May Day protests: banks feel victimized, “like elk defending themselves from attacking wolves”

Just pathetic:

Organizers and protesters around the world will come together to commemorate International Workers Day tomorrow, and they are taking on familiar targets. Large protest actions are planned in more than 115 American cities, where activists will continue the anti-Wall Street message started by the 99 Percent Movement last fall. The action will again center in New York, where protesters have identified 99 targets in Manhattan, including large Wall Street banks like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America.

[...] Though the New York-based banks offered no specifics on how they plan to deal with the protests, one security adviser made the laughable comparison that Wall Street banks — the same ones whose errors include triggering the financial crisis and wrongfully foreclosing on thousands of Americans — were innocent elk defending themselves against attacking wolves, Bloomberg reports.

[...] It’s no secret why the banks view the 99 Percent Movement so negatively — the movement took Wall Street’s excesses and abuses to the mainstream, refocusing the national discussion on rising income inequality, exploding student debt, and fraudulent banking practices.

Continue: Wall Street Banks Coordinate To Fight May Day Protests, Compare Themselves To Elk Hunted By Wolves

Right. These guys are victims.

For the first time, suburbs have a higher percentage of the nation’s poor than cities

Myth: “Poverty doesn’t exist here.”

Thanks to the Recession, this myth has become too obvious, too uncomfortable, to ignore. For the first time, suburbs have a higher percentage of the nation’s poor than cities. Many are newly-impoverished: home-owners who lost their nest-eggs, who are chained to mortgages they can’t afford.

However, those most affected by the Recession are the nearly 10 million people in suburbia who were living below the poverty line before 2000, including many new immigrants who flocked to the suburbs for the availability of low-wage construction/service jobs. With the housing market folding and those jobs dwindling, suburban poverty, in ten years, has increased by 53%.

Saving Suburbia Part I: Bursting the Bubble

Arrested Development, Conservative-Style

I don’t think Michelle Malkin realizes just how fitting the name of her website is, both for herself as a person and for her idea of ‘news.’

Malkin is a regular guest on Fox “News,” one of their many “serious political thinkers:”

Twitchy? Absolutely. Serious thinker? You decide from this VERY small list of Malkin Quik Facts:

  • Supported Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a ‘slut’? YES
  • Posted fake photos of Trayvon Martin to make him look like a thug? YES
  • Famously stalked a 12-year-old accident survivor named Graeme Frost after he appeared in a commercial supporting SCHIP, the children’s health insurance program. YES.
  • Caused an elementary school lock-down in 2009 because of death threats to the school’s principal, due to her “intrepid” reporting (she published the name and location of the elementary school) about some students who sang an “Obama Song” for Black History Month, which was posted on YouTube and was subsequently compared to indoctrination, Nazis, Dear Leader, and labeled “Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm” (whatever that means). YES.
  • Swooped into action, investigating and exposing an 11-year-old girland her parents for being “Obamabots” because she asked President Obama a question during a town hall meeting about the “mean things” she observed on various protest signs outside. YES.
  • Said, about a month after Obama’s inauguration, she “hopes the President fails.” YES.
  • Defended the WWII internment of Japanese Americans, even though she’s the daughter of Filipino immigrants. YES!

Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!

“I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-f—king-American, is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Gov. Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.” – Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake! – The Daily Beast | via: randomactsofchaos

College tuition, room and board, student-loan debt: students today vs. one decade ago

NY TIMES: “For the past three decades, increases in college tuition have outpaced the overall rate of inflation, and increases in room and board have risen even faster. That has driven a substantial increase in the volume of student-loan debt. American students took out twice the value of student loans in 2011, about $112 billion, as they did a decade before, after adjusting for inflation. Overall, Americans now owe about $1 trillion in student loans.” (via: randomactsofchaos)

Just one decade (Bush years). Can you imagine what the comparison of these factors would look like between today’s college students and when their own parents were in college? The past three decades of bottom-to-top wealth transfer and money hoarding by the one percent has affected every aspect of the American Dream. Upward mobility through hard work and a college degree is on the verge of being a memory, a “legend” — much like the legend that once upon a time, the ‘M’ in MTV stood for music.

Some Republican solutions for today’s college students: 

Our dying Empire

Welcome to the Asylum | Chris Hedges – On the endemic political cynicism of dying empire:

When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki’s pregnancy, Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and Kim Kardashian’s denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the Internet. Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony. “[A]t times when the page is turning,” Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote in “Castle to Castle,” “when History brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!”

The quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth, as Karl Marx observed, is modern society’s version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of infrastructure and, finally, collective death. It is the self-deluded, those on Wall Street or among the political elite, those who entertain and inform us, those who lack the capacity to question the lusts that will ensure our self-annihilation, who are held up as exemplars of intelligence, success and progress. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum.

Read the whole thing →

Political contributions to the death of our Empire: The “PRO-LIFE” Ryan-Republican-Romney budget proposal:

The House budget for fiscal year 2013 tasks congressional committees to “reduce lower-priority spending” to avert military cuts.

When they say “lower-priority spending”, they mean spending on programs that nourish children and provide safety netslike foster care or child abuse prevention.

Source: americanprogress.org

Today, 1 World Trade Center becomes the largest building in New York

Today, 1 World Trade Center becomes the largest building in New York.

