Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. It was a tumultuous day for Occupy Wall Street yesterday. First came the violent eviction in the early morning hours – then the court ruling allowing the patriots to re-enter Zuccotti Park – then another court ruling forbidding them from bringing any tents, tarps, or camping gear into the park. But in the end – the patriots have resumed their occupation. Without gear – hundreds of Occupy Wall Streets demonstrators streamed back into Zuccotti Park yesterday evening where they remained through the night. However without tents – it’s unclear how long the occupation can last. Meanwhile – Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who led the eviction – may lose his job. With polls showing wide majorities of New Yorkers supporting the rights of Occupy Wall Street to set up camp in Zuccotti Park – a right the Mayor took away yesterday – an online petition has been started by Change.org calling for Mayor Bloomberg to resign. His raid yesterday was notorious for its suppression of the media and maltreatment of journalists – many of whom were beaten and arrested. Last night – the NYPD released several of those arrested journalists. So, with the more than 200 people arrested in yesterday’s crackdown – the total number of Occupying patriots arrested around the nation in the last two months is now 4,049. At the same time – zero banksters have been arrested for their high crimes on Wall Street that caused the financial meltdown. Not only that – prosecution for financial fraud in general is at 20-year low in America – and that’s not because banksters are suddenly better behaved. Bloomberg had the wrong target yesterday morning – instead of Zuccotti Park – he should have sent his cops clad in riot gear to evict Goldman Sachs.
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Meanwhile on the West coast – Oakland Mayor Jean Quan admitted yesterday that her crackdown against occupying patriots was part of a conspiracy with 18 other cities planning similar crackdowns. And now her police department has a lawsuit on its hands. The National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the Oakland Police Department this week – for its use of excessive force against patriots. Two-time Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen was critically wounded and suffered brain damage on October 25th when police shot a tear gas canister at his head. Olsen was just released from the hospital this weekend – but has a long road to recovery ahead of him – and the ACLU and the Lawyers Guild want to make sure this never happens again. The lawsuit seeks an immediate injunction against the Oakland Police Department – restricting its use of force against Occupy Oakland. Let’s hope this case raises more awareness about the militarization of our police forces around the nation.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Yesterday – the Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recall effort kicked off – as did plans to sabotage the recall effort. The website for the group United Wisconsin – one of the groups leading the recall effort – was immediately hit with a cyber attack yesterday morning, forcing it to shut down. The Wisconsin Democratic Party called the attack, “a desperate and illegal attack to stifle the voice of the people,” and demanded the state Republican Party and Governor Walker condemn the attack. Progressives in Wisconsin need all the help they can get – so get out there – collect signatures – and occupy Walker!
Time for Congress to listen to the millionaires. The organization “Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength” – a group made up of millionaires who want to see their taxes go up – descended on Capitol Hill today to meet with lawmakers and demand that any Gang of 12 deficit reduction deal includes tax hikes on millionaires and billionaires. It looks like the message of the 99% movement has now been picked up by the 1%.
Even though a Balanced Budget Amendment would kill 15 million jobs – double the unemployment rate – and shrink the economy by 17% – Republicans are still pushing full steam ahead with a vote on it later this week. Not only will Republicans be voting on an economy killer – they’ll be voting on something that has absolutely no chance of passing – as it requires a 2/3 majority in the House – and it can’t pass the Senate. So now’s the time to call your Republican Congressman – and ask them to stop with the gimmicks – and put their plan to crash the economy on hold – and actually vote for something that WILL create American jobs – like new infrastructure spending.
Let them eat pizza! Earlier this year – the USDA set up guidelines to make school lunches healthier for children – but this week – House Republicans unveiled a spending bill to blow up those new healthy guidelines. Under the new Republican plan – tomato sauce on pizza will still be considered a vegetable – as will French fries. Meaning – schools can serve pizza and French fries everyday and meet the basic nutritional requirements for school lunches. Somewhere Herman Cain is rejoicing. That’s even though tomatoes are fruits – not vegetables. Republicans scrapped the new healthier guidelines calling them, “overly burdensome and costly regulations.” I guess they don’t consider the $147 billion every year spent on obesity-related medical costs burdensome or costly. Back in 1981 – Ronald Reagan tried to qualify ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches for the same reason – and backed off the idea after a public outcry. Once again – today’s Republican Party goes above and beyond Reagan’s bad ideas.
Crazy Alert! Not just for breakfast anymore. J & D’s Foods has a simple motto – “Everything should taste like bacon!” That’s why the company has produced bacon salt – bacon mayonnaise (known as Baconnaise) – bacon lip balm – and even bacon-flavored envelopes. But the company may have finally crossed a line with…bacon-flavored lube. In 2009 – as an April Fool’s joke – the company pretended to release bacon lube – calling it “The McRib of Sex” – but over 3,000 people didn’t take it as a joke and actually ordered bacon lube. So now J&D has delivered – and for just under 12 bucks – you can lather yourself up in bacon lube – and get “porked.”
And that’s the way it is today – Wednesday, November 16th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.