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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nothing to see here people, STOP LOOKING!

2 more reasons you should totally avoid corporately owned media:

Global warming found to be correct, news media talks about McRib sandwich:



After Oakland cops almost kill Marine Iraq war vet, Washington Post shows cops playing with abandoned kittens (I kid you not): 



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wow, this #OWS video is simply incredible...

Monday, October 24, 2011

So... Lexington Kentucky has a militia, and they're posting on the OWS page

Interesting, these people seem to be confused as to where they are. Let's go ahead and post their entire friends list:






#OccupyLexKY Updates

10/20/11:




10/22/11:


Friday, October 21, 2011

#Occupy 10/19/11

I've been running a little behind with editing and piecing these guys together, but here's the footage from 10/29/11:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Awesome "push poll" says Beshear is son of Satan

Well, maybe not but, Sonka had a good analysis:

Leo Fat Lip:

Republicans send out a fun push poll on Kentucky races

Tom Whalen from Kenton County received this phone call “survey” last night, was able to record a good portion of it, and sent it our way:






Also, Steve Beshear once threw a stick of dynamite into a bus of full of schoolchildren, and David Williams is a World War II vet that killed Adolph Hitler. Does this information make you more likely to vote for Steve Beshear or David Williams?

Yeah… so don’t be surprised if you see a certain campaign release a certain “internal poll” showing a certain candidate jumping back into contention, as opposed to being 31 percent behind.
American Democracy: still awesome.




Good catch, Joe. But I think Beshear would rather burn them to death:

Get ready for another good ol' fashion bailout request people! Europe is burning!

Maybe this time, those of us on the right and left will finally say NO!

Bloomberg:

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. disagree over the transfers, which are being requested by counterparties, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

Three years after taxpayers rescued some of the biggest U.S. lenders, regulators are grappling with how to protect FDIC- insured bank accounts from risks generated by investment-banking operations. Bank of America, which got a $45 billion bailout during the financial crisis, had $1.04 trillion in deposits as of midyear, ranking it second among U.S. firms.

“The concern is that there is always an enormous temptation to dump the losers on the insured institution,” said William Black, professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a former bank regulator. “We should have fairly tight restrictions on that.”

A little bit of non-lefty analysis?

DailyBail:

This means that the investment bank's European derivatives exposure is now backstopped by U.S. taxpayers.  Bank of America didn't get regulatory approval to do this, they just did it at the request of frightened counterparties.  Now the Fed and the FDIC are fighting as to whether this was sound.  The Fed wants to "give relief" to the bank holding company, which is under heavy pressure.

This is a direct transfer of risk to the taxpayer done by the bank without approval by regulators and without public input.  You will also read below that JP Morgan is apparently doing the same thing with $79 trillion of notional derivatives guaranteed by the FDIC and Federal Reserve.

What this means for you is that when Europe finally implodes and banks fail, U.S. taxpayers will hold the bag for trillions in CDS insurance contracts sold by Bank of America and JP Morgan.  Even worse, the total exposure is unknown because Wall Street successfully lobbied during Dodd-Frank passage so that no central exchange would exist keeping track of net derivative exposure.

#OccupyLexKY's sign reaches #OWS


From Rep. Kelly Flood: "This wonderful woman named Amber is who we handed over the Lex poster to. She's from from MN and had been at OWS for 26 days. She took our Lex poster and said she'd bring it to the larger group later when they met. We caught her as she and others were cleaning up since the next morning there was the news that Zuccotti Square would need to be "cleaned" up... but that decision was changed."





Here are the pictures from the day that Rep. Kelly Flood joined us so we could create a message and sign the board:







Morgan "Wilkins" Hancock was the Worst Person In World to work in progress

Recovering politician:

“Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day” 
 
“Affirmative Action Bake Sale”

“Fun-with-Guns Day”

These are only three examples of the many controversial events I hosted during my years as a College Republican.

At the time, I was proud of these events. Looking back, however, I realize they were merely embarrassments, inching me closer to rock bottom and my current journey as a Recovering College Republican.

