Thursday, December 8, 2011

Occupy Movement Gets More Involved In Specifics & Scrooge for President? (Shallow Newt Exposed)


by Neil Garfield

EDITOR'S COMMENT: The Occupy movement is taking on a life of its own, expressing citizen outrage over the behavior of the banks and the complicity of the government in aiding and abetting the stealing of homes. As the movement matures, it is getting increasingly focussed on the weak spots of the Banks and it is having a political effect as well as a judicial effect. Judges are having conferences that differ substantially from the ones they had only 6 months ago.
Judges still want to move their calendar along. And the issue of "finality" still looms large for them - someone has to say "game over." But they are expressing doubt and dismay as more and more cases show up where it is obvious that the Banks are playing fast and loose with the rules of evidence and more importantly, violating criminal statutes to get a house in which they have no economic interest.
I say we should give the Occupy movement as much support as possible and that we should encourage Occupy leaders to take whatever political action they can to turn the course of the country from becoming a third world nation. The failure of the judicial system and the failure of law enforcement to lead the way on this, as they did when we had the savings loan scandal in the 1980's is a sure sign that our system is broken and we know who broke it - the Banks.
If we succeed, then we will have reversed control over the government to the people, and reverted to the rule of law required by our Constitution. For those who depend upon the Bill of Rights for their existence, like the NRA (which depends upon the second amendment) they should be aware that acceptance of the status quo means that government can and will take any action it wants ignoring the Constitutional protections that were guaranteed. First, they take your house, then your guns.

Occupy Protests Spread Anti-Foreclosure Message During National 'Occupy Our Homes' Action

WASHINGTON - In the late evening on Tuesday, Brigitte Walker welcomed Occupy Atlanta onto her property in an effort to save her Riverdale, Ga., home from foreclosure.

Walker, 44, joined the Army in 1985 and had been among the first U.S. personnel to enter Iraq in February 2003. "I wasn't happy about it," she told The Huffington Post early Tuesday afternoon, speaking of her deployment. "But it's my call of duty so had to do what I was supposed to do. It was a very difficult duty. It was a very emotional duty."
Walker saw fellow soldiers die, get injured. She saw a civilian with them get killed. "It was very nerve-wracking," she said. "It makes you wonder if you're going to survive."
She was in Iraq until May 2004, when the shock from mortar rounds crushed her spine. Doctors had to put in titanium plates to reinforce her spine, which had nerve damage. Today her range of motion is limited, and she still experiences a lot of pain. She still struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. Loud noises and big crowds are painful. The Fourth of July is difficult for her
She settled in Riverdale, a town outside of Atlanta, after purchasing a house in 2004 for $139,000. She has a brother who lives in the area and enjoyed it when she would visit him. "It seemed peaceful and quiet," she said. "That's what I needed." Her active duty salary covered the mortgage.
But in 2007, the Army medically retired Walker against her wishes. "I thought I was going to rehab and come back," she said. "But they told me I couldn't stay in." Walker now has to rely on a disability check.
After retiring from the Army, Walker used up her savings, and then got rid of a car to help pay her monthly mortgage payment. "I didn't have problems until they put me out of the military," she said. "It was just overwhelming."
By April of last year, she was starting to fall behind on her mortgage. JPMorgan Chase - which owns Walker's mortgage, according to an Occupy Atlanta press release - has since begun foreclosure proceedings. She said the bank is set to take her house on January 3.
"Nobody is willing to help me," Walker said. "Where are the programs to help vets like me? I know I'm one of many."
Enter Occupy Atlanta.
"I'm very hopeful that it will help me save my home and allow Chase to give me a chance to keep my home," Walker said, speaking of the Occupiers. She added that she's willing to celebrate Christmas with the activists.
"I guess," she said with a laugh. "As long as it takes."
Hours before Occupy Atlanta joined Walker at her home, the activists organized protests aimed at disrupting home auctions at three area courthouses. At a Fulton County Courthouse, civil rights leader Dr. Joseph Lowery joined 200 demonstrators at the county's monthly foreclosure auction.
Across the country, activists associated with the Occupy movement and Occupy Our Homes reached out to families threatened by foreclosure and highlighted the crisis with marches, rallies and press conferences.
"Occupy Wall Street started because of a deep need in our country to address the financial and economic crisis that's been created by the consolidation of wealth and political power in our country," said Jonathan Smucker, 33, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street in New York. "The foreclosure crisis, at least as much as anything else, illustrates the deep moral crisis that we are facing. It illustrates what you have when you have your whole political system serving the needs of the one percent."
Mothers spoke out on front lawns. In New York City, Occupy Wall Street marched through the streets of East New York. At the same time, Occupy groups were protesting home auctions in Nevada and New Orleans. In Seattle protesters tried to save a family from eviction. In all, activists took over vacant homes or homes facing foreclosures from being evicted in 20 cities.
During the actions, the activists tried to keep the mood light. In Chicago they planned a house-warming party for a family moving into an abandoned home. To announce their presence in New York, protesters held a block party and, in a play on police tape, wrapped a home in yellow tape bearing the word "Occupy."
As the protests were taking place, the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, released a new report that found an increasing number of American homes are going unused, a spike attributed to high foreclosure and unemployment rates.
"According to Census Bureau data, nonseasonal vacant properties have increased 51 percent nationally from nearly 7 million in 2000 to 10 million in April 2010, with 10 states seeing increases of 70 percent or more," the report read. "High foreclosure rates have contributed to the additional vacancies. Population declines in certain cities and high unemployment also may have contributed to increased vacancies."
Vacant homes can cause a number of problems for the communities their located in, the report noted: "Vacant and unattended residential properties can attract crime, cause blight, and pose a threat to public safety."
The need for action was obvious to Smucker.
"People need a place to live," he said. "People need to have homes. Kids need to be able to count on not having to move, having some stability in their lives. That's something we can all agree on in this country."
Some of the most powerful stories came from the homeowners Occupiers targeted during the day's events. One mother from Petaluma, Calif, held a press conference outside her home and discussed her struggle with foreclosure. An Oregon mother talked about her loss of a second job, cancer and bankruptcy at an event at her house.
In Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, Occupiers came to the Pittman family home. Carmen Pittman, 21, said the home has been the backdrop to every family function and holiday dinner as far back as she can remember. The ranch-style home had been in the Pittman name since 1953.
"My every Christmas, my every Thanksgiving, my every birthday, my every dinner was in this house," Pittman told HuffPost early this afternoon. "This was the base home. We could not stay away form this home. This home is my every memory."
Now she worries that the last memory she will have is the home's foreclosure. Her grandmother had become too sick to deal with the ballooning mortgage, and never addressed the court papers that arrived in the mail. Shortly before she passed away, the family finally realized the home was being foreclosed on when they got a notice on the front door. They have had to scramble ever since.
But on Tuesday, Pittman was feeling good about her prospects after the Occupy group had come to the house. "Maybe somebody heard my cries," she said. "I'm full of sadness and joy. It's like two mixed feelings at the same time."
Walker, the Iraq War vet, let the Occupy Atlanta activists set up tents on her property this evening. While her eviction date is still set for Jan. 3, she said she remained cautiously optimistic that her situation could change.
"Everything's fine," she said. "Everything's good. They have the tents set up outside. It's awesome. I was a little nervous. But it's awesome. I'm really hopeful and happy. I'm feeling really hopeful. I don't feel like all is lost anymore."
Additional reporting by Arthur Delaney.
Just some of the odd foreclosure stories of the last year:
CT Family Never Missed A Payment see Occupy Your Home for Full story, pictures and slide shows
Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa of Connecticut were threatened with foreclosure by Bank of America after never missing a payment. BofA mistakenly told credit agencies they were seeking a loan modification. "Now I am literally and financially paying for it," Baitch told

Comment   See all comments

I think it's a pretty neat gambit to have "visions" that are exactly the same as the ones major companies would pay you for which to lobby Congressional leaders. You could actually say you weren't a lobbyist, couldn't you? Let's see how Newt explains his non-lobbying visions below.

Jim Hightower | The Deep Shallowness of Professor Gingrich

Jim Hightower, Op-Ed: “Channeling his inner Ebenezer, the Newt recently called America’s child labor laws ‘truly stupid,’ adding with Dickensian glee that he would fire school janitors and have low-income 9-year-olds do that work. Really? The top GOP contender for president of the U.S.A. actually advocates turning poor school kids into janitors? Why, yes, explained the former professor. ‘Start with the following two facts,’ he lectured at an Iowa campaign stop.”

Mea culpa, I mis­spoke, my bad — I stand cor­rected.

In past com­men­taries, I have called Newt Gin­grich a lob­by­ist. Ap­par­ently, he hates that tag, even though he has in­deed got­ten very wealthy by tak­ing big bucks from such spe­cial in­ter­est out­fits as IBM, As­traZeneca, Mi­crosoft and Siemens in ex­change for help­ing them get fa­vors from fed­eral and state gov­ern­ments. But Gin­grich, his lawyers and staff adamantly in­sist that it's rude and crude to call him a lob­by­ist. No-no, they bark, The Newt is — ta-da! — "a vi­sion­ary."

Major cor­po­ra­tions, they ex­plain, pay up to $200,000 a year to the cor­rupt for­mer-House speaker's pol­icy cen­ter, seek­ing noth­ing more from Newt than the sheer priv­i­lege of bathing in the sooth­ing en­light­en­ment of his trans­for­ma­tive vi­sion. Also, as the man him­self con­stantly re­minds every­one, he has a Ph By-God D. So he's "Dr. Newt," the cer­ti­fied vi­sion­ary.

Yet the sales pitch to lure po­ten­tial cor­po­rate clients to his cen­ter makes crys­tal clear that the vi­sion­ary ser­vices he of­fers en­tail pre­cisely doing what (ex­cuse the term) lob­by­ists do. For ex­am­ple, the cen­ter brags that Newt has "con­tacts at the high­est lev­els" of gov­ern­ment, and that being a pay­ing cus­tomer "in­creases your chan­nels of input to de­ci­sion mak­ers." One cor­po­rate chief­tain who hired the well-con­nected Wash­ing­ton in­sider for $7,500 a month (plus giv­ing him stock op­tions) says that Gin­grich "made it very clear to us that he does not lobby, but that he could di­rect us to the right places in Wash­ing­ton."

So, Mr. DoNot­CallMeALob­by­ist is, in fact, sell­ing his gov­ern­ment con­tacts and ped­dling his po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence. But he does not lobby. In­stead, we're told that he di­rects, makes calls, arranges meet­ings, opens doors — and, of course, has vi­sions.

I'm glad we got that cleared up. From now on, I'll call Newt what he is: a Wash­ing­ton in­flu­ence-ped­dler. Yes, that's much bet­ter.

These days, Gin­grich is hav­ing vi­sions of sug­arplums danc­ing in his head.

As you prob­a­bly know, he's the lat­est front-run­ner for the Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

But he has also adopted a the­atri­cal pose ap­pro­pri­ate for this Christ­mas sea­son — not as the bright star in the East guid­ing the Wise Men to the Bib­li­cal manger, nor as jolly ol' St. Nick bring­ing joy to chil­dren every­where. No, no, Newt has cast him­self as Scrooge. Only scroo­gier.

Chan­nel­ing his inner Ebenezer, the Newt re­cently called Amer­ica's child labor laws "truly stu­pid," adding with Dick­en­sian glee that he would fire school jan­i­tors and have low-in­come 9-year-olds do that work. Re­ally? The top GOP con­tender for pres­i­dent of the U.S.A. ac­tu­ally ad­vo­cates turn­ing poor school kids into jan­i­tors?

Why, yes, ex­plained the for­mer pro­fes­sor. "Start with the fol­low­ing two facts," he lec­tured at an Iowa cam­paign stop. "Re­ally poor chil­dren in re­ally poor neigh­bor­hoods have no habits of work­ing and have no­body around them who works. So they lit­er­ally have no habit of show­ing up on Mon­day. ... They have no habit of 'I do this, and you give me cash' — un­less it's il­le­gal." Thus, speaketh the vi­sion­ary, chain 'em to mop and teach the lit­tle raga­muffins about life.

Did I men­tion that this guy is a can­di­date for pres­i­dent? Of the United States? In 2012, not in 1812?

Dr. Newt is a clus­ter-bomb of ig­no­rance. First, three out of four poor adults work, and most poor chil­dren are in house­holds with at least one of their par­ents show­ing up every Mon­day for a job.

And Gin­grich's con­de­scend­ing im­pli­ca­tion that poverty equals bad morals is not only wrong, but fright­en­ing shal­low, elit­ist, out-of-touch, clue­less, stu­pid ... and, well, Scro­ogy.

If the pro­fes­sor wants to see bad morals in ac­tion, he shouldn't be look­ing down on poor peo­ple, but point­ing up at Wall Streeters and CEOs who're prof­it­ing by cre­at­ing more poor peo­ple. But Newt's not about to point them out — just days after he trashed "re­ally poor chil­dren," he scooted up to Wall Street drag­ging a sock for cam­paign do­na­tions.

The ques­tion for Re­pub­li­cans is, do you re­ally want to nom­i­nate Scrooge for pres­i­dent?


TONY said...

I suppose it doesn't matter who the GOPers elect as a candidate. It's a wall to wall grotesquerie. O will win anyway. Not for positive reasons I'm afraid.

Suzan said...

Don't you think the Rethug candidate clowns have played into Obama's reelection plans a little too finely?

Almost as if they want him to be reelected, isn't it?

And considering what he's willing to do to all the safety net programs in name of "compromise," . . . really not surprising anymore.

He was picked by them.

As a matter of fact, I don't doubt that Koch money is heavy in the Obama coffers.