney Quotes Lesbian Poet Concerned About Income Inequality On The Stump | ThinkProgress.

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Top GOP Strategist Admits He’s ‘Scared’ Of Occupy Wall Street

This guy is really the one who taught the GOP how to name their outrageous bills and positions in terminology that would fool a lot of Americans.  He really helped them learn to spin unpopular ideas in a way that people didn’t realize what they were really up to…

He taught them Stealth Politics…

This really is a big deal if this guy is scared of Occupy Wall Street….

From ThinkProgress.org:

The Republican Governor’s Association met in Florida this week and featured pollster Frank Luntz, who offered a coaching session for attendees about how they should communicate to the public. Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody was there, and captured some of Luntz’s comments on Occupy Wall Street.

Luntz told attendees that he’s “scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death.” The pollster warned that the movement is “having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.” So the pollster offered some advice for them about how to fight back. Here’s a few snippets of what he said, according to Moody:

– Don’t Mention Capitalism: Luntz said that his polling research found that “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

– Empathize With The 99 Percent Protesters: Luntz instructed attendees to tell protesters that they “get it”: “First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ … ‘I get that you’re. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”

– Don’t Say Bonus: Luntz told Republicans to re-frame the concept of the bonus payment — which bailed-out Wall Street doles out to its employees during holidays — as “pay for performance” instead.

– Don’t Mention The Middle Class Because Americans Don’t Trust Republicans To Defend It: “They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers,” Luntz instructed the audience. “We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

– Don’t Talk About Taxing The Rich: Luntz reminded Republicans that Americans actually do want to tax the rich, so he reccommended they instead say that the government “takes from the rich.”

Frank Luntz is no minor pollster. He is considered to be one of the top political communications experts in the world, having provided consulting to many of the world’s top corporations, politicians, and special interest groups. That Luntz is admitting the impact of Occupy Wall Street and the 99 Percent and telling closed-door meetings of Republicans that it frightens him is a huge victory for the movement.

via Top GOP Strategist Admits He’s ‘Scared’ Of Occupy Wall Street Because It’s ‘Having An Impact’ | ThinkProgress.

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Margin Call

I’m going to make a point to see this soon….

Inspired by true events (think Bear Sterns? Merrill Lynch?)  and with an all-star cast including Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, Penn Badley, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker….

It was also just named “Best First Feature” by the New York Film Critics…

I’ll let you know more once I see it….

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Suspect In New York City Bomb Plots Arrested – Interesting Timing….

Interesting timing on this one…

I can’t help but think that Mayor Bloomberg is trying to take some focus off his gestapo tactics against Occupy Wall Street last week….

Seems like the real goal is to make Bloomberg and the NYPD look like good guys again….

If they have been watching this guy- who sounds like another lone wolf lunatic- for 2 years, why did they decide to arrest him now?  No mention of an imminent threat….

Also,  I love Bloomberg’s comments about people taking away freedoms.  Didn’t he just do that?

Call me cynical….

From NPR:

An “al-Qaida sympathizer” who plotted to bomb police and post offices in New York City as well as U.S. troops returning home has been arrested on numerous terrorism-related charges, city officials said Sunday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced at a news conference the Saturday arrest of Jose Pimentel of Manhattan, “a 27-year-old al-Qaida sympathizer” who the mayor said was motivated by terrorist propaganda and resentment of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As a general matter, law enforcement officials categorize terrorist plots by determining if they are “aspirational” or “inspirational.” Aspirational plots involve someone wishing or wanting to do something; inspirational are plots when a suspect actually acts.

Officials say Pimentel was in the second category.

The mayor said Pimentel, a U.S. citizen originally from the Dominican Republic, was “plotting to bomb police patrol cars and also postal facilities as well as targeted members of our armed services returning from abroad.”

Authorities have no evidence that Pimentel was working with anyone else, the mayor added.

“He appears to be a total lone wolf,” the mayor said. “He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad.”

Instead, Bloomberg said, Pimentel represents the type of threat FBI Director Robert Mueller has warned about as U.S. forces erode the ability of terrorists to carry out large scale attacks.

Pimentel, also known as Muhammad Yusuf, is accused of having an explosive substance Saturday when he was arrested that he planned to use against others and property to terrorize the public.

The charges accuse him of conspiracy going back at least to October 2010, and include first-degree criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, and soliciting support for a terrorist act. He was to be arraigned later Sunday and would face state terror charges.

“This is just another example of New York City because we are an iconic city … this is a city that people would want to take away our freedoms gravitate to and focus on,” Bloomberg said.

via Suspect In New York City Bomb Plots Arrested : NPR.

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Lobbying Firm’s Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street

It seems the Ruling Class is more afraid of Occupy Wall Street than they want to let on in public….

This lobby firm memo outlines their plans to fight back- and they wouldn’t  be wasting time and effort to fight them if they weren’t afraid of Occupy Wall Street….

The 1% have a lot of money and media resources, but I’m hoping Occupy Wall Street has grown big enough to withstand their plans.

Things are  just too far out of sync in the country right now for me to believe they can beat all this back with a PR campaign…

Mayor Bloomberg couldn’t do it with the NYPD…..

Great scoop from Chris Hayes at MSNBC….

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.”

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”


The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry — that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party. “Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism,” the memo says. “…This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”

The memo outlines a 60-day plan to conduct surveys and research on OWS and its supporters so that Wall Street companies will be prepared to conduct a media campaign in response to OWS. Wall Street companies “likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause,” according to the memo.  “A big challenge is to demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost.”

Part of the plan CLGC proposes is to do “statewide surveys in at least eight states that are shaping up to be the most important of the 2012 cycle.”

Specific races listed in the memo are U.S. Senate races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada as well as the gubernatorial race in North Carolina.

via Up with Chris Hayes – Exclusive: Lobbying Firm’s Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street (VIDEO).

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America’s ‘Brain Drain’: Best And Brightest College Grads Head For Wall Street

Okay, I’ve published enough fluff for today.

Let’s get back to Politics….

This is one of the biggest issues associated with income inequality.  And it’s frequently overlooked.

The ridiculous salaries on Wall Street are creating a Brain Drain that draws young people, fresh out of College and many with large student loans, to go to Wall Street to try chase the dream to slave for ten years or so and retire billionaires at 40.

All these ridiculous, complex new financial instruments, like Credit Default Swaps, Hedge funds, etc. are really legalized gambling, market manipulation and frankly, fraud, created by super smart people to make a quick buck.  The old, staid Wall Street of yore would never have thought these things up or known what to do with them.

Face it, the guys who used to run Wall Street weren’t that smart…

Now young people who should be attracted to  jobs that might make Society better, be more fulfilling and create something positive are all running to Wall Street to try to think up the next ridiculously complex financial instrument to make themselves rich- no matter who it hurts or that it adds nothing to society.

Let’s get back to the basics:

  1. Banks hold deposits and lend money to credit worthy people and companies-preferably in their local communities.  None should be “too big to fail.”  If they screw up, let them fail.
  2. Wall Street trades stocks and bonds for people to invest in companies that survive by respecting their workers and the social contract, create]ing something we actually need or want in the world and don’t give all their money to a few top executives and CEO’s no matter how badly they perform.
  3. Wall Street Investment Banks should invest in actual entities and not manipulative gambling instruments.
  4. Young people need to be taught to explore their talents and try to meld them with a career that will give them a decent salary, give something back to the world and thus provide a sense of personal fulfillment.

It’s all out of whack….priorities, salaries, creativity and risk.

It shouldn’t  all be about a quick and easy buck-like today’s system encourages….

From Huffington Post:

But what if top students didn’t go to Wall Street? What if, rather than creating complex financial products that collapsed the global economy, they were building bridges and creating new technologies instead?

As America struggles to create jobs and get back on its feet after the recession — caused largely by the financial industry’s recklessness — the country is in desperate need of more entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists and other professionals, a complaint regularly made by non-Wall Street business leaders and members of both major political parties.

Lee Jackson is a senior economics major at Stanford who edits a financial newsletter called The Opportune Time. He has interned on Wall Street and plans to work in finance after graduation, but admits the profession needs reform.

“I think the emphasis is more on making money and making a profit, and there’s been less emphasis … on what the greater societal implications of that are,” he said, pointing to fields like law and medicine that focus on the needs of the client or patient and have outreach programs to help low-income individuals. During the debate over Wall Street reform, meanwhile, bank lobbyists fought a provision in the Dodd-Frank legislation that would require financial companies to operate in the best interests of their clients.

“Over the past few years in the mainstream American culture, the bad side of American finance has come out time and time again,” he added. “But my fear is that the good side of finance and the side that can help people save for retirement, build their own wealth and be able to support themselves [will be lost].”

Yet without a cultural shift and reforms that rein in the financial industry’s sky-high profits and salaries, a disproportionate number of the best and the brightest will continue to head to Wall Street.

“Our financial system remains out of whack in terms of regulation, compensation, and until our economy is stronger, it’s not surprising that young people will be attracted to the place where the money and jobs are,” Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senate candidate and creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told The Huffington Post. “In a sense … it’s a demand problem, [as well as] the fact there is not enough demand in the rest of the economy. It’s both problems.”

via America’s ‘Brain Drain’: Best And Brightest College Grads Head For Wall Street.

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Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Mayor Bloomberg and Occupy Wall Street


He says just what I was thinking:  Michael Bloomberg is now in the same league as George Wallace, Senator Joseph McCarthy and others of that ilk….

I’ll let Keith say it as only Keith can:

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