AUSTIN, TEXAS — This afternoon federal agents killed Alex Jones and 52 Genesis Communications Network associates, each with two gunshot wounds to the back of the head. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, now investigating the incident, describes these wounds as “self-inflicted.” Before the standoff reached its bloody conclusion, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney clarified at the daily briefing that Mr. Jones faced charges of pedophilia, illicit gun alteration and roughly two decades of back income taxes. Photographers captured ATF agents placing the bodies of the 52 employees into plastic coffins. The compound collapsed in place after suffering damage from armored Caterpillar bulldozers specially deployed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Thursday morning undercover Waco Child Protective Service agents showed up at the door of the GCN compound and asked to speak to Mr. Jones. They presented themselves as wandering members of the milita movement, sympathetic following what Mr. Jones had termed his “explosive” appearance on “Piers Morgan Tonight.” When surrogates showed Mr. Jones to the door, they presented him with a Remington 870 shotgun. CPS asked if Mr. Jones could help them shorten the barrel below 22 inches. Mr. Jones, standing in his doorway, they say, happily agreed, took the American-made 12-gauge shotgun into a back lot and shortened it. When child protective services asked to take Mr. Jones’s children, the radio host disclosed that he was a sovereign citizen tax protester, having avoided the income tax due to its “unconstitutionality” since 1913.
Mr. Jones was 38 and is survived by millions of followers, having hosted the 10th most popular radio show in the United States. Mr. Jones was most famous for his December 31, 1999 broadcast, during which he was the only media source to break a taboo on reporting on the Russian missile attack that occurred that evening. During Y2K numerous power plants imploded due to computer error, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command failed to intercept Russian missiles, which killed millions of Americans in secret.
The radio host attracted international attention, including from the British royal family, after having made statements referring to his owning more than 50 “guns” and those “firearms” having increased in value two, three or four times. “It was at that point,” said FBI consultant Kenneth Lanning, previously responsible for helping cover up the Boystown fiasco with Larry King, “that we felt comfortable assuming that firearms referred to child spouses, and so we moved in.”
Friday morning ATF bulldozers, shipped to Houston 12 years ago from the West Bank, made their way slowly toward the South Wall of the Genesis Communications Network Compound. Upon mowing down solar panels and finally the outer wall of the compound, the six bulldozers reached a sudden halt. Their path, said one of the drivers, was impeded by cache of bullion six feet high just inside the inner wall. Representatives of the Dallas FBI Bureau, speaking by phone, said they feared the worst. “We were worried that the Prison Planet crew might be able to hold out for years on end.” Regardless, soon after having breached the flaming outer wall, the building collapsed.
A defector from the followers, whom Mr. Jones refers to as “listeners,” former Infowars.com contributor Mark Dice, informed authorities that GCN’s contract with eFoodsDirect would mean that freedom-loving audiovisual technicians and website contributors might be able to hold out for up to seven decades.
Citing the deaths of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut last month, Bilderberg President and ATF chief David Rockefeller said, “We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it. And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse.”
At a Friday morning press conference in Washington, FBI Director David Mueller described subsequent events. He said Israeli Armored D9s, “teddy bears,” caused the walls of the compound to collapse. Mr. Mueller said, “Once the ‘doobis’ breached the outer wall, the mosquito-netting-like structure of the compound was compromised, causing the building to collapse, first starting with the penthouse, and then the children’s bedrooms.” Producer Aaron Dykes escaped, but his son, whom authorities believe to actually be Mr. Jones’s, was found in the remains of the compound.
As bulldozers approached initially, federal marshals demanded that Mr. Jones exit the building. After he did so, he ignored their calls that he continue walking toward waiting SUVs, instead re-entering his doorway. Returning from the doorway, facing away from authorities, he brandished what appeared to them be an M-16, but what was actually a Bushmaster he purchased at Wamart in early December. Officials say it was then, walking backwards, that Waco sheriff’s deputies opened fire. All of their bullets missed, but Mr. Jones, deputies said in sworn statements, placed the Bushmaster to the back of his head and pulled the trigger twice.
The fire spread faster due to hundreds of kilograms of uncured cannabis, which Mr. Jones’ one surviving child claimed no one was imbibing as a psychoactive but rather that Mr. Jones was encouraging his children to eat raw for anti-carcinogenic properties.
Obama background checks to predetermine likelihood of buyers shooting up a school
WASHINGTON–Joe Biden attempts to pacify several interest groups.
Vice President Joe Biden introduced a gun plan Thursday that he said will curb mass shootings.
Stan Milton, lead designer for the Obama plan, said the plan will institute software designed to comb through buyers’ histories, cross-referencing prior instances of gun-related crimes against humanity.
“With the right technology, we could even arrest buyers based on crimes they’re most likely to commit.”
The government is doing anything it can to demonstrate to the American public they are at least willing to pass impotent legislation designed to stem the attention of 24-hour news cycles.
“It’s an initiative like nothing I’ve ever seen this week,” said television viewer Christina Robinson, a 33 year old housewife and mother of two.
Milton said the scope of the Obama plan goes above and beyond background checks. If Congress adopts the federal initiative, he said, certain guns and components will become illegal, such as the part of the gun designed to point automatically in the direction of children.
“No longer will gun traders be permitted to sell weapons with child murdering technology preinstalled. Without these components, American guns can not be pointed at children.”
David Coombs, Army Reservist, America Hater Photo: Tyler Bass, Washington Correspondent, The Internet Chronicle
WASHINGTON — December 3rd Bradley Manning Attorney and Army Reservist spoke to a congregation near Mt. Pleasant, District of Columbia. He spoke for almost 90 minutes, part of which included a question period in which he answered questions from the press feed to him by members of the Bradley Manning Support Network, a group that has collected legal fees for the private suspected of leaking thousands of pages of data documenting war crimes, innocuous activity, the overclassification of information. Some call the Army Private a traitor; others, including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, have called him a whistleblower.
“He told me that his dream would be to go to college to get a degree. And as a young man at that time he was 23. That makes sense. We all know that college degrees are pretty much the ticket to a productive future.” The Unitarian Church is notable for being one of the most educated denominations in the country, and certainly this line resonated well with attendees.
While Mr. Coombs told the crowd that he did not want to try Private Manning’s case with the public, whether or not he believes that the immense public pressure surrounding the case — especially since the diminutive former, now demoted, specialist no longer leaves in doubt his being the source of the WikiLeaks data that sparked global revolutions — was and will be key to shining attention on his mistreatment at the hands of the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, where he was held and Judge Lind has ruled that he was mistreated. As though Mark Antony describing Caesar as an “honorable man,” Mr. Coombs said, “As I said to begin with, this public appearance is the exception for me. I believe that trying the case is not the way to representation of a client,” despite the public’s opinion certainly having an a heavy influence on the inevitable sentencing of the private. Mr. Coombs continued, “And Brad — at least from what he testified in the open hearing — didn’t want his case to be tried in the press, either. And also because that was his wishes early on but also because my perspective is you shouldn’t try your case in the press — I respected his wishes and didn’t grant issues. And even after this day I won’t be granting interviews. And the reason why, again, is because your focus has to be on your client and not on, you know, basically putting out facts to spin something your way in the press when that doesn’t achieve anything in the courtroom. When you’re in the courtroom, that’s what matters. What happens there matters. In the press, as I said here today, what really matters is you, the public, being involved and being informed and that the press can do wonderful things. That’s why I’m happy to see them here today. And that’s what really resulted in Brad being moved, in my opinion, from Quantico, to Fort Leavenworth.”
