The overall level of popular support for the Occupy Wall Street movement about 25 percent, has remained basically unchanged since last month according to Gallup. And the "neither" support nor oppose number has remained over 50 percent even after a month[...]
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Evan McMorris-Santoro takes a look at what popped the Herman Cain balloon in today's Campaign In 100 Seconds.[...]
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A series of dramatic images from the deadly clashes over the past 72 hours in Cairo.[...]
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If only the transfer of wealth from the 99% to the 1% could be captured so clearly on a camera-phone as a policeman using pepper spray on an unarmed, peaceful protester there would have been no need for the demonstrations.
Josh Marshall asks if the violence at the demonstrations threatens to overwhelm the message:
I?ve wondered about this for a week or two. And I haven?t known quite what to make of it or how to express it. It didn?t start with this pepper spray incident at UC Davis. But that sort of crystallized it further in my mind: the core message about economic inequality is being overwhelmed by a distinct story about (depending on your perspective) street violence and police brutality or excessive militarization of crowd control.There is however a very important link between the banker bailouts and the images of police brutality: The lack of accountability.
Why do people always put music to what would otherwise be great videos standing alone? Anyway, it's adorable, take a one minute break and go smile.
In a recorded conversation during a Friday campaign stop in Iowa, former Republican senator Rick Santorum offered a surprisingly hawkish set of foreign policy views (even for Santorum) on both Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After telling a questioner that the U.S. should target Iranian nuclear scientists for assassination, the GOP presidential hopeful went on to say that “all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians” and offered his endorsement of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.
Santorum even went so far as to compare Israeli annexation of the West Bank to the acquisition of Texas during the Mexican-American war:
QUESTIONER: Do you think Israel should dismantle its settlements?
SANTORUM: No. The West Bank, is this part of Israel?
QUESTIONER: [inaudible] According to 48? [inaudible]
SANTORUM: How did we get New Mexico and Texas?
QUESTIONER: Through war.
SANTORUM: How did they get the West Bank? [inaudible] Through a war. Should we give Texas back to Mexico?
QUESTIONER: Well I don’t think you should recognize recent annexations.
SANTORUM: Oh, so it depends whether it’s recent or not? So we should have given New Mexico and Texas back 150 years go?
The bottom line is that that is legitimately Israeli country. And they have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country. If they want to negotiate with Israelis, and all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. This is Israeli land.
Santorum’s position that “all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis,” an apparent denial of the U.S. interest in creating a two-state solution along 1967 borders, poses a serious departure from the stated U.S. policy of the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.
If Santorum is endorsing a one-state solution, and there is no other way to interpret his comments, he should elaborate on whether the current Arab residents of the West Bank — a people he refuses to call Palestinians — should receive the full voting rights and freedom of movement afforded to Israeli citizens.
Across the country, groups pushing for living wage legislation are finding powerful allies in religious leaders and faith groups that are flocking to join the fight. Case in point, a rally in New York City urging the City Council to raise wages at city-subsidized projects got a big boost today from the support of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York:
Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities, is scheduled to speak at a rally on Monday organized by a coalition of religious, labor and community leaders to urge the passage of the bill, originally introduced last year by two City Council members from the Bronx.[...]
[H]e added that the rally on Monday, at Riverside Church, would provide an appropriate setting for the archdiocese to address economic hardship and unemployment, matters of utmost concern to the church.[...]
?We?re going to speak about how this economic crisis continues to hurt everybody in society, particularly the poor,? the monsignor said. ?We need to make sure there are decent jobs with decent wages.?
The City Council will hold a hearing tomorrow on the bill, which would would mandate a wage of $10 per hour with benefits, or $11.50 without benefits, for employees of projects that receive at least $1 million in government subsidies. Small businesses and manufacturers are exempt, but the bill has still faced strong opposition from business leaders and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the New York archdiocese has recently been pushing the church to focus more on the economic hardship millions are facing and the importance of living wages. He wrote in a letter to all bishops in the U.S. that ?the best way out of poverty is to work at a living wage.” According to a 2009 report, more than one million workers in low-wage industries in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City lose more than $56.4 million each week as a result of employment and labor law violations.
The Florida Independent reports that faith groups are planning a series of actions to protest wage theft. This week also marks the first anniversary of the Day Against Wage Theft in Miami-Dade County. Florida Republicans are pushing a bill that would bar municipalities from ?adopting or maintaining? local ordinances like Miami-Dade?s that crack down on wage theft.
Here's a refreshing antidote to another day of austerity/deficit/Super Congress wanking; Bernie Sanders, via digby.
BLITZER: But as you know, the compromise in the works has always been there would be some tax increases, which is what you want, but at the same time there would be cuts in what's called entitlement spending, including Social Security and Medicare.
SANDERS: Well, I think that position is way out of line with what the American people want. I just saw a poll today. Seventy percent of Republicans, of Republicans say do not cut Social Security. Numbers are higher for Democrats and independents. In this economic moment when so many people are hurting, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are enormously important. They are life and death issues.
BLITZER: Are you open to reforms in Social Security, for example, raising the retirement age?
SANDERS: No. I'm open to reforms by lifting the cap taxable income so that millionaires contribute more into Social Security so that it will be solvent for 75 years. Let's be clear. Social security has not contributed to one nickel to the deficit. Compare every benefit for the next 25 years has a --
BLITZER: Are you open to means testing for Social Security recipients, in other words, if you're a millionaire, do you still need to get a $2,000 a month check?
SANDERS: Yes, you do. No, you know why?no, the millionaire should be asked to contribute more into it. Once you start with millionaire, trust me, next year it'll be those making $100,000, and in 10 years it will be those making $50,000 --
BLITZER: So you don't want to touch entitlement spending at all?
SANDERS: I want to make sure that in the midst of recession, when tens of millions of people are desperately hanging on, that you don't cut those people at the knees so that they become even more desperate. The issue now, Wolf, let's be clear, the richest people in this country are doing phenomenally well, large corporation, record- breaking profits. You do not balance the budget in a civilized democratic society on the backs of the most vulnerable. You ask those people who are doing well whose effective tax rates are lower than in that case to start paying their fair share of taxes.
As digby says, it's really hard for Blitzer to grasp the idea that, since Social Security really doesn't have anything to do with the deficit, there's no reason to slash it in deficit reduction. Then there's his utter incredulity over Sanders' intractability on Social Security.
BLITZER: But based on if everyone took?the Democrats took your position, there would be no compromise with the Republicans because they are adamant they don't want tax increases.
And the worst thing in the world is that there would be no capitulation by Democrats to Republicans' refusal to do what the entire fucking country wants them to do, which is raise the taxes on the rich and protect Social Security and Medicare.
But, hey, at least he had Sanders on to inject the tiny bit of sanity into this whole debacle.
Having witnessed brutal crackdowns on occupations in Oakland, Portland and New York, where Occupy Wall Street began and inspired citizens to launch occupations in their own community, legal teams are going to court to obtain court orders to protect[...]
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My New Year Wish For 2012: President Ron Paul And A Huge Majority Democratic Congress And Senate Okay, you know what? I happen to really, REALLY like Ron Paul, even as a Liberal and I’ll be happy to explain why, hopefully before my fellow Libs click away from this column in disgust. The...
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