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Intro: "A well-known DC lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program 'Up w/ Chris Hayes.' The memo proposes to pay the firm to conduct 'opposition research' on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct 'negative narratives' about the protests and allied politicians."

Occupy Oakland Supporters rally at the Oakland Public Library before attempting to march back to Ogawa Plaza, where they had been evicted hours earlier, 10/25/11. (photo: Marc Ash/RSN)
Occupy Oakland Supporters rally at the Oakland Public Library before attempting to march back to Ogawa Plaza, where they had been evicted hours earlier, 10/25/11. (photo: Marc Ash/RSN)

Memo: DC Lobbying Firm Spells Out Plan to Undermine OWS

By Jonathan Larsen and Ken Olshansky, MSNBC TV

20 November 11


Lobbyists plan to use big money to thwart Occupy Wall Street and politician sympathizers. -- NFM/RSN

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns

well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program "Up w/ Chris Hayes."

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC's clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC's memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct "opposition research" on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct "negative narratives" about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, "This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. ... It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye."

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA's biggest concern. "... (T)he bigger concern," the memo says, "should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies."

Two of the memo's authors, partners Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, previously worked for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Geduldig joined CLGC before Boehner became speaker; Cranford joined CLGC this year after serving as the speaker's assistant for policy. A third partner, Steve Clark, is reportedly "tight" with Boehner, according to a story by Roll Call that CLGC features on its website.

Jeff Sigmund, an ABA spokesperson, confirmed that the association got the memo. "Our Government Relations staff did receive the proposal - it was unsolicited and we chose not to act on it in any way," he said in a statement to "Up."

CLGC did not return calls seeking comment.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on the memo. But he responded to its characterization of Republicans as defenders of Wall Street by saying, "My understanding is that President Obama is the single largest recipient of donations from Wall Street."

On "Up" Saturday, Obama campaign adviser Anita Dunn responded by saying that the majority of the president's re-election campaign is fueled by small donors. She rejected the suggestion that the president himself is too close to Wall Street, saying "If that's the case, why were tough financial reforms passed over party line Republican opposition?"

The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry -- that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party. "Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism," the memo says. "... This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season."

The memo outlines a 60-day plan to conduct surveys and research on OWS and its supporters so that Wall Street companies will be prepared to conduct a media campaign in response to OWS. Wall Street companies "likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause," according to the memo. "A big challenge is to demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost."

Part of the plan CLGC proposes is to do "statewide surveys in at least eight states that are shaping up to be the most important of the 2012 cycle."

Specific races listed in the memo are US Senate races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada as well as the gubernatorial race in North Carolina.

The memo indicates that CLGC would research who has contributed financial backing to OWS, noting that, "Media reports have speculated about associations with George Soros and others."

"It will be vital," the memo says, "to understand who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show that they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way."

Jonathan Larsen is executive producer of "Up w/ Chris Hayes"; Ken Olshansky is a producer for the show. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+10 # Siver Spoon 2011-11-20 13:59
Could it be true that so far Obama is Occupy's only victim?
+47 # Virginia 2011-11-20 14:05
Isn't that a bit of irony? Our public tax dollars in bailout funds used to scare politicians from protecting the us (the public). Hope they budgeted enough to rig the elections because just putting up 2 lame Presidential figureheads isn't going to protect Congress... Especially the House of Representatives .
+5 # William Bjornson 2011-11-21 12:23
Virginia 1) We have just seen the first small salvo from the other side from mayor bloomerbag: BOMBER! (Look! A squirrel!). The fbi (f'ing bad idea), last year, ran a clear domestic terrorism op against Portland, Oregon because Portland was the only city in the U.S. to refuse to join the JTTF and lose control of all of its emergency responders whenever homeland security feels like taking over. A propaganda war is not what will happen next. There may be actual bombings and other false flag ops that kill people. If the ops are not directly against boardrooms and the ilk of the kotches (please) and popes and bloomerbags, you can be confident they are 'special ops' of the right to discredit OWS and, of course, loosen the bowels of so many craven Americans. These scum would not hesitate to clear even more NYC real estate if they felt any serious threat to their dominance and could expect the same white wash given to the last such exercise by their paid servants in our government. (con’t)
+6 # William Bjornson 2011-11-21 12:26
2) As much as Gandhi might live in our souls, we are not facing a worn out old empire which has depleted itself of its most vital people in two mass butcheries. The old style 'bloody brits' would have simply machine-gunned Gandhi and all his followers if necessary, but the brits had already defeated themselves. Not so here. Do you think the nypd would have any problem with a live fire exercise on OWS? I don't. And let's poopcan the term 'revolution'. It's a negative term for so many. Vive la Restoration! Death to greed...
+52 # LessSaid 2011-11-20 14:27
Only one problem with the lobbying firm memo, anyone found to be supportive of OWS will be a hero not a zero.
+15 # genierae 2011-11-21 07:49
LessSaid: Haven't you heard that the American people have turned against OWS, possibly because of Republican propaganda, or its just too disruptive when so many people's lives are turning upside down. Millions of Americans are facing terrible conditions in their personal lives and they see no immediate solution in the protests. Its hard to be patient when you're losing your home and your children don't have enough to eat. As for me, I pray that the OWS protests continue as long as necessary. They are working, that's why the 1% are so desperate to suppress them. Bless them and give them strength!!
+31 # Bruce Gruber 2011-11-20 14:34
The apparent and unsworn claim by the ABA is that this offer was unsolicited. Two real follow-up questions might be:
1. Was this the only offer ABA received? (Or is this a competitive marketing ploy?)and to CLGC
2. Is this the only offer you extended? (If not, who else was solicited?)
+80 # George Kennedy 2011-11-20 14:35
There are reports that Senator Scott Brown (R.Mass) is the single largest recipient of Wall Street campaign funds of any sitting Member of the Senate. Members of both parties receive campaign funds but it is the Republican Party that values the interests of Wall Street over the interests of the country and have been willing to see a President brought down and an economy collapse to preserve the interests of the 1 percent. If there is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street, it has to be the Republican Party on Capitol Hill.
+77 # Barbara K 2011-11-20 14:38
We, the citizens of this country, already know how hard the occupy movement is working for US. Anything the greedy baboons come up with will be just tossed out for the trash it will be. Let them waste their money, we already know the truth, it won't be what they are spewing.


