Michael Moore: "There's No Turning Back!"

Michael Moore: "There's No Turning Back!"
Felipe Messina, Media Roots: "We are stronger than any rubber bullet or bean bag or tear gas canister. There's too many of us. And what are they defending in the first place? A broken system in a country that has benefited the few at the expense of the many. The time for that to end is right now."
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

GOP Propagandist, Brian Williams To Moderate GOP Presidential Debate In Florida

Brian Williams To Moderate GOP Presidential Debate In Florida

 Brian Williams will moderate a Republican presidential debate January 23rd at the University of South Florida in Tampa, NBC annou … Read More »

Romney and Perry’s Longstanding Feud

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry sure didn’t seem like friends at Tuesday night’s debate, and, in fact, they’re not: Bad blood has long coursed between the two men, going back to 2006 when Romney, as the chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association, hired a consultant who worked for one of Perry’s political opponents. Perry then attacked Romney in his 2008 book about the Boy Scouts for banning the scouts from the 2002 Olympic Games. And Romney, apparently, never forgave Perry for endorsing Rudy Giuliani in 2008.

Gaddafi Captured

The ruling Libyan government reported Thursday that former dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been captured in Sirte. National Transitional Council officials said Gaddafi had been wounded in both legs. Reports of his capture have not been independently verified. Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown, had fallen to the former rebels shortly before his supposed capture. A field commander of the NTC confirmed that Gaddafi had been captured, but said it is not clear whether he is dead or alive. NATO has not confirmed the reports.
Read it at Al Jazeera English

Anthony Bologna Gets Docked Vacation Days For Pepper-Spray

Deputy Inspector Anthony "Tony" Bologna - who had a history of violence before he started going pepper-spray happy on a bunch of OWS protesters - was given a slap on the wrist by the NYPDfor his actions. 

Second Video of Pepper-Spraying Officer Anthony Bologna + History Of Violence = NYPD PR Disaster | The New York Observer
The New York Times said Bologna’s nonchalant attitude “looked as if he were spraying cockroaches.” Then it turned out that this particular officer has a history of complaints regarding protestor abuse. The longer the NYPD sits on this, the worse it’s going to get, as evidenced by Lawrence O’Donnell’s seven minute tirade demanding the heads of Officer Bologna and his superiors at police department.

Ohio Favors Repeal Of Union-Busting Bill Ahead of Vote

The new Ohio law that limits collective bargining rights is headed for a defeat according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling (D). 56 percent of registered Ohio voters are ready to reject the new law, which is headed to a vote on November 8th.

36 percent think the state should keep the law.

Livewire | TPM

National Journal Poll: 59 Percent Agree With OWS

New data from the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows that 59 percent of Americans agree with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, while 31 percent say they disagree and 10 percent said neither.  
“What’s more, many people are paying attention to the rallies. Almost two-thirds of respondents—65 percent—said they’ve heard “a lot” or “some” about the rallies, while 35 percent have said they’ve heard or seen “not too much” or “nothing at all” about the demonstrations,” theNational Journal wrote.
Americans also supported a surtax on millionaires, a proposal by Democrats to fund possible jobs legislation, by a huge 68 – 27 margin, consistent with other polling on the issue.

Watch CNN GOP Las Vegas Debate in 100 Seconds

So what happened? The candidates tried to get real. There were moments of snapping at one another and a lot of jumping in by moderator Anderson Cooper. Herman Cain, who was expected to be the main target heading into the night, mostly fell out of the spotlight after a long argument about his now famous 9-9-9 tax plan.
The debate set the stage for the next round of campaigning. If you missed it, here it is shrunk down to a convenient 5-point lesson plan.
1. Hit the panic button!
Everyone not named Mitt Romney needs to get their name back into the conversation fast or they risk falling out of the race. As a result, there was a palpable sense of panic among the second-tier candidates as they ignored moderator Anderson Cooper and shouted attacks over each other at a dizzying pace. Rick Santorum, maybe the only candidate on stage to never have a real “surge” in the polls, exemplified this dynamic: at one point he drew boos from the audience for repeatedly drowning out Mitt Romney’s answer on health care.
2. Mitt Romney finally makes a (potentially big) gaffe
Romney’s been unflappable up until now and he turned in a mostly solid performance on Tuesday. But he also showed for the first time that he can be forced off his game with enough pressure. Under attack from Perry over reports that he used a landscaping service that employed undocumented workers, Romney let slip a phrase that will likely come back to haunt him. “We went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property,” Romney said. “I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, we can’t have illegals.”
Watch the moment:

Obama Campaign Hits 1 Million Donors

President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign on Monday announced it had reached 1 million donors.

Read More....

A Movement Too Big to Fail

Chris Hedges, Truthdig: "The Occupy Wall Street movement, like all radical movements, has obliterated the narrow political parameters. It proposes something new. It will not make concessions with corrupt systems of corporate power. It holds fast to moral imperatives regardless of the cost. It confronts authority out of a sense of responsibility. It is not interested in formal positions of power. It is not seeking office."
Read the Article

Occupy Wall Street Movement Raises Nearly $300K

The Occupy Wall Street movement, now a month old, has raised nearly $300,000, the Associated Press reports. Many of the donations … Read more »

DeMint: Romney Endorsement Rumors A 'Fabrication'

Responding to an earlier story in Roll Call, a spokesman for Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) strongly denied rumors that the senator would … Read more »

DeMint Endorsing Romney?

Roll Call, citing “knowledgeable GOP sources,” is reporting that Sen. Jim DeMint is leaning towards endorsing Mitt Romney for … Read More »

Eliot Spitzer: Why Occupy Wall Street Has Already Won

OWS brought the issues of equity, fairness, justice, income distribution, and accountability for the economic cataclysm front and center.
Protesters at "Occupy Wall Street" camp, Liberty Square
Photo Credit: Sarah Jaffe


The following article first appeared on Slate. 
Occupy Wall Street has already won, perhaps not the victory most of its participants want, but a momentous victory nonetheless. It has already altered our political debate, changed the agenda, shifted the discussion in newspapers, on cable TV, and even around the water cooler. And that is wonderful.
Suddenly, the issues of equity, fairness, justice, income distribution, and accountability for the economic cataclysm–issues all but ignored for a generation—are front and center. We have moved beyond the one-dimensional conversation about how much and where to cut the deficit. Questions more central to the social fabric of our nation have returned to the heart of the political debate. By forcing this new discussion, OWS has made most of the other participants in our politics—who either didn’t want to have this conversation or weren’t able to make it happen—look pretty small.
Surely, you might say, other factors have contributed: A convergence of horrifying economic data has crystallized the public’s underlying anxiety. Data show that median family income declined by 6.7 percent over the past two years, the unemployment rate is stuck at 9.1 percent in the October report (16.5 percent if you look at the more meaningful U6 number), and 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty—the most in more than 50 years. Certainly, those data help make Occupy Wall Street’s case.
But until these protests, no political figure or movement had made Americans pay attention to these facts in a meaningful way. Indeed, over the long hot summer, as poverty rose and unemployment stagnated, the entire discussion was about cutting our deficit.
And then OWS showed up. They brought something that had been in short supply: passion—the necessary ingredient that powers citizen activism. The tempered, carefully modulated, and finely nuanced statements of Beltway politicians and policy wonks do not alter the debate.
Of course, the visceral emotions that accompany citizen activism generate not only an energy that can change politics but an incoherence that is easily mocked. OWS is not a Brookings Institution report with five carefully researched policy points and an appendix of data. It is a leaderless movement, and it can often be painfully simplistic in its economic critique, lacking in subtlety in its political strategies, and marred by fringe elements whose presence distracts and demeans. Yet, the point of OWS is not to be subtle, parsed, or nuanced. Its role is to drag politics to a different place, to provide the exuberance and energy upon which reform can take place.
The major social movements that have transformed our country since its founding all began as passionate grassroots activism that then radiated out. Only later do traditional politicians get involved. The history of the civil rights movement, women’s rights movement, labor movement, peace movement, environmental movement, gay rights movement, and, yes, even the Tea Party, follow this model. In every instance, visceral emotions about justice, right, and wrong ignited a movement. Precise demands and strategies followed later. So the critique of OWS as unformed and sometimes shallow may be correct, but it is also irrelevant.
Just as importantly, most of those who are so critical of OWS have failed to recognize inflection points in our politics. They fail to recognize that the public is responding to OWS because it is desperate for somebody to speak with the passion, and even anger, that has filled the public since the inequities and failures of our economy have become so apparent.
Will the influence of OWS continue? Will it continue to capture the imagination of the public? Will it morph into a more concrete movement with sufficiently precise objectives that it can craft a strategy with real goals and strategies for attaining them? These are impossible questions to answer right now.
Could it launch a citizen petition demanding that a Paul KrugmanJoseph Stiglitz, or Paul Volcker be brought into government as a counterweight to or replacement for the establishment voice of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner? Maybe. Could OWS demand meetings with top—government officials? Could it demand answers to tough questions—from the specific (explain the government’s conflicting statements about the AIG-Goldman bailout) to the more theoretical (why “moral hazard” is a reason to limit government aid only cited when the beneficiaries would be everyday citizens)?
There is much ground to cover before real reform, but as a voice challenging a self-satisfied, well-protected status quo, OWS is already powerful and successful.

