OK, we knew this all along, but I still winced when I read it in Firedoglake:
For perhaps the first time, President Barack Obama was forced to explain why there have been no prosecutions of Wall Street executives for their fraudulent actions during the run-up to the financial crisis. Asked by Jake Tapper to explain this behavior, Obama basically suggested that most of the actions on Wall Street weren’t illegal but just immoral, and that his Administration worked to re-regulate the financial sector with the Dodd-Frank reform legislation.
“Banks are in the business of making money, and they find loopholes,” the President said. Apparently forging and fabricating documents to prove ownership of homes that are subsequently stolen from borrowers is now a loophole.
The Occupy movement, as it spreads from New York City to all parts of the country, is shining a light on all those murky-minded Democrats who haven’t had the balls to speak up for the unemployed, the underemployed, the homeless, the near-homeless and all the other beleaguered people the Dem Party used to represent. More here.
It was a great night until I tried to leave New Jersey.
I read my short story “Chokepoint” at the Walt Whitman Arts Center in Camden, and I got to hear sharp, witty verse by West Coast transplant Seve Torres and a virtuosically funny short story by Violet LeVoit, from her collection I Am Genghis Cum.
Everybody was there, even my blogger friend Susan Madrak, an avid Phillies fan who could have stayed home and watched the game. (I’ll bet she’s glad she didn’t.)
Heading back to Philly, I got as far as the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge and realized I didn’t have enough cash to pay the toll, which is up to five dollars. The attendant at the toll booth I approached told me no, I couldn’t use my debit card or take a voucher and pay double next time, they don’t do that sort of thing in Jersey.
The attendant’s preternatural calm rattled me. She had belladonna eyes and wore large silver earrings and silver eye makeup and speckles of silver paint on her cheeks. Her voice was barely audible. It’s not even Halloween yet.
My only option was to go back to Camden and get cash, she whispered. I tried arguing with her and reached for my wallet to show her ID. When I looked up she had vanished, but the gate was raised so that I could loop back around to Camden. More here.
Bank of America refuses to allow protestors into the building to close their bank accounts:
What’s going on in the park these days is something that defines its target not so much as a who, but as a what. There’s no sign at all that many national Democrats — with the possible exception of Elizabeth Warren up in Massachusetts, who’s built a career on many of the same issues that have brought people to the park — are willing even to co-opt the message here. The national media largely have blown off the protests because none of the people on their speed-dials have had anything to do with it. Surely, in a presidential campaign year in which the effects of a savage economic downturn are the primary issue, an ongoing protest against the people largely responsible for that downturn is as worthy of inclusion in the national debate as something as useless as the Iowa Straw Poll.
Instead, we get snotty New Republic reporters on play dates among the hippies, and insufferable Chaunceys from the conservative press exercising the half of the wit they have, and Erin Burnett, who’s never met a hedge fund she didn’t adore, launching her new CNN show with video of a longhaired guy with funny glasses. And everybody else gets on the bus to drive around New Hampshire, mourning the loss of the transformational figure that is Chris Christie. Unlike the Tea Party, which ultimately became a vehicle for electing fringe Republicans, and, thereupon, a vehicle for instituting policies that the corporate class has been swooning over for decades, the people in the park are praying far outside the camp.
Occupy Philly is also asking for donations for the following items, which can be delivered directly to City Hall: nonperishable food items, reusable plates, utensils, bowls, pots and pans (they will have access to a kitchen for cooking and washing at the Quaker Friends Select School), water coolers, paper, dish and cloth towels, fruit with skin (like oranges), plastic wrap, and tarps.
Occupy Philly is also asking any nonprofits to let them use their 501c3 status to be able to accept donations from supermarkets. Contact Gia B at 609-706-0118.