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Monday, October 31, 2011

Quote Of The Day - Defending The Occupation Edition, cont..

Oct 31st, 2011

"When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money."
-- Matt Taibbi, once again confronting the chin high levels of manure that anti-Occupation critics are shoveling.

Perry Watch - WTF Happened In New Hampshire?

Oct 31, 2011

Gov Rick Perry's recent appearance in Manchester, New Hampshire has raised more than a few eyebrows. I am not the only one who thinks he was seriously intoxicated. It's the only plausible explanation.

Quote Of The Day

Oct 31st 2011

"Ah, yes, superstition: it would appear to be cowardice in face of the supernatural."
-- Theophrastus
Image via

A Poem For Halloween

Oct 31st 2011

excerpted from "The Giaour"
by Lord Byron

But first, on earth as Vampire sent,
Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race:
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet 
By which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corpse:
Thy victims, ere they yet expire,
Shall know the demon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers are wither'd on the stem...
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;
Then stalking to thy sullen grave,
Go--and with Ghouls and Afrits rave;
Till these in horror shrink away
From spectre more accursed than they!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meet The Top .01%

Oct 30th, 2011

via War Costs

Down The Rabbit Hole With The GOP, cont...

Oct 30th, 2011

A short time ago, one of our favorite sites, The Political Carnival, highlighted an astounding piece from Republican strategist Ed Rogers. Writing earlier this week for the WaPo's "Insiders" section, Rogers casually stated the following:

"Even though Cain won’t be the nominee, his candidacy tells us a lot about the psychology of GOP activists.

Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable.

And we don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.

In politics, a bumper sticker always beats an essay. Cain’s 9-9-9 is a bumper sticker; Romney’s economic plan is an essay. Perry’s rationale for giving the children of undocumented workers in-state college tuition rates is an essay. No hand-outs for illegal aliens is an effective bumper sticker." EMPHASIS OURS

This is not merely anti-intellectualism. It's the idolatry of rank stupidity. And that sums it up. What the Republican elites are apparently seeking, during the most complex economic crises of the post-industrial era, is the stupidest human being they can possibly find to run for the Presidency of the United States.

Sleep tight.

Down The Rabbit Hole With The GOP, cont...

Oct 30th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

The election might be a full year away, but the Republican field's long-shot contenders are already fighting to claim the title of "most insane" in order to suck the last gobs of cash they can from a spittle-dribbling donor-base of whack-jobs.

The flailing, sputtering and stunningly disconnected "presidential' campaign of Rick Santorum has fired a new broadside against Herman Cain. This new attack is predicated on Cain's being too Pro-Choice. You read that right. I am not making this up. Taking advantage of the confusion Cain expressed earlier this week on the issue, Santorum's media team is trying to raise money by casting a Cain Presidency as a major threat to the "unborn."



Cain is clearly terrified of this intra-psycho pushback. Today, he rearranged his messaging... again. He wants us to make no mistake; he is still a devoted member of the "stay barefoot, stay at home and use-a-wire-hanger" crowd.

via HuffPo:

"Cain clarified his stance Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," saying he is "pro-life from conception, period." He also stood by claims he made this Spring that Planned Parenthood is "planned genocide," and that the organization's mission to "help kill black babies before they came into the world."



The GOP continues its march into territory than not only a majority, but also a provable plurality, is opposed to entering.

Worth 1,000 Words

Oct 30th, 2011

A big H/T to BeingLiberal

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

Oct 30th, 2011

The jokers at Bad Lip Reading have outdone themselves with this Herman Cain clip.

You Still Don't Get It?

Oct 30th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker with a hat tip to Tonye for his metaphorical wisdom

A man who is very ill goes to the doctor. He explains, in great detail, all of the symptoms he is experiencing. His situation is dire. He can feel it. So many things are wrong that his list of ailments is almost overwhelming.

The doctor pretends to listen, but is largely disinterested. Finally, in exasperation, he asks the patient, "well, what the Hell am I supposed to do about it?"

Welcome to the Occupy Movement.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Preparing For Repression

Oct 29th, 2011
Please help us continue our work by donating whatever you can afford to our PayPal account on the right.

Click the image for a larger view

Quote Of The Day

Oct 29th, 2011

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell

Really, Google.? Really?

Oct 29th, 2011
Please help us continue our work by donating whatever you can afford to our PayPal account on the right.