Go Occupiers, we stand with you.
+9 # jbell94521 2011-11-20 22:53
I agree with you. However, I must ask: How do we stop the Democrats from caving in at the least little hint of opposition to following the promises they made to us so that we would vote for them? Unless we can find a way to do that, we must get behind a 3rd party that is well seperated from both the Republicans and the Democrats. For at least the last 40 years the Democrats have done a terrible job of representing the 99%. They have pretty much been "Republican Lite".
+18 # Barbara K 2011-11-21 06:43
The best way is to support the Dems. Remember that they are up against some really highly paid entities, like the Koch Bastards and Roving Rove. Besides that, the Republican/Tbag gers don't want Obama or us to succeed in anything. They block everything they can that would help US, the citizens. Haven't voted for a single thing that would help US. They are so indebted to the devils they serve that they don't give a crap what happens to us. We must take away their control before we have nothing left to fight for. They are even manipulating the votes. I'm sure you know what I am talking about. Show support for the Dems so they know we are behind them, they are against a formidable enemy of the people and this country.

-4 # disgusted American 2011-11-23 02:05
Barbara K, You are an Obama apologist which means you aren't paying attention to what he says and does. He uses the Republicans as his scapegoat. i.e., Today he said the Super Committee didn't succeed b/c Republicans only wanted tax cuts for the wealthy.

He lied. Obama extended those tax cuts fairly recently. Do you have selective amnesia? Obama is a torturer and a war monger. No different than Bush. He also wants to cut SS, Medicare, Medicaid and privitize all.

Democrats dine at the same trough as Republicans while they all play good cop, bad cop.

Wake up!

DON"T VOTE FOR OBAMA OR DEMOCRATS! Same crapola, different party.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-23 13:45
Who will you be voting for instead?
+2 # Billy Bob 2011-11-24 08:21
It's an honest question. What's the backup plan?
+12 # jbell94521 2011-11-20 23:04
Here is a fundamental problem that no one is addressing: All of U.S. currency except for coins, which comprise less than one ten-thousandth of the currency is created out of thin air by private banks. They then lend it to the Federal Government and to us, the 99%. We are left to pay the interest for both of these loans. As long as private banks create the currency, they will always have the ability to manipulate the ecomony to their interests and to ensure that we remain their slaves, in fact if not in name. Mayer Rothchild, founder of The House Of Rothchild, one of the largest and most powerful banks in human history, as far back as the 1700s said that, "Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws."

We must unite to take this always abused power away from all banks and give it back to the people. Otherwise we will always be enslaved to the banks.

In case you are not aware of what I am talking about here, or maybe not sure if what I am saying is true, check this out:
+28 # abeitling 2011-11-20 14:51
So the propaganda campaign is on its way. Time to let it all hang out. Bring on the media wars, should be interesting. Wondering who if any will be left standing :). Do they dare to really go there? I hope so.
+91 # Billy Bob 2011-11-20 14:54

This is what the right-wing has been doing SO effectively for the past 30 years. If we don't have an answer to this sort of manipulation, we can expect more of the same outcomes. isn't enough. Neither is assuming that everyone realizes what conservatives are up to.
+7 # CL38 2011-11-21 09:52
John Dean's book, "Conservatives without Conscience" is easy to read for fascinating insight about the character, motivation and intentions of those on the right.
+29 # mgurney 2011-11-20 14:54
I wish politicians and their spokespeople would stop insulting our intelligence. There isn't an elected official who can make accusations that one or another gets more Wall Street bribes over any other. It only varies based on which party is currently in power. According to Open Boehner ranks right up there with all the rest of them:
+32 # CL38 2011-11-20 15:14
We need our best minds to come together and develop a plan and strategy for dealing with this -- one that includes getting the word out about what the right intends to do to counter and discredit OWS.

Let's be first and disable their plan of action.
+9 # wantrealdemocracy 2011-11-20 15:51
This plan for the bankers is to put more pressure on our elected officials. We know our elected officials are VERY attentive to bribes. Best plan for our movement to survive is to throw out the current congress---that is DO NOT VOTE FOR THE RE ELECTION OF ANY OF THEM!! Do not pay attention to the political party. Vote based on the voting record and all the mess we are in in due to the corrupt Congress who vote for the wars, the banksters, the tax cuts for the rich and best of all, the coming 'austerity' plan for screwing us with no compassion. Want to change the policies of our government? Throw out the corrupt and let's start over.
+13 # Merschrod 2011-11-20 17:14
The data on voting records is Here:
and here
“That’s My Congress,”
And on the financial sources
+1 # Felix Julian 2011-11-20 21:16
Absolutely agree 100%-RE ELECT NO ONE!! We must flush that huge toilet called CONgress and begin anew. And guys like the ridiculous Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul waiting in the wings have had their go at it. They must be sent packing. Then- TERM LIMITS. No more career politicians allowed. If you can't fix things after two tries- you are done!
+88 # Cactusman 2011-11-20 15:27
"The bigger problem is not that Democrats might win elections, but that Republicans will stop defending Wall Street." (paraphrase)

That right there is the heart of the issue, and it is the weakest link in the chain eventually. If there is one place to start filing at the chain, that's it. Make it politically toxic for Republicans to stand up for the 1% at the relentless expense of the 99%.

We can do this.
+27 # BradFromSalem 2011-11-20 16:50

Well put. My thoughts exactly.
+27 # arachneabroad 2011-11-20 16:56
Elegantly put Cactusman.
The vulnerability of WS is exposure of their unchecked greed.
When the mainstream press asks about the goals of the Occupy Movement the answer is simple: Throwing off the chains that subjugate the planet and 99.99% of its inhabitants to the unchecked greed and imorality of Wall Street + Co.
+23 # Stephanie Remington 2011-11-20 16:58
Exactly. It's apparently already getting that way -- hence the massive police responses against peaceful demonstrators around the country.
+19 # Merschrod 2011-11-20 17:17
Yes, we can do this, work on your tea party friends to squeeze out the defenders of big finance, or to make them fear supporting bankers like they fear raising taxes!!!
+26 # bigkahuna671 2011-11-20 18:21
Right on, Cactusman. Make the GOP pay by showing up and voting, no matter how many roadblocks to voting they put up. Elect people of integrity, not clowns like Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Kyl, and Brown. In fact, we need to dump the faux Dems in the Senate and make them pay for their support of Big Biz and opposition to anything that helps the 99% of Americans. Let's say goodbye to all of them and tell them to watch out for the door hitting them on the butt on the way out!
+39 # Gootarama 2011-11-20 15:30
Does any of this shock anyone? Of course not. Whenever one feels threatened the first reaction is always to counter-attack. The Corporatists, especially the banking industry, investment and commercial, is the target of middle class angst as exemplified by the rapid growth of the OWS movement. Since there are no specific demands to respond to, the lobbyists take a page out of the Lee Atwood Playbook to besmerch the motives of the OWSers. "Swift boating" OWS won't work. The Corporatists have the money, influence and power, OWS speaks truth to power and is gaining momentum and people are waking up to the injustices of the controlling interests. There are more of us than them and we VOTE!! We like the Tea Baggers want our country for us to share ideas.
+36 # Politicalprincess 2011-11-20 15:48
The company doing the study,Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave,NW,Suite 750 S,Washington, D.C. 20004 (202) 628-0028
Fax: (202) 628-2589 Email: is the corporate arm of Speaker of the House John Boehner, All of the partners, Steve Clark, Gary Lyte, Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford have worked either directly or indirectly for Beohner. Therefore John Beohner and his Party of the 1% is using his political muscle to try to shut down Occupy.
+23 # jwb110 2011-11-20 16:00
This is the brilliance of the OWS. We don't need any of the three branches of the gov't involved. They are superfluos. They don't matter anymore. We don't need the financial industry. They can throw money at what they perceive to be the problem and threaten politicians and each other. It doesn't matter. They are playing with each other.

OWS just stood up and said, stop be abusing the Democracy that you do not own.
+50 # michelle 2011-11-20 16:07
The 1% is nervous now let's move them to scared. We need a list of candidates they are targeting and a list of candidates they are supporting.

The pitiful thing is this: just do the right thing, fairness, equality, bring back jobs, pay your fair share, stop wasting money on wars. Put the people first and we will all be okay. It's not rocket science 1%.
-40 # Joeconserve 2011-11-20 16:20
Just out of curiosity, how many of the 330 million Americans support OWS? What is the basis of your calculation?
+19 # opinionaire 2011-11-20 16:55
This is one.
+32 # BradFromSalem 2011-11-20 16:56

The OWS can back up their claim that of representing 99% of the population. Of course, not all the 99% back the OWS; but popularity does not make one correct. In fact if 100% of the 99% agreed with the OWS, then there would be no need for OWS to exist. In fact one of their mission goals is to educate enough of the 99% so that OWS is no longer needed.

OWS actually stands for something unlike the vapid teaparty. They made unsubstantiated claims. Their websites are full of bluster without any information or background. They will not even let people join their discussion groups unless they are vetted first. You call that democracy?
+17 # Merschrod 2011-11-20 17:05
Well, Joe, the more important question is what % of the citizens have the same complaints and want similar changes. OWS just like the Tea Party are just the tip of the populist iceberg. That is, they both are different ways of expressing the conclusion that the system is not serving the people. There will probably be other movements.
-46 # Joeconserve 2011-11-20 18:09
There is no comparison to be made between the OWS and the Tea Party. When the Tea Party met in groups there was no need to power wash the place where they met. A lot can be extrapolated from those who have no concern for cleanliness or require police interaction to maintain order. The OWS could made its case the same way as the Tea Party but chose to incite those around them.

The system I used to obtain what I needed to live a useful and happy life involved working for a living, respecting others, doing a good job, volenteered to defend my country, going to church, and other efforts an individual can do. I did not need to depend on the government to achieve my goals. Oh yea, I used the highways that Eisenhower got built.

Everytime I think of the OWS the French Revolution and the Jacobites come to mind.
+29 # Felix Julian 2011-11-20 21:04
When the TP met or rallied many of their "law-abiding", squeaky-clean members were packing heat- of COURSE there wasn't any police interaction! The cops understood the threat. The cesspool from which you are suctioning the tired accusations of filth and violence are like a broken record to those of us forced to listen to the nauseating "holier-than-th ou" script Especially when the truth is being photographed and videod. Pictures being worth a thousand words and all.
+39 # Ken Hall 2011-11-20 21:51
Joe, you're an arrogant son of a gun if you think you're the only guy who works hard for a living. Thank your lucky stars you're doing okay. Others on this thread are plenty bright, work hard, and do the right things. Wake up, look around! So much of the money in this economy has been sucked up by the rich that many hard-working, straight-shooti ng folks can't make ends meet. OWS isn't asking the gov't to support them, they're asking for a level playing field! I dare say that most folks on this thread don't resent others being rich, but they do resent it when the rich use their money in politically corrupt ways and tilt the game their way. There is plenty of evidence for this. The economic collapse that robbed so many while enriching the few was the result of fraud and chicanery and the political corruption that made it possible and gave it a free pass from criminal prosecution. You're right about one thing, the OWS and the TP bear little resemblance, thank goodness!
+19 # Billy Bob 2011-11-20 23:09
Thank you for that beautiful reply to the tee-partier assigned to respond to this article. I don't expect he'll actually read it, but it's nice to read the truth anyway.
-21 # Joeconserve 2011-11-21 10:48
Yea, it's those rich people who did it. Shame on Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Steven Jobs (rest his soul) and all those other people who got up in the morning and went to work.

Luck had nothing to do with where I am. And, that's not arrogance.
+14 # conniejo 2011-11-21 16:23
Joe - You may be wrong to believe that luck had nothing to do with where you are. Did you start out life with two strikes against you? Do you have a black face that makes some people fear you or assume you are ignorant or a criminal? Were you unable to sleep nights because of shooting & violence in your neighborhood? Were you starving when you went to school, making it impossible to concentrate on learning? Were you turned away from jobs because of some personal characteristic or life experience over which you had no control? Did you ever have to decide between giving up a job that barely pays the rent & utilities or giving up your self-respect to a boss that preyed on women with few options? If you have never experienced these or other of the myriad situations that present barriers to success & self-reliance, I think that luck had VERY MUCH to do with where you are. It isn't Gates and Buffet that we blame; they actually earned their money producing something of value, as I presume you did. This economic collapse was brought about by speculators whose only goal was to make money for themselves by creating nothing of value, but rather by duping others into buying toxic securities that they knew were worthless. Soros and Jobs did not game the system; Wall Street brokers and big bank and investment firm CEOs did. And they have not been made to answer for that, & that's wrong.
+13 # Ken Hall 2011-11-21 23:26
It's not arrogance to put in some hard work and get gratifying results, but it is arrogant to think you're the only one who did so, or that you're the only one who wants that opportunity. But luck did have something to do it. 90% of family bankruptcies are caused by major illnesses. How many of those would it take to send your family over the edge? So don't think that luck doesn't matter, or that you did it all by yourself. You most likely got a decent education in a public school, as I did. That's not a given anymore, schools have been underfunded and are in disarray. I drive around the northeast, where I live, and see the infrastructure in shambles. Bridges are rusting, roads are potholed, schools are old and inadequate, lacking in technology and supplies. And when you laud the rich, how about Joseph Cassano, who became a multimillionair e by making all those Credit Default Swaps at AIG? He became a very rich man by tanking the company he worked for. BTW, he's still on the AIG payroll, making a million a month as a consultant. I've often said that ignorance can be a willful choice.
+22 # genierae 2011-11-21 08:07
Joeconserve: "going to church" doesn't seem to be having any good affect on you, does it? Jesus was a man of the people, a true liberal, and his best friends were the unwashed poor. He knew their lives were a living hell, and his greatest joy was to lift them up with his "unconditional" love. He did not judge them, he loved them. And he shared everything he had with them. He died because those in the "establishment" were too selfish to care about him.

Oh ye hypocrites, how long must we endure ye?
-20 # Joeconserve 2011-11-21 10:31
To be clear, the OWS going after the people of wall street are not judgemental, correct? They are also qualified to throw the first stone, I take it.
+11 # Billy Bob 2011-11-21 22:35
To be clear, the first stone was thrown at the rest of us a few decades ago. Ninety-nine percent of us REALLY ARE qualified to keep the other one percent in check. You're not one of those conservatives who believes in "personal responsibility" , I take it. To be clear, if you were, you'd accept that the other one percent bears some responsibility for its actions.
+22 # conniejo 2011-11-21 10:45
Joe - Like you, I achieved my happy life by working for a living, respecting others, doing a good job, defending my country. Unlike you I suspect, I grew up on welfare & made it out of my 'hood only because a teacher saw promise in me & made it his business to see that I went to college. I worked to pay for most of it but also received govt grants. Today, but for that teacher & govt support, I would be just another unemployed worker in my small city where all the factories have closed & hopelessness reigns. Instead, I happily pay (a substantial amount of) taxes to support my country & ALL the people in it. Everyone dreams of having your happy, useful life. Most people don't covet the Lexus, 10-room house, or expensive jewelry. All they want is a job where they can work hard & be rewarded fairly so they can take care of their families & not have to worry about being wiped out because of catastrophic health problems or their employer sending his business overseas. Like me, most people will become happy, productive citizens that contribute to everyone's well-being if they are given the hand-up that they need. How nice for you if you never needed that, but that's not the story for most people in our country now. The assumption that those who are crying out for a fair shake are lazy and unwilling to work for what they need is unfair. Give them a decent job & see what happens.
-20 # Joeconserve 2011-11-21 12:58
It is the teachers, family, friends, community support groups drawing people and funds from the community that are the important ways a person in need gets what they need beyond what they are able to do on their own. I don't see you using words such as entitlement or government support in how you made it. The core of one's situation depends primarily on what the individual can do. There should not be an expectation of being owed anything particularly from the government. If the time comes that someone needs support beyond their situation then that support comes from family first expanding out to community support. It does not begin at the government level. As I watch the OWS people I see mostly handout seekers. There are more than 300 million of us making it work primarily through our own effort cooperating with each other.
+11 # Cactusman 2011-11-21 14:45
What you "see" is "handout seekers", huh? What I see is people who want a fair chance, like ConnieJo. Those who have benefited most from the way our society is organized have the greatest responsibility to help assist others, if in no other way than to stop always getting in the way and protecting their own narrow self-interests.

Wanna see handout seekers? Go look at the Big Bank Bailout recipients. The same billions in handouts to keep a handful of corporate bigwigs solvent and enable them retain hegemony over the system that entraps all the rest of us could have helped millions of more typical people. Which would really have been better for society and the economy?

I am not advocating free handouts to everyone. But surely there are ones more deserving and more needy than the wealthiest people on the planet? I can think of better uses for that money. Can you, JoeConserve?

OWS is about restructuring society and our political process in a more equitable way, among other things. It is not about looking for a free ride. It is about ensuring fairness and equality under the law, including the Constitution, and removing (or at least reducing) the corrupting influence of hyper-wealth and immoral control of the entire economy by a plutocracy. Among other things - OWS has more than one goal in mind.
-12 # Joeconserve 2011-11-21 16:27
ConnieJo is already successful.

It was Lynn Anderson who sang the song to her boyfriend, "I didn't promise you a rose garden." Life is not fair. Our writers of the Declaration of Indepence recognized that when they said the entitlements we have are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution speaks not of fairness but establishing a more perfect union. That requires work to achieve. It does not require entitlements or government handouts to achieve. Finally, I recommend the book "Who Really Cares" by Arthur C. Brooks.
+10 # Billy Bob 2011-11-21 22:39
It's a good thing OWS is willing to put the work in for helping to achieve that more perfect union.

You seem to be doing a lot of complaining about how "unfair" it is that the rest of us have a say in how this country is run. Life isn't always just either. We're working on making it atleast a little bit more just in this country.
+11 # conniejo 2011-11-21 16:01
Joe- True; I don't use words like "entitlement" to describe how I made it. Such words are used by people who never have walked in the shoes of those who are hurting. I went to college with the help of govt grants --"handouts," for which the govt has earned back from me a thousand-fold or more on its investment. Not all people have family, friends, or community support groups on which to rely, and many community groups simply don't have the resources. Most people aren't seeking that kind of help; they want jobs, which is not something family, friends, or support groups can provide. If you see mostly "handout seekers," you haven't spoken to the OWS folks and heard their stories. I spoke with dozens in D.C., hard-working people who believe in the American way and who can't understand why, after working hard and being good, they are vilified for asking for a break when they have encountered difficult times. One 60-something woman whose pension fund was wiped out by Wall Street speculation has moved to Costa Rica because she cannot afford to live in the US on social "security." One woman, who was "downsized" when her company sent jobs overseas, sold everything to start a small beach business on the Gulf Coast only to be wiped out by the oil spill. People will pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but first they need the bootstraps. That's what I want my govt to provide.
+9 # Cactusman 2011-11-21 19:22
Apparently one of the problems we have in discussing stuff with JoeConserve here is the definition of the word "handout". Providing a low-cost or interest-free school loan from a government source isn't a handout in my book - it's an investment in the future of young people, and a leveling of the playing field to free up opportunity to succeed.

Many lower-income students have no chance to better their lives or achieve even a modest realization of the "American Dream" without some sort of help like this. They would instead revolve around for another generation in painful, boring dead end work and poverty, which perpetuates itself yet again into the generation beyond that.

I don't understand how some people can't grasp that there are plenty of individuals in our nation who literally DO NOT HAVE the opportunity to better their lives. They either don't know the pathways exist (an issue of education and being informed) or they can't afford it (an issue of economic unjustness.) As ConnieJo says, some people do not have bootstraps.

Most people will, when offered a genuine chance, take it. This is especially true when they're still young and not so jaded by the system. I think investing in opportunities for such people pays great social dividends, over decades. I don't consider this a handout. It's a long-term investment strategy.
-11 # Joeconserve 2011-11-21 20:38
I finished college under the GI Bill. In both yours and my case we had to perform the task of finishing college otherwise we would have lost the grant. That is much different from a handout. President Clinton revised the welfare program by requiring those on welfare to find work or lose their benefit. The result was a reduction of people on welfare. Those people you talked to are not the ones I see on TV. (I recognize that TV finds the most reactionary situation but I look beyond the focus of the cameras and see much more.) I'm with you on their needing help. I spent a lot of time in Russia and saw how a controling government decimated the Russian people. I equate OWS to those who were in control in Russia during the Soviet time.
+9 # Cactusman 2011-11-21 22:35
Joe, what would it take to get you to stop painting everyone at OWS with such a broad, indiscriminate brush? Can't you do better than this?

Maybe you can allow for the fact that while there are perhaps some people you don't like or respect at OWS, that there are many others you'd consider respectable who are protesting the inequity perpetuated by the wealthiest people in America and the politicians they purchase? That they recognize the fact that the political process in America has been corrupted by power and money and horrific Supreme Court decisions, and want to do something about it?

Dude, quit the stereotyping. I highly doubt that you've "looked beyond the cameras" and actually attended an OWS protest to talk with a good cross-section of the people there. You're coming off as ideologically blinkered, and I don't think there's much to admire about that.
+8 # Billy Bob 2011-11-21 22:43
"Those people you talked to are not the ones I see on TV."

That one sentence speaks VOLUMES. You've accidentally revealed why you're having such a hard time understanding the facts.
+12 # Ken Hall 2011-11-21 23:40
If you're so concerned about welfare, which is and was only a small percentage of GDP, why do you, apparently, condone corporate welfare, which results in billions of taxpayer money going to mega-profitable corporation?. GE didn't pay any taxes last year and even got a rebate, BoA didn't pay any taxes last year. Both companies made record-breaking profits last year! This is part of what OWS is protesting. The US has been taken over by corporations, and We The People need to take it back. OWS is in the forefront of that struggle.
-1 # Regina 2011-11-20 22:26
The turnouts!!!!!
+11 # Billy Bob 2011-11-21 09:14
The "calculation" applies to the percentage of people affected by policy.

Do you honestly think MORE than 1% were helped out by the oil wars for profit, or the bank bailouts? Far LESS than 1% would be more accurate.

We can't help the fact that about 20% of the population will agree with the tee-off-party even if they don't belong to the country club where the scheme was first hatched.

The 99% movement can only speak for people actually paying attention.
+33 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-20 16:24
Lobbying, as a profession, might have been (at one time) considered an honorable pursuit. As a collective group they were, and are, a “paid voice” of special interest concerns. They are, by design, legislative mercenaries. But even warring mercenaries have their own set of ethics. That’s no longer the case with lobbyists. They are harlot prostitutes, who obviously have no scruples, no societally accepted principles, no qualms, no compunctions … and evidently no regrets as long as the miscreant malfeasant of Wall Street and Corporatocracy continue to hand out their prostituted money. I dare say that lobbyists do not know, nor care, what democracy is … they do not waste one whit of time wondering where their personal conscience might be found. How an elected official – who Americans used to hold in high esteem – can even speak to one of these gutter dwelling individuals is beyond me – for they reek of corruption, they wallow in opulent excesses, and they have sold their souls to the God of Greed.
+45 # angelfish 2011-11-20 16:25
Does anyone else find it strange and really hilarious that these sleazy Bast**ds just CAN'T function without trying to stacking the deck? Manipulation is the name of their game, NEVER doing ANYTHING on the up and up! We are on to them and will Vote accordingly! The People, UNITED will NEVER be defeated! Justice WILL be served on Election Day 2012!
-23 # Joeconserve 2011-11-20 16:47
Yes, it will!!!
+20 # Billy Bob 2011-11-20 20:30
Even though that's what you're afraid of.
-15 # Joeconserve 2011-11-21 16:50
I have faith in the American people! OWS does not represent the American people.
+11 # Billy Bob 2011-11-21 18:02
Only 99% of the American public. Your faith is with the other 1%.
+15 # Merschrod 2011-11-20 17:10
El Pueblo Unido jamás será vencido! Ok, Angle, I'll buy that, but the problem is unifying the people. The forces that be will always try to divide and conquor - hence the Tea PArty vs. OWS. The culture war needs sign a truce and focus on the economic travesty that has be foisted on us all.
+10 # daveapostles 2011-11-20 16:47
Presumably this partnership mistakenly assumes that OWS people are sleazeballs like themselves. They obviously lack any sense of morality. CLGC - remember what happened to News Corp/News International - just take the lesson.
+13 # seeuingoa 2011-11-20 16:53
Please google:

Naomi Wolf 10 steps towards fascism
+8 # Merschrod 2011-11-20 17:01
The intersection of the Tea Party and OWS populist movements. This is an interesting area that the TP and OWS should bridge and focus on. Populists have, historically, been anti-big bank, big business and also anti the corruption of congress by moneyed interests.

How to set aside the culture war some TP and OWS members and concentrate on the economic machine that oppresses both the conservative and liberal common citizen? In that nexus is probably the establishment's worst fear.
+10 # HerbR 2011-11-20 17:11
It was just a matter of time before the whores of Wall Street bared their "assets" and offered them for sale, right ?
And it was only a matter of time before their "customers" made offers worthy of their beloved "marketplace "
Still, one doubts that the pros can satisfy the customers expectations this time. There are some things that money won't buy, or am I wrong about that ?
+16 # GeeRob 2011-11-20 17:47
I am smelling the scent of fear and that's a good thing.
-2 # boater1 2011-11-20 18:04
Of course in 2008 Obama got more from Wall St. After Bush II, among the very worst ever, how could he lose. It won't happen in 2012.
+20 # seefeellove 2011-11-20 18:26
In 2012, many of the 1%ers may back away from being viewed as a Republican or a conservative Democrat. Republicans and conservative Democrats identified as 1%ers or supporters of 1%ers need to be seen as such so that nobody will vote for them. For now, the 1%ers have lawyers, guns, and money, and pepper spray. By the way, pepper spray as an offensive action is torture. 99%ers will become the 100%ers when we live in a caring economy, which is absent of physical, emotional, and economic violence. The 99%ers message of human values is too big to stop (or fail).
+11 # Freedomnow 2011-11-20 20:48
We have let our humanity get so out of balance as to have such a gap between 99% of the people against the Elite OWS in the first place. Reminds me of Henry the 8th, and his reign. His way of thinking still remains today in the blueprint of our misguided leaders souls, some more then others. These days are numbered, and a new day is unfolding. We the people need to stand up as one, and stop giving in to the greed and control of the few rich Elite bankers, and take our lives back. I personally am sick of paying taxes, and watching the bankers use our money, then take all the land. What would happen if we all stop paying our taxes, or buying property from the banks? What if we all colsed our bank accounts? What if we all started to have our own gardens, and depended on each other to share in communities? What if we all opened our hearts to each other, and supported each other so we could sustain ourselves with no help from our Government. The big problem I see is they are making us sick so we can't work. Then if we get lucky, they give us a tiny amount of money and make us wait 2 years in some cases for Social Security medical benefits. I could go on, but the point is we need to make a choice to sustain life, or let the corruption continue and kill us off, possibly to extinction. I choose life and love to get me through. Go OWS with an open heart, in service for all humanity.
+15 # Phlippinout 2011-11-20 20:56
Its just like those scum bag lobbyists to spend a ton of money to infiltrate rather than help solve problems, That is why they should be outlawed.
+13 # Aussieken 2011-11-20 21:35
Let's look at an example of a Conservative. Who better an example than Winston Churchill. Here's some reasons why: "Here is a man, after all, who opposed votes for women and independence for India; who described Mahatma Gandhi as a "half-naked fakir" and Hindus as a "foul race"; laid the foundations for apartheid in South Africa; supported the compulsory sterilisation and segregation of the "feeble-minded" and the "insane"; accused Jews of being behind a "worldwide [Communist] conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation"; and, anticipating the crimes of Saddam Hussein more than 60 years later, said he didn't understand the "squeamishness about the use of gas . . . I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes [in Iraq]."