Next was The Internet Chronicle’s question (answered at 01:20:00 in the file below this article), which was based on concerns we had from the trial, in which Private Manning had complained about his jailers listening in on his phone call: “Are you and your client able to communicate freely on a privileged basis.”
Replied Mr. Coombs to The Internet Chronicle’s question, “Yes, Brad and I speak at least once a week, if not more, and we — obviously we see each other quite often as well. Our communications are always privileged. They’re never subject to any sort of recording or being monitored by anyone. And so because of that I act basically as kind of the conduit for Brad, giving him information and helping him stay in touch and informed. So those communications are not subject to monitoring.”
While attending the pre-trial in May, this reporter engaged in a conversation with a military police officer — last name “Parker” — who volunteered his view that protesters outside of Fort Meade, where the private’s trial was being held, in fact disliked the military. Asked if Lt. Dan Choi, a high-profile anti-“don’t ask, don’t tell” activist, also disliked the military, the MP still expressed skepticism. This is exactly the dynamic that drives Mr. Coombs to speak in public, despite his
Said Mr. Coombs, “I asked Brad: ‘Well, with that degree what do you plan on doing?’ And he said, ‘I want to go into pubic service.’ And I asked him what he meant by that. And he said, ‘I want to join some sort of campaign group, go into public service and perhaps one day run for public office.’”
That statement by the attorney was met by gentle murmurings.
Mr. Coombs continued with: “And I asked Brad, why would he want to do that. And he said, ‘I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference in this world.’”
“I can tell you that standing here today I hope that someday soon Brad can go to college. I hope someday soon he can in fact go into public service. But I am confident, as I stand here today, that Brad doesn’t have to worry about making a difference in this world. He has made a difference.” With that line, Mr. Coombs was greeted with steady applause by all in attendance except the press.
Of the two questions that The Internet Chronicle submitted on note cards to Nathan Fuller, this was perhaps the best answer to the other question staff had for Mr. Coombs, which we would later pose to leadership of the Center for Constitutional Rights: “Was there a net positive value in Private Manning have orchestrated the large leak of classified information in military history?”
Speaking to The Internet Chronicle, Michael Ratner, from the Center for Constitutional Rights, said, “Assuming [Private] Manning leaked it, there’s no doubt that he has exposed material that has been very important for both ending wars, end the hypocrisy of our government, and ending the corruption. I mean, it consider it to be no issue about it.” Mr. Ratner added, “What we have is a government of incredible secrecy that’s getting more secret. And unless you have people starting to expose material, we are facing a situation of a total surveillance state. And these guys are heroes, in my view, for what they’ve done.”
Asked if there were any negative consequences of leaking, even if they were outweighed by positives, Mr. Ratner told this reporter, “The government hasn’t come up with any that are negative in the sense of hurting anybody. What they’ve said is, yeah, they can’t do their diplomatic stuff in the same way and all that, but I don’t consider that a negative.”
Despite criticism from press, such as the highly intrepid Alexa O’Brien (@carwinb), who when we attended the trial, complained about lack of access and documentation, Defense Counsel Coombs said that the military justice system was the best place for Private Manning to be in and even said that it was more just than the civilian court system. He called it “the best courtroom you can go into.”
Speaking from the podium that evening to about 50 members of the public, “When you look at it from the outside, you could see and perhaps think that the system is built to obtain a certain outcome. I can tell you with confidence — again, having practiced both in state and federal and in military practice — that a court-martial is by far the fairest, justest system that I’ve ever practiced in. And that may sound confusing. And I actually get some looks of — I don’t — I don’t know about that.”
With that line, there was chuckling from the audience. The congregation, which I have attended, in which my own son was dedicated, I have noticed to be skeptical of military activities. Two years ago I attended a morning session in which an activist spoke of disassembling the entire nuclear weapons infrastructure in the United States to acclaim, to agreement and to accord.
“But let me tell you why,” said Mr. Coombs. “Military judges are not just picked out at random. They’re not voted in. A military judge is somebody who has done in most instances both federal — excuse me — acted as a prosecutor and as a defense counsel for a period of times, has seen both sides.
“Also that person usually has taken on the role of a chief of military justice, which would be the equivalent of a DA; or a senior defense counsel. And so from that perspective you have a lot of experience, plus once the judge becomes a judge usually that person is a lieutenant colonel or a colonel. People who go that route are not interested in becoming generals. And so you’ve kind of tapped out at the top of where you would want to be. So there is no influence issue. And you have somebody there that is truly experienced, who truly understands the law. And from my perspective I would take a judge who knows the law and is very experienced over many of the judges I’ve practiced in state and federal.
“And then from a panel standpoint, if you go with a panel, almost everybody in the military — once they have obtained a certain rank — has some sort of college degree.”
And here once again, Mr. Coombs was making an appeal to the members of the audience.
He said, “And I think that in and of itself speaks volumes about the person’s ability to at least have an open mind on certain topics.”
Since the date of this speaking engagement, the trial continues to be pushed back — court officials blaming the delay, as did Mr. Coombs, on “further defense motions.”
Nonsense at the beginning — Complete Internet Chronicle audio of the David Coombs speech on Manning, hosted via SoundCloud (Ratner begins at 35:00) while Coombs’ first public presentation begins at (51:00):
WASHINGTON — In one of those long, rambling Alex Jones films, hip-hop artist KRS One summed up some substantial misgivings to be had with Occupy D.C. rather nicely when he said that if you have a problem with your burger at McDonald’s, you don’t go complain to the guy slapping on the cheese. You go to talk to the franchise owner. In relationship to America’s economic woes, Congress is pretty much the guys with the cheese. Whether what McDonald’s is using is in fact cheese is another topic, but there you go.
Last October I took a lot of time to ask about why National Review and Amanda Carpenter at The Washington Times had invested so much of their time trying to smear the, like, five anti-Semites who they managed to find footage of at the protests, as opposed to, say, the plethora of liberal Jews who inevitably showed up to the event in Zucotti. Although someone at the McPherson Square camp — not three blocks from the White House — had constructed a Sukkot, still there were the general accusations of anti-Semitism from the Breitbart set. The whole charade was indicative of the kind of atmosphere in Washington where what these people, you would think, would call anti-Semitic was brushed aside. For more of this, look at the uphill battle faced by former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-IN) as he waited to get the defense secretary nod. Even though the Hagel announcement will not come until next Monday, last Friday Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin had already broken the story. The White House is floating it early to congressional leaders to soften the blows from people like Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) et al.
These stereotypes of the Occupy protesters in general were pretty crude. Indeed, it takes quite a short-term memory to repeat long platitudes about the financial sector, as a part of the human megaphone. At the time I began this write-up I painted the Ron Paul-ites present as part of the Occupy status quo, but my goodness, I was wrong It had been years since I was able to romanticize the notion of protesters in Washington bringing a list of grievances. Again, the “real owners” are not in the Capitol or the White House, folks, and to be fair, even a good deal of them don’t even work on Wall Street.
One of the most clean-cut people I spoke to in McPherson was a guy named Matthew Patterson, who was working full-time but said he came down there after work from 5 p.m. till 11 p.m. He said, “I think there have been a lot of misconceptions about what this event is about here, and I think that part of that is because the biggest interests in our country do have well-financed PR and attack machines that do try to discredit genuine movements like this .”
