Daily Archives: October 4, 2011

Media Coverage on ‘Occupy Wall Street’ | The New York Observer

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Nice Try, Dick!

Recently,  Dick Cheney demanded that the POTUS apologize for saying torture doesn’t work in the war on terror…

The Dish – Andrew Sullivan

The incompetent, panic-stricken war-criminal won’t give up trying to whitewash his crimes and military disasters by citing Obama. But this weekend was a new low. He cited the al-Awlaki killing as a sign that the Obama administration is no different when it comes to the war on terror than the Bush administration, and demanded an apology. Yes, an apology! He wants to elide surgical, intelligence-based drone attacks with his own torture program. Mercifully, McCain set him right:

Cheney still has no idea what the rule of law is, or what American values are. The idea that anyone owes this war criminal an apology is preposterous. The real apology, it seems to me, should come from Cheney himself, for both betraying core Western values, violating the rule of law, undermining his successor as commander-in-chief with constant self-serving jibes, attacks and condemnations for at least a year and a half after Obama took office, and losing two wars that Obama has largely won.

Bush knew better and with a modicum of dignity, let his successor govern without back-seat driving. And somewhere, deep down, I have to believe, Cheney must surely feel some kind of remorse – or he wouldn’t feel so desperate to justify his own membership of the ranks of war criminals through the ages. Why else try to appropriate the victories of Obama in a war the Bush administration hopelessly compromised and bungled? He senses history is not going to be kind. On that, at least, he’s right. I just want justice to stay one foot in front of history so this war criminal gets the punishment he deserves – while he is still alive.

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Millions Of Voters Impacted By New GOP Photo I.D., Citizenship And Registration Laws

If the GOP were not afraid of those disenfranchised voters, they wouldn’t be doing this.  The whole idea is to impact the election in their favor.  This is absolutely un-American…

The Huffington Post

According to a new report, over five million voters could be denied the right to vote under new laws adopted in a dozen states.

The study released Sunday night by the Brennan Center for Justice in New York said that new laws regarding photo identification requirements for voting, eliminating same day voter registration in several states, requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, changing requirements for voter registration drives, reducing early voting days and restoring the right to vote for convicted felons will make voting harder for the five million people in the 2012 election.

The Brennan Center wrote that there has been a partisan divide in terms of the new laws, noting that the laws had mainly been generated from Republican-controlled state legislatures and signed by Republican governors. The exceptions are laws passed by Democratic-controlled legislatures in Rhode Island and West Virginia, signed by an independent governor in Rhode Island and West Virginia’s Democratic acting governor.

The report also projects that the new laws will have an impact on minority voters. According to the Brennan Center, African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to register to vote during voter registration drives in Florida, and new photo I.D. requirements in Texas do not include forms of identification heavily used by minorities. The report points to new laws requiring photo identification to vote in Alabama, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin that would limit voting to up to 3.2 million citizens who do not have government-issued photo I.D. The report did not include Rhode Island’s new photo identification law, which allows for non-governmental photo I.D.s to be used for voting, saying that the state’s law does not have the same requirements as measures elsewhere. Prior to 2011, only Indiana and Georgia had photo I.D. laws on the books.

All of the states allow for driver’s licenses, government-issued photo I.D. cards, passports and military I.D.s to vote. Alabama, Kansas and Rhode Island laws will all allow for student I.D. cards from state universities to vote. Kansas, Texas, Rhode Island, Alabama and Tennessee all allow concealed handgun licenses to vote.

Continue reading…

 

Watch Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach introduce the election law bill in January:

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How Unequal We Are: The Top 5 Facts You Should Know About The Wealthiest One Percent Of Americans

This article breaks it down for those of us who might say that the banksters are “struggling to make ends meet”.  Give me a break, Mayor Bloomberg!

Think Progress

[...]

It may shock you exactly how wealthy this top 1 percent of Americans is. ThinkProgress has assembled five facts about this class of super-rich Americans:

1. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Owns 40 Percent Of The Nation’s Wealth: As Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz points out, the richest 1 percent of Americans now own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Sociologist William Domhoff illustrates this wealth disparity using 2007 figures where the top 1 percent owned 42 percent of the country’s financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home). How much does the bottom 80 percent own? Only 7 percent:

 

 

As Stiglitz notes, this disparity is much worse than it was in the past, as just 25 years ago the top 1 percent owned 33 percent of national wealth.

2. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Take Home 24 Percent Of National Income:While the richest 1 percent of Americans take home almost a quarter of national income today, in 1976 they took home just 9 percent — meaning their share of the national income pool has nearly tripled in roughly three decades.

3. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Own Half Of The Country’s Stocks, Bonds, And Mutual Funds: The Institute for Policy Studies illustrates this massive disparity in financial investment ownership, noting that the bottom 50 percent of Americans own only .5 percent of these investments:

 

 

4. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Have Only 5 Percent Of The Nation’s Personal Debt:

Using 2007 figures, sociologist William Domhoff points out that the top 1 percent have 5 percent of the nation’s personal debt while the bottom 90 percent have 73 percent of total debt:

 

 

5. 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, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities illustrates in this chart using 2007 data:

 

 

As Professor Elizabeth Warren has explained, “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody…Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” More and more often, that is not occurring, giving the protesters ample reason to take to the streets.

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Top 5 Reasons Why The Occupy Wall Street Protests Embody Values Of The Real Boston Tea Party

Think Progress

In recent years, the Boston Tea Party has been associated with a right-wing movement that supports policies favoring powerful corporations and the wealthy. As ThinkProgress has reported, lobbyists and Republican front groups have driven the current manifestation of the Tea Party to push for giveaways to oil companies and big businesses.

However, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations picking up momentum across the country better embody the values of the original Boston Tea Party. In the late 18th century, the British government became deeply entwined with the interests of the East India Trading Company, a massive conglomerate that counted British aristocracy as shareholders. Americans, upset with a government that used the colonies to enrich the East India Trading Company, donned Native American costumes and boarded the ships belonging to the company and destroyed the company’s tea. In the last two weeks, as protesters have gathered from New York to Los Angeles to protest corporate domination over American politics, a true Tea Party movement may be brewing:

1.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was A Civil Disobedience Action Against A Private Corporation. In 1773, agitators blocked the importation of tea by East India Trading Company ships across the country. In Boston harbor, a band of protesters led by Samuel Adams boarded the corporation’s ships and dumped the tea into the harbor. No East India Trading Company employees were harmed, but the destruction of the company’s tea is estimated to be worth up to $2 million in today’s money. The Occupy Wall Street protests have targetedbig banks like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, as well as multinational corporations like GE with sit-ins and peaceful rallies.

2.) The Original Boston Tea Party Feared That Corporate Greed Would Destroy America. As Professor Benjamin Carp has argued, colonists perceived the East India Trading Company as a “fearsome monopolistic company that was going to rob them blind and pave the way maybe for their enslavement.” A popular pamphlet called The Alarm agitated for a revolt against the East India Trading Company by warning that the British corporation would devastate America just as it had devastated South Asian colonies: “Their Conduct in Asia, for some Years past, has given simple Proof, how little they regard the Laws of Nations, the Rights, Liberties, or Lives of Men. [...] And these not being sufficient to glut their Avarice, they have, by the most unparalleled Barbarities, Extortions, and Monopolies, stripped the miserable Inhabitants of their Property, and reduced whole Provinces to Indigence and Ruin.”

3.) The Original Boston Tea Party Believed Government Necessary To Protect Against Corporate Excess. Smithsonian historian Barbara Smith has noted that Samuel Adams believed that oppression could occur when governments are too weak. As Adams explained in a Boston newspaper, government should exist “to protect the people and promote their prosperity.” Patriots behind the Tea Party revolt believed “rough economic equality was necessary to maintaining liberty,” says Smith. Occupy Wall Street protesters demand a country that invests in education, infrastructure, and jobs.

4.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was Sparked By A Corporate Tax Cut For A British Corporation. The Tea Act, a law by the British Parliament exempting tea imported by the East India Trading Company from taxes and allowing the corporation to directly ship its tea to the colonies for sale, is credited with setting off the Boston Tea Party. The law was perceived as an effort by the British to bailout the East India Trading Company by shutting off competition from American shippers. George R.T. Hewes, one of the patriots who boarded the East India Trading Company ships and dumped the tea, told a biographer that the East India Trading Company had twisted the laws so “it was no longer the small vessels of private merchants, who went to vend tea for their own account in the ports of the colonies, but, on the contrary, ships of an enormous burthen, that transported immense quantities of this commodity.” Occupy Wall Street demands the end of corporate tax loopholes as well as the enactment of higher taxes on billionaires and millionaires.

5.) The Original Boston Tea Party Wanted A Stronger Democracy. There is a common misconception that the Boston Tea Party was simply a revolt against taxation. The truth is much more nuanced, and there were many factors behind the opposition to the East India Company and the British government. Although the colonists resented taxes levied by a distant British Parliament, in the years preceding the Tea Party, the Massachusetts colony had levied taxes several times to pay for local services. The issue at hand was representation and government accountable to the needs of the American people. Patrick Henry and other patriots organized the revolutionary effort by claiming that legitimate laws and taxes could only be passed by legislatures elected by Americans. According to historian Benjamin Carp, the protesters in Boston perceived that the British government’s actions were set by the East India Trading Company. “As Americans learned more about the provisions of the new East India Company laws, they realized that Parliament would sooner lenda hand to the Company than the colonies,” wrote Carp.

Progressive political movements, from Martin Luther King to Mahatma Gandhi, have drawn on the original American Boston Tea Party for inspiring civil disobedience against oppression. Indeed, the very first Boston Tea Party was truly radical and faced scorn from elites and conservatives of the era.

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Hank Williams Jr. bounced from tonight’s Monday Night Football opener after controversial comments

I wonder if Hank Williams, Jr. actually studied 1930-1945 world history?  Somehow I doubt it. Just what makes him an authority on the matter?  The Tea Party?

NY Daily News

Hank Williams Jr. won’t be ready for some football this Monday night.

ESPN bounced Williams’ trademark opening “Are you ready for some football?” after the longtime voice of  Monday Night Football‘s theme song, after he compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

“While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football,” an ESPN spokesman wrote in an email to the Daily News.

“We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”

The award-winning country singer made the controversial comparison in an interview on Fox and Friends Monday morning in a bizarre chat about politics.

Williams began his TV appearance by slamming the GOP presidential candidates and saying House Majority Leader John Boehner‘s golf game with Obama was a huge mistake.

“You remember the golf game they had? That was one of the biggest political mistakes ever. That turned a lot of people off. It just didn’t go over,” he said.
When asked what about the game he didn’t like, Williams Jr. pointed to the participants.

“Come on, come on, that would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” he said. “In the shape this country is in?”

When host Brian Kilmeade said he didn’t understand the analogy, Williams Jr. replied “I’m glad you don’t brother, because a lot of people do. They’re the enemy… Obama! And Biden! Are you kidding? The Three Stooges.”

It was not clear who the third stooge was in that analogy.

“The one that makes the most sense is Hermann Cain,” he said, of the Republican field.

The hosts noted Williams once supported Sarah Palin.

“Boy was I … I don’t know, like I said guys they’ve turned a lot of people off,” he said. “Look at USA Today poll, 89% said Congress should be completely replaced. I agree with them. The healthcare bill doesn’t fly either.”

Gretchen Carlson then brought up that he obviously wasn’t a fan of the President or Congress working together to find compromise.

“We’re more polarized than we’ve ever been guys, I’m not going to sugarcoat it …” he said.

“Well you didn’t,” she said. “You used the name of one of the most hated people in the entire world to describe the President …”

Williams Jr. then smirked and said “Well that’s true. But I’m telling you like it is … Like Fred Thompson said you may not want to ask me a question because I’ll give you too straight of an answer.

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New York Observer: Exclusive “Occupy Wall Street” Unaired Fox Footage

Who is that guy?  He needs to work for the Obama administration as press secretary.

You really have to ask yourself why Fox News ambush reporter did not show this on Fox News‘ Greta Van Susteran or one of the other ditto-heads there.  This guys answers to the reporters’ lame questions are simply PHENOMENAL!

The New York Observer

Even if Geraldo Rivera was at the Zuccotti Park yesterday, Fox News has generally been a tad dismissive of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Foxnews.com (as of this writing) has no coverage of this national event on their front page stories. (Hard to imagine for a network that was so gung-ho about the Tea Party!) Red Eye‘s Bill Schulzwent out to try to “prank” the protestersBill O’Reilly sent a producer minion out with the same mission: to belittle OWS’s cause by cutting up interviews to make people sound stupid.

Well, here is an interview that Fox News filmed, but doesn’t want you to see. The segment was shot on Wednesday for Greta van Susteren‘s show, (though it looks like the same producer from this O’Reilly segment questioning Michael Moore‘s anti-capitalist agenda) though the decision was made to leave it on the cutting room floor. The reason should be obvious pretty quickly.

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