This afternoon Mitt Romney was in Council Bluffs, Iowa mocking President Obama for saying at a press conference earlier today that the private sector of the U.S. economy of the U.S. economy:
“The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government”
Of course, he shouldn’t have said it that way, but it actually is true that employment in the private sector has improved greatly, and overall unemployment wouldn’t be that bad except for cutbacks in state and local government workers. Here’s the private vs. public employment data, via TPM.
After Republicans crowed loudly about Obama’s “gaffe,” he “clarified” his remarks. Frankly, I would have preferred that he or a staffer had simply shown the above chart and explained what it means.
Here’s what Romney said at his campaign appearance in Council Bluffs, Iowa this afternoon:
“he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
How could that be the “message of Wisconsin?” Scott Walker exempted police and firefighters from laws banning collective bargaining? Walker at least understood that Americans want people to show up if their homes catch fire. People also want someone to protect them from crime. And certainly most people want teachers to help educate their children.
Romney claims Obama is “out of touch,” but how out of touch do you have to be not to understand the importance to communities of firefighters, police and teachers? Does Romney think these people are not Americans? What exactly is he proposing: that groups of people band together and raise funds to pay for these services outside of government?
Good Morning!! I’ve got a mixed bag of reads for you this morning, so I hope there will be something her to interest you.
Did you see the piece in The New York Times on Obama’s “secret kill list?” Very creepy. The article makes it clear that President Obama is actively engaged in decisions about which “terrorists” to target with drone attacks.
Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.
“He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,” said Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser. “His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world.” He added, “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.”
At Slate, William Saletan breaks down the problems with the Times story and explains why the supposedly strict rules for choosing which people to target are really pretty meaningless.
To understand the Times story, you have to go back to a speech given last month by John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser. Brennan argued that the administration was waging drone warfare scrupulously. He described a rigorous vetting process. The Times report, quoting some officials and paraphrasing others, largely matches Brennan’s account. But on two key points, it undermines his story. The first point is target selection. Brennan asserted:
The president expects us to address all of the tough questions. … Is this individual a significant threat to U.S. interests? … Our commitment to upholding the ethics and efficacy of this counterterrorism tool continues even after we decide to pursue a specific terrorist in this way. For example, we only authorize a particular operation against a specific individual if we have a high degree of confidence that the individual being targeted is indeed the terrorist we are pursuing. This is a very high bar. … Our intelligence community has multiple ways to determine, with a high degree of confidence, that the individual being targeted is indeed the al-Qaida terrorist we are seeking.
The rules sound strict. But reread the fourth sentence: “We only authorize a particular operation against a specific individual if we have a high degree of confidence that the individual being targeted is indeed the terrorist we are pursuing.” The phrase “against a specific individual” hides the loophole. Many drone strikes don’t target a specific individual. To these strikes, none of the vetting rules apply.
At Salon, Jefferson Morley explores the death of one little girl who was “collateral damage” in one of Obama’s drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010.
Around midnight on May 21, 2010, a girl named Fatima was killed when a succession of U.S.-made Hellfire missiles, each of them five-feet long and traveling at close to 1,000 miles per hour, smashed a compound of houses in a mountain village of Mohammed Khel in North Waziristan along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Wounded in the explosions, which killed a half dozen men, Fatima and two other children were taken to a nearby hospital, where they died a few hours later.
Behram Noor, a Pakistani journalist, went to the hospital and took a picture of Fatima shortly before her death. Then, he went back to the scene of the explosions looking for evidence that might show who was responsible for the attack. In the rubble, he found a mechanism from a U.S.-made Hellfire missile and gave it to Reprieve, a British organization opposed to capital punishment, which shared photographs of the material with Salon. Reprieve executive director Clive Stafford Smith alluded to the missile fragments in an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times last fall. They have also been displayed in England.
“Forensically, it is important to show how the crime of murder happened (which is what it is here),” said Stafford Smith in an email. “One almost always uses the murder weapon in a case. But perhaps more important, I think this physical proof — this missile killed this child — is important to have people take it seriously.”
Tuna that is contaminated with Fukushima radiation has shown up in California.
Bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi turned up off the coast of California just five months after the Japanese nuclear plant suffered meltdown last March, US scientists said.
Tiny amounts of cesium-137 and cesium-134 were detected in 15 bluefin caught near San Diego in August last year, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The levels were 10 times higher than those found in tuna in the same area in previous years but still well below those that the Japanese and US governments consider a risk to health. Japan recently introduced a new safety limit of 100 becquerels per kilogram in food.
The timing of the discovery suggests that the fish, a prized but dangerously overfished delicacy in Japan, had carried the radioactive materials across the Pacific Ocean faster than those conveyed by wind or water.
There’s a new smartphone for those in Japan who want to know if they are in a “radiation hotspot.”
Mobile phone operator Softbank Corp said on Tuesday it would soon begin selling smartphones with radiation detectors, tapping into concerns that atomic hotspots remain along Japan’s eastern coast more than a year after the Fukushima crisis….
The smartphone in the company’s “Pantone” series will come in eight bright colors and include customized IC chips made by Sharp Corp that measure radiation levels in microsieverts per hour.
The phone, which goes on sale this summer, can also keep track of each location a user tests for radiation levels.
And get this– NASA says that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan “disturbed the upper atmosphere.”
The massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima, Japan, last year wreaked havoc in the skies above as well, disturbing electrons in the upper atmosphere, NASA reported.
The waves of energy from the quake and tsunami that were so destructive on the ground reached into the ionosphere, a part of the upper atmosphere that stretches from about 50 to 500 miles (80 to 805 km) above Earth’s surface.
Greg Sargent discusses the surreal double-standard that Romney is using to compare his record in Massachusetts with Obama’s record as President.
You really couldn’t make this one up if you tried.
The Romney campaign is out with a new press release blasting Obama for presiding over a “net” loss in jobs. As I’ve been saying far too often, this metric is bogus, because it factors in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs the economy was hemorrhaging when Obama took office, before his policies took effect.
But this time, there’s an intriguing new twist in the Romney campaign’s argument.
In the same release attacking Obama over “net” job loss, the Romney camp also defends Romney’s jobs record as Governor of Massachusetts by pointing out … that Romney inherited a state economy that was losing jobs when he took office.
Check it out.
At Alternet, Steven Rosenfeld lists “five reasons the ‘Geezer Empire’ of Billionaire Republicans Are Showering Romney With Cash.” I’m can’t really excerpt this one. You need to go read the article for yourself.
The British supreme court found that Julian Assange must be extradited to Sweden, but in a surprise reversal, Assange has been given 14 days to “consider a challenge to the judgment.”
Julian Assange’s fight against extradition to Sweden may stagger on to a second round at the supreme court after he was granted permission to submit fresh arguments.
Despite losing by a majority of five to two, his lawyers have been given 14 days to consider whether to challenge a central point of the judgment on the correct interpretation of international treaties.
The highly unusual legal development came after the supreme court justices decided that a public prosecutor was a “judicial authority” and that therefore Assange’s arrest warrant had been lawfully issued.
Assange, who is wanted in connection with accusations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, was not in court; there was no legal requirement for him to be present. According to his solicitor, Gareth Peirce, he was stuck in central London traffic and never made it to the court in Westminster. Assange denies the accusations.
At The Daily Beast, Malcolm Jones discusses how American culture has changed such that Bob Dylan has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Jones points out that very few folk or rock musicians have been so honored. Certainly, Dylan is a “game changer”:
You don’t have to like or admire Dylan to admit that he was a game changer. He made folk music hip. He made rock lyrics literate or, put another way, he made his audience pay attention to lyrics because he made them mean something. He blew a hole in the notion that radio hits have to clock in at less than three minutes. He proved that you can stand on a stage with just a guitar and not much of a voice and hold people’s attention for, oh, about five decades. By the way you can read affordable guitar reviews at topsevenreview.com if you want. He wrote songs in his 20s that he can still sing today without a trace of embarrassment.