That's a Conservative.
+8 # michelle 2011-11-20 23:36
Here's a list of representatives who have signed the Grover Norquist tax pledge. Look for a representative near you. Takes a bit to load.
+9 # Paul Scott 2011-11-21 00:44
The minions of wealth will always furnish the lie to dispell the truth.

This is not news, to many of us, but expectation. There is none of us that want to see our negative history in print; and the one thing that will help getting through this kind of thing is to very leary of what is said and written.

Verify, verify, verify and make sure you know who the source is working for. Money has a very long arm.
+10 # genierae 2011-11-21 08:13
To any Ohioans who make it this far down in the comments: They are targeting Sherrod Brown in his run for reelection to the Senate. We must give him unflagging support, he is one of the best Senators in D.C. He has wisdom and strength of character. Someday he will make an excellent president!
0 # 666 2011-11-22 06:48
This blog is a perfect example of the conservative narrative the 99% face and must overcome to be successful. There's a point at which justice, reason, logic, and facts simply fail to convince these people. You can't use logic in an argument based on emotion (especially fear). People tend to act primarily for short-term benefits, yet this movement is concerned with long-term goals. Washington has spent so much effort over the past 40-50 years trying to divide us, that only a real crisis (we're not there yet) can possibly mobilize those controlled by fear and hate. Like the bumper sticker says: "I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom, you can keep the change".
+4 # Billy Bob 2011-11-22 11:20
I agree. But, I'm just as emotional in my beliefs as any conservative. I guess the difference is that, as you alluded, my arguments aren't BASED on emotion. I arrived at my opinions through thinking, but I'm just as emotional about those opinions because these issues affect the lives of real human beings whom many of us happen to love. I guess one of the differences between the conservative and liberal narratives is in who we're trying to protect. If I'm only really concerned with myself, I'm a conservative, etc.
+5 # Ken Hall 2011-11-22 12:09
Passion is definitely a part of getting things done, otherwise why do them? I read your posts, BB, with interest and almost always with approval, you've got your head on straight and your heart in the right place. Always pleased to see your name, among others I like, in the thread.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-22 14:48
Thank you. I definitely feel the same about your posts.
0 # Carlos33 2011-11-22 12:09
While this 'plan/rumor' is still on the back burner, it is soon to be on the books. (As soon as its approved.)

It's a plan to be 'sold to the highest bidder', on just how to "destroy the OWS Movement forever! And, without firing a shot..."

While I can't give you the gist of it all, I can give you a hint. "You can thank G.E. for this, & the Corp Media, for NOT saying a thing about it"!

What's the hint? "when the background readings exceed safe levels, any place, can be rendered a hazardous waste site."

And the back ground readings, have exceeded safe levels, for over 6 months, for most of North America & Canada.

BUT, will it backfire & "make the hornets, ONLY angrier"?!? By making Zucotti Park a hazardous waste site, the true owners, could get pissed!

But, is it better to be pissed off, than pissed on??
+6 # XXMD48 2011-11-22 16:25
To Joeconserve. I came 29 years ago as a refugee from eastern block (not the USSR).You seem to turning upside down your experience in Russia, but this is not surprise as many people saw what they wanted to see and now you apply your experience again upside down. OWS is a movement that will eventually liberate US, its constitution and people's rights, not the 1% defending their money stollen from the American people (mind you - working American people, not 1% working to STEAL money from the American people).
-5 # Joeconserve 2011-11-23 08:19
My reference to Russia and the OWS was a comparison to the government and OWS not the Russian people. I found the people to be just Americans in that they were hard working and family oriented. OWS is a "control group." They want to destroy but don't have a clue on how to build.
+3 # XXMD48 2011-11-23 13:35
To Joeconserve: Joe, you still don't get it. In the communistic regime over decades surfaced authoritarian monopoly of "red aristicrats". In 2011 in the US the equivalent to the autocratic red aristocrats from former communistic block is The 1%! Could you explain how OWS is suppose to destroy and control? Do you mean it might put under control the monopolized 1% wealth and power? It was the arrogant attitude with contempt for ordinary people that over the past decades the rich, powerful, the "brightest and most talented" developed to achieve today's economic and humanitarian disastrous condition of the US. OWS represents what big money can not buy - SIMPLE HUMAN DECENCY and hope for better future. Anyone who strives to remain decent, should support OWS! They are courageous and admirable.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-11-23 13:48
By "control group" I assume you're refering to the fact that they want to be controlled less.

Interesting what the conservative response has been to that "control group", don't you think?

By the way, don't you think the majority of citizens should have "control" over OUR government, rather than the other way around?

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