TGIF! Today is Friday, May 18th, 2012, and there still hasn't been even one banker jailed for the economic and foreclosure crisis in the United States.
Vice President Joe Biden was out on the campaign trail this week in Ohio, and on the attack over Mitt Romney's record as a so-called "job creator" and a businessman who "knows how to create jobs" and get our economy moving again. Fox's Neil Cavuto brought on his former fellow Fox contributor turned Ohio Governor John Kasich to respond.
Kasich of course tried to downplay the credit the Obama administration was attempting to take for Ohio's economy improving and their unemployment rate falling below the national average, and instead credited himself for making Ohio a more business friendly state and making the same points we've been hearing from Republicans ad nauseum on what Paul Krugman has rightfully called "the confidence fairy." Forget the fact that what drives businesses to make investments and grow their companies are consumers and whether the general public has enough disposable income to afford their products. Kasich wants you to believe, like all Republicans, that fear of over-regulation, rather than a lack of customers is what's stifling our economy.
The "confidence" businesses actually need is going to be driven up by a strong middle class and consumers who can afford their products; which as we've seen over the last few decades is what Republicans are determined to destroy.
The Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern pointed out earlier this year exactly why Kasich does not deserve credit for turning Ohio's economy around: REMARKS: Chairman Redfern Says Kasich Should Credit Obama, Brown, Dems for Ohio’s Improving Economy in State of the State Address:
What would a world look like that had a culture and an economic system that placed human need above corporate greed, and how do we bring that world into being?
Dennis Trainor, Jr., the writer and director of "American Autumn: an occudoc," does not care what we call this new world. “Call it Socialism, if you are not afraid of buzzwords, call it Real Democracy Now, call it Chunky-Monkey-Cherry Garcia for all I care. All I know is the world needs to change radically, it needs to change dramatically, and it needs to change fast. This documentary is an invitation for the viewer to participate in that positive change.”
Shot on the front lines and meeting spaces of the Occupy Movement in NYC, Boston, and Washington, D.C. from the earliest days through the end of January 2012 and written, directed and produced by activist, writer and filmmaker Dennis Trainor, Jr. "American Autumn: an Occudoc" is an inside-looking-out view of the Occupy Movement.
I see some friendly familiar faces in this clip, Michael Moore, Bernie Sanders, and Lee Camp. Enjoy the trailer, the film is scheduled for release in June.
One year after the Spanish M15 movement inspired the world with their peaceful city-square occupations, millions have flooded the Spanish streets again. Their message: we’re still there, and more powerful than ever.
Lawrence O'Donnell took Fox's Greg Gutfeld to the woodshed for his snide attacks on chef Mario Batali and his efforts to raise awareness about the difficulties of living on food stamps. O'Donnell showed us yet another example of why that god awful show of Gutfeld's, The Red Eye, is so horrible it's really unwatchable. It's awful by even Fox's standards, so that's saying something.
Here's more on that from Media Matters: When Will Fox Take The Food Stamp Challenge?:
Not content to shame food stamps recipients and bully them into silence, Fox News is now targeting efforts to raise awareness of poverty and food insecurity.
The latest front in the Fox News war on anti-poverty measures takes aim at chef Mario Batali as he highlights the difficulties of living on food stamps -- problems that are routinely dismissed on Fox while the network pushes for drastic cuts to nutritional aid and other anti-poverty measures. Batali, who sits on the board at the New York City food pantry, is trying to live on a $31 food budget for a week in order to illustrate the struggles families face trying to survive on a food stamp budget, even as the right looks to cut funding for the program:
For one week, the acclaimed chef Mario Batali is challenging Americans to "walk in someone else's shoes" by eating only what they would be able to buy with food stamps.
Batali, the star of ABC's "The Chew," partnered with the New York City Food Bank to raise awareness about potential cuts to the food stamp program, which helps feed 46 million Americans.
Discussing Batali's role in the food stamp challenge, Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld asked, "Does this make you want to slap him around?"
As O'Donnell pointed out, in the segment on Fox he showed above, Gutfeld and his guests claimed that Batali could do more good by putting those in poverty to work, ignoring that he is already responsible for employing who knows how many thousands of people at his numerous restaurants and those who are employed because of his successful television program. And they completely ignore the amount good work Batali's doing through his charitable foundations to help keep poor people fed, not to mention the amount of taxes he pays that goes towards supporting those on government assistance as well, which unlike the yappers over at Fox, he's not complaining about and demanding to have lowered.
As the Media Matters post went onto note, they're all too busy demonizing the poor than offering any solutions themselves to the problem of hunger and poverty in America and none of them have been willing to take Batali's food stamp challenge themselves.
Hundreds have been arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests, but photographer Alexander Arbuckle's case was the first to go to trial, and was acquitted after video footage of the incident showed that he didn't break any law. The best part? Arbuckle was there to document the NYPD's side of the story, hoping to defend police working at Occupy protests with his NYU photojournalism project when he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly blocking the street. "I felt the police had been treated unfairly on the media," he told the Village Voice. "All the focus was on the conflict and the worst instances of brutality and aggression, where most of the police I met down there were really professional and restrained."
During the January 1st Occupy Wall Street march, journalist Tim Pool was there livestreaming the event, and in his video footage, later used as evidence along with the NYPD's own video footage, protesters are clearly seen using the sidewalk like they were asked to, with only the swarm of officers blocking traffic. In Pool's video, above, the relevant portion begins at the 31:50 mark, with the arrest action taking place around minute 35.
"What's happening is very similar to what happened in 2004 with the Republican National Convention," Arbuckle's lawyer told the Voice. "It's just a symptom of how the NYPD treats dissent. But what has changed is that there is more prevalence of video. It really makes our job a lot easier to have that video."
The Occupiers at Adbusters said in a note to readers Wednesday that a global “laugh riot” could “break through the G8’s veneer of legitimacy and expose the Camp David Summit and our current capitalist model for the farce that it really is.”
Activists will be taking to the streets again next week, when the G8 Summit is in full swing in Chicago.
Hey all you believers in a new world out there,
May Day wasn’t so great was it… the numbers were low, the maxims weren’t sublime, the excitement didn’t catch on. May 12 was hefty in Europe, reigniting the snuffed Indignados, but the energy did not seem to flow over to here.
Now we’re looking at May 18 ~ 21 when protesters, possibly in Arab Spring numbers, swarm Chicago… Security experts say it will be a challenge the likes of which no American city has had to face – a leaderless, all-consuming non-violent swarm. If we can pull it off in the fierce tradition of Gandhi and MLK, the next few days could become the spark, the eruption, the new spiritual home of our Spring offensive.
On a softer, more aesthetic note, the likelihood of a global #LAUGHRIOT starting May 18 feels especially fresh and new … imagine … the globalization of laughter … millions of people around the world decide to take a few minutes off from their usual routines, get together with friends and pull off a global cascade of riotously laughing flash mobs, transforming the flow of power from the heads of the elite to the bellies of the people.
At a time when our human experiment is buckling under austerity, financial madness and eco-angst, there is something so ludicrous, bizarre, even insane about the eight most powerful people in the world trying to conduct the people’s business – to set things right – from behind closed doors and razor wire fences.
A global #LAUGHRIOT could break through the G8’s veneer of legitimacy and expose the Camp David Summit and our current capitalist model for the farce that it really is.
A global laugh-in could be the relief we’ve all been waiting for: the moment when — in a communal burst of laughter — we the people suddenly wake up to the fact that the only power our leaders have is the power we give them.
Here goes … let’s laugh like we’ve never laughed before.
Or, you could stay home and listen to John Boehner cry about the debt ceiling.
It appears the House Republicans, this time lead by Arizona Rep. Trent Franks are about to give us a sort of a rerun of the Sandra Fluke debacle, only this time the woman they're refusing to allow to testify before a Congressional hearing is D.C.'s only elected representative, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton:
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) wants to restrict abortions in the District of Columbia, but he refuses to allow D.C.’s delegate from testifying on behalf of the city’s residents during a hearing about his proposal. Franks’ “fetal pain” bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in D.C. even though there is no scientific proof that a fetus can feel pain at that point and a fetus is not viable.
Del. Eleanor Norton (D), D.C.’s only elected represetative, asked Franks last week if she could testify about the bill at an upcoming Thursday hearing. Franks denied her request, which Norton said breaks tradition of allowing members of Congress to testify about a bill that affects their constituents. Similarly, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) prevented women from testifying on a panel about contraception back in February.
Norton told the Huffington Post that her constituents are “up in arms” about the proposed abortion ban:
“This is the first bill in history that attempts to take the residents of the District of Columbia outside of the protection of the Constitution,” she continued. “The right to have an abortion until viability is a mandated right under Roe v. Wade. I think it takes a lot of nerve to single out the constituents of another member’s district for discriminatory treatment, and we deeply resent it.” [...]
D.C. is an easy target for anti-abortion bills, Norton said, because it doesn’t have any elected officials who can vote in Congress.
“Why wouldn’t they put this bill in for the entire country if they feel so deeply about it?”
In December, House Republicans forced a ban on funding for abortion services in D.C. to avoid a government shutdown and even prevented the city from using local taxes to pay for abortion care, reinstating a 13-year ban on abortion funding in D.C. that President Obama overturned in 2009.
Del. Norton spoke to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about the upcoming hearing in the video clip above.
Good morning! Today is Thursday, May 17th, 2012. It's time once again for John Boehner to demonstrate what he doesn't know about economics, and pretend to care about what's good for the nation, and oh the tears!
The glowing praise of the racist "Stop and Frisk" policy by the NYPD and city officials and the fuzzy math statistics that claim vastly reduced crime weren't enough to stop a federal judge today from granting class-action status in a lawsuit against the NYPD that claims the practice violates the constitutional rights of blacks and Hispanics.
Maybe it was the Jateik Reed video or the facts that revealed, among other things, that more young black men were stopped and frisked by police last year than actually live in the city, according to an analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union.
The New York Times obtained Judge Shira Scheindlin's opinion, which stated that the evidence presented showed that the central tenets that make up the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy led to many illegal stops. Judge Scheindlin writes:
It is rather audacious of the NYPD to argue that if it were possible to protect "the right of people to be secure in their persons" from unlawful searches and seizures by the NYPD, then the legislature would already have done so and judicial intervention would therefore be futile. Indeed, it is precisely when the political branches violate the individual rights of minorities that "more searching judicial enquiry" is appropriate.
(Emphasis is Judge Scheindlin's.) The NYPD is on track to break last year's record of 601,055 stops (that's 1,900 a day) in 2012.