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The OccupyUSA Blog: Special Weekend Edition! | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The OccupyUSA Blog: Special Weekend Edition!

Live-blogging OWS daily since October 1.  Email: epic1934@aol.com. All times ET.   See my e-book on Occupy "40 Days That Shook the World."  My OWS-relevant "Journeys With Beethoven" just published in print and e-book, my other books here.

SUNDAY *

8:00 Springsteen opens Grammys with Occupy-friendly "We Take Care of Our Own" (see video way down the page).  Nice closeup when he empathizes key lyrics.

5:00 Bill Moyers:  Where the Right Went Wrong.

12:55 We noted below our favorite story of the day : front-page and long overdue NYT piece showing hypocrisy of those denouncing gov't programs and handouts yet eagerly seeking and taking them.  First example is even a Tea Party activist.  But also: Map in NYT package shows top handout areas almost all in "Red" areas.  Check out state after state.  Couldn't be clearer.  And they note:  McCain won two-third's of the vote in the top "handout" areas.  Yet same folks claim they want "indepedence" from gov't, while enrolling kids in free breakfast programs and the like.

11:45 Apparently this actually happened:  Tucker Carlson and Andrew Breitbart had dinner with ex-Weathermen Bill Ayers and wife Bernardine Dohrn on Super Bowl Sunday.  Carlson won charity auction for dinner cooked in Chicago apartment by the couple and brought a few friends.  Here is write-up by Matt Labash (albeit in rightwing outlet). "They plump us with falling-off-the-bone hoisin ribs and fluff us with apple pie and Ameri-Cone Dream ice cream. 'This is the bomb, Bill,”' says Breitbart, after sampling the farmhouse cheeses." But in the end they feel they got "rolled."  They had planned to be nice at first, then go after their hosts but ushered out before that happened.

11:40 My new Roll Over Beethoven blog celebrates one-week anniversary today, already very popular, thanks for support and visits.

11:35  Not music to our ears: Eviction of Occupy Nashville finally coming this Thursday.

11:30  Michael Moore on the 75th anniversary of historic victory for Flint workers.

11:20  Eric Boehlert: "Confirmed: Mittens continues to be popular in states that border Mass." ...  WSJ on mind-blowing $270 million spent by US for just 100 miles of gravel road in Afghanistan.  While we close schools and clinics in America... Adam Liptak in NYT on government's ability to surveil journalists

11:00 Alex Kotlowitz with powerful essay on long-term effects of violence on communities.

8:00  Yes, that big NYT piece on critics of government "safety net" increasingly depending on it is on the top right of the paper in print today.

 

*SATURDAY*

11:00 NYT w/ big piece on Occupy "re-grouping....Far from dissipating, groups around the country say they are preparing for a new phase of larger marches and strikes this spring that they hope will rebuild momentum and cast an even brighter glare on inequality and corporate greed. But this transition is filled with potential pitfalls and uncertainties...":

6:30  I've recevied an advance "rush" transcript of George Soros on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show tomorrow.  One  highlight:   On forming a Super Pac for Obama.  "No, I mean, that's -- I haven't decided.  But I think it's a big, big issue that the Citizens United has really unleashed private money for political purposes that can be used anonymously. And this will create an unequal playing field, which will further destroy the political system. And let's say I basically have given my money for, on principle, not for pursuit of my private interests.  And I've always done it very openly, saying what I'm doing. So whatever I decide, I will state what I'm deciding but I'm distressed by the problem that Citizens United has created."  He says he will "definitely" vote for Obama but admits, "Look, he has done a kind of a mixed job."

More: He again calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and points out this:   "The crisis we are in was created in the private sector.  It's by deregulation and globalization that the financial system was left on its own, and it grew like cancer.  And it became far too big and extracted far too much of the profits that were produced by the economy for its own purposes. It went up to 30 percent of the total earnings of profits in the U.S. economy were in the financial sector.  That was unsound.  The financial services clearly don't contribute 30 percent to the well-being of the country. So and it also created imbalances, led to excessive leverage, excessive indebtedness, which then led to the financial collapse, which we today suffer from. 

"So that is a -- that came from the private sector.  So it means that the private sector and financial sector particularly does need to be regulated, that stability needs to be an objective of public policy, because markets don't correct their own excesses. So however -- and this is where the quandary comes in.  Regulation is also imperfect, and in many ways more imperfect that the market because it tends to be very bureaucratic. So it's always lagging behind. So you have two very imperfect systems that need to be reconciled with each other."

3:50  Tim Pool livestreams today's Tea Party -  Occupy conflict at CPAC.



3:30  "Mind-blowing" new charts on income inequality from congressional hearing, via Josh Harkinson.

12:25 Gov. Walker in Wisc. says he's facing recall because he's TOO pro-worker. .. Shocking new PPP poll finds Santorum ahead of Romney -- by 15 points! 

12:20  Response to USA Today editorial charging that Occupy is over and has blown it (and link to the editorial).  Occupy organizer from NY:  "We know it will take more than a season to make change on the scale we seek. Occupy Wall Street was the seed of a movement that will grow far beyond the parks it started in. While the movement rests this winter, we make our plans for the American Spring." ... Funding appeal video for Occupation Records in London..

9:20 Bill Moyers segment this weekend on Economic Malpractice and the Millennials.

 

9:15 Video of wild man Andrew Brietbart yelling at Occupyers last night at CPAC conference, including "stop raping people."

9:00 Joe Nocera's second pro-Keystone pipeline NYT column today ends by painting picture of  opponents driving "SUVs alone" to work.

8:10 More on activists stepping up campaign vs. Apple on workers' conditions...

From late Friday

Short video of Noam Chomsky talking about Gar Alperovitz's new book "Beyond Capitalism."

New piece on Ben & Jerry's backing Occupy and video segment..... Two new nuclear reactors to be built in Georgia...Republicans freak as Rasmussen poll, of all places, shows him with sudden 10 point lead over Romney...

New video for Spingsteen's OWS-friendly "We Take Care of Our Own." Nice Searchers' riff (yes, I recall when he played Searchers singles for me back in mid-1970s). 

This week's "poverty blog" from The Nation.... 

 Release from Occupyers in L.A.:   "As California State Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the nationwide settlement with banks over foreclosure abuse could be worth up to $18 billion to California, Occupy activists protest the announcement claiming it does little for Californians who were among those hardest hit by the crisis.  Foreclosures have cost California $650 billion in lost home values, property taxes, and additional foreclosure-related costs to local governments, according to a report released last December by California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)."

 

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