In which the liberal filmmaker points out the obvious—or what should be obvious—to Obama’s re-election team:
“You promise them something, you’d better do it, or they’re going to call you on it” he said during a speech at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue. “They don’t like hypocrites. They don’t like somebody who doesn’t follow through.”
“We need young people and their rebellion and their ability not to go along with B.S.,” Moore continued. “And they weren’t going to go along with President Obama’s B.S. He let them down, they stayed home. He wants to keep letting them down for the next year? They’ll stay home.”
Moore said Obama’s problem was not liberals like himself, who would still vote for Obama. The problem was that liberals wouldn’t be able to convince others to turn out for the 2012 elections because Obama did not clean up George W. Bush’s mess.
Duh! Does anyone out there think the Obama administration is paying any attention whatsoever to the Occupy Wall Street movement? If so, what’s your evidence? Please discuss in the comments.
Michael Moore stopped by the Occupy Wall Street demo last night to show his support. If you’re wondering why everyone keeps repeating what he says, the protestors are not allowed by law to have any amplified sound. The “people’s mic” is how they get around it—and make a little legal noise—so that what the speakers are saying can be heard in the cheap seats…
[L]ook, we got rid of slavery in 1863 in this country. It wasn’t until the 1960s that you saw the large marches and the voting rights and the civil rights act being passed. Women couldn’t vote until 1920, and then you didn’t have the real women’s liberation movement until the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Things take time. This won’t take that long. This won’t take 100 years for people to respond because Wall Street has overplayed its hand. They have come down too hard on too many people, especially people in the middle class who used to believe in Wall Street.
Forty-six million people living in poverty right now in the United States. That’s an absolute crime, it’s immoral. And these guys are just posting the largest profits ever this year.
You’re right, where’s the rage? Where’s the uprising? It’s starting. It’s down right now on Wall Street. It starts with the young people. But this is going to grow because people watching this tonight, people are afraid that they’re going to be foreclosed on this year, don’t know if they’re going to be out of a job next year, can’t afford the medical bills for their kids. Fifty million people still without insurance. They’re sitting home right now going, god, I wish I could do something. What can I do? Somebody has got to start it somewhere. That’s what these kids have done down in Wall Street. It’s going to spread across the country. And believe you me, I won’t have—it won’t be because of anything I say or you say or this show or those kids down there, people already feel it. They’re sick and tired of it. And I think you’re going to see that happen more and more in this country.
Tomorrow a large rally to protest the policies of unpopular Michigan Governor Rick Synder will take place in Lansing. There was a protest held there earlier today attended by more than 1,000 pissed-off senior citizens whose pensions Gov. Snyder wants to tax. That was just the orchestra tuning up. Snyder’s outlandish budget proposal would give even a goon like Scott Walker pause. Synder’s plan would raise taxes on the working class by 31% while cutting taxes for corporations by 86%. WTF is right!Get on the bus!
The call has gone out and I’m asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.
What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries—and then ran in the general election as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” who was a moderate, not an ideologue—has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.
Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.
In just 8 short weeks he has:
* Gotten the House and Senate to pass bills giving him “Emergency Management” powers such as the ability to appoint a corporation or a CEO who could literally dissolve town governments or school boards, fire the elected officials, nullify any local law and run your local governmental entity. That company then would have the power to immediately declare all collective bargaining contracts null and void.
* Proposed giving business a whopping 86% tax cut while raising everyone’s personal taxes by 31%! And much of that tax hike he believes should be shouldered by—I kid you not—senior citizens and the poor! He says these two groups have not been “sharing the sacrifice” the rest of us have been burdened with. So his budget proposes a $1.8 billion tax CUT for business and a $1.75 billion tax INCREASE for the rest of us, much of it from the poor, seniors and working people—even though the top 1% in Michigan ALREADY pay a lower state tax rate than everyone else does!
* Together with the legislature, introduced over 40 anti-labor bills in just the first two months of this session! They have wasted no time and have caught most people off guard. Much of this is being rushed through right now before you have a chance to raise your voice in objection.
These actions are breathtaking when you realize they will drive our already battered state straight into the ground. What we needed right now was an inspiring leader to help us reinvent Michigan and to find creative ways to create new jobs and lift us out of our economic depression. The rest of the country may call what they’re experiencing the “Great Recession,” but few argue that Michigan is suffering a “one-state Depression.”
I know many of you are filled with a great sense of despair and a justifiable loss of hope these days in Michigan. But you must not let things get even worse. You must stand up against these Draconian measures and this outrageous attempt to rip our democratic rights from us by turning our state over to well-paid hacks from Wall Street and corporate America. They see our state as one big fire sale—and they are licking their chops to get their hands on what is still a state rich in natural resources and industrial infrastructure.
Please show up at noon on Wednesday for our first mega-rally against this insanity. Hundreds of groups are already organizing car pools and buses. You can right now just declare yourself an organizer and get your friends and neighbors committed to being in Lansing. If ever there were a day to call in sick, Wednesday is it (because this IS sick). Students, if ever there were a day to cut class and become a participant in your democracy, Wednesday is it. This event needs to be HUGE—and I believe it will be if you will simply be there and take a stand.