This rough video we produced was up on my site and many others last week. Today, some readers asked, and I quote, "why did you remove it?"

WE DID NOT REMOVE IT. Someone else did. Here it is again. We will not be moved. These streets are OUR streets. This country is our country. Here's proof...

Friday, October 28, 2011

We Need Your Support

Oct 28th, 2011
from F. Grey Parker and The Hand
Please help us continue our work by donating whatever you can afford to our PayPal account on the right.
More spoiled, young hippies in New York
In order to continue traveling to Occupation cities and covering events on the ground while supporting the movement, we need financial help.

We do not use advertising at The Hand. 

We do not take marching orders from anyone. We do not corrupt our activities by obeying the dictates of others. We advocate. We participate. And, we work on the ground to show the truth as we see it.

Other independent journalists and commentators participating in the Occupy Movement are losing their jobs for doing so.

via WaPo:
"A freelance broadcaster who works for music and documentary programs has been fired from a job after NPR questioned her involvement in a Washington protest.

Lisa Simeone said Thursday that she was fired from “Soundprint,” a documentary show that is not produced by NPR."


Lisa Simeone specialized in a program on the state of contemporary opera. Clearly, she could not be trusted to make objective critiques of the arts while engaging legal, democratic political action in her private life. (Psst, that was sarcasm)

The Atlantic Wire reports:
"The people who make their shows for NPR stations, dinged by the perception that they're a bunch of kneejerk liberals, are proving themselves to be very, very touchy about how their employees participate with Occupy Wall Street. Today, Gawker has posted the first-hand account of Caitlin E. Curran, a Brooklyn-based former freelancer for The Takeaway, which is co-produced by NPR-member station WNYC and Public Radio International, who was fired from her public radio gig as a part-time web producer after her boss discovered she (briefly) participated in an Occupy protest."

Again, the details point to a coordinated effort to frighten and humiliate experienced media participants who sympathize with the Occupation

We do not risk this. We answer to a single higher power... our consciences.

We need to replace equipment, we need more winterized clothing and, most importantly, we need to replenish our travel budget.

If you support our work, give of what you can. Every dollar counts.

"It's Only Money"

Oct 28th, 2011
from F. Grey Parker and The Hand
Please help us continue our work by donating whatever you can afford to our PayPal account on the right.

More Wheels Spinning...

Oct 28th, 2011

Or smoke and mirrors... pick any similar metaphor.

From HuffPost Hill:
"GOP TARGETS OWN NON-IMPLEMENTED LAW - House Republicans pivoted to #jobs today, they said, bringing to the floor legislation targeting a three percent withholding. Get rid of that withholding, they said, and you'll create #jobs. (Or job creators will, but you get the picture.) But the withholdingwas initially passed into law by the Republican majority in 2006, with the GOP supporting it 229 to 2. Democrats subsequently delayed its implementation. It's currently scheduled to go into effect in 2013, so the GOP's onslaught was against a law that exists only in theory and only thanks to them. (Boehner's office says the initial withholding was one part of a bigger bill, so the roll call isn't that meaningful. Our office says: Whatever!)"

This sums up what's wrong with just about everything.

Quote Of The Day

Oct 28th, 2011

"All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride legitimately, by the grace of God."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Oct 27th, 2011

Image via
"You don't love somebody because of their looks, or their clothes or their car... you love them because they sing a song that nobody but you can understand." -- L. J. Smith

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Oct 26th, 2011

"A movement is only composed of people moving. To feel its warmth and motion around us is the end as well as the means."
-- Gloria Steinem

Quote Of The Day

Oct 26th, 2011

"A movement is only composed of people moving. To feel its warmth and motion around us is the end as well as the means."
-- Gloria Steinem

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Oct 24th, 2011

"Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs."
-- Christopher Morley

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Oct 23rd, 2011
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."
-- Baha'u'llah
© copyright 2011 F. Grey Parker

Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Infiltrator At Occupy Wall Street?

Oct 22nd, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

You may have heard about the "young man" who climbed the statue in Zuccotti Park early this morning and issued a series of delusional demands. Many believe this to be the work of an infiltrator. I certainly think so. Read further and judge for yourself.
© copyright 2011 F. Grey Parker


First let's review recent events:

Quote Of The Day

Oct 22nd, 2011

 © Copyright 2011 F. Grey Parker
"Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects... 
totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations." 
-- Aldous Huxley

Friday, October 21, 2011

The MRC At Zuccotti Park

Oct 21st, 2011

Just as I noticed some of Brent Bozell's MRC trolls walking past me at Occupy Wall Street, another guy spotted them and let loose. It is a very entertaining exchange. They gave a dissembling response when I pressed them on their contention that they weren't there to smear the Occupation. Also, note the open minded Occupant who came over to defend their right to be there.

