Saturday, November 5, 2011

POLITICO publishes 90 stories in 5 days about Cain Scandal

by Charlie Spiering
Commentary Staff Writer

November 4, 2011 1:55pm

The point of this repost is to alert the readers of what appears to be an obvious scandal at POLITICO to blackball Mr Cain. I'm not going to post all 90 links because of limited time. But if you'd like to read any particular story, GO HERE

How much is too much? Politico broke the Cain sexual harassment story last Sunday night, launching organization wide coverage filling up a full week of heavy coverage on their scoop.

Since the scandal broke, the political reporting juggernaut has published at least 90 online stories on further developments and public reaction to the story.

I've posted the entire list below since the story broke.

Update: 93. Herman Cain allegation: Accuser breaks silence

Update: 92. NRA confirms one harassment complaint

Update: 91. Cain: Attention stems from popularity

90. Accuser attorney: Settlement dated 9/99, Kilgore signed - Nov. 4, 2011 - Story

89. Block wants firings at POLITICO - Nov. 4, 2011 - Story

88. Cain may face more questions - Nov. 4, 2011 - StoryRove swats Cain for accusing Perry - Nov. 4, 2011 - Story

87. Cain accuser reportedly felt 'work hostility' - Nov. 4, 2011 - Story

86. Perry to Cain: No apology - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

85. King not buying reports on Cain - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

84. AFP investigating Cain-linked group - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

83. Cain accuser took complaint to National Restaurant Association board - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

82. Sources reveal new details about Cain allegation - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

81. No Gloria Cain tomorrow night, but eventually - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

80. Rush: 'Cain hasn't handled ... ambush very well' - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

79. Anderson wants 'transparency for everybody' - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

78. Restaurant association to decide Friday on accuser's request to make statement - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

77. Block backpedals on Anderson attack - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

76. Second Cain accuser got $45,000 - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

75. Cain accuser got $45,000 - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

74. Cain back attacking Perry camp - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

73. Baptist leader Land says 'complete transparency' needed from Cain - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

72. Rahm spokesman: WashTimes story 'absurd' - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

71. Santorum says accusations flap not Cain's biggest problem - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

70. Accuser's attorney asks Restaurant Association about issuing statement - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

69. Priebus on leaks: RNC isn't 'Sherlock Holmes' - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

68. Anderson says Cain 'floundering,' accusations a 'diversionary strategy' - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

67. Cain and Thomas, together at last - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

66. Herman Cain should start wising up - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

65. Cain flap exposes generation gap - Nov. 3, 2011 - Story

64. Furor follows Cain to Capitol Hill - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

63. Rahm! - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

62. Perry camp floats Mitt as culprit - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

61. Gingrich says Cain needs to regroup with his team - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

60. Cain lashes out at Perry campaign - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

59. Cain expected vindication - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

58. Bachmann drills harder on Cain allegations - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

57. Cain confronts more allegations - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

56. Cain accuses former adviser Curt Anderson of leaking - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

55. Iowa radio host accuses Cain of 'inappropriate' remarks - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

54. Third woman comes forward to AP - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

53. GOP pollster makes Cain accusation - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

52. Rove: Cain must let accusers speak - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

51.Attorney: Waiting for a callback from restaurant association - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

50. Cain brushes off harassment questions - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

49. Cain reaction: Not by the book - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

48. The sound of silence - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

47. Barbour tells Cain to 'get the facts out' - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

46. Still cautious on Cain - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

45. Iowa yawns at Cain flap - Nov. 2, 2011 - Story

44. A year's salary paid to one Cain accuser - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

43. Bachmann warns against candidates with 'surprises' - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

42. Lawyer: Lift gag on Cain's accuser - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

41. Cain won't say whether he will ask the Restaurant Association to let accuser speak - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

40. Santorum on Cain: 'Experience' a plus - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

39. Cain accuser's lawyer says she wants to tell her story - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

38. Gloria Cain may appear on Fox News on Friday - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

37. GOP senators to dine with Cain tonight - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

36. Cain now recalls 'couple of other' items in accuser's complaint - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

35. Cain says he remembered settlement Monday - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

34. Cain's damage control - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

32. National Restaurant Association closes ranks - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

31. The non-judgmental case against Cain - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

30. Restaurant group nixed backing Cain - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

29. Cain damage control adds fuel to fire - Nov. 1, 2011 - Story

28. Cain explains nationally - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

27. Cain's story shifts - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

26. Cain story divides conservatives - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

25. Cain's conflicting accounts - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

24. Experts: Quiet settlements not uncommon - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

23. Van Susteren husband at Cain event as 'friend' - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

22. Cain now acknowledges details of payout - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

21. VIDEO: Team Cain's responses - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

20. Cain contradicts former association HR chief on investigation - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

19. Cain sings - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

18. Cain claims 'enough said,' but story inconsistent - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

17. Cain Iowa chairman: 'Distraction' will help here - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

16. Cain acknowledges settlement details - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

15. Cain acknowledges harassment accusations - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

14. Cain-led restaurant group declines comment - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

13. Rove ratchets up pressure on Cain - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

12. Cain rebuffs question on NRA report - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

11. Rove to Cain: True or false? - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

10. Block denies harassment, hedges on settlement - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

9. Cain ducks press at AEI - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

8. Trump: Cain settled to dodge fees - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

7. Concerned Women for America wants answers from Cain - Oct. 31, 2011 – Story

6. Team Cain's 'recipe for disaster' - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

5. Cain to appear on Fox Monday - Oct. 31, 2011 - Story

4. Cain attacks, doesn't deny POLITICO report - Oct. 30, 2011 - Story

3. Cain attacks POLITICO report - Oct. 30, 2011 – Story

2. Paul camp responds to Cain story -- by hitting him on TARP - Oct. 30, 2011 – Story

1. Exclusive: 2 women accused Cain of inappropriate behavior - Oct. 30, 2011 - Story

All this information comes from the Politico search engine. I've removed any obvious duplicates, but It should be noted that some of these stories may be on the same topic. For example, their Campaign 2012 blog sometimes borrows extensively from their own political stories.

Cardinals Snubbed By Obama; No Traditional White House Call Following World Series Win

Charlie Brennan, Brett Blume
November 4, 2011 11:11 AM

REMINDER: Larussa and Pujols attended Glenn Beck 828 event in DC

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Was President Barack Obama too busy watching the “Operation Repo” marathon or something else last Friday night?

When KMOX host Charlie Brennan asked now-retired St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa how the traditional call of congratulations from the White House went, La Russa suddenly realized that…it never happened.

“That’s a good point, I hadn’t really even thought about that,” replied a surprised-sounding La Russa, who can be forgiven for having a few other things on his mind over the past week. “As we were getting into the World Series we had a call from the White House to make sure they had the correct number for my office.”

But as the wild, champagne-drenched celebration of the team’s 11th World Series title was going on in the locker room, that phone never rang.

“We never did get a call,” La Russa said.

And all this despite the fact that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, was in town for Game 1 of the World Series.

“Very impressive, too.” La Russa recalled of his meeting with the First Lady.

Obama didn’t immediately phone last year’s World Series champions, either. But the San Francisco Giants did hear from him eventually:

And the President also hosted the Giants at the White House this summer, where he congratulated them personally.

Whether or not President Obama picks up the phone, or invites him and his team to Washington, TLR doesn’t seem too worried about the apparent slip in postgame protocol.

He’s packing up his things and getting ready to “head west” for the next phase of his life.

La Russa will vacate his office at Busch Stadium as of Friday.

He’s contemplating his next step, which could be buying a minor league ballclub, writing his memoirs, or simply pursuing one of his passions…reading.

He’s currently checking out “The Affair” by Lee Child.

La Russa also said that if asked, he would come back to manage the National League squad during next summer’s All-Star Game, which he earned by guiding the Cardinals to the NL pennant.

Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial

By Todd Starnes
Published November 04, 2011

Republican lawmakers and conservative activists are expressing outrage after the Obama administration announced its objection to adding President Franklin Roosevelt's D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The objection was noted during a congressional hearing on Rep. Bill Johnson's, R-Ohio, bill -- the "World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2011."

"It is unconscionable that the Obama administration would stand in the way of honoring our nation's distinguished World War II veterans," Johnson said. "President Roosevelt's prayer gave solace, comfort and strength to our nation and our brave warriors as we fought against tyranny and oppression."

Roosevelt asked the nation to join him in prayer as U.S. and allied troops launched the invasion that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany. He asked God to give the allied troops courage and faith, saying, "With thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy."

But Robert Abbey, the director of the Bureau of Land Management, said any plaque or inscription of the prayer would "dilute" the memorial's central message and therefore "should not be altered."

"It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in HR 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial's central message and its ability to clearly convey that message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors," Abbey said in written testimony.

Abbey explained to lawmakers that altering the memorial would be contrary to the Commemorative Works Act -- a law that prohibits "encroachment by a new commemoration on a existing one." It also respects the design of the "completed work of civic art without alteration or addition of new elements."

Johnson told Fox News that the administration's objection should "give all Americans a great deal of concern."

"For there to be objections to demonstrating a faith in God at critical points in our nation's history -- particularly D-Day -- boggles my mind," Johnson said. "I was very surprised they were going to object."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council said it's not all that surprising.

"This is further evidence that the administration has created an environment that is hostile towards American history -- but in particular towards Christianity," Perkins told Fox News. "I hope America wakes up and realizes what this administration is doing to this country and how they want to radically and fundamentally change America."

"They want to erase every aspect of America's heritage," Perkins said of Obama's administration. "Any president, any official in history that has embraced Christianity, is no longer welcome in this administration. That's the environment they are creating."

Johnson's bill, which had bipartisan support, is expected to pass a committee vote and he anticipates the full House will support the legislation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

CPS Seizes Baby From ‘Occupy Dallas’ Site

By Bud Gillett & Jack Fink, CBS 11 News
November 4, 2011 9:53 AM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A homeless family living at the ‘Occupy Dallas’ camp said that they will find a new place to stay in order to keep their baby. CBS 11 News was on the scene as officers with the Dallas Police Department and Child Protective Services took custody of the 9-month-old boy on Thursday afternoon.

Brian and Cathy Carpich said that they met with CPS and were told that the camp was, in their words, an unhealthy living environment. The couple cannot get their boy, Zachariah, back until their living situation improves.

There were plenty of tears coming from the family after they returned from a meeting with a woman who they called their CPS caseworker. “It’s not against the law,” pleaded Brian Carpich. “We’ve not broken any laws.”

The meeting started a few hours earlier, after police – who assisted CPS agents – took the small boy away from his parents. Police explained that they were acting on an “open child welfare case” dating back to September, but that a call from within the downtown Dallas camp prompted Thursday’s actions. “The complaint was a child in the encampment that was pretty much screaming and crying all night, and folks were concerned about it,” said Lt. Anthon Williams with the Dallas Police Department.

“My wife and baby get clothed every day,” Brian Carpich continued to argue.

Carpich acknowledged having a criminal history, but contended that his son had all of the essential diapers and necessities, and that their tent even received heat. Still, the parents unwillingly turned Zachariah over to authorities. After meeting with CPS, they returned to the camp without their son.

“We’re already in a program for housing,” explained Carpich. “They’ve basically screwed up, because the child was part of us getting housing, which we’ve been waiting for since March.”

The family’s problems have created another concern for the ‘Occupy Dallas’ organizers. CBS 11 News has learned that the campers are so unhappy with their current conditions that organizers are planning to temporarily move the protest in hopes that local homeless and squatters will leave the movement. “We’ve had a large amount of unsavory elements which have gotten plenty of media coverage,” said protest organizer Reagan Clark. “Just made people feel unsafe.”

Police had already arrested a man – a registered sex offender – who had been accused of sexually assaulting a minor.

Officers from the Dallas Police Department met with ‘Occupy Dallas’ campers Thursday night to help build cooperation and prevent further problems. Chaplins and social service workers also went tent-to-tent to ensure the safety of any children living in the camp.

Reagan explained that camp organizers are planning to select peacekeepers – who have passed background checks – to help secure the campsite. The ‘Occupy Dallas’ campers have already been living in downtown for nearly a month.


November 4, 2011 7:20pm
by Philip Klein
Senior Editorial Writer

President Obama's attorney sent a letter to Congressional investigators on Friday, saying the White House would not cooperate with a subpoena requesting documents related to its doling out a $535 million loan guarantee to now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

"I can only conclude that your decision to issue a subpoena, authorized by a party-line vote, was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation," Obama's counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, wrote in a letter to the top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee. (Read Ruemmler's full letter here).

Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich, blasted the White House response:

“We have been reasonable every step of the way in this investigation, and it is a shame that the Obama Administration and House Democrats continue to put up partisan roadblocks to hide the truth from taxpayers. Solyndra was a jobs program gone bad, and we must learn the lessons of Solyndra as we work to turn our economy around and put folks back to work. Our judicious and methodical work over the last eight months has garnered tens of thousands of pages of documents from DOE and OMB that have proven we are on the right track. Now, we need to know the White House’s role in the Solyndra debacle in order to learn the full truth about why taxpayers now find themselves a half billion dollars in the hole. The White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate. That would have been the route we preferred, and frankly, it would have been better for the White House to get the information out now, rather than continue to drag this out. Our request for documents is reasonable - we are not demanding the President’s blackberry messages as we are respectful of Executive Privilege. What is the West Wing trying to hide? We owe it to American taxpayers to find out.”

Florida Muslims forced to hide slaughter of lambs and goats

Commissioner Sheila Alu halts Muslim animal-sacrifice ceremony

Saying she is an animal-lover and acting as a private citizen, she persuaded the owners of the land where the event was to take place to withdraw their permission for it.

By Susannah Bryan
Sun Sentinel

Disturbed by the prospect of lambs and goats being slaughtered in Sunrise, City Commissioner Sheila Alu single-handedly blocked a Muslim religious ceremony scheduled to take place on Sunday.

“Yes, I was trying to stop it,” Alu said Wednesday. “It’s shut down. I’m trying to protect innocent animals. This is not an appropriate setting for the slaughtering of animals in an open field in a city that’s as populated as Sunrise. Usually these religious ceremonies take place in a rural area.”

The news did not sit well with Nezar Hamze, executive director of the South Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Pembroke Pines.

“Wow,” Hamze said. “That is very upsetting. We’ll find another venue. But that’s very disturbing. I’m very disappointed in that. We asked for permission and went through the proper channels, and now it’s off because a commissioner has a problem with it.”

Muslims from local mosques had planned to gather at a 45-acre farm off Hiatus Road in Sunrise to celebrate the Eid ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, Hamze said. The holiday honors Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son before God provided a sacrificial lamb instead.

The day also marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are urged to make at least once in their lifetimes.

“The meat is sacrificed according to state and Islamic law,” Hamze said. “There is no bloodbath. It’s very humane. It’s a slit on the throat real quick. And they bleed out in a couple seconds. The animals do not suffer.”

The Florida Humane Slaughter Act governs the handling and killing of livestock, and a 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision stemming from a case in Miami-Dade County upheld the right to perform animal sacrifices for religious purposes. That decision grew out of a lawsuit filed by the Lukumi Babalu Aye church charging the city of Hialeah with illegally enacting ordinances designed to persecute Santeria practitioners.

That means animal sacrifices for religious purposes enjoy protection from government interference, said Derek Newton, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

“If [Alu] was acting on her own, it becomes a question of politics rather than a legal argument,” Newton said. “If she called from her office and said she was commissioner so and so, that might be a problem.”

Alu said she called as a resident, not as a commissioner.

“I have no ill will toward the Muslim faith,” she said. “I’m just an animal lover.”

After learning that there were no legal grounds for blocking the ceremony, Alu said she contacted a man who works for the farm’s owners to verify that they were allowing the ceremony. She said he told her they were not aware the event was taking place on their property and that the caretaker had improperly given permission for the ceremony.

“I don’t want to interfere with anyone’s religious beliefs, but if you want to slaughter animals it should be done in a slaughterhouse,” Alu said. She says she believes it is inhumane to slaughter the animals in a field. “They stab them in the throat. It’s horrible.”

“I’m not a vegetarian,” she said. “I just don’t agree with the inhumane treatment of animals. Looking at how they’re slaughtered brings tears to my eyes.”

But Hamze said the Muslim way of slaughtering animals is more humane than a slaughterhouse. He says that sometimes a slaughterhouse will use a hammer to kill the animal, and that it takes longer for the animal to die.

The property owners, Curtis and Marilyn Deem, did not answer a message left on their home telephone. Derek Matherly, the property caretaker, ridiculed Alu’s concerns.

“I find it appalling that people are so upset when they eat lambs and goats every day,” he said. “Let’s go back a couple thousand years ago. They used to slaughter animals and then burn them for sacrifice. I don’t see the big story here. It’s not like animals are being tortured.”

Hamze said the caretaker called to cancel Wednesday evening. The ceremony, however, will take place at a different, undisclosed location.

“We found another venue,” Hamze said, “but it will be kept private.”

He also said he had spoken with Alu.

“I truly believe she’s just a big animal lover,” he said, “and I don’t believe she meant any malice toward the Muslim community.”

MF Global ties awkward for Obama campaign

By T.W. Farnam, Published: November 2

The bankrupt financial company MF Global, now under federal investigation for possibly misusing clients’ money, is one of the top sources of contributions for President Obama’s reelection, complicating the campaign’s effort to turn public anger at Wall Street into a political advantage.

Employees of the company have given $108,650 to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to federal records. MF Global’s chairman and chief executive, former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, has raised at least $500,000 for the campaign and the DNC as a “bundler,” or volunteer fundraiser.

Mitt Romney is the only other major presidential candidate who reports receiving money from an MF Global employee, listing a $2,500 check from a company trader based in Stamford, Conn.

MF Global declared bankruptcy Monday, becoming the first U.S. victim of the European debt crisis. The FBI plans to conduct a preliminary probe into reports that hundreds of millions of dollars are missing from client accounts, federal law enforcement officials said.

The situation shows the political risk of relying on big money bundlers who can collect checks from friends and colleagues. Trouble can often rub off on candidates when they’re getting help from powerful public figures. Obama’s campaign has released a list of 350 bundlers who have raised at least $50,000, including 40 who have raised more than $500,000 each.

MF Global did not return a request for comment. A company attorney said in a recent bankruptcy court hearing that the company was not aware of any missing funds.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement that the president has been tougher on Wall Street companies than the Republican opposition.

“While the president passed Wall Street reform to combat risky financial deals that put our entire economy at risk,” LaBolt said, “Mitt Romney and the Republican candidates would let Wall Street write its own rules again no matter what the consequences for middle class families.”

The Obama campaign said it would return contributions from any MF Global employees, including Corzine, if they are charged with crimes related to the company’s collapse.

A Romney spokeswoman declined to comment.

MF Global recently made a bond sale with an unusual clause, saying the interest rate on the bonds would rise 1 percent if Corzine ended up being appointed to a post in the Obama administration. There has been speculation that he could be in line for Treasury secretary if the president is reelected.

The president has voiced support for recent protests against the financial industry and his campaign aides have said they plan to use the Occupy Wall Street movement to help build momentum for his reelection.

“I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel,” Obama said in a news conference last month. “The protesters are giving voice to a more broad based frustration with how our financial system works…. The American people understand that not everybody’s been following the rules, that Wall Street is an example of that.”

Obama held his first New York fundraiser for the reelection campaign at Corzine’s home on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, overlooking Central Park. Guests gave the maximum $35,800 donation to Obama and the DNC.

Obama’s links to financial companies don’t end with MF Global. The president has raised $15.6 million from the financial industry for his reelection effort and the DNC, according to a Washington Post analysis.

The third-largest source of cash for Obama is Chicago-based Chopper Trading, which employs a controversial high-frequency trading technique. The firm’s chief executive, Raj Fernando, held a fundraiser at his home with Vice President Biden and has raised at least $200,000 for the campaign and the DNC.

A federal study of the 2010 “flash crash,” when the stock market briefly lost $1 trillion in value only to recover shortly thereafter, placed the blame squarely on high-frequency trading technologies like those employed by Chopper. Other studies have cited high-frequency trading, which now accounts for more than half of all trades, as contributing to stock market volatility. A company spokesman did not return a request for comment, but defenders of the industry dispute those studies.

Obama has raised $48,572 from Credit Suisse employees. The bank’s Swiss parent company is under investigation for allegedly helping Americans avoid taxes with offshore accounts. The bank is at top funder of Romney’s campaign, with workers donating $180,250.

Staff writer Jerry Markon contributed to this report.

The face of the 'Occupy' violent; a social studies teacher who makes $81K a year

Charges reduced against 'Rubber room' Occupy Wall Street protester accused of scooter-cop shove

Last Updated: 5:54 PM, November 4, 2011

Yes, he's a rubber room alum. Yes, he sometimes calls in sick.

But he's not a cop-shover, and he doesn't play hooky by calling in with the Zuccotti Flu, a public school teacher told The Post exclusively today, after being released on reduced charges of reckless endangerment from a rowdy Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

"The cop could have just been mistaken," David Suker said about an officer's claim that the teacher shoved a shopping cart full of Occupy Wall Street Journals at him, knocking both cop and bike to the pavement on the corner of Prince and Thompson streets during a protest march Wednesday.

David Suker

"But I saw his foot curled around the metal bar of my cart," Suker, 43, of The Bronx, told The Post after getting released without bail today, insisting that he never shoved the cop to the ground.

Cops originally charged Suker in his arrest paperwork with felony assault on a police officer, said defense lawyer Alexander Lombard.

"They saw the video, that's what happened," the lawyer said of the reduced charges. Suker said that during his night in custody, cops told him there was video of the incident.

"My intent never was to get arrested," said Suker, who also has an open disorderly conduct arrest from the October 1 protest march across the Brooklyn Bridge roadway.

"I respect the police," said Suker, calling himself an Army vet who served time in Germany from "I respect the job that they have to do."

Suker confirmed the Post's account that he served time in the notorious "rubber room" -- the city's holding pen for misbehaving teachers. He said that the allegations had stemmed from his argument with a student while teaching a GED class in Central Harlem, and ultimately resulted in no departmental, criminal or civil action.

As for word from a Department of Education source that the $81,000-a-year teacher had missed five days of work without calling in sick over the past two weeks, Suker's lawyer said, "Those claims are unfounded."

Developer with shotgun scared off Oakland rioters

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, November 4, 2011

OAKLAND -- Oakland developer Phil Tagami is used to working behind the scenes to broker some of the biggest deals in town. Late Wednesday, he was using different persuasive skills - holding a loaded shotgun to scare away rioters trying to get into a downtown building.

"We had people who attempted to break into our building," the landmark Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, Tagami said Thursday. He grabbed a shotgun that he usually keeps at home, went down to the ground floor and "discouraged them," he said.

"I was standing there and they saw me there, and I lifted it - I didn't point it - I just held it in my hands," Tagami said. "And I just racked it, and they ran."

Although they didn't get inside the building - Tagami, 46, oversaw its $50 million renovation and has an office there - vandals did scrawl graffiti on the outside walls during the post-midnight riot that broke out after Occupy Oakland's daylong general strike.

The Rotunda Building was far from the only target. Graffiti was spray-painted on many buildings along Broadway from 14th to 16th streets. Masked vandals shattered windows, started fires and threw objects at police, including lit flares and powerful M-1000 firecrackers.

Officers responded by firing tear gas and flash-bang grenades and arresting 103 people, including those from as far away as Michigan and New York. Five civilians and three police officers were hurt.

As the sun rose, downtown Oakland business owners were again assessing the damage, much as they did after a series of protests related to the killing of unarmed BART rider Oscar Grant in 2009.

Crews were boarding up broken windows at the Tully's Coffee shop just steps from Occupy Oakland's camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall. Graffiti was sprayed on the Rite Aid and Walgreens drugstores across from each other at 14th and Broadway. The city estimated it would cost up to $25,000 to replace broken windows at city buildings.

City Administrator Deanna Santana apologized to business owners for the "chaotic events" that enveloped the city. Mayor Jean Quan called the rioters "a small and isolated group."

"It shouldn't mar the overall impact of the demonstration and the fact that people in the 99 percent movement demonstrated peacefully and, for the most part, were productive and very peaceful," Quan said.

Tagami disagreed, calling the Occupy Oakland encampment "basically concealment and cover for anarchists who are doing this to our city."

"We're very concerned that a group of people can be allowed to do this type of destruction to our town and to our image without any repercussions," Tagami said. "They need to be held accountable." He rejected assertions that the anarchists were a small minority, saying, "No, you can't have it both ways."

Tagami added, "I support a peaceful protest. But it was a siege situation last night, and quite frankly, I'm glad we were here. But I never want to have to do that again."

Other businesses that professed support for Occupy Oakland's general strike didn't escape the damage. Windows at the Men's Wearhouse, which closed Wednesday and put up signs of support, were shattered.

Many Occupy Oakland sympathizers were dismayed by the damage, and some tried to do something about it.

Leandro Marques, 33, and two women were scrubbing graffiti at noontime from the facade of Genji, a Japanese restaurant in the City Hall plaza.

"Doing things to small businesses is about the worst thing you can do," said Marques, an audio engineer who lives in Berkeley. "You're hurting people who are poor like you."

Rachel Konte, owner of Oakllectiv, said her designer clothing shop had its plate glass window smashed and hundreds of dollars of T-shirts stolen.

"Some protesters guarded our store for us," Konte said. "We're so thankful and grateful for that."

She said, "We're still committed to Oakland. I don't know who vandalized us, but I bet they don't live here."

Chronicle staff writers Carolyn Jones and Demian Bulwa contributed to this report. E-mail Henry K. Lee at

This article appeared on page A - 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Press should occupy history books before protest coverage

By Chris Stirewalt
Published November 04, 2011

“Corporate profits on the rise, soldiers have to bleed and die!”

-- Chant from Occupy Wall Street protesters joined by 100 veterans for a march on the New York Stock Exchange, as reported by the Associated Press.

The California-as-Greece meme picked up steam this week when Oakland turned into the poor man’s Athens – clashes with police, protesters shutting down the city’s port (one of Oakland’s few remaining economic engines) and calls for a general strike.

And there is a genuine danger for California, which has come upon some very hard times. The state is utterly broke and likely past its ability to increase revenue through tax increases. Wealthy individuals and businesses are fleeing the state for spots in Texas and across the West. New taxes would only worsen the trend.

California Democrats were able to resist the Republican wave in 2010 and, thanks in large part to hugely powerful government-worker unions, managed to elect Jerry Brown governor. But penury is still forcing some austerity measures and there will be many more to come, especially as, for the first time in the modern era, California will probably lag the national economic recovery, rather than lead it.

Lots of government workers upset about austerity, 2 million unemployed, a substantial permanent protest community, under-funded law enforcement agencies further constrained by public sympathy for the resistance and unresolved racial and ethnic tensions – that’s the recipe for some real chaos if the Occupy Wall Street movement can sustain itself on the Pacific.

But it’s different Back East. Here, the winter weather is starting to roll in, making permanent encampment for the anti-corporate forces of Occupy Wall Street harder to maintain. Plus, local populations are a lot less forgiving of disruption and nuisance, which empowers police and limits the expressions of solidarity from within the government.

When the Oakland rioters called for a general strike, local government agencies volunteered to let workers use leave time to join the march. That’s not happening East of the Rockies, at least so far. There are some jurisdictions where government workers have that kind of sway – most of Maryland, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Rhode Island and a few other spots – but the annoyance expressed by many in liberal New York for the malodorous emanations from Zucotti Park are more typical of the reaction to the protest clusters.

That hasn’t stopped many on the left and the right from casting the protests as matters of major importance. But Power Play would point out that by historical standards, this is strictly chicken feed.

Leaving aside the anti-Vietnam protests and the peaceful civil-rights movement and the riots of the 1960s and 1970s, which were fueled by the specific complaints about the war or racial grievance rather than a strict focus on the alleged evils of capitalism, you have to go back to the Depression era to find real social upheaval of the kind the Occupy folks seek.

Media reports this week marveled at the presence of 100 veterans at the Occupy Wall Street encampment, with the Associated Press enthusing: “A week before Veterans Day, generations of former military men and women threw their considerable weight behind the Occupy movement born in mid-September...”

Reporters are jazzed about covering the Occupy Wall Street movement, perhaps out of ideological bent but mostly out of a desire to be covering something world-changing. Add in a lack of historical perspective, and you have a recipe for some really gooey reporting.

Having 100 veterans out of the 22 million in the nation show up to protest isn’t significant. It might be effective messaging for the protesters to put forward a military appearance to undercut the popular notion that they are a bunch of hippies, but it’s not “generations of former military men and women throwing their considerable weight” behind the movement.

If 30 percent of America’s adult population is comprised of veterans, it shouldn’t be too impressive that 5 percent of 2,000 protesters served in uniform.

Power Play would remind reporters that in the spring of 1932, an army of as many as 17,000 veterans joined by tens of thousands of like-minded marchers, invaded Washington to demand early payment of their bonuses for their World War I service, not due until 1945.

They “occupied” Washington for months before a bloody clash with police prompted President Hoover to call out the Army to break up the encampments with then-Maj. George Patton commanding tank and cavalry units to drive them out of the capital city.

Shacks burning in the shadow of the Capitol and bayonets out on Pennsylvania Ave. – now that would have been a story to cover. It was certainly more action than writing about a graduate student live blogging from a tent across from the K Street Starbucks.

The temptation to overhype Occupy events will be acute again today as pressure mounts on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to shut down the long-running protest colony in Lower Manhattan because of the complaints of local taxpayers weary of the noise, odor and disruption.

There will also be some merry prankster antics in Washington as conservative group Americans for Prosperity, which receives funds from the Koch family, a particular target of liberal outrage, holds a meeting in D.C. where Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Herman Cain will speak.

But whether Americans are now just too indifferent or if the presence of public-welfare programs has shrunk the pool of potential economic revolutionaries or if things just aren’t that bad, the press should consider taking a deep breath when it comes to coverage of the current movement.

Americans have been rebelling since day one, first for their freedom and since then over everything from whisky taxes to police brutality. And while Oakland offers a stark warning for Californians about the potential direction of their state, the current moment calls for calmer coverage.

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News, and his POWER PLAY column appears Monday-Friday on

Free education, healthcare, housing, food! Cuba! (Earn $20 a month!)

New law will let Cubans buy and sell real estate

Associated Press

HAVANA -- For the first time in a half-century, Cubans will be allowed to buy and sell real estate openly, bequeath property to relatives without restriction and avoid forfeiting their homes if they abandon the country.

The highly anticipated new rules instantly transform islanders' cramped, dilapidated homes into potential liquid assets in the most significant reform yet adopted by President Raul Castro since he took over the communist country from his brother in 2008.

But plenty of restrictions remain.

Cuban exiles continue to be barred from owning property on the island, though they can presumably help relatives make purchases by sending money. And foreigners can also hold off on dreams of acquiring a pied-a-terre under the Caribbean sun, since only citizens and permanent residents are eligible.

The law, which takes effect Nov. 10, limits Cubans to owning one home in the city and another in the country, an effort to prevent speculative buying and the accumulation of large real estate holdings. While few Cubans have the money to start a real estate empire, many city dwellers have struggled over the years to maintain title to family homes in the countryside, and the new law legalizes the practice.

The change follows October's legalization of buying and selling cars, though with restrictions that still make it hard for ordinary Cubans to buy new vehicles. The government has also allowed citizens to go into business for themselves in a number of approved jobs - everything from party clowns to food vendors and accountants - and permitted them to rent out rooms and cars.

While Castro has stressed that there will be no departure from Cuba's socialist model, he has also pledged to streamline the state-dominated economy by eliminating hundreds of thousands of state jobs and ending generous subsidies the state can no longer afford.

Cuba's government employs about 80 percent of the workforce, paying wages of just $20 a month in return for free education and health care, and nearly free housing, transportation and basic foods.

Economists and Cuba experts say the new property law will have a profound impact on people's lives, though probably will not be enough by itself to transform the island's limping economy.

"This is a very positive step in the right direction toward greater economic freedom and individual and family rights of private property," said Ted Henken, a professor at Baruch College in New York who has extensively studied Cuba's economy. "It will immediately increase the personal wealth of millions of Cubans."

Omar Everleny Perez, lead economist at Havana University's Center for Cuban Economic Studies, said legalization of the sale of cars and property could help Cubans who want to go into business for themselves acquire seed money.

"These are small things, but they point us toward an economy that is more normal compared to the rest of the world," he said.

According to the Official Gazette, a government publication that disseminates new laws, the new system will eliminate the need for approval from a state housing agency, meaning that from now on, sales and exchanges will only need the seal of a notary.

Cubans will also be allowed to inherit property from relatives, even if they don't live together, and they will be able to take title of property of relatives or others who emigrate.

Previously, such properties could be seized by the state. One caveat contained in the new law is that the government retains the right to nullify any sale if it finds that it resulted in someone being left homeless.

Cuban exiles in South Florida - many of whom lost family homes when they left the island - were ho-hum about the changes.

"How in the world are they going to establish the title for these homes?" asked Jorge Amaro, a retired realtor in Miami.

Amaro said he came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1961 at age 13 on the so-called Peter Pan flights. His parents later joined him, leaving behind the family's six-bedroom home on one of Havana's main boulevards.

"For instance, the property that my family had, who owns it? They're going to have to pick an arbitrary date to decide ownership," he said.

The ban on property sales was probably the most resented among the many restrictions in Cuba's state-dominated economy.

The old regulations took effect in stages over the first years after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, and they have remained in force even as Cuba opened its economy - albeit slightly - following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

For decades, Cubans could only exchange property through complicated barter arrangements or through even murkier black-market deals where thousands of dollars change hands under the table, with no legal recourse if transactions go bad.

Some Cubans entered into sham marriages to make deed transfers easier. Others made deals to move into homes ostensibly to care for an elderly person living there, only to inherit the property when the person died.

Even divorce hasn't necessarily meant separation in Cuba, where estranged couples have often been forced to live together for years while they worked out alternative housing.

The new law requires that all real estate transactions be made through Cuban bank accounts so that they can be better regulated, and it sets a tax rate of 8 percent of the assessed value - split equally by buyer and seller. There is no mention of any capital gains tax, a boon to property owners.

At an intersection in central Havana that for decades has served as the city's underground real estate bazaar, people said the tax rate seemed reasonable in the abstract, but it will depend greatly on how authorities end up valuing the properties.

"This was necessary, and it will bring results," said Maria Fernandez, who has been arranging home swaps for seven years as an unofficial real estate broker. "It'll help us move forward and change many lives."


Associated Press writers Andrea Rodriguez and Peter Orsi in Havana and Laura Wides-Munoz in Miami contributed to this report.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stockpiling popular SHTF bartering items

If you’re fully stocked and prepared to survive anything, you may want to take that next step and start stockpiling popular bartering items.

The exact items you choose to start stockpiling will depend on the situation your planning for, but in general the following items will all probably be in high demand after a total collapse:

Water Purification

Most people don’t realize how hard finding clean drinkable water will become in a post-collapse situation. When the water treatment plants stop running, people are going to be scrambling to find a way to purify their drinking water. Iodine tablets, bleach, water filters, canteens and even cooking pots will all be needed and in very high demand.


1 out of every 3 Americans own a gun, but how many of these gun owners actually stockpile an adequate amount of ammunition?

In a SHTF situation Ammo is going to be a highly sought after item and will quickly become a very popular barter item. I recommend stocking up on calibers that you actually use followed by the most common calibers (.22, .223, 9mm, .45, 30-06, 12ga, & .308)

Guns & Accessories

If the SHTF those 2 out 3 Americans who don’t own guns are going to be wishing they did. From people looking for parts to repair broken guns to those who are currently anti-gun, I can almost guarantee that guns will become one of the most wanted items after a collapse. Even pellet guns might be a good items to stock up on. They’re cheap, easy to find and would be easier to part with.


Let’s not beat around the bush here, in an apocalyptic SHTF scenario there’s going to be a huge number of people who will want to drink their sorrows away. Hard liquor is going to be the best option because of it’s shelf life.


Almost half of all Americans are currently taking at least one prescription medication. In a post-apocalyptic world prescription medications will be another highly sought after item. From people who need to treat life threatening illnesses with antibiotics to those that will just want to forget everything that’s happening, medications will be worth their weight in gold.


Check out our list of some of the most important foods to stockpile. These will all be in high demand and are all a good idea to start stocking up on.

Exposed! Obama's Secret Life

Published on: November 3, 2011

President OBAMA’s shadowy past could doom his future, The ENQUIRER has learned.

A blockbuster new book rips the lid off President Barack Obama’s darkest se­crets – and could doom his bid to win a second term in the White House!

The explosive tell-all by take-no-prisoners blogger Mondo Frazier reveals the commander in chief is a “chain-smoking wreck” who could be hooked on prescription drugs, and claims he may have spied for the CIA in college.

“I’ve uncovered that President Obama has spent over $2 million in legal fees to keep the details of his past hidden,” Frazier told The ENQUIRER. “This new book will surely impact his re-election campaign.”

In “The Secret Life of Barack Hussein Obama,” published by Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions press, Frazier alleges President Obama could have been a “CIA double agent” when he was a student at Columbia University.

That may be the reason why Obama re­fuses to release his Columbia records, according to Frazier, who also discloses that former National Security Agency employee Wayne Madsen has discov­ered CIA files directly linked to this secret.

In another bombshell, Frazier claims a clandestine effort is already underway to prevent Obama’s re-election, with “a team of ex-CIA officers…traveling the globe assembling a dossier of documents on Obama’s past, including his education, passport, travel and residency records.”

Meanwhile, with the economy in shambles, Obama has turned into “a nervous, chain-smoking wreck,” and it’s even feared that he’s hooked on “prescription anxiety medication,” according to Frazier. The book also claims the stressed-out president has been “yelling” at staffers and throwing “temper tantrums.”

Painting Obama as paranoid, Frazier writes the chief executive maintains a secret “enemies list” that includes conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Frazier also claims Democratic Party insiders secretly “don’t think” Obama “is up to the job of president and don’t want him to run again in 2012.”

A Day in the Life of an Occupy Wall St. Participant [Warning: contains foul language] - Here's a short commentary on the hypocrisy of our friends at the "Occupy" protests. If you agree with the sentiments, be sure to visit my blog at

Beating Righthaven LLC

A must read for bloggers of all stripes...
how Donald Douglas from American Power
whupped the copyright trolls in court

'Beating Righthaven' -here-

Fact checkers agree: Lay off Sanger’s eugenics!

Yesterday we looked at the Washington Post’s “fact check” about Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s support of eugenics. In that fact check, Sanger’s distasteful views were contextualized and she was put forth as a “racial pioneer.” What’s more, the person who mentioned her racism was labeled not just a liar but the worst kind of liar.

Not a high point for the already questionable newspaper practice of opining on a given topic and labeling it “fact checking.”

In any case, the author of the fact check, Glenn Kessler, responded:

For the record, I believe you are mischaracterizing and cherry-picking my analysis of Cain’s words. I make very clear that Sanger was linked to eugenics—even quote her biographer on it—but that does not support Cain’s sweeping statement that her aim in going into the south was to kill black babies or that 75 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities are in black neighborhoods. The phrase “racial pioneer” referred to the fact that, for the era, she worked closely with African Americans and solicited their support at a time when many whites (including her) held racial prejudices that we find objectionable today. The column was NOT making a judgement on what Planned Parenthood does today or their policies; it was only looking at the historical facts. And for what it is worth, PolitiFact labeled his comments “pants on fire” and concluded they were totally false. As for the charges of liberal bias, I think if you check the record, I have given just about as many “Four Pinocchio” ratings to Democrats as Republicans. Indeed, I am frequently slammed by Democrats for being an alleged conservative. I am sorry if the facts do not support your opinion, but that’s the way it is sometimes.

So much to respond to. For instance, compare Kessler’s characterization above of Cain’s quote and the point he was trying to make with what Cain actually said: “Margaret Sanger’s own words, she didn’t use the word ‘genocide,’ but she did talk about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born.”

I mean, if you say he’s talking about the “south” (which he didn’t) and that his main point was something about where Planned Parenthood facilities are located, that might be a perfect combination of mischaracterization and cherry-picking.

Also, advocates of eugenics, as Sanger unapologetically was, aren’t just “linked” to eugenics. What a weak way to describe someone calling for “cultivation of better racial elements,” “a cleaner race” and “the solution for racial … problems.”

Further, pointing out that Sanger worked with blacks doesn’t change anything about the “factual” nature of the statement that was being “fact checked.” She did work with blacks. As one commenter put it, “Of course she solicited the support of African Americans, Glenn — for the eugenic policies she advocated.” She also worked with the Ku Klux Klan in support of the same goal. So what’s the point?

As for appealing to other “fact checkers” to substantiate the poor job that was done by the Washington Post … I’m glad it was brought up. (And they appeal to the Washington Post’s “fact check” in the same way the Washington Post appeals to them! So considerate…)

Let’s look at’s analysis of Cain’s statement. First his relevant quote:

… Margaret Sanger’s own words, she didn’t use the word “genocide,” but she did talk about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born.

Keep in mind that in addition to the several quotes of hers to this effect that I showcased yesterday (in such obscure newspapers as The New York Times), there are countless others that opponents of eugenics have trouble with. But note the sophistry in’s analysis:

Cain isn’t the first to believe that birth control advocate Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) wanted to stop the birth of black babies. Just do an Internet search and see what happens. Sanger made more than her share of controversial comments. But the quote many point to as evidence that Sanger favored something akin to “genocide” of African Americans has been turned on its head.

Remember, all of that explicit talk about “racial hygiene” and “cultivation of better racial elements,” “a cleaner race” and “the solution for racial … problems” does not back up Cain’s statement. And it has nothing to do with wanting to stop the birth of any black babies. Just trust us on that, OK? It just doesn’t. We can’t explain it right now, but you really have to trust us. We’re “fact checkers.”

But I’m more interested in the last sentence. The “fact checkers” say that the quote “many” point to as evidence that Sanger favored something akin to “genocide” has been turned on its head …

Did you see what they did there?

Rather than address whether, as Cain said, Sanger talked about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks by preventing their birth, they created something altogether different to argue against! We’re no longer discussing whether Sanger talked about preventing black babies from being born and now we’re talking about an isolated quote. One that’s been picked precisely to argue the point that the eugenicist Margaret Sanger isn’t nearly so bad as her critics say.

This means the fact check is devoted to parsing a quote that Cain never even talked about. Seriously, how do they know Cain was referring to that? They don’t. (That quote, by the way, is “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”)

Please also note that despite specifically saying that Sanger didn’t call for “genocide” of blacks, he gets tarred with the allegation anyway. also had trouble finding anyone on the planet outside of a Planned Parenthood affiliate to discuss the reality of Sanger’s eugenicism. But they did find several Planned Parenthood folks to defend Sanger. And they were sure to put those folks’ quotes throughout the piece. This may tell us a lot about what attitudes on abortion are like in a newsroom but that’s not fact checking so much as writing a press release for Planned Parenthood.

And then had the audacity to say that it was Cain who offered an “alternate version of history.”

But yes, Kessler is right, both he and the and virtually everyone affiliated with Planned Parenthood or any other Margaret Sanger-supporting outfit agree that Margaret Sanger was totally awesome when it comes to race issues. And if you disagree, well then, you’re a liar. A “four Pinocchio” writer of “alternate history.” Are we clear?

This Sanger silliness — calling critics of her eugenics liars instead of people who simply disagree with the prevailing views of journalists on sanctity of life issues — is a great example of the flaws of the “fact check” trend in modern journalism. They conflate and confuse facts and ideology. They rather shockingly hide the facts on Sanger’s eugenics, sure. But they also fail to see that people interpret things such as Sanger’s eugenicism according to their own religious and ideological views. Sanger’s views on race and eugenics are perhaps more easily contextualized by pro-choice journalists than the views of Nathan Bedford Forrest or Adolph Hitler would be, but some just reject the “other people were doing it, too” argument. They might reject that argument as specious or unimportant or irrelevant. That doesn’t mean that they’re liars or the contextualizers are liars. It does mean that they disagree on race issues, sanctity of life issues, quality of arguments or any number of other things.

I know it must be frustrating for some journalists that they’re unable to convince readers of the rightness of a given perspective, through the typical method of biased reporting. But I’d rather that they not double down through one-sided, thinly sourced “fact checks” and instead reconsider whether their job is to convince lowly readers of a given political, philosophical or religious view in the first place.

Written by: Mollie on November 3, 2011.

‘60 Minutes’ Ambushes… Nancy Pelosi?

"60 Minutes" challenged Nancy Pelosi on her conflict of interest while Speaker and facilitating financial reform while being involved with credit card companies.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Saying Life Begins at Conception Is ‘Extreme and Radical’

By Matt Cover
November 3, 2011

( - Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Thursday that for states to enact constitutional amendments that say human life begins at conception is “an extreme and radical step.”

“For the vast majority of Americans, including people on both sides of the abortion issue, this is an extreme and radical step,” she said.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Wasserman-Schultz said that so-called personhood amendments are a “divisive, dangerous, and destructive” attack on women.

“To American women, their reproductive health and choice is an intensely personal and private issue between themselves, their families, and their doctors,” the DNC chairwoman said. “But Republicans in Washington and across the country have tried to limit these rights, with their assault on Planned Parenthood in Congress and restrictive laws in the states being among several examples.”

“Now," she said, "the effort by the far right [is] to pass these so-called personhood amendments--divisive, dangerous, and destructive laws which would cripple a woman’s right to choose, limit access to birth control, and put the lives of women with difficult pregnancies at risk.”

Wasserman-Shultz called the personhood amendments being considered or petitioned for in Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Kansas, and Florida “the most extreme assault on a woman’s right to choose.”

Personhood amendments define when a human being becomes a "person" under the law. An amendment proposed in Mississippi, for example, says that a person is “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”

Wasserman-Shultz said that the Mississippi amendment--which will go before voters on Nov. 8--will outlaw all abortions and some forms of birth control (presumably because they kill human embryos) and also IUDs, the morning-after pill, and in vitro fertilization procedures that create and discard human embyros.

Under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states are required to provide equal protection of the law to all persons.

Wasserman-Schultz said that one of her main goals was to dissuade Florida voters from signing a petition needed to get a personhood amendment on the ballot there in 2012.

“We’re sounding the alarm bells now because it’s absolutely critical that Floridians understand just how extreme this personhood campaign is, what it would do to not only a woman’s right to choose but to saving the lives of women, to the opportunity for parents to be--the opportunity for men and women to become parents when they’ve not been able to,” she said.

Florida's proposed amendment says: “The words ‘person’ and ‘natural person’ apply to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, health, function, condition of physical and/or mental dependency and/or disability, or method of reproduction, from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."

Stop policies that target our traditions

By Charles Adler ,QMI Agency
First posted: Thursday, November 03, 2011 08:00 PM EDT

There is a trend underway that is scarier than the worst Halloween slasher flick. Canadian traditions are being slowly and methodically exterminated by politically correct monsters.

There is a trend underway that is scarier than the worst Halloween slasher flick. Canadian traditions are being slowly and methodically exterminated by politically correct monsters.

I’m talking about calculating bureaucrats who hunt for anything that causes offence, real or imagined. You and I need to put a stop to this before our society, our way of life, becomes completely lobotomized.

Many Canadian traditions have already been scrubbed from society. Christmas has been crucified. Christmas trees? They are now “holiday trees.” Many avoid wishing someone “Merry Christmas” out of induced fear.

Easter? Don’t you dare utter those words around a zombie bureaucrat. Easter eggs have turned into “spring spheres.”

Halloween was also under attack this week. That special day on every kid’s calendar. A time to dress up in costumes that spark their imagination. For kids, the holiday spells freedom.

To feel the liberation of walking the streets after dark, staying up past their bedtimes and eating lots of candy. But it also teaches kids to face fears through laughter and collective fun. To learn right from wrong and earn some much-needed independence. Sadly, this rite of passage is being ripped out of their lives.

“Halloween” — many schools across Canada are uncomfortable with what has become a derogatory word. “Black and orange day” is now the preferred term for the high priests and priestesses of political correctness.

Why? Official guidebooks claim it’s offensive to “Wiccans.” Wiccans! Never mind that the Wiccan high priest I had on my Sun News program this week scoffed at the very idea of being offended.

Several schools in Calgary converted this hallowed scaring day into “caring day.”

Banning masks and any kind of violent imagery. The usual Halloween events were replaced by “community friendly” activities. The kids must have been so excited!

Multiple schools in Ottawa and Hamilton banned costumes completely.

Administrators were concerned about the marginalization of poor kids who can’t afford fancy costumes. Worried that costumes will be offensive to new Canadians. Give me a break!

In Ohio, a student group launched a campaign against what they call racist costumes. Geisha costumes? Offensive to the Japanese. Sombreros? Offensive to Mexicans. Pocahontas? Offensive to First Nations. Do you know any Norwegians who are offended by Viking costumes?

This hyper sensitivity will spread unless it’s held in check. For the lucky kids who were actually permitted to wear actual costumes, I ask you, what can kids actually wear that won’t offend somebody, somehow?

Occasions that once defined the Canadian experience have been watered down to the point of being sanitized, safe for all celebrations of not much at all. Kids need to be kids! This is directly contributing to the death of personal responsibility. Teaching our children that big government will take care of them and do all their thinking for them.

Our society is becoming a politically correct dystopia. When the fun is taken from Halloween I worry about what our future is becoming.

We need to stand together against this attack on our traditions. To declare that mindless zombie bureaucrats and their ridiculous policies won’t be tolerated. It’s Canadian common sense.

National Restaurant Association chairman during Cain’s tenure: ‘It’s a hatchet job’

By David Martosko - The Daily Caller Published
Updated: 9:14 PM 11/03/2011

In an interview with The Daily Caller, former National Restaurant Association board chairman Joseph Fassler offered a firm defense of GOP presidential front-runner Herman Cain, along with an explanation for how Washington’s best-kept secret — the identities of Cain’s sexual-harassment accusers — was also kept from the association’s board.

“The accusations? It’s a hatchet job, in my opinion,” Fassler told TheDC from his Phoenix, Ariz. office. “My gut tells me it’s a hatchet job. He gets a lead, he gets some traction, and the next thing you know, here come these allegations. It’s sad.”

Fassler said his four years in leadership positions on the association’s board — including one year as chairman and another as past chairman — overlapped with two and one-half years of Cain’s time as CEO. Fassler was first elected to the board in 1984, and was chairman in 1997.

While he said he had no reason to doubt the accuracy of reports that the restaurant trade group made five-figure payments to employees then embroiled in what is now a campaign scandal, Fassler said he was never informed about those payments while on the board.

Politico reported late Thursday that one of Cain’s accusers, then a 30-year-old female government-affairs staffer, reported an allegation of sexual harassment to an NRA board member within hours of what she said was an improper sexual overture.

Fassler’s account, however, either questions the accuracy of this account or suggests a communications failure among board members.

He told TheDC that he “never heard anything about Herman that would suggest he had those sort of allegations lodged against him. He was a professional. Thoroughly professional.”

Severance agreements, he said, were — and remain — “common” in human resource management. “You offer people severance agreements, unless they are for cause, all the time,” he said.

At the National Restaurant Association, Fassler explained, complaints about workplace behavior were referred to the human resources department. “Then HR would bring it to the legal department. If it was about someone in a particular job, I imagine the complaint would have gone to his boss.”

The board of directors is the CEO’s “boss,” of course.

Asked why no complaint about Herman Cain ever reached the board, Fassler put the episode in perspective, essentially seeing the amount of money involved as small-potatoes.

“This agreement? If it was of a major magnitude, I would have been shocked to not have known about it. So my takeaway was that it must not have been of a major magnitude,” he told TheDC.

Fassler drew a clear distinction between legal settlements for significant amounts of money and routine severance packages that would normally be handled far beneath the board’s level of responsibility.

“At the association, people had a level of authority — an amount of money that they can spend before they have to bring it to the board [for approval],” he explained. “In this case, if it was over their authority level — and I don’t remember what that level was — they would have to bring it to the executive committee [of the board].

“If it’s a routine matter, they don’t have to bring it to us. We never got it, so it was a routine matter.”

Fassler’s memories of Cain, he said, were all positive. He called the GOP front-runner a smart businessman, and said that even 15 years ago, the Georgia pizza mogul had a grasp of government policy and routine that was stronger than most of his peers.

“Herman, during those days, did a very good job of getting our message heard on the Hill,” Fassler said.

“He’s a very expressive communicator, very affable. People enjoy listening to his speeches. He’s very entertaining, and in my mind a very factual-oriented person.”

Occupying the Minds of Our Youth

By Brian Sussman
November 4, 2011

A friend of mine is employed by a public elementary school in Santa Cruz, California. In the teacher's lounge he found some troubling materials stacked on a table dedicated to the California Teachers Association.

"Considering Democracy in Occupy Wall Street," was the title of a teaching guide recommended for grades 4-7. The lesson plan was assembled by the Morningstar Center, a leftwing organization that teaches "social responsibility."

In the guide we read,

"...there are some ways that our country isn't always democratic, even though people do have rights such as a vote and free speech. Ask students if they can think of some examples. (Examples include: people and corporations with lots of money can make political contributions that give them more influence over our government than other people. Another: people who have a lot of power and resources can pay to have their opinion heard.)"

What's ironic is that this material is being offered at a resource area sponsored by a very wealthy teachers union. Unions are corporations, and influence politics as much, or more, than most other organizations -- especially in California!

As for people "who have a lot of power and resources," ask gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman how that worked out for her. She spent nearly $100 million of her own money in her quest to become the governor of California, but was defeated by union-backed Jerry Brown.

The guide goes on to describe the Occupy movement for the school children:

Occupy Wall Street is a group of activists who want to change the way money, wealth, and income are distributed in the U.S. They want to change the fact that there is a very big difference between how much money and wealth rich and poor people have. Also, they want to make our country more democratic so that even people with little money and power can have more of a voice.

Morningstar's tactic to assist the students as to "the way the money, wealth, and income are distributed in the U.S." is to have the pupils participate in a group activity:

...divide the students into small groups of 4-5 students each. Ask each group to draw a picture of what a democratic classroom might look like. What would be in the classroom? How would it be arranged? How would students feel? How would students, teachers, administrators relate to each other? How would the class be organized?

The teachers then ask the students, "What are your ideas for making our class more democratic?"

A suggested list of acceptable answers includes:
Decide what we will learn in class and make curricula decisions.
Create the classroom rules and consequences as a group.
Have a student council in the class to create and enforce rules.
Students decide the menu for school lunch.
Have students take turns teaching the class.

Not only is this pure democracy in action, but it's an example of the inmates running the asylum. Additionally disconcerting is the fact that a generation of school kids is being fed this dangerous poppycock.

The guide concludes with the recommendation that students "try to determine which ideas could actually be implemented, and which are the best one or two ideas. Make a plan for implementing them."

Also on the resource table was another lesson entitled, "Ten Chair Simulation of the Distribution of Wealth." The plan was produced by Polly Kellogg, a teacher at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota (her specialty is "neocolonialism and global consequences of corporate capitalism").

Kellogg contends that, "The corporate elite who own the majority of the wealth not only control our economy, but also own most of the media and influence government policies. When students become aware of this concentration of wealth and power they begin to see the necessity of thinking critically about the system in which we live."

Kellogg uses a musical chairs theme to illustrate the collective net worth of those in the United States, as if the amount of money in America is a zero-sum game.

To begin the simulation I ask ten students to volunteer to line up at the front of the room seated in their chairs, facing the rest of the class. I explain that each chair represents ten percent of the wealth in the U.S. and each occupant represents 10% of the population, so that when each chair is occupied by one student, the wealth is evenly distributed. I explain that wealth is what you own: your stereo, the part of your house and car that are paid off, savings like stocks and bonds, vacation homes, any companies you own, your yatchs [sic], villas on the Riviera, private jet airplanes, etc. Then I ask students to estimate how much wealth each family would have if the wealth were equally distributed. Students usually guess about $50,000 and are surprised to hear that the answer is $250,000. I ask them what it would feel like if every family could have a $100, 000 home, a $10,000 car paid for and $140,000 in savings.

I invite the class to guess how many chairs belong to the richest student, let's call her Sue. Students are dismayed to hear that in 1976, the richest 10% of the population had five chairs or 50% of the wealth. I tell the four students sitting nearest to Sue to give up their chairs to her and to move to the poorer end of the line up. Then I point out, "But with tax breaks and a skyrocketing stock market Sue is getting richer. By l996 she increased her share of the wealth from 50% to 70%, so the next two students in the line up have to give up their chairs to her." If students have not yet begun to get upset, I provoke them by telling them that the standing students can sit on the laps of the three students seated at the end, and I invite Sue to sit in the middle of her seven chairs, to stretch out, relax, or even lay down across the chairs.

To upset them further I announce that Sue's arm represents the wealthiest 1% of families and that her arm's share of the wealth doubled from 2 chairs (22% of the wealth) to 4 chairs (42%) during the years from l979 to l992. I solicitously help Sue find a comfortable position with one arm stretched over four chairs. To engage Sue in clowning and playing up her role, I might offer her food or drink. I ask the other nine students who are crowded around three chairs what life is like at their end of the line. "We're pissed and tired of working all the time." "I want a revolution." Working class students tell stories of financial stress they have experienced. "My mother had to work two jobs to support us." "My family was really poor when my dad was laid off. We lived on macaroni and cheese." Often one student, usually a white male, will say he has hopes that he can work hard and join Sue.

The Occupy movement illustrates why the founders of the United States crafted a republic, and not a democracy. As John Adams stated, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."

Brian Sussman is the author of, "Climategate," and host of the morning show on San Francisco radio station KSFO.

How Did Occupy D.C. Protesters Respond to a Table Full of Job Applications?

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 2:57pm
by Christopher Santarelli

The news media watchdog Accuracy in Media (AIM) released a video Wednesday that may denounce the notions from some that the Occupy protesters are primarily concerned with jobs.

In it, “head hunters” set up a table full of job applications near the protest and start offering them to protesters. But the reception they get, according to the video, is less than warm. To many, that might seem odd considering the protesters have camped out in our nations capital for over a month following the Occupy Wall Street protest that began on September 17, partly because of no jobs. Accuracy in Media put it this way in a written statement:

“After more than a month of protest demands for better employment opportunities and benefits, Accuracy in Media saw fit to test their desires with…employment applications. Our ‘headhunters’ were treated to every excuse as to why these jobs aren’t good enough for them. We guess middle management opportunities with healthcare and 401k benefits aren’t desirable anymore.”

AIM Director of Public Relations & Online Development Logan Churchwell told The Blaze by phone Wednesday that while the “head hunters” in the video were AIM employees, the hundreds of job applications they had on hand were indeed genuine. Churchwell explained that while the “head hunters” in the video were not real (and did not at any point reveal to the protesters that they were employees of AIM), the organization did comb over the Washington Post classified page for real jobs, and printed PDF applications for every opportunity they could find for college grads or entry level positions with opportunity for advancement.

That is with one caveat: Churchwell admitted that the Solyndra application (the failed energy company) was the only application that was not real, but the group put it in with the other opportunities to see how aware the protesters were of current events.

Chuchwell said that AIM looked to see how protesters would pursue job opportunities, “If you handed it to them on a platter.” He concluded that it’s hard to take seriously that the protesters they spoke with were demonstrating against a lack of employment opportunities, given that only two protesters requested job applications from AIM “head hunters” that were at the Occupy DC camp for hours this past Friday.

According to him, the only applications that the protesters took were from Disney and Solyndra.

ABCWAPOST POLL: Cain rises despite allegations

Herman Cain is showing initial resilience in the face of allegations of sexual impropriety: More than half of potential Republican voters say the controversy is not serious, fewer than a quarter say it makes them less likely to support Cain, and he’s running essentially evenly with Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.

Yet the controversy does pose risks for Cain. Just under four in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in this ABC News/Washington Post poll do say the allegations are a serious matter. Half of them say it makes them less apt to support Cain, and Romney leads him for the nomination in this group by nearly 20 points. If views of the seriousness of the issue were to increase, Cain’s support could be at risk.

As things stand, 24 percent of leaned Republicans favor Romney for the nomination and 23 percent support Cain — essentially a dead heat between the two. Rick Perry trails with 13 percent support — less than half his peak in September — and Newt Gingrich has advanced to 12 percent, essentially even with Perry. This marks Gingrich’s first foray out of the single digits.

Cain’s support is up from 16 percent in an ABC/Post poll a month ago. Cain, however had a 7-point advantage over Romney, 30-23 percent, in a Quinnipiac University poll completed Monday night. This survey, done Monday through Thursday, finds a closer contest between them.

There’s plenty of room for movement, marking the potential risks during this crucial decision-making stage of the Republican contest. Among those who have a candidate preference, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that a vast 69 percent of potential Republicans voters say there’s at least some chance they could change their minds — and 45 percent say there’s a “good chance” of it. That’s not unheard of; comparable numbers were even higher in a late October 2003 ABC/Post poll on that year’s Democratic presidential contest.

While support for other candidates has moved, Romney’s has remained remarkably stable since summer, neither gaining nor losing substantial ground, with comparatively weak support among self-described “very conservative” Republicans, who’ve shifted among Michele Bachmann, Perry, and most recently Cain.

ALLEGATION – Fifty-five percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they do not regard the allegation of sexual misconduct as a serious matter. But while 22 percent of Cain’s own supporters call it serious, that jumps to 44 percent among those who aren’t backing Cain. Among Romney’s supporters it’s similar, at 49 percent.

As noted, it makes a difference. Among all leaned Republicans, 69 percent say the controversy surrounding Cain does not make a difference in their vote; 23 percent say it makes them less likely to support him. That “less likely” number, however, shrinks to 3 percent among those who see it as not serious — but swells to 52 percent of those who do see it as a serious matter.

Indeed, among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who say the matter is not serious, Cain leads Romney by 12 points, 32 percent to 20 percent. Among those who say it is serious, by contrast, Romney leads Cain by an 18-point margin, 31-13 percent.

There was a slight difference in one result, in Cain’s favor, as the week progressed. Monday night, 49 percent saw the issue as not serious, compared with 59 percent in interviews from Tuesday through Thursday.

GROUPS – To some extent, perhaps unsurprisingly, views of the controversy reflect political predispositions. Strong supporters of the Tea Party political movement are among those most likely to support Cain over Romney, at 36 percent to 21 percent; they’re also among those least likely to see the misconduct issue as serious , with 20 percent saying so.

Among moderates, by contrast, the tables are turned — Romney leads Cain by 31-16 percent, and far more, 47 percent, see the allegations against Cain as serious.

Among other groups, about equal numbers of leaned Republican men and women say the matter is not a serious one, at 56 and 54 percent, respectively. Women are more apt to say it makes them less likely to support Cain, 28 percent vs. 18 percent; however his overall support from men and women is essentially identical, 25 and 21 percent, respectively.

HORSE RACE – The number of leaned Republicans who express a willingness to change their minds both explains shifts in the GOP horse race since summer and suggests that more could be in the offing. Bachmann premiered with 16 percent support in July; she’s declined steadily since, down to 4 percent support — a new low, in this survey. Perry stormed onstage with 29 percent support in September; as noted, he’s at 13 percent now. In the same period Cain’s gone from 4 percent to his current 23 percent support.

While his movement has been less dramatic, Gingrich has gone from 6 and 7 percent support to a numerical high, 12 percent, now. Ron Paul’s support has been more or less steady, now 8 percent. Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum have 1 percent apiece.

Romney’s support ranges from 27 to 32 percent among “somewhat” conservative, moderate and the few liberal leaned Republicans, but drops markedly, to 15 percent, among those who identify themselves as very conservative, a group that accounts for nearly three in 10 potential GOP voters. Cain has double Romney’s support among very conservatives, but his best gain has been among somewhat conservatives, up from 11 percent in early October to 24 percent, rivaling Romney, now. Cain’s support is lower among moderates.

Even among the frontrunners, 71 percent of Romney’s supporters, and 66 percent of Cain’s, say there’s a chance they’ll change their minds and vote for someone else; in both cases a third or more say there’s a good chance of it, at 33 and 39 percent, respectively. That rises among leaned Republicans who currently support any of the other candidates; in this group more than half, 56 percent, say there’s a good chance they’ll change their minds.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents, and 438 leaned Republicans. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample and 5.5 points for leaned Republicans. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

More than half of potential Republican voters

FREDDIE MAC seeks further $6 billion from taxpayers

November 3, 2011 7:35 pm
By Shahien Nasiripour in New York

Freddie Mac, the US-controlled mortgage financier, has requested an additional $6bn from US taxpayers, following a $4.4bn third-quarter loss, the company’s worst three-month performance in more than a year.

The home loan group said more homeowners were falling behind on their obligations and it could not count on mortgage insurers to reimburse the company for losses. Freddie set aside $3.6bn in provisions for credit losses, its highest total since the third quarter of last year.

The additional $6bn brings its total bailout from the government to $72.2bn, of which $14.9 has been returned in the form of dividends. Fannie Mae, Freddie’s much larger rival, is due to report its earnings in the coming days.

Freddie’s deteriorating financial position underscores the poor state of the US housing market. Sales are down, delinquencies are rising and the pipeline of seized homes due to flood the market is growing ever larger. Home prices, which had begun slowly to rise in late 2009 and early 2010, are falling again, sowing anxiety among homeowners and sapping their desire to spend.

“The housing sector [is] very important,” Ben Bernanke, US Federal Reserve chairman, said this week. “The problems in that sector are clearly a big reason why our economy is not recovering more quickly.”

The share of borrowers one month behind on their payments rose 2 basis points quarter on quarter to 1.94 per cent. The share of homeowners two months past due also ticked up, with the delinquency rate rising 3bp quarter on quarter to 0.7 per cent. Both measures have risen since the first quarter of the year.

Loans at least three months late or in foreclosure also rose from the second quarter to 3.51 per cent.

The company blamed the increases on high joblessness and the poor state of the US housing market.

“The weak labour market and fragile economy continue to weigh heavily on the single-family market, causing many potential buyers to sit on the sidelines or opt to rent, despite high affordability and record low mortgage rates,” said Charles Haldeman, Freddie’s chief executive.

Complicating the company’s efforts to reduce credit losses has been a decrease in the number of troubled borrowers it has saved from foreclosure. Distressed properties generally fetch a 30 per cent discount to comparable homes, driving up losses.

During the third quarter, Freddie Mac completed about 48,000 loan work-outs, which includes mortgages that have been restructured, as well as forbearance agreements and short sales.

That total is down more than 24 per cent from the same period last year. It has decreased every quarter since then.

The Obama administration has tried various programmes over the past two years to keep struggling borrowers in their homes. The measures have fallen far short of the White House’s goals.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011.

Nearly 200 tons of prescription drugs turned in

Nov 3, 7:56 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Drug Enforcement Administration says people turned in more than 188.5 tons of unwanted or expired prescription medications in the agency's third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29.

The DEA initiative that began 13 months ago has resulted in almost 500 tons of medications being taken out of circulation, with assistance from state, local and tribal law enforcement partners as well as community groups.

For the most recent collection day, 5,327 sites were set up around the country.

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart says the amount of drugs collected during the three Take-Back Days held so far speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs, which could fall into the hands of abusers or pollute the environment.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Occupy SF Protester Wants a Country Where ‘People Have the Right to Print Money’

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 8:31am
by Mike Opelka

What do the people at Occupy Wall Street really want?

According to this SF woman with the bullhorn, their demands are simple and very clear:

“We need democracy in this country… And not democracy that is run by politicians that are bought by corporations.”

“We need a democracy in this country where the people have the right to print money… and not a nebulous Federal Reserve.”

(Note that despite the presence of a bullhorn that allows everyone to hear what is being said, the crowd continues the zombie-like call and repeat chanting that has become the trademark of Occupy Wall Street speakers. The woman appears to roll her eyes at the crowd’s reaction to her message, especially the spontaneous laughter heard after she made the comment about printing money.)


New Poll: Do Americans Now Dissaprove of Occupy Wall St?

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 8:52pm
by Becket Adams

Quinnipiac University is well known for conducting polls that are regularly featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

Recently, they conducted a poll that, contrary to the common narrative, reveals more voters disapprove of the Occupy Wherever movement than support it.

“Just 30 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the protests, while 39 percent do not,” reports Business Insider. “Among independent voters, the spread is 29-42 against — a warning sign for Democrats who are trying to bring the movement into the mainstream.”

This shows a marked change from a recent CNN poll that claimed “32 percent of Americans supported the movement, while 29 percent viewed it unfavorably.”

As always, whenever these polls come along, it may be prudent to take the results with a grain of salt.

As written earlier on The Blaze:

Polls are not definitive by any means and usually only give a rough picture. In fact, there are several problems that need to be considered before one accepts the results of any poll. For example, there may be a problem with the sample design (for telephone surveys, how the numbers were selected and how the individuals are selected within the household), non-availability, the refusal problem (is the refusal rate different on the particular variable we are measuring?), question wording, question order, deliberate, or unconscious, lying or false reporting by respondents, or inappropriate or inadequate weighing of data.

All of these variables have been shown in various studies to be the source of not just small errors but sometimes quite substantial ones. Unfortunately, there are not many methods that allow one to quantify the effects of these errors or to validate the results within any kind of reasonable measure. Out of everything that can go wrong in a survey, only the “sampling error” can be quantified.

So what methods did Quinnipiac use?

According to their survey:

From October 25 – 31, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,294 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

Therefore, the Quinnipiac poll may have some of the aforementioned survey errors. Nevertheless, the results are intriguing (to say the least).

“Support for the Occupy Wall Street movement appears to fall along one cultural line — college graduates have positive views of the movement almost as much as they have negative views, by a 38-42 margin,” writes Business Insider. “Among those without a college degree, 26 percent support the movement, while 37 percent oppose.”

The survey also claims that support for the Occupy movement is almost identical to the support for the tea party movement at nearly identical 31 percent–although, according to the survey, 45 percent of Americans have an “unfavorable view” of the tea party movement.

Furthermore, the survey found that respondents without college degrees are “less likely to hold unfavorable views of the tea party (39 percent unfavorable) than college graduates (57 percent).”


Other findings include:
59 – 32 percent [believe] immigration reform should primarily move towards stronger enforcement rather than integrating illegal immigrants into U.S. society
American voters were split 45 – 44 percent on whether the U.S. did the right thing using military force in Libya. A total of 54 percent give President Obama “a lot” or “some” credit for bringing down Gadhafi.
60 percent of respondents disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy
61 percent of respondents approve of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation in Iraq
62 percent of respondents disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling creating jobs

See the poll here: November 3, 2011 – U.S. Voters Say Super Committee Will Fail To Cut Debt, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Occupy Wall Street Less Unpopular Than Tea Party

[Author's note: it might be useful to point out the the title of the survey seems biased. Rather than titling the report in such a way as to reflect the waning support for OWS, the authors thought it better to say, "Hey, well at least it's not as unpopular as the tea party!"]