Much attention has been paid to Wisconsin in recent weeks. Well, they got nothing on what’s going on here in Michigan. Rick Snyder is Scott Walker on steroids. There’s never been what even the AARP calls “an all-out attack” like this on us. Trust me, you will rue the day you sat home and did nothing while thieves posing as politicians stole your Great Lakes State from you.
Don’t let it happen. Be at the capitol by noon on Wednesday for the largest demonstration the state has ever seen.
Go Spartans! Go Wolverines! Go Everyone Else In Between!
On her Wednesday show, Rachel Maddow and filmmaker Michael Moore both agreed that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the state’s Republicans will lose what Moore called a “class war” being waged against the working class.
The two were reacting to Wednesday’s sudden passage of a measure in the Wisconsin Senate to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights—something only accomplished through an unheard-of parliamentary maneuver.
Before bringing Moore on, Maddow said that the Wisconsin Republicans had awoken a “dragon.” And she sent a message to the Democrats as well. “When people who have to work for a living are directly attacked…they fight back,” she said. “And they are expecting the Democratic Party to stand with them.”
Moore then came on the show. He told people to go to Madison right away. “This is war,” he said. “This is a class war.”
He also expressed optimism about the outcome of the Wisconsin fight. “Everything has turned in favor of the working people,” he said.
Maddow said that the “political brittleness” of what Walker and other Republicans were attempting was working against them.“All it takes is some political pushback against that and it collapses,” she said.
Moore then echoed the speech he gave in Madison last weekend, which drew widespread attention.
“Wisconsin’s not broke,” he said. “America isn’t broke. The money’s just not in the people’s hands. It’s in the hands of the rich, the people who committed these crimes and got away with it.” He held up a pair of handcuffs and looked at the camera.
“I’d like anybody who works on Wall Street, anybody who works for the banks, just take a look at this,” he said. “This is what’s coming. This is what’s coming for you. Because the people are going to demand justice, they’re going to demand that your ass is in jail.”
What should we expect as events unfold this week in Wisconsin? Labor reporter and activist Mike Elk (In These Times, Michael Moore.com) discusses what he saw on the ground at the protests and the rebirth of the labor movement in America. What is happening in Wisconsin is the most import domestic issue of this generation. If you don’t understand why, you need to think a little harder! As labor goes, so goes the nation. Follow Mike Elk on Twitter
Michael Moore’s speech in Wisconsin is truly a MASTERPIECE of political oratory. You have to watch it, it’s absolutely riveting. One of the most vital statements of brutal political and economic fact that an American citizen has ever said with the eyes of the world upon them (and Moore’s never been shy in that department, has he?). To Michael Moore, I say “Bravo, sir.” And to the brave working (and retired!) people of Wisconsin and the Democrats on the lam fighting these over-reaching Republican goons on our behalf, you are the very, very best amongst us in a dark time in our nation’s history.
Talk about speaking truth to power, this is a knock-out. Moore’s words, the crowd, the moment. It’s stunning theater.
The fight in Wisconsin makes me prouder to be an American than I have ever been in my entire life. It makes me glad to be alive right now as the scales fall from the eyes of so many people at once all over the world.
The best part is that you know damned well that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and the rest of the gasbag rightwing punditocracy are going to pull this speech apart tomorrow. Translation: Every one of those fuckers will have to watch it. Brilliant!
I laughed, I cried and I felt REALLY REALLY HAPPY AND ENERGIZED. What a fantastic gesture for Michael Moore to make and it came at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME.
That speech was a profound shot of adrenaline. A part of history. A thing of great beauty.
Please watch forward his speech to everyone you know and have ever met or will meet in the future. Here’s how it starts out:
America is not broke.
Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.
Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.
Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic—and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.
A commenter on YouTube quipped “Imagine if Obama gave a speech like that!” Worth pondering. I hope that the President at least watches this speech, that would be a start in the right direction!
“This is what I love about Republicans. I honestly secretly really admire them because, man they have guts. They come in with both guns blazing. They take no prisoners. What I suggested to you here that played on last night’s show, about how there’s 420 bills that the House has already passed, that the Senate could pass right now because we have enough votes to do that, yet they won’t do it—I know they won’t do it—even simple bills like the Child Nutrition Bill, they won’t do it. But I’ll tell you what, if the shoe was on the other foot, if this was the Republicans in a lame duck session, dammit, they’d be passing as much of that as they could. Because that’s how they are. Because they believe in something. And that’s what Americans love about Republicans. Because they just believe in something.”—Michael Moore on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Thursday, October 4th, 2010
Director Michael Moore, for most of his life, has supported independent political parties and candidates like Ralph Nader. In 2004, Moore returned to two-party politics after four years of George Bush raised the stakes too high for him not to support John Kerry. In this excellent interview from Lawrence O’Donnell’s show, Moore brilliantly lays into the Democrats and Obama and he’s got a stinging new petition going that you might want to consider signing. I did!
“We just voted for you, the Democratic members of Congress, in the midterms. But our vote comes with one big condition: If you do not straighten up, get a spine and do what we expect of you, we will find alternate candidates to run against you in 2012. And we mean it.
Consider yourself on notice that you have just two more years to start doing the things we elected you to do. If you move one more inch to the “center” or to the right, you will never get our vote again.”
Tara and I watched Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story this weekend (it’s on the Netflix VOD currently) and I absolutely loved it. It’s a truly great film, one that I have no doubt will be looked at and revered by future generations trying to understand what the hell happened in our backwards era. I recommend it to everyone who reads this blog and cares about my opinion. It was absolutely spellbinding to me. I felt as if I wanted to cheer several times to see someone say these things and say them so powerfully. Capitalism: A Love Story, or a film just like it, needed to be made. but there is only one guy who could have pulled off something like this, gotten it funded, herded through the distribution system and gotten a message this radical the deep penetration in the culture that it deserves, and it’s Michael Moore.
Surprisingly, Capitalism: A Love Story is perhaps the least polemic of all of Moore’s films, even if it does, at root, articulately advocate the necessity of class warfare, at least at the ballot box. Most of what Moore, or his protagonists, have to say in the film would be damed difficult to refute, perhaps this is why it doesn’t seem as confrontational as Moore’s films often are. You’d have to have a very closed mind to deny the reality of what you see on display here. Even Sean Hannity would have a hard time arguing with any of it (although I doubt he watched or will ever watch Moore’s film)
To say what Michael Moore says in Capitalism: A Love Story took balls and it also took amazing skill as a storyteller, underscoring his Mark Twain-like role in American society. After a mind-numbing section where the audience is introduced to the concept of the so-called “Dead Peasant” life insurance policies some major companies take out on their non-essential employees—unbeknownst to them—where they make more money if the employee dies, he cuts to an interview with Father Dick Preston, the Flint, Michigan-based priest who married Moore and his wife Kathleen Glynn (who interviewed me for a job once, she’s super cool).
He quietly asks the priest if capitalism is evil and what Jesus would think about free enterprise and his answer is devastating. This isn’t some left-wing loony he had to search out, this is the man who married him, the local priest who, like Moore, has witnessed the tragedy and destruction the loss of the auto industry in Flint, Michigan did to their hometown. Both of these men knows what greed does and how and who it harmed. People with first and last names.
And let me tell you, this priest fucking nails it. It’s a powerful, powerful cinematic moment.
Speaking as someone who took ten people on my own 24th birthday to see Roger and Me when it was in theaters—I also released This Divided State on DVD when I was at Disinformation—maybe I’m biased, but do yourself a favor and see this film. Better still, if you watch it and you like it, consider having a screening party at your house and invite 5 or 6 friends over to watch it and discuss it afterwards. It takes two hours to watch and could open the eyes of even a devout redneck Fox News watcher (well, some redneck Fox News watchers) to what’s really going on in this country. It’s not like Glenn Beck is ever going to tell them.
Below is one of the most powerful moments in a film full of them: rare footage taken right after FDR’s final State of the Union address where he lays out the concept of a Second Bill of Rights that would have guaranteed that all Americans have “a useful job, a decent home, adequate health care, and a good education.”
God bless Michael Moore. He’s a great American.
The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it (Yahoo! Finance)
The U.S. Economy Is A Dead Horse And The American People Are Starting To Get Really Pissed Off And Frustrated (Economic Collapse)
As we prepare to go back to war in Afghanistan, voices of dissent are ringing loud across the country and the Internet. Michael Moore:
Following President Obama’s announcement on Tuesday of a short-term troop surge in Afghanistan, an emotional Michael Moore told CNN’s Larry King, “I feel very bad for him.”
“I feel even worse for our troops,” Moore went on, blinking back tears. “And I feel a real sadness for the parents of those soldiers.of ours over the next eighteen months who will not come back home.”
“Our own CIA says there’s less than a hundred al Qaeda in Afghanistan,” Moore explained. “What are we doing in Afghanistan? This is absolutely insane. ... We have been in this war for twice as long now as the US was in World War II. ... We’re going to have 100,000 troops there to find these killers—who aren’t even there!”
The Bush administration permitted the world’s most notorious terrorist mastermind to escape because it needed additional justification to invade Iraq, according to a Democratic lawmaker from New York.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) leveled the allegation during an interview with MSNBC host David Shuster on Monday afternoon.
“Look what happened with regard to our invasion into Afghanistan, how we apparently intentionally let bin Laden get away,” he said. “How we intentionally did not follow the Taliban and al-Qaeda as they were escaping. That was done by the previous administration because they knew very well that if they would capture al-Qaeda, there would be no justification for an invasion in Iraq.”
“They deliberately let Osama bin Laden get away?” asked an incredulous Shuster. “They deliberately let the head of al-Qaeda get away right after he, right after the 9/11 attacks? You really believe that?”
“Yes, I do,” Hinchey replied. “There’s no question about that. The leader of the military operation in the United States called back our military, called them back from going after the head of al-Qaeda because there was a sense that they didn’t want to capture him.”
Time will tell how much longer America can keep this up. Hard to play World Police when you can’t pay your cops. Bad, bad times indeed.