Quote Of The Day

Oct 21st, 2011
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." -- Thomas Paine

© Copyright 2011 F. Grey Parker

 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Win For The Occupation...

Oct 20th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

Here at Zuccotti Park, the modestly sized tract of land in lower Manhattan upon which the world has fixated its attention, there are reasons to be concerned about whether morale will hold over the coming Winter. This is just common sense.

It is not, however, based on anything being seen on the ground.

Wednesday night, as temperatures dropped and rains came, went, then tauntingly returned, the supporters were subjected to the exact conditions that many conservative pundits had predicted spelled doom for their movement. Chilling winds lashed the occupation repeatedly. The camp was drenched.

Worth A Thousand Words

Oct 20th, 2011

Yup. Just like the mainstream media says, Occupy Wall Street is 'all young, all white, and all stoned...'
Wait... no they're not.

Quote Of The Day

Oct 20th 2011
"A renewed commitment to the freedom and opportunity of our people is the touchstone of our time."
-- Bill Owens
A very wet morning at Zuccotti Park, NY, NY. The Occupation is unmoved

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Oct 19th, 2011

Photo by Caroline Schiff via
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicago's Occupation Holds On

Oct 18th, 2011
F. Grey Parker 6:15pm CST 

The Occupy Movement in Chicago continues across the street from my location. In spite of intermittent rain, dropping temperatures and a few touch and go minutes with the CPD, the protesters remain.

I had told the participants with whom I have become familiar that I would come back one more time before departing to cover the Occupation on Wall Street itself.

In spite of their fatigue, everyone I have spoken with today insists they have no intention of leaving anytime soon. Why should they? The citizens of more than 80 other countries marched in solidarity with them only a few days ago.  What's more, they are still keeping very level heads.

The tension rose briefly today when the protesters attempted to protect their information and donation center from the elements by using tarps. It seemed as if the police were only moments away from cracking down and there were threats of arrests.

For all the incessant chatter that this is a "leaderless" mob, there is a volunteer structure which prevents chaos... provided the authorities let them do so. Like all the occupy protests, the Chicago Occupation has a security committee. This group has spent days, some of them weeks, building personal rapport with the officers regularly assigned to the scene. They admirably defused the situation and provided guidance to fellow occupiers who assisted in meeting the officers demands. No one lost their cool. No one fell apart.

That's the whole point, though. Isn't it? This is civil disobedience. This is not a gang of thugs looking for confrontation at every turn.

I will be back in a week to see what has become of this part of the occupation. I cannot help but wish them the best. The following video is a raw cut of the scenes we have captured while here.

This is the Chicago occupation we saw.

The GOP Vs. Republican Voters

Oct 18th, 2011

It is truly amazing just how reactionary the elite leadership of the GOP has become. Not only do they stand in opposition to broad pluralities within our country on the issues, they are actually working against the clearly stated wishes of a majority of their own voters. Steve Benen analyzes the results of a new CNN poll tracking registered Republican opinion:

"Do you favor or oppose "cutting the payroll tax for all American workers"?

Republicans in favor: 58%
Republicans opposed: 40%

Do you favor or oppose "providing federal money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders"?

Republicans in favor: 63%
Republicans opposed: 36%

Do you favor or oppose "increasing federal spending to build and repair roads, bridges, and schools"?

Republicans in favor: 54%
Republicans opposed: 46%

Do you favor or oppose "increasing the taxes paid by people who make more than one million dollars a year"?

Republicans in favor: 56%
Republicans opposed: 43%"


Anyone who argues that the modern GOP is representative of more than a sliver of the country is probably a member of the GOP in an official capacity.

The Gasbag Leaks

Oct 18th, 2011

Donald Trump continues to misunderstand American rights: "I do think that government maybe is letting this go a little bit too far." That's right. He said it. Apparently, in Trump's Bizzaro America, assembly requires government consent.

Perhaps We Should Thank Them

Oct 18th, 2011

Tom Engelhardt notes the correlation between extreme police behavior in New York City and the rapid expansion of support for Occupy Wall Street:

"Their stakeout in Zuccotti Park is geared to extreme acts, suicide bombers, and terrorism, as well as to a conception of protest and opposition as alien and enemy-like. They are trying to herd, lock in, and possibly strangle a phenomenon that bears no relation to any of this. They are, that is, policing the wrong thing, which is why every act of pepper spraying or swing of the truncheon, every aggressive act (as in the recent eviction threat to “clean” the park) blows back on them and only increases the size and coverage of the movement."

That the authorities haven't learned this by now is stunning.

Quote Of The Day

Oct 18th, 2011

"If you want peace, work for justice."
-- H L Mencken

Listen...

Oct 18th, 2011

A short film by Eric Allen Bell

"I Am Not Moving"

Oct 18th, 2011

Holding The NYPD Accountable

Oct 18th, 2011

The Guardian reports:

"A second senior New York police officer is being formally investigated over allegations that he assaulted an Occupy Wall Street protester, raising fresh questions over the NYPD's deployment of supervisors on the front line in volatile public order situations."

I have noted repeatedly that a vast majority of flagrant abuses have come from the "white collar" supervisors and not from the "blue collar" rank and file.

"The officer, who has been named in news reports as deputy inspector Johnny Cardona, was filmed on Friday grabbing the protester from behind, spinning him round and appearing to punch him in the face so hard that he fell to the ground.

The New York Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent mayoral agency that deals with allegations of excessive or unnecessary force against police, is now investigating the incident, along with a number of other complaints over policing of the protests.

This is the second inquiry the board has launched in the last month into an alleged assault by a senior NYPD officer on Occupy Wall Street protesters. It is also investigating the use of pepper spray on peaceful female protesters by another deputy inspector, Anthony Bologna, who is also the subject of an internal NYPD inquiry."

The City Is Behind The Occupation

Oct 18th, 2011

By a wide margin, the people of the city of New York support the Occupy Wall Street movement. They get it. From a new Quinnipiac Poll

"By a 67 - 23 percent margin, New York City voters agree with the views of the Wall Street protesters and say 87 - 10 percent that it is "okay that they are protesting," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Agreeing with the protesters views are Democrats 81 - 11 percent and independent voters 58 - 30 percent, while Republicans disagree 58 - 35 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Even Republicans, however, agree 73 - 23 percent with the protesters right to be there.

New York City voters say 72 - 24 percent, including 52 - 41 percent among Republicans, that if the protesters obey the law, they can stay as long as they wish.

A total of 72 percent of voters say they understand the protesters' views "very well" or "fairly well," with 17 percent who say "not too well" and 10 percent who say "not well at all."

Voters split 46 - 45 percent in their approval of the way police are handling the Wall Street protest, but approve 61 - 33 percent of how the police are doing their job overall.

"It's a free country. Let them keep on protesting as long as they obey the law, New Yorkers say overwhelmingly," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Critics complain that no one can figure out what the protesters are protesting. But seven out of 10 New Yorkers say they understand and most agree with the anti-Wall Street views of the protesters."

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Manhattan Marine

Oct 17th, 2011

If you have not yet seen this, stop what you are doing...

American's Economic Misperceptions

Oct 17th, 2011

The Anti-Occupation Is Getting Crazy, part 3

Oct 17th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

Having spent time on the ground with Occupy Chicago, including the massive march this weekend, it is increasingly shocking to see not only the distortions from detractors but, also, how much they are actually cheering on violence against the movement.

For example, popular right wing trouble maker Kurt Schlichter tweeted "club, club club!" late this past Saturday night as the police moved in to disperse the tent city constructed on Michigan avenue.


Some of his fellow travelers go further. They are actually attempting to provoke worse outrages against Americans assembling and speaking freely. Andy Breitbart, in particular, launched a sick smear of the Occupiers as stooges of al-Qaeda last week.

How is this not like shouting fire in a crowded theater?

All it might take is one mouth-breathing wingnut with a perverted sense of "patriotism" to follow this propaganda to its illogical conclusion.

If you think this is an exaggeration of Breitbart's intent, you are simply unaware of how much he has openly embraced notions of violence against the left. Speaking to a gathering of the Red Mass Group greater Boston Tea Party just one month ago, he said, "They can only win a rhetorical or propaganda war. We outnumber them and we have the guns." The group laughed a bit nervously and, just so there was no misunderstanding, Breitbart doubled down on it, "I'm not kidding."



He's right, on one level... If our battles are confined to the arena of ideas?

