From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/opinion/panic-of-the-plutocrats.html
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: October 9, 2011
It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.
And this reaction tells you something important — namely, that the extremists threatening American values are what F.D.R. called “economic royalists,” not the people camping in Zuccotti Park.
Consider first how Republican politicians have portrayed the modest-sized if growing demonstrations, which have involved some confrontations with the police — confrontations that seem to have involved a lot of police overreaction — but nothing one could call a riot. And there has in fact been nothing so far to match the behavior of Tea Party crowds in the summer of 2009.
Nonetheless, Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, has denounced “mobs” and “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” The G.O.P. presidential candidates have weighed in, with Mitt Romney accusing the protesters of waging “class warfare,” while Herman Cain calls them “anti-American.” My favorite, however, is Senator Rand Paul, who for some reason worries that the protesters will start seizing iPads, because they believe rich people don’t deserve to have them.
Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor and a financial-industry titan in his own right, was a bit more moderate, but still accused the protesters of trying to “take the jobs away from people working in this city,” a statement that bears no resemblance to the movement’s actual goals.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/opinion/panic-of-the-plutocrats.html
MANHATTAN — Ben & Jerry’s has a taste for protest.
The Vermont ice cream purveyors have tossed their weight behind the Occupy Wall Street movement in a high-profile boost for the anti-Wall Street demonstration group.
“We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity,” reads a message on Ben & Jerry’s website.
The message features a graphic of the company’s signature cow holding an “Occupy” sign with a city skyline in the background.
From The Progressive: http://www.progressive.org/occupy_wall_street.html
By Matthew Rothschild
October 7, 2011
The Occupy Wall Street protest is the spark of a great new mass movement for economic justice, for economic democracy.
This movement is finally answering the question, “How long are Americans going to continue to roll over and just take all this abuse?”
And the answer: “No longer.”
Michael Moore, in his movie “Capitalism: A Love Story,” singlehandedly put crime tape all around Wall Street.
But now hundreds and thousands of protesters are symbolically doing it, too. They recognize, as he did, that the bankers on Wall Streets are criminals who destroyed the economy and thereby robbed millions of Americans of their jobs and life savings.
The slogan of the protesters, “We are the 99%,” is a perfect one because it emphasizes just how undemocratic and unfair our current system is.
Continue reading at: http://www.progressive.org/occupy_wall_street.html
By Kevin Drum
Sat Oct. 8, 2011
Ezra Klein has a really, really good piece in the Post today that looks back at the Obama administration’s response to the Great Recession and explains why it wasn’t enough. It’s so good that I almost hate to excerpt anything, but you guys are spoiled and might not click the link just because I tell you it’s well worth 15 minutes of your time to do it. So here’s an excerpt that explains why Team Obama did so little about mortgage debt even though it was clear from the beginning that debt was a key difference between this recession and every other postwar recession:
On first blush, there are few groups more sympathetic than underwater homeowners or foreclosed families. They remain so until about two seconds after their neighbors are asked to pay their mortgages. Recall that Rick Santelli’s famous CNBC rant wasn’t about big government or high taxes or creeping socialism. It was about a modest program the White House was proposing to help certain homeowners restructure their mortgages. It had Santelli screaming bloody murder.
“This is America!” he shouted from the trading floor at the Chicago Board of Trade. “How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? Raise their hand.” The traders around him began booing loudly. “President Obama, are you listening?”
Thus was the Tea Party born. And it’s an important point: one way or another, taxpayers are always going to be on the hook for any kind of debt relief. They can be on the hook directly, by shoveling dollars to homeowners so they can pay down their mortgages, or they can be on the hook indirectly by bailing out all the banks that would fail if courts were allowed to unilaterally slash the principal on underwater mortgages via cramdown. Taxpayers aren’t going to be happy about this either way, and like it or not, that constrains the responses available to politicians.
by Phil Radford
October 6, 2011
It’s now abundantly clear that the State Department’s handling of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has been overtaken by polluter lobbyists. Emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Friends of the Earth reveal that State Department officials provided inside information to Transcanada lobbyist and former Hillary Clinton aide Paul Elliott. The State Department Keystone XL hearings are even being run by a TransCanada contractor.
And it’s not just TransCanada that has special access to our public officials; Desmogblog has revealed that several other polluter lobbyists with ties to Hillary Clinton have lobbied for the tar sands pipeline. And Inside Climate News revealed this week that a Koch Industries’ subsidiary told Canadian regulators it has a ‘direct and substantial interest’ in the Keystone XL pipeline in order to participate in the Canadian Energy Board’s approval process. This comes after Koch told members of Congress exactly the opposite – that it has “no financial interest” in the Keystone XL pipeline.
The growing scandals around cozy relationships between oil lobbyists and the State Department further discredit their absurd conclusion that Keystone XL would have ‘no significant impact’ on the environment. Its why Greenpeace has joined other environmental and public interest groups to call on President Obama to reject the State Department’s biased conclusions. And hundreds of people will rally this Friday at the final Keystone XL pipeline hearing in Washington DC to make sure oil lobbyists aren’t the only voices heard.
President Obama promised that in his administration, lobbyists would no longer run Washington DC; a rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline would show that this was more than just an empty promise.
(CNN) — Wall Street is more than 10,000 miles away from Melbourne, but 24-year-old Australian Alex Gard felt a kinship to the outrage expressed on the streets of Manhattan.
“It’s great that people are finally standing up against the privileged few people who want to rule together,” Gard said. “I wanted to stand together and say, `Enough is enough’.”
Gard is one of the organizers of “Occupy Melbourne,” a group that started on Facebook that now has more than 2,000 members with plans to protest on October 15 in City Square. Similar calls have sprung up around Australia: “Occupy Brisbane,” “Occupy Perth,” and “Occupy Sydney.”
“We are inspired by what’s happening on Wall Street and loosely liaising with each other, but it’s not organized in any central way,” said Gard, who works as a mechanic on cargo ships.
Gard and the planned Australian spin-offs of “Occupy Wall Street” are not alone. There are Facebook calls for a global demonstration on October 15 in cities in more than 25 countries stretching from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires, Dublin to Madrid.
Continue reading at: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/07/business/wall-street-protest-global/