SIDEWALKING: Semper Fi, Brother


Marine manning the picket line at #OccupyWallStreet by TIM SCHREIER

SALON: The establishment press’s primary “problem” with the Occupy Wall Street protest is that those silly kids don’t have a concrete demand. Or they have too many demands. Or their demands aren’t realistic. This is silly. The movement’s “demand” is economic justice. Its goal is plainly to remind everyone that the bloated, obscenely profitable financial industry is sitting on vast piles of money while everyone else struggles, and to focus outrage about that situation where it belongs.[…] The solution, if I may take a page from the official Washington Grown-Ups’ Handbook, is tackling the national debt. Not the federal debt, though. The people’s debt. Household debt is at 90 percent of GDP. Any stimulus proposal — even “dropping money from helicopters” — would result in a massive transfer of money from indebted Americans to cash-engorged banks, rather than the spending spree that would theoretically put us back to work. […] So my immodest proposal is simply this: Individuals and households in the bottom 99 percent who owe debt to any large financial institution that received federal government support during and after the 2008 crisis should see their debt forgiven. That would certainly stimulate the economy, as most people would suddenly find themselves with a great deal more money to spend on iPads (and food, and clothing, and housing, and healthcare). The debt can be forgiven by decree or if the government really wants to it can step in to pay it itself; I don’t much care either way. (Though it’d be nice to see it just wiped off the books, to enrage the banks.) Let’s wipe the debt of the 99 percent off the books, tell the financial sector to eat it, and get on with our lives. MORE

PHILLY.COM: Protesters taking part in Occupy Philadelphia at City Hall got a surprise visitor overnight – Mayor Nutter. He Occupy_Philly_Bell.jpgemerged from City Hall about 1:15 a.m. and spent 15 or 20 minutes talking to protesters, answering their questions and having his picture taken with about 10 of them. “The things you’re talking about are the things I talk about every day,” said Nutter, speaking softly to a crowd of mostly young people eager to have their shot at talking to the mayor. The appearance won high praise from protesters, who launched Occupy Philadelphia Thursday to draw attention to what they see as the increasing imbalance between America’s rich and everybody else. “We live in one hell of a city when the mayor comes out at 1:30 a.m. in the morning to talk to his constituents,” Joshua Hupp, a Community College of Philadelphia student who helped prepare for Occupy Philadelphia, said after Nutter left. MORE

RELATED: The Philadelphia AFL-CIO Executive Board voted unanimously this week to issue a statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Here is the statement drafted as a result of that vote:”The Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. For too long, Corporate America has gotten rich through financial speculation, shady investment schemes, crooked mortgage deals, and systematically driving down the standard of living of American workers. When Wall Street’s bubble of greed finally burst, they came to the American people for a handout. Congress gave in to their demands, but we, the people whose taxes paid for their corporate welfare, are now facing the worst jobs crisis since the Great Depression, with no clear end in sight. “We applaud the courage and determination of the protesters in New York City and elsewhere who are demanding a government that is accountable to the American people, not to Corporate America, and an economy that serves the needs of the many, not those of the entitled few.”

Eric_Cantor_Clown_College.jpgTYPICAL: Eric Cantor used part of his address [to the Values Voter Summit]  to attack the Occupy Wall Street protests, and he condemned political leaders who are supporting them. “This administration’s failed policies have resulted in an assault on many of our nation’s bedrock principles,” he said. “If you read the newspapers today, I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country. And believe it or not, some in this town, have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans. But you sent us here to fight for you and all Americans.” But when he spoke at the Values Voter Summit in 2009, Cantor expressed a very different sentiment toward another movement that was arguably “pitting Americans against Americans” — the Tea Party. At that time, Cantor praised those protesters as “fighting on the fighting lines of what we know is a battle for our democracy. People are beginning to wake up and see a country they don’t really recognize,” said Cantor. MORE

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