MARK VORPAHL FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
At the annual Wells Fargo Shareholders' meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday April 24, 2012, at least 150 "shareholders" were denied their lawful right to attend by means of the use of police force and barricades. True, none of them were big shareholders and their priorities in attending were not to cheerlead the continuing massive profits Wells Fargo rakes in. Instead they hoped to bring to light the predatory role of Wells Fargo in pursuit of these profits - a role that is economically devastating countless working families and their future.
The concerns of these excluded shareholders did not go unheard. They were loudly shouted by a crowd of about 1,200 Occupy, trade union, and community activists in the streets 15 stories below where the shareholders' meeting was to take place. It was part of a carefully considered plan to use the shareholders meeting as an opportunity to confront the 1% both on their turf, in the exquisite halls of their corporate headquarters, and on ours, the streets.
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
He is a billionaire several times over, a supporter of conservative causes, candidates, and organizations, including campaigns of the anti-immigrant former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo and the Intelligent Design-peddling Discovery Institute, and he has been a backer of anti-gay rights initiatives. He owns The Weekly Standard, a highly partisan conservative magazine, and recently sold the conservative Examiner newspapers. He rarely speaks to the press.
He's out to transform the culture: "Hollywood as an industry can at times be insular and doesn't at times understand the market very well," he told an audience at the conservative Hillsdale College in 2004. I "saw a chance with this move to attempt some small improvement in the culture."
DEE EVANS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Just a few months after 9/11, at a press conference Bush responded to a question about why he doesn't talk about capturing Osama bin Laden much anymore by saying, "So, I don't know where he [Osama] is. You know that I don't even spend that much time on him to be honest with you." Watch the archival video here.
Are you kidding me? Seriously, are you kidding me? Actual, legitimate media pundits and political professionals are really asking if President Obama should tout the killing of Osama Bin Laden during his re-election campaign? Really...seriously???
I honestly don't know where to start. These are some of the same people who sat around jack-legged while George W. Bush flew a fighter jet onto an air craft carrier with a jumbo red, white and blue banner noting "Mission Accomplished" (9 years ago mind you) after single-handedly dismantling the Middle East with a "go-it-alone" war in Iraq.
These are some of the same people who sat around tongue-tied while Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their band of merry men walked our country straight into a bloody war where thousands of our troops were killed and trillions of dollars lost looking for weapons that didn't exist.
JOHN HORTON FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost
-Robert Penn Warren, All the Kings Men
ANN DAVIDOW FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
We live in dangerous times, not just because the world is in a state of turmoil and threats to our way of life percolate just below a hard boil but because we aren't sure what will set things right or who the enemy is.
It is frequently said that there isn't a dime's worth of difference between our two main parties - - intellectual despair at ever being able to reform our political system. Despite the obvious damage to our electoral process by the infusion of money from special interests opportunities still exist to alter the course of history if we are provided with the information and tools necessary to effect change. The fact is that for all our bought-and-sold politicians there remains a lusty disposition on the part of the public to make a difference and profound distaste for dishonesty and unfair policies.
DEE EVANS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Okay, here we go again! This is really getting sad. I am so sick and tired of enduring the stupidity of these constant suggestions that President Obama is not entitled to any and every benefit, advantage and perk of the office of the President of the United States that every other President before him has had...including using Air Force One during his campaign for re-election.
So now, Reince Priebus (ugh, that name), who is Chairman of the RNC (Republican National Committee) has filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office saying that President Obama has "crossed the line" by campaigning for re-election on Air Force One and that he may escalate his complaint to the Federal Election Commission. Really?
JOHN STAUBER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Americans might remember that when the first mad cow was confirmed in the United States in December, 2003, it was major news. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been petitioned for years by lawyers from farm and consumer groups I worked with to stop the cannibal feeding practices that transmit this horrible, always fatal, human and animal dementia. When the first cow was found in Washington state, the government said it would stop such feeding, and the media went away. But once the cameras were off and the reporters were gone, nothing substantial changed.
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
A more realistic reading of the recent Christianity Today headline "Will Evangelicals Vote for a Mormon Candidate?" might be, "Do Bears Shit in the Woods?" It's hard to imagine that such a politically savvy Christian magazine thought that it was posing anything other than a rhetorical question with its headline.
In any case, the answer to that question is the same answer it has been for quite some time; Christian conservative evangelicals (especially white men) appear duty bound to vote for Republican Party presidential candidates.
And this year, after Cain fumbled, Perry mumbled, and Santorum crumbled, Mitt Romney, despite faring poorly among evangelical voters in many primaries (particularly the early southern ones), will undoubtedly receive the vast majority of evangelical votes.
GREG PALAST FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The Justice Department went big game hunting and bagged a teeny-weeny scapegoat. More like a scape-kid, really. Today, Justice arrested former BP engineer Kurt Mix for destroying evidence in the Deepwater Horizon blow-out. I once ran a Justice Department racketeering case and damned if I would have 'cuffed some poor schmuck like Mix--especially when there's hot, smoking guns showing greater crimes by BP higher ups.
PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
It used to be that the average American resided halfway between two extremes:
--- Steven Schwarzman's home was being partially replicated in a Park Avenue hall for his gala $5 million 60th birthday party. The guest of honor's full-length portrait greeted the invitees as they proceeded past rows of orchids and palm trees to the dining area, where they feasted on lobster, filet mignon, baked Alaska, and the finest of wines. Martin Short provided the laughs, and the music came compliments of Marvin Hamlisch, Patti LaBelle, and Rod Stewart.
--- Eloise Pittman's home had been purchased in the 1950s by her mother, who washed dishes to pay off the mortgage. In 1985 the younger Ms. Pittman, a schoolteacher, went to Chase Bank and took out a loan on the house. It was a predatory loan with balloon payments, and Ms. Pittman was forced to borrow more and more money to keep from defaulting. When she died in November 2011, she was $400,000 in debt. A week after her death, her family received an eviction notice.