Dylan was distinctly an outsider, and there he remained for quite a while. It’s juvenile fun watching old press conferences when reporters did finally come calling later in the decade. The questions are so dorky. But what you realize is that the national press at that time had almost no one in its ranks that we would recognize as music writers. Most of the reporters sent to interview Dylan were 40-somethings in suits who treated him like Chubby Checker, just another flash in the pan phenom to be indulged. Instead, they found a musician who was the smartest man in any room, and someone who was more than happy to make fun of them (“You walk into the room, with your pencil in your hand …”).
The point is, in the mid-60s there really was an establishment and an anti-establishment (to be upgraded to a counterculture in a couple of years), and no one doubted which side of the line Dylan stood on. Back then, there were bitter fights over high culture and low, insiders and outsiders, and who got to say who was who. In 1965, the Pulitzer board refused to give a prize to Duke Ellington.
Over the years, all of that has more or less collapsed in on itself. Pulp fiction writers are in the American canon. Brian Wilson is understood to be a great American artist and not merely a great pop songwriter. The times did change, and Dylan was in the thick of making it happen.
But perhaps most telling is that Dylan is an old man now; his age is the one thing he has in common with others who have received the medal, but Jones says:
It’s cheap and easy to say that Dylan is now a member of the establishment. It’s also wrong, because there is no longer an establishment as we once knew it. And Dylan and his music had everything to do with that.
Interesting. So I’ll end with this:
What are you reading and blogging about today?
Mitt Romney: “It is without question the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history” Really?Posted: May 18, 2012
The title of this post is a quote from Mitt Romney’s speech this afternoon in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Politico reports:
Mitt Romney used a 19th-century stone bridge here today to anchor his attacks against President Barack Obama, calling the 2009 economic stimulus the “largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in America’s history.”
“This is the absolute bridge to nowhere if there ever was one,” Romney told supporters as he motioned to the stone bridge behind him. “That’s your stimulus dollars at work — a bridge that goes nowhere. And so I hope that the president comes here, and takes a look at some of the stimulus program, there’s a long list by the way.”
Wow, the government must have really spent a lot of money for Romney to be this bent out of shape. Let’s see, how much stimulus money went into the bridge?
More than $150,000 from the federal stimulus bill was awarded to restore this one — which doesn’t cross a body of water and hasn’t had vehicle traffic in more than a century. Local officials say they want to turn the stone arch and its surrounding areas into a public park.
“It is without question the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history, and the bad news is it was not just wasteful spending,” Romney continued. “It is wasteful borrowing as well because we still are going to be paying on that debt for years and years and years.”
Wait a minute! That has to be a misprint, right? Why just today Mitt and Ann Romney donated $150,000 to his presidential campaign. He must have meant $150 million went to the bridge. But no, the entire cost of the restoration was about $288,000, with the state providing the start-up funds.
What is Romney getting at here? Does he want to stop preserving historical sites and monuments? Is it really wrong for small towns like Hillsboro that are dependent mostly on tourism to want to preserve their historic sites and at the same time build lovely parks to attract visitors who might also spend their money in town? At the same time, the project provided much-needed jobs for New Hampshirites struggling to survive in a difficult economy.
The bridge that Romney complained about is named Sawyer Bridge, and it is one of the few remaining stone arch bridges in New England. The town of Hillsborough is home to four of them. From Huffington Post:
Romney’s attack on the $288,000 bridge restoration will run into several immediate challenges: Funding for the project was overwhelmingly supported by state Republicans, including a significant number who have now endorsed Romney for president. The infrastructure project created much-needed jobs during tough economic times. And it left behind a public park enjoyed by Granite State residents who take great pride in their early-American and colonial history — and who will be casting critical, swing-state votes in November. It’s a curious breed of conservatism that would find offense in the job-creating conservation of a stone arch bridge that is one of the earliest examples of dry-laid masonry vaults in New England.
I have to wonder, is Romney opposed to any federal support to preserve historic sites? What about the National Parks? Would Romney sell off that land if he were president? Would he open them to oil drilling and other kinds of industrial development?
Think about it. For Romney expenditure of $150,000 in federal stimulus funds represents “the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history.” Really? I can think of some worse, more careless expenditures of government money. What about the Vietnam War? What about the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Bush financed with borrowed money that was kept off-budget?
