Monday, November 21, 2011

Random Monday notes and warnings

As every single Star Wars movie has said at least once: I have a very bad feeling about this. PLEASE brothers and sisters in the Occupy movement, do not underestimate a cutthroat conservative politician who is afraid of losing their base, and what they might do to keep that base happy.

Occupiers are planning to defy Governor Haley's unconstitutional 6pm curfew at the State House in Columbia. My best Deadhead vibes are with them, as well as my warnings. My Tarot counseled me in no uncertain terms, not to go. Reshuffled, threw it again, even worse the second time. I decided that since I have no bail money, I would sit this one out. If I had a lawyer at the ready and bail money, I would be taking part.

Nikki Haley is weathering several scandals right now, and Occupy Columbia is popularly regarded as one of these. Conservatives want her to sweep the place, and "get tough" on Occupy. She finally did, and the nineteen arrests were greeted as a positive by conservatives.

Haley is currently dealing with an ethics-based lawsuit:

COLUMBIA -- A top Republican donor and critic of Gov. Nikki Haley asked a court Thursday to decide whether she broke ethics laws while she was a member of the South Carolina House. Haley discounted the lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed in circuit court in Richland County by John Rainey centers around Haley's jobs as a fundraiser for the Lexington Medical Center and with an engineering firm that has state contracts.

The lawsuit is the culmination of months of digging by Rainey, former chairman of the state Board of Economic Advisors, who first raised questions about Haley's work in 2010 during her campaign for governor.

Rainey, a longtime Republican activist, declined comment on the suit Thursday, as did his lawyer, Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian.

"There's nothing there," Haley said during a visit Thursday to the Alcoa aluminum plant in Goose Creek. "He needs to get a life," she said, referring to Rainey. "It's a silly vendetta."

The lawsuit accuses the Republican governor of working as a lobbyist for the hospital, and of soliciting lobbyists to donate to its foundation.

It also accuses her of failing to disclose information on campaign filings about her work for Wilbur Smith, and of not recusing herself from a vote benefiting the employer, as well as not explaining on another vote why she did recuse herself.

"Haley exploited her public office for personal financial gain by trading on her influence and office to benefit corporations that were paying her money," the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit accuses Haley, first elected in 2004 to represent Lexington in the House, of lobbying the state Department of Health and Environment Control on behalf of Lexington Medical, as it sought permission for a new open-heart surgery center.
In addition, fiscal conservatives have been livid over her well-publicized "jobs junket" to France and Germany.

Governor Haley has unfairly baited and trashed Occupy Columbia from the beginning. Therefore, I am worried that she will use a crackdown for political gain, and as a diversion tactic.

Please, everybody, be careful and be prepared.


Required reading: At Religious Right Forum, GOP Candidates Weep and Proselytize. Yes, it's as bad as you think it is.

What's funny is how Newt and Ron Paul can't quite get with the program. They are congenitally unable to act a fool in public:
Herman Cain lost his composure when talking about he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer; former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, Penn., came apart a bit when berating himself for having stayed emotionally distant from his youngest daughter, who has a grave genetic disorder that has twice brought her close to death.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minn., told of how her father abandoned her family, leaving her mother to sell their wedding gifts -- "all the pretty dishes" -- at a garage sale. Apparently lacking a personal story to match theirs, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Ga., summoned the tale of a friend's gravely injured child to simultaneously choke up and rail against the health-care reform law signed by President Barack Obama.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talked of finding Jesus. Rep. Ron Paul, Texas, gave hints of Christian Reconstructionist leanings, but proved himself inept at public soul-bearing. Asked to reveal some personal difficulty, he talked of how injury cut short his high school track career, but then said he realized it wasn't that big a deal.
Another example of why people like Ron Paul: even when he tries to be all touchy-feely and play the Dr Phil game, on some level, his sensible side just won't play along with the okey-doke. He's a doctor, remember?

Newt also tries hard, but his Ebenezer-Scrooge-personality inevitably shows itself, no matter what he does. Now he has added a moral-mea-culpa page to his website, pandering to the Religious Right that is still skeptical of his serial monogamy and general assholery.

I am not surprised Newt has surged to the front of the pack, what with sexual harassers, stoners and religious flakes embarrassing the GOP. He IS smart (like a fox) and the Republicans are long-tired of being shamed by conservative stupidity. Newt, college lecturer and shape-shifting busybody, is the flavor of the hour.


Glenn Greenwald accurately speaks my thoughts aloud, asking WHY children of rich politicians and commentators get hired by the media, as if they have a clue? Meritocracy? Say what?:
I really don’t understand what those angry, lazy losers in the Occupy movement are so upset about. America is a meritocracy; if you work hard and prove your skills, you get ahead. The winners deserve what they have because they have earned it. And when all else fails, we have a media filled with insurgent outsiders who will be relentless watchdogs over those in power because that’s what our media outlets are: true outsiders there to check the most powerful factions.

Even more encouragingly, we have a media that ensures that diverse views are heard; Chelsea Clinton previously worked at a $12 billion hedge fund and her former-Goldman-Sachs-banker husband earlier this year launched his own hedge fund with “two guys from Goldman,” so she brings a depth and diversity of perspetive that is sorely lacking in our news (true, CNN boldly features Erin Burnett — the former Goldman, Sachs employee and current fiancé of a top Citigroup executive — but nothing can compete with Chelsea Clinton’s rich, impressive journalism background).
And now, we can add Meghan McCain to that list, along with Luke Russert, Imogen Lloyd Webber and Jenna Bush.

Meritocracy? Only if you have the merit to be born to somebody important.


Have I mentioned that I don't like the fact that there is a movie called "The Kids Are Alright"--since there is also an old documentary about The Who by that name? Please be original enough to think up original names for your movies! If you can't, even if you are Lisa Cholodenko and directed one of my favorite movies of all time, I will boycott your cutesy mainstream movie.

Be advised!

Below: Check out the bemused expressions on the faces of folks floating by in the boats. Keith was adorable! Roger still hadn't morphed into a fashion plate, so you may not even recognize him.

The Kids Are Alright - The Who


update said...

Group supporting occupiers to defy night ban tonight

posted approx 3:45pm

The S.C. Progressive Network announced that today at sunset it will challenge Gov. Nikki Haley’s order against protesting on the State House grounds after 6 p.m.
“We are urging citizens who believe that our First Amendment right to petition our government doesn’t end at sunset to join us at the State House from 6 to 7pm, Monday, Nov. 21,” said network director Brett Bursey. “We will peacefully protest on the grounds, and are inviting legislators to join us in taking a stand for free speech in South Carolina.”

Last week, law officers from a state agency under Haley’s control arrested 19 members of Occupy Columbia who defied the governor’s command to leave State House premises at 6 p.m.

SC AFL-CIO said...

posted by AFL-CIO in solidarity with SC Progressive Network:

Citizens to challenge Governor's order

The SC Progressive Network is a 16-year-old statewide coalition of advocacy organizations and grassroots activists that promotes democratic reforms, including reducing the influence of money in politics. "We do not believe that money is free speech, that corporations are people, or that the Occupy Wall Street protests don't have a clear message," network director Brett Bursey said.

Network Co-chair Virginia Sanders said the the prohibition against protesting after 6pm reminds her of Columbia's old Jim Crow practice of running the last bus to the black communities before dark. "The governor is saying that if I work until 5pm, my opportunity to protest her decisions will last about 15 minutes," Sanders said.

Sanders' remembers 1961, when 187 black students were arrested for protesting racial segregation on the State House grounds. The US Supreme Court threw out the conviction, ordering that the state could not "make criminal the peaceful expression of unpopular views."

Participants in Monday's protest will not be arrested unless they refuse to leave after being ordered to do so by the Bureau of Protective Services. Neither the Governor's office, the Dept. of Public Safety or the Bureau responded to repeated requests Friday for clarification of the new limits on First Amendment expression on the State House grounds. "It's my guess that they don't have a clue how to enforce an illegal order," Bursey said.

"If I can't stand on the State House grounds with a sign that expresses my opinion about how our democracy has been hijacked by corporate interests, I'd rather be in jail," he said.

SC Progressive Network • POB 8325 Columbia SC 29202 • 803.808.3384 • •

Occupy! said...

Occupy Columbia livestream: