Archive for 1%ers

"The Pitchforks Are Coming for the Millionaires", says Zillionaire to Politico

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Mike Allen swung by MSNBC to tell us just how up front even a center-leaning outfit like Politico is featuring on the stars of the new American plutocracy. Or oligarchy. The folks you see on the business end of a briskly waving pitchfork.

Personally, the Koch Broz. seem more like oligarchs, but that may because I always picture them in crowns that would put the ones adjacent to the Great Tower of London in the shade.

That's why they, the 1%er oligarchy plutocrats like the Koch Sons-a'-Bitches Brothers are so easy for us pitchfork wielders to find … they're large and sparkly. And probably slow.

 

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Give a gander to mogul and model of American capitalism, Nick Hanauer. He kinda sorta helped blow up Amazon. And he's the one saying "I see pitchforks."

 

The actual article over at Politico is worth the read, excerpted here for a quickie.

Memo: From Nick Hanauer
To: My Fellow Zillionaires
You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. ...

Now I own a very large yacht. But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

Cartoon, Jeff Danziger, GoComics.com

Cartoon, Jeff Danziger, GoComics.com

I see pitchforks.
Now that is refreshing. A rich guy who remembers what it was like to take his first big risk - who sees income inequality.

By Jeebus, he probably even believes in climate change. And I wonder what he thought about the SCROTUS Hobby Lobby debacle.

trickle-down

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The success of the #Occupy movement: "Invisible suffering was made visible" #OWS

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Rebecca Solnit wrote an inspiring op-ed in today's L.A. Times, one I've been waiting for someone to write. If you need a morale boost, please read it in full. Solnit is an author who spent time at Occupy San Francisco, Occupy Oakland and Occupy Wall Street in 2011. A longer version of the op-ed can be found at tomdispatch.com.

In her piece, she traces movements, activist groups, a unique person here and there, and identifies their transformative moments. She identifies milestones and special people who have made a meaningful difference and changed the world because they galvanized others with their mission.

Real change may at first be incremental, halting, and sometimes frustratingly imperceptible to those who aren't really paying attention, but eventually, it takes hold in ways unimagined.

In other words, the efforts can result in achievements that have lasting impact. And that impact can be on the whole wide world, a country, a legislative body, or on the very participants of a movement. And then those participants pay it forward.

[T]he moment that counts is the one where civil society is its own rule, improvising the terms of an ideal society for a day, a month, a season [...]

Almost as soon as Occupy Wall Street appeared in the fall of 2011, the national conversation changed and the brutality and obscenity of Wall Street were suddenly being openly discussed. The suffering of ordinary people crushed by the burden of medical, housing or college debt came out of the shadows.

California passed a homeowner's bill of rights to curtail the viciousness of the banks, and in late 2012, Strike Debt emerged as an Occupy offshoot to address indebtedness in creative and subversive ways. Student debt suddenly became (and remains) a topic of national discussion, and proposals for student loan reform began to gain traction.

Invisible suffering was made visible. And, though Occupy was never primarily about electoral politics, it was nonetheless a significant part of the conversation that got Elizabeth Warren elected senator and prompted a few other politicians to do good things in the cesspit of the capital.

Change often happens when the brutality of the status quo is made visible and therefore intolerable. [...]

Occupy Wall Street allowed those silenced by shame, invisibility or lack of interest from the media to speak up. ... [T]he media and politicians had to change their language to adjust to a series of previously ignored realities.

Part of what gave Occupy its particular beauty was the way the movement defined "we" as the 99%. That phrase (along with that contagious meme "the 1%") entered our language, offering a far more inclusive way of imagining the world.

Occupy is still working behind the scenes. I know this because I communicate regularly with those who are deeply involved, and I see reports of their impressive accomplishments. The tents are now gone, the drums stopped beating... but Occupy's heart didn't.

patience

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VIDEO: Jeb Bush wishes Romney, who "dumped needs of America's workers while pocketing profits," were president

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Jeb Bush wishes Romney were president (there's that Bush intellect we all know and mock), even though "his campaign wasn't the best." (Gee, ya think?)

"It breaks my heart he's not there. He didn't run... His campaign wasn't the best, but he would have been a really fine president."

Many disagree, as you can see below. More L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Romney criticizes Obama," March 4

So Mitt Romney still believes the president won reelection by giving "gifts." The very people who are so against government social programs are the reason much of this spending exists.

Wages buy less than they did decades ago. The federal minimum wage is stuck at an outdated level. Companies have replaced their better-paid full-time workers with cheaper, part-time employees. Benefits like health insurance and retirement are more rare.

The cost of healthcare, food and shelter have become a taxpayer-funded burden for millions of working Americans. The 47% that Romney referred to as not paying federal taxes while reaping government rewards will just continue to grow unless employers are forced to pay decent wages and benefits.

Romney and his ilk have gotten rich by dumping the social service needs of America's workers while pocketing the profits.

Ernest Salomon

Santa Barbara

***

In his interview with Fox News journalist Chris Wallace, Romney said he underestimated how important the president's healthcare program would be to lower-income voters. His wife admits that she and her husband were "blindsided" by the passion of Obama's supporters.

It sounds as if the Romneys are having trouble coming to grips with the fact that in this age of unprecedented inequality, those of us who aren't as privileged as they are appreciate a bit of help.

Rich Eames

Los Angeles

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VIDEO: Mitt Romney didn't believe his own words, bashes Obama over sequester, Ann Romney "happy to blame the media"

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ann romney you people

Earlier Paddy posted a video of "Serial Loser Romney: We Lost Because Minorities Love ObamaCare". Here are more excerpts from that interview:

Willard Romney:

“I’m not gonna second guess what other people have to say. Look, I don’t look back, I look forward.”

Sound familiar? Mitt still can't seem to come up with an original thought. President Obama, 2009:

"On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. … My orientation is going to be moving forward."

Ann Romney, "She-Lion":

"I'm like a she-lion when it comes to defending Mitt... " As opposed to a Cowardly Lion? Thank you for clarifying.

don't listen to her she's lionromney coward lion Via ottoswarroom.blogspotdotcom

"People didn't really get to know Mitt for who he was." Yes, in fact we did, which is why he lost so badly.

"I believe it was the media's fault... I'm happy to blame the media." 'Nuff said.

"There's more bias in favor of the other side." Oh really?

And then she went on to say that the Obama campaign portrayed her husband unfairly.

"He truly cared about the American people." Tell that to the 47%, Latinos, African Americans, the poor and middle class, and family dogs everywhere.

"If Mitt were there, in the office, we would not be facing sequestration right now." We'd be facing irreversible economic disaster.

Here's what Willard said about his secretly recorded "47 percent" comments (You can see it in this video at about 8:00):

“Yeah, it was a very unfortunate statement that I made. It is not what I meant. I didn’t express myself as I wished I would have. You know, when you speak in private, you don’t spend as much time thinking about how something could be twisted and distorted and could come out wrong and be used."

"What I said is not what I believed."

romney I stand by what I said whatever it was via Think progress smaller

“[T]here is no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign.”

"Unfortunate" is an understatement. It was an utter fiasco that showed his true colors. And even when one speaks in private, not expecting the truth to be taped and revealed on a continuous national media loop, one should realize that one is still vulnerable to being outed as the insulated, ultra-wealthy, uncaring, insensitive ass that one is.

"What I said is not what I believed." Sure it was. It was precisely what you believed or you wouldn't have said it secretly to your wealthy donor buddies. Then there's that additional problem of your attitude and policies reflecting your own words, the ones that you believed.

Nothing was distorted, there was full context, and it did not come out "wrong," it came out exactly as Mitt intended.

"Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring."

Many have gotten in the ring, and few have embarrassed themselves as badly the Romneys did and continue to do.

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