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Rebel Alliance takes on Goldman Vader: Occupy the SEC!


 
In a Mother Jones piece that is starting to gain traction across the liberal blogsphere today, Josh Harkinson writes about the Occupy the SEC group that includes “financial insiders with the education and regulatory vocabulary to challenge high-powered lobbyists at their own game.”

Yesterday, a group affiliated with Occupy Wall Street submitted an astounding comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Point by point, it methodically challenges the arguments of finance industry lobbyists who want to water down last year’s historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms. The lobbyists have been using the law’s official public comment period to try to kneecap the reforms, and given how arcane financial regulation can be, they might get away with it. But Occupy the SEC is fighting fire with fire, and in so doing, defying stereotypes of the Occupy movement.

The financial industry is trying desperately to wriggle out of the controls that Dodd-Frank imposed on them. Occupy the SEC, a very, very smart bunch of current and former financial industry executives weigh in with critiques and suggestions concerning the government’s implementation of the “Volcker Rule” that limits the kind of derivative packaging that caused the financial meltdown. Since the meltdown, Goldman Sachs has been trying to get their little grubby hands back on the money faucet.  They’re spending Romney-type money on lobbyists, including hiring Barney Frank’s former staffer that got the reforms passed to help overturn those very reforms!

The most common complaint about the Occupy movement is that it does not present a clear and coherent position.

This 324-page letter blows that contention sky-high.

“Occupy the SEC is a group of concerned citizens, activists, and financial professionals with decades of collective experience working at many of the largest financial firms in the industry. Together, we make up a vast array of specialists, including traders, quantitative analysts, compliance officers, and technology and risk analysts. Like much of the 99%, we have bank deposits and retirement accounts that are in need of protection through vigorous enforcement of the Volcker Rule. Our experiences working inside the financial industry have informed our answers to the questions proposed, making us well-suited to understand and anticipate how the proposed implementation, should it stand, will affect us and the rest of the general public.

The United States aspires to democracy, but no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power…”

That last sentence should be the first line of the Declaration of Independence 2.0

Here’s the best mainstream overview, from TIME. If you read between the lines—and the wipe off its condescension—the truth appears… which is that the fuckers at Goldman Sachs and the champagne drinking overlords on Wall Street are being countered by experienced folks who know the financial industry grimoire inside and out.

Meet the Financial Wizards Working With Occupy Wall Street (Mother Jones)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Newt gets a flat tire in West Hollywood, does not have a gay old time


Photo by @ImChrisHughes via Twitter

Of all of the places in America for that slimy amphibian’s tour bus to get a flat!

It’s really a pity this didn’t happen in front of Rage!!!

Via KPCC radio’s website:

The presidential hopeful who recently called gay marriage a “perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism,” set off a Boystown brouhaha last night when his Newt 2012 campaign bus broke down in West Hollywood. 

Newt Gingrich’s bus, missing a tire and flashing its hazards, was stranded half in a lane of traffic near Sunset and Crescent Heights for hours. It was unknown if he was on the bus at the time of the incident. Calls to Newt’s headquarters were not immediately returned.

Gingrich, who is in Los Angeles campaigning, did not receive much sympathy for his vehicle’s mechanical difficulties. Instead, locals took to Twitter with red-white-and-blue language, unsolicited advice, claims of voodoo, musings on karma, and at least one mention of a glitter-bomb:

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Run, Sarah, Run: Sarah Palin (apparently) has BIG plans for the GOP convention


 
It would be the defining moment of recent American history if the dingbat who recently spoke this jabberwocky…

[Obama is] underestimating the wisdom of women. Because women understand there is access to preventative care and contraception out there, and we don’t need government to tell our employers that they must provide that for us.

Truly, it is a war on our religious liberties and that violation of conscience that he would mandate that is un-American because it violates our First Amendment in our Constitution.”

... were to accept the Presidential nomination at a deadlocked Republican convention this summer.

On Fox Business Network’s Follow the Money program the other day, host Eric Bolling tossed Sarah Palin a softball when the two discussed a brokered convention. She took the bait like a fish chomping on a hooked worm. Quite like that, in fact…

Via Politico:

“If one of the nominees, one of the GOPers, doesn’t get enough delegates, it could go to a brokered convention,” said Fox Business Network’s Eric Bolling in an interview. “If it does get to that, and someone said, ‘Governor, would you be interested,’ would you be interested?”

“For one, I think that it could get to that. … If it had to be closed up today, the whole nominating process, then we could be looking at a brokered convention. … Nobody is quite there yet, so I think that months from now, if that is the case, all bets are off as to who it will be, willing to offer up themselves up in their name in service to their country.”

“I would do whatever I could to help,” she added, her voice rising.

“That’s, that’s fantastic,” replied Bolling.

Oh yes it would be! Run, Sarah, run!

The money shot happens in the last two minutes. Priceless her messianic megalomania, isn’t it?
 

 
Via Wonkette

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
AMERICA - MIA HATES YOU!!! (according to Pitchfork)


 
It’s been brought to my attention by Collapse Board’s Wallace Wylie that Pitchfork have dedicated an entire page to calling MIA an asshole because she apparently told the American public to fuck off during Madonna’s Super Bowl performance last night. In case you hadn’t heard, MIA did indeed raise her middle finger during Madonna’s overblown performance of “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” on which the rapper makes a guest appearance. To see the incident, scroll down to the bottom of this post. 

Here’s an extract from the offending Pitchfork article:

What’s extra annoying about last night’s event is that M.I.A. doesn’t need these cheap ploys to up her visibility, even when the stage design and costuming is best described as “GoldenPalace.com.” After all, she released her first great single in years just last Thursday, and its music video had already racked up more than 3 million YouTube views even before the Super Bowl send-up. Following the rep-shattering press surrounding 2010’s /\/\/\Y/\, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to draw as much focus as possible back to her music. [So why run this story?]

Instead, in the few bars Madonna was kind enough to grant her during the biggest television event of the year, M.I.A.‘s message to America was simply, “Fuck you.” Well, in M.I.A.‘s own words, the little people will never win, but they can fuck shit up. Success might be the best revenge, but apparently, being an asshole is forever.

Seriously Pitchfork, GET A FUCKING GRIP.

As I stated in my last post about her, I am an MIA skeptic. I have found her performances and music to be underwhelming in the past, though I have really warmed to her latest video “Bad Girls.” The same goes for last night’s performance at the Super Bowl - it ain’t no great shakes, though she does look great. But if you take this much offense at last night’s throw-away hand gesture—which I honestly might not have noticed if it hadn’t been pointed out to me—then you seriously need your head examined. Yes, seriously. Just look at the clip below, and then tell us how offended you are on a scale of one to ten.

What I find truly bizarre about this reactionary Pitchfork piece is the level of personal affront the writer has taken at MIA’s (actually rather tame) gesture. According to this article MIA is not just flipping the bird at a camera or a camera person, she is not just flipping the bird as a routine hand gesture that countless MC regularly use, she’s not flipping the bird to accentuate her line about “not giving a shit” - no, MIA is flipping the bird to show her disgust at every single person in the United States of America. AMERICA, MIA HATES YOU!!! And especially those who may have tuned in to the Super Bowl to see her!! Yes, this makes perfect sense.

With that in mind I’m really, REALLY looking forward to seeing Pitchfork calling out Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Fred Durst, Jonathan Davis and countless other rappers and rockers who have raised their middle finger on national television at some point in the past and will do so again in the future. Because THEY must hate America and everyone watching them at that moment TOO, right?

Unfortunately, this will never happen. As other writers have pointed out in the past, Pitchfork has a legacy of sexism to its tarnished name, which explains the hyperbolic over-reaction to a common hand gesture in this news piece. Had this been done by a man it would surely be lauded as “punk,” yet when MIA flips the bird during a televised game where grown men BEAT THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF EACH OTHER, she’s an asshole who hates every single person watching her at that very moment. Living and dead. I mean seriously, how is anyone watching American Football going to cope with the mental scars that seeing a raised middle finger can bring?!?

That’s leaving aside the fact that MIA is a brown woman, and not even from America itself. Unlike Madonna of course, who can remain completely blameless during this entire farrago, and who was “kind enough” to grant MIA exposure on her tune. As opposed to hiring MIA in the hope that some of her credibility will rub off on a very lukewarm track. Or even—get this—simply being a female performer who wants to work with another female performer

What is also “extra annoying” is that Pitchfork has, in the past, given critical support to acts who condone the most brutal of violence against women and who have been deemed somehow edgy and confrontational because of it. Presumably because rape, sexism and homophobia is “punk” as opposed to “a cheap ploy to gain visibility.” I await with glee the moment when Pitchfork tells Tyler the Creator/Eminem/Lil Wayne to drop their bird-flipping schtick and draw our focus solely back to the music.

