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Obama’s silence speaks volumes

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, weighed in today on the OWS mess, lest we forget the disgraceful abandonment of the poor and middle-class by Barack Obama, the anti-FDR:

“One of the appalling things here is that there are so many Democratic mayors involved in these crackdowns or in Bloomberg’s case, someone who is seen as a liberal,” Ehrenreich said in a telephone interview. “And where in all this was Obama? Why couldn’t he have picked up the phone at some point a couple of weeks ago and called the mayors of Portland and Oakland and said: ‘go easy on these people. They represent the anger and aspirations of the majority.’ Would that have been so difficult?”

More here.

How a financial pro lost his house

This is pretty eye-opening:

At first, I dismissed the idea of a short sale. Late that summer, I sat down with a really close friend in Las Vegas, someone I looked up to. He cut to the heart of the matter right away: Why, he wanted to know, were we still making the payments?

Because I have a moral obligation, I said. You pay your debts.

He proceeded to explain that I didn’t have a moral obligation to the bank. I had a moral obligation to my family. I had a contractual obligation to the bank, along with a clear moral obligation to be honest in my dealings. What he was asking was this: Which is more important? Your contractual obligation to the bank or your obligation to your family to preserve your ability to make a living?

I had never thought of it that way. But it made sense. I summed it up to myself like this: I have a contractual obligation to the bank (as well as a moral obligation not to skirt the consequences of breaking it: losing my house and wrecking my credit score). But my moral obligation to my family trumps the contractual obligation to the bank.
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Here’s all you have to know about the integrity of the billionaire mayor from Wall Street:

After ordering the eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday explained that the park would temporarily remain closed due to a court order that restrained the city from closing the park.

A ruling issued by [Manhattan Supreme Court Justice] Lucy Billings… said that the city is “prohibited from: “(a) Evicting protesters from Zuccotti Park and/or (b) Enforcing the “rules” published after the occupation began or otherwise preventing protesters from re-entering the park with tents and other property previously utilized,” the ruling said.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Bloomberg said that protesters had only been “temporarily” asked to leave the park “to reduce the risk of confrontation and to minimize destruction in the surrounding neighborhood.”

More here.

Fracking in the Delaware River watershed

Have you called your governor’s office yet?

Of course it was coordinated

UPDATE: The Obama administration was “advising” Occupy cities.

Was there ever any doubt?

Embattled Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, speaking in an interview with the BBC (excerpted on The Takeaway radio program–audio of Quan starts at the 5:30 mark), casually mentioned that she was on a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities shortly before a wave of raids broke up Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country. “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation. . . .”

Mayor Quan then rambles about how she “spoke with protestors in my city” who professed an interest in “separating from anarchists,” implying that her police action was helping this somehow.

Penn State

More from Charlie Pierce:

If Mike McQueary had seen a child being raped in a boardroom or a storeroom, he wouldn’t have been any more likely to have stopped it, or to have called the cops, than he was as a graduate assistant football coach at Penn State. With unemployment edging toward double digits, and only about 10 percent of the workforce unionized, every American who works for a major company knows the penalty for exercising his personal freedom, or his personal morality, at the expense of “the company.” Independent thought is discouraged. Independent action is usually crushed. Nobody wants to damage the brand. Your supervisor might find out, and his primary loyalty is to the company. Which is why he got promoted to be your supervisor in the first place.

It is not a failure of our institutions so much as it is a window into what they have become — soulless, profit-driven monsters, Darwinian predators with precious little humanity left in them. Penn State is only the most recent example. Too much of this country is too big to fail.

Further, the institutions of college athletics exist primarily as unreality fueled by deceit. The unreality is that universities should be in the business of providing large spectacles of mass entertainment. The fundamental absurdity of that notion requires the promulgation of the various deceits necessary to carry it out. The “student-athlete,” just to name one. “Amateurism,” just to name another. Of course, people involved in Penn State football allegedly deceived people when it became plain that children had been raped within the program’s facilities by one of the program’s employees. It was simply one more lie to maintain the preposterously lucrative unreality of college athletics. And to think, the players at Ohio State became pariahs because of tattoos and memorabilia sales.
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Hmm

Maybe I’ll switch my registration to Republican so I can vote for Gary Johnson in the primary.

Media blackout, reporters arrested

Reporters were prevented from watching the raid.

Poynter update from Ben Doenberg:

Journalists said they were shut out and roughed up as the New York Police Department cleared Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street protesters in the early morning hours Tuesday. “I’m w/ a NY Post reporter who says he was roughed up by riot police as Zuccotti was cleared,” tweeted Brian Stelter of The New York Times. “He thinks violence was ‘completely deliberate.’ “ Julie Walker, a freelancer for NPR, and Jared Malsin were reportedly arrested. Josh Harkinson, a staff writer for Mother Jones, made it into the park and observed the police arresting protesters (which he described in tweets later), but said he was hauled out when he told a police officer he was working for Mother Jones. ”I decided it would be better to stay out of jail and keep reporting on what’s going on tonight, so I let him haul me out, arguing with him,” he tweeted. Josh Stearns, associate program director at Free Press, is updating his ongoing Storify of journalist arrests at Occupy protests.

Grover knows

Charlie Pierce on the inevitable SuperCommittee deal:

But the cuts will be real. Everybody agrees on that. Even Joe Lieberman, the world’s most revolting human:

“In the last week, each side has busted through a wall. Democrats are talking about entitlement reform, curbing the increase in spending on mandatory programs like Medicare. Republicans have broken through the wall on tax revenue increases. Now they have to figure out if they can meet each other somewhere in the middle.”

This is, of course, nonsense. While it is true that the Democrats have proven themselves willing to sell out their party on the essential social safety net — John Kerry, alas, has reported for duty on this one in a big way — the Republicans have no more “broken through a wall” on “tax increases” than they have all agreed to become Zoroastrians. The “tax increases” are the closing of some loopholes that most of the people who should be feeling the pinch of progressive taxation will never ever notice, and some of which the middle class has come to count on, and, anyway, here’s Grover Norquist, who swings the kind of weight that Lieberman can only dream of wielding:

“I am not losing any sleep” over the Republicans’ latest proposal. Mr. Norquist said he was confident that, “at the end of the day, the Republican House will not pass a tax increase.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is truly that.

One of the co-chairs of the SuperCommittee is Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican congresscritter from Texas and a real prize in his own right. In the past, Hensarling has been a real dope on the topic of health care. He got tough and stupid with the president and wound up launched into the cheap seats. And there he is in the WSJ, demonstrating for good and all that at least one very bloated part of the budget will be spared from the “draconian” budget cuts that are supposed to be triggered by the failure of the SuperCommittee to come to a deal.

“I have a hard time believing a 10-year sequester of national defense of that magnitude would ever happen.” He says, “At some point the American people rise up and say ‘Wait a second, we continue to live in a dangerous world, this is not smart.'”

This is why the SuperCommittee has conducted its deliberations in secret. So you won’t notice the chimps with the flamethrowers.

Education

Would it surprise you if I said there was no evidence at all to support the current school “reforms”? If you have kids (or grandkids), go read this whole thing.

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