Photos from Gizmodo and Corcoran Group

NY TIMES: “This is the second time a skyscraper called 1 World Trade Center has edged over the Empire State Building. The first was on Oct. 19, 1970, when a section of steel framework elevated the north tower of the trade center to 1,254 feet, four feet above Empire State’s 1,250-foot benchmark.” [via]

Morning Bunker Report: Monday 4.30.2012

——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY

LISTEN TO MITT ROMNEY, he’s telling you everything you need to know about him“You will hear words from people running for office that sound great. But sometimes what people say is not a perfect example of what they’re going to do.” [...] Romney says he wants to put the nation on a path to a balanced budget while also cutting an array of taxes, building up the Navy and Air Force and adding 100,000 active-duty military personnel. He says he would slash domestic spending and reduce tax loopholes but has offered few details. Cut taxes for the rich, cut spending on investment in people and infrastructure, increase military spending and whammo: balanced budget. – Daily Kos


GOV. JERRY BROWN: the Republican Party is like a cult – On CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday morning, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said that politics had changed a “hell of a lot” since he started his career as a public official. “It’s more polarized, the money is more centrally collected and distributed by the two major parties, there is — particularly on the Republican side — an enforcement of discipline that’s ideological,” he explained. “And as was mentioned today in The Washington Post, it takes on the quality of a cult.” – Raw Story

REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST ALEX CASTELLANOS denied that women make 77 cents for a man’s dollar in the workplace and noted, “there are lots of reasons for that.”  “Now we know, at least from both of your perspectives,” [Rachel] Maddow said, pointing to Castellanos and Romney surrogate Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), “women are not fairing worse than men in the economy that women aren’t getting paid less for equal work.” “It’s about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don’t believe is happening,” she added. — Think Progress

  • The problem of ‘working from different facts’ – There’s simply no shared foundation of reality, which in turn shapes the policy debate in unproductive ways. The left sees gender-based pay disparity and looks for mechanisms to address the problem; the right rejects the existence of the disparity and sees no use for the solutions because, to them, there is no problem.

NEWT GINGRICH will drop out Wednesday — According to Fox News sources, the still technically in-the-running Republican — now without supporters or a security detail — will officially end his campaign on Wednesday. Earlier reports said he would call it quits on Tuesday, but apparently he needs our attention for just a teeny, tiny while longer. — Daily Intel

FLORIDA PASTOR TERRY JONES held another Koran-burning ceremony yesterday in a portable fire pit, despite a Pentagon warning that this could jeopardize American troops overseas… – Gainesville Sun

ROMNEY PERFORMS A TWISTING, DOUBLE, BACKWARDS FLIP FLOP: Romney top advisor Eric Fehrnstrom says that not only did Mitt Romney not oppose auto bailout but that President Obama actually got the idea from Mitt.  – TPM


image: Bob Cesca

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

SENATE DEMOCRATS will soon hold a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a senior Democratic Senate aide confirms to me. “This vote is going to happen,” the aide says. The vote means this will likely be the next major battle in the war over women, and it could put Mitt Romney in a delicate political spot. It will force a choice: Either he supports the measure, which would put him at odds with the Senate GOP caucus (which voted against the bill two years ago), or he opposes it, which would put Romney at odds with his own rhetorical support for equal pay for women, potentially damaging him further among crucial female swing voters. — Greg Sargent

ROBERT GIBBS: Romney’s slogan is ‘Obama didn’t clean up our mess fast enough‘ — “I think sometimes you listen to the Romney campaign and they do think a lot people in this country are stupid,” Gibbs told NBC’s David Gregory. “Their message is: You didn’t clean up our mess fast enough.” “The last six months of the Bush administration, we lost three and half million jobs. We know this about Mitt Romney: He’s not a job creator. When he was governor of Massachusetts, they were 47th out of 50 in job creation. His experience is in downsizing, outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies and walking away with a lot of money for himself.” Gibbs added: “His economic ideas are the failed economic ideas that we tried for eight years, tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and letting Wall Street go back to writing the rules all over again. That is the policies that got us into this mess.”  – Raw Story

OBAMA SPIKES the bin Laden football — After taking a low-key approach to the killing of Osama bin Laden for most of the past year, the Obama campaign released a video on Friday taking credit for green-lighting the operation and questioning whether Mitt Romney would have made the same call. Conservatives scoffed, claiming that the raid was a no-brainer that any president would have approved. I don’t know who’s right, but if you want to decide for yourself you probably ought to know just how the entire operation was planned and what part Obama played. — Mother Jones

WHAT SHOULD WE DO to help America’s young? Basically, the opposite of what Mr. Romney and his friends want. We should be expanding student aid, not slashing it. And we should reverse the de facto austerity policies that are holding back the U.S. economy — the unprecedented cutbacks at the state and local level, which have been hitting education especially hard. Yes, such a policy reversal would cost money. But refusing to spend that money is foolish and shortsighted even in purely fiscal terms. Remember, the young aren’t just America’s future; they’re the future of the tax base, too. A mind is a terrible thing to waste; wasting the minds of a whole generation is even more terrible. Let’s stop doing it. — Paul Krugman