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Occupy Wall St activists to surround NYSE in effort to regain impetus

Activists plan to mark the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street on Monday by descending on New York's financial district in an attempt to rejuvenate a movement that has failed to sustain momentum after initially sparking a national conversation about economic inequality.

The group, which popularized the phrase "We are the 99%," will attempt to surround the New York Stock Exchange and disrupt morning rush hour in lower Manhattan, according to a movement spokeswoman.

Monday's protests will cap a weekend of Occupy seminars, music and demonstrations in New York, said Linnea Paton, 24, an Occupy Wall Street (OWS) spokeswoman. Demonstrations are also planned in other US cities, other OWS organizers said.

The grassroots movement caught the world by surprise last fall with a spontaneous encampment in lower Manhattan that soon spread to cities across North America and Europe.

So Is the US Going to Kill Even More Muslims Now, in Revenge for Losing an Ambassador?

Here's a fable to tell our children, by the fire, in a not so-distant post-apocalyptic, dystopian future. 

Once upon a time, during George "Dubya" Bush's "war on terra", the Forces of Good in Afghanistan captured - and duly tortured - one evil terrorist, Abu Yahya al-Libi. 

Abu Yahya al-Libi was, of course, Libyan. He slaved three years in the bowels of Bagram prison near Kabul, but somehow managed to escape that supposedly impregnable fortress in July 2005. 

At the time, the Forces of Good were merrily in bed with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya - whose intelligence services, to the delight of the Bush administration, were doing their nastiest to exterminate or at least isolate al-Qaeda-style Salafi-jihadis of the al-Libi kind. 

Romney uses secretive data-mining in campaign money hunt

Building upon its fundraising prowess, Mitt Romney’s campaign began a secretive data-mining project this summer to trove through Americans’ personal information — including their purchasing history and church attendance — to identify new and likely wealthy donors, The Associated Press has learned.

The project employs strategies similar to those the business world uses to influence the way Americans shop and think. Now they’re being used to sway presidential elections. The same personal data consumers give away — often unwittingly when they swipe their credit cards or log into Facebook — is now being used by the people who might one day occupy the White House.

For Romney’s data-mining project, which began as early as June, the Republican candidate quietly turned to a little-known but successful analytics firm that previously performed marketing work for a colleague tied to Bain & Co., the management-consulting firm that Romney once led.

RNC 2012: GOP Shadow Groups Eclipsing Party In Tampa

A shift of power from the official Republican party apparatus to an informal coalition of megadonors, super PACs and nonprofit advocacy groups is underway here, as a rising shadow party increasingly drives GOP politics.

Mel Sembler, a Florida shopping mall magnate and a key member of the Romney campaign's finance team, is planning to open his home Tuesday for a few hours to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future to let the group's leaders chat up potential donors on their plans, according to GOP fundraisers who requested anonymity to preserve their relationship with the groups.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, top strategists for three powerhouse GOP allies -- the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads groups; billionaires Charles and David Koch, who founded Americans for Prosperity; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- are planning to huddle at a local hotel to coordinate efforts to spend tens of millions more on television ads and voter turnout, according to sources close to the groups, who were not authorized to speak on their behalf.

While federal election rules bar certain types of spending coordination between the campaign and the shadow groups, both elements mingle freely here.

Inside Karl Rove's Billionaire Fundraiser

 

On the final morning of the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove took the stage at the Tampa Club to provide an exclusive breakfast briefing to about 70 of the Republican Party’s highest-earning and most powerful donors. During the more than hour-long session, Rove explained to an audience dotted with hedge fund billionaires and investors—including John Paulson and Wilbur Ross—how his super PAC, American Crossroads, will persuade undecided voters in crucial swing states to vote against Barack Obama. He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”

Then Rove pleaded with his audience for more money—much more.

Karl Rove's Donor Plan Could Run Afoul Of IRS, Congressional Report Suggests

new report from Congress' nonpartisan research arm suggests that the Internal Revenue Service won't have much patience with the argument from groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS that the ads it buys shouldn't be counted as political campaign activity.

The claim that ads attacking candidates aren't political -- as long as they avoid words like "vote" or "elect" -- is key to the empire of shadowy non-disclosing political groups that Rove, the Koch Brothers and other major political players have created.

By insisting that most of their budget goes toward "issue advocacy," rather than influencing elections, these groups exploit a loophole that allows certain non-political groups to keep their donors secret.

Flurry of Voter ID laws tied to conservative group ALEC

A growing number of conservative Republican state legislators worked fervently during the past two years to enact laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Lawmakers proposed 62 photo ID bills in 37 states in the 2011 and 2012 sessions, with multiple bills introduced in some states. Ten states have passed strict photo ID laws since 2008, though several may not be in effect in November because of legal challenges.

A News21 analysis found that more than half of the 62 bills were sponsored by members or conference attendees of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C., tax-exempt organization.

ALEC has nearly 2,000 state legislator members who pay $100 in dues every two years. Most of ALEC’s money comes from nonprofits and corporations — from AT&T to Bank of America to Chevron to eBay — which pay thousands of dollars in dues each year.

In Thrall to Sheldon Adelson

Three days after Paul Ryan became the presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate, he made a pilgrimage on Tuesday to the Las Vegas gambling palace of Sheldon Adelson, the casino tycoon who is spending more than any other donor to try to send Mr. Ryan and Mitt Romney to the White House. No reporters were allowed, perhaps because the campaign didn’t want them asking uncomfortable questions about the multiple federal investigations into the company behind Mr. Adelson’s wealth.

 

GOP Consultant: Koch Brothers Bought Ryan’s Nomination With $100 Million Promise

Veteran Republican political consultant, unrepentant dirty trickster, and recently reborn libertarian Roger Stone yesterday published a startling accusation against Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney on his personal website, The Stone Zone. According to Stone, the billionaire Koch brothers purchased the Republican vice presidential nomination for Ryan from Romney in late July by promising to fork over an additional $100 million toward “independent expenditure” campaigning for the GOP ticket.