The College Republican National Committee (CRNC) is the largest and longest-running political youth organization in the United States. It has produced many prominent Republicans such as Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Rick Santorum, Jack Abramoff, and − believe it or not− Hillary Clinton, who was president of her College Republican chapter at Wellesley College.

To the outside observer, College Republicans may simply seem like a group of nerdy fuddy-duddies in polos and pearl necklaces. Yet, for those of us who participated in the CRNC, it provided a setting that nurtured our dreams of becoming future governors, senators, or political consultants.  While most college kids were out drinking alcohol and making bad decisions, we were refilling our coffee cups and finishing those last few crucial hours of “Get Out The Vote” (GOTV).

It was spring 2006 when I first sighted the online advertisement: “Now accepting applications for fall 2006 College Republican National Committee (CRNC) Field Representatives. Click here for more information.” Without hesitating, I clicked the ad.

From this day forward, I was a self-proclaimed, dyed-in-the-wool Republican; a bona fide gun-toting, flag-waving, God-fearing Conservative who wanted nothing more than for the government to stay out of my business and my pocketbook (and I still do!). I truly believed this Field Representative position would be the perfect opportunity for me to, as the CRNC slogan urges, “make a difference.”

It was only a matter of days after I submitted my application that I was contacted by the CRNC National Field Director. She asked me a couple generic questions, such as, “How do you feel about taxes?” and “What do you think about Saddam Hussein?” I assured her that I wasn’t fond of either and, without further ado, I was hired.

That August, I boarded a plane to Washington, DC, to embark on my training as a CRNC Field Representative. I spent weeks learning how to create a “mass base youth effort,” as Chairman Paul Gourley described it. By the end of my training, I was pumped up and raring to go.

I was deployed to the state of Michigan to spend the fall semester winning the hearts and minds of Michigan 20-somethings over to the Republican cause. During 2006, Michigan was particularly politically vivacious. In addition to the national federal elections, Michigan also had a highly contested gubernatorial race taking place.
I wasted no time getting to work.

My time as a College Republican brought some amazing moments and some shameful ones as well. I got to meet many influential names in politics, including Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Maiden herself.

While working for The Leadership Institute in Washington, DC, I received valuable training from the country’s top conservative activists such as Grover Norquist and Morton Blackwell. I even got to spend several weekends at Russell Kirk’s, the Father of Conservatism, home in Michigan.

Yet, on several occasions, I found myself catering to groups I’m not proud of and saying things I regret. I even secured my spot as Keith Olberman’s “Worst Person in the World.”

The deeper I journeyed into the College Republican world, I found myself losing touch with reality. Upon returning home from my travels, I was appointed Executive Director of Kentucky Federation of College Republicans.  I started surrounding myself with people and organizations that only enabled and encouraged my rash behavior. Instead of articulating my conservative beliefs in an intelligent, thoughtful manner, I sought cheap thrills and would say or do things for shock value’s sake – and it worked. I always had a crowd cheering me on. I had a problem, but had not yet reached the first step to recovery: admitting the problem.

I joined the Army in 2007, and my six months in boot camp gave me a chance to clear my head and examine my beliefs. However, upon returning home, I reverted back to the same old crowd and same old habits. After graduating from Indiana University Southeast last spring, I was accepted into the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. My visions of being the next Anne Coulter or Michelle Malkin only became more vivid with that acceptance letter in hand.

Feeling invincible, I upped my game. My political rhetoric became more hateful, more disrespectful, and more off-color and, all the while, my “followers” cheered me on. My discourse concerning illegal immigration, affirmative action, and gay rights turned from rational and thoughtful to mocking, sarcastic, and racist. I was losing sight of why I had become involved in public policy and law in the first place. I was working to gain attention for myself instead of making a positive difference.