Eliot Spitzer is the former governor of the state of New York.

Occupy Wall St. Goes Global

The Occupy Wall St. movement spread overseas Saturday, with demonstrators taking to the streets in cities in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. About 200 people turned out in Tokyo, while protests are also planned in Australia, Britain, France, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Mexico, and Venezuela. The movement’s central site, United for Global Change, says 951 cities in 82 countries will participate in rallies. Bankers, however, don’t seem to be taking the protests very seriously in private. “Most people view it as a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” one hedge-fund manager tells The New York Times. A bank executive says it’s “fringe groups” while a money manager calls them “just disgruntled people.” The money manager is particularly angry at New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for not coming to their defense, despite Wall Street’s generous campaign contributions: “They need to understand who their constituency is.”

Cantor Kicked Off Of Virginia Republican Committee

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has lost his seat on a local committee in his home state, the Washington Post reports. Cantor was automatically removed from the committee rolls after his endorsement of Del. Bill Janis — a Republican who’s running for Henrico County attorney as an independent.

“Any Republican who supports a non-Republican in a contested race will be automatically removed,” reports the Post.



#OccupyWallStreet Movement Has Doubled in Size in Last 8 Days

  •    "Eight days ago, THE dataset of "Occupy" Facebook groups tallied 480,000 "likes" of a core group of 200 that we had initially identified at the beginning of October, and nearly 643,000 in all when we include a larger set of another 280 Facebook groups.
    Today, those two cohorts have basically doubled in size, to 897,000 and 1,233,000, according to our friends at CollectiveDisorder.com. I am sure the actual total is much higher, as the overall number of Facebook groups associated with the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is certainly much larger."

    READ MORE.......

Ronald Reagan's Real Legacy

In the course of clearing her throat for an attack on Rick Perry Tuesday night, Michele Bachmann tossed out this now-standard bit of conservative boilerplate:

"In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan produced an economic miracle…"

It's probably hopeless to take on the Reagan economic myth at this late date, but honestly, it's long past time to put it to rest. The truth about the '80s is far more prosaic. [READ MORE]

Ronald Reagan's Real Legacy | Mother Jones

Art Pope's Political Influence Extends Across National Stage

Art Pope, a conservative multimillionaire profiled in a recent edition of the New Yorker magazine, used his personal wealth and nonprofit empire to intervene in 22 state races in North Carolina last year, 18 of which resulted in Republican victories. The man the New Yorker alleges purchased North Carolina's state legislature in the 2010 elections has steered significant sums to national Republicans as well, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics. » Read More

Read Jane Mayer's New Yorker article HERE

Florida secretary of state challenges Voting Rights Act

In an effort to push forward the Legislature’s controversial elections overhaul, the state of Florida has filed a complaint challenging sections of the Voting Rights Act.

The complaint — which was filed today by Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning — argues that federal preclearance requirements for state election laws are “unconstitutional.”

The Voting Rights Act, which became law in 1965, was written to outlaw discriminatory voting rules. Section 5 of the act requires the federal government to review and approve any changes to election laws in certain areas. Five Florida counties currently fall under that jurisdiction.

Working to implement the Legislature’s elections overhaul, Browning’s office has asked a federal judge to approve four of the law’s most controversial measures: new restrictions on third-party voter registration drives, a shortened “shelf life” for signatures collected for ballot initiatives, new restrictions on voters changing their registered addresses on election day, and a reduction in the number of early voting days. In the 62 Florida counties not covered by Section 5, Browning’s office has already implemented the new elections rules.

With today’s filing, the state is now challenging the very law that stands in the way of implementing the new election rules in every county.

READ MORE.........................

Florida secretary of state challenges Voting Rights Act | Florida Independent

Hedge-Fund Boss Gets 11 Years

Former hedge-fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam has been sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined $10 million for insider trading, the longest-ever such sentence. Rajaratnam, the founder of Galleon Group, got tips from a network of insiders in Goldman Sachs, Google, Intel, and other companies. Prosecutors say he made $72 million from insider trading, while Rajaratnam’s lawyers say it was only $7.4 million. The Economist says good riddance to the “know-it-all” billionaire—and praises a new boon for regulators looking to crack down on trading abuses.
Read it at Bloomberg

Alan Grayson takes on critics ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher last night and presented a clear, articulate case for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Conservative humorist and former National Lampoon and Rolling Stone contributor PJ O’Rourke (and Maher himself) dismissed the protesters as a bunch of pot-smoking “hippies” who have no clear agenda and no idea what they’re talking about. Former Sarah Palin handler and GOP strategist Nicole Wallace seemed to mostly object to the protests on the grounds that there weren’t enough porta-potties provided, saying “We (Republicans) can do logistics”.
Grayson came to the demonstrators’ defense, “Let me tell what they’re talking about. They’re complaining about the fact the Wall Street wrecked the economy three years ago and nobody’s held responsible for that. Not a single person has been indicted or convicted for destroying twenty percent of our national net worth accumulated over two centuries.”
O’Rourke said that Grayson should take his shoes off, get a bongo drum, and “forget where to go to the bathroom”, and the role of spokesman for the demonstrators would be his.
Grayson responded, “If I am the spokesman for all the people who think we should not have twenty four million people in this country who can’t find a full time job. Who should not have fifty million people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. That we shouldn’t have forty seven million people of this country who need government help to feed themselves. We shouldn’t have fifteen million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of home, OK, I’ll be that spokesman.”

Watch this video, embedded via Medaite, below:


Bill Maher: primer on how not to respond to accusations of racism

On Friday night’s episode of Real Time, host Bill Maher –in a segment reminiscent of our own primer on how not to respond to accusations of racism– pulled no punches in discussing the controversy surrounding the painted rock at Rick Perry’s “N*ggerhead Ranch.”
“If you find yourself prefacing more than half the things you say with ‘I’m not a racist, but …’ then you’re probably a racist.”
In a jab to the GOP, Maher added, “Overtly racist bullshit thinly painted over. Honestly, could anyone have written a better metaphor for the modern Republican party?”

Program to RIG ELECTION in 2012 MURDER SPIES AND VOTING LIES: The Clint Curtis Story

Murders Spies And Voting Lifes: The Clint Curtis Story is an incredible documentary which tells the story of a computer programmer who was contacted by a private company' with ties to convicted chinese spies, to write a program that could be used to rig elections...what follows is the breaking of a massive conspiracy in which there would be hard evidence of vote manipulation via electronic voting machines-whether using Curtis's program or the twenty year old bootloader hack which, as show by students at Princeton University, could be loaded onto any of these machines in less than a minute; the sketchy firing of two employees-one being Curtis himself- from the Florida Dept of Transportation; corrupt ties to leading members of Diebold-one of two companies responsible for vote counting in the US; and a dead Florida DOT investigator- Raymond Lemme RIP- who was privately investigating the claims made by Curtis...who conveniently commited suicide in Georgia, where autopsies are not done on suicide victims, as opposed to Florida where an autopsy would have been automatic. What really happened in 2000 to Al Gore and Ohio & Florida, and again in 2004.....now you can finally know the truth, and it ain't pretty! 7 parts


Senate Scheduled To Vote Today On Obama's Jobs Bill

The Senate today will vote on President Obama’s jobs package, NBC News' Libby Leist reports.

Donald Rumsfeld Loses it in Al Jazeera Interview- video

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld engaged in a heated exchange with an Al Jazeera reporter after he was questioned on the preparations taken before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. 
"You keep making assertions which are fundamentally false," said Rumsfeld in the interview. 
Al Jazeera's Abderrahim Foukara responded by saying, "correct me." 
"No one in the Pentagon said they [number of troops] were not enough, the president went around the room … we went back and forth with the commanders in Iraq and at CENTCOM asking them do they want additional forces and the answer was 'no,' " said Rumsfeld. 
Foukara's questions led to an increasingly tense back-and-forth between the reporter and former Defense secretary. 
"Now Mr. Secretary, seriously, just give me an answer," said Foukara. 
"What do you mean seriously? I'm being serious. This is worthless. This is not an interview, you're haranguing, that's what you're doing," responded Rumsfeld. 
This was the former secretary's first interview with the channel since 2004, according to Al Jazeera. The full Rumsfeld interview aired Tuesday, Oct. 4., on Al Jazeera Arabic.

Unabashed efforts to suppress voting rights

Citing false and exaggerated allegations of election fraud, many states have recently imposed new restrictions on voting that threaten to roll back the hard-won right of American citizens to participate in our Nation’s democratic processes.  Such restrictions could discourage or preventthousands or even millions of eligible citizens from registering and voting, including minorities, low-income persons, senior citizens, voters with disabilities, and students. 
The Lawyers’ Committee has joined with other civil rights leaders and groups to speak out against these unabashed efforts to suppress voting rights.  To combat these efforts, we have developed anInteractive Map of Shame that illustrates the extent to which states have recently enacted voting restrictions and have widely disseminated the Map to decision-makers, community activists, and the media.  
Now, North Carolina has joined the movement to disenfranchise eligible voters by proposing a purge of the state’s voter registration records.  North Carolina must obtain preclearance for this new procedure under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and now is your chance to take a stand and tell the Justice Department to use its authority to deny preclearance. 
The new procedure most directly impacts recently naturalized citizens who are seeking to participate in the democratic process by registering to vote and casting their ballots.  Rather than celebrating their determination and effort, North Carolina is implementing a faulty system that presumes that these individuals in fact were not citizens when they registered to vote.  This presumption is contrary to the data North Carolina itself has developed, and ignores the fact that thousands of North Carolina residents each year become naturalized citizens.
Specifically, North Carolina is using flawed computer matching techniques to target newly registered voters who had previously obtained a driver’s license in the state but were not yet citizens.  The obvious problem is that there is a gap between North Carolina’s outdated DMV records and the voter registration rolls with up-to-date information on citizenship.  The state proposes that these new citizens targeted by the faulty system must show proof of citizenship, a requirement not asked of any other citizens in the state.  If the individuals do not respond, even if notice was not received because the state used an outdated address or made another mistake, the state will unjustly purge them from the registration rolls.
The Voting Rights Act requires that North Carolina demonstrate that its new procedure does not have a discriminatory purpose and will not have a discriminatory effect.  The overwhelming majority of persons who will be subjected to the new purge procedure are African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans.  Because the new purge procedure will disproportionately impact minority voters protected by the Voting Rights Act, and the state has no justification for its presumption of non-citizenship, the Justice Department should deny preclearance because of the procedure’s discriminatory effect.
Our right to vote is too important for us to allow these assaults to continue!  Legislators and election officials need to fix our election system and expand access to the ballot box, not enact unnecessary and unfair restrictions on the right to vote.
We greatly appreciate your assistance in the fight to preserve our voting rights.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

"The Top 1 Percent Are Taking In More Of The Nation’s Income Than At Any Other Time Since The 1920s

"The Top 1 Percent Are Taking In More Of The Nation’s Income Than At
Any Other Time Since The 1920s: Not only are the wealthiest 1 percent
of Americans taking home a tremendous portion of the national income,
but their share of this income is greater than at any other time since the
Great Depression..."

Source: CBPP calculations based on data from Piketty and Saenz

Minnesota Family Council sought LGBT criminalization before settling for banning gay marriage

The Minnesota Family Council (MFC) may have spent the last eight years pushing for the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that Minnesotans will vote on in November, but since its founding, the group has fought to uphold antiquated laws against homosexuality and sodomy that were often used against LGBT people.           

Formed as Coalition of Concerned Christians
The Minnesota Family Council got its start in 1982 as a group of conservative Christians concerned that laws criminalizing gays and lesbians would be overturned.
“I believe we need to be true to our roots and let who we are grow out of that. The Berean League, as we were known, was founded locally by four people in 1982 as a ‘Coalition of Concerned Christians,’ former Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Family Council, Mike Christenson, told that organization’s newspaper, the Pro-Family News in 2001. ”This was in response to the very narrow defeat at the legislature of an attempt to repeal the Minnesota sodomy law.”
The effort to repeal the criminalization of homosexuality was supported by the Minnesota Council of Churches in 1982 . Amidst the perceived liberalism of mainstream Christianity in Minnesota, the Coalition of Concerned Christians was formed, which then blossomed into the Berean League.
Wendell and Roberta Brown were among the early founders and they joined the Rev. Morris Vaagenes of North Heights Lutheran Church in Roseville and former legislator Wayne Oloft to found the League. The foursome set out to block the planned repeal of sodomy laws and were successful; the repeal was narrowly defeated in the Minnesota Legislature in 1983.
Berean League’s literature painted gay people as diseased
The Berean League set up shop in St. Paul, where it published Roger J. Magnuson’s “Are Gay Rights Right?” a work that has been a staple of religious right groups for decades and has been discredited by civil rights groups.
The book, first published in 1985 and revamped in 1990 with a “special AIDs supplement,” contains chapters such as “What do homosexuals do?,” “Where do homosexuals do it?,” and “With whom does the homosexual do it?” The book collected the most extreme examples of sexual activity from pornography, police reports and research articles from before psychological organizations had rejected homosexuality as a mental illness, to paint gay men as diseased and psychologically deviant.
The book took advantage of the HIV epidemic in gay men to spur fears that “innocent” Americans may become infected.
Magnuson and his book played key roles in the 1992 Colorado ballot initiative that barred laws preventing discrimination against LGBT people. That initiative passed by the voters but was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996.
In 1990, Dr. Ralph Blair of Evangelicals Concerned, reviewed Magnuson’s book, which argued that gay people weren’t discriminated against. Blair knocked down “outrageous statements” by Magnuson, such as that “one-fifth of all homosexuals admitted to having sexual contact, or at least masturbating, with animals.”
Blair condemned the false information in Magnuson’s book: ” These statements may remind one of segregationists’ warnings against racial “mongrelization,” appeals to Bible verses to support slavery, and papal decrees against sex with Jews and Protestants. How can a Christian write such a book? How can Christians buy into such a book?”

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