Remembering Newt Gingrich on Bain Capital…
Bain in the ass.
It makes sense if you don’t think about it.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — The First Amendment
Hundreds of police officers, some in riot gear, descended on Zuccotti Park after midnight Tuesday in a surprise sweep of the Occupy Wall Street headquarters.
It comes just two days ahead of a massive planned demonstration Thursday marking the movement’s two-month anniversary.
Police handed out letters to protesters ordering them to temporarily evacuate the park. Police said the eviction will improve health conditions.
Campers were ordered to remove all their tents. Police claimed it was a health issue.
Hundreds of New York City police officers early Tuesday cleared the park in Lower Manhattan that had been the nexus of the Occupy Wall Street movement, arresting dozens of people there after warning that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” but that demonstrators who did not leave would face arrest.
The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, initially resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!”
The massive operation in and around Zuccotti Park was intended to empty the birthplace of a protest movement that inspired hundreds of tent cities from coast to coast. On Monday in Oakland, Calif., hundreds of police officers raided the main encampment there, arresting 33 people. Protesters returned later in the day. But the Oakland police said no one would be allowed to sleep there anymore, and promised to clear a second camp nearby.
lau-ra-sau-rus: FYI the bull has been surrounded by cops.
@NewYorkObserver “Here with credentialed photogs from NYT, WSJ, and Reuters; they’re also being barred.”
fearandwar: They’re locking up citizens in their own houses. Jesus Christ. Is that even legal?
inothernews: New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly was personally on hand to supervise the dismantling of the tents in Zuccotti Park.
inothernews: WITHOUT PREJUDICE Once inside Zuccotti Park, police tore down the tents and tarps that had housed Occupy Wall Street protesters for two months. (Photo: Robert Stolarik / The New York Times)
inothernews: Zuccotti Park has been cleared. But as an Occupy Oakland demonstrator said, “The movement is about more than just the space here.”
NYPD reportedly will allow protestors back into Zuccotti Park later this morning, but without tents and sleeping bags.
SEE LIVESTREAM: Occupy Wall Street protesters, having been evicted from Zuccotti Park, have massed in Foley Square just north of Zuccotti Park and City Hall.
(Above: a “tax cuts for the wealthy paid for by spending cuts for the rest of us” table to consider)
“Taxes are ridiculously low! And yet the mantra of the Republican Party is ‘Tax cuts raise growth.’ So – where’s the fucking growth?” – Bruce Bartlett, an architect of Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, from a must-read article from the November 24, 2011 edition of Rolling Stone:
[…] When Republicans won back control of the House in last year’s midterm elections, they followed Brown’s lead and moved swiftly to betray their Tea Party backers by running up more deficits on behalf of the rich. Within days of the election, Republicans not only secured a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, they also enabled America’s richest scions to inherit millions of dollars without paying a dime in taxes. All told, the GOP’s two favors for the party’s biggest donors were secured in a lame-duck bargain that adds another $858 billion to the debt – an amount greater than the original stimulus plan the Republicans opposed so bitterly.
First, the GOP filibustered a Democrat-led effort to extend the Bush tax cuts on only the first $250,000 of income. The party leadership’s hard-line stance – supported by barely a third of all voters – turned $90 billion over to the wealthiest Americans. It also set a precedent for further extensions that would cost nearly $1 trillion over the next decade. At the same time, the GOP drove through a deal that actually raised taxes for couples who make less than $40,000 a year – and then turned much of the extra cash over to couples who earn more than $200,000. Obama agreed to this massive transfer of wealth in order to retain the Bush tax cuts for the middle class – but the only other significant thing he got in return was a one-year extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
But even the GOP’s big payday for the wealthy pales in comparison to the handout that Republicans secured by gutting the estate tax. With the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the inheritance tax was set to snap back to its Clinton-era standard: exempting the first $1 million of all estates from taxation, and stepping up the tax rate on the wealthiest estates to 55 percent. Instead, Obama agreed to raise the exemption to $5 million and lower the top tax rate to 35 percent – an apparent horse trade demanded by the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, Jon Kyl of Arizona, who then allowed the president’s nuclear-stockpile treaty with Russia to move forward in the Senate…
From the article, clear illustrations of income redistribution from the bottom to the top:
[…] Indeed, since Republicans began their tax-cut binge in 1997, they have succeeded in making the rich much richer. While the average income for the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers has remained basically flat over the past 15 years, those in the top 0.01 percent have seen their incomes more than double, to $36 million a year. Translated into wages, that means most Americans have received a raise of $1.50 an hour since the GOP began cutting taxes during the Gingrich era. The most elite sliver of American society, meanwhile, saw their pay soar by $10,000 an hour.
America became a great nation with a prosperous middle class on the strength of a progressive tax code – one that demands the most of those who benefit most from our society. But the Party of the Rich has succeeded in breaking the back of that ideal. Today, says Johnston, “the tax system ceases to be progressive when you get to the very top of the wealthiest one percent.” Above that marker, the richer you get, the lower your relative tax burden. “We have moved toward a plutocracy,” Warren Buffett warned in a recent interview. “As people have gotten richer and richer, they have been favored by taxation – and have gotten richer to a greater degree.”
Far from creating the trickle-down economics promised by Reagan, the policies pursued by the modern Republican Party are gusher up. Under the leadership of Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the House’s radicalized GOP caucus is pushing a predatory agenda for a new gilded age. Every move that Republicans make – whether it’s to gut consumer protections, roll back environmental regulations, subsidize giant agribusinesses, abolish health care reform or just drill, baby, drill – is consistent with a single overarching agenda: to enrich the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations, even if it requires borrowing from China, weakening national security, dismantling Medicare and taxing the middle class. With the nation still mired in the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, Republicans have categorically rejected the one financial policy with a proven record of putting the country back on a more prosperous footing. “You hear the Republicans say that you don’t dare raise taxes in a weak economy,” says Stockman. “Ronald Reagan did – three times.” Not even the downgrading of America’s debt – which placed the world’s only superpower on credit par with New Zealand and Belgium – has given GOP leaders cause to reconsider their pro-wealth jihad. In August, as the so-called Supercommittee began its work to complete the debt-ceiling deal by reducing future deficits by another $1.5 trillion, Cantor issued the Party of the Rich’s marching orders, insisting that Republicans not buckle under the “tremendous pressure” to hike taxes and instead target spending cuts in “mandatory programs.”
Note to Republican Teabagger base voters, please do continue to worry about gay marriage and a Christmas tree tax and Obama taking your guns. That’s what the Republican party needs you to concentrate on through November 2012.
org’l image: st4arscream
OWS: The future is here. The time is now.
The 7 values of Wall Street.
There is no honor in hurting unarmed people.
Video of the brutality of the Oakland police department and the wounding of Scott Olsen, a Marine veteran who survived two tours in Iraq, by the Oakland PD — on U.S. soil for demonstrating peacefully.
Here’s a screen grab (video below) of Scott standing with a Navy veteran right before the Oakland PD shot him in the face with a tear gas canister:
Scott Olsen, two-tour veteran of the Iraq war, was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister fired by police at Occupy Oakland, has a fractured skull, brain swelling and is in serious condition (via: whipporwill)
If the police claim Scott Olsen attacked them — THIS VIDEO may show differently. Olsen appears at 3:30 into the clip.
Scott is currently in the hospital with a skull fracture and a swollen brain. There are unconfirmed reports he’s been placed in a medically-induced coma and is on a respirator. Let him know the world is watching:
Well wishes and cards can be sent to:
USMC Scott Olsen
1411 East 31st St.
Oakland CA 94602
thenoobyorker: The Blood Is On OPD Hands | Oakland, California.
Jobs Are Not My Job, Man – Mitch McConnell once again showed a keen grasp on Sunday of what his constituents want from a Washington politician.
CNN’s Candy Crowley reminded the Kentucky Republican that a recent Gallup/USA Today poll found that 75 percent of Americans supported President Barack Obama’s plan to provide additional money for teachers, police and firefighters.
“Republicans helped not break a filibuster, if you will, in a procedural vote,” Crowley explained. “You basically got rid of that jobs bill which would have given money to the states, designed to hire or retain fireman, policeman and teachers. When we look at the polling, 75 percent of Americans supported that and yet, the Republicans were against it. So, how do you justify that in your mind?”
“Well, Candy, I’m sure that Americans do,” McConnell remarked. “I certainly do approve of firefighters and police. The question is whether the federal government ought to be raising taxes on 300,000 small businesses in order to send money down to bail out states for whom firefighters and police work. They’re local and state employees.”
“The question is whether the federal government can afford to be bailing out states. I think the answer is no.”
BAILOUTS AND FEDERAL ASSISTANCE (and tax subsidies and cuts) are for banks, big business, and the wealthy. Bootstraps are for the rest of us. And that reoccurring meme “but we’d hurt small business!” that the Republicans like to trot out? Another load of crap:
Worried that small businesses would be hurt by the Buffett Rule? Don’t be. Less than 4% of small business owners earn $1M per year.
Tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations? That’s a-ok! Why are students complaining? Working 3 jobs to pay back student loans is the American dream.
YET ANOTHER REASON WHY THIS WEEK OBAMA IS INTRODUCING INITIATIVES to help the economy that won’t involve congressional approval.