I did not realize how bad things had gotten until some old friends intervened. They told me that they love me, and because of that, wanted me to be aware that I was headed down the wrong path, both personally and politically. They told me that my words were hurtful, callous, and consequently, ineffective. They urged me to look deep inside myself and examine the motive behind these words and actions. So I did.

Upon examination, I discovered that I’d become a sensationalist who had replaced true conservative convictions with clichés and hateful sarcasm. This shameful reality was embarrassing. I knew that I had started on this journey with good intentions, but now realized that somewhere along the road, I had lost my way.

Since that intervention and introspection, I now ask myself before I speak: Do I really believe these words? Will they help? Will they make a positive difference? Or is this simply another attempt to gain 50 Facebook “Likes”?

Today, my reasons for being a conservative are well-researched, well-thought-out, and genuine. Thus, I am disheartened when the media, liberals, and uninformed citizens reduce conservatism to greed, racism, and religious fascism. I am even more disheartened to think that I was personally feeding into those stereotypes.

Most Americans are ignorant to what true conservatism is because today’s GOP leaders and pundits have distorted its meaning with their hypocrisy, hateful rhetoric, and the desire to make a point rather than make a difference. True conservatism is rooted in the love and respect of individuality, opportunity, responsibility, and most of all, freedom.

As a law student, mother, wife, and recovering College Republican, I am excited about my future. As I make the transition from College Republican to grown-up Republican, I am determined to stay honest, respectful, thoughtful, and mature. Old habits may be hard to break, but as an alcoholic overcomes alcoholism, I’ll recover from College Republicanism one day at a time.


I have realized that societal change begins with me, the individual. If I hope to see more civility in political discourse today, I must be more civil myself — keeping in mind that respecting others’ opinions doesn’t mean being untrue to my own. I must apply a rigid standard of morality to my life; and if, periodically, I fail, as I surely will, adjust my life, not the standards.



Steve Shaw points out a literary treasure in our sister city, Louisville

Don't Call Me Surely:


Contest also-ran(t)

I greeted my invitation to the LEO Readers’ Choice party with skepticism. A personalized note said, “All those with whom you’ve been intimate will be there.” I was suspicious until I noticed it would be held at the Ice House, a venue possibly large enough to accommodate my posse.
Two weeks ago, when the winners were published and I was not among them, I might have felt like the personification of America in decline. Last year, I was named second-best feature writer after only one cover story. Naturally, I felt entitled to another undue triumph. But I was nowhere on the radar, not even among the five best local news writers. Not even after I wrote, “Aroused by Jewish New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s sexting boner, Southern Baptist exclusionary guru Al Mohler milked it for all it was worth.”
Even before the big reveal, the contest was controversial. Many groused that it once again allowed competitors, their families, colleagues and Facebook friends to cast a ballot daily.
Imagine their surprise when some of them won.
But, alas, the also-rans shouldn’t feel robbed — it’s no Fourth Estate secret that in at least some cases, this is a popularity contest.
Cheers to the winners, many of whom no doubt campaigned heavily and voted daily. Muchos kudos to the victors who voted once and exhorted none of their allies to vote early and often.
I’m proud to rank among the class of reporters and columnists who didn’t win: Kentucky Journalism Hall of Famer Tom Loftus, Deb Yetter, Marcus Green, Ralph Dunlop, Andy Wolfson and Pam Platt — all of The Courier-Journal; Cary Stemle, contributor to Time, Louisville Magazine and this publication; LEO Weekly’s Joe Sonka and Jim Welp, a master columnist who makes us whinny and weep before thoughts and emotions congeal at the end — and beginning — of a perfect, 750-word circle.
The fact that so many of this city’s award-winning icons and institutions never win doesn’t embarrass me. Rather, it defines an embarrassment of riches in a great place to read, feast, frolic — and have emergency bypass surgery.
That’s not to say I didn’t cringe a little at the category of “Best Laid-Off Gannett Employee.” A letter-writer decried it as tasteless. I agreed, so I filed a request to change it to “Best Laid Gannett Employee.” Maybe next year.
Neither that foul nor the larger travesty kept me away from our annual party to celebrate the Readers’ Choice winners and also, this year, to recognize LEO’s 21st birthday. My cardiologist begged me not to go. If the allure of ice cream and cheeses proved irresistible, I explained, I would simply pop an extra Lipitor. “Are you having sexual side effects from your blood pressure meds?” he asked. “Nope, still no libido,” I replied before he released me to re-live my 21st birthday party almost three decades hence.
The 1920s gangster theme would allow me to feel young again. A fedora covered my bald spot, baggy pants and a white coat concealed my diaper — and I packed a .357 magnum in my pocket.
If only I could find my dentures, I might get lucky.
I arrived late and was subjected to indignity of being asked who I am. In defense of the help, I sounded like Tom Waits with a hangover and looked almost as broken.
As I ran a gauntlet of autograph-seekers who mistook me for Andy Rooney, I borrowed his bark, “What kind of idiot wants my signature on a piece of paper?”
I called out the few who recognized me: “I don’t need your sympathy!”
I looked so scary that when Dawne Gee said she couldn’t go to sleep without a horror movie, I thought she was hitting on me. She gave me her autograph on request but, alas, not her number.
As I bellied up to the bar to drown my sorrows, I stepped over that crude Sara “Bar Belle” Havens and said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
The swarm of hungry, horny guests wearing too few or too many clothes reminded me of LEO, its staff and founders: witty, urbane, sophisticated, eccentric, observant and thoughtful.
Cheers to 21 more years of stalwart, spirited writing of, by and for precious community assets who make winners of us all. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Michael Moore-Al Sharpton on OWS

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The latest #OccupyLexington #OccupyLexKy footage

I've been a couple of day's behind.  But here they are with the correct dates:



10/13/11:







10/15/11:







10/18/11:



Monday, October 17, 2011

Paul Krugman: Wallstreet "Losing Their Immunity"

NYT:

As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to grow, the response from the movement’s targets has gradually changed: contemptuous dismissal has been replaced by whining. (A reader of my blog suggests that we start calling our ruling class the “kvetchocracy.”) 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.
On Saturday The Times reported what people in the financial industry are saying privately about the protests. My favorite quote came from an unnamed money manager who declared, “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it.”
This is deeply unfair to American workers, who are good at lots of things, and could be even better if we made adequate investments in education and infrastructure. But to the extent that America has lagged in everything except financial services, shouldn’t the question be why, and whether it’s a trend we want to continue?
For the financialization of America wasn’t dictated by the invisible hand of the market. What caused the financial industry to grow much faster than the rest of the economy starting around 1980 was a series of deliberate policy choices, in particular a process of deregulation that continued right up to the eve of the 2008 crisis.
Not coincidentally, the era of an ever-growing financial industry was also an era of ever-growing inequality of income and wealth. Wall Street made a large direct contribution to economic polarization, because soaring incomes in finance accounted for a significant fraction of the rising share of the top 1 percent (and the top 0.1 percent, which accounts for most of the top 1 percent’s gains) in the nation’s income. More broadly, the same political forces that promoted financial deregulation fostered overall inequality in a variety of ways, undermining organized labor, doing away with the “outrage constraint” that used to limit executive paychecks, and more.
Oh, and taxes on the wealthy were, of course, sharply reduced.
All of this was supposed to be justified by results: the paychecks of the wizards of Wall Street were appropriate, we were told, because of the wonderful things they did. Somehow, however, that wonderfulness failed to trickle down to the rest of the nation — and that was true even before the crisis. Median family income, adjusted for inflation, grew only about a fifth as much between 1980 and 2007 as it did in the generation following World War II, even though the postwar economy was marked both by strict financial regulation and by much higher tax rates on the wealthy than anything currently under political discussion.
Then came the crisis, which proved that all those claims about how modern finance had reduced risk and made the system more stable were utter nonsense. Government bailouts were all that saved us from a financial meltdown as bad as or worse than the one that caused the Great Depression.
And what about the current situation? Wall Street pay has rebounded even as ordinary workers continue to suffer from high unemployment and falling real wages. Yet it’s harder than ever to see what, if anything, financiers are doing to earn that money.
Why, then, does Wall Street expect anyone to take its whining seriously? That money manager claiming that finance is the only thing America does well also complained that New York’s two Democratic senators aren’t on his side, declaring that “They need to understand who their constituency is.” Actually, they surely know very well who their constituency is — and even in New York, 16 out of 17 workers are employed by nonfinancial industries.
But he wasn’t really talking about voters, of course. He was talking about the one thing Wall Street still has plenty of thanks to those bailouts, despite its total loss of credibility: money.
Money talks in American politics, and what the financial industry’s money has been saying lately is that it will punish any politician who dares to criticize that industry’s behavior, no matter how gently — as evidenced by the way Wall Street money has now abandoned President Obama in favor of Mitt Romney. And this explains the industry’s shock over recent events.
You see, until a few weeks ago it seemed as if Wall Street had effectively bribed and bullied our political system into forgetting about that whole drawing lavish paychecks while destroying the world economy thing. Then, all of a sudden, some people insisted on bringing the subject up again.
And their outrage has found resonance with millions of Americans. No wonder Wall Street is whining.

Marine to NYPD "No honor in this"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An incredible moment of truth on MSNBC

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Paul Krugman: Panic of the Plutocrats

Let's pray it sticks...  

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Barack Obama's American Jobs Act - Paul Krugman
www.colbertnation.com
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“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eyes reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”  -Theodore Parker, 1853

NYT: Panic of the Plutocrats

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.

And if you were listening to talking heads on CNBC, you learned that the protesters “let their freak flags fly,” and are “aligned with Lenin.”

The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.

Last year, you may recall, a number of financial-industry barons went wild over very mild criticism from President Obama. They denounced Mr. Obama as being almost a socialist for endorsing the so-called Volcker rule, which would simply prohibit banks backed by federal guarantees from engaging in risky speculation. And as for their reaction to proposals to close a loophole that lets some of them pay remarkably low taxes — well, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, compared it to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

And then there’s the campaign of character assassination against Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer now running for the Senate in Massachusetts. Not long ago a YouTube video of Ms. Warren making an eloquent, down-to-earth case for taxes on the rich went viral. Nothing about what she said was radical — it was no more than a modern riff on Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous dictum that “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”

But listening to the reliable defenders of the wealthy, you’d think that Ms. Warren was the second coming of Leon Trotsky. George Will declared that she has a “collectivist agenda,” that she believes that “individualism is a chimera.” And Rush Limbaugh called her “a parasite who hates her host. Willing to destroy the host while she sucks the life out of it.”

What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage. In fact, the more reasonable and moderate a critic sounds, the more urgently he or she must be demonized, hence the frantic sliming of Elizabeth Warren.

So who’s really being un-American here? Not the protesters, who are simply trying to get their voices heard. No, the real extremists here are America’s oligarchs, who want to suppress any criticism of the sources of their wealth.


Another perspective on the Funeral of the American economy/dream

Hillbilly's coverage of the #Occupy Louisville march

Great catch by Jim:







Friday, October 14, 2011

Taibbi's advice to OWS:

Rolling Stone:

I've been down to "Occupy Wall Street" twice now, and I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.

But... there's a but. And for me this is a deeply personal thing, because this issue of how to combat Wall Street corruption has consumed my life for years now, and it's hard for me not to see where Occupy Wall Street could be better and more dangerous. I'm guessing, for instance, that the banks were secretly thrilled in the early going of the protests, sure they'd won round one of the messaging war.

Why? Because after a decade of unparalleled thievery and corruption, with tens of millions entering the ranks of the hungry thanks to artificially inflated commodity prices, and millions more displaced from their homes by corruption in the mortgage markets, the headline from the first week of protests against the financial-services sector was an old cop macing a quartet of college girls.

That, to me, speaks volumes about the primary challenge of opposing the 50-headed hydra of Wall Street corruption, which is that it's extremely difficult to explain the crimes of the modern financial elite in a simple visual. The essence of this particular sort of oligarchic power is its complexity and day-to-day invisibility: Its worst crimes, from bribery and insider trading and market manipulation, to backroom dominance of government and the usurping of the regulatory structure from within, simply can't be seen by the public or put on TV. There just isn't going to be an iconic "Running Girl" photo with Goldman Sachs, Citigroup or Bank of America – just 62 million Americans with zero or negative net worth, scratching their heads and wondering where the hell all their money went and why their votes seem to count less and less each and every year.

No matter what, I'll be supporting Occupy Wall Street. And I think the movement's basic strategy – to build numbers and stay in the fight, rather than tying itself to any particular set of principles – makes a lot of sense early on. But the time is rapidly approaching when the movement is going to have to offer concrete solutions to the problems posed by Wall Street. To do that, it will need a short but powerful list of demands. There are thousands one could make, but I'd suggest focusing on five:

1. Break up the monopolies. The so-called "Too Big to Fail" financial companies – now sometimes called by the more accurate term "Systemically Dangerous Institutions" – are a direct threat to national security. They are above the law and above market consequence, making them more dangerous and unaccountable than a thousand mafias combined. There are about 20 such firms in America, and they need to be dismantled; a good start would be to repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and mandate the separation of insurance companies, investment banks and commercial banks.

2. Pay for your own bailouts. A tax of 0.1 percent on all trades of stocks and bonds and a 0.01 percent tax on all trades of derivatives would generate enough revenue to pay us back for the bailouts, and still have plenty left over to fight the deficits the banks claim to be so worried about. It would also deter the endless chase for instant profits through computerized insider-trading schemes like High Frequency Trading, and force Wall Street to go back to the job it's supposed to be doing, i.e., making sober investments in job-creating businesses and watching them grow.

3. No public money for private lobbying. A company that receives a public bailout should not be allowed to use the taxpayer's own money to lobby against him. You can either suck on the public teat or influence the next presidential race, but you can't do both. Butt out for once and let the people choose the next president and Congress.

4. Tax hedge-fund gamblers. For starters, we need an immediate repeal of the preposterous and indefensible carried-interest tax break, which allows hedge-fund titans like Stevie Cohen and John Paulson to pay taxes of only 15 percent on their billions in gambling income, while ordinary Americans pay twice that for teaching kids and putting out fires. I defy any politician to stand up and defend that loophole during an election year.

5. Change the way bankers get paid. We need new laws preventing Wall Street executives from getting bonuses upfront for deals that might blow up in all of our faces later. It should be: You make a deal today, you get company stock you can redeem two or three years from now. That forces everyone to be invested in his own company's long-term health – no more Joe Cassanos pocketing multimillion-dollar bonuses for destroying the AIGs of the world.

To quote the immortal political philosopher Matt Damon from Rounders, "The key to No Limit poker is to put a man to a decision for all his chips." The only reason the Lloyd Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world survive is that they're never forced, by the media or anyone else, to put all their cards on the table. If Occupy Wall Street can do that – if it can speak to the millions of people the banks have driven into foreclosure and joblessness – it has a chance to build a massive grassroots movement. All it has to do is light a match in the right place, and the overwhelming public support for real reform – not later, but right now – will be there in an instant.

I am not moving

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group,” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Great piece by MoveOn:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jim Pence... Is in a hell of a bind...

Picture of the day





#OccupyLexKY Day 11

Marines have a message for Sean Hannity

Amem:

Monday, October 10, 2011

The enemy isn't over here, it's here at home

Good piece.

Rand Paul on the Wallstreet protesters

Rand... Nevermind...




Why the human race (or life in general) can't survive the GOP

WASHINGTON -- America's environmental protections are under a sweeping, concerted assault in Congress that could effectively roll back the federal government's ability to safeguard air and water more than 100 years, Democrats and advocates say.

HP:


The headlines have not been dramatic, and the individual attacks on relatively obscure rules seldom generate much attention beyond those who are most intently focused on environmental regulation.
But taken together, the separate moves -- led by House Republicans -- add up to a stunning campaign against governmental regulatory authority that is now surprisingly close to succeeding.
In just the year since the GOP took control of the House, there have been at least 159 votes held against environmental protections -- including 83 targeting the Environmental Protection Agency -- on the House floor alone, according to a list compiled by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"Republicans have made an assault on all environmental issues," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee. "This is, without doubt, the most anti-environmental Congress in history."
Some of the efforts are broad-based, like the TRAIN Act, which would install overseers for the EPA and require cost considerations to trump health and science concerns for new rules. Another such effort is the REINS Act, which essentially requires Congress to approve all new regulations, essentially granting each chamber the ability to veto the executive branch.
Both have passed the House and are pending in the Senate. Still another proposed measure that would have all-encompassing reach is the Regulatory Accountability Act, which would make cost the top consideration for all federal regulations.
"It single-handedly amends probably more laws of the United States than any law ever introduced in Congress," said John Walke, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Taken together, the measures would so hamstring regulators that they would effectively return the nation to the 1880s era of the nation's first modern-style regulator, theInterstate Commerce Commission, advocates say.
"This is a departure not just from recent political thinking but literally would be a reversal," said NRDC's David Goldston. "The last time this was a situation that prevailed was the 1890s."
"It shows just a profound disgust and disdain for the regulatory state that is unhinged from any facts or concerns for the benefits from those rules," said Walke.
The ongoing anti-regulation crusade was on display in the House this week -- and will be again next week -- with some smaller bore bills. On Thursday, the House passed a measure that will delay regulations of cement factories that were aimed at implementing court-mandated controls on mercury and other pollutants.
Next week, the House is expected to pass a similar measure to halt rules on boilers and incinerators. While Republicans argue that both measures are merely "time-outs" to allow for deeper study on the impacts on jobs, environmental advocates note that in the case of the boiler bill there is a repeal of restrictions on burning hazardous wastes.
"What the bill does is codify a deregulatory Bush administration rule that was issued in 2001 and overturned in the courts," said Walke. "And it allows all of these nasty hazardous wastes -- oil residue, chemicals and plastics, to be burned in boilers and not subject to any control standard, monitoring or reporting."
In fact, while Republicans have argued that the Obama administration is running wild passing new regulations -- and therefore needs to be checked -- many of the measures coming up in the current Congress are aimed overturning laws first written in 1990. Many of the regulations required were delayed or rewritten by the George W. Bush White House, and then reinstated by courts, often with scathing verdicts.
The boiler rules are a prime example, where the Bush administration argued that "any" didn't mean "any," but "none" or "some."
With the wretched economy, Republicans have made the need to protect jobs their prime justification for delaying environmental and health protections. And they've made it a consistent part of their campaign push, as well.
After Democrats voted Thursday against delaying regulations of cement plants -- the third-largest source of mercury pollution, according to the EPA -- the National Republican Campaign Committee blasted out a release targeting dozens of Democrats for voting "to risk 23,000 jobs with more job-killing red tape from Washington."
"The people of America understand that the EPA is in fact killing jobs," said Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), a Tea Party freshman who sponsored the boiler measure. He added that the bill would make sure "regulations are reasonable and effective" and "make sure that we protect the jobs of the United States of America while we go forward protecting the environment as well."
While Republicans estimate the cement rule could cost 23,000 jobs, EPA scientists say it would prevent 12,500 pollution-related deaths and 7,500 heart attacks. The agency estimates the boiler bill will kill 20,000 people prematurely.
Democrats are pushing back on the GOP by highlighting numbers like this, but they also take issue with the idea that regulations harm the economy.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released a report at a press event Thursday that she would "explode the myth that a clean environment is antithetical to a strong economy."
The report, citing Commerce Department data, says that in more than 40 years since the creation of the EPA, an estimated 1.7 million jobs and $300 billion in revenues have been generated by industries that support environmental protection. Further, it says, clean air protections will produce an estimated $2 trillion in annual health benefits by 2020, and for every $1 billion invested in infrastructure to reduce water pollution and treat drinking water, up to 26,669 jobs are created.
"The Environmental Protection Agency and the nation's landmark environmental safeguards were created with overwhelming bipartisan consensus in Congress and support from Republican and Democratic presidents," the report argues. "Forty years of achievements are now threatened by partisan attacks."
For the moment, it will be difficult for many of the House's bills to get through the Senate, where Boxer plans to stop them. The White House also has promised vetoes of the measures.
Still, once anti-EPA legislation is written, it can wind up attached must-pass bills, or at least used to try and embarrass Democrats. Thursday night, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to attach a measure to a bill on Chinese currency manipulation that ostensibly aimed to stop the EPA from regulating farm dust. But the measure's language doesn't actually mention "farm dust" after its title. Instead, it targets soot regulation. Democrats successfully blocked it.
More troubling to environmental advocates is that they see the attempts to roll back regulations as a sustained effort that will not go away, and likely could pick up steam -- especially if Republicans take back the Senate in 2012.
"I think it certainly will continue through the 2012 election," said Goldston. "I think it's partly an attack on Obama but I think much is a broader part of a Tea Party effort to question the role of government in providing public health protections across the board and funding that."
And he predicted the range of attacks would only get broader.
"This can play out in spending; this can play out in the series of efforts to block any additional protections, not only in the clean air area, but more broadly, there are bills that have been pending in the house and the senate ... that would change the entire structure necessary to create protections," Goldston said.
The anti-EPA campaign has born some fruit already for the GOP, with President Obama delaying planned new regulations of ozone and citing economic reasons.
The political climate has left Democrats wary -- and concerned they could lose some battles -- but they also think the GOP could pay a price.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, expressed relief that so far lawmakers had successfully blocked EPA-targeted legislation in the Senate. But, he added, environmental protections remain vulnerable.
"It's an area where the current Republican leadership sees an opportunity to express frustration with government and regulation," Cardin said. "It’s consistent with their philosophy -- less government -- and that’s what they’re moving forward. I find it extremely disappointing because environmental issues have always been either nonpartisan or bipartisan. Some of our most amazing advancements on environment happened under Republican leadership. So I think this is very disappointing. But I think I understand their strategy, and I think it will backfire because Americans want clean water and clean air, and they think that clean water and clean air are important for our economy."

#OccupyLexKY Day 10

This date is accurate.  It's day 10, we started 2 Thursdays ago (Sept 29th).





Sunday, October 9, 2011

#OccupyLexKy Day 10 (9)

#OccupyLexKy Day 10 Day 9, I got the order mixed up in this somewhere along the way:





Just the Kelly Flood exclusive can be found here:

Alan Grayson on Occupy Wall Street

SNL and #Occupy/American Autumn

Saturday, October 8, 2011

#OccupyLexKY Day 9

Friday, October 7, 2011

#OccupyLexKY Day 8

Somewhere I mixed the order up, this was last night's footage which would have been day 7. I'll fix it later, in any event here's last night's footage:

#OccupyLexKY Day 7

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jim Pence brings us #OccupyLouisville

My good friend Jim Pence covered the first night of #OccupyLouisville:

Solidarity brothers and sisters!






Later that night:


#OccupyLexKY Day 6

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rep. Yarmuth - Louisvillians on the American Jobs Act

Congressman Yarmuth takes to the house floor representing Louisvillians (and a good portion of the rest of us) on the American Jobs Act :


#OccupyLexKY Day 5

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 4 #OccupyLexKy #OccupyLexington

I unfortunately wasn't present this day, so I have no video.  But there were some pictures taken:


























NYPD arresting a 13 year old child

NYPD arresting a 13 year old child:

Bernie Sanders on #OccupyWallstreet