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Monday, October 17, 2011

Matt Taibbi Suggests Occupy Wall Street Make Demands Soon

 As a blogger and supporter of  this movement, I have only one other demand to be made, and that is that the government repeals the Supreme Court decision allowing corporations to have the same rights as citizens. This Citizens United decision should be made illegal, and that all contributions and support to candidates be 100% fully transparent in its origins. People have rights, corporations possess the privilege to be a corporation. This is not a right.

My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street 


Hit bankers where it hurts 10-14-11

I've been down to "Occupy Wall Street" twice now, and I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.

But... there's a but. And for me this is a deeply personal thing, because this issue of how to combat Wall Street corruption has consumed my life for years now, and it's hard for me not to see where Occupy Wall Street could be better and more dangerous. I'm guessing, for instance, that the banks were secretly thrilled in the early going of the protests, sure they'd won round one of the messaging war. I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.

Why? Because after a decade of unparalleled thievery and corruption, with tens of millions entering the ranks of the hungry thanks to artificially inflated commodity prices, and millions more displaced from their homes by corruption in the mortgage markets, the headline from the first week of protests against the financial-services sector was an old cop macing a quartet of college girls.
That, to me, speaks volumes about the primary challenge of opposing the 50-headed hydra of Wall Street corruption, which is that it's extremely difficult to explain the crimes of the modern financial elite in a simple visual. The essence of this particular sort of oligarchic power is its complexity and day-to-day invisibility: Its worst crimes, from bribery and insider trading and market manipulation, to backroom dominance of government and the usurping of the regulatory structure from within, simply can't be seen by the public or put on TV. There just isn't going to be an iconic "Running Girl" photo with Goldman Sachs, Citigroup or Bank of America – just 62 million Americans with zero or negative net worth, scratching their heads and wondering where the hell all their money went and why their votes seem to count less and less each and every year.
No matter what, I'll be supporting Occupy Wall Street. And I think the movement's basic strategy – to build numbers and stay in the fight, rather than tying itself to any particular set of principles – makes a lot of sense early on. But the time is rapidly approaching when the movement is going to have to offer concrete solutions to the problems posed by Wall Street. To do that, it will need a short but powerful list of demands. There are thousands one could make, but I'd suggest focusing on five:
1. Break up the monopolies. The so-called "Too Big to Fail" financial companies – now sometimes called by the more accurate term "Systemically Dangerous Institutions" – are a direct threat to national security. They are above the law and above market consequence, making them more dangerous and unaccountable than a thousand mafias combined. There are about 20 such firms in America, and they need to be dismantled; a good start would be to repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and mandate the separation of insurance companies, investment banks and commercial banks.
2. Pay for your own bailouts. A tax of 0.1 percent on all trades of stocks and bonds and a 0.01 percent tax on all trades of derivatives would generate enough revenue to pay us back for the bailouts, and still have plenty left over to fight the deficits the banks claim to be so worried about. It would also deter the endless chase for instant profits through computerized insider-trading schemes like High Frequency Trading, and force Wall Street to go back to the job it's supposed to be doing, i.e., making sober investments in job-creating businesses and watching them grow.
3. No public money for private lobbying. A company that receives a public bailout should not be allowed to use the taxpayer's own money to lobby against him. You can either suck on the public teat or influence the next presidential race, but you can't do both. Butt out for once and let the people choose the next president and Congress.
4. Tax hedge-fund gamblers. For starters, we need an immediate repeal of the preposterous and indefensible carried-interest tax break, which allows hedge-fund titans like Stevie Cohen and John Paulson to pay taxes of only 15 percent on their billions in gambling income, while ordinary Americans pay twice that for teaching kids and putting out fires. I defy any politician to stand up and defend that loophole during an election year.
5. Change the way bankers get paid. We need new laws preventing Wall Street executives from getting bonuses upfront for deals that might blow up in all of our faces later. It should be: You make a deal today, you get company stock you can redeem two or three years from now. That forces everyone to be invested in his own company's long-term health – no more Joe Cassanos pocketing multimillion-dollar bonuses for destroying the AIGs of the world.
To quote the immortal political philosopher Matt Damon from Rounders, "The key to No Limit poker is to put a man to a decision for all his chips." The only reason the Lloyd Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world survive is that they're never forced, by the media or anyone else, to put all their cards on the table. If Occupy Wall Street can do that – if it can speak to the millions of people the banks have driven into foreclosure and joblessness – it has a chance to build a massive grassroots movement. All it has to do is light a match in the right place, and the overwhelming public support for real reform – not later, but right now – will be there in an instant.
This story is from the October 27, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone.

Why Occupy Wall Street Is Bigger Than Left vs. Right


occupy wall street new york matt taibbi
Demonstrators associated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement face off with police in the streets of the financial district of New York.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
I was surprised, amused and annoyed all at once when I found out yesterday that some moron-provocateur linked to notorious right-wing cybergoon Andrew Breitbart had infiltrated a series of private e-mail lists – including one that I have been participating in – and was using them to run an exposé on the supposed behind-the-scenes marionetting of the OWS movement by the liberal media.
According to various web reports, what happened was that a private "cyber-security researcher" named Thomas Ryan somehow accessed a series of email threads between various individuals and dumped them all on, Breitbart's site. Gawker is also reporting that Ryan forwarded some of these emails to the FBI and the NYPD.
I have no idea whether those email exchanges are the same as the ones I was involved with. But what is clear is that some private email exchanges between myself and a number of other people – mostly financial journalists and activists who know each other from having covered the crisis from the same angle in the last three years, people like Barry Ritholz, Dylan Ratigan, former regulator William Black, Glenn Greenwald and myself – ended up being made public.
There is nothing terribly interesting in any of these exchanges. Most all of the things written were things all of us ended up saying publicly in our various media forums. In my case, what I wrote was almost an exact copy of my Rolling Stone article last week, suggesting a list of demands for the movement. I said I thought having demands was a good idea and listed a few things I thought demonstrators could focus on. Others disagreed, and there was a friendly back-and-forth.
So I was amazed to wake up this morning and find that various right-wing sites had used these exchanges to build a story about a conspiracy of left-wing journalists. "Busted. Emails Show Liberal Media & Far Left Cranks Conspired With #OWS Protesters to Craft Message," wrote one.
Breitbart's site,, went further, saying that the Occupy Washington D.C. movement is "working with well-known media members to craft its demands and messaging while these media members report on the movement."
The list, the site wrote, include:
...well known names such as MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, Rolling Stone’s Matt Tiabbi [sic] who both are actively participating; involvement from other listers such as Bill Moyers and Glenn Greenwald plus well-known radicals like Noam Chomsky, remains unclear.
Aside from the appalling fact of these assholes stealing private emails and bragging about it in public, the whole story is completely absurd. None of the people on the list, as far as I know, are actually organizers of OWS -- I know I'm not one, anyway.
In fact, I was surprised by the entire characterization of this list as being some kind of official wing of OWS. I thought it was just a bunch of emails from friends of mine, talking about what advice we would give protesters, if any of them asked, which in my case anyway they definitely did not.
This whole episode to me underscores an unpleasant development for OWS. There is going to be a fusillade of attempts from many different corners to force these demonstrations into the liberal-conservative blue-red narrative.
This will be an effort to transform OWS from a populist and wholly non-partisan protest against bailouts, theft, insider trading, self-dealing, regulatory capture and the market-perverting effect of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks into something a little more familiar and less threatening, i.e. a captive "liberal" uprising that the right will use to whip up support and the Democrats will try to turn into electoral energy for 2012.
Tactically, what we'll see here will be a) people firmly on the traditional Democratic side claiming to speak for OWS, and b) people on the right-Republican side attempting to portray OWS as a puppet of well-known liberals and other Democratic interests.
On the Democratic side, we've already seen a lot of this behavior, particularly in the last week or so. Glenn Greenwald wrote about this a lot last week, talking about how Obama has already made it clear that he is "on the same side as the Wall Street protesters" and that the Democratic Party, through the DCCC (its House fundraising arm), has jumped into the fray by circulating a petition seeking 100,000 party supporters to affirm that “I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests.”(I wonder how firmly the DCCC was standing with OWS sentiment back when it was pushing for the bailouts and the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act).
We've similarly heard about jumping into the demonstrations and attempting, seemingly, to assume leadership roles in the movement.
All of this is the flip side of the coin that has people like Breitbart trying to frame OWS as a socialist uprising and a liberal media conspiracy. The aim here is to redraw the protests along familiar battle lines.
The Rush Limbaughs of the world are very comfortable with a narrative that has Noam Chomsky, MoveOn and Barack Obama on one side, and the Tea Party and Republican leaders on the other. The rest of the traditional media won't mind that narrative either, if it can get enough "facts" to back it up. They know how to do that story and most of our political media is based upon that Crossfire paradigm of left-vs-right commentary shows and NFL Today-style team-vs-team campaign reporting.
What nobody is comfortable with is a movement in which virtually the entire spectrum of middle class and poor Americans is on the same page, railing against incestuous political and financial corruption on Wall Street and in Washington. The reality is that Occupy Wall Street and the millions of middle Americans who make up the Tea Party are natural allies and should be on the same page about most of the key issues, and that's a story our media won't want to or know how to handle.
Take, for instance, the matter of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks, which people like me and Barry Ritholz have focused on as something that could be a key issue for OWS. These gigantic institutions have put millions of ordinary people out of their homes thanks to a massive fraud scheme for which they were not punished, owing to their enormous influence with government and their capture of the regulators.
This is an issue for the traditional "left" because it's a classic instance of overweening corporate power -- but it's an issue for the traditional "right" because these same institutions are also the biggest welfare bums of all time, de facto wards of the state who sucked trillions of dollars of public treasure from the pockets of patriotic taxpayers from coast to coast.
Both traditional constituencies want these companies off the public teat and back swimming on their own in the cruel seas of the free market, where they will inevitably be drowned in their corruption and greed, if they don't reform immediately. This is a major implicit complaint of the OWS protests and it should absolutely strike a nerve with Tea Partiers, many of whom were talking about some of the same things when they burst onto the scene a few years ago.
The banks know this. They know they have no "natural" constituency among voters, which is why they spend such fantastic amounts of energy courting the mainstream press and such huge sums lobbying politicians on both sides of the aisle.
The only way the Goldmans and Citis and Bank of Americas can survive is if they can suck up popular political support indirectly, either by latching onto such vague right-populist concepts as "limited government" and "free-market capitalism" (ironic, because none of them would survive ten minutes without the federal government's bailouts and other protections) or, alternatively, by presenting themselves as society's bulwark against communism, lefty extremism, Noam Chomsky, etc.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying one thing: beware of provocateurs on both sides of the aisle. This movement is going to attract many Breitbarts, of both the left and right variety. They're going to try to identify fake leaders, draw phony battle lines, and then herd everybody back into the same left-right cage matches of old. Whenever that happens, we just have to remember not to fall for the trap. When someone says this or that person speaks for OWS, don't believe it. This thing is bigger than one or two or a few people, and it isn't part of the same old story.  

James Howard Kunstler Says "Going Apeshit"

James writes about the very possible Black Swan hiding inside Wall Street that might actually create an unforeseen debacle that could bring down the walls on which the elite Humpty Dumpty has been sitting on for over 30 years. The raucous audience camped out around Wall Street could take down the Obama administration as Barack calmly tries to justify that not all the bad boys on Wall Street are bad men.

These times they are a changin', and they are NOT what Barack expected.

GOING APESHIT By James Howard Kunstler 

     It was amusing to see President Obama try to align himself with the OWS movement. The genial Millard Fillmore update asked them not to "demonize those who work on Wall Street." Of course, demonization proceeds from the failure of this president and his appointed agents in authority to subject those who work on Wall Street to the laws that mere mortals are supposed to follow in money matters. Hence, those who work on Wall Street appear to be something other than mortals. And since their work (on Wall Street) has had a malign influence on the common weal, some might leap to the conclusion that they are malevolent non-mortals, i.e. demons.
 In this early stage of the convulsion rocking the western world, especially here in the USA, a peaceful ambience rules. That is because a game is being played. We played the game in 1968. It goes like this. You get people to turn out in the streets. The idea is to promote the right of public assembly as much as to make any particular point. (In fact, banners advocating all sorts of gripes appear.) Eventually, you get a lot of people in the streets. Feelings of happy anarchy sweep the crowd, a feeling that something special is underway, that the usual rules of everyday conduct have been suspended, in a good way. The crowd basks in the sunny glow of its own mass, happy solidarity. Everybody is behaving splendidly - more to feel good about.
After a while that gets boring, especially for young males with a lot of testosterone surging from loin to brain. They want to do more than bask in the radiance of their own righteous wonderfulness. They want to engage their large muscles, even if in the service of an idea, for instance the idea that they have been swindled. It is at first a vague idea, but large.  But pretty soon it coheres emergently: swindled out of our future! Yes, it is so. Thousands of demon-like beings upstairs in the curtain-wall towers around Zuccotti Park, people wearing neckties and cultured pearls in warm offices with cappuccino machines down the hall, are at this very moment setting loose trading algorithms that will swindle us out of our future! You can see them up there at their evil, glowing screens!
That's when the yoga acrobatics and the hat crocheting are put aside and the street people - their ranks swollen into a horde-like meta-organism - start to express things beyond the right of public assembly. Something unseen goes through them, perhaps like the pheromone that transforms a field full of grasshoppers into a ravening swarm of locusts. Being people, they cannot take wing. But they can press forward and up against things, and they can surely break the glass in those sleek curtain-wall buildings (so much for "transparency") beyond which the bankers sit cringing in their expensive clothing. 
Surely we are heading toward a moment like that. The bank employees upstairs must be getting a little nervous, anyway, just glancing out the windows at the moiling mob below. This is apart from the tensions internally roiling the banks themselves, not to mention the entire networked system of global banking, with all its fissures and cracks, as the merry-go-round of debt flies apart under the centrifugal force of insolvency. Come to think of it, these events could not have correlated more perfectly. Just as a horrific accident in finance is about to happen, a ready-made revolutionary mob is conveniently parked outside the pilot-houses of the world's great money vessels, so as to receive the crews directly into their open arms after the smash up.
President Obama could have changed the outcome if he had actually believed in change. He could have told his attorney general to enforce the securities law. He could have replaced the zombies at the SEC and told the new ones to apply all existing regulations. Before last year's election, he could have used his legislative majorities to repeal the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and reinstate the Glass-Steagall act. He could have initiated the process of deconstructing the giant banks back into their separate functions - so that banking once again worked as a utility rather than a launching pad for colossal frauds and swindles. Not only did he fail to do any of these things, he didn't even talk about it, or try.
Obama has a lot of nerve claiming to support the Occupy Wall Street movement. He should be one of the objects of its ire. I'm not even sure Obama will get to finish out his term of office. 2012 looks like a complete horror show in the making. The way world money matters are lining up this fall, some kind of debacle seems unavoidable, much worse than the 2008 fiasco. The normal political channels are clogged and sclerotic. Our institutions are failing us. The cast of "candidate" characters across the political spectrum convinces nobody that they can manage this republic.
The weather may determine the mood of the OWS crowd. If they don't go apeshit in the next two weeks, my guess is that the nation will hunker down into a dire, melancholy holiday season followed by a desperate winter leading to a raucous spring of political transformation - not necessarily of the best kind.
For the moment, we seem to be waiting for the proverbial first broken window.

Open the link and read the comments.

United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY

The Fascist TBTF Bankstas Refuse To Allow Customers To Withdraw THEIR Money

From the great site called

Big Banks Try to Stop Customers From Moving Their Money

I’ve long supported the campaign to “Move Your Money” from the giant, insolvent banks who take billions in bailouts and use the money to speculate and to corrupt the system to smaller banks. See thisand this.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters have announced that November 5th is “Bank Transfer Day”, a targeted day to “Move Your Money”.
The big banks are trying to preempt the efforts of their customers to move their money to smaller banks.
This week, protesters were arrested when they tried to close their Citibank accounts:

And a Bank of American branch in Santa Cruz refused to let protesters close their accounts, saying they could not be protesters and customers at the same time:

In August, Bank of America used police (and reportedly swat teams) to stop St. Louis Bank of America customers from closing their accounts:

Military Support For the Occupy Wall Street Movement

These two military men spoke so beautifully about how they feel about the protest movement,
why they are there protesting, and why those, such as Sean Hannity, are wrong to believe that
the protesters and the movement are un-American. They clear state what a bunch of crap and 
hypocrites the Hannity-types truly are.

Here is the video:

Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas Stands Up to NYPD to Protect Wall Street Protesters

Here’s the video:


Eric Cantor On Occupy Wall Street: I'm Upset Democrats Are 'Joining In The Effort To Blame Others'

In this piece, Cantor insults the Democratic party once again by referring to them as the "Democrat" [party]. He cannot help himself, since he continues to want to provide cover for the thieves on Wall Street who line Cantor's pockets, along with many others, with large sums of cash for their campaigns and expenses.

He ranted on about how his beloved Tea Party supporters were directing their anger at Washington, instead of the real criminals--Wall Street, which dictate the terms of legislation, commerce, trade, taxes, and political policy. 

He whined how the Occupy Wall Street movement is directing its anger at the actual criminals who control Wall Street, the economic policies of Washington, and politicians. NOT FAIR decries Eric Cantor!!! 

Cantor believes that Democrats should blame themselves, too. Yes, many Democrats are to blame for being co-opted into participating in the corrupting motives of the Republican Party, who take their marching order from the likes of the Koch brothers, Dick Armey's army, the Scaife publishing family, the Walton Walmart dynasty, and the energy sector.

From Huffington Post  by Amanda Terkel 10-16-11

WASHINGTON -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) backed away from calling the Occupy Wall Street protesters "mobs" on Sunday, but he doubled-down on going after the political leaders who have condoned the movement.
At the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., last week, Cantor said he was "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," he added.
On Sunday, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked Cantor about those comments: "Congressman, do you stand by that comment about mobs? And what do you think about the effort by the Obama White House and Democrats trying to harness the energy and movement here as part of their re-election effort?"
Cantor immediately moved away from his comment about the "mobs," saying, "More important than my use of the word is that there is a growing frustration out there across the country and it is warranted. Too many people are out of work."
He then jumped to criticizing political leaders who have embraced the movement, saying it was wrong to blame Wall Street for the country's economic problems.
"Where I am most concerned is we have elected leaders in this town who are frankly joining in the effort to blame others rather than focus on the policies that have brought about the current situation," he said. "I mean, when you hear of the Democrat elected leaders joining in, blaming parts of our economy and society, versus 'let's take some of the credit or blame here in Washington.' These are policies they put in place, and a lot can be done here in this town to turn the economy around and promote income mobility, and not go in and excoriate some who have been successful. We want success for everybody."
Cantor and the Tea Parties have repeatedly blamed Democrats for the country's problems, presumably exempting them as "parts of our economy and society." Cantor, an enthusiastic supporter of the Tea Parties, told an audience at the 2009 Values Voter Summit that the growing movement was "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.
When asked about this distinction by reportersthis past week, Cantor responded that the Tea Parties were different because their ire was directed at Washington, at "the government and its policies."
"The Tea Party were individuals that were attempting to address their grievances, seeking redress of their grievances, from the government they elected," he said. "It's different, from what I see, of the protesters on Wall Street and elsewhere, that are pitting themselves against others outside of government in America. That's the difference."
"And do you not see the government as representing the people?" asked Politico's David Rogers.
"Sure," said Cantor, "it's of the people. But we're in elected positions and trying to solve problems. I don't believe that our role is to inflame a division between different parts and sectors of --"
When Rogers tried to follow up and said, "I'm not asking about that," the press briefing abruptly ended.
Cantor is one of several Republicans who have been slightly changing their tune on Occupy Wall Street in recent days, as noted by ThinkProgress.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that President Obama and his team have "decided to turn public anger at Wall Street into a central tenet of their reelection strategy."
“We intend to make it one of the central elements of the campaign next year,” said Obama senior adviser David Plouffe. “One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform, and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it.”
On ABC News' "This Week," Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said he predicted the issue would hurt Republicans in the 2012 elections.
"Obviously I don't think any American is impressed when they see Governor Romney and all the Republican candidates say the first thing they'd do is roll back Wall Street reforms, and go back to where we were before the crisis, and let Wall Street write its own rules," Axelrod said. "I think that will be an issue in this campaign."
This story was updated with Axelrod's comments on ABC.

The Rise of the Regressive Right and the Reawakening of America

From Huffington Post 10/16/11 by Robert Reich

Professor Reich makes excellent points for why the Occupy Wall Street-everywhere groups are upset and protesting the Regressive policies forced upon working people over the decades. 

Here is the piece:

A fundamental war has been waged in this nation since its founding, between progressive forces pushing us forward and regressive forces pulling us backward.
We are going to battle once again.
Progressives believe in openness, equal opportunity, and tolerance. Progressives assume we're all in it together: We all benefit from public investments in schools and health care and infrastructure. And we all do better with strong safety nets, reasonable constraints on Wall Street and big business, and a truly progressive tax system. Progressives worry when the rich and privileged become powerful enough to undermine democracy.
Regressives take the opposite positions.
Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and the other tribunes of today's Republican right aren't really conservatives. Their goal isn't to conserve what we have. It's to take us backwards.
They'd like to return to the 1920s -- before Social Security, unemployment insurance, labor laws, the minimum wage, Medicare and Medicaid, worker safety laws, the Environmental Protection Act, the Glass-Steagall Act, the Securities and Exchange Act, and the Voting Rights Act.
In the 1920s Wall Street was unfettered, the rich grew far richer and everyone else went deep into debt, and the nation closed its doors to immigrants.
Rather than conserve the economy, these regressives want to resurrect the classical economics of the 1920s -- the view that economic downturns are best addressed by doing nothing until the "rot" is purged out of the system (as Andrew Mellon, Herbert Hoover's Treasury Secretary, so decorously put it).
In truth, if they had their way we'd be back in the late nineteenth century -- before the federal income tax, antitrust laws, the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the Federal Reserve. A time when robber barons -- railroad, financial, and oil titans -- ran the country. A time of wrenching squalor for the many and mind-numbing wealth for the few.
Listen carefully to today's Republican right and you hear the same Social Darwinism Americans were fed more than a century ago to justify the brazen inequality of the Gilded Age: Survival of the fittest. Don't help the poor or unemployed or anyone who's fallen on bad times, they say, because this only encourages laziness. America will be strong only if we reward the rich and punish the needy.
The regressive right has slowly consolidated power over the last three decades as income and wealth have concentrated at the top. In the late 1970s the richest 1 percent of Americans received 9 percent of total income and held 18 percent of the nation's wealth; by 2007, they had more than 23 percent of total income and 35 percent of America's wealth. CEOs of the 1970s were paid 40 times the average worker's wage; now CEOs receive 300 times the typical workers' wage.
This concentration of income and wealth has generated the political heft to deregulate Wall Street and halve top tax rates. It has bankrolled the so-called Tea Party movement, and captured the House of Representatives and many state governments. Through a sequence of presidential appointments it has also overtaken the Supreme Court.
Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts (and, all too often, Kennedy) claim they're conservative jurists. But they're judicial activists bent on overturning 75 years of jurisprudence by resurrecting states' rights, treating the 2nd Amendment as if America still relied on local militias, narrowing the Commerce Clause, and calling money speech and corporations people.
Yet the great arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, the nation eventually rallies and moves forward. Sometimes it takes an economic shock like the bursting of a giant speculative bubble; sometimes we just reach a tipping point where the frustrations of average Americans turn into action.
Look at the Progressive reforms between 1900 and 1916; the New Deal of the 1930s; the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s; the widening opportunities for women, minorities, people with disabilities, and gays; and the environmental reforms of the 1970s.
In each of these eras, regressive forces reignited the progressive ideals on which America is built. The result was fundamental reform.
Perhaps this is what's beginning to happen again across America.