“The conception that this is un-American for people to come out here exercising their First Amendment right — the goal that our government should be accountable to we the people — is absurd. This is the most American thing I’ve ever been a part of, and I think every single person who believes in our Constitution should be out here,” he added.
“When you feel that the system’s rigged against you and you feel that real wages have been declining or stagnating for this long, when we’ve been bailing out Wall Street and the big interests, and our money that we’ve worked for as taxpayers is now going to these guys, while they’ve — while they’ve only wrecked our economy, I think that’s where the anger comes from.”
I asked, “How do you respond to people who say, you know, that the protesters aren’t specific enough? What do you think about? I mean, is that — do you think aren’t? Or is it very broad-based, or are there a lot of things that are matter of consensus?”
Said Mr. Patterson, “We always operate by consensus. Obviously, each person here is here by free association [ . . . ] We don’t have a well-oiled PR machine where we have one spokesperson. If you take the time to listen, you’ll find the common thread. In my entire time here — I’ve been here since the first day. Every single person I’ve talked to here has echoed the sentiments that I’ve had, which is that our government, our corporations, our parties, our media should all be accountable for what they do here. I think that’s the common thread.”
I said,”I was wondering if I could pick your brain about some campaign finance reform, specifically about, like, contributions from hedge funds and, you know, our friends at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan and the six major I-banks in general. I mean, what do you think can be done to dimish the influence of those contributions? Should they banned? Is money speech, as some have contended?” I was referring to the Citizens United decision, which has since received skepticism by right-wing figures such as Newt Gingrich and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, both of whom seemed to agree at the last national Republican convention that the anonymity, if not the amount, of the contributions was problematic to the system.
Mr. Paterson replied, “Well, I’ll tell you — one thing that I strongly believe in is that corporations are not people. And when you look at what the Supreme Court did in 2010, ruling that corporations are citizens; they’re people of this country; and that money equals speech in this country; therefore there can be unlimited corporate money spent to influence the outcomes of elections to buy politicians, that’s something that’s not right.
“There’s other options as far as helping publicly finance campaigns so independent parties and third-party candidates can have a voice and we have don’t this monopoly of two parties in our country. There’s a lot of options to be looked at, but we in this park have not charged any specific policy options yet. It could come over time, but I think it’s too early for that, but there’s a lot of things that could be done.”
Jesse Jackson showed up, and I asked him the same question, although severely flubbing it out of nervousness generated by some review I read of “Shakedown.”
TB: “How can we limit the influence of the financial services industry on politicians in the Senate, the House?”
Jesse Jackson: “By finding and having hearings on their campaign finance committees. There’s too much money involved in campaigns, too much money.”
TB: “Limit contributions?”
JJ: “Yeah. And those –”
TB: “Publicly funded campaigns?”
JJ: “– who invest money determine the legislation. They determine regulation. So it’s time to put a huge focus on public financing of campaigns.”
I spoke to a group of American University students, who by the very nature of their being a certain age, were probably representative of many of the motivations people have had to camp out in McPherson Square for the past few weeks. They didn’t give me their names, so I’m just going to make up names for them.
John Brown: “I think a lot of it is a lack of influence on the political process and an overabundance of corporate influence in the political process. I feel like — and this is a minute ago — that there’s — capitalism is a great system in a lot of ways, but when it goes unchecked and unregulated, you end up with people who have a vested interest in making more money. And when they already have a lot of money, they can invest that to keep making more money. And so that’s how we’ve gotten point in the political — by putting it in the political process and ensuring that they’ll keep making more money.”
I asked him what sort of regulations he would like to see.
JB: “I’d like to see higher taxes on the superwealthy. I mean, there’s been a lot of talk about people who make, you know, more than $200,000, more than $400,000 a year, which is good. But I mean, what about people who make millions of dollars a year or billions of dollars, you know? And there aren’t that many of them.” Just this month the Senate-passed “fiscal-cliff” bill indeed raised taxes on $400,000 earners.
Mr. Brown continued, “But 10 percent of America’s population controls something like 75 (percent) to 80 percent of its wealth. And that’s what makes capitalism an — and that kind of capitalism is anti-democratic because suddenly you have a system where people are voting with their dollars, but most of the people have no dollars to vote with, and a minority, a very small minority, of the people have all of the political influence.”
TB: “It seems like a lot of people — when people speak against corruption in capitalism, [the criticizers of the people who speak against corruption in capitalism] treat it like it’s an attack on meritocracy itself, like on a system where the just and the able are rewarded and are rewarded thus financially. But why do you think people are reacting that, that they treat regulation of an industry as an attack on the ability of the just and the able to achieve success and have an incentive to produce things for everyone?”
JB: “I think because it’s an easy argument to make, and I think that’s why. I mean, I’m a democratic socialist, but . . . I mean, welfare and socialism is important, and you know, that kind of having a touch of that. But I mean, capitalism’s also important. I mean, you’ve got to strike a balance. I would never call for a completely socialist state and I would never call for absolutely no — you know, like a libertarian state –
TB: “Like Somalia!”
JB: — where capitalism is totally free to whatever it wants. I don’t think either one will work. But somewhere in the middle, where you have a regulated capitalist economy and a lot of social programs, I think, is just right. You need that.
“And the people who make the most out of society, they didn’t make it on their own. They’re a product of this society. They should have to give back. I mean, that’s why I think there should be higher taxes on the superwealthy. Because they should have to give back according to what they take. And that money, they didn’t just make that themselves.
People spent that, so that came from someone else. Someone gave them that money, so they have — I mean, it is a cycle, and so they have to feed back in, I think, to the cycle. They have to promote.”
Another man said, “You know, Monsanto, they’re actually in Iraq. So after the invasion — or a great example of kind of what I think is completely repugnant about the government — where — you had, you know, L. Paul Bremer as the head of the provisional government and, you know, putting in these place decrees really. It wasn’t voted on by the Iraqi people. He has instituted over 80, you know, orders for post-war Iraqis, where it created the conditions, created the intellectual property laws, you know, the patent laws that allowed Monsanto to then come in and to, you know, make massive profits off these Iraqi farmers who unbenknownst to them were given Monsanto seeds by USAID. You know, once those seeds are in the ground, I mean, you’re paying for them for pretty much forever.
“And you know, that whole sort of system actually is one example: that entire system where, you know, it’s corporations — they’re not literally deciding policy. But when there’s not much divide all the time between these corporate interests and these political interests is pretty abominable.
“And you know, corporations., they make tons of profit, which they can then spend on campaign contributions or, you know, on political ads now. With Citizens United, a lot of restrictions are gone, these previous restrictions. And I think you have these, you know, government officials and stuff who are able to use the law to create favorable conditions for corporations.
“Or with the IMF — you know, what we see there is the IMF is kind of like a doctor that, you know, will save your life but cut off your foot, you know, in payment — where it goes into countries, Greece, for example; or a lot of South America: Argentina, Bolivia in the past. And you know, these countries are messes economically. What the IMF does is say essentially, you know, we’ll help you out here with this money, but you know, we’ll use these structural readjustment programs to impose these neoliberal trade policies that are extremely harmful for countries that don’t have a strong labor organization — they don’t have strong domestic industries — that allow — for example, this wasn’t IMF-imposed, but you know the policies were similar — I don’t believe it was IMF-imposed; I might be wrong — in Cote d’Ivoire where Cargill — you know,the agrobusiness company — has horribly exploited the workers there for, you know, the coca resources [...] But in general that whole sort of political culture where that’s acceptable, where that’s a regularly done thing, i think is something that needs to end as soon as we can, you know, bring it to an end.”
A woman seated nearby said, “Well, I think that Sandra was saying earlier about it easy argument to make that, like, attacking capitalism is like attaching, you know, hard work. I think the reason that that is such an easy argument to make is because everyone secretly hopes that they’re going to be that 1 percent someday, and like, they don’t want to regulate corporations or, like, tax the rich because they kind of hope that that will be them. And they want — you know, well, I wouldn’t want as much money as possible.”
“Or not so secretly,” suggested a man seated next to her.
Said another woman in the circle, “I know. It’s not a secret. They’re like, well, when I’m rich, I don’t want to be stifled.
Abbie Hoffman: “A big part of American culture, I think, is the idea that someday you’ll be the super — you’ll be that guy in the mansion.”
TB: “And then you can finally put your knee on someone else’s kneck? You know, like your old boss or something.”
‘Emma Goldman’: “Right, yeah. It’s like fraternities.”
AH: “It’s almost like a distortion of the American dream, or like, it’s the nasty side.”
‘John Brown’: “It’s the commercialization of it. “
‘Emma Goldman’: “People want to believe it, but it’s not really — it’s not going to happen to them.”
AH: “It could. It could. It’s possible. It’s not probable, but they’re going for that — you know, I’m going to be the 1 percent who makes it to the 1 percent.”
Said a bystander, “Yeah, but I think it’s also — it’s not a sustainable thing. And ‘sustainable’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot. It’s sort of, you know, the green movements.’
TB: “Did people really let the wealth gap in the United States spiral out of country since the ’60s and ’70s because they wanted to be so not just rich and well-off and comfortable compared to the rest of the world but even just relative to their neighbors in the United States?”
AH: “I mean, we’re a system based on competition. I think that’s certainly.”
EG: “We’re just really focused on individualism. Like, it’s a good thing but it’s also, like, to our detriment.”
AH: “Individual freedom to an extent of, like, being able to do whatever you want at whatever price to whoever else is around. And it doesn’t matter. If I can pay for it, I don’t care how it affects you. It’s my right to do it. It’s sort of a selfish thing.
TB: “It seems like we just publicly subsidize gambling, like we’re literally operating casinos as just a way of turning profit. And it’s an esoteric game for a very small group of people, and it doesn’t produce products. It’s obviously not moving money to the sectors of the economy where it’s needed most, in my opinion.”
Said again the bystander I did not bother to nickname, “Yeah, that’s what it used to be. Well, we reward — I don’t know about the most, but what’s extremely well-rewarded in this culture is moving money around, just playing around with money to maximize everyone’s profits.”
TB: “Just moving it anywhere, you think?”
Said the bystander, “I mean, if I think of it as just moving it anywhere, then that wouldn’t be the best financial strategy. But it’s certainly moving money around, and that’s not creating anything.”
EG: “Like taking risk to have great reward.”
AH: “I was reading about a man who just made a tremendous amount in the recession because he,like, bet against the economy. And like, the Occupy Wall Street proters, like, went by his home, and he just, like, sent out a press release or something along those lines just saying how it was a completely ridiculous movement.”
Said the bystander, “And the U.S. government has really kind of created a system that currently allows for, you know, virtually unlimited profit for banks because, you know, the government, like, lowered interest rates to pretty much zero percent for these banks to borrow money. And the idea was that, you know, OK, they borrow money at zero percent interest rates, and then they’ll be more willing to lend money; you know, they won’t be foreclosing.
‘That was the idea. It was supposed to benefit people. It hasn’t happened. What they do is they have been buying U.S. Treasury bonds, which you know, that you get interest on that. So you can just borrow money, buy bonds. You know, it’s just — where; like, what — why the entire systemis just designed, you know, to help these people. I think it’s awful. It’s really bad.”
I had been monitoring the McPherson Square campout of Occupy D.C. for a few weeks, and by October 15 — when I first wrote down these interactions — there were more tents out in the park than ever. The People’s Library was set up, complete with issues of Socialist Worker and Left Turn. There was a carefully named “comfort” tent with medical supplies, just like the flagship Zucotti Park manifestation of the Occupy demonstrations.
There are good reasons to be leery about the possible co-opting of these demonstrations against corporate greed, and particularly greed in the financial services industry. The end-the-Fed advocate out there with whom I spoke admitted that an outcome of adopting a gold standard for our currency would be unlikely to raise employment or lessen economic disparity in the United States.
‘Van Hayek:’ “I was here last weekend for a march, and one of the chants we had going during that was, ‘Banks got bailed out; we got sold out.’ So I would say the majority of people here at least in my experience are against the bailouts and against bailouts in general on principle [...] The main reason I’m against them is just the fact that trickle-down economics has proven not to work, you know? The idea is that in saving these banks that money will eventually return to the lower classes and the working classes and the middle classes of the economy and stimulate growth in that area. And that hasn’t happened.
“And what’s ended up happening is that the banks have turned record profits ever since the bailouts, as have other industries, and it’s not trickling down to the people that need it most. And that’s my problem with.”
TB: “Why would ending the Fed — what would that do? Would that decrease the wealth disparities, or what would that do?”
VH: “Well, my problem with the Fed is that — it has to do with the way the money supply works in the economy in that every dollar that comes into existence is already debt owed to a bank. And the Fed is really just a private bank. It’s not owned by the people of the United States. And that’s the problem I have with it. What we should have is a government that can print its own money that isn’t backed by debt that’s owed to a bank. And I’m not sure specifically how to solve that right now, but I know it’s not something that I like.”
TB: “I noticed a lot of people are really upset that the banks have all this money and these major corporations have all this money. And then people — you know, they’re creating jobs with it, at least not with the rate that, you know, the population’s expanding and stuff. Do you think that’s there’s any, like, conflict between the requirements that Congress and many people want to put on the banks to have larger and larger capital reserves, so when they mess up they can control their own consequences instead of having to get bailed; and the other demand, that is in fact they need to take their money and then invest it and take risk and then create all these jobs? Do you feel that there’s, like, a conflict there between those types of demands?”
Milton Friedman: “I’m not a big proponent of trickle-down economics as far as that goes. So I don’t really see that plan working. As far as investment goes — at least as far as I’ve seen — when investment is made, it’s usually in a foreign country, where land is very cheap and they can buy –
TB: “Labor, too.”
MF: ” — labor, exactly. They can buy a really nice house with a good bit of land. And you know, I mean, it’s –”
TB: “That’s not going to go down in value. Land at least never does.”
MF: “No, exactly. Well, I mean, like, the thing is I recently actually went to India. And I mean, when I was there, it was absolutely amazing to see the massive skyscrapers of telemarketers — just I mean, bigger than anything we have here, just of telemarketer buildings in India. And you know, the thing is we all kind of know that that money didn’t come from them; that was our money that was shuffled into their economy over the past decade.”
“And I personally have no problem with, you know, exchanging wealth and stuff. But when we’re talking about the stuff we’re in . . . you know, and we’re sending how much money to other countries in order to build out their economies. I mean, that’s my main problem with it as far as the investment side of it goes.”
“I mean, regulations — yes, I support regulation so that they should be able to — you know, they should definitely be regulated in how much they can lend. I don’t believe in fractional lending at all, but however, another point is I definitely hate the bailout idea, the very idea that that — I mean, that that is even an option for something that’s not like the — you know, the major food producer in the country or, you know, something like that, where everybody would starve if it didn’t happen. I mean, I think it’s absolutely insane.”
The International Business Times aired a set of graphs that quite thoroughly dispense with the insipid claim — even by voices as apparently sympathetic as Al Gore’s own — that the protesters are not being specific enough. As the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, making promises that the American Jobs Act would get unemployment below 9.1 percent, which would effectively happen two months later without the bill’s passage, anyone capable of so much as squinting could see that the real statistics about joblessness are a pure manipulation, as one’s finally giving up and resigning yourself to the dole gradually put one out of that “regular” unemployed category. Altogether hearing bystanders, pundits, reporters and especially electoral losers like Al Gore complain about how the protests weren’t specific just felt like impatience.
I even heard a lot of sneering from a crowd — one I would have perhaps years ago associated with MoveOn.org, named for a now-irrelevant political sex scandal — that the consensus, not plurality system of Occupy Atlanta blocked civil rights-era legend and now Congressman John Lewis’ addressing them. Rep. Lewis did yeoman’s work fighting the evils of segregation in the vicious 1960s South, but if the iron was not yet hot, there was no point in striking it yet. The most closely associated Occupy politician, Elizabeth Warren, eventually rode to victory in Massachusetts, having never spoken at a rally but having faced Karl Rove’s bizarre Crossroads ad.
The protest proved successful in pushing forward the surtax on incomes over a million dollars, cutting the odds of monthly account fees, and causing legions of Americans to move their money into credit unions. Even in December 2009, when the Bush-era tax cuts on the top 1 and 2 percent were extended, polls showed a slim majority of self-identified Republicans supported their repeal. By late 2010, four-fifths of the general population support the millionaire surtax, as do surely even more of the people who took the enormous hassle of assembling overnight in public spaces. That brand of protest is one of the best reasons why the Constitution pays lip service to freedom of assembly. In McPherson Square, at least, what was so strikingly different than the tea partyers of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally is that the Occupy Wall Streeters contain some of the same very elements: the gold standarders, the end-the-Feders — even though those voices were marginalized.
The protesters in Cairo during the Arab spring proved obviously enormously influential on this movement, with The Occupied Wall Street Journal trumpeting a timeline of influence to the movement that traces everything as far back as Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation early this year. October 18th, Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig was giving a teach-in in McPherson Square, lightly browbeating a protester for his refusal to work with the tea party. And I was there listening to Mr. Lessig, even though he was looking very hip to the crowd.
In Egypt, Coptic Christians were the subjects of merciless persecution, seeing their churches bombed and their adherents murdered semi-routinely. But at the time of the actions in Cairo, those emblematic images of Christians circling praying Muslims to defend their right to pray in public rightfully stood as testimonials to the power of people against the elites, who endlessly, ruthlessly exploit divide-and-conquer tactics. Back then, before President Morsi’s Islamists drummed out regular elections, it looked like Egypt could unite around a cause bigger than cause, and that Americans could unite around a cause bigger than money. Now taxes on the wealthy are higher than the Bush era, and Congress is more unpopular than ever.
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – Speaking from the deck of his personal boat, Tea Party Candidate for President Grady Warren, who received an early 2011 endorsement from The Internet Chronicle , outlined a daring plan to fight big government. Through the instatement of “re-education camps” targeted at at-risk members of the youth population too ne’er-do-well to serve as janitors in their high schools, Mr. Warren’s plan will see a brighter future.
“That future is out there,” said Mr. Warren. “It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it. Our nation depends on it. The peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future for America tonight.”
The National Education Association, he explained on his fishing vessel, “Little Skippy,” is in fact a money-laundering criminal organization, a tyrannical behemoth serving as the iron fist of the virtually omnipotent teachers’ lobby. Over the course of President Obama’s first term public school teachers have seen their collective bargaining rights enhanced and expanded, and their nominal salaries rise to levels unseen since the close of World War II. U.S. schools currently pay teachers exorbitantly, with compensation and pensions far higher than in any other industrialized nation.
Speaking in a comfortable pair of shoes from a Madison, Wisconsin picket line February 17, 2011 President Obama expounded upon his own proto-fascist ideology: “The United States is the greatest nation on earth. Therefore as long as I am its president its teachers will receive no salary, no wage lower than any other nation’s.”
Mr. Warren’s visionary plan, endorsed by North Carolina State Professor Kamau Kambon and Democratic Strategist Melissa Harris-Perry, would pulverize the NEA’s unholy jackboot at the tarsals. The five-point Warren plan for Small-Government Education Success is simple:
1. Re-open military bases and allow any serviceman or servicewoman forced away post-BRAC to return to the more convenient location.
2. Utilize 2010 census data to locate households containing (or likely to shield) impoverished teenage or young adult black males.
3. Conduct a poll of the Tea Party Caucus mailing list of Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on the nature of what constitutes an “American man” and have the Defense Department develop a curriculum based on these scientific findings.
4. Use the new, improved National Defense Authorization Act’s powers to detain all targets.
5. Transfer all targets to the re-education centers, each target’s designated center decided by lottery.
Mr. Warren’s five-point plan, which Redditors have likened to the plot of “Bioshock Infinite,” undermined Mitt Romney’s southern strategy throughout the summer. Mississippi Republican voters, for instance, of whom a plurality are opposed to the legality of interracial marriage, were seduced by the Tea Party candidate’s smoother hair and moral fortitude. “We were worried when we heard Mr. Romney was wearing that blackface on Univision,” said Gloria Porter, 29, of Jackson. Her husband, Bobby Porter, his crossed arms moving abruptly between her and this reporter, said he was concerned that Mr. Romney was encouraging “race-mixing.”
As a consequence of the poll damage Anonymous candidate Grady Warren was doing in the South, Mr. Romney released four attack ads that targeted Mr. Warren’s plan to entice legally present ethnic minorities into sanctuary cities. Bill Murphy, social media director for the Romney campaign who has previously warned Americans about the oncoming black-on-white race war, told The Washington Times September 22 that Mr. Warren’s plan to actually offer cash assistance to “incent the lowest rungs of the 47 percent rabble” was barely an improvement on President Obama’s own wealth redistribution schemes. Added Mr. Murphy, “Americans aren’t fooled by the Warren bait-and-switch of offering security while encumbering job creators with these cash allowances, which are extracted through force. Why should Americans have to pay the race pimps and class warriors to go away?”
In April 2011 Grady Warren received The Internet Chronicle’s endorsement after he made clear that America’s wealthiest are not only powerfully independent and self-sustaining but also victims of everyone else.
President Barack Hussein Obama II, whom the ivory tower elites have designated to glide to victory on the backs of the Houston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, may be able to rig enough electronic voting machines in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania. But Real America will know that Mitt Romney was the real winner.
Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said Monday it is possible that Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney may very well win the popular vote, as Al Gore did in 2000, while ultimately losing the electoral vote. “Abercrombie & Fitch clothiers throughout the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area,” he said, “are bracing for hordes of Caucasian looters and rioters.” Korean American proprietors of free-standing Disney Stores are taking special precautions, knowing that European Americans may prove not only zealous, but also sufficiently well-armed, to attempt to make off with golden era anti-Semitic merchandise from the “Disney Vault.”
WASHINGTON – Wednesday afternoon the White Phone got on the record with Scott Horton, lecturer-at-law at Columbia University and Harper’s columnist, after catching an informative at Fordham University panel discussion on C-SPAN. There on October 16 Mr. Horton had characterized the whistleblower status of Army Private Bradley Manning as tenuous. Private Manning’s alleged leaking, Mr. Horton said at Fordham, did not utilize “the sort of filtering” the professor associated with whistle-blowing. Seemingly contradicting the probable defense arguments of the private’s attorneys, Mr. Horton added the claim that Private Manning released “all the confidential cable traffic that he was able to access.”
Military prosecutor have accused Private Manning of leaking thousands of classified State Department cables to WikiLeaks, the transparency advocate organization since beleaguered by rape accusations against its founder and a multinational financial blockade.
Mr. Horton touted his own work with whistleblowers at the Abu Ghraib facility and — as he had at Fordham — suggested that Private Manning would have had better luck exposing systemic criminality apparent in the cables by approaching inspectors general or Congress itself. This approach, he suggested, might have angered military brass but would have left them unable to intimidate or silence the private, who has faced months of solitary confinements and now multiple decades of his life in military detention.
In a Fort Meade pre-trial hearing Manning attorney David Coombs made inquiry as to whether any screening and pre-censorship of the cables by Private Manning could affect either charges and sentencing. Mr. Horton’s asserting this month that Manning had just leaked all available cables writ large is troubled by the easy-to-anticipate claim by his attorneys that the private had exercised some degree of discretion. The leaking of the entirety of what was cables provided probably by Manning was the product of coordinated operational security bungling by a Guardian reporter, who headlined a chapter in a book about WikiLeaks with the password used to unlock an aggregate file, and a WikiLeaks associate who, upon leaving the organization, shuffled a version of the insurance file onto a public service. In 2011 Internet Chronicle researchers attempted to plug the Guardian password into the “insurance file,” the one publicly available on torrent via The Pirate Bay, to no avail.
Asked about statements by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) accusing the “Cablegate” documents of leading to real casualties in the Afghanistan-Pakistan military theater, Mr. Horton characterized the senator’s statements as “foolish” and a parroting of the administration’s overblown estimations of the cables’ impact. Speaking from his New York City office, the professor said that it wasn’t clear that anyone had been physically harmed by the leaks, whether they had been informants to the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF; or servicemen and servicewomen themselves.
In the wake of her groundbreaking expose on the ever-expanding veil of government secrecy, in 2011 The Internet Chronicle consulted Washington Post reporter Dana Priest on the reputed harm caused by the “Cablegate” documents. Last year on September 7 The Internet Chronicle asked Ms. Priest about the nature of the intentions of those who claim to be concerned about the potential deaths of civilian informants or human rights activists following the recent, unredacted leak of the diplomatic cables. This reporter confused the host of the event, seated away from Ms. Priest’s microphone, with William Arkin, the Post report’s co-author, to whom he bore a vague resemblance.
“The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted many ways by many different people.”
WASHINGTON – Andrew Auernheimer, an American gray hat hacker better known as “weev,” tells The Internet Chronicle that his indictment in a New Jersey District Court over a June 2010 AT&T data breach is at its root an important free speech issue. Speaking to Chronicle.su’s Gray Phone, Mr. Auernheimer, a 27-year-old associate of Goatse Security, claims he made certain AT&T was aware of the breach in time to patch it, he never sought financial gain from what was in effect the the extraction of 114,000 iPad users’ email addresses, and that he never personally possessed more customer data than enough to communicate that the breach was bona fide. While prosecutors imply Mr. Auernheimer’s actions and statements may constitute computer fraud and foreknowledge of possible insider trading, he and his fellow Goatse Security associates saw themselves as merely tarnishing a company’s reputation due to its own reckless mishandling of customer data.
The actual extractor of iPad users’ email addresses, Daniel Spitler, 26, who may face as many as 10 years in prison, has already plead guilty to having gained unauthorized access to computers and identity theft. Mr. Spitler’s sentencing is forthcoming. Mr. Auernheimer served as a media liaison for the group, and only possessed iPad device signatures and email addresses related to media, such as Thomson Reuters and News Corporation.
Citing ’90s law enforcement debacles, such as the civilian deaths at Waco and the deaths in the Weaver family at Ruby Ridge, Mr. Auernheimer issued his appraisal of the honesty of federal law enforcement: “These are lying, perjurous, murderous thugs.”
He added, “If they will murder people, and no consequences of it will come for them, do you think they won’t manufacture evidence or coax false testimony? Give me break.”
“I’ve never shorted a stock, I’ve not solicited a third party to short a stock. And there’s nothing that I do that’s any different than what the financial press does. I’m issuing my opinion on AT&T’s — the information that they’ve made publicly accessible and giving my opinion of their infrastructure, as a result and of course Apple’s products.” He added, “There’s nothing illegal about this. This is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and also there is a system in violation here in that they have denied my right to due process by allowing AT&T to arbitrarily after the fact of access determine what is and isn’t not an authorized without the use of Congress to determine what is or is not an illegal act.”
A New Jersey district court informational document reads, “[D]efendent SPITLER, [Mr. Auernheimer], and other Goatse Security members discussed who in the press had disclosed the data breach to At&T, since, contrary to the Gawker Article, neither defendant SPITLER, nor anyone from Goatse Security had.” The document goes on to catalog an exchange between Mr. Auernheimer and colleague “Nstyr” in which they intimate they have not informed AT&T tech support by telephone.
“I don’t fucking care [about calling AT&T directly.] [I] hope they sue me,” wrote Mr. Auernheimer, in private correspondence confiscated by federal investigators. Asked by The Internet Chronicle’s Gray Phone why he didn’t go to AT&T first, he was concerned about greater liability by even talking to the telecommunications giant.
“Many people that have direct dialogue with companies in this sort of situation are accused of extortion, and I specifically wanted to avoid being accused falsely of extortion,” he says. Mr. Auernheimer contacted at least one third party — whom he declined to name but AT&T identified as a “business customer” — and says he was certain the patch would be forthcoming before leaking the data to Gawker could cause any harm. The third party’s identity, he says, makes it “inherently obvious” that he or she would make AT&T knowledgeable.
AT&T, he says, doesn’t “need to be informed by me. They need to be informed by somebody.”
An associate named “Pynchon” wrote to Mr. Auernheimer, “[H]ey, just an idea [ -- ] delay this outing for a couple days[,] tomorrow short some [AT&T] stock[,] then out them on [T]uesday[,] then fill your short and profit[.]
With this quote posed to him by Chronicle.su, Mr. Auernheimer said, “I don’t believe that anybody had an interest in shorting a stock,” adding, “And I certainly did not solicit them, too, and I’ve received no kickbacks for doing so. And I don’t believe anybody did, or otherwise I’d be charged with a securities-related crime, which I of course am not.”
Mr. Auernheimer said he doesn’t recall writing a reply to “Pynchon’s” stock-shorting idea with the reply: “[I]f you want to do it[,] go nuts.” However for Mr. Auernheimer and ultimately Mr. Spitler, the only entity to have extracted and held all the data, prosecutors are sure to make much of the transcript’s mentioning of any of their associates’ even jesting about or humoring such a securities violation. To be sure Goatse Security has a long history of conducting operations simply for reputational gain or their laughter at others’ expense — known as “lulz.”
Mr. Spitler’s indictment falsely claims that AT&T is headquartered in New Jersey. Mr. Auernheimer characterized this as perjury motivated by venue shopping, intended to maximize chances at prosecution. AT&T is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
In their analysis of chat logs federal prosecutors independently construed the sad-face emoticon “D8″ as the sexual metaphor “balls deep,” or as they put it, “to be deeply involved in an activity or to perform an activity to the greatest extent possible.” This revelation is not only humorous but shows, when taken in the context of Mr. Auernheimer’s relayed concern about civil, not criminal, liability for the data breach, Mr. Spitler was actually expressing fear.
ATLANTA, GA. – “Hey, she’s a dame. What do ya say, Hermie? We pick her up and show her a good time, give her the presidential treatment?”
Two pairs of eyes met in agreement on the rearview mirror. As it slowed to a stop, the campaign van brakes cried out in protest.
“I’ll introduce myself.”
The man in the backseat watched through tinted windows. “Yes, what is it?” the woman inquired of the driver, who approached her on foot now. He was a stocky white gentleman wearing a sportcoat, stylish prescription glasses, and a stained yellow mustache that matched his teeth.
“You want to meet a celebrity?”
“What are you doing?” she asked as he got closer. Her face changed, although an expression of politeness remained. “Now, wait just a second, what do you want? Back! Hey, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?” The driver had grabbed her by the wrist, but when she pulled away, he slapped her across the face and took her by her curly brown hair, leading her into the side door of their idling press wagon. She noticed it now, out of the corner of her eye: 2012.
Perhaps you’ve seen him on TV. He’s bringing jobs back to America. He believes we can take this country back. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be here today. His marriage fell to ruin in the wake of a series of sexual harassment scandals that surfaced as researchers snuffled for anything that might drop him out of the running. The hours were getting short; the days, much darker. It was only a matter of time now.
With their fly in tow, our two spiders drove around back of a warehouse not far from where they acquired a thirst for young flesh. Once inside, they removed her blindfold. The building was stacked to the tits with beer koozies, picket signs, boxes labeled “flair,” cardboard figures and T-shirts in every color and size ranging from small to medium to large, extra large, extra extra large, and the unthinkable XXXL. With no small degree of confusion, she absorbed her surroundings, forgetting for a moment the two dark figures just ten feet behind her. She struggled for breath at the sheer immensity of wall-to-wall fascism, lights shining on American flags, and in her eyes, too. She squinted to ascertain the meanings of slogans and effigies. America never looked so cheap. That is, until a red crowbar wedged itself between her right eye and the inner socket, hooking itself on her temple. The pain was insurmountable. She could not scream, and collapsed instantaneously under shock. Dull sensations of otherness were shooting off at random locations around her body. The pain was unfathomable. Reality ceased. A voice gave instructions. She followed them, without question, without understanding, with no intellectual capacity whatsoever to guide her through this terrible nightmare. She was no longer human.
The young woman – a skinny waitress in her thirties – with her fist in her mouth, put the other hand down to her gingham skirt. Her broken hand was gnarled into a claw, but using that claw, she tugged upward at her skirt with pathetic incapability, in a bid to satiate the verbose bloodlust of her attacker, candidate for the U.S. Republican Party presidential nomination, Herman Cain – a Georgia Tea Party activist.
The hairs on Herman’s neck bristled with anticipation. In the dark, he could not see it, but a flash of recognition darted through the young lady’s body as she made out the face of a man she once knew. A man who, before, had told her what to do in a more professional setting. She worked in one of his restaurants. Her boss. The owner.
Your God is Power. You have no shame.
“Rape victims are sluts who produce their own birth control. But you’re no victim,” declared Mr. Cain, a former deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “You like this. I’m going to teach you to like me.” As he pumped, and huffed, and breathed scotch into his victim’s mouth, his eyes glazed over and fixated on the corner of the room, where he imagined a younger, better looking rape victim. And briefly, he pictured his wife. “Now secrete it!”
Herman Cain crouched down over the woman, who was now bloody, disheveled and used, and he asked her politely if he might take her out to dinner sometime, and if he can get that phone number.
Black dots patterned across his vision, bubblewrapping the terrible scene beneath him, the product of his undoing. One last passenger aboard the Cain train. As he struggled to breathe with that thin, tobacco-stained breath of his, Herman’s blood flowed like sand.
“She’s done for, Herman. Now let’s be on our way.” Chief of Staff Mark Block, Herman’s driver, sucked the last trace of life from his cigarette. He could not take his eyes off the scene. Her ripped white underwear with blue trim, bloody at the crotch.
“I– I thought her body was supposed to shut down to keep this from happening.” Cain withdrew an unlabeled bottle of blood pressure medication and took four tiny white pills.
“If she gets pregnant, then it means she liked it. Who can blame her? We’ve run a campaign like nobody’s ever seen. But then, America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.”
A smile bled from the open corners of Herman’s mouth, from which sprung twin puffs of gaseous hate that twisted up his thin, dark mustache, and moved in a vapor around his furrowed brows, tracing the restaurant manager’s gray, receding hairline. Sister demons danced a double helix in the midnight air, assuming the form of matching parallel negative impressions, shaped like dervishes with forked tongues slithering, their writhing agitations, spied ever so slightly amid the shifting breeze in Block’s polluted exhalation. Graciously, they pulled his mouth wide into a devilish smile.
8:30 p.m. EDT – Georgian Attorney General Sam Olens is saying that the individual mandate tells you “what to think.” I’m not sure what to make of that.
8:35 p.m. EDT – Senator John Thune (R-SD) says that when playing basketball President Barack Obama is easy to predict because he “always goes to his left.”
8:54 p.m. EDT – Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is telling PBS that Mitt Romney supports offering military aid to the Free Syrian Army, seeming to simply that the United States is not currently. Sen. McCain touts that French President Hollande — “a socialist,” he makes a point of saying — supports a no-fly zone about the Mediterranean country.
9:14 p.m. EDT – Steve Cohen, as Media Matters is most prominently pointing out, has received more than “$2 million in government contracts, including nearly $220,000 in stimulus funds, and claims a ‘long and proud history of supplying heavy-duty American Made equipment to government agencies and the US military.”
9:19 p.m. EDT – In the face of PBS Host Gwen Ifill pressing the senator on the unpopularity of keeping taxes lower on the top 1 percent and 2 percent — and the inevitability of Democrats being determined to hang that policy “around the neck” of the Republicans, Senator Ron Johnson says that Democrats have not adequately challenged Republicans, as they have not presented their own budget.
9:27 p.m. EDT – Republican delegate Becky Davis (MO) says that female voters are “feeling [economic woes of late] in the grocery store,” seemingly emphasizing women loving cooking.
9:32 p.m. EDT – Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is attacking President Obama’s vacation time. CBS News has reported that, at least a year in, Obama had taken a third of the vacation time than the last Republican president, 20 months in.
9:41 p.m. EDT – Fox News Channel Host Mike Huckabee says that convention attendees might be asking themselves how former rivals can unite to support one of them. The two, says Mr. Huckabee, “have Barack Obama to thank,” fully embracing the notion that the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend.
I get the sense that Huckabee didn’t listen to the previous speaker who referenced Obama claiming that if deficit controls didn’t work, that he would himself be looking at a “one-term proposition.” Otherwise he would have gone slightly off of the teleprompter, instead of saying, “Do you remember when” the president made that statement.
9:51 p.m. EDT – Mr. Huckabee says that Obama is an evangelical Christian. However the United Church of Christ, President Obama’s denomination, is not a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
10:12 p.m. EDT – By saying that “hard decisions” prevented a follow-up attack to 9/11, is Condoleezza Rice implying that the Iraq War, who cause is now doubted by most House Republicans, was that hard decision?
10:14 p.m. EDT – A defining quality of this convention is how rarely the speakers mention Barack Obama by name.
10:16 p.m. EDT – Regarding the ongoing “we built it” private-sector theme, Arizona Governor Susana Martinez says, “[my parents] built it,” meaning their livelihoods, even though her father was a government employee, as a Marine and later a sheriff.
Gov. Martinez says that, despite Democrats controlling her state’s legislature, she talks about her state turning a state budget deficit into a surplus, saying “we,” presumably meaning her administration, “did it without raising taxes.” But did they do it, or did the private sector?
10:32 p.m. EDT – It’s interesting that Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan references the Obama administration’s failure to oversee the reopening of a GM plant, in front of which, he says, Obama engaged in grandstanding about its reopening. However, Mr. Romney was an advocate of bailing out Detroit in his own right.
10:52 p.m. EDT – Rep. Ryan referencing Jack Kemp, his mentor, could evoke similar discomfort as to when then Governor Schwarzenegger talked about his admiration for Richard Nixon’s speech-giving.
WASHINGTON – 7:17 p.m. EDT, House Speaker John Boehner is referencing that President Obama “you didn’t build that” line, easily evoking for me the story of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating, featured in a Romney ad, a company that relied on hundreds of thousands of dollars in government subsidy.
7:19 p.m. EDT – Crowd shots from C-SPAN, heavily bleaching on the women’s hair.
7:24 p.m. EDT – Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus seems like he’s awfully loud, considering that he has a mic.
7:28 p.m.. EDT – Mr. Priebus strongly hammering home the “you didn’t build that” as well, disparaging the infrastructure that comprises a mixed economy.
7:40 p.m. EDT – “Not up to government to save our country . . . up to us,” says Mia Love, Utah House candidate, in ad, further espousing the view that the government is not in fact representative of public will. Is the common law the will of mankind, as Robert Kennedy contended?
7:45 p.m. EDT – The United States, says Love, is the “last, best hope,” a country with an accelerating fall in human development index.
7:48 p.m. EDT – When actress Janine Turner describes an ever-growing government, she is trying to describe the federal government’s level of control, not the net number of federal and state employees as a percentage of the population, which is in fact in serious decline. (Source: Hamilton Project)
7:51 p.m. EDT – When RNC officials and spokespeople endorse “God” blessing America, are they really respecting the First Amendment, and the tacit separation of church/synagogue/whatever, which also protects polytheists and atheists?
8:04 p.m. EDT – Delaware Republican lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Sher Valenzuela touts that Mr. Romney understands the “human case for free enterprise,” but her own family’s business relied on “millions of dollars in secure government contracts.”
8:16 p.m. EDT – It’s interesting that “penalties” Ayotte discusses for a small-business owner, who might otherwise expand a business, others might describe as funds meant to provide a basic social floor for employees.
The senator also disparages the “rolling back” of “Obamacare” by a President Romney, while Mr. Romney’s book, “No Apologies,” in fact postulates a nationwide expansion of the widely disfavored individual mandate.
8:20 p.m. EDT – And here’s Jack Gilchrist, who no doubt desires to trumpet how he “built it.” He says the Obama administration is “killing us” and “won’t get out of our way.” However, as discussed by the New Hampshire Union Leader, his company received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds.
8:36 p.m. EDT – Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin reminds me once again how popular bleached hair is in the GOP female crowd. We’re adding the fashion tag now.
Gov. Fallin is remarking that the first oil well in Oklahoma was not subsidized by public capital. According to a 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute, between 2002 and 2008, the government subsidized oil drilling and exploration to the tune of $7.1 billion.
8:59 p.m. EDT – There is the biggest of all cheers yet for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Gov. Walker says we need to elect Mr. Romney and Representative Paul Ryan (WI) to “save America.”
9:09 p.m. EDT – Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval expresses pride in Nevada’s role in putting Abraham Lincoln in the White House. It is an interesting historical footnote that Communist Manifesto co-author Karl Marx would write to President Lincoln to congratulate him on his win.
9:15 p.m. EDT – Road sign builder, Phil Archuletta, who makes signs for the Forest Service and a variety of federal agencies, takes the stage, ambiguously a part of the “we built it” agenda.
“[The Obama] administration is putting us out of business,” says Mr. Archuletta, referring to their denial of subsidy to his busines, saying that he is “barely hanging on with orders from the state of New Mexico” thanks to Republican Governor Susana Martinez.
9:22 p.m. EDT – Mr. Santorum conspicuously dodging a reference to his Italian communist heritage.
He says that welfare reform didn’t work precisely because the “welfare rolls were cut in half.” It’s unclear at this point from his statements how seriously he is implying that cutting welfare rolls unto itself actually spurred job creation.
9:48 p.m. EDT – Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz espouses his parents’ involvement in the, for decades, massively subsidized petroleum industry.
9:51 p.m. EDT – Former Representative Artur Davis (D-AL) knocks the individual mandate, endorsed by the conservative Heritage Foundation in the early ’90s
9:58 p.m. EDT – Mr. Davis disparages the prospect of the Democratic Party, at their Charlotte convention, showing off their most famous presidents, while every president since the New Deal, Republican and Democrat, oversaw much higher taxes on the top 1 percent and 2 percent. In disagreeing with those rates, the modern Republican Party engages in the most unpopular part of its platform — on which it has distanced itself even from its voting base.
10:01 p.m. EDT – In pushing voter ID laws, comparing them to the necessity of carrying ID onto an airplane, Governor Nikki Haley (SC) overstates how common voter fraud is, and understates how alarming, easily exploited not requiring ID to board a plane, would be. Plane trips are and should be a relatively luxury compared to suffrage. Citizens with the economic wherewithal to afford plane trips are more likely to have the time and resources to more conveniently obtain state ID.
Fascinatingly, Gov. Haley calls President Obama a “mack daddy,” apparently a reference to virility — fascinating because he has so many fewer children than Mr. Romney.
10:15 p.m. EDT – It sounds like Ann Romney is slightly caving to Democratic spokesperson Hilary Rosen’s criticisms from months ago, when she contended that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life. In the prepared remarks, Mrs. Romney references “the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy.”
The calculation here is to improve Mr. Romney’s lagging numbers with single women. Even Rick Santorum extended a hand to the “heroism” to single mothers per se.
10:21 p.m. EDT – Also, from Ann Romney’s prepared remarks (but as she more or less said it), she says her father “moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan. There, he started a business — one he built himself, by the way. ” However even her father took advantage of the government dime to expand his business and expertise, helping to design the landing crafts for D-Day.
10:36 p.m. EDT – Seemingly channeling Obama’s own terminology, New Jersey Governor Christie calls his own speaking gig “improbable” due to his being a Republican from a relatively Democratic-leaning state. But in fact that is one of the main reasons for his degree of influence and certainly his speaking position.
10:50 p.m. EDT – Potentially confounding Gov. Christie’s comparison to other developed countries’ relatively successful educational systems is that most of those other countries have relatively robust teachers’ unions and pensions.