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The Week Politics Changed

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Posted on Oct 6, 2011
Paul Stein (CC-BY-SA)

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

American politics reached a pivot point this week. A new story line will now define how voters and the media see what’s going on.

Since Election Day in 2010, the prevailing narrative has been about a resurgent conservatism, a president on the defensive, big government under attack, the deficit as the dominant issue, and the tea party as the political system’s prime mover. The backdrop for this saga has been an ailing economy.

The troubled economy, alas, is still with us. But everything else is in flux. Consider the week’s three jolts to the system.

First, the decision of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to forgo the Republican presidential contest almost certainly settles the party’s field. This means that the next several months will be all about Mitt Romney and what it is he actually believes.

Romney wants to keep running against President Obama and a bad economy. His opponents—especially Texas Gov. Rick Perry, still his leading rival despite numerous missteps—want the contest to be about ideology and Romney’s shortage of discernible philosophical commitments. The more the race highlights ideology, the more uncomfortable things will get for Romney.

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Second, Obama crossed the Rubicon. Having called out congressional Republicans in general terms, he took the next step and specifically assailed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for blocking the administration’s jobs bill. “Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges?” Obama asked. “Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses or efforts to help our veterans?”

Americans are clearly fed up with “Washington” and “politics.” Obama’s move shows how determined he is to remind the country that he doesn’t run the government all by himself and that Republicans in Congress are now incumbents and not just the opposition. He will cast himself as the guy with ideas, and Republicans as cranky reactionaries who will keep anything good from happening.

Finally, the anti-Wall Street demonstrators have created a new pole in politics. Americans have always been wary of concentrated power. The tea party had great success in focusing anxieties on what it argues is an excessively powerful federal government. Now, an active and angry band of citizens is insisting that the concentrated power Americans most need to fear exists on Wall Street and in the financial system.

Note that both Obama’s initiative and the revolt against Wall Street mark a shift on the progressive side from defense to offense. Over the last several weeks, talk about the deficit and spending has receded, replaced by a new dialogue on job creation, fairer taxes and the abuses by financiers that got the country into economic difficulty in the first place. And the tea party has come under heightened scrutiny, thanks to members of Republican crowds who booed a gay soldier, and cheered at the mention of both executions and the prospect that an uninsured citizen might be left to die for failing to buy health coverage.

Romney knows that he needs to appease the Republican right while escaping its embrace. He recognizes that by directing his fire toward Obama and the dismal economy, he can simultaneously unite the GOP and appeal to swing voters. He wants to give Republican primary voters just enough conservative ideology to win just enough of their votes to capture the nomination.

But what makes Romney a potentially strong general election candidate is also what weakens him in the primaries. Many moderate voters suspect that Romney doesn’t believe all the right-wing things he is saying now. This makes him safe as an alternative to Obama. But many conservative voters also suspect Romney doesn’t believe all that he’s saying. This pushes them toward other candidates. Perry and the other candidates have an interest in aiming straight at this tension in the Romney strategy. Democrats hope they do just that.

In the meantime, Republicans in Congress find themselves defending a series of unpopular positions. Voters don’t like tax increases in general, but they do think the wealthy should bear a bigger share of the tax burden. Regulation may be an easy target, but Americans are in no mood to let Wall Street off the regulatory hook. And government may be scorned in the abstract, but the specifics of what Obama wants government to do through his jobs bill have wide appeal.

Obama is a long way from being able to sing “Happy Days Are Here Again.” But for conservatives, the days of wine and roses are over.

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, October 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

It is nice that some authors of children fairy tales, like Mr. Dionne, are saying that Obama is changing. Really, this time is for real. Is he saying it with a straight face? Doesn’t he feel even a little shame for lumping these courageous people with the likes of Obama and the democratic party?

The corporate elite and their henchmen, which include our elected officials (like Obama) who are paid from our tax dollars; and the corporate owned mainstream media, have never worked for the interest of the American people, much less worked for peace and justice on a global level.

I encourage these individuals who are standing up against the system.

But caution is necessary because we don’t want to see what happened in Egypt. The dictator is gone but the dictatorship remains.

And I’m glad that Mr. Dionne is talking about how despicable the republican party is because it is never too soon to start talking about the need to support the lesser of two evils.

“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don’t want, and get it.” - Eugene Debs

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By glider, October 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

@Lafayette

I’m fired, huh?  LOL!  I will take the complement.

Yes, the country would do better with higher tax rates or greater income equality.  No argument there. 

So please run by the scenario whereby this would happen via the power of the ballot box you believe in, by voting for the corporate sponsored candidate of your “choice” after being informed about the issues by the corporate owned “media”.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, October 10, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

straw men rarely fail to appear in TD comments - as for investment and taxation issues, all I wrote was this:

End the Bloody Wars; cut the Pentagon’s budged by 80%; impose a Wall Street sales tax - 1% on all transactions; nationalize the Fed; outlaw derivatives

never mind - this blog can serve as a useful exercise for frustrated novelists… as for domination: concentrated ownership of the world’s Central Banks and the Main Stream Media may not be sexy but gets the job done, e.g. the wholesale NATO propaganda we’ve seen to launch on Libya, worse than that used to launch on Iraq

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01L72MqH5_w
do not pass on the entertaining cameos from Obomber, Billery and Shrub - too rich to script

but with so little oil, why launch on Libya? could be this…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O35_Ai6EsMU

as for advocating analysis based on ‘conspiracy’ (as though the only ‘conspiracies’ to accept are those fed us by the MSM - e.g.  the brilliant 19 asymmetric 9/11 agents run by the dialysis cripple with a lap-top from a cave, high in the Hindu Kush)... thank you;  that accusation is a complement, especially when one considers the following 3 things to never forget:

1. “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.” - James Jesus Angelton - Director of CIA Counter Intelligence (1954-74)

2. “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” - William Colby - Director of the CIA (1973-76)

3. “...military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy. - Henrey Kissinger, National Security Advisor under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

as for the water-carriers in the trenches of Wall Street and City of London, before tossing around any more quotes from The Donald, let’s keep one thing in mind: genuine old money power elite would dismiss the little nouveau rich upstart from table for farting without permission

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 10, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM

BD: you know, but fail to acknowledge that Wall-Street-and-City-of-London based global finance oligarchs are intent on full spectrum domination

Domination of what?

It is mindboggling to read such comments from the conspiracy advocates. It shows vividly that they haven’t the slightest comprehension of High Finance.

The people in question are only concerned with their income and paying the least tax on it. With more confiscatory taxation (like 90% above $550K per annum) these people would whimper a month or so - then start allocating themselves few stock options, fewer bonuses and lesser compensation.

Remember, by means of manipulating the BoD Compensation Committee, these people decide how much they get. Tax the piss out of them and they’ll yell for about a week and then get back to work at a decently large salary.

They are ripping us off because the can. And they don’t give a damn about “domination” - unless its a sex-game, of course ...

MY POINT

This country lived very nicely with upper-income nearly confiscatory taxation for more than 3 decades. Look at this marginal income taxation info-graphic here showing marginal taxation between 80 and 92% from 1935 to 1965.

We need not be afraid of an economic disaster if we return to confiscatory taxation once again. It will be a salutary lesson to those who think wrongly that America’s free-market economy is a game and to the victor go ALL the spoils.

We must return to an egalitarian society and junk this nonsense about entrepreneurship being the key factor in generating GDP. That notion is media manipulation by Forbes & Co to make Americans believe that accumulating mindlessly large amounts of Capital is the prize for entrepreneurial excellence.

America’s GDP is generated by a civilian workforce of 154 million people (about half the total population). THAT is the force behind America’s 13 trillion dollar GDP - not the glitzy venture capitalists.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, October 10, 2011 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

RE: You’ve failed on all counts. You’re fired!

and you’re fired too - why?

you know, but fail to acknowledge that Wall-Street-and-City-of-London based global finance oligarchs are intent on full spectrum domination, even if it’s an illusion - their insanity is literally beyond comprehension by anyone with an ounce of human sensibility - for them it’s vabanque toujours, which means this: we’re all cannon fodder - and when you got nuttin’ to loose is when it gets dangerous - why they’re gettin’ nervous

advise to the rabble: let no foundation frauds in to co-opt you - demand real change on real issues: End the Bloody Wars; cut the Pentagon’s budged by 80%; impose a Wall Street sales tax - 1% on all transactions; nationalize the Fed; outlaw derivatives;  forgive all student loans; halt foreclosures and much, much more - the committee will decide

do it for yourselves and for the shut-ins - make a real statement - get creative - do something like this: put a call on Craigs List to bring down your TVs, all you can get, stack ‘em in a heap - build a monumental memorial to the bleeding sod-ass capitalist paradise - spray it up to say: OLIGARCHS, SOD OFF!

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anaman51's avatar

By anaman51, October 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

If anyone can view our Congress at work and not see Republican obstructionism, they are willfully blind. It should be obvious to everyone (except those who can’t see anything evil about political corruption) that the GOP is doing everythng it can come up with to pry other hands off the controls of power, so they can get back to the business of making the richest 1% even richer. That is their only goal. The financial pain ordinary working Americans are feeling right now doesn’t concern them in the least, and they have no intention of relieving it. This is how they hold the power over the common working American—-they grasp them by their financial throats.

The Republicans are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street, whereas by comparison the Democrats are only occasional affiliates.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, October 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Judging others by measuring them against oneself is the height
of hubris.  It is absurd to think one cannot achieve happiness or
contentment in having a house built of wood and drywall. It causes
me to yawn to read an index of a Spartan life one has chosen and
how much better, or holier, whichever fits, one is than others
because of it. 

I think temperance is a virtue but that frugality as an end in itself
is not.  Temperance is the classic virtue to which a frugal perspective
is close but not exactly the same. Being temperate means not reacting
vulgarly to circumstances that tests one’s means. It is finding a balance
between what might be considered vices, those vices being overwaste
on one side and underconsumption on the other.  A liberal use of goods
could result without passing into waste. Being frugal, on the other hand,
becomes unvirtuous if it becomes an obsession. Different people have
different levels of energy and can earn more than others.  When
acquisition becomes obsessive is when greed checks in.  A rational
argument could be made that greed, often thought of as a deadly sin,
however, is not an evil in itself either.  Acquisition and even more
acquisitions than one needs is actually a natural phenomenon.  This is
observed from the behavior of squirrels.  Actually it is called “squirreling
away.”  When greed takes over to prevent others from well-being and
having an equal share of freedom and power that is when excess loses
virtue and greed becomes a vice.  Excess is relative and what is excessive
to one is a matter of insufficiency to another.

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By 2smart, October 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

I’m relaxing in my humble rented apt.,
while I watch (once in a while) what’s
going on and congratulate myself for doing
things the proper way and not living in a
fantasy world. I live comfortable but
within my means, I don’t owe anything to
anybody, I don’t have or need cable t.v.,
I’ve never had a car, I use public
transport, I own 3 pairs of pants, 3
blouses, 3 sweaters, 1 raincoat, 1 coat, 2
pairs of shoes, a $7 Casio watch, and eat
regular food, no funny stuff with silly
names, once in a while I go to a fast food
place as a treat, I don’t drink, I have a
$13 blender, 2 pots and 1 skillet and
stopped buying makeup years ago. Guess
who’s happy and is able to go out with her
head high up with a smile on her face. You
people believed that you were so great and
have the latest fad, dozens of shoes and
wardrobe, the plasma tv, etc. You knew you
couldn’t afford to buy the typical
American house built of wood and sheet
rock for hundreds of thousands of dollars
trying to be someone you are not. See what
happens when you don’t face reality?

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bonito's avatar

By bonito, October 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Where are all of the congressmen whom claim to be for
the working people of this nation? So far I count 2,
Dennis Kucinich, and Bernie Sanders. Just maybe now
is the time for all working stiffs of the country to
contact their respective representatives and demand
to know whether they are Republicans or Democrats,
just what it is they may have done in the last 30
years to enhance the lives of their fellow workers. 
Do Not accept the claim that they have kept us safe
by killing hundreds of thousands of residents in
their own homes, own cities, and country. I think by
now We know that that is a whole lot of B.S. The only
Congressman I know personally who had the guts to
tell it like it really is when it comes to Health
Care (the Republican plan is if you get sick, than
die quickly so no one needs to pay for your care) and
with the stupid wars that have cost the taxpayers
Trillions, (the wars are making us poor) This hell of
a Man is Allan Grayson of Florida. Too bad He was
able to serve but one term.

So where are you Joe Dimaggio, I thought that We may
have had such a person when Jesse Ventura came into
view, but then I must have been wrong, or, He just
missed the Bus, Train, Airplane, does not own a
Bicycle.  He just happened to write a book titled
Don,t start the Revolution without Me. Where are you
now Jesse when We really need you.

Revolution, I suppose should be the last resort but
then How can You fault the masses for trying? We need
more than a few Good Men and Women to come to the aid
of their Country, now is the time to strike while We
may have the attention of our oppressors, and if our
Congress is to remain relevant to our Democracy, just
maybe they may choose to join us.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 8, 2011 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

YOU’RE FIRED!

glider: Occupy Wall Street exists because the lesson of Obama is that our government is controlled by moneyed interests, and there is no viable route to escape that through our faux Democracy.

Your excessive pessimism regarding “our democracy” is quite wrong.

You have failed to understand the message that brought Obama to the presidency. You have failed as well to understand the undercurrent of disgust with “politics as usual” in LaLaLand on the Potomac that is fueling the present movement.

And you fail to understand properly the underlying force for change represented by the Ballot Box - when people are motivated by the right message.

You also dismiss Obama as BigMoney’s lap-dog, because you fail as well to understand the warped electoral process that we have in America.

Which means you fail to understand how it can be remedied by reformational change.

You’ve failed on all counts. You’re fired!

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, October 8, 2011 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Rob115, Israel is not America and you should know better to insinuate that it is.

The OccupyWallStreet movement looks like the happy-campers in Tel Aviv, but the grassroots are very different.

Our domestic movement has attained national staus within just a few weeks. It is fueled by the pent-up disgust with “politics as usual” from LaLaLand on the Potomac. It will gain further momentum throughout the run-up to elections next year and play both a positive and a decisive role in their outcome.

Only a fool would think otherwise and dismiss their importance - or someone shilling in this forum for the Replicants. Say it isn’t so ...

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By Marian Griffith, October 8, 2011 at 2:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Anarcissie
—-Professional reporters and commentators work for capitalist institutions.  Therefore, their work must comport with the interests and ideology of their bosses.  Being honest is not part of their job description.  In fact, reporters are sometimes fired for failing to lie.  According to the courts, this is an acceptable business practice.—-

Which is not so strange when you realise that the courts, too, work for capitalist institutions and must work to comport with the interests and ideologies of their bosses.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

gerard, October 7 at 5:17 pm:

Why can’t reporters and “commentators” be honest?
Politics hasn’t changed simply because of Occupy Wall Street. ...

Professional reporters and commentators work for capitalist institutions.  Therefore, their work must comport with the interests and ideology of their bosses.  Being honest is not part of their job description.  In fact, reporters are sometimes fired for failing to lie.  According to the courts, this is an acceptable business practice.

The Internet may change that.  However, it hasn’t yet.

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By gerard, October 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

Why can’t reporters and “commentators” be honest?
Politics hasn’t changed simply because of Occupy Wall Street.  Politics is that twisted devil-take-the-hind-most system deliberately installed and maintained to present an illusion of democracy without actually making needed changes possible. 
  In a democracy money wouldn’t rule, wouldn’t be able to buy offices, direct policies and influence votes.  In a democracy ordinary people, when they attempt to use the rights their Constitution gives them, would not be ridiculed, minimized, avoided, misquoted, badgered, misled and/or clubbed, tasered and arrested.  In a democracy, nobody would want billions of dollars in private savings when babies are going hungry and children can’t get adequate care and education because parents can’t get jobs.
  It is the gross difference between the pretensions of our country and what our country is actually doing that are getting us into trouble.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Robespierre115—The Democrats’ attempt to hijack the Occupation has already started.  See ‘Can the Left Stage a Tea Party?’ here on Truthdig.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, October 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

“...time will tell us if the “99%” are now following the scent of a
woman ?[pashtun, pal’n, iraqi] or scent of the money.”
  Counterpoint
to the sexist remark, a countersexist remark:  Make that the
offensively strong smell that reeks from behind the pants zipper of
the men who have the money?

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, October 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

@ Inherit The Wind

I totally watched that viral video and I loved it so much I think I am going to explode because it is so awesome (but I am going to repost my special message below because it is also awesome).


Well at least we know what to do now.

Take matters into our own m*therfuck*ng hands.

I’ve been thinking of Wall Street occupation/protest signs all night.

One of my favorites is…

ANSWER THE CALL OF HISTORY

WE’RE TIRED OF A FEUDAL SOCIETY

SHIFT POWER TO THE PEOPLE

AND END CORPORATE RULE

PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY VS. CONCENTRATED CORPORATE WEALTH

WHAT SIDE ARE YOU ON???

SUPPORT H.R. 2990

END THE FEDERAL RESERVE

EXTINGUISH PLUTOCRACY

AND HEAL THE ECONOMY

JOIN US

FUCK THE D.N.C.

I LOVE GAZA

FREE BRADLEY MANNING

END THE ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ

SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE NOW

THE TRUTH IS OFTEN A BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW

BUT IT IS ALWAYS THE BEST MEDICINE

YOU WERE SICK

BUT NOW YOU’RE WELL

AND THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE

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By Inherit The Wind, October 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

If you haven’t watched the Jesse LaGreca video under Truthdigger of the Week or YouTube…Fox Noise tried to bury it but it’s going viral!

It’s impromptu, off the cuff, not scripted, but LaGreca is AMAZINGLY clear and articulate for a guy who looks like Joe The Plumber.

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By glider, October 7, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

“both Obama’s initiative and the revolt against Wall Street mark a shift on the progressive side from defense to offense”

Dionne is one sick puppy. Occupy Wall Street exists because the lesson of Obama is that our government is controlled by moneyed interests, and there is no viable route to escape that through our faux Democracy.  One of the early demands of the Occupy group was to get the Goldman Sach’s people out of his administration.  The lesson is that the only progressive vote that will be allowed is for a bought puppet that spews lies of progressive rhetoric, and then back stabs the electorate in office.

Obama’s initiatives are clearly calculated politics as usual.  He and his puppet masters know they are going nowhere so he safe to use them to propagandize the public.  What else can he do?  He would get laughed off the stage with another hope and change campaign.

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By tony_opmoc, October 7, 2011 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Some inspiring stuff from Liberty Park

“Welcome to the Revolution: Life @ OccupyWallStreet’s Liberty Park”

http://daviddegraw.org/2011/10/welcome-to-the-revolution-life-occupywallstreets-liberty-park/

Extract

“As one person said into an online streaming video, with her hands in the air as if she was flagging down a helicopter, “Hello, hello, hello, all you passive sheep hiding behind your computer screen. Come out, come out, break on through and join real life.” As she ended, she spun in a circle, kissed the camera and said, “We love you, we love you all, we are you. Become one with us.”

And the Revolution will not be hijacked

http://www.prisonplanet.com/against-the-institution-a-warning-for-‘occupy-wall-street’.html

Extract

“For the Occupy Movement to build up and become a true force for change, it must avoid and reject the organizational and financial ‘contributions’ of institutions: be they political parties, non-profits, or philanthropic foundations. The efforts are subtle, but effective: they seek to organize, professionalize, and institutionalize a movement, push forward the issues they desire, which render the movement useless for true liberation, as these are among the very institutions the movement should be geared against.

This is not simply about “Wall Street,” this is about POWER. Those who have power, and those who don’t. When those who have power offer a hand in your struggle, their other hand holds a dagger. Remain grassroots, remain decentralized, remain outside and away from party politics, remain away from financial dependence. Freedom is not merely in the aim, it’s in the action.

The true struggle is not left versus right, democrat versus republican, liberal versus conservative, or libertarian versus socialist. The true struggle is that of people against the institution: the State, the banks, the central banking system, the corporation, the international financial institutions, the military, the political parties, the mainstream media, philanthropic foundations, think tanks, university, education, psychiatry, the legal system, the church, et. al.”

I was beginning to wonder if Americans still had it in them.

Tony

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, October 7, 2011 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

The Wall St. crowd gamed the system, time and again, for
the profit of the minority.  The 1%.

The toxic derivatives that starting wreaking havoc in
2008 are continuing to impact economies around the
world.  Greece is not going into default (possibly)
because they have a 99% who all have estate properties,
swimming pools and who don’t like to pay their taxes. 
You’ve got to wonder if this is just pure greed gone
wild or if there is a plan underlying the whole thing. 
Certainly austerity is going to demand a global
financial demographic shift.

Regardless how you view intentions, there were crimes
committed here.  The criminals still get their bonuses
and the current national economic policy makers are
criminals from the same demographic, country clubs and
organizations.  The “revolving door” isn’t a conspiracy
theory, it’s the way it works.

If Obama, or any other would be “representative of the
people”, were genuine, something would be done about
this.  Feigning sorrow for peeps and promising to create
jobs is nice talk; if he creates some jobs and we get
some pretty new bridges then swell, but that won’t
fundamentally change the status quo or put us in a
stable and sustainable position.

It’s like the government kicking smokers out of bars. 
They can then claim to care about peeps health and point
to positive action.  Bollocks!

Distraction, avoidance, and low hanging fruit.

Occupy Wall St?  We occupy the whole planet.  Mostly
it’s a nice place.  TEAR DOWN WALL ST!  (“Jump you
Phuckers!”)

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By balkas, October 7, 2011 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

time will tell us if the “99%” are now following the scent of a woman
[pashtun, pal’n, iraqi] or scent of the money.

in any case, all protests, marches, sit-ins, etc., were not only useless in
preventing or stoping wars but were actually an additional factor in
causation of next u.s aggressions, keeping/deposing diktators, loss of
liberty/right to life [of the americans also; and not just ‘aliens’ on this
planet] all over the world.

if i am correct, then we can expect the usual pacifier: throw some money
around and then go back to the usual practice: abusing the nature, killing
‘aliens’, deposing people u.s doesn’t’ like or which disobey it, etc. tnx

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By crystaldemons, October 7, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Mit Romney can’t even fix the problems looming in massachusetts, like “How many illegal immigrants actually work there and who is paying them to work there and how much documentation fraud is going on” If he can’t solve the problem in his own back yard and clear into New Hamphsire too!, how the heck does he think he can be president?  Obama is doing a great job with the mess he has been left with. Obama is doing what he can with his limited means just like the rest of us, we all are bound and have to live by them. Mit romneys time would be better spent reforming Massachusetts laws and regulations than our countries.

The falling grace of our politicians today is that they forget about the power of mayors and town reps and such that it is their duty to work as a whole system from city to city and town to town, they need to stop worrying who is seated at the capital and do their jobs from their seat so Obama can do his job from his, The whole governmenet is a vast web of people, town halls and state houses and courts, If we keep running everyday life from the top of the supreme court and the top of the houses and senate, then who is speaking or laying actions down at the bottom where it all begins, who is in civil court or at town meetings etc. there is not enough local enthusiasm to make things function properly, people just think they can shortcut laws and skip procedures and have this country function ? It does not work that way! It seems these days the Top of the Govt’ is telling the bottom of the Govt’ what to do instead of the other way around ! You wan’t rich people to pay higher taxes but your all afraid because of apportionment, Their taxes go up, yours do too! you want a rich man to build a mansion in a trailer park, trailer park rent goes up! That is why many rich people live in richer communities, they don’t want someone who is poor passing judgement on their private issues, so rich people create their own rich worlds or their own rule in gated communities private ranches etc. for their own way of living, because their wealth actually infringes upon the poorer or middle class and the poorer class cannot keep up..it’s class discrimination. Apportioning is a tricky thing, especially when states have their own apportionment in taxation. The rich apportion the rich and the poor apportion the poor, the middle class just get lucky from some smarter choices or privaledges the poorer class cannot make even many of them are still clinging to what they have left after clinging on to a few of the last housing crashes from refi’ing and credit debt.

Why isn’t the income wage apportioned the way it should be in fairness to taxes rich or poor?

If you use fair issac system of credit indebtness to figure purchasing power how can the fair issac system work when all pays are created unequal to the tax system or indebtedness ? People who have less of a tax burden have a higer creditworthiness because they are less indebt to taxes apportioned to their income…If warren buffet pays only 15% overall on his taxes that means more than 7% of his wealth goes to approval of creditworthiness and cost of living, but if jo schmo pay 25-33% tax of his income is creditworthy, jo schmo is double indebteded to a creditor vs. a person like buffet just because of wealth status.  A person like buffet can earn 7+% on investments alone and at his status of wealth who needs credit ! His money probably makes money that pays his own taxes with no hurt to his wealth.

It would be nice if the average american could make interest on income that would pay its own taxes too!

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By chris, October 7, 2011 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The week E.J. didn’t change…

again shaping the narrative in favor of a Democratic party that turned in, decades ago, its badge as national sheriff against Wall Street criminals. Today they are the Democrats biggest contributors.

I call them criminals, Obama calls them his base.

And there’s the rub.

Obama’s turn to populism is a lie.

Obama is a fraud.

If re-elected his second term will be worse than his first and you can count on more of his never-ending war and murderous foreign agenda as well as cuts to Social Security and Medicare as cases in point.

OWS has nothing to do with the Democrats.

And the moment it does is the moment it becomes meaningless.

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By Reverend Lauren Unruh, October 7, 2011 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is making a play for the conservative Christian vote by Hippie punching. He
is going after dispensaries in California to shut them down. He lies to us and
throws Hippies under the bus.

http://www.thc-ministry.org/

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or
the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for
a redress of grievances.

Join my church.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, October 7, 2011 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

@ Inherit The Wind

Heels and toes. Sounds pretty shifty.

Well at least we know what to do now.

Take matters into our own m*therfuck*ng hands.

I’ve been thinking of Wall Street occupation/protest signs all night.

One of my favorites is…

ANSWER THE CALL OF HISTORY

WE’RE TIRED OF A FEUDAL SOCIETY

SHIFT POWER TO THE PEOPLE

AND END CORPORATE RULE

PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY VS. CONCENTRATED CORPORATE WEALTH

WHAT SIDE ARE YOU ON???

SUPPORT H.R. 2990

END THE FEDERAL RESERVE

EXTINGUISH PLUTOCRACY

AND HEAL THE ECONOMY

JOIN US

FUCK THE D.N.C.

I LOVE GAZA

FREE BRADLEY MANNING

END THE ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ

SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE NOW

THE TRUTH IS OFTEN A BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW

BUT IT IS ALWAYS THE BEST MEDICINE

YOU WERE SICK

BUT NOW YOU’RE WELL

AND THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE

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By Inherit The Wind, October 7, 2011 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

The usual cranks with the usual “It’s not pure enough” criticisms.  For once, EJ is nailing it. 

Yeah, we know Obama and the Democrats have been dropping the ball, not since 2009, but since 2007,
when they took back both Houses.

Yeah, I’m pissed as shit at all the compromises and down-right cave-ins they’ve given.

But even a cornered rat will fight back.  Reid FINALLY out-maneuvered McConnell yesterday, and all because McConnell got greedy, but at least it’s a start.  And Obama has FINALLY gotten off his heels and back onto his toes: He’s right—the GOP IS against road-building and tax cuts for ordinary people.

Do I want Dems in control.  No. But I KNOW Republicans in control are 100x worse.  EVERYTHING about the mess we are in was totally avoidable, and the absolute result of Republican actions since 1981, but more importantly, since 2001.

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By madisolation, October 7, 2011 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

“Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges?” Obama asked. “Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses or efforts to help our veterans?”
Oh, how phony can you get. If he cared about the people and the country, he would have worked for those who supported him this long ago. Instead he piles words upon words, with no intention of ever taking away from the upper class. He’s lost the trust of the people, and once you’ve lost people’s trust, there’s no gaining it back.
How’s it feel, Obama, to have people abandon you just like you abandoned them?

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, October 7, 2011 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

@ Robespierre115

You hit the nail on the head.

Sometimes I see Mr. Dionne as a potential future David McCullough.

Such prowess in the art of narrative-shaping!!!

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By squeaky, October 7, 2011 at 1:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Donald Trump does not understand the protesters. Of course, he is still trying to figure out why he should not make fun at another person’s misery.

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By Marian Griffith, October 7, 2011 at 1:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s remarks about republican obstructionism may be the first opening salvo for his re-election bid.
That does not mean they are not also true.

And regarding the tax issue, I think that an income line should be drawn at the point that is the minimum needed to not only survive but to participate in community. Nobody below that line should be taxed, and no cumultive taxes levied on any single person or household should result in bringing them below that line.
Above that line everybody should contribute an equal share. Personally I do believe in progressive taxes (where the tax rate rises with the income) but for now that is a losing battle so on the short term we can aim for removing all loopholes and unfair policies that allow people to dodge more taxes the more wealth they have.
33pct seems a good number to aim for, and the only way somebody should be able to get below paying that percentage of income/wealth tax is if they have unavoidable costs that would push them below the poverty line.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, October 7, 2011 at 1:06 am Link to this comment

Only a clown like Dionne would try to hijack the Wall Street protests as something on equal footing with Obama’s blowhard rhetoric and speeches. Get ready, this is how it will start, the Obamatrons will try to turn this into the Democrats’ Tea Party. Obama and his minions will now try to say with a straight face, “see! these are OUR people!” It will be up to the protesters to decide if they want to be catalysts for radical change or foot soldiers for Election 2012.

Another warning for the movement should come from the rhetoric Dionne uses here. In Israel during the Summer the “Tent” protests also gained wide attention and pundits were writing about how “Israel has now changed forever” and that “a new dawn has arrived” etc., etc., but since the movement never went beyond just protesting, Netanyahu has crushed it through police assaults and diversions involving regional politics.

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