Feed on

Good job by David Carr in nailing Gannett and reminding us that reporters and editors who work for the corporate media, whether they realize it or not, are in the same predicament as the unemployed and underpaid who have taken to the streets. More here.

On the street

Michael Moore on CNBC yesterday:


Tuesday, Oct 25 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Susie | Former political operative and recovering journalist, blogger and working class warrior Susie Madrak chats with Will Bunch about his new Kindle book: October 1, 2011: The Battle of Brooklyn Bridge.” Follow @will_bunch, @SusieMadrak  Listen live and later on BTR

Doubling down

I’ve gotten to the point where, on the rare occasions that someone starts criticizing the Occupy movement, my response is, “Okay, let’s pretend they all wear suits, have short hair and well-paying jobs — because a lot of them do. Now what’s your problem?”

National Republicans are now attacking Elizabeth Warren for embracing the protests, seeking to make a liability out of the fact that Warren, a longtime critic of Wall Street excess, has now aligned herself with the movement’s intellectual underpinnings. What this means: The conservative effort to turn blue collar whites and independents against the protesters and their broader populist message — exploiting a traditional cultural fault line in our politics — will now unfold in the context of a high profile political campaign.

Warren was asked by the Daily Beast for a comment on the protests. She said: “I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do. I support what they do.”

Now the NRSC has opened fire on Warren for the comments, blasting out an email containing links to stories about protesters in Massachusetts battling with cops. Said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh: “Warren’s decision to not only embrace, but take credit for this movement is notable considering the Boston Police Department was recently forced to arrest at least 141 of her Occupy acolytes in Boston the other day after they threatened to tie up traffic downtown and refused to abide by their protest permit limits.”

The NRSC is also circulating that Doug Schoen op-ed painting protesters as wild-eyed extremists and arguing that Dems who embrace the protests risk driving away independents and moderates, even though it was subsequently proven that Schoen’s conclusions were not supported by his own data.

In other words, national Republicans are placing their bet. They are wagering that the cultural instincts of the working class whites and independents who will decide this race ensure that the excesses of the protesters will make them less inclined to listen to her populist economicmessage, which is also directed at those voters. This is an old story in American politics, of course. Conservatives have for decades been mining the tension between blue collar whites and liberal middle class activists who resort to outsized protest tactics and occasional violence. That’s why you hear conservatives constantly referring hopefully to today’s protesters as “McGovernites.”

Warren, by contrast, is making the opposite bet. By unabashedly embracing the protests, she is placing a wager on the true mood of the country right now. She’s gambling that these voters will look past the theatrics of these protests; that they will see that she and the protesters are the ones who actually have their economic interests at heart; and that they will ultimately side with Warren’s and Occupy Wall Street’s general critique of the current system and explanation for what’s gone wrong in this country.

Cognitive biases


Skin cancer

People who get fake nails or regular manicures at higher risk.

Plus, you know, inhaling toulene and benzene if you’re getting the fake nails. It disturbs me that nail technicians think wearing a paper mask is going to protect them from toxic fumes.

Thou shalt not bear false witness

Oh, bless their hearts. So they’re lying and conniving, but they’re Christians so… bygones!

After a year-long investigation, a new report to be released today by the pro-choice group NARAL reveals that those problems plague the vast majority of North Carolina’s crisis pregnancy centers. In addition to providing false medical information, many of the centers actively proselytize and tell women of non-Christian faiths to convert or face damnation:

In recent years, NARAL Pro-Choice state chapters have conducted investigations into the pregnancy clinics in New York, California, Maryland, Texas and Virginia, reaching the same general conclusions. Over the past year, the North Carolina office of the organization embarked on an identical investigation, studying the centers’ websites and other material, and sending staff and volunteers posing as pregnant women or couples into the clinics.

[…] NARAL says it found the majority of the centers it investigated in North Carolina had no medical professionals on staff, and only a quarter of them disclosed they were not medical facilities. More than two-thirds provided distorted or false information about abortion risks and consequences.

The report says one Jewish investigator who posed as a pregnant woman was told at five centers she wouldn’t go to heaven unless she converted to Christianity, and that one volunteer challenged her to become a “born-again virgin.”

The law of intended consequences

A civics teacher who tried to teach her kids to vote – in Florida.

Call now! Vote on PA voucher bill today

Time is tight! Call the following Senators and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 1.
Although they support or have voted in support of vouchers in the past, it is important that they hear strong opposition to the bill.

Senator Jeff Piccola, Chair (717) 787-6801
Senator Mike Folmer, Vice Chair (717) 787-5708
Senator Andrew Dinniman, Minority Chair (717) 787-5709
Senator Jake Corman (717) 787-1377
Senator Patrick Browne (717) 787-1349
Senator Lloyd Smucker (717) 787-6535
Senator Joe Scarnati (717) 787-7084
Senator Anthony Williams (717) 787-5970

Also contact the following Senators who have continued to voice strong opposition to school vouchers and to thank them for their support of public education and their opposition to Senate Bill 1.

Senator Robert Tomlison (717) 787-5072
Senator Jim Ferlo (717) 787-6123
Senator Daylin Leach (717) 787-5544

Vouchers are a budget, education, accountability and constitutional issue.
Continue Reading »


Oakland police attacked the Occupy Oakland camp at 4:30 a.m. Pacific time this morning:

Hundreds of protesters at “Occupy Oakland” were facing arrest in the early hours of Tuesday morning as dozens of SWAT police closed in on their location. We’ve seen reports of rubber bullets, beanbag shotguns, sonic cannons and injuries, but the situation remains unclear.

Local media reports indicated that hundreds of police showed up wearing riot gear around 4:40 a.m. and proceeded to surround the small tent city at the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. They closed in on the camp within 20 minutes after donning gas masks and firing tear gas into the protest. “Dozens” were arrested, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

The Okaland Tribune reported that police successfully demolished the camp and cleaned out all their tents, a medical desk, a makeshift kitchen and more, after having declared the whole site a “crime scene,” even though no other crime than an “unlawful assembly” had occurred.

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