Let's Actually Do Something: Blanket the Occupiers:
So out here in Left Blogsylvania, we have offered as much moral and rhetorical support as we perhaps can to the Occupy Wall Street movement, with a good many of us actually going down to the various occupations and reporting and/or taking part (not being NPR-labeled "journalists" allows us to do so). But winter's coming, fast up here in the Northeast. And while the Rude Pundit is convinced that the true flourishing of the Occupy movement will occur next spring (and into the awful summer and awfuller fall of an election year), there's a core of the protesters who are gonna stay, no matter what.

Here's what the Rude Pundit proposes, an action in the spirit of OWS:

On Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, as marketers force us to know, let's give to our local Occupy encampments what they need to stay warm for the winter.

The deal: check out your local Occupy website. There's a list of all the things they need in order to flat out survive into the spring.

Bring stuff to keep 'em all warm through the cold nights since they are doing the hard, hard work of creating the foundation for genuinely forcing change in the political dialogue and the economic stratification of the United States (and around the world).

On November 25th, as a show of general support, we'll meet to give as large a donation as possible in person at the occupation areas (or where the supplies are kept). Each city could have a meeting place and time for the donors.

Speaking of marketing, we could call this "Blanket the Earth." We could organize this on, say, a Facebook page or perhaps a Twitter feed or a hastag.

The Rude Pundit's gonna see if he can get some of his blogging friends and others involved. And you should do the same. It's a simple gesture, an inexpensive one (a pair of socks would be awesome or even the donation of secondhand stuff), and one that opposes the hyper-materialism of the date.

There was an old saying from back in the days of when labor union members would be jailed for striking. It was a chant from the rank and file of unions and their families, in response to the chants of the jailed: "Remember you're inside for us while we're out here for you." The idea was to keep the work of protest and activism going.

Let's keep that spirit alive. So, yes, do donate throughout the next month (and if you can't be there on that Friday).

But a large show of support on a single day would be a powerful message that we're here for the occupiers.


Taking Some Comp Time, Boss:
Hey, wow, aren't those Republicans assholes? (See? That's Quality Bloggery right there.)

The Rude Pundit's taking a long-ass drive today because sometimes a man's just gotta burn some fossil fuels to teach that atmosphere a lesson. (And he's gotta get to a thing.)

So he's taking a day here. He'll post some audio treats later.

Choose your final line:

Oh, and suck bird balls, Rangers.

Oh, and fuck you, Cards.


The Occupy Movement and the Unruly Reclamation of Public Spaces:
Let's get pseudo-intellectual here for a moment:

Back in the old days that conservatives like to get all nostalgic about, people slept in the parks. In the days before air conditioning, when it got too hot for fans and windows to do the trick, people just brought their families to the parks and camped out. Here's how the New York Times wrote about it during a July 1904 heat wave: "On the east side last night the heat in the big tenements was unbearable, and the residents there vacated their homes early in the evening. The small parks were overrun, and many of the people went to the recreation piers. In the parks the people disregarded the 'Keep off the grass' signs, and many stretched out on the green lawns to spend the night there." Poor people violating the law in order to survive. That's not an overstatement. People were dying or going to the hospital because of the 95 degree weather.

Imagine that: as an ordinary event, thousands of impoverished people, many of them immigrants, the polyglot of languages, the smell of sweat and food, all gathering in public spaces. Yes, there were ordinances that were violated, but the times called for the restrictions to be eased. During the heat wave of August 1938, hundreds of thousands of people slept on beaches and in parks in New York City. When police arrested 60 men for sleeping in parks, the magistrate they were brought before released them and said, "I think we can all show a little leniency in these days of record-breaking heat." The city said that people could sleep outside until the heat broke.

Perhaps the greatest triumph of capitalist materialism in the United States has been to isolate us and keep us out of the public spaces for any purpose but those that are sanctioned by the Law and that have consumption as a purpose. In other words, recreation and leisure is fine - go to the park with your kids, go to a football game - but anything that is remotely challenging to the approbation of those with power (not just the 1%, but those who defend their interests all around us) must be condemned and confronted.

(An aside: This actually points up the major difference between the Tea Party and OWS: the Tea Party exists to give aid and comfort to the powerful, so, of course, it is met with mostly head-patting approval by officials and businesses.)

Public spaces, and parks especially, have meaning beyond just being play areas and homeless zoos. When all those poor people gathered in the heat in the early 20th century, they were merely doing what they knew. See, when conservatives talk about the way "neighbors" relied on each other, they forget that, minus TV, minus smart phones, minus the myriad alienating distractions that have been foisted upon us, and that we embrace, those same people would also talk politics, face to face, a great deal more than we do now. That's how movements started.

The genius (yes, genius) of OWS is that it's not being done online. Honestly, who gives a damn how many people sign an internet petition? Or how many people have signed up for MoveOn.org's stream of email? The Rude Pundit has done both, but he felt as if he had done almost nothing for a cause because he had. Down at Liberty Plaza, despite the wifi connectivity, everything is done in an affirming, low-tech way, and not just the human microphone. The schedule for the day is written up on a marker board. There's a library with actual books. People handout flyers. Artists work on signs. Others use stencils and spray paint to create t-shirt designs. And everyone talks. Any time the Rude Pundit has been there, either to interview people or just to take part, he has been able to simply enter into conversation, about the occupation, about the economic disparity in America, about what can be done.

What's frustrating for a media (and a citizenry) so used to talking points and soundbites is that consensus goals are not the point of OWS. Instead, it is to demonstrate how power can be wielded without money substituting for speech; it is the reclamation of a face-to-face dialogue that has been moderated and regulated and filtered through so many talk shows and Facebook pages and Twitter accounts and, yes, blogs. Those things are necessary, but what's essential, and what OWS has reasserted in a way that hasn't been seen since the early 1970s, is that it occur, in large numbers, in the public space, in an unruly and confrontational way.

Of course the unruly must themselves be confronted violently by those who fear losing their control, who fear the collapse of a system they have fostered for decades. Because the Occupy Movement is engaging in a threatening activity. If they are communing, they are not consuming. If they are not consuming (in a really Marxist sense), they can lose their alienation and isolation.

Here's the kicker, though: The usual methods for regulating and controlling the public spaces aren't working this time. In fact, as it should, the more the powerful attempt to control the unruly in this case, the more the unruly attempt to take over the public space and enforce the "public" part.


Note to the Oakland Police Union: You Could Probably Use the Protesters' Help:
You know, the Oakland cops could probably use the support of large numbers of protesters. At the end of 2010, Police Chief Anthony Batts said that "Oakland needs a minimum of 925 police officers. Starting next month, however, Oakland city officials say there is only enough money to pay for 637 positions, the lowest rank-and-file number since 1987, and the department is quickly reaching that level." This is not to mention "the department should have a minimum of 420 officers assigned to the patrol division," and it has only 350.

"I’ll be clear to you. I do not have enough police officers," Batts, who stepped down this year, said in December 2010. July 2010 had seen the layoff of 80 cops for budget reasons. The final budget numbers in 2011: "The police department will be budgeted for 636 officers this year and 588 next year." This July, in contract negotiations, the police union agreed that its members would pay 9% of their pensions in exchange for a promise for no more layoffs until 2015.

The cops went all apeshit on the Occupy Oakland protesters, who were not nearly as organized as Occupy Wall Street. Still, even if there were rats and sanitation problems, it sure seems like the cops went in with the intent to kick some ass and were baiting the exhausted and "paranoid" occupiers with an absurdly massive show of force in the middle of the night. You watch the videos of the raid on Ogawa Plaza, and you want to say, "Umm, you realize that these are unarmed civilians most of whom committed the crime of trespassing, right? No? You're just gonna go all stormtrooper on their hippie asses?" The action passed "overkill" at the point that the first tear gas canister hit the air.

In other words, working with cops from other areas, the Oakland PD committed a large amount of its minimal force to execute an eviction notice. It must have been a good night to be a drug dealer or thief or murderer in Oakland.

Quick note to a scattered few protesters: Don't throw shit at the cops. Don't give 'em an excuse to gas you. Non-violence works only if you actually don't get violent. You wanna win the revolution? Get the police on your side. The rank and file actually want a reason to support you.


A Brief Exegesis of a Herman Cain Campaign Video:
At the opening of "Now is the time," an unlisted video on presidential candidate Herman Cain's YouTube channel, we see the face of a man, a middle-aged white man with glasses and a mustache and silvering hair, and he's speaking very sincerely to us. What does he want? On first blush, we might assume he is about to confess something to us, perhaps an unspeakable lust for young boys for, indeed, he looks as if he knows his way around an illegal chat room or two. But, no. He is the chief of staff for Cain's campaign, and he is imploring us to rally to his man's side. When he is finished speaking, music surges. "I am America," a female voice sings, and we see a close-up of the man as he sucks on a cigarette and then blows smoke out of the corner of his mouth, his eyes staring at us as if we are strippers on a stage, spreading our legs for his inspection. The video ends with Herman Cain looking serious and then slowly, slyly smiling. It is the look of a father about to get pleasure from spanking his own child's bare bottom. In fact, the whole of the ad seems to say: "These men are stalking you, and you will probably need a restraining order in order to survive the weekend."

To be fair-ish, that final creepy smile is featured in several of the videos on Cain's channel and website. If you want three minutes of unadulterated bugfuck insanity, check out "He Carried Yellow Flowers," which takes place on the set of an Old West movie and during which a buck-toothed black cowboy is beaten by a white cowboy in the background as an actor in costume tells us how much we need Herman Cain. This is not to mention the sexy, silent woman holding a chicken, which prompts two "nice chicken" comments (one imagines Cain wanted them to say, "Nice cock," but, you know, he's running for office, for Pete's sake). Then it ends with the Cain slow smirk, except this time it seems to be saying, "The joke's on you."

At least one ad contains a piece of information that probably ought to be included whenever anybody takes seriously his 9-9-9 economic "plan." It is a quote from Cain: "If 10% is good enough for God, then 9% should be just fine for the federal government." It's not an insignificant, throwaway line because it's at the end of his video introducing the plan (the one where he compares a progressive tax code to slavery, which you can be sure that Harriet Tubman would totally agree with).

While everyone is amused at the idea that 9-9-9 may have come from Sim City, perhaps the more relevant questions are whether Cain actually believe that everyone should be giving 10% of their income to churches and if his economic "plan" is actually based on the idea that the government should get less than religious groups.

(Note: None of this means that the Rude Pundit thinks Cain is anything less than a greedy exploiter of idiot Republicans who long for anyone who is not Romney.)


Wal-Mart Decides That It's Cheaper to Hire New Employees Than Take Care of the Ones They Have:
So, ha-ha-ha, back in 2008, a moustachioed handicapper of stocks (also known as "Crazy-Ass Guessing") named Jim Jubak wrote a column for MSN Money titled "Let Wal-Mart Fix U.S. Health Care." Oh, how he mocked Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's plans for doing the deed. And his solution was to look to America's largest private employer and its low-priced drugs and new walk-in clinics for how to bend the market to the consumer's will: "Wal-Mart has done more to expand coverage and lower costs in the past year than any government program to come out of Washington in the past 10 years. And I'd bet the new programs that this company -- known for stiffing its own part-time workers on health care benefits -- has announced in the past year will do more to expand coverage and cut costs than anything likely to come out of a McCain, Clinton or Obama first term."

After criticizing the company for failing to insure its part-time workers, Jubak said, "The company has cut the waiting period on health insurance for part-time workers to 12 months. (For 2007, the company set a goal of having 50% of its employees covered by company health insurance. The national average at big companies in the United States is 63%.) Children of part-time workers will be eligible for company health benefits."

Let's see how that went. Probably a rousing success filled with rainbows and lollipops available at discount prices, right? Nope. Except for the cheap drugs, it's nothing but a failed clusterfuck of dashed hopes and dreams topped with uninsured employees still working for shit wages. In other words, just like America.

Yeah, the whole clinic thing ended up a flop of Pawlentian proportions. By mid-2009, with ambitions to have 400 open with 2000 possible, Wal-Mart had 31. Even today, there's less than 200. You're more likely to get health care from a free clinic being held in a Wal-Mart parking lot than in the store.

And the super-mega-retailer's part-time employees? They're fucked. If you work under 24 hours a week doing the soul-crushing labor of stocking the shelves at the Supercenter, watching the poverty-stricken, obese moving bodies we used to call "people" using their carts as walkers as they decide whether to get new stretch pants or that double-sized bag of nachos with their disability checks as your fellow employees cower in fear that the ghost of Sam Walton will enter their brains and eat them from the inside if they even dare think of unionizing, you can't get health insurance from Wal-Mart, for you or your kids. (If you work 25-33 hours, you can't get it for your spouse, although you're allowed to buy in for your kids - no change there.)

Plus, it gets worse for the full-timers. Now, they've gotta pay more for their insurance - for instance, 40% more if they smoke - with a much higher deductible: "Barbara Collins, a sales associate at the Wal-Mart in Placerville, Calif., said that the premiums for the H.M.O. plan for herself and her 5-year-old son would rise to $18 every two weeks from $10. Her big concern, she said, was that her deductible would jump to $5,000 a year, from $1,000 — a daunting amount considering she earns $19,000 a year."

Wal-Mart says the cost has gotten too high for it to continue to expand coverage and that it needs to contribute less to current policies. And that it needs to lower prices even more, even if that cheaper Sam's brand cola comes out of the blood and bone of its employees. Perhaps, at the end of the day, it's just more profitable to train new cashiers if the current ones die of illnesses they can't afford.

By the way, in August, Wal-Mart reported a 5.7% rise in 2nd quarter profits. It made $3.8 billion in profit in that 3 months.

Which, if you think about it, means Wal-Mart is acting just like the U.S. health care system.


Why Wall Street and Everywhere Else Need to Be Occupied:

That family there is waiting in line at the Central Park United Methodist Church weekly food pantry two days ago, when Getty photographer Spencer Platt took a series of photos of the poorest city in America: Reading, Pennsylvania. By the way, in case that didn't hit you, it's a weekly food pantry. There's a whole tour of sites you can go to throughout the week in Berks County if you want to eat a couple of square meals a day.

Those people up there are part of the 5000 or so who started showing up yesterday for a four-day free health clinic in Los Angeles. They waited in enormous lines in order to get wristbands so they could see a doctor.

When snarky commentators want to know exactly what the protesters in Zuccotti Park and around the country are trying to achieve, how about this: a nation where those two photos can't be taken within 24 hours of each other, if ever.


A Few Bits of Advice for National Public Radio:
Hey, there, NPR. Rude Pundit here. First-time caller. In the Big Apple, WNYC, one of your flagship stations, is having a fund drive. The Rude Pundit's been a continuous contributor for a few years now, mainly due to his unrequited crush on Terry Gross. But he feels invested enough to offer you a couple of pieces of advice as you go along.

First off, can you please tell your on-air fundraisers to stop comparing the cost of supporting a single public radio station to the cost of cable TV. You know what the difference is? If Garrison Keillor appears on one's TV, one can change the channel.

Okay, that's a minor annoyance. Let's move on to something bigger, like:

Could you stop being such acquiescent little bitches to the fucking assholes of right-wing blogging blabbery? (You might wanna put your finger on the bleep button.) Seriously, allowing your corporate agenda to be set by Andrew Breitbart is like allowing your balls to be waxed by chimpanzee.

Because between Ron Schiller bullshit and now this firing of Lisa Simeone, you've pretty much put your nuts in Bonzo's paw. Simeone is the host of one program, World of Opera, and she used to also host Soundprint before NPR forced the station that produced it to shitcan her once it came out that Simeone was doing some speaking about the October 11 movement in DC (which is associated with Occupy Wall Street). Breitbart and Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller (motto: "Well, what the fuck else is Tucker Carlson gonna do?") called her a "spokesperson" for the movement, which is true if you mean she's a person who sometimes spoke about it. But not on NPR.

Now, you can say, NPR, that you have an ethics policy that applies to everyone. It reads in one part, "NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers." Except since when the fuck is the opera chick a journalist? And, you know, does that mean no NPR on-air personnel could attend, say, Jon Stewart's rally last October? And her other show, Soundprint? This week, it's about Edmund Hillary. Unless his skull is occupying DC, then who the fuck cares what Simeone's involved in in her free time?

And if the opera chick's a journalist, does that mean that NPR personnel cannot attend the opera because it's being covered by one of your journalists? Your code also says, "NPR journalists may sit on community advisory boards, educational institution trustee boards, boards of religious organizations or boards of nonprofit organizations so long as NPR does not normally cover them." So if Diane Rehm is on the board of an opera company, is she in violation? And let's not even get into the ethical dilemma of Mara Liasson appearing regularly on Fox "news." That's like a fucking in-kind donation to the Republican Party.

Mostly, though, what's it say about you, NPR, that the moment the slightest bit of controversy is voiced about anything, you immediately back down? From back during the Bush II administration, when you decided you needed more conservative commentary in order to appease those who said you were the liberalest of the liberal media (which led to some of the most embarrassing sputum ever aired on All Things Considered), to the Juan Williams nonsense to this, it just seems like the path of least resistance is also the path of least self-respect.
Late Post Today:
Yeah, yeah, it's been a busy week at what we might properly refer to as the Rude Pundit's "job." For now, let us all pause in thanks that we never have to figure out the proper Western spelling of "G/Q/Kaddafi/y" again.

Back in a bit with more defiant rudeness.


Random Observations on Last Night's GOP Debate Thing:
1. The Rude Pundit's second to none when it comes to his contempt for buffoonish grifter/pizza pusher Herman Cain, whose sole purpose in running for president is to be able to add a line to the marketing materials for his speeches and books. So it would have been fine if the other GOP candidates at last night's seven-way in Las Vegas had treated him like a clown whose presence mocks the political process, if they had viciously dissected him. Instead, they decided to respond to his surge in the polls, his 9-9-9 tax plan, the man himself like he was the house nigger who tried to tell his master a better way to stable the horses.

Here's Rick Santorum: "Herman’s well-meaning. I — and I love his boldness and it’s great." And Rick Perry: "Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something: You don’t have to have a big analysis to figure this thing out." And Mitt Romney: "I like your chutzpah on this, Herman, but I have to tell you, the analysis I did, person by person, return by return, is that middle- income people see higher taxes under your plan." And Newt Gingrich: "[F]irst of all, I think that Herman Cain deserves a lot of credit. He’s had the courage to go out and take a specific, very big idea — at the right level — and he has us — he has us at least talking about something that matters."

That's great. White dudes acting like the old black guy is a child. Hand those bastards a mint julep. There could have been a fuckin' banjo playing behind them.

2. Of course, Cain did say the following in the span of about two minutes: "This is — this is an example of mixing apples and oranges. The state tax is an apple. We are replacing the current tax code with oranges. So it’s not correct to mix apples and oranges...No. That’s an apple...We are replacing a bunch of oranges...He was mixing apples and oranges...Governor Romney, you are doing the same thing that they’re doing. You’re mixing apples and oranges...Whether you throw out the existing code and you put in our plan, you’re still going to pay that. That’s apples and oranges."

Vote for Herman Cain: A man with the tenacity to never bail on a shitty metaphor.

3. Michele Bachmann is still gloriously, weirdly dumb and apocalyptic. She's like the guest you invite to a party because you know that, no matter what, she's gonna do something crazy, like hump the ice sculpture. There was her geography fuck-up: "[Obama] put us in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa." (If you don't know why that's a fuck-up, get a globe, dumbass.) Actually, that's probably more of a racist thing: Uganda, Africa, same difference.

Then there was this: "If we give Congress a 9 percent sales tax, how long will it take a liberal president and a liberal Congress to run that up to maybe 90 percent?" The highest tax on goods anywhere is 25.5% in Iceland, and that's a VAT, which is a bit more comprehensive in what it's based on than a simple sales tax. So, umm, maybe in some fantasy of a liberal fascist America of Bachmann's deranged mind it might go to 90%, but chances are pretty damn low here in what we might colloquially call "reality."

4. Mitt Romney does not like being interrupted. Man, that Mormon motherfucker looked like he was about to Hulk out of his temple garments when Perry started in on him over a report from 2007 that Romney had used a landscaping company that hired illegal immigrants. Romney was having none of it, laughing like he was gonna cut a bitch, and then going red-faced and yelling when Perry kept in on him.

You know what the real story is? No, it ain't that Romney kept using the company for a year after. It ain't even Romney's pussy statement he said he told the company, "I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals," which means that it's apparently okay to "have illegals" if you're not running for president.

No, the real story is that the company was hired for, among other things, "clearing debris from Romney's tennis court." How is that not even a little eyebrow raising? (Easy there, Ron Paul.)

Oh, and Romney revealed that he's really a walking dick.

5. The most disgustingly pandering moment of the debate? When Romney and Perry joined Ron Paul in opposing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada. It was a Republican Congress in 2002 along with George W. Bush who approved the project (and the ball got rolling under Ronald Reagan). It was Harry Reid and then President Obama who halted it. Paul has some credibility because he actually voted against it.

Once again, hey, Republicans, good work. Have fun in the general election.


Not Bothering with Pat Buchanan (In Brief):
The Rude Pundit was gearing up to write a bunch of truly terrible things about depraved, plump Nazi Pat Buchanan. In his most recent "column" (and then the Rude Pundit would have inserted an "if you mean by 'column'" image that would have seared your eyeholes), Buchanan goes full-on white supremacist, meaning "believing in the supremacy of white people."

But, truly, when someone who is still considered a major media figure writes, as Buchanan did, "Can Western civilization survive the passing of the European peoples whose ancestors created it and their replacement by Third World immigrants? Probably not, for the new arrivals seem uninterested in preserving the old culture they have found," well, one's time would be better spent masturbating to particularly racy episodes of Gilligan's Island. (Professor or Mary Ann? Professor or Mary Ann?) Why bother with the pathetic rantings of a pathetic old man who should have died in his pathetic past that he pathetically says is so much better than today.

So, instead of engaging in a shit-wallow with the words of a pile of garbage, the Rude Pundit offers his appearance on yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show, where he said one or two things about Occupy Wall Street that are actually relevant to the future of the nation.
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit's gotta rewrite the words of "Imagine" to praise beer, just like John Lennon would want. Back in a bit with more inebriated rudeness.


Herman Cain Celebrates His Appearance on Meet the Press: A Fantasia:
"Pour that hot cheese on my nipples," Herman Cain told the big-titted whore holding a freshly baked pizza over his chest. "You gotta do it now, before the grease congeals." The whore giggled nervously as she tilted a slice so that a white band of cheese dribbled off slowly, approaching the Republican presidential frontrunner's exposed flesh. When the mozzarella blend hit the areola, Cain yelped and laughed, shouting, "Yeah. Aw, shit. Now put some of that pepperoni oil on my balls and lick it off."

Cain had the hooker - Sophie? Sarah? Salty? Who the fuck cares since sluts don't use their real names - waiting for him at his suite at the Four Seasons for when he returned from his debut on NBC's Sunday morning gab show, Meet the Press. The prostitute, whose name was actually Audrey but went professionally as "Sadie," thought the pizza was going to be for lunch.

"Goddamn, how I tricked 'em all," Cain told Sadie when he arrived and dismissed his handlers, who were used to this part of the day. "Did you see me?" Sadie lied and said she had and why didn't he just come over to the bed. He ignored her. "Some of that shit, damn. I actually said to a national audience, 'Suppose one breadmaker says, "I'm going to charge $2.20 for a loaf of bread," and the other one says he's going to charge $2.40 for a loaf of bread. Well, guess which one is going to win out based upon the quality being essentially the same?' I actually said that shit, shit that schoolchildren know about money." He laughed heartily.

Fooling people is what Herman Cain has always been about. Making 'em buy shitty food. Making 'em think he's a man of the people. He ran a pizza business named "Godfather's," a patently offensive name, one that evoked mobsters even as it served Italian-ish food. If a white candidate had been CEO of Sambo's, he'd've never seen the light of day. Now, Cain makes money through motivational speaking, which is shorthand for "rubes pay me to say bullshit."

It's all about marketing, you know, keeping it simple. Cain used to market poison; his products are responsible for more deaths in America than al-Qaeda. But that doesn't stop him. "9-9-9," Cain said to Sadie, finally beginning to undress. "You hear how much everyone talks about it? Talking like there's anything behind that other than it's easy to say." He smirked and said, "9-9-9" first in a flat Minnesota accent and then in a Texas one. "Buncha fuckin' retards we got running for president."

In some ways, Cain had to admit, he's as surprised as anyone. Dropping his pants and folding them over a chair, he remarked, "I just had a book coming out. I just wanted to jack up my speaking fees. I thought I'd do a few debates and be done. This is god-damned funny." He loves that, as a black Republican, his never-elected-to-anything self gets more face time than all the black Democrats in Congress combined. And that's not even counting Fox.

"All right, all right, here we go," he moaned to Sadie, gesturing at his erect penis. "You just jack me off right onto that extra large combo pie." Sadie felt a bit disturbed at the request, but she had heard worse. She had been forced to eat food after Mike Huckabee had chewed it. Sarah Palin had once ridden her like a pony, swatting her ass until it bled with a riding crop while Todd fucked himself with a vibrator in the corner. So she diligently yanked away, and when she sensed Cain was about to orgasm, she moved the pizza box so that the pie caught the full amount of his ejaculation. "You deliver that to over to NBC. Tell 'em it's compliments of the Herminator," he said, as he quickly dressed.

He had to get going. He had a meeting with Roger Ailes about his next job.
Late Post Today:
The Rude Pundit's gotta clean all the dead Mexicans off his electric fence. (Aw, c'mon, it was just a joke. Let Herman Cain laugh at you.)

Back later with more stunning rudeness.


Photos That Point to the Inevitable Action Against the Occupation:

There's many pictures that the Rude Pundit could have chosen to end this week of the anti-Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. He could have shown you the people with brooms and scrub brushes getting down and cleaning the shit out of the park, making it cleaner than nearly every other park in the city. He could have showed you more of the great signs (his favorite from his visit yesterday: "I'll Believe Corporations Are People When Texas Executes One"). He could have shown you various people: the man standing on the corner, reading the entire U.S. Constitution to indifferent passersby or the rapper David Banner talking to the platinum blonde folk singer or the woman dressed as Marie Antoinette. He could have shown you the General Assembly when it was announced that Occupy Wall Street was going to resist the efforts of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD to enforce a demand by Brookfield Global Real Estate that the park be vacated for a power-hose washing. The speakers were resolved and eloquent in relaying the information they had, which was amplified in waves by the human microphone of everyone there ("This is an occupation," said one, "not a permitted picnic"), along with the plan to link arms and blockade the park in the early morning today, which turned out to not be necessary once Brookfield backed down.

Instead, the Rude Pundit chose this photo from today when, filled with the power that comes from winning a confrontation, the protesters marched up and down Broadway, heading towards the blocked-off and heavily-guarded Wall Street, while some of the police, cockblocked by Brookfield, had to relieve their aggro urges on the marchers.

Why this one? Because it is inevitable that there will be violence. The very movements that Occupy Wall Street is based on, in Egypt, in Spain, all faced violent confrontations with the police (or the military). Whether it happens now or, as numbers inevitably dwindle when it gets really fucking cold in the winter, in a revived spring of 2012, it will happen, and on a larger scale than it has happened already.

This is not said as a way to discourage the movement. No, in fact quite the opposite. It's just to say they should be ready for it, as the occupiers were ready for arrest this morning. Hopefully, as part of the training sessions in non-violent resistance that were held yesterday, they included how to look into the vicious face of the cop using the only power he's been allowed to wield as the protesters do the same.

Here's last night's Cheater and the Rude, where the Rude Pundit reports from Zuccotti Park and Jeff Kreisler reports from Occupy DC:


Really? We're Doing Herman Cain Now? Okay, Fine...:

Honestly, the only reason the Rude Pundit is writing this is so he has an excuse to post that photo, which is from a 1988 Ebony magazine profile of Herman Cain, back when he was the god of Godfather's Pizza, just because it's pretty damn funny, doncha think?

So we're gonna indulge this now? Is this what we've moved onto? We're gonna spend the next week or so talking about whether or not Herman Cain can win the Republican nomination for president? And whether or not he could win in an election? Really? 'Cause the GOP's going through flavors of the month faster than Baskin-Robbins (Aw, yeah, high five anyone?).

No, really, please. Let's go ahead and pretend that one of the other candidates is gonna beat Mitt Romney, who has been as inevitable a 2012 nominee as Barack Obama. Let's just keep playing this game of seriously looking at proposals that are nonsensical and personalities who passed borderline on the way to crazytown. We were told by the pundidioits that Michele Bachmann was gonna be our mad queen. We were told that Rick Perry was absolutely going to ass rape every other nominee and ride his horse into the White House. That's not to mention the Chris Christie and Sarah Palin diversions.

So now it's Cain as the Romney-killer, with his bullshit 9-9-9 plan (mentioned no less than 24 times at this week's GOP circle jerk), his lack of anything beyond food business experience (oh, and time at the Kansas City Federal Reserve), and his failed Senate campaign (where he lost his party's nomination). You know this egotistical fucker ran for president in 2000? And he built up his resume' since then by having a talk radio show and doing motivational speaking. You couldn't name the president of Uzbekistan either, you elitist fuck, if you spent your life making money serving steaming piles of horseshit, either on a pizza pan or in a burger box or in a hotel conference room to the corporate tools who bought your time.

Cain is this year's Perot. He's Donald Trump with nothing better to do with his time right now. And he's now leading Romney in some polls, like Perry had, like Christie had, blah, blah, blah. But, hey, GOP, go ahead and play around. It's not like any of you are gonna beat Obama. This whole nomination process is all about your party's identity crisis.

What everyone should be asking is not whether or not Herman Cain can win. Instead, the question should be "How fucked is it that we're talking about him?"


The Super-Scary Iranian Assassination Plot: The FBI's Truman Show:
Man, the Rude Pundit hopes one day that someone cares enough about him to create an entire world for his most depraved delusions, just like the FBI apparently did with this used car salesman who said he was working with Iran to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States. That'd be sweet, just to have a discussion with someone who seems serious about it, just to fuck with 'em and see the look on his face as he said, "Now, lemme get this straight, you want to sacrifice a midget who looks like Rick Santorum to Satan, cut off his arm, and fuck your own ass with it, all while a just-post-op transsexual is going down on a 70 year-old female porn star who's fellating an Irish setter? And everyone's gotta be bathing in the midget's blood? And then everyone gets killed at the end except you and you get to keep the arm as a souvenir? Umm, okay, we're gonna need to get some money wired in..."

'Cause, see, essentially, this oh-so-scary pre-Halloween appearance by the terrorism boogeyman is just a fantasy cooked up by the FBI. Someone heard that this broke loser, Manssor Arbabsiar, who looks like he's straight out of the Arab-looking evil character catalog, wants to get involved in some shit to kill the Saudi ambassador or something for the Iranian government. So the FBI creates a world for the schmuck where this is made to seem possible and they can watch, like the movie The Truman Show or The Spanish Prisoner. The informant, acting like he's part of a Mexican drug cartel that'll take the job and possibly kill a shitload of people while blowing up a restaurant, feeds into the fantasy plot and "Jack," as Arbabsiar is known to his friends, is drawn in, even pretending like he has a cousin that's part of the Iranian elite and very-scary-sounding military unit, the Quds Force.

Like the majority of so-called terror plots in the last few years, it's essentially all the concoction of the FBI. And it ended with the guy crumbling like a house of cards in a tornado. He fuckin' gave up everything he supposedly knew. And, sweet Jesus, it's like a funhouse of shit what we're supposed to fear. Iranians working with the ultra-violent Mexican drug gangs? Fuck, that's like Freddy Krueger impregnating the thing from Predator and breeding a human-skinning alien that kills you in your dreams and when you're awake; that fucker just never stops killing you.

Of course, the Saudi ambassador was never in any danger from Mexican assassins. Jack was egged on by the informant, and every conversation was recorded. It's just like the case of Hosam Smadi, the poor bastard in Dallas who got a little over-excited on a website and drew the attention of the FBI. They created a whole scenario where he could blow up a truck bomb in downtown Dallas. He got to play pretend terrorist for ten months. They let Smadi get to the point where he thought he was actually remotely detonating the truck. Give the three FBI actors in that case a fuckin' Oscar. (One note here: Smadi was sent to prison for 24 years. When he gets out, didn't the FBI just train him in how to go about blowing up a building?)

So is it possible that Iran wants to blow up a Saudi on American soil? Probably not. And, even if so, as Glenn Greenwald and others point out, it's pretty fuckin' hypocritical of us to say that they don't have that right, considering our own drone-rific attacks on people in other nations, with loads of collateral damage (or, you know, dead innocents).

To call this a "significant milestone" in the fight against terrorism, as Attorney General Eric Holder did, is overstatement of pathological proportions. No one was threatened at any point. No terrorist plot was ever actually conceived, just an illusion of one conjured by the Imagineers at the FBI in order to keep us believing in the magic of our Homeland Security operations, to possibly amp up to war with Iran, and who knows what else.

By the way, the FBI statement ends cutely with this: "The charges contained in a criminal complaint are mere allegations and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty." Sure.

Now the Rude Pundit's gotta get going. He's been told that he's gonna meet with potential little Santorums at lunch.


The Five Most Annoying Things About David Brooks' Attack on Occupy Wall Street:
Today, in his New York Times "column" (if by "column," you mean, "bland faux intellectual insights masking a deep desire by a rich nerd to be accepted by the cool kids"), David Brooks does one of his patented bullshit dances of superiority. In "analyzing" the Occupy Wall Street movement, Brooks engages in an mind-boggling level of reductionism, like a man who thinks the only way you can fuck is missionary and everything else is icky.

1. The title is "The Milquetoast Radicals." David Brooks calling someone "milquetoast" is like a herpes-ridden crack whore calling someone a "skank." One could either say, "Well, that's a bit hypocritical" or "Well, I guess that's an expert opinion."

2. Brooks attempts to discredit OWS by discrediting Adbusters, the Canadian magazine that gave the first protesters the idea of an Arab Spring-type movement in the United States. The magazine is "previously best known for the 2004 essay, 'Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?' — an investigative report that identified some of the most influential Jews in America and their nefarious grip on policy." Actually, the article asked a question that many, on the right and left, asked: Why were we not allowed to discuss the neocons' emphasis on protecting Israel? And, actually, the only people who gave a shit about the article and found it controversial were the neocons, like, you know, Brooks.

3. Brooks takes one major slogan from the movement and extrapolates, no shit, for the bulk of his column about how it's wrong: "If there is a core theme to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is that the virtuous 99 percent of society is being cheated by the richest and greediest 1 percent." Where do you wanna go with that? Who the fuck is saying that the 99% is "virtuous"? They're saying, "Why should 1% control so much of the economy? Why should they get paid so much more than the average American? Why shouldn't they pay more taxes?" It's not about the 1% footing the bill for everyone else. It's that the 1% pay their fair fucking share. But notice how easy it is to get caught up in debating a slogan rather than an issue? "The 99-versus-1 frame is also extremely self-limiting," Brooks writes. Yeah. That's why OWS isn't limited to that single argument.

4. Brooks says, "A third believe the U.S. is no better than Al Qaeda, according to a New York magazine survey." Okay, let's fact-check this shit: The "survey" was a totally non-scientific poll of a hundred protesters. We know nothing about who the magazine chose to question. It was done nearly two weeks ago, before the protests took off. And New York magazine itself makes no claim to any kind of validity beyond, "Hey, we bugged a few people in Zuccotti Park with some kind of snarky questions. Here's what they said." But for Brooks? It's enough to discredit the entire enterprise.

5. To conclude, Brooks offers an opinion piece from Matt Miller in the Washington Post as something far more radical than what he thinks the OWS protesters want, but, since Brooks doesn't actually understand anything about the Occupy Together movement beyond the aforementioned slogan, he wouldn't realize that a good chunk of what Miller proposes is pretty damn similar to the Occupiers.

Brooks snorts, "The most radical people today are the ones that look the most boring." Now that's some fuckin' projection.


It's Columbus Day, So We May as Well Kill Some More Indians:
So by now, you probably haven't heard much about the Keystone XL pipeline because no one on the TV is squawking loudly because it's not as glamorously conspiratorially evil-sounding as Solyndra. Also, because most politicians of both parties love that filthy oil lucre. Really quickly: Keystone XL would be the next really long pipeline, taking delicious crude from the wild tar sand fields of Alberta, Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. Because it crosses a border, the State Department has to approve it. Environmentalists oppose it because the company, TransCanada, is not, as one might expect a Toronto tranny bar but is, in fact, a really huge energy corporation and, as such, it has polluted the shit out of the environment. In fact, a previous pipeline sucked so badly that the U.S. shut it down because it leaked a dozen times in a year.

What does this have to do with Indians? Well, see, the Keystone XL pipeline would go through the tribal lands of many different indigenous people in the United States and Canada, possibly polluting water sources that, you know, keep them alive. As a resolution by the National Council of American Indians put it, the proposed pipeline "crosses through Indian country in northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, near and potentially over, many culturally significant areas for Tribal Nations within those provinces and states;" and, based on the record of Keystone and other pipelines, "it is probable that further environmental disasters will occur in Indian country if the new pipeline is allowed to be constructed."

For instance, the proposed route of the pipeline would take it right across the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in South Dakota, among others. And according to treaties with the U.S. government, the tribes are supposed to have approval of such things. As the United Tribes of North Dakota said, "The U. S. Department of State did not properly consult with the Tribes along the route of the Keystone Excel Pipeline and, as a result of the mechanisms used for what consultation was provided, the affected Tribal Nations were not provided the opportunity for 'free and informed consent; regarding the construction of the pipeline." They don't want it (and some have been arrested protesting it). So, in other words, if the Obama administration, which just finished holding hearings on the pipeline (which included an environmental impact statement done by a TransCanada contractor), approves the pipeline, it will violate treaties with Indian tribes and endanger the health of Native Americans. It's comforting to know that some things in America never change.

Of course, it's oil we're talking about, and no one can stop it, even if it's the filthiest, most environment-degrading kind of oil. All review is done now. It's up to Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, and President Obama. And how do you think that's gonna go?


Cheater and the Rude, Live from Liberty Plaza:
No, the sound's not state of the art (although it's not bad), but Jeff Kreisler and the Rude Pundit interviewed Occupy Wall Streeters live on the air this past Thursday. We talked to priests and elderly people and Ron Paul libertarians and high school kids and more. You want diversity? You want a heartbreaking story or two? You wanna hear people you'd think are idiots being articulate about economic issues? You wanna hear a crazy or two? Then listen in:


This Is Herman Cain?:
Hey, kids, the Rude Pundit knows that now that a bunch of idiots in Florida sat around and thought, "Well, shit, we like that Godfather's pizza" and gave him the win in their caucus or straw poll or whatever the fuck it was, Republican presidential candidate is now America's Next Great Negro, but Herman Cain is kind of nuts. Oh, sure, he'll put on a good face of sanity, but it's way more fun to look at the shit he said back before he decided this whole running for president thing looked like a good racket. What's most fascinating is to see his engagement with issues of race.

Like on April 20, 2005, when, in his "column" (if by "column," you mean, "a pathetic attempt to exploit the novelty of being a conservative black guy for fun and profit"), Cain compared Democrats who opposed privatizing Social Security to Jim Crow-era racists who made blacks drink from separate water fountains. No, really: "[C]ongressional Democrats do not want all Americans to drink from the same retirement fountains. They insinuate that we are not smart enough to ride in the front of the retirement bus with them." And that includes the Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP: "[B]lack Democratic leaders," he wrote, "are willing to see the next generation of Blacks remain in economic slavery on the Democratic plantation." Dude, that's not just playing the race card. That's keeping a few race cards up your sleeve to win every trick. (Boo-yah - bridge reference, motherfuckers.)

Throughout his columns, Cain is one analogy-making son of a bitch. From an April 23, 2007 column: "During the early half of the 1900s, Democrats discouraged black people from voting for Republicans with physical intimidation, including lynches by the Ku Klux Klan, a Democrat-inspired organization. Today, instead of a rope and a tree, Democrats try to deny black people from voting or running for office as Republicans using a keyboard and racially inspired media moments." (You gotta love the timing of that one, coming so soon before Barack Obama became one of the main Democratic candidates for president.)

It's big fun that a black guy who keeps using metaphors from America's racist past to condemn Democrats also writes about how it's time to get beyond race and that he can't understand why people concentrate on it, as when he said, "Isn’t it funny that it is the liberals who are obsessed with Obama’s race?" (He had just quoted Stanley Crouch, hardly a raging liberal.) And other times, he just says things about race that are just weirdly, obviously wrong, like "The unfortunate snapshot of poverty exposed by Hurricane Katrina is not an accurate portrait of the equal opportunity available all across America." So, wait. Katrina just happened to hit the one place in America where black poverty is endemic? And it's all cool elsewhere? Imagine the luck.

What's Cain about? Oh, that's right. He's an executive from corporate America. It's pretty goddamn easy to figure out his goals.


Random Observations on the Occupy Wall Street Protest of October 5:

1. You see that picture there? That's a microphone and a reporter for the China Daily. The Rude Pundit arrived in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, near the courthouse, yesterday at around 3:15 for the 4:30 march. Sweet Jesus, the amount of media overcompensation was like a small-dicked executive buying an Escalade. At one point, there had to be a 10 to 1 ratio of protesters to media. You couldn't turn around without someone shoving a microphone, a camera, an audio recorder in your face. The Rude Pundit got interviewed twice, and he wasn't carrying a sign, playing a banjo, or wearing a funny hat. He spoke to people from no less than three Japanese news organizations, a German one, CBS, and Al-Jazeera English. He asked all of them the same question, about whether or not the protests had been improperly ignored at first. Everyone of the beleaguered reporters or camera operators, from outlets big and small, had the same answer: Well, the media's owned by corporations and they suck.

2. Yes, there were people there representing for not even tangentially-related causes. Sure, sure, the Indigenous Peoples group may have some valid concerns, but just because they had a dreamcatcher and a shirtless guy blowing a conch doesn't mean that the five of 'em deserved to be encircled by media. They didn't represent anything other than an opportunity to blow their own, well, shell in front of a big, big crowd. Oh, and if people couldn't smoke, then they shouldn't have been allowed to burn their stinky fucking sage bundle. "Oh, look," said one woman, gesturing over to the cloud of smoke nearby. "A shaman is purifying the space and blessing the crowd." It was the only time the Rude Pundit was tempted to commit violence.

3. To be sure, the crowd was huge. Thousands of people. The Rude Pundit walked away early, and, at Broadway, he met a line of marchers heading down to Worth Street, which you can see way in the back, to the top of Foley Square. It was far, far bigger than most might have imagined.

Oh, and on Church Street, a block further? He saw a line of paddy wagons, ready in case they were needed to haul away marchers.

4. Any dumbass who says that this is primarily a protest movement of white people can suck on this photo:

That's members of National Nurses United. They were there with other unions, including the transit workers, communications workers, and lots more. Some of the workers are, in fact, white. Some, in fact, are not. Just like the protesters.

Now, it's true that this primarily a protest against white people, who comprise the majority of that ultra-upper income bracket, the 1%.

5. Of course, there were fun signs:

But unlike other protests the Rude Pundit's been to recently, this one was far more serious-minded and less of a carnival, and perhaps that's because there is a chance, a growing chance, that the Occupy movement could end up having a significant effect on the 2012 elections, if not on actual legislation. That seriousness of purpose is what's garnering attention and supporters. This is life or death, and, unlike the war protests back in 2003 and 2004, the issues at stake really do directly touch the lives of nearly every American in clear and present ways.

6. Finally, regarding the police using batons and pepper spray on demonstrators who marched on Wall Street last night: Really? You're gonna Hulk out protecting the interests of Mike Bloomberg, who wants to cut your pensions, and his Wall Street cronies who fucked up your retirement funds over in the first place? Tell your white shirts to calm the fuck down. And let 'em march.


An Inarticulate Articulation of Why Occupy Wall Street Doesn't Need to Articulate a Damn Thing:
Oh, shut the fuck up, mainstream media. You know exactly what the Occupy Wall Street (and dozens of other places) protests are demanding. Everybody knows, even dunderheads who pretend not to. They are demanding what every truly great social movement has ever demanded: the right to have a say, to have power in a nation where the majority of people are disempowered. Yeah, you can narrow those into a list of specific goals, as the General Assembly at Zuccotti Park are attempting or as others from the protests or even some in the media have laid out, but so what?

They all come down to the same thing, the same thing: power, specifically of the economic sort. The United States government has allowed corporations, whether its oil companies, banks, pharmaceuticals, or whatever, to have the power in the nation under the lie that their rising profits are the key to economic salvation. Now, after decades of corporate-friendly policies, mostly to the detriment of the individual worker, the lie has been made plain. If the Tea Party had not been racist and gun-toting and stupid and easily manipulated from the start, it would have had the same message.

That message can be distilled to a simple, plaintive, two-word cry to our elected representatives: "Do something." We have watched as program after program has been watered down or blocked by the Republicans (and some of their Democratic lapdogs) in Congress. The hope of the Obama administration was that he would do those things that need to get done. Seeing him have to kowtow to special interests (by his own doing) or bow to thuggish GOP demands has been devastating to the movement he started, especially when he was so fucking clear in his 2008 campaign about what needed to happen in America. Perhaps, then, to make it more clear, the message can be: Do the obvious shit that you know has to be done.

All but the most deluded believers in the bullshit chimera of voodoo economics (as we called it back in the day) know that taxes must go up. They know that the government must spend more on infrastructure and education here. They know that health insurance must be nationalized. They know that the wars must end. They know that criminals must be prosecuted. They know that Wall Street needs to be regulated. They know it and either won't do it because it'll cut into corporate profits or they can't do it because it's being blocked by the maniacs.

These are not revolutionary concepts. It's not a call for the overthrow of the Congress or the President. It's not a call for all the bullshit constitutional amendments that the Tea Party has tossed into the trash heap of rhetorical history. It's a call to abide by the notion that we are a group of united states, not a bunch of demographics awaiting exploitation. Our division is what gives power to the corporations. Our division is what they demand so that we don't actually think about and discuss what's wrong and how it can be solved. They need our division. Our unity is a threat.

Perhaps one way to put this (for, indeed, there are and should be many) is "We love our country. Why don't you?"

In the simplest Marxist terms, capital must be taught a lesson that labor is its superior in the power structure. You want a real revolution, with unemployed, hungry masses demanding your heads? Then ignore this anger.

A banking CEO contacted the New York Times's Andrew Ross Sorkin to ask if he should be worried about the uprising.

Yes, dear criminal. You should be very worried. Not about your life. But about your grip on the throat of Americans.
The Rude Pundit Has the Bestest Fans a Vaguely Alcoholic Writer Could Ask For:
So 4:30 in the morning seems as good a time as any for doing the right thing and thanking the nearly 100 people who saw fit to donate their hard-earned (or maybe not-so-hard) cash to the Rude Pundit's 8th Anniversary Stick-Up last week. (He'll still take your money, by the way.)

Your truly heartening generosity in these times of hardship has enabled the purchase of that MacBook Pro that winked at him at the Apple store, thus freeing up other money to be used for the purchase of tongue-sweet, throat-burning liquor.

And you've inspired the Rude Pundit to offer even more on-the-scene coverage (which will be easier to edit on the aforementioned shiny piece of hardware) of the Occupy Wall Street actions and more.

But mostly you're not here to get a warm and fuzzy reacharound. You're here for the astute political commentary, like on this Monday's Stephanie Miller, where the Rude Pundit describes Chris Christie peeling Nancy Reagan off his blubbery manboobs.

Enjoy, and if wouldn't suck if you signed up for the free Rude Pundit podcast:


The Case for Using Predator Drone Strikes Against Wall Street Executives:
From a secret Justice Department memorandum obtained by the Rude Pundit:

Mr. President,

Since it is now the policy of our administration to target American citizens for killing by missiles delivered by Predator drone aircraft, I am proposing an expansion of the program to include targets beyond our ongoing conflict with al-Qaeda and its affiliates. I propose that we now target executives and others in the finance industry who so far have not been prosecuted for potential crimes that forced the economy of the United States into a long-term decline.

The legal authority for these actions rests with an earlier memo dealing with the targeting of [name redacted, but presumably Anwar al-Awlaki]. To summarize, targeting of American citizens may be done: 1. on foreign soil, even if no actual battles are occurring in that nation; 2. as long as there is an ongoing war; and 3. without regard to due process, as long as the administration is confident that the target has committed crimes against the nation.

To deal with those in reverse order:
- We can say, with certainty, that particular executives in various firms were responsible either directly for or directed others to engage in the reckless investment schemes that resulted in firms going bankrupt or in need of a bailout from the federal government. Under this condition, we can target [name redacted] of [firm redacted] who concealed $50 billion in loans in order to inflate the firm's value while at the same time personally taking several hundred million dollars in compensation. We know this occurred. We have evidence that it occurred. We know that [redacted]'s actions, in part, led directly to the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

- If the targeted killing of American citizens is justified in our ongoing war with terrorists above and beyond any previous congressional authorization, and if the military has previously been involved in the ongoing war on drugs, then we can say with confidence that the proposed targeted attacks on financial executives falls under the purview of the "War on Poverty," which was declared by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and which, like the ten-year war on terrorists and the forty-year war on drugs, has not been successfully concluded. This might seem to strain legal justification, but we are talking about criminals who have done grievous harm to the nation.

- One concern must be where we could target American citizens. Surely, we do not wish to use Predator drones within the borders of the United States. So we must wait until the targeted executives are on vacation or doing business in foreign countries. Once, for instance, [name redacted] of [firm redacted] travels to his private island in the Bahamas, the collateral damage from Hellfire missiles would be minimal.

The final consideration for moving forward with these actions is whether or not the targets are an ongoing threat to American and its interests. To put this in perspective, what has caused greater damage to the United States? Attacks by al-Qaeda or the crimes of the targeted financial officers and executives? For the average American, loss of jobs, foreclosure, and loss of retirement income, all due to the massive fraud committed by the proposed targets, are far more of a threat than terrorists have ever been, yet we limit our drone program to them.

To take this further, one might be able to say, with some degree of certainty, that more Americans have died as a result of the actions of the proposed financial industry targets, through suicide and loss of income and health insurance due to a contracting economy, than have been killed as a result of actions by terrorists.

As for an ongoing and current threat, the sociopathic behavior of terrorists leads us to believe that they cannot be reformed; the same presumption can be made about the proposed targets in the financial sector. This office has no doubt that, given the chance, [name redacted], CEO of [firm redacted], would allow another convoluted series of billion-dollar transactions that might end up in another bailout, thus costing the United States more of its diminishing treasure.

The total use of Predator drones against financial industry executives would most likely be minimal. After several strikes, we anticipate that others will turn themselves in to authorities for prosecution out of fear for their lives.

To conclude, our policy of "Capture or Kill" towards American citizens who are terrorists should be expanded to include others who terrorize the nation in more subtle ways than bombs or bullets. And since the administration has shown no willingness to capture any of these proposed targets, we are only left with the latter option.

Respectfully submitted,
[name redacted]


The Occupy Wall Street Protesters Earn Their Merit Badges:
Genuine political and social movements fuck things up. The civil rights movement? The anti-Vietnam War movement? The labor movement of the early 20th-century? None of them would have progressed if they had only existed under the sanction of local, state, and federal governments, if they had only acted or marched with permission, if they had done nothing to disrupt the daily routines of everyday people, if they hadn't gotten in the faces of the powerful. If your protest is approved by city hall, then you are participating in civil obedience.

It's why the Tea Party was never anything other than a costume fad. And like any fad, it had its most devout adherents, but, truly, it was the Beanie Babies of political movements. The Tea Party gave comfort to the wealthy and played by the rules. It's why it was a movement of old people and families: there was no threat that anyone was going to spill any of their diabetic fucking blood on any goddamn mythical tree of liberty. And just like all those people who bought Beanie Babies thought they'd get rich by selling 'em on eBay, only to end up with basements full of dead-eyed, worthless bears and frogs, the Tea Party will soon be bagged up and brought to the thrift store of history.

No matter if it was intentional or not, the mass arrest of 700 of the Occupy Wall Street protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on Saturday was a brilliant PR move, and it legitimized the snowballing activism as the beginning of a real movement. The media coverage has increased exponentially. For instance, NPR, which had been ignoring the protest, is now doing regular reports. The New York Times has had front page coverage.

The arrest of hundreds of peaceful marchers is proof that the demonstrations are having an effect. The NYPD, under the urging of the Bloomberg administration, no doubt, took a gamble, hoping that they could end the occupation once and for all. Instead, it ended up having the reverse effect, as the arrests and pepper-spraying the week before had, giving the protests more traction, more participants, and more power.

Wear those arrests as badges of honor, good provocateurs of the plaza. As Big Bill Haywood, the leader of the Industrial Workers of the World, said when he was imprisoned in Chicago in 1917, "A prison cell is the heritage we gain for the blood and lives our forefathers gave; they fought for religious freedom and left us with minds free from superstitious cant and dogma; they waged war for political justice; they carried on the struggle against chattel-slavery - these were the titanic battles that were fought, bringing us to the threshold of all wars - the class war - in which we are enlisted as workers." Now, Big Bill was given to hyperbole, but his point was that if you're gonna fuck with the powerful, the powerful are gonna try to fuck you up. But that the chance to battle should be inspirational, not dispiriting.

Remember, this is still the very, very beginning. Maybe, just maybe, as more actions happen, as unions get involved, as more arrests happen, as the tipping point of inevitable violence by authorities occurs, maybe we on the left can stop being such little bitches about the protests and unify behind them.

Later this week: Um, so what the fuck are we unifying behind?