We can win. This terrifies him.

Therefore, he riles and provokes his followers by publishing dangerous falsehoods with the apparent hope of seeing some of us get killed.

Quote Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

Oct 17th, 2011
It really is this simple.

"The modern lords of finance look at the protesters and ask, Don’t they understand what we’ve done for the U.S. economy? The answer is: yes, many of the protesters do understand what Wall Street and more generally the nation’s economic elite have done for us. And that’s why they’re protesting."
-- Paul Krugman

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Oct 16th, 2011

"An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so."
-- Mohandas Gandhi

The Occupation Has A Theme Song

Oct 16th, 2011

"The businessmen drink my blood...
like the kids in art school said they would..."

Chicago... Yeah

Oct 16th, 2011

I really meant to edit this into slick, little and easily digestible clips first. However, it probaly should be seen in its raw form.

Quote Of The Day

Oct 16th, 2011

"A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation."
-- Adlai E. Stevenson

It Is Going Down In Chicago

Oct 16th, 2011
1:35am CST
Too much is happening and it's happening too fast to keep up. Call Mayor Rahm Emanuel at 312-744-5000 and tell him this is what Democracy looks like... as long as the freely assembled are allowed to... you know... assemble.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How We Got Here, cont...

Oct 15th, 2011

Brilliantly explained...

9-9-9 And The Challenge For Cain's GOP Opponents

Oct 15th, 2011

Dave Weigel explains:

"The Republican voters who love 9-9-9 believe the same things that the old Forbes devotees believed. They believe that other Americans are paying no net income taxes, and they don’t think it’s fair. They know how much time they have to spend figuring out all of their deductions, and so a simple code—Forbes promised a tax form that could fit on a postcard—would solve their problem. Cain got a handle on that sentiment early, using it in this ad for his campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia in 2004. “The United States tax code,” he said. “It’s an 8-million-word mess!”

Cain’s rivals have to engage in a little bit of deprogramming. They must convince voters who think that the tax code is stacked against them of the truth: That complicated code is wasting some time while saving a lot of money. After the debate, NBC News’ Domenico Montanaro checked one of Cain’s claims—that a family pulling in $50,000 currently pays $10,000 in taxes. As Cain would say, the problem with that analysis is that it’s incorrect. With the grab bag of deductions left in place by Bush and Obama reforms, that family pays $766 in taxes. According to the professional rain-on-parade economist Bruce Bartlett, the first stage of 9-9-9 would do what it sounds like—it would increase the cost of living for poor people by 9 percent. Either Cain is right, and the supercharged economy would bail them out, or Cain is wrong, and they’ll be worse off than ever.

So how has Cain gotten so far on this idea?

"It’s a rejection of redistributionist tax policy," says Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, who is doing his gentle best to point out that 9-9-9’s a bad idea. "No one has done the calculations, so people are reacting viscerally to the idea. A single rate flat tax is a very attractive thing."

It’s attractive because it tells conservative voters what they already believe: Tax the free-loaders, simplify the forms, and the rest of the problems take care of themselves. To take Cain down, Republicans have to blow up the anti-tax arguments of 30 years."


Good luck with that, GOP.

Why They Are There, cont...

Oct 15th, 2011

Sound familiar?

Quote Of The Day

Oct 15th 2011

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Totally Blatant Police Brutality

Oct 14th, 2011
CONTACT NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and tell him we don't condone the public beating of women by police commanders in the United States of America. 

There is only one way to describe this. It is seriously ugly bullshit. Period. This "white shirt" is a bastard. To be fair, it is clear that his fellow officers were nearly as shocked as the crowd.


Well, This Is Familar

Oct 14th, 2011

Remember how George W. Bush pretty much collapsed the country? You know how it's all Obama's fault now, according to the jolly right wing? Does this seem familiar? TPM reports:

"As House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) continues to try to pin the flawed "gun walking" tactic employed in Operation Fast and Furious on the Obama administration, it's becoming increasingly clear that problems with ATF's Phoenix division date back at least into the Bush era.

TPM has obtained the documents relating toanother Bush-era ATF operation (on top ofOperation Wide Receiver) which deployed the "gun walking" tactic. The development was firstreported by Pete Yost of the Associated Press.

In fact, ATF officials wrote in 2007 that the gun walking tactic had "full approval" of the U.S. Attorney's Office being run by an interim Bush appointee and that the U.S. Embassy in Mexico was "fully on-board."


I can't wait to hear how they spin this over at The Murdoch Device.

"Under DOJ policy, illicit arms shipments are supposed to be intercepted whenever possible. But the emails show that just like in Operation Fast and Furious, official planned to allow guns to "walk" across the border and into Mexico in an attempt to identify traffickers higher up in the operation (rather than low ranking "straw purchasers," who are difficult to prosecutethanks to the lack of an anti-trafficking gun law).

On Sept. 27, 2007 -- when the Justice Department was reeling from the resignation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales -- ATF agents in Phoenix and Mexico were conducting partial surveillance of suspects who purchased numerous weapons at a federally licensed firearms dealership.

After they watched the group purchase 19 weapons on Sept. 21 and 24 and additional weapons on Sept. 27, they watched as the weapons crossed the border into Mexico.

"Phoenix AZ ATF agents observed this vehicle commit to the border and reach the Mexican side until it could no longer be seen," ATF assistant director Carson Carroll wrote in a Sept. 28, 2007 email. "We, the ATF (Mexico) did not get a response from the Mexican side until 20 minutes later, who then informed us that they did not see the vehicle cross."

A few days later, William Newell -- the ATF official in charge of the Phoenix division -- tried to assure colleagues that everything would be okay."


Indeed, this is clearly a structural failing and an entrenched bureaucratic crisis.
Just like the economy.

This culture of corruption was inherited by President Obama.
Just like the economy.

Somehow, I am sure Murdoch's stable of trained drones will tell us that it's still only fair to blame to the black guys..

A "Kent State Moment"

Oct 14th, 2011

Really, Donny? Really? On Morning Joe today, Donny Deutsh said something a lot of people are thinking. It's a hard, cynical view I have heard voiced by others. But, on TV, Donny? It is right on the line, man.

The GOP War On Just About Everybody

Oct 14th, 2011

It took less than a day for the GOP to truly distinguish itself as one of most reactionary and dangerous forces ever to confront our country. Facts don't matter. Science doesn't matter. The health and welfare of most other Americans doesn't matter.

Photo by Declan McCullagh 
First, they passed the "let women die" bill yesterday. This unprecedented (until this year) assault on women's rights, health and actual safety, gives any hospital the privilege of denying an abortive procedure on moral grounds in all instances. Even if the pregnancy is nonviable and not performing one will kill the pregnant woman, the house GOP unanimously endorsed allowing refusal of care.

Meet Chad Wilmer

Oct 14th, 2011

Thanks to Rachel Maddow for the introduction:

"Chad Wilmer of Downers Grove, Illinois, sends his counter to the We Are The 53%, where people post that they pay taxes and the other 47 percent don't, so the 99 percent should hush up."

Worth 1,000 Words

Oct 14th, 2011

What To Do In Case You Are Arrested

Oct 14th, 2011

Some really good advice from Being Liberal

"PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY: If you are arrested at an Occupy Event, call the National Lawyers Guild:

New York City: (212) 679-6018 
Los Angeles: (323) 696-2299 
Washington, DC: (202) 957 2445 
Chicago: (773) 309-1198 
San Francisco: (415) 285-1011 
New Orleans: (504) 875-0019 
Baltimore: (410) 205-2850 
Minnesota: (612) 656-9108 
Michigan: (313) 963-0843 
Portland: (503) 902-5340 
Boston: (617) 227-7335 
Pennsylvania & Delaware: (267) 702-4654 
Idaho: (208) 991-4324 

Be very sure to write the applicable phone number in PERMANENT marker somewhere concealed on your body, protected from the elements. Do NOT assume you will be able to retrieve the number from a phone or a notebook. It is very likely you will be stripped of all your belongings."

The Anti-Occupation Is Getting Crazy, cont...

Oct 14th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker
A reminder, supporters of the Occupation need to be wary of infiltrators, troublemakers and instigators.

Image via
As we reported earlier, the right wing freak out over the Occupy movement is elevating to new heights of paranoia. This morning, Andy Breitbart made ominous sounding pronouncements about his intention to "expose" the movement.

Papers Please? At The Occupation

Oct 14th, 2011

Anyone who was denied access to public property in New York today for not possessing corporate identification needs to contact the ACLU and the NYCLU immediately.

Today's Clashes At The Occupation

Oct 14th, 2011

After the victory in the park today, the occupiers marched. The police responded with violence... again.



A frightening scene...
Image via

A number of those in attendance were injured by NYPD's motorcycle division. Video of that is available HERE

Image via 

Winterize The Occupation

Oct 14th, 2011

If you support the occupation in spirit, there are many small things you can do to show that support in practice. The seasons are turning. It's getting colder. You can help.

Have a decent pair of gloves or mittens you can spare? Maybe an extra umbrella or two? Perhaps, you have a good, warm sweater or blanket that you can part with. Or tarps and tents. If you are in a city with an active occupation, I ask you to go out there. Bring something. It doesn't have to be a big something. Every act of unity matters and these are much needed, practical ways to show solidarity.


There are also other ways to assist and support the movement.

The New York Occupation has established the ability to receive your donations.

"The UPS store 118A #205 New York, New York 10038 RE: Occupy Wall Street. Money orders only please, cannot cash checks yet. Non-perishable goods only. We can accept packages of any size. We are currently low on food."

You can also donate HERE

The Chicago Occupation can receive your support HERE

Get involved. Get active. Do something.

From Critic To Advocate

Oct 14th, 2011

Not that long ago, many political observers on the left were expressing more frustration than support for the Occupy Movement. I was one of them. As any regular reader of this blog knows, my views have evolved substantially.

So, too, has the position of Sally Kohn. Today, she has written a passionate defense of the movement and its motives:

"Critics of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement complain that the protesters don’t have a policy agenda and, therefore, don’t stand for anything. They're wrong. The key isn’t what protesters are for but rather what they’re against -- the gaping inequality that has poisoned our economy, our politics and our nation.

In America today, 400 people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined. That’s not because 150 million Americans are pathetically lazy or even unlucky. In fact, Americans have been working harder than ever -- productivity has risen in the last several decades. Big business profits and CEO bonuses have also gone up. Worker salaries, however, have declined.

Most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters aren’t opposed to free market capitalism. In fact, what they want is an end to the crony capitalist system now in place, that makes it easier for the rich and powerful to get even more rich and powerful while making it increasingly hard for the rest of us to get by. The protesters are not anti-American radicals. They are the defenders of the American Dream, the decision from the birth of our nation that success should be determined by hard work not royal bloodlines."


Hear hear.

Russel Simmons Continues His Advocacy

Oct 14th, 2011

Once again, Russel Simmons has taken his support for the Occupy Movement directly to the street.

The Public Is Behind The Occupation

Oct 14th, 2011

Brian Montopoli reports for CBS on some very favorable polling numbers regarding the Occupy movement.

"The conservative criticism of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that it is a "growing mob" (House majority leader Eric Cantor) of "shiftless protestors" (The Tea Party Express) engaged in "class warfare" (GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain) whose grievances - whatever they are - are far outside the political mainstream.

The polls don't back that up.


A new survey out from Time Magazine found that 54 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the protests, while just 23 percent have a negative impression."

These are ordinary folks.

" An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, meanwhile, found that 37 percent of respondents "tend to support" the movement, while only 18 percent "tend to oppose" it.

The findings suggest that the right's portrait of the movement as a collection of lazy hippies who need to stop whining - to "take a shower and get a job" (Bill O'Reilly) - isn't resonating with most Americans."


I think the growing attacks from right are a big mistake. I also expect them to get worse.

The Wonders Of Editorial Headline Writing

Oct 14th, 2011

There are dozens of ways news outlets could have framed the victory of the Occupy Wall Street protesters this morning. Headline writing is, after all, really an art form. The power of a brief phrase in bold type to color a reader's perceptions is not to be underestimated. Were it up to me, I would have gone with something like "Bloomberg Blinks" or "Confrontation Averted in New York." Those are just for starters. However, more than one major outlet opted for variations of "Clean Up Cancelled." The thing is, they mostly paired these headlines with images of the park being cleaned up. Just an observation.

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Robert Reich Tackles 7 Big Lies

Oct 14th, 2011

A Victory In The Park

Oct 14th, 2011

The crowd's reaction to this morning's news.

The Anti-Occupation Is Getting Crazy

Oct 13th, 2011
NSFW
by F. Grey Parker

Image from AP via Politico
Hold onto your hats, Occupiers. After this morning's amazing victory over the city of New York and the postponement of their plan to evict the movement, attacks like the one's profiled below are just going to grow.

Quote Of The Day

Oct 14th, 2011

Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
"There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul."
-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox