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‘Don’t be afraid to say revolution’

Wall Street reporting from Corrente.

Silver lining

Looks like unions have found the silver lining in the Citizens United ruling – namely, Super PACs and the ability to go after non-union voters:

But the ruling also changed the rules for unions, effectively ending a prohibition on outreach to nonunion households. Now, unions can use their formidable numbers to reach out to sympathetic nonunion voters by knocking on doors, calling them at home and trying to get them to polling places. They can also create their own Super PACs to underwrite bigger voter identification and get-out-the-vote operations than ever before.

As part of this overhaul, Richard L. Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., has said organized labor will be more independent of the Democratic Party, sitting out races where unions are disappointed with the Democratic candidate’s positions on issues important to them and occasionally financing primary challengers to Democratic incumbents.

The unions said they even intended to back a few Republicans they judge to have been generally supportive of their agenda, like Representative Steven C. LaTourette of Ohio.

Mr. Trumka said unions were tired of Democratic politicians taking them for granted after labor shoveled millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns. In distancing themselves, at least a bit, from the Democrats, unions are becoming part of a trend in which newly empowered outside groups build what are essentially party structures of their own — in this case, to somewhat offset the money flowing into conservative groups that are doing the same thing.

What do you think? Good idea or not?



This happened a few blocks down from my street. That would wake me up, I can tell you that!

Last night

Will Bunch and I talked about music and revolution. Tune in! We had a lot of technical trouble getting some of the music, and so the sound is frequently cheesy (since I was basically playing YouTubes in the background), but I think you’ll like it anyway.

The people’s choice

Please, Gov. Christie, run for president! I so want to talk about how, as you put it, you never even set foot in the Trenton state house until you were elected — even though you were the lobbyist for the Securities Industry Association, the Wall Street trade association, under Bernie Madoff.

Let’s talk about what you achieved, since one of your primary lobbying projects on behalf of Wall Street was to win an exemption for securities fraud from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. Straight shooter! Woo hoo!

Easy enough for just about anyone to remember: Lobbyist Chris Christie worked to remove securities fraud from a consumer fraud act on behalf of an organization run by Bernie Madoff.

Bring it on, I say:

The Republican Party’s long search for a standard-bearer is placing extraordinary pressure on the tough-talking governor of New Jersey to suddenly leap into a presidential race that he has long denied interest in entering.

As the clamor reached a heightened pitch, Gov. Chris Christie arrived Tuesday night at the symbolic heart of political conservatism, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, to deliver a speech on American exceptionalism that some Republicans had hoped would be the opening stroke of a presidential campaign.

Christie gave an impassioned call for strong leadership, accusing Washington of drifting from crisis to crisis without resolution and President Obama of being a “bystander in the Oval Office.” In his nearly 30-minute speech, Christie offered no indication he might offer himself as that strong leader, but didn’t close the door, either.

During an audience question-and-answer session, a woman stood up and pleaded. “I really implore you — I really do. This isn’t funny. I mean this with all my heart,” she said. “Please, sir, reconsider. Go home and really think about it. Please. Do it for my daughter, do it for our grandchildren, do it for our sons. Please, sir, your country needs you to run for president.”

The audience rose to applause and Christie, in an emotional moment, responded: “I feel the passion with which you say it, and it touches me.”

The governor said he was listening to those urging him to run, adding that he was taking it in and “feeling it too.” But he continued, “by the same token, that heartfelt message you gave me is also not a reason for me to do it. That reason has to reside inside me. That’s what I’ve said all along. I know without ever having met President Reagan that he must’ve felt deeply in his heart that he was called to that moment to lead our country. And so my answer to you is just this, I thank you for what you’re saying.”

Cornel West at Liberty Park

In case you were wondering, protesters are repeating everything he says because they’ve been told they’re not permitted to use microphones or megaphones:

A bankster prerequisite: Scamming 101

Matt Taibbi explains why it’s accurate to think of crooked investment bankers — banksters — as scam artists as well as degenerate gamblers

Nice Polite Republicans

I left this comment on this NPR post yesterday morning about why they weren’t covering Occupy Wall Street (too small, no celebrities, etc.):

Thank you for sticking to your guns on your business model.

Every time NPR decides not to cover growing political movements, I invariably get a large contribution to my blog from someone saying, “I used to make a contribution to NPR, but because of (fill in the blank), I’m giving the money to you instead.” I hear this a lot: “Why give them money for news I read about on your blog months ago?” Also, that “he said, she said” thing? Keep that up, too.

Love, Your Competition


Patty Griffin:

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