Just to get a sense of the financial cost of those wars, I located this paper by Stephen Daggett of the Congressional Research Service (PDF) that lists the costs of America’s wars in $2011 dollars. According to Daggett in 2011,
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress has appropriated more than a trillion dollars for military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere around the world. The House
and Senate are now considering an additional request for $33 billion in supplemental funding for
the remainder of FY2010, and the Administration has also requested $159 billion to cover costs of
overseas operations in FY2011.
That’s more than the cost war in Vietnam, which in 2011 dollars was $738 billion. At that time the war in Iraq had cost $784 billion and the war in Afghanistan had cost $321 billion. And Romney is whining about New Hampshire getting $150 THOUSAND to restore a historic bridge while creating jobs and increasing income from tourism?
There is something seriously wrong with the way this man’s mind works.
We’ve had some cold gloomy weather down here in New Orleans. I hope all those bowl game tourists brought their coats. It’s made for a depressing weekend. It seems like most of the news I’ve been finding matches the weather too. Another presidential election year is upon us and we’re looking at the Grinch getting the Republican nomination. Soon, all poor children will be required to mine the coal so the Grinch can place them in every one’s stockings. Well, that’s the east coast poor children. Those poor children in the middle of the country will be fattening up turkeys for the 1 percent to eat. I’ll bet Mitch can make a $10,000 bet on which of the kids will have it worse!
First up is an interesting read from the Business Insider that once again shoots down the meme that the rich create jobs. There are so many economic fairy tales around these days it’s hard to know which one to shoot down next. The bottom line is pretty much something we’ve talked about for some time. If you build it and no one comes, you don’t create anything but one more bankruptcy. It’s the consumer demand that creates economic growth.
The most important reason the theory that “rich people create the jobs” is absurd, argues Nick Hanauer, the founder of online advertising company aQuantive, which Microsoft bought for $6.4 billion, is that rich people do not create jobs, even if they found and build companies that eventually employ thousands of people.
What creates the jobs, Hanauer astutely observes, is the company’s customers.
The company’s customers create demand for the company’s products, which, in turn, creates the need for the employees to produce, sell, and service those products. If those customers go broke, the demand for the company’s products will collapse. And the jobs will disappear, regardless of what the entrepreneur does.
That’s actually some good common sense but it’s backed up by economic theory. Supply without demand just rots in the fields and molds in the warehouse. Which brings me to Paul Krugman who says it’s time to call this economic situation a depression. That’s also something we’ve bandied about here. I’d say skydancers are pretty prescient, wouldn’t you?
It’s time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression. True, it’s not a full replay of the Great Depression, but that’s cold comfort. Unemployment in both America and Europe remains disastrously high. Leaders and institutions are increasingly discredited. And democratic values are under siege.
On that last point, I am not being alarmist. On the political as on the economic front it’s important not to fall into the “not as bad as” trap. High unemployment isn’t O.K. just because it hasn’t hit 1933 levels; ominous political trends shouldn’t be dismissed just because there’s no Hitler in sight.
Krugman takes the rest of the column outlining some of the abysmal politics and economics in Europe. I just keep checking the calendar to see if we some how time tripped back to the 1930s and some how forget what we learned the last time out. Looking at things from a war build-up point a view, there’s this link to “Obama Raises the Military Stakes: Confrontation on the Borders with China and Russia” from Global Research. This is how some leftwing thinkers see the latest in US outreach in Asia.
November 2011 is a moment of great historical import: Obama declared two major policy positions, both having tremendous strategic consequences affecting competing world powers.
Obama pronounced a policy of military encirclement of China based on stationing a maritime and aerial armada facing the Chinese coast – an overt policy designed to weaken and disrupt China ’s access to raw materials and commercial and financial ties in Asia . Obama’s declaration that Asia is the priority region for US military expansion, base-building and economic alliances was directed against China , challenging Beijing in its own backyard. Obama’s iron fist policy statement, addressed to the Australian Parliament, was crystal clear in defining US imperial goals.
“Our enduring interests in the region [Asia Pacific] demands our enduring presence in this region … The United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay … As we end today’s wars [i.e. the defeats and retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan]… I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia Pacific a top priority … As a result, reduction in US defense spending will not … come at the expense of the Asia Pacific” (CNN.com, Nov. 16, 2011).
The precise nature of what Obama called our “presence and mission” was underlined by the new military agreement with Australia to dispatch warships, warplanes and 2500 marines to the northern most city of Australia ( Darwin ) directed at China . Secretary of State Clinton has spent the better part of 2011 making highly provocative overtures to Asian countries that have maritime border conflicts with China . Clinton has forcibly injected the US into these disputes, encouraging and exacerbating the demands of Vietnam , Philippines , and Brunei in the South China Sea . Even more seriously, Washington is bolstering its military ties and sales with Japan , Taiwan , Singapore and South Korea , as well as increasing the presence of battleships, nuclear submarines and over flights of war planes along China ’s coastal waters. In line with the policy of military encirclement and provocation, the Obama-Clinton regime is promoting Asian multi-lateral trade agreements that exclude China and privilege US multi-national corporations, bankers and exporters, dubbed the “Trans-Pacific Partnership”. It currently includes mostly smaller countries, but Obama has hopes of enticing Japan and Canada to join …
Obama’s presence at the APEC meeting of East Asian leader and his visit to Indonesia in November 2011 all revolve around efforts to secure US hegemony. Obama-Clinton hope to counter the relative decline of US economic links in the face of the geometrical growth of trade and investment ties between East Asia and China .
Pakistan is threatening to shoot down all US drones. Tis the season to be jolly!!!
According to the new Pakistani defense policy, “Any object entering into our air space, including U.S. drones, will be treated as hostile and be shot down,” a senior Pakistani military official told NBC News.
The policy change comes just weeks after a deadly NATO attack on Pakistani military checkpoints accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, prompting Pakistani officials to order all U.S. personnel out of a remote airfield in Pakistan
I wonder if people in North Dakota have the same option? Here’s the Daily Mail headline on your Daily Moment of Orwell: Local cops using Predator drones to spy on Americans in their own backyards.
One of the only confirmed uses of predator drones by local law enforcement came in June when a sheriff near Grand Forks, North Dakota, went looking for six stolen cattle.
When he arrived at the farm of Rodney Brossart, he was threatened by three men with guns and forced to retreat.
The Brossarts were known for being armed, anti-government separatists. So Sheriff Kelly Janke, who patrols a county of just 3,000 people, called in a Predator drone to look out over the 3,000-acre farm where the family was armed with rifles and shotguns.
With the help of a drone, summoned from nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base where it was patrolling the US-Candida border, the sheriff was able to watch the movements of everyone on the farm from a handheld device that picked up the aircraft’s video footage.
He and his deputies waited until they could see the Brossarts put down their weapons. Then they stormed the compound and arrested Rodney Brossart, his daughter and his three sons on a total of 11 felony charges. No shots were fired.
And he recovered the cattle, valued at $6,000.
The sheriff says that might not have been possible without the intelligence from the Predators.
‘We don’t have to go in guns blazing. We can take our time and methodically plan out what our approach should be,’ Sheriff Janke told the Times.
All of the surveillance occurred without a search warrant because the Supreme Court has long ruled that anything visible from the air, even if it’s on private property, can be subject to police spying.
The NBC News-Marist polls showed Gingrich leading Romney in South Carolina by 42 percent to 23 percent. An October poll by the same organizations showed Gingrich at 7 percent in the Palmetto State. In Florida, Gingrich leads Romney 44 percent to 29 percent. There Gingrich has gained 38 percentage points since October.
The rapid movement highlights the remarkable rise of Gingrich as the caucuses and primaries near. Republican voters have shifted allegiances repeatedly this year and a number of state polls have shown that they are not firmly locked in behind any candidate at this point.
In New Hampshire on Sunday, Romney picked up the endorsement of Manchester Mayor Ted Gastas. But he was the target of a scathing editorial in the Union Leader, which earlier endorsed Gingrich. The headline read “Romney’s desperate hours.”
January’s coming and sooner or later, some of these folks are going to run out of money. There seems to be quite a few irrelevant candidates in the race right now. Maybe super Jeb is waiting in the wings? So here’s a good way we now MIttens is tres desperate. Here’s the TPM headline: Romney Presses Ann Coulter Into Surrogate Duty.
Turn on the radio here and you’re going to get a taste of how hard Mitt Romney is working to stamp out Newt Gingrich’s support with conservatives.
In a new radio ad launched by the Romney campaign in Iowa last week, Romney turns to conservative fire-breather Ann Coulter to make the case that he’s the most electable candidate in the Republican race. Having made a living off saying things that no politician would likely wish to be closely associated with, it’s an interesting choice — and a sign that Romney is going all out to cast himself as the more pure conservative choice to Gingrich.
Here’s a ghost of nightmares past. Noriega has been extradited to Panama for trial. The link goes to a BBC TV report.
The former leader of Panama, General Manuel Noriega, has returned to his home country 22 years after being forcibly removed from power by the US.
The 77-year-old was extradited from France, where he had been in prison on money laundering charges.
He is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail after being convicted in absentia for murder, corruption and embezzlement while he was in power.
OOOH, baby it’s cold outside.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
According to Greg Sargent, labor and progressive organizations are forming a coalition to “Occupy Congress.”
The coalition — which includes unions like SEIU and CWA and groups like the Center for Community Change — is currently working on a plan to bus thousands of protesters from across the country to Washington, where they will congregate around the Capitol from December 5-9, SEIU president Mary Kay Henry tells me in an interview.
“Thousands of people have signed up to come to Capitol Hill during the first week in December,” Henry says, adding that protesters are invited to make their way to Washington on their own, too. “We’re figuring out buses and transportation now.”
One idea under consideration — pending various permitting and other logistical issues — is to have a series of tents set up on the lawn outside the Capitol, each representing a state, with the number of unemployed in each state prominently displayed. But the optics are still being worked out.
The demands they are talking about aren’t very radical though. They’re planning to pressure Republicans to go along with Obama’s jobs proposal. As Sargent points out, that doesn’t really jibe with the nature of the Occupy movement, which rejects both corporate political parties. But Henry argues that
Occupy Wall Street had created a “framework” — which she described as “we are the 99 percent” — within which such activities would fit comfortably.
“The reason we’re targeting Republicans is because this is about jobs,” she said. “The Republicans’ insistence that no revenue can be put on the table is the reason we’re not creating jobs in this country. We want to draw a stark contrast between a party that wants to scapegoat immigrants, attack public workers, and protect the rich, versus a president who has been saying he wants America to get back to work and that everybody should pay their fair share.”
It’s a start, and the SEIU may not be able to control the message if lots of people with more creative ideas show up to the protests.
In line with the influence of the Occupy actions on the mainstream types, I clicked on a Google news link to the conservative Washington Times that read “Occupy Wall Street: What should be done with the protesters?” I expected to find a screed encouraging law enforcement to crush the protesters. Imagine my surprise when I read this instead:
As irritating or disruptive as some may find the Occupiers, they are the conscience of America, like it or not. Their very physical presence is a reminder that the decline of America happened not because they didn’t believe in the American dream, but because the greed of Wall Street and the banks stole that dream.
Yet our government continues to reward the top 1% with corporate welfare and the lowest taxes in more than 50 years. And Congress, which made that largesse to the wealthy possible, is in the pockets of those very same people and their lobbyists.
Yes, the protesters are predominately young, unemployed, maybe even scruffy, and, yes, the homeless have found a haven and free meals with them, and, yes, the Occupiers’ persistence after more than two months is like a mote in our eye, reminding us all that we can no longer do business as usual.
The fact that OWS sites have sprung up across the country and now the world has prompted us to face ourselves. We can no longer ignore the joblessness and poverty that scars our great country. It is not an abstract concept, some numbers on a bean counters’ balance sheet. It’s real. It’s people. It’s your kids and mine. It’s returning vets who find themselves on the scrap heap of our economy.
Holy sh&t! Can you believe it? Could it be that change is really happening?