Thursday Reads

Good Morning!

You know the Occupy Movement is having an effect when the propaganda patrol starts trying to pin the “TERRORIST” label on them. From Politico:

If confirmed, this will likely be a much, much bigger image problem than the reports of crime in Occupy encampments:

Authorities suspect [Oscar Ramiro] Ortega-Hernandez] had been in the area for weeks, coming back and forth to the Washington Mall. Before the shooting, he was detained by local police at an abandoned house. U.S. Park Police say Ortega-Hernandez may have spent time with Occupy D.C. protesters.

Ooops! In an update, Politico has to take it back–it turns out authorities couldn’t find a connection. But you just know they’re going to keep trying. And ABC News reported it. Lots of people will take that as gospel and never hear that it wasn’t true.

However a GOP campus leader at the University of Texas Austin responded on Twitter to the news of shots fired at the White House.

Hours after Pennsylvania State Police arrested a 21-year-old Idaho man for allegedly firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House, the top student official for the College Republicans at the University of Texas tweeted that the idea of assassinating President Obama was “tempting.”

At 2:29 p.m. ET, UT’s Lauren E. Pierce wrote: “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”

Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at UT Austin, told ABC News the comment was a “joke” and that the “whole [shooting incident] was stupid.” Giggling, she said that an attempted assassination would “only make the situation worse.”

Tee hee hee… this is the future of the GOP?

Maxine Waters is still number one voice of reason in Washington DC. When the propaganda merchants tried to get her to say something disparaging about OWS, here’s how she handled it.

When asked to comment Wednesday about the deaths and crimes that have occurred around Occupy protests being held across the country, Rep. Maxine Waters said “that’s life and it happens.”

“That’s a distraction from the goals of the protesters,” Waters, who says she supports the Occupy movement, told after an event at the Capitol sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

I love that woman!

“Let me just say this: Anytime you have a gathering, homeless people are going to show up,” said Waters. “They will find some comfort in having some other people out on the streets with them. They’re looking for food. Often times, the criminal element will invade. That’s life and it happens, whether it’s with protesters or other efforts that go on in this country.

“So I’m not deterred in my support for them because of these negative kinds of things,” said Waters. “I just want them to work at doing the best job that they can do to bring attention to this economic crisis and the unfairness of the system at this time.”

Way to go, Maxine!

In contrast, Republican ratf^^ker Karl Rove isn’t quite so mature. He really lost his cool on Tuesday night when he was targeted by Occupy protesters and ended up acting pretty childish.

Former Bush political adviser Karl Rove seemed a bit flustered Tuesday night after his speech to Johns Hopkins University was interrupted by a group of about 15 protesters connected to “Occupy Baltimore,” who got under his skin enough to get him cursing.

As he spoke about public debt and attempted to pin America’s economic pain on the Obama administration, a woman shouted out, “Mic check?”

A chorus of voices replied, “Mic check!”

“Karl Rove! Is the architect!” they shouted. “The architect of Occupy Iraq! The architect of Occupy Afghanistan!”

“Here’s the deal,” he replied. “If you believe in free speech then you had a chance to show it.”

“If you believe in right of the First Amendment to free speech then you demonstrate it by shutting up and waiting until the Q & A session right after,” Rove trailed off as supporters applauded.

“You can go ahead and stand in line and have the courage to ask any damn question you want, or you can continue to show that you are a buffoon…” he said, as the group of protesters descended into random shouting. One woman called him a “murderer, ” while others chanted, “We are the 99 percent!”

“No you’re not!” Rove replied, chanting it back at them. “No you’re not! No you’re not! No you’re not!”

Gee, that was fun to watch.

Not that any of the European elites will listen, but Brad Plummer at Wonkbook talked to a number of experts and came to the conclusion that the whole story about it not being legal for the ECB to rescue the European financial system is a bunch of hooey.

European officials keep insisting that the ECB isn’t legally allowed to play savior. On Tuesday, the head of Germany’s Bundesbank called it a violation of European law. The Wall Street Journal argued Wednesday that the European Union’s founding treaty would need to be revamped before the ECB could act as a lender of last resort to countries like Italy. So is this true? Could Europe really melt down because of a few legal niceties?

Not really, say experts. It’s true that the Treaty of Lisbon expressly forbids the European Central Bank from buying up debt instruments directly from countries like Italy and Spain. But, says Richard Portes of the London Business School, there’s nothing to prevent the central bank from buying up Italian and Spanish bonds on the secondary market from other investors.

“If that’s illegal, then officials should already be in jail,” says Portes. “Because they’ve been doing it sporadically since May of 2010.” The problem is that the bank’s current erratic purchases only seem to be creating more uncertainty in the market. “Right now,” says Portes, “nobody’s buying in that market except the ECB.”

Instead, what many experts want the European Central Bank to do is to pledge, loudly and clearly, that it will buy up bonds on the secondary market until, say, Italy’s borrowing costs come down to manageable levels. In theory, says Portes, the central bank wouldn’t even have to make many purchases after that, because expectations would shift and become self-fulfilling. In the near term, investors would stop worrying about whether they’d be repaid for loaning money to countries like Italy, and Italy’s borrowing costs would drop — giving it room to figure out its debt woes. (Granted, that latter step is a daunting task.)

But as Dakinikat wrote a couple of days ago, we’ll probably just have to wait and see what happens when the psychopaths in charge do exactly the opposite of what they should do.

The New York Times has a story this morning about Obama’s commitment of troops to Australia: U.S. Expands Military Ties to Australia, Irritating China.

CANBERRA, Australia — President Obama announced Wednesday that the United States planned to deploy 2,500 Marines in Australia to shore up alliances in Asia, but the move prompted a sharp response from Beijing, which accused Mr. Obama of escalating military tensions in the region.

The agreement with Australia amounts to the first long-term expansion of the American military’s presence in the Pacific since the end of the Vietnam War. It comes despite budget cuts facing the Pentagon and an increasingly worried reaction from Chinese leaders, who have argued that the United States is seeking to encircle China militarily and economically.

“It may not be quite appropriate to intensify and expand military alliances and may not be in the interest of countries within this region,” Liu Weimin, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in response to the announcement by Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia.

Attention Nobel committee: Isn’t it about time to rescind that Peace Prize?

OK, that’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today?

18 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Occupy Pushes Back:

    The freshly evicted Occupy Wall Street protesters may not have a home, but they’re booked solid Thursday. Tens of thousands of the 99 percenters are planning a citywide event that will begin Thursday morning on the two-month anniversary of the movement. The march will start in the financial district, with the goal of interfering with the work day. By midday, protesters will target public transportation hubs, while students are urged to stage walkouts. The trains will ship the demonstrators to lower Manhattan’s Foley Square where a rally will take place—backed by the city’s unions and reportedly supported by a permit.

    • dm says:

      There are a lot of people working in the financial district who are just trying to get by…not get rich. There will, no doubt, be mothers and fathers caught in those transportation hubs just trying to get home to their kids. Having done the public transportation, day care, full time job mother gig (with plenty of after school activities to get to) I can only imagine how much sympathy I would have for the protesters. I get the anger…and it definitely needs expressing. But if I was up there trying to get to work, get home, etc, all I would feel would be anger towards the protestors…no sympathy. I don’t understand the feeling that they can disrupt everyone’s lives because they have a first amendment right. I’m certainly no fan of Rove, but what gave them the right to disrupt his appearance…people probably paid money to see him – and while I might think that is a waste of time and money, the protestors had no right to trample those peoples first amendments rights with theirs. Again, if I had been there annoyance and anger would be all that I would have felt. If there was a Q&A, that was the appropriate time to speak their mind. I’m sure everyone here thinks I’m crazy, but I’m willing to bet there are a lot more me’s out here in the world than there are OWS. Thanks for the opportunity to speak my mind. Peace.

      • quixote says:

        OWS is primarily a consciousness-raising group. “Look. You’re being screwed out of your living and your future by the 1% grabbing everything.” But the main way to do wholesale messages is via the media. The media only covers problems. Disruption, blood, death. So the tools available to people of any conscience are disruption, and since there’s no way to get at the 1% behind their high walls, the 99% disrupt the 99%.

        The only real question is how intelligently do you do that? I think Minkoff Minx is right when she says they ought to be concentrating a lot more on occupying pre-foreclosure homes. Direct hit at the culprits. Much less general inconvenience. Probably plenty of media coverage. A situation where the occupiers would have instant viewer sympathy.

        I know there’s been coverage both in NY and here in LA that the occupations have caused local businesses to head toward closing. In NY it was a restaurant. Here it’s snack carts run by people usually pretty close to the edge. That kind of thing really makes me wince. Seems like OWS ought, at the very least, to be buying enough from the vendors to make up for the loss. It just doesn’t seem right to be trampling the rights of some of the 99% while protesting that the rights of the 99% are being trampled.

        So I don’t think you’re wrong. I think it goes back to what BB has been saying: OWS needs to diversify their tactics so more people can take part, and so that collateral damage is avoided.

      • quixote says:

        I should add, though, that I’m all for disrupting Rove to the extent possible nonviolently. The only thing that can’t be tolerated is intolerance….

      • Peggy Sue says:

        dm, no one thinks you’re crazy. But I would say this: no social, economic or political movement in the world has been convenient. Part of any civil disobedience action is making a pain in the ass of yourself. It’s a way of being heard over the din of disinformation that we’ve accepted as business as usual. The problems in this country are profound and yet all we’ve heard over the last dozen years are blatant lies. And ordinary Americans are suffering for it. There’s a economic tidal wave coming and these former and present political mouthpieces have not and will not prepare the public for it. Because they’re largely responsible and the pitchforks and torches are real.

        As for Karl Rove squealing about rudeness, using the term facism as an accusation or bleating: Who gave you the right to Occupy the country?

        I’m suprised you don’t see [or hear] the wicked irony of that. This from a man who lied repeatedly to the American public, helped oust a CIA operative, represented Bush&Cheney and their crowd of neocons as they took the USA into a pointless and needless war, banged the drum for financial deregulation and tax cuts for the rich and ‘He’ has the utter gall to ask that question?

        The protesters Occupy because they’re American citizens.

        Yes, the crowd was rude and annoying. But Karl Rove and his friends? They’re criminals. He’s lucky they didn’t start throwing rotten vegetables.

  2. Woman Voter says:

    New York Protests with people giving testimony to the foreclosures they have suffered and random coverage of the marching protesters at various locations.
    NY Protests OWS Live Stream

    • bostonboomer says:

      There’s so much happening in NYC already. Just saw on twitter than 70 people were just arrested, reporters clubbed by police, etc. I wonder if there’s a live stream anywhere?

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Of course the media is silent:

        Occupy Wall Street | Cable News Ignorning Protests | FOX | Mediaite

        Media Fail: Cable News Networks Ignoring Occupy Wall Street Protests
        Anyone living in the greater New York area has likely been glued to their televisions this morning, at work or at home, watching the overhead helicopter shots and on-the-ground reporting from the Occupy Wall Street protests on local news (PIX 11 and Fox 5, in particular, were all over it). Yes, this may be a local story at heart, but there are occupy movements in every major city, and the scope of OWS has gone global. Plus, some of of the overhead shots — when a protester tries to run past a police barricade and is swarmed on by police, who arrest and drag him away — is as hypnotizing as the car chases that cable news networks usually cut to on slow days.

        While Fox 5 in New York has been on top of the protests for most of the morning (literally — their helicopter shots have been top notch in chronicling the protests), a quick jump around the dial a little after 9 a.m. showed a general disinterest in the unfolding action in downtown Manhattan:

        MSNBC: Chuck Todd talking about the East Asia summit
        CNN: a story on Newt Gingrich’s Freddie Mac fees
        FOX News: Mitt Romney polling graphics
        HLN: Mike McQueary e-mail coverage

      • Branjor says:

        Anyone living in the greater New York area has likely been glued to their televisions this morning, at work or at home, watching the overhead helicopter shots and on-the-ground reporting from the Occupy Wall Street protests on local news (PIX 11 and Fox 5, in particular, were all over it).

        I just tuned into all my local NY stations – Ch 2 (WCBS), Ch. 4 (WNBC), Ch. 5 (used to be WNEW, guess it’s Fox now), Ch. 7 (WABC), Ch. 9 (WOR), Ch. 11 (WPIX) and Ch. 13 (WNET) – and saw no coverage of Occupy at all – just talk shows, dating shows, cooking shows, all junk. Did the coverage stop by these stations or did my cable company, Comcast, just block the coverage to their east central NJ customers?

      • Branjor says:

        Ugh, that first paragraph should be blockquoted, sorry.

      • bostonboomer says:


      • Branjor says:

        Thanx! 🙂

  3. dakinikat says:

    Dean Baker explains the Euro crisis well in an op ed at AJ:

    Will the euro be destroyed by ideologues?
    An end to the Eurozone would mean a wave of bank collapses and a recession that would affect the world for a decade.

    The absurdity of this situation is that the eurozone countries would not need outside support from the BRICs if the ECB was prepared to pursue these policies today. Just as is the case now with the United States, there is no shortage of wealth in the EU, in the sense that it has the ability to produce vastly more goods and services than it is currently producing. The main problem is simply a lack of demand.

    We have known how to generate demand since Keynes wrote his masterpiece in the ’30s. However, rather than pursue the simple steps needed to restore the eurozone’s economy to stable growth, the ECB is adhering to an ideological agenda that will destroy the euro and throw the economy into an even more severe recession than the last one. This is an extraordinary tragedy unravelling in slow motion in front of the world.

  4. Beata says:

    Report that an 82-year-old woman was the first to be arrested at Occupy LA today: