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Explaining What Should Be Obvious

Why do the Wall Street protestors need a spokesperson? It seems pretty obvious why they are protesting.

The other panel members were Republicans. For most of the show, Alan just sat quietly, which really surprised and disappointed me. Then suddenly, he let them have it. It was great. I just wish that the camera had shown the standing ovation.

And here is Elizabeth Warren making a similar point:

I try to avoid talking about Ann Coulter, but just to add to the irony, Coulter recently complained about the things being said by the protestors, claiming that they were just like things that were said just before the French Revolution. My question is whether that means that Coulter is comparing herself to Marie “let them eat cake” Antoinette.

UPDATE: Read Paul Krugman’s column “Panic of the Plutocrats“.



  1. Arthanyel wrote:

    One of the more articulate OWS posts on demands from an OWS protestor – I agree with this list and it shows up the anti-capitalist Republican propaganda.

    —- cut here —–

    LIST OF PROPOSED “DEMANDS FOR CONGRESS”CONGRESS PASS HR 1489 (“RETURN TO PRUDENT BANKING ACT” ). THIS REINSTATES MANY PROVISIONS OF THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT.–Steagall_Act — Wiki entry summary: The repeal of provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits. The deregulation also removed conflict of interest prohibitions between investment bankers serving as officers of commercial banks. Most economists believe this repeal directly contributed to the severity of the Financial crisis of 2007–2011 by allowing Wall Street investment banking firms to gamble with their depositors’ money that was held in commercial banks owned or created by the investment firms. Here’s detail on repeal in 1999 and how it happened:–Steagall_Act#Repeal .  

    USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions). There is a pretty broad consensus that there is a clear group of people who got away with millions / billions illegally and haven’t been brought to justice. Boy would this be long overdue and cathartic for millions of Americans. It would also be a shot across the bow for the financial industry. If you watch the solidly researched and awared winning documentary film “Inside Job” that was narrated by Matt Damon (pretty brave Matt!) and do other research, it wouldn’t take long to develop the list. 

    CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections. The result is that corporations can pretty much buy elections. Corporations should be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media. This legislation should also RE-ESTABLISH THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES IN THE U.S. SO THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME FOR FREE AT REASONABLE INTERVALS IN DAILY PROGRAMMING DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON. The same should extend to other media.


    CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected. This agency needs a large staff and needs to be well-funded. It’s currently has a joke of a budget and is run by Wall St. insiders who often leave for high ticket cushy jobs with the corporations they were just regulating. 


    CONGRESS PASSING “Revolving Door Legislation” LEGISLATION ELIMINATING THE ABILITY OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS GOING TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS THAT THEY ONCE REGULATED. So, you don’t get to work at the FDA for five years playing softball with Pfizer and then go to work for Pfizer making $195,000 a year. While they’re at it, Congress should pass specific and effective laws to enforce strict judicial standards of conduct in matters concerning conflicts of interest. So long as judges are culled from the ranks of corporate attorneys the 1% will retain control. 

    ELIMINATE “PERSONHOOD” LEGAL STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS. The film “The Corporation” has a great section on how corporations won “personhood status”. . Fast-forward to 2:20. It’ll blow your mind. The 14th amendment was supposed to give equal rights to African Americans. It said you “can’t deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law”. Corporation lawyers wanted corporations to have more power so they basically said “corporations are people.” Amazingly, between 1890 and 1910 there were 307 cases brought before the court under the 14th amendment. 288 of these brought by corporations and only 19 by African Americans. 600,000 people were killed to get rights for people and then judges applied those rights to capital and property while stripping them from people. It’s time to set this straight.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink
  2. Don wrote:

    @Arthanyel: Thanks for sharing this.

    In the not too distant past I was a regular contributor to this site. That participation has slackened over the past several months and I must admit, at times, I wasn’t sure why. My passion for fairness and honesty is still as strong as it always was. My interest in politics hasn’t dimmed – shifted some maybe, but held its ardor.

    My belief in the potential of this country, though, has suffered some major damage. I’ve lost faith in the possibility that our gubmint can right itself from its current capsized posture. Why? Because I’m afraid I’ve lost much of my faith in the ability of the American voter to discern reality from fiction, to understand that the folks with the big bucks really don’t have most of our interests at heart, and to have the courage to take decisive action at the poles to give us a body of elected officials that truly have the interests of the country and all of its citizens as the basis for their political life.

    I’ve watched my fellow citizens succumb to Ayn Rand’s theory of social Darwinism, leaving their belief (if they ever held it) that compassion is a strength moldering. Self interest to the detriment of others seems to have the momentum while the concept of a society caring for itself as a whole and thereby presenting each of its members with an opportunity to live a quality life fades into the background.

    Seeing thousands and thousands of my fellow citizens taking to the streets to vent their disappointment and anger with the ruling elite is long overdue and, much as I hate to admit it, quite possibly too late, but I’m elated to see them doing this.

    I cut my teeth in the civil rights movement in the 60s and a then moved on to demand an end to the Viet Nam War. I spent much of my working life within the federal establishment trying to be a positive force in my work. I campaigned for natural resource issues in my private and professional life and I witnessed dramatic changes. Positive changes. Changes for the good of our country.

    In the last ten years, though, I’ve watched subtle and now strident calls for the rescission of much of what we accomplished. It’s now becoming harder for poor, especially minority citizens to vote in many of our states. We no longer understand that we are a nation of immigrants and, instead, have many in powerful political positions working actively to divide us; to foster jealousy and mistrust among racial, religious, and socio-economic groups.

    We no longer had a media that serves as the people’s watchdog. The ability of the media to do so has followed a bell curve for the past 100 years rising from the yellow journalism of Pulitzer and Hearst to the great reporters and writers that sprang from World War II and now tumbling down to a bunch of bleach-blonde and tony suited talking heads with so little sense of journalism that the country has simply forgotten the lessons that Walter Cronkite and Eric Severeid and others of their ilk taught us about the responsibility of the press to the citizenry. As much as I like the Daily Show, it is a sad commentary on the media when there is more truth on a 22 minute comedy show than a 24 hours news channel.

    So, I guess this is a bit of why I’ve quit writing. I’ve been feeling pretty beat-up philosophically. Not by folks on this site, but by the overall political/philosophical climate of our country. The folks marching in New York (for heaven’s sake, United Airline pilots marched in uniform 10 days ago) and the other major cities of the US are speaking for me. One demand I’d add to those above is “Quite fucking with my country and its people. If you can’t be part of a positive solution than sit your ass down and let those with vision and honesty and compassion drive the boat for a while.”

    End rant.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:22 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Good rant. We deserve worse.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:48 am | Permalink
  4. Patricia wrote:

    Thank you for some articulate opinion! I visit this site to find that there are others like myself who see past the “bunch of bleach-blonde and tony suited talking heads” to the larger problems. Please don’t give up speaking REAL truth to power!

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  5. Don wrote:

    At the poles? North or south? How about polls? Type too fast brain loses connectivity to grammar and spelling sections.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Decisive action is definitely required at the North and South poles.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  7. Duckman wrote:

    Bill Maher isnt a republican is he?

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 5:19 am | Permalink
  8. Don wrote:

    Maher claims to be a libertarian in the socially responsible vein.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink