Memo to American Bankers Association from lobbyists spells out $850,000 anti-OWS plan

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101 Responses to “Memo to American Bankers Association from lobbyists spells out $850,000 anti-OWS plan”

  1. Mari Lwyd says:

    (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”

    Defend them from what? Are an entire political party and squads of police mercenaries [jpmorganchase.com] required to protect Wall Street from a few thousand dirty, lazy hippies with video cameras and an internet connection?

    • dagfooyo says:

      Apparently so.  And it looks like even all that won’t be enough to save them.  The sleeping giant of the people is waking and no amount of political pressure or police jackbootery can stop it.

    • Let me get this straight.  An outside firm writes up a proposal and sends it to the ABA.  There’s no evidence that the ABA solicited or accepted the proposal, but this is still news?  If I send Obama a proposal offering to help sell the public on collectivizing industry, do you think I can get on MSNBC?

    • msbpodcast says:

      Exactly. You can’t attack people just because you don’t like how they smell.

      This is an example of asymmetrical class warfare, and the ones with the money are telling the ones with no money that they should just go away and the ones with no money are asking them for somewhere to go.

      The loss of middle class opportunities is at the heart of this struggle, and the ones with all the money are stuck with the consequences of having acquired too much money too fast and hanging onto it too tightly.

      Its going to cost the banksters millions to defend against what exactly, they’re too stupid to realize that they won already, and cost the protesters a shoe string to just be a visible reminder of that victory.

      With victory comes certain obligations. Unless the rich .1% are willing to kill the poor, which is the situation in many third world countries, they are stuck with the obligations of “noblesse oblige” to the huge 99.9% whose opportunities they stole.

      Either that or they can restore the opportunities to the middle class.

  2. Stefan Jones says:

    Defend them from regulations, oversight, and hearings.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      Careful there.  We’re all supposed to pretend that both parties are exactly the same in terms of addressing Wall Street, lest these protesters actually identify the real culprits and do something effective.  Like vote the Republicans back out of congress where they’ve spent the last few years blocking all efforts to reign Wall Street in following the economic collapse.  

      • sagodjur says:

        Even when the Democrats had a super majority, they couldn’t get anything done. If they aren’t intentionally complicit, they are at least incompetent. Doing nothing to solve the severe problems probably even does less good than making things worse. At least when things are worse, they’re more likely to motivate opposition rather than resignation and acceptance.

        • Gideon Jones says:

          Uh, you mean like getting Dodd-Frank passed?  The financial reform bill that was lobbied against heavily by Wall Street, that squeaked through congress with tiny margins, and was opposed by every single Republican?  The bill that created the consumer protection bureau, also opposed by the Republicans?
          Yeah, lets keep right on pretending they’re all the same.  And lets also ignore the fact that the reason we didn’t get stronger bills passed was because we have a number of conservative Democrats, and that replacing them and putting pressure on the rest of that party would get us better bills.  Clearly the answer is to shut down, disengage from the political process, go sit in the park and let the Republicans steamroll through us again.  

          • You mean the bill that institutionalized too big to fail, thus guaranteeing more bailouts in the future?

          • Amy L Sacks says:

            Conservative Democrats are a feature, not a bug.  I doubt very strongly that you are going to succeed in replacing them.

            And watching the rush to war after 911 by such “liberal” stalwarts as Pelosi, watching “liberal” Kucinich sell out the anti-war movement in 2004 and then sell out single-payer in 2009 says pretty much everything that needs be said about how much “liberal” Democrats care about keeping their brethren in check.  No, sorry.  What they care about is themselves and their own entitlement to power.  Somehow they almost never manage to hold back reactionaries in their own party, and this is supposed to make us believe that they’re the go-to group for holding back reactionaries in the other [sic] party?

            Vote however you like, but for some of us at least, that dog quit hunting years ago.  Blame your “liberal” heroes for that, not us.  They’ve had countless chances over time to prove that they value us over political expediency and their own well-being, but they chose not to.  My future has gone steadily to shit because of the way they govern, and yet still I’m expected to care about their futures?  Uh, no. A thousand time no.

        • pocoTOTO says:

          The Dems never had a super majority. You know why? Because they don’t vote in a perfect bloc on any particular issue. Are you counting Joe Liebermann in this super majority? The blue dogs? Al Franken while he waited to be seated? Te Kennedy’s vacant seat? Buy a clue please and stop spouting nonsense. It takes a super majority these days for a law to pass because Mitch McConnell has abused filibuster threats at historical rates, but those sorts of majorities haven’t existed while Obama has been president. I say this as someone who thinks more should have been done with the simple majority that Dems had for two years, but get your sh#t together. I’m tired of this ahistorical songa and dance.

        • Andrew Sturgess says:

          The post-obama democrats are growing balls, slowly but surely, as it becomes increasingly more socially acceptable to actually have balls and be a democrat. 

        • Rob Notwicz says:

          The real problem was that Ted Kennedy died in August ’09.  It simultaneously killed the democratic supermajority and marked the end of a powerful influence over the democratic party as a whole in Congress.  There was a lot that was accomplished while TK was still active (mostly in setting up consumer protection), but none of the big policy items had gotten traction yet.  The Dems effectively had their real supermajority for all of 6 months instead of 2 years.

      • oasisob1 says:

        The 1% can suck it, but let’s be smart about this. Any political entity backing the 99% is really just in it for their own ends. The 99% will be used as tools, no matter who does the using.

      • Peg Wolfe says:

        “rein.”  Not “reign.”  It’s an  equestrian term, as in reining a horse to steer it in the direction you want it to go, or stop it, as need be.  #justSayin

  3. Stefan Jones says:

    OWS should print up a thousand copies of this memo and hand them out to passersby. “Hey, you see what lobbies thing about us, and our democracy?”

  4. bigorangemachine says:

    This is a proposal request.  These are some of the purist documents in my industry (marketing).  It specifically outlines intent without burying it in technicalities.  This document says that basically they are preparing for a propaganda campaign that doesn’t involve on leaning on the Republicans.  Obviously their final plan will be implemented once the election starts.  This is one bullet in the election gun.

    This proposal is requesting literature and research to cover their talking points and targeted audiences.  Their budget is 850,000.  This is actually a significant amount for a proposal.  The final campaign will likely look like 1 million or 1.5 million.

    Any freelancer who produces work for ABA against OWS should be ashamed of themselves.

  5. quietstorms says:

    I may be liberal but I couldn’t give a damn about either party, including the Dems. They’ve sold out so many times that they no longer have credibility. I don’t need help from the corrupt due to some calculated political measure. Grow some balls and speak from the heart.

    I consider this a movement to protect everyone who’s not a part of the 1%, whatever their political affiliation may be.

    • lavardera says:

      Sure, the GOP will be very happy to know they’ve also made you mad at the Dems.

      • quietstorms says:

        Are you seriously going to tell me that both sides of the aisle haven’t been paid for? I don’t like the Republican party either even though I think their even worse.

        I don’t want this being a question of who you’re voting for. Every one of them is corrupt.

        I couldn’t care less about abortion or any other wedge issue. This country is in trouble and neither side is offering the proper solution.

        • lavardera says:

          No, I’m seriously going to tell you that the one party is more likely to support reform in the Financial Industry. Read the memo. Guess who that is.

          If you are going to let the strategy employed by the GOP make you vote for a spoiler candidate then you’ve been owned. You vote for the GOP, you get what you deserve. We’re all living it.

          • Douglass says:

            A significant part of the United States’ problem is the degree to which we haven’t been voting for the GOP-but we get abused as if we had anyways.

          • lavardera says:

            I’m with you Douglass, and I support the political reforms you outline. But the issue on the table is reform for Wall Street. Political reform happens to be one of the factors blocking it. If you can make it illegal for Wall Street to lobby the government, you can make it so for any corporation. If you can get one of the parties to line up behind Wall Street reform then you’ve gained tremendous leverage. If you can’t get support from either party, then you need to oppose the party that is most clearly against your goals. I think that is clearly the GOP in the upcoming election. And lots of time to continue to put pressure on them. The political reform will be a natural fall out of winning against Wall Street.

          • Douglass says:

            Neither political party is going to line up behind Wall Street reform, though. Individual politicians might, but the larger party structure (and most of the politicians as well) won’t. I could be incorrect and really surprised but I doubt that I will be.

            The reason why is because both political parties have vital roles to play in how things got this bad. The Republicans’ role is fairly obvious. They are the outright, direct, advocates of favoritism for the wealthy and the privileged and advocates of social reaction-whether because they believe in it outright or because they use it to get people who aren’t wealthy to support them. Both motives aren’t entirely exclusive of each other.

            The Democrats’ role is less obvious but still destructive against any positive change. I’ve listened to the justifications from the type of people who can look at Democrats voting for a bill called “Authorization for Use of Military Force” and tell themselves that the Democrats didn’t vote for war, and watched the manner in which they are actually run (as compared to the rhetoric) as best I can. As far as I am concerned, this type of person deep down, either wishes that they could be Republicans except that not being rich enough (any more), or WASP enough, or insane enough kind of got in the way, or alternately,  they think that the ideology of the Republicans has already won, so since their victory is inevitable or is going to be inevitable, they would cynically rather ‘humanize’ it a bit by offering a smile with that IV tube filled with poison.

            The reason why liberal Democrats (as few of them are left) can’t control the reactionaries in the party is because at this point the reactionaries are the party. The core ideology of the Democrats at this point (‘centrism’) inadvertently disallows them from being anything else. Its goal is to find a mythical golden mean between the right wing (which they’ll attempt to emulate at every turn) and the left wing (which they blame and disenfranchise at every turn).

            When this fails because their voters actually wanted an array of changes much closer to a leftist perspective than a rightist or conservative perspective, this does not mean that centrism actually failed to them. It just means that centrism wasn’t practiced enough-so they’ll try it even harder next time.

            When it succeeds it’s seen as a triumph of centrism and so voters on the left and liberals can be dispensed with or ignored in favor of attempting to peel off more voters on the right.

            The point I’m getting at is that it is more important for the current array of Democrats to keep centrism in charge than to actually change anything or answer to their constituents. If this means losing elections like they did in 2010 and 2004, or ignoring basic and rank violations of voting rights, like they did in 2004 and 2000, or continually rehiring or retaining intentionally or chronically inept leaders and consultants like Pelosi and Bob Shrum, then they’ll do it. What they won’t do is tolerate any challenges from within the party to the status quo or the underlying ideology from the left. Anything the right within the party does, however, is tolerated. I’ll get to that a bit later.

            Ultimately, the Democrats wouldn’t do anything but suck OWS into the same mire in which they have been caught for decades now.

            Amy L. Sacks mentioned the sellouts of the Democrats. If anything, she underestimated just how terrible they are. With regards to the health care bill, at every single turn practically every perspective except for the one that maximized insurance company profits was marginalized by them. Single payer advocates weren’t even allowed to testify even though this is what much of the industrialized world uses (already a great start as far as intellectual honesty is concerned. The Senate version of the bill was left to be privately frittered away between Baucus (a conservative Democrat) and Grassley at first and largely in secrecy (which, of course, centrists love because it epitomizes the idea that they serve a cause of ‘moderation’ that only they truly understand). It was then further hacked down by letting its passage be seen as dependent on pleasuring Joe Lieberman-a man whose entire career is a lurid display of the pathologies of the Democratic Party in terms of his smarmy moralizing, continuous defense of censorship, militarism, and willingness to take money from just about anyone-and that even after the voters attempted to reject him and he went out of his way to humiliate the party by speaking at the Republican national convention-they still welcomed him back and even let him keep his seniority.

            At the end of all of this, who gets pressured to approve of the final bill? Those few Democrats who had any objections based on actual liberal or leftist principles.

            The point I’m ultimately making is that the Democrats are irredeemable. All of these same factors would come into play if OWS had anything to do with them-and at best, they’d end up as just another ‘kept’ group, attempting to justify why nothing changed but we should keep voting Democratic anyway.

          • lavardera says:

            I don’t disagree with your characterization of the status quo. But you’ve not pointed the way towards a solution to this. A solution we can vote for in Nov12.

            I’m not sure the Dems moving away from centrism will help. It will likely only weaken them and make it harder for them to enact any of the liberal policies we’d like to see. The GOP is experiencing a similar shift to the conservative margin, and the party is a mess, divided, and unable to put forward a viable candidate.

            I think the best option is a second term for Obama where he is free of re-election concerns and is more likely to persue a liberal agenda. If something better crops up, I’m all for it.

          • we_the_people324 says:

            Obama hasn’t done shit for the average American, despite all the propaganda that would tell you otherwise. He is no different than all the other corrupt pos’s that swallow loads of cash jizzed out of the corporate money machine. All they care about is getting their pie, more than their share, before the shit hits the fan and were all screwed over.

          • Carol1958 says:

            For the last 3 years he’s been under re-election concerns and waited till his re-election campaign to actually do anything. Which tells me, if re-elected, it will be worse.
            I don’t care whether a liberal or conservative agenda is pursued, but something has to be done. Obama has proven that he not only cannot do it, he is unwilling to even discuss it. Well, not until it was time to hit the road for his re-election campaign.
            I do not want a president who’s angry more over having to end his vacation two days early than the terrorist bomb that ended his vacation.
            I do not want a president who’s more concerned about campaigning for other politicians than the debt and unemployment.
            I do not want a president who’s more concerned about planning his next family outing than about all the American families losing their homes or are already homeless.
            It’s time to put an end to his lack of caring for the people of our country, before it gets worse. And it will get worse if he’s re-elected. As YOU said, he will be “free of re-election concerns”, which also means he will have no concern over ‘proving’ himself.

            Carol
            Lifelong Democrat

          • lavardera says:

            Replace him with what? A republican that will screw you more than you’ve been screwed already? Bush and Clinton both had the same pattern of two term presidents that pursued their own agenda more aggressively the second term. I’m all for an alternative, but I don’t think its going to materialize by 11/12. Lifelong Independent here.

    • Amy L Sacks says:

      “Grow some balls”?

      In general, I think that it takes considerable “balls” to constantly woo your base with empty rhetoric, then rob and beat the shit out of it while basically daring it to walk away and seek anything better.   Which has pretty much been the modus operandi of the Demos during my lifetime.

      They don’t lack for nerve.  It’s their base that has, too often, lacked it because all the apologists and Party Machine Ops have to do is scream Oogah boogah Palin/Bacchman/whatever the screaming-insane Flavor of the Day is in the other camp and we’re all supposed to get on our knees one more time and lick the Donkey’s hooves.

      IOW, vote for insanity that speaks in gentle, modulated tones.  It’s not insanity that’s the problem, it’s volume, apparently.  Nothing wrong with endless wars abroad and endless thefts at home if you’re just well-mannered to your victims’ faces, eh, Mr. President?

      To put it in as ladylike a fashion as I can (owing to my literal lack of any balls), please allow me to say one more time: Fuck that shit.  Fuck our “leaders” and fuck whichever quadruped they rode in on.  It doesn’t matter, since corporations own them both anyway.

  6. Any sane society would consider this kind of govt interference as corruption and regulatory capture.

  7. William Draughn says:

    Isn’t it about time for the occupy where ever protests to be over with and they get off their collective asses and do something? Like perhaps run for office? If they truly want policy change, beat them at their own game and take their jobs. If they are the 99%, they should have no problem winning the elections…

    • lavardera says:

      No. I think the last thing that Occupy should do is run for office. It not about running for office. We have people already in office. Its about forcing them to act responsibly. Its about keeping the Wall Street issues on the table, in front of everybody, on peoples lips, until reform is put in place. Occupy does not have to create politicians. If the ones in office will not take up this cause, there will be plenty ready to step up and take their place.

      • pogoslogos says:

        Ideally, the movement should force reform on how politicians are made, BEFORE changing reforming how they make legislation. We have to kill the lifestyle of the career politician; if you must go back to teaching highschool US Government classes after your term of office instead of being plopped down into a cush corp position, it seems you’d be a lot less likely to vote to cut the education budget (or whatever). We have to eliminate the fruits of corruption to eliminate corruption.

        Agreed, you can’t make that happen by putting them in office. Once they’re there, the seduction is too strong. They’ll turn into just another jackass, right? But how do you force congress to hang itself? To directly vote against its personal interests?

        This is where my plan always falls apart.

    • alexismadrigal says:

      What a novel critique! Man, those OWS people probably have not thought of this angle on how the political system could be used to further their aims. I will fax this comment to their headquarters posthaste.

    • Gideon Jones says:

      Or at the very least go protest somewhere where it might be effective…  

    • atimoshenko says:

      If they are the 99%, they should have no problem winning the elections…

      Yeah, I’m so glad that we do not live in a world where money has any influence over who wins elections and how they choose to behave once in office!

  8. MossWatson says:

    The plan suggested in the memo seems to revolve around discrediting the movement’s “leaders”.  Good luck with that one.

  9. RufusTheGreat says:

    The irony here, of course, is that they are using fear to be hired in order to sell fear in an effort to defend companies that specialize in selling fear.  The only thing not fitting into the puzzle is that the companies they are trying to use fear on have a notorious ability to be oblivious to risk due to a complete lack of fear.

    maybe.  I think. 
    I can’t figure it all out tonight sir, I’m just gonna hang with your daughter.

  10. Jon_Wake says:

    While it seems that running people for political office is the most mature way to affect change in the US right now, I propose that that kind of compromise with the existing system, (unless done in a truly spectacular fashion) would kill the Occupy movement stone dead.  My reason is as follows:

    The current political system is corrupt on an institutional level, where simply to participate in the process you are required to have enormous financial backing.  Should you run without that backing, the multi million dollar counter campaign against you will make any victory slight or downright Pyrrhic.

    Assuming you actually get into office, you are now locked into the money making system. You are expected to solicit donations with most of your time, and if you do not, you can expect your party to silence you.  This is true of either party, and while the Republicans are the most blatant, the Dems do it just as well.

    Lets just assume that you’re a person of uncommon virtue and avoid the corruption of the Legislative branch.  Now you are going to be expected to toe the party line when ever some new legistation comes across the floor.  Even worse, you’re not even the person writing the legislation anymore.  Most of it is written by million dollar lobbyists, and will be so mutilated by the proceedings that you’re right back to where you’ve started.

    Now, if there was a sudden sweep of Occupy supporters into congress, this might be avoided, but it would be avoided for maybe, maybe one term.  If we’re very lucky, we might get a few Constitutional amendments passed.  But with this Supreme Court, anything limiting the rights of corporations would be crushed.

    Trying to get these changes pushed through on a national level seems to be doomed from the start.  Maximum effort for minimal result, and likely the complete erosion of the support base when some one, inevitably, is revealed to have taken Wall Street money.  It’s a sucker’s game.

    • R_Young says:

      A constitutional amendement?  You know it would have to be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures, right?  Good luck arguing a OWS-style amendment in Mississippi.

    • Eric Rucker says:

      There MAY be a way for Occupy to take office successfully.

      Take a page from the Free State Project, figure out a state that either has a very low voting population, or a state that is already very sympathetic towards Occupy, and Occupy that state… but by buying or renting property in that state, not camping in public and private parks.

      Then, once you’ve got enough people there, vote some of them into state office. Change that state’s laws to align with Occupy. Then, start voting them into Federal government.

      (I’ll note that part of this – namely, the whole Occupying a state thing – wouldn’t be necessary if there were two things: approval or instant runoff voting; and extra seats added to the House of Representatives for electing parties to office, rather than individual politicians, which would acknowledge that political parties are going to exist no matter what you’re going to do, and allow the smaller ones to gain non-zero influence.)

      • Eric Rucker says:

        BTW, taking a quick look…

        Vermont, Delaware, and Rhode Island would likely be the best bets for an Occupy (state) project, if you want it to be left-leaning.

        Vermont is the 49th largest state by population, and has strongly voted towards Democrats over Republicans.

        Delaware is the 45th largest by population, and favors Democrats over Republicans fairly well.

        Rhode Island is 43rd largest by population, and is second only to Massachusetts in voting for Democrats over Republicans.

        (Sources are both Wikipedia, though, but it is just a quick look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_states_and_blue_states#Blue_states and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population)

        If you want it to be politically neutral… that might be tricky for various reasons. You’ll need to be in a non-polarized state (Ohio, for instance, is fairly polarized within the state), you’d be campaigning without a platform other than removing corruption (and not actually fixing the economy), and you’d be campaigning in the states that the Republicans and Democrats are spending the most money on.

        Edit: So, Occupy Vermont is probably the best way to go – small population, largest land area of the three smallest left-leaning states (meaning cheap land), lowest unemployment of those three states, albeit lower GDP per capita (meaning, likely receptive to a 99%/1% message based on “I’ve worked all my life and this is all I have to show for it”, although not receptive of “I can’t find a job”) than the national average. Climate and distance from the rest of the country would be downsides, although I’ll note that the Free State Project has chosen New Hampshire…

      • Tom Durkin says:

        There is a religious movement to do this for the evangelicals, lead by a man who (wisely) chose to stay in California, and he has directed all his followers to move to South Carolina to set up a theocracy.  As a former resident of the Palmetto state, that effort is probably redundant.  I lived in a district w/ the stupidest Congresscritter alive.  When he died, he was replaced by an even dimmer bulb (Joe Wilson). 

  11. meatpigeon says:

    Good job OWS. You are one step closer to victory.

  12. ste says:

    Oh my god! Look closely at the image at the top. It was sent from THE FUTURE! What HAPPENS between now and next Thursday? I think I need to invest in a tinfoil helmet. Or a DeLorean.

  13. Interesting that they understand that OWS and the Tea Party have common ideological ground against them, even if neither of those two groups would acknowledge it themselves.

  14. Douglass says:

    I doubt they have all that much to worry about as far as the Democrats making common cause with OWS is concerned. Most likely is that the Democrats will do precisely what they’ve done most of my life-which is to say they’ll flee from anything most of their constituents or potential constituents would support, preferring to chase a mythic mushy moderate bloc and as much campaign cash as possible from every faction that simultaneously ran America into a ditch and will fund them instead of (and sometimes as well as) the Republicans.

     I say this as someone who voted Democratic since I reached voting age up until the Kerry Fail, broke my word to myself to never vote for them to support Obama, and have gone back to never voting Democratic again.

    • Finnagain says:

      You are not alone.

      ” I say this as someone who voted Democratic since I reached voting age up until the Kerry Fail, broke my word to myself to never vote for them to support Obama, and have gone back to never voting Democratic again.”

      There may have been a Nader vote in there somewhere too. How I would love to vote for a real Dem candidate!

  15. Andrew Singleton says:

    So our only hope to defend against Big Corporate is the democrats that have so far proven to be firmly entrenched in Big Media?

    I refuse this evil vs evil game because in the end we all lose no matter who wins this year’s shouting match.

  16. Phoc Yu says:

    It’s almost too convenient that a memo like this makes it way into the public view from a Democratic-leaning news organization that paints the Big Banks as firmly on the side of Republicans and sets up the Dems as the “good guys” coming into the election season to rescue OWS.  

    I’m not buying it.  Both parties have been complicit in this mess, both parties’ candidates are almost entirely beneficiaries of the system (there are only three Senators with less than 6-figure net worths, 250 congresscritters are millionaires, 11% of congress are literally in the 1%, and 3 of the top 5 richest  are Dems), and they have no interest in letting that money or power go.  Planting false-flag memos in the press to continue the partisan bickering would further their interests more than solving the inequality.

    • lavardera says:

      Right. Because the GOP was in a real rush to repeal the Bush era tax cuts. The GOP would not even let them run out – they held the whole nation black mailed and got those damn tax cuts extended.

      You want to tell me the GOP is not the “Bad Guy” in this. Come tell me when they repeal the tax cuts and go after Wall Street.

      • Phoc Yu says:

        The “bad guys” in this mess aren’t just the guys with the (R) next to their name.   They’ve certainly shown that they’ll lay down everything short of their lives to keep the rich rich and everyone else poor.  But those (D)s aren’t innocent.  Why can’t they force through legislation as deftly as the Repubs did during the Bush years? Why don’t they stop the watering-down of Dodd-Frank? Why did they bow to pressure over Elizabeth Warren and consumer protection?  Where’s the push for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United (a ruling that 80% of Americans opposed — and 65% strongly opposed — a year ago)?  Because they’re the gatekeepers as well, and doing so would hurt a number of their self-interests.  

        The first order to regaining sanity is to establish firm term limits to de-incentivize legislating through fear of losing one’s seat.  Then you’d minimize the influence money can have in achieving and maintaining the power and see a lot less self-preservation bullshit that’s so pervasive through the government.

        • lavardera says:

          Well, that’s great, but we have an election in 12 months, and we need to be sure we don’t play into the banks hands one more time. If the Dems come out an support Occupy – great. If the GOP beats them to it, I’m fine with that too. But somebody has to give the banks the finger.

          • Michael Hasse says:

            “If the Dems come out an support Occupy – great. If the GOP beats them to it, I’m fine with that too. But somebody has to give the banks the finger.”

            And what makes you think either party will actually pay more than lip service and do that? 

            The scope of systemic repair that’s needed is not made from less-moldy bread and less-mangy lions in the circus.

          • lavardera says:

            Nothing makes me think that. But this memo makes me think that it won’t be the GOP. I’m all for structural change. Its not going to happen in the next 12 months. The best thing we could have moving forward is a president not thinking about re-election.

        • Douglass says:

          I mostly agree with you to the point where you pre-empted a lot of what I was about to say. I’ll still add a bit more, though.

          Term limits aren’t as much of a solution as you might think. Here in California we do have them for the state legislature, but I wouldn’t say that they’ve made much of a difference. What would, would be:

          1) Public financing of campaigns, including equal coverage of all candidates and equal access to debates.

          2) Lobbying, campaign donations, and other forms of favoritism for donors not only needs to be illegal, but it needs to be strictly enforced by some other group outside of congress itself. No more of this “Congress polices itself” nonsense-because it’s been more than adequately demonstrated that unless they’re so blatantly corrupt that they have to do something (Tom DeLay) they won’t do anything otherwise. The revolving door phenomenon has to go too-even if that means paying them a stipend for some years after they leave and forcing them to take jobs unrelated to what they did in Congress. Otherwise, they’ll be thinking in terms of what’s best for their future employers-and not about what’s best for the people that elected them.

          3) It needs to be possible to recall corrupt politicians in a timely manner. Perhaps no more than six months (perhaps three, I’m not sure what a realistic bottom limit is) after the initial revelation of dishonest conduct, so as to minimize the damage they can do in the meantime.

          4) Both major parties shouldn’t be able to block out minor parties, and the electoral system itself should be set up so as to eliminate the spoiler effect. I personally prefer the idea of multiple member districts so that way even though one party may get majority representation in a particular region, the opposition still always gets a voice-as compared to the status quo where you have states and districts that are solid for one or the other wings of the Money Party and have no cause to pay attention to them otherwise.

  17. tonymaas says:

    And people reckon protest achieves nothing. These people are scared.

  18. bigorangemachine says:

    Apologies,
    I misunderstood who the ‘recipient’ is.  I had it backwards.  The agency who sent this are a bunch of sharks.

  19. nixiebunny says:

    In the perfect Yes Men world, the memo would suggest changing their greedy ways instead of trying to discredit the opposition.

  20. Mordicai says:

    Hey, these are just “citizens” exercising their right to “free speech!”  By citizens I of course mean corporations, & by free speech, I mean the ability to buy elections.

    • paulj says:

      That’s why we need constitutional amendments that deal with this explicitly. “Corporations are not persons” and “money is not speech”: http://movetoamend.org/

      • This is scary.  So, in other words, The First Amendment doesn’t apply to the New York Times, since it’s a corporation?

      • Eric Rucker says:

        I like part of their ideas, although they are mistaken on our government being a democracy. It’s a republic, and it’s that way for a good reason.

        It was designed to have a weak federal government elected by a combination of the people and their state governments – so both the people and the states would be represented.

        That prevents mob rule, and allows slow change, but not rapid knee-jerk reactions. Also, that system as originally set up means that the Senate doesn’t answer to the people, but rather the states, and doesn’t have to pander to the people (who are influenced by advertising (which IS a form of speech, although one that requires a lot of money to spread) – and preventing political advertising is a blatant first amendment violation both in spirit and by the letter.)

        However, corporate personhood and money as speech should be stricken down. Money can be used to generate and spread speech, but it shouldn’t be speech in itself.

      • JProffitt71 says:

        (As well as others)

        Actually what we need is a new way of campaigning. A huge part keeping the rest of us out of the political process is the insane financial barrier to entry. We have and are finally implementing the technology to bypass that: http://www.OccupyGovernment.org/ (www.BeYourGovernment.org)

        That get’s rolling in December, but in light of this it needs all the attention it can get now.

  21. Jeff says:

    November 24th, eh?  

  22. nicknormal says:

    Anybody know why the memo is dated November 24th? Is that a legal technicality – i.e. “please respond by this date” – that I don’t know about?

  23. Tom Wooldridge says:

    ABA: Traitors that hate the Bill of Rights and our country. 

  24. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    Time to go after the real power brokers in Congress, the lobbyists and the business associations.

  25. parrotboy says:

    I thought that all those people did get out and elect a whole bunch of Democrats, and a Democrat president.  Then (a significant proportion) of those Democrats were too completely beholden to the existing power structure to actually do anything.  (and some were terrified of the Tea Party etc).

    So then all those people that got all Hopey Changey in that election got disappointed, and the bought-and-paid-for Democrats lost whatever power they had to the Tea Partiers.  But all those people who actually hoped for change didn’t just wither up and die – they have now mobilized in a different way.

    In other words, electing people has been shown not to work very well (barely at all really).  So now people are in the streets and cannot be shushed or co-opted so easily. 

  26. silvio says:

    Run for office you say? I think, if anything, the past few years have proven that political solutions are not the answer. The wealthy aren’t afraid of politicians. No, we need real action, as in busting out the guillotines.

  27. lvl99 says:

    Time to snip off all the hanging chads, even though some people seem to really like them.

  28. UrbanUndead says:

    I’m only surprised the dollar amount is so little.

  29. An OWS candidate doesn’t have to be a (D) or an (R). They could be an (I). For example: Bernie Sanders, VT (I). I’m not talking about fake I’s like Lieberman. It’s probably best if they were an (I) since then they don’t have to toe any party line. They don’t have to take lobbyist dollars.

    Of course, they also don’t have to be able to get anything accomplished in Congress except speak out, but it’s the foot in the door.

    Hell, if you run as an (I) in MD, you’ve got my vote.

  30. CHilke says:

    Interesting contrast with the Tea Party, where right-wing lobbying groups actually sponsored rallies and conventions and paid for buses to haul protesters to wherever the plutocracy wanted to put up a show of indignation (such as the pro-union rallies in Madison).

    Yet we’re supposed to believe that these two movements are somehow equivalent. Riiight.

  31. msbpodcast says:

    So OW<wherever> are starting to worry the entrenched powers that are… Interesting.

    Anybody who has studied asymmetrical warfare techniques would realize that the more money the banksters pour in and the more violently the cops react just make OW<wherever>’s point clearer.

    At that point, attacking students who are protesting non-violently, despite the out scale and seemingly irrational action of “agent provocateur” inside the police, becomes a strikingly obvious act.

    I’m waiting for the first report of someone getting killed despite the demonstrators being unarmed and keeping themselves under constant camera surveillance via cell-phones…

    The phrase “The Whole World’s Watching” has never been truer.

    Unfortunately, we’ve been through Kent State on both sides of the ideological divide.

    There is no way that a death would not be looked at as anything but an act of deliberate murder.

  32. Daniel Smith says:

    I hate to say it, but I get the feeling that those in power will do all they can to keep the system that so heavily favors them and their minions in place, right up to the time they are physically removed from from power and the system they have created is smashed. I don’t believe the system can be changed peacefully without the cooperation of those who control it now, and I suspect they are the kind of people who will try to keep status quo in the face of any opposition right up to its destruction. I hope I’m wrong.

    • headcode says:

      I think you’re right.  Essentially, wealthy and powerful people are stupid. Perhaps it is their greed that makes them so.  If you want people to buy into your system you have to give them a reason to do so.  That is, of course, unless your goal is to simply amass as much wealth as possible and if you need to enslave people to do it that’s just part of business.

      There is plenty of money to go around unless I’m missing something.  CEOs of decades past had wealth and prestige and they “only” earned about 40 times what the guy on the assembly line did. But no, the wealthy and powerful won’t stop until they have completely jacked up everything.

  33. ScytheNoire says:

    The New World Order happened and America was asleep. Welcome to your Corporatocracy. Democracy is being killed off. You are nothing but slaves to the banks and corporations.

  34. Bob Wagner says:

    I would love to see all the other memos, emails, and fruit baskets out there that are showing up on the Mayor’s desks giving them their marching orders to defend the Profit!  I have no doubt at all that those things are being sent out far and wide, including the coordination through conference calls of multiple cities on ways to stop the Occupy Movement from continuing.  The Occupy Movement might be a nuisance, but the task at hand is to knock back the control the corporate fascists have slowly taken back because no one was vigilant enough to stop them.  At least now, finally, the truth is being told, it’s not being ignored, and as each person that supports the Occupy explains to someone that complains about the inconvenience of stopped traffic and all that.  But those are minor compared to the horrible damage the corporate fascists have done to Americans and the world, and will only continue to do unless the education continues.

  35. dizizcamron says:

    perhaps i don’t understand exactly how lobbying works, but has anyone asked the ABA what their thoughts are about this? I mean, any firm can *propose* that someone pay them money to do something. if someone was like “hey, if you pay me some money i’ll kill your boss for you.” and you have no interest in hiring someone to kill your boss, it doesn’t make you complicit in that crime. so while i’m sure the ABA isn’t cheering OWS on, and probably does want to antagonize them, all this document tells me is that their is a lobbying firm somewhere that is willing to do lame/shady stuff to mount a smear campaign if you give them some money. that is not exactly shocking. 

  36. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    That is cute, they want to write up negative narratives to spin.

    They need to overcome
    - Screwing the economy while still getting paid.
    - Foreclosing on homes with fake documents.
    - Foreclosing on homes they did not own.
    - Trying to cover up the loans to spouses from the Fed that need not be paid back.
    - Crying poverty and change in attitude while sacking workers for a better bonus.
    - Pumping nearly a million dollars into a campaign to make the people they helped screw over look bad.
    - Making billions while trying to get back $5 a month from each customer because rates changed.

    I think that number needs about 3 more zeros before they have a real shot at making themselves look sympathetic.  6 more zeros and they might even get away with some of it.

    If only we had organizations that reported on things factually, that were not beholden to corporate masters, who could tell people the truth.  You know keeping them informed of current events and not trying to promote the corporate version of reality, but dig deep and report actual facts.  They could print up stuff on paper and sell it on the streets, or if they had a camera they could film it and broadcast it.  There is this thing I’ve heard of where you can put stuff on this “world wide web” thingy and people could discuss it.

    One might think that seeing this much money to try and stop a world wide movement, might mean this is actually an important issue and should be considered seriously.  Instead expect a new round of birther crap, filthy hippy crap, slackers pooping on your yard crap.

    For all of that money they have they seem to have no education about history, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, etc… there was all kinds of bad press about them, and they still won.  Maybe they didn’t learn that things that are “right” can only be suppressed for so long, and in the end will triumph. 
    Luckily for them now we think guillotines are bad things.

  37. we_the_people324 says:

    This….Is what OWS should be protesting. The intense connection fueled by cash that is peddled to elect corporate sponsored politicians and use the media as their propaganda machine.

  38. Douglass says:

    “I don’t disagree with your characterization of the status quo. But you’ve not pointed the way towards a solution to this. A solution we can vote for in Nov12.”

    These two statements contradict slightly. I’m not a fatalist, after years of seeing fatalism fail as well, and I do think that there is a solution. However, I don’t think that there are going to be any solutions that will come out of voting-much less for Obama-because of the reasons that I stated above.

    “I’m not sure the Dems moving away from centrism will help.”

    Actually, yes: if they moved away from centrism and the problems of centrism it would help tremendously. Even the minor moves that they made away from centrism after the 2004 disaster, such as having a 50 state strategy and having Howard Dean, who was a lot more inclined towards confrontation, be in charge of the DNC, helped quite a bit. I’ll also point out that iirc, this move was actually opposed by some of the consultariat of the Democratic Party, such as Carville who sneered about how these people (read: average Democrats) were strutting around thinking that they were in charge. I’ll grant that in 2006 and 2008 the Democrats had two major disasters, one of Congressional corruption and the other economic, that were clearly assignable to the Republicans that helped them. At the same time, if they weren’t at least somewhat prepared to take advantage of these, it wouldn’t have helped.

    So after 2006 and 2008 what did the Democrats do? Did they build upon what was finally changing in their favor?

    …No. They brought back a bunch of Clinton-era retreads, went back on or totally misfired with regards to just about every promise they made (expanding the wars, of course, they took seriously), decided to rhetorically piss on their most ardent supporters, and went back to the same strategies that had nearly brought them to extinction as a political party.

    Ultimately, they hadn’t changed. What’s far more likely from now on is that they’ll just borrow the rhetoric of what their voters want-and then proceed to enact absolutely nothing of what they wanted (as usual).

    ” It will likely only weaken them and make it harder for them to enact any of the liberal policies we’d like to see. The GOP is experiencing a similar shift to the conservative margin, and the party is a mess, divided, and unable to put forward a viable candidate.”

    Or alternately, with a more coherent ideological core, when the Democrats did gain power again, they would be able to do far more with it.

    This is another one of the dirty little hypocrisies of American politics (and I don’t want this to be seen as me calling you a hypocrite, as much as I’m saying that the ideology involved is hypocritical). The Republicans didn’t enact the policies of their donors through constantly being internally sabotaged by people that disagreed with them. Politicians that betrayed the ideology consistently would find themselves either challenged internally or externally until they left one way or another. Similarly, centrists are equally intolerant of challenges. Candidates that don’t follow the dogma find their campaigns underfunded, or are left to stand or fall on their own in a general election, or are starved out of the Democratic Party. Kucinich attempted to sue because of the way his was undercovered and disgraced by the press during the 2008 election. Not a single other candidate would support him-because they wanted him out.

    In comparison, it is ONLY the left, in the United States, that is expected to endlessly compromise and sell itself out for people who have no intention of giving us anything we want-no matter how reasonable it might be. Only we are expected to break the foremost rule that I’ve seen in politics: which is that you don’t reward people for stabbing you in the back.

    “I think the best option is a second term for Obama where he is free of re-election concerns and is more likely to persue a liberal agenda. If something better crops up, I’m all for it.”

    Or, based on the ideology of centrism that I described above, he’ll conclude that all of the compromises that he’s made, such as the supercommittee, the continued militarism, the lackadaisical approach towards the crimes of the financial sector, were what got him re-elected and he won’t change a thing.

    Why would he, when there is no way of throwing him out within the constraints of the system by that point? In fact, that’s another element of the game that American politicians play against us: most of the politicians that are involved with decisionmaking that would be insanely unpopular with their constituents or the American public in general, have already come out as saying that they’re not running for re-election anyways. In this way, given that they’re guaranteed better jobs after they leave or the financial rewards of their decisions, they have little motive to make any decision that contradicts the will of their donors. They’re insulated from the consequences of their decisions.

  39. Palomino says:

    I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words or constructions.
                                                                                                                        ~ George Orwell

  40. Carol1958 says:

    I don’t know why they think electing Democrats would be detrimental. Democrats have been in charge the last two plus years and have done NOTHING to stop Wall Street and the banks. As a matter of fact, the man who was in charge of the committee that oversaw banks and wrote the laws that let them do what they want, until this year, was Chris Dodd, a Democrat. And he should never have been allowed on that committee, since banks and loan companies were always his biggest campaign contributors.
    It doesn’t matter what party they are. Politicians can and will say what they want to get elected, but they have all proven that’s as far as they go. What they promise during campaigns and carrying out those promises if elected are two different things.
    The only way to really show how tired we are of what has been and is happening is to change the powers that are there. If we keep bouncing them out of office, we are telling them we didn’t like what you did.
    If you are truly upset and done with what is happening to our country, do not let your party affiliation dictate your thoughts, feelings and especially your vote.
    It’s time to not re-elect any and all incumbents. 

    Carol
    Lifelong Democrat

  41. Marc45 says:

    It would be really interesting to know how many current lobbyists, political party officials and banksters were hippies protesting anti-war stuff back in the 60s.  I’ll bet it’s more than a few.
    We like to think that everyone is on one side or the other but the reality is people change their positions depending on how it suits them, their life and their livelihood.

  42. GrrrlRomeo says:

    I believe our political system has a structural problem. The people in it are human beings, principles be damned. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative. Will is finite. The will to refuse large sums of money, or to refuse to be influenced by it, is finite. No matter who you send to Washington with your vote, once they get there they are bombarded with money. And since the United Citizens case, candidates are bombarded with money before they even get there.

    We need a law to regulate money in politics. Politicians need real legal deterrents from taking money. 

  43. lavardera says:

    I’m the only one talking my side of the argument here, so be it. 

    Listen, if you miraculously get a liberal candidate to run, I have news for you – they are going to loose. Because even if the vast majority of Americans would benefit from Wall Street reform, and a public health care system, and the end of lobbying, most Americans won’t support that candidate because they are going to get caught up in the ideologial debate and slandering that goes on in an election. If you want that liberal candidate to win you fight is with the American people, and not with lousy two party system as f-cked up as it is. The onus is on us to go out and convince our neighbors and friend why liberal policies are good for them and why they are being Owned by wall street and corporations, and that is what is so damn important about Occupy. Then a liberal candidate will stand a chance, no matter where they are coming from. You’ll find such a candidate is much more likely to emerge from the liberal side of the Dems than anywhere else. Such a trend would move the GOP away from the moral conservatives back to the fiscal and policy conservatives where they really contributed an invaluable role to the dialog in the US. That would be a win win.

    • Douglass says:

      “Listen, if you miraculously get a liberal candidate to run, I have news for you – they are going to loose.”

      How do you actually know that, though?

      More than anything else, that sounds like the Democratic Party talking-and that’s the problem (or rather, a significant part of it).

      “Because even if the vast majority of Americans would benefit from Wall Street reform, and a public health care system, and the end of lobbying, most Americans won’t support that candidate because they are going to get caught up in the ideologial debate and slandering that goes on in an election. If you want that liberal candidate to win you fight is with the American people, and not with lousy two party system as f-cked up as it is.”

      I don’t think that’s even remotely true. The fight is far, far more against the two party system than it is against the American people (even though I concede that there is a significant portion of Americans that are satisfied with it). The reason why is because the two party system essentially functions as a filter that passes right wing ideas through, no matter how ludicrous or antithetical to facts or even basic ethics they might be, while preventing left wing ideas from going through except sporadically at best. The PATRIOT Acts, the regressive budgets, the legislation intended to punish the ‘wrong’ people, the support for other repressive governments, and the giveaways to major corporations sail through Congress. In comparison, the institutions practically convulse themselves to death over even attempting to give the American people benefits that would seem paltry in much of the industrialized world.

      The Supercommittee is a recent example. The entire reason why it was formed was because the Democrats refused to pass the debt limit increase when they had a majority (never mind that the Republicans supported the exact same measure when it was Bush that was doing it). Its only serious priority was austerity measures which Obama supported and it has always operated as secretly as possible.

      In a recent survey (and I’ll find the link later) what did most Americans say the biggest priority of the government should be? It wasn’t debt reduction and it certainly wasn’t hacking down Medicare/Medicaid. It was job creation.

      They’re totally disconnected with what the American people either want or need.

      “The onus is on us to go out and convince our neighbors and friend why liberal policies are good for them and why they are being Owned by wall street and corporations, and that is what is so damn important about Occupy. Then a liberal candidate will stand a chance, no matter where they are coming from. ”

      Even after that convincing, they would still have to face a two party system. Your argument is essentially trying to forestall the inevitable confrontation against their intransigence.

      “You’ll find such a candidate is much more likely to emerge from the liberal side of the Dems than anywhere else. Such a trend would move the GOP away from the moral conservatives back to the fiscal and policy conservatives where they really contributed an invaluable role to the dialog in the US. That would be a win win.”

      Except that following your own logic, the Democrats wouldn’t support such a candidate because they’d be convinced that such a candidate would lose. An alternative leftist prevention scheme would be putting so many preconditions on the circumstances when such a candidate would be acceptable to the party apparatus (the argument from 2000-2008 was called ‘keeping our powder dry’) that the right time really means never.

      • lavardera says:

        Then propose a plausible alternative for an 11 month time frame.

        • Douglass says:

          Our problems didn’t start in 11 months and they won’t be solved in 11 months either. In fact, I see more than a bit of a double standard involved in the question. If you’re willing to be satisfied with the Democrats constantly procrastinating in terms of dealing with our problems for a lot longer than 11 months (I would argue that at the rate of positive change they’ve been using for decades now, it’ll take closer to a sideways 8 amount of time than 11 months for them to fix anything), why do you expect something fundamentally novel to take 11 months instead?

          Why should patience only be extended to the status quo, and not to people attempting to change it?

  44. ADavies says:

    The big fear the memo highlights is that Democrats will start attacking them AND Republicans will also abandon them.

    The important thing isn’t whether more Democrats or more Republicans get elected.  The important thing is to create conditions during the election campaigns that get the politicians competing against each other for the OWS vote.
     

  45. ADavies says:

    Oh, and it’s important to note that the $850,000 price tag is only for an intelligence gathering and research phase.  I expect they’ll spend massively more if Wall Street rolls out a coordinated smear campaign.

  46. Lobster says:

    What a surprise.  The two-party system is trying to shoehorn OWS into one of the two parties. 

    The Democrats have just as much to fear as the Republicans.

  47. lavardera says:

    I’m not saying this can be fixed in 11 months. I’m saying we have to make a decision about who to vote for in 11 months, no matter if the bigger solution is starting to emerge, or if it is not. I’m saying I want to vote for somebody that will help the solution along, and not move us backwards. I’m saying right now that looks like a democrat.

    I’m most definitely not saying that I’m happy with the dem’s procrastination, or any of their other failings. I’m saying that I am most certainly going to vote, and I want to make the best choice.

    And I’m not saying I expect something fundamentally novel to happen in 11 months. That’s my whole point. Its going to take longer, much longer, and until there is an alternative you have to decide who you are voting for. And until somebody emerges that more clearly represents the goals of Occupy our choices are very limited. Not voting is not an option. 

    Maybe we’ve been arguing two sides of a different point, but if you think I’m advocating some blind support of the Dem’s you don’t understand what I’ve been saying. You don’t want to vote for Obama –  fine, then who are you going to vote for in 11 months?

  48. Douglass says:

    “I’m not saying this can be fixed in 11 months. I’m saying we have to make a decision about who to vote for in 11 months, no matter if the bigger solution is starting to emerge, or if it is not. I’m saying I want to vote for somebody that will help the solution along, and not move us backwards. I’m saying right now that looks like a democrat.”

    Mayors Quan and Emmanuel aren’t the solution and they’re not going to help the solution along. They’re the problem.

    “I’m most definitely not saying that I’m happy with the dem’s procrastination, or any of their other failings. I’m saying that I am most certainly going to vote, and I want to make the best choice.

    And I’m not saying I expect something fundamentally novel to happen in 11 months. That’s my whole point. Its going to take longer, much longer, and until there is an alternative you have to decide who you are voting for. And until somebody emerges that more clearly represents the goals of Occupy our choices are very limited. Not voting is not an option.”

    Of course it is. The United States isn’t Australia and voting isn’t mandatory here.

    Furthermore, the approach that you’re advocating (and OWS is so far not falling into, much to their credit as far as I’m concerned) is one of the other big methods by which leftists and liberals have been disempowered in this country.

    The decision for groups to support the Democrats comes with a lot more costs than benefits. Although these consequences do not have to occur this way, this is what I’ve typically seen happen:

    1) The decision is made to back away from criticism of the Democrats for those positions where they agree with Republicans. After all, making those criticisms could hurt the Democrats’ chance in the election.

    2) Naturally, all of the members of a group won’t agree on this and some will want to follow through on an issue or issues no matter where it leads. The typical reactions to this are to either censor those who make the criticism, force them out, or otherwise marginalize them.

    3) When a group is seen as acting in this manner, it loses credibility because it can be accused of being seen (somewhat rightly) as being more concerned with partisan gain than the issue or issues that are supposed to be central.

    The results of this approach are that you end up with groups that are self-censoring, demoralizing to the cause that they supposedly support because supporting the Democrats takes over more than anything else, and ineffective-because again, once the Democrats understand quite clearly that you’re going to vote for them no matter what, or with a couple of pointless sops to the idea that you know that they’re pathetic such as “I’m holding my nose” or “Anybody But Bush” they have absolutely no further motive to listen to you. According to centrism, they’ll now chase after conservative voters who have no intention of ever voting for them-and moving further to the right in the process.

    “Maybe we’ve been arguing two sides of a different point, but if you think I’m advocating some blind support of the Dem’s you don’t understand what I’ve been saying. You don’t want to vote for Obama –  fine, then who are you going to vote for in 11 months?”

    I won’t be voting for either Democrats or Republicans.

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