Again though, I doubt this will ever happen.

Pitchfork, with this news piece you have placed yourselves firmly (and finally) on the side of the fucking establishment.

Rock on, bros.

MIA HATES AMERICA!!! AND HERE IS THE PROOF:
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
May Day: Massive protest planned for NATO and G8 summit in Chicago


 
Adbusters magazine, the original impetus behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, has issued a new invitation for a month-long direct action and occupation this May in the Windy City. Looks like this one could be quite a party, too:

Hey you redeemers, rebels and radicals out there,

Against the backdrop of a global uprising that is simmering in dozens of countries and thousands of cities and towns, the G8 and NATO will hold a rare simultaneous summit in Chicago this May. The world’s military and political elites, heads of state, 7,500 officials from 80 nations, and more than 2,500 journalists will be there.

And so will we.

On May 1, 50,000 people from all over the world will flock to Chicago, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and #OCCUPYCHICAGO for a month. With a bit of luck, we’ll pull off the biggest multinational occupation of a summit meeting the world has ever seen.

And this time around we’re not going to put up with the kind of police repression that happened during the Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, 1968 … nor will we abide by any phony restrictions the City of Chicago may want to impose on our first amendment rights. We’ll go there with our heads held high and assemble for a month-long people’s summit … we’ll march and chant and sing and shout and exercise our right to tell our elected representatives what we want … the constitution will be our guide.

And when the G8 and NATO meet behind closed doors on May 19, we’ll be ready with our demands: a Robin Hood Tax … a ban on high frequency ‘flash’ trading … a binding climate change accord … a three strikes and you’re out law for corporate criminals … an all out initiative for a nuclear-free Middle East … whatever we decide in our general assemblies and in our global internet brainstorm – we the people will set the agenda for the next few years and demand our leaders carry it out.

And if they don’t listen … if they ignore us and put our demands on the back burner like they’ve done so many times before … then, with Gandhian ferocity, we’ll flashmob the streets, shut down stock exchanges, campuses, corporate headquarters and cities across the globe … we’ll make the price of doing business as usual too much to bear.

Jammers, pack your tents, muster up your courage and prepare for a big bang in Chicago this Spring. If we don’t stand up now and fight now for a different kind of future we may not have much of a future … so let’s live without dead time for a month in May and see what happens …

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

Below, footage of the confrontation between Chicago police and protesters at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago:
 

 
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Chicago”:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Ron Paul vs. The Fashionista


 
During Ron Paul’s 2008 run for President, he had a cringe-inducing and gut-bustingly funny encounter with the fabulous Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen).

Paul’s description of his encounter with Bruno:

We were in a studio situation, I wasn’t invited into a hotel room. There were lots of lights and blaze and commotion and they said we better get in this back room which had been fixed up as a bedroom.

‘So there was some dishonesty getting me into the interview, I was expecting an interview on Austrian economics. That didn’t turn out that way.

‘By the time he (Cohen) started pulling his pants down, I was like what on earth is going on here and I ran out of the room. This interview had ended.

I’d forgotten about this and I think Paul would like for you to forget about it too.
 

Ron Bruno - Free videos are just a click away
Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Total Recall: One million sign Scott Walker recall petition in WI!


 
It’s ON! A million signatures! Fancy that!

Scott Walker, thy name is fucked. You’re going to go down in history, just not the way you thought you would, pal! People of Wisconsin, you have made all of us proud!

Via Politico:

The Wisconsin Democratic Party was quick to dub the recall effort — which also targeted Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and a handful of Republican state legislators — the “biggest” in American history, and boasted that organizers had gathered a whopping 460,000 extra signatures for the recall of Walker, who infuriated many in his state last year by pushing through a law that ended most collective bargaining rights for many public workers.

Meagan Mahaffey, executive director of United Wisconsin – the group behind the recall efforts – told POLITICO that Tuesday’s results sent a “crystal clear message to Scott Walker that voters are done with his extreme policies and his destruction that he’s doing to our state.”
Unions were poised to emerge as some of the biggest winners from Tuesday’s news, but Mahaffey insisted that the movement did not simply represent a battle between Walker and organized labor.

“This is a message to people of all backgrounds and all different types of peope that have worked so hard on this recall. The best outcome for all of us is the same: Recall Scott Walker,” she said.

As the months-long recall campaign had neared its end, State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate had predicted Tuesday’s outcome earlier this week, telling POLITICO he was confident that the final tally would “hit or exceed” their goal of 720,000 signatures and saying the message he hoped would resonate with Wisconsin voters was that “help is on the way.”

“An incredible number of Wisconsinites have stood up to be counted and say, ‘We can’t wait for the next election. We absolutely must get Scott Walker out of office right now,’” said Tate.

Walker himself signaled that he expected his opponents would be able to achieve their goal.

Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, the embattled governor predicted that a recall election will indeed occur sometime in June.

But Walker stood by his controversial reforms, maintaining that they were all made “for the right reasons.”

“You either get elected to be somebody great or do something great, and I always tell kids to do the latter,” he said.

What are you going to tell your kids now, shithead?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Republicans on the run: 58% support Scott Walker recall on eve of WI deadline


 
January 17th will be a most fateful day in the career of embattled Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Tomorrow is the day that labor unions and the state’s Democrats will drop off several hundred thousand signatures to WI election authorities to trigger a statewide recall election. It is widely assumed that the number of Wisconsinites who signed the recall petitions will be well in excess of the 540,208 verified signatures required. Hopefully this will represent a large enough buffer so that Republican efforts to challenge individual signatures would have little or no practical effect.

Wisconsin Public Radio commissioned a recent poll that found a very serious threat indeed to Walker’s administration: if Democrats can manage to trigger the recall vote, 58% of respondents said they’d vote to recall Scott Walker, a jump of 11% since the last poll was taken in April, 2011. Hardly a trend in Walker’s favor. After the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message became part of the national conversation last Fall, it seemed pretty obvious to everyone—including Walker, if his comically hangdog facial expressions are any indication—that Walker’s goose was about to cooked.

Although I fully expect that the recall election will be “on” and that Walker will be ousted (and humiliated, like he so justly deserves), if the man actually cared one whit for the state he governs, or possessed any level of self-awareness, which Walker almost pathologically seems to lack, why doesn’t he just resign? It’s not overstating or simplifying the situation in the least to say that Walker himself IS the problem. With 58% of the state supporting his recall, why doesn’t this creep just accept his fate and fuck the fuck off?

In the event that Walker did survive a recall election, still nothing will get done in the state for the rest of his term. If the governor was truly a civic-minded man, he’d resign—tomorrow, when the signatures get delivered—for the good of this fellow citizens. There seems no possibility whatsoever for vindication in Walker’s case, so why not call it a day, if for no other reason, to save himself the humiliation of what will inevitably follow?

His motivation for wanting more of this seems very odd to me. It’s not mentally healthy, is it? There must something wrong with him.

At this point, Wisconsin needs to move forward. Like with every state, there are crucial issues that need to be resolved. Walker cannot be a part of the solution anymore, he’s simply too divisive of a figure. Whether required amount of signatures have been collected or not, Walker should still go, for the good of the people of Wisconsin. No matter what happens tomorrow, Walker still can’t govern effectively. This is a fact, Jack. The guy has got to go.

It’s his own damned fault, he’s a fuck-up of epic proportions. Just look at that stupid face!

Make us proud tomorrow, Wisconsin. Scratch that, make us even prouder! Make Scott Walker go down in history!

Below, a reminder of when Scott Walker fell for a prank phone caller, Buffalo Beast editor Ian Murphy, pretending to be billionaire David Koch. What a snake, but what an idiotic snake! In retrospect, this entire clip is worth watching on several levels, not the least being to see how much the conversation has changed since last year. Remarkable.
 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘What Do You Do?’: How to subvert the fake edginess of today’s advertising
01.13.2012
06:23 pm

Topics:
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What do you do?
 
If you’ve ever been exposed to any of the unbearable bunch of slick miscreants that comprise the mainstream marketing industry, you know two things about them—they think they’re extremely clever and they like to high-five. And you can just almost hear those proverbial high-fives in the background of the groan-worthy paen to supposed non-conformity that is the latest Chevy Silverado commercial.

The original spot features an everyman Silverado owner pondering the metaphysical implications of the admittedly greviously banal question “What do you do?”, meaning, of course, how do you make money? Problem is, that kind of dopey pondering is now as banal as the question itself.

Blogger Flowbear breaks it down:

Ok, so ultimately the message the commercial is trying to convey is the ol’ ‘Merkin corporate standby, “If you buy our product you’re a rugged individual who, like Thoreau, cannot be bound up by definitions or constrained by the strictures of society. And like Whitman, you contain multitudes. You’re not like everybody else, everybody else being sheep and ciphers.” In this, the commercial is only as egregiously awful as just about every other commercial ever made. It becomes uniquely terrible in trying to be specific about the unique multiplicity of the asshole—our hero—in question.

Thankfully the Goatsilk arts crew in Missoula, MT have struck back with a spoof that takes a nice, direct jab at the pretense. Check it out:
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Newt skullfucks Mitt Romney (and Capitalism itself)


 
Political junkies alert: If you haven’t seen Newt Gingrich’s epic 27-minute-long violent disembowelment of Mitt Romney, When Mitt Romney Came to Town, holy shit will it will take your breath away!

I mean… WOW. I can only imagine the look on Romney’s face when he saw this puppy. He probably broke down and cried! This shit is hardcore. Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment has been repealed.

Rating the political damage this film does to Romney on a scale of one to ten with one being merely annoying and ten being castrated and then having your balls shoved down your throat for the whole world to see? When Mitt Romney Came to Town is probably an eleven or twelve. Think I’m exaggerating? See for yourself!

This has to be the single meanest, most vicious political hit piece ever made. It’s a cold, cruel masterpiece of character assassination.

It makes the worst things Lee Atwater did in his career look warm and cuddly in comparison. “Willie Horton”? That’s amateur hour compared to When Mitt Romney Came to Town.

I suppose it’s a bit disingenuous to call it “Newt’s” film because he was just the highest bidder. The film was also offered to the other campaigns—they all had their chances—but it was Gingrich, or rather the “Winning Our Future” Super PAC supporting him, that allowed Gingrich to be the one to get all Ed Gein on Romney’s ass and deliver the axe to his head.

When Mitt Romney Came to Town was directed by Jason Killian Meath, an associate of Romney’s during the 2008 Republican primary who made ads that year that were pro-Mittens. He must have seen something in Romney that he didn’t like, or maybe not. Maybe When Mitt Romney Came to Town was simply a way for Meath to cynically sell his services to the highest bidder and enrich himself personally at Romney’s expense. Loyalties can be very flexible in Washington. The film looks like it cost no more than $50k to make, but surely Jason Killian Meath was well-compensated for this expert hit. The film’s all-out annihilation of its target positions Meath nicely as the “Scaramanga” of political operatives. In the future pols from both parties will be clamoring for his services. Why hire anyone but the very best? No one else comes even close to this guy’s mad satanic skillz! He’ll burn your opponent to the fucking ground.

Truly I don’t see how Romney will be able to counter this. It’s like the box that rips your face off in Hellraiser.

The thing is, When Mitt Romney Came to Town inadvertently goes to great lengths to expose the moral and intellectual bankruptcy at the heart of today’s Tea party-led GOP: Free market Capitalism, seen in the human form of Mitt Romney and the rest of his mega-rich cronies at Bain Capital, are such hideous and loathsome creatures that the unavoidable “takeaway”—even for conservative viewers, I should point out—is that Capitalism is an evil system rigged to benefit the people at the top of the food chain and fuck over anyone who gets in their way.

The rest of us are just their food. When Mitt Romney Came to Town makes that very, very clear… even for the most dumbshit Republicans. Freedom? You think you’re free? You’re free to lose your house, health insurance and starve is what you’re free to do, according to the message of this film. It’s called “creative destruction” and Mitt Romney will tell you all about it. It’s how he made his vast fortune: from the misery of hardworking Americans. The next time you hear some asshole going on about impersonal market forces and all that blather, show them When Mitt Romney Came to Town—this is an impersonal market force that has a first name, a last name, a social security number and a street address, albeit one that’s probably behind a big gate with security guards.

But it’s not just Mitt Romney’s mouth that this film pisses in. When Mitt Romney Came to Town dramatically and clearly indicts the entire way BUSINESS is done in America.  The film is of a set with anything that Michael Moore has ever done and seems far more in tune with the Occupy Wall Street movement than anything we’d normally associate with Republicans. Who wrote the voice over script, Trotsky? Yes, I mean to tell you that When Mitt Romney Came to Town is that much of a wildcard to throw into the GOP primary. Even Ron Paul might have his doubts about the free market after viewing this one.

Ultimately, though, I don’t think this film benefits Newt Gingrich in any way. It utterly destroys Mitt Romney, true, it absolutely skullfucks him and leaves him bleeding from his anus and shivering on the ground in a fetal position, but you’d have to be an absolute idiot if the only question you had when When Mitt Romney Came to Town is over was which one of the other Republicans you were going to vote for!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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