Occupy Wall Street Speech by Michael Moore

Michael Moore went down to the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City and made a populist speech. The crowd reaction to that speech was amazing. Cenk Uygur discusses the movement.

 

Calling Michael Moore's bluff (?)

Mike,
You signed the petition, so tell us what that means now. Specifically, tell us if you’re planning to vote Obama in 2012. Can I hope that publicly describing your plans will put you on the line against the Democrats’ happening-right-now mass move to the right?

As noted by David Byron, Michael Moore put his credibility on the line a few weeks ago, getting a lot of us (well, not me) to sign this petition:

We just voted for you, the Democratic members of Congress, in the midterms. But our vote comes with one big condition: If you do not straighten up, get a spine and do what we expect of you, we will find alternate candidates to run against you in 2012. And we mean it.

Consider yourself on notice that you have just two more years to start doing the things we elected you to do. If you move one more inch to the "center" or to the right, you will never get our vote again.

Let’s call Michael Moore’s bluff (you can contact him right here) on this. With the Democrats' frothing mad rush to the right in just the last week (in the name of 'compromise', of course, not that Dems really _are_ (;-`) righties) -- all of Bush's tax cuts get a definite maybe, Don't Ask Don't Tell reform to be killed (see Democrats lean toward caving on "don't ask, don't tell"), Afghanistan withdrawal now 2014 and not 2011 (see Obama Administration Walking Away From 2011 Afghan Withdrawal) -- don't you think it's time that Michael Moore tells us his 2012 vote Democrat (?) plans? He signed the petition after all, and pushed thousands to sign it with him.

And what about President Obama, how will his extending the deadline for Afghanistan withdrawal three years, from 2011 to 2014, affect Moore’s 2012 presidential vote? That’s a strong, particularly deadly move to the right, so it means petition-signing Michael won’t be voting for Barack in 2012? And another move to the right: Obama has in the last week accepted extending nearly all or all of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, already quietly 'compromising' (not that Obama wanted to do so (;-`), but the Republicans got elected and so we must be nice to them and do what they want, which is helping out the very rich) and indicating he's open to extending tax breaks for all of the wealthy except the richest zero-point-five percent of families:

A compromise could see the ceiling for the middle- class tax cuts increased to those earning up to $500,000 or $1m a year. Or there could be agreement to make permanent all the cuts except for the richest, extending those just for an extra year or two while the economic recovery takes hold.

In a further signal that the president is amenable to a deal, Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said the president did not believe making the top tax cuts permanent was a good idea but “he’s certainly willing to listen to both sides.”

Will this tax cuts ‘spinelessness’ display, greasing another giveaway to the wealthy, affect Moore’s 2012 voting plans? Ask the “Democrats need to grow a pair” petition-signing Michael Moore.

Want more? How about the whole ‘torture okay if done by Democrats’ thing, which just got clearer and uglier this week: Torture? Check. Covering Up Torture? Check. Rule of Law? Nope. Does torture get Michael Moore thinking ‘President Obama, NO MAS’? in 2012? And I won’t even get into the Obama-appointed Debt Commission’s right-wing schemes -- Panel Weighs Deep Cuts in Tax Breaks and Spending -- because President Obama won’t sign onto (much of) that till he gets back from overseas.

Anyway, let’s tell Mike: “You signed the petition, so tell us what that means now. Specifically, tell us if you’re planning to vote Obama in 2012. Can I hope that publicly describing your plans puts you on the line against the Democrats’ happening-right-now mass move to the right?”

Talking back to and calling the bluff of Michael Moore should be part of a larger project: finding out, one supposed progressive at a time, where the real left is in this country. If it’s anywhere. Let’s start with Michael Moore and find out if he’s the real thing or if his loyalties lie with the Democrats-in-name-only. Loyalty to Obama at his most ‘Blue Dog’ exposed will tell us all we need to know.

This Memorial Day join Kanye West and thousands of others to protest unjust Arizona law

From the Restore Fairness blog-

Leave it to four students to stand as role models of determination against unjust laws such as Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB1070. Gaby, Felipe, Juan and Carlos walked 1500 miles from Miami to Washington D.C. over four months, to draw attention to the plight of the thousands of undocumented students around the country who, despite having lived here most of their lives, are unable to contribute and follow their dreams because of a broken immigration system. Walking through some of the most conservative states in the country, the Trail of Dreams students collected signatures from 50,000 people, demanding humane and just immigration reform. Despite their efforts, matters went from bad to worse as Arizona passed the controversial anti-immigrant law, SB1070. Rather than be discouraged, the Dreamers have set off once again walking from Scottsdale to Phoenix to join the National Day of Action against SB1070 on Saturday, May 29th.

In the five weeks since Gov. Brewer signed off on SB1070, legislators in 10 other states around the country are pushing for similar bills, even as immigrant rights advocates and human rights activists around the world have condemned the law that criminalizes undocumented immigrants and allows local police to question anyone who they think looks “reasonably suspicious” of being undocumented, effectively mandating racial profiling and creating fear and distrust within communities. While there has been great national and international pressure against the law and the human rights crisis that will occur if SB1070 is implemented, the vigils, rallies, boycotts, fasts and acts of civil disobedience have been met with inaction on the part of President Obama and his administration, who, besides initially denouncing the law, have done nothing to halt its progress.

Tomorrow, on May 29th, tens of thousands of people from Arizona and around the country will take part in over 60 actions of protest and civil disobedience to send a clear message to the federal government that unjust laws like SB1070 cannot exist in light of of fundamental human rights and the tenets of the Constitution. The National Day of Action against the draconian Arizona law will culminate in a huge protest march at the State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona with thousands of students, teachers, workers, families, immigrant and indigenous people participating.

THE ASKS: The National Day of Action demands that President Obama wakes up on the right side of history this May 29th and takes  a decision to-

- Reassert the federal government’s exclusive control over immigration law by making clear that state and local police do not have the inherent authority to enforce immigration law. Arizona’s law is a result of the federal government’s failure to maintain control of immigration enforcement and its inaction regarding elimination of all forms of racial profiling.

- Immediately suspend and terminate all police-ICE partnerships, including 287(g) agreements and Secure Communities which have actively transferred federal immigration authority to the states, setting the stage for laws like SB 1070 to pass.

-Direct the Department of Homeland Security to refuse to take custody of anyone charged with violating provisions of SB 1070.

A culmination of all the diverse acts of resistance that have been taking place already, tomorrow’s Phoenix protests will also be echoed in all corners of the country in cities like Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, San Francisco and many places in between. Those who cannot make it to Phoenix can take part in a virtual march to demand intervention and express their outrage at the President’s inaction on SB1070 and comprehensive immigration reform.

Leading the way, a diverse group of artists and musicians have announced a boycott of all performances in Arizona until the new law is revoked. In a campaign called the Sound Strike, organized by Zack de la Rocha, the lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, artists like Massive Attack, Michael Moore, Kanye West, Sonic Youth, Joe Satriani, Tenacious D and Los Tigres De Norte have taken a stand against the law and called on their fans to sign a petition demanding an end to the draconian law. De La Rocha’s initiating words -

Fans of our music, our stories, our films and our words can be pulled over and harassed every day because they are brown or black, or for the way they speak, or for the music they listen to. Some of us grew up dealing with racial profiling, but this law (SB 1070) takes it to a whole new low.

So on this Memorial Day Weekend, get yourself to Phoenix at your “disobedient ” best, and join in this massive mobilization for human rights and reform. If you can’t be there, show your support wherever you are. Inspired to do something now? Send a letter to President Obama telling him just how high the stakes are, and demanding that the federal Government restore fairness NOW.

Photo courtesy of altoarizona.com

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

 

If Michael Moore Would Run for President

If Michael Moore would run for President in 2012, it could be a game-changer in American political life. For starters, it would likely shorten the war in Afghanistan by at least six months, and the American and Afghan lives that would be saved would alone justify the effort.

If Moore announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination now, and followed up that announcement with a vigorous campaign focused on the struggles of rank-and-file Democrats, it would re-mobilize rank-and-file Democratic activists. It's possible that he might even win; but win or lose, the campaign could arrest and reverse the current rightward, pro-corporate trajectory of our national politics, which is the predictable consequence of the failure of Team Obama to deliver on its promises from 2008, which in turn was the predictable consequence of the doomed effort to try to serve two masters: Wall Street and Main Street.

Like few people with his political views, Michael Moore needs no introduction to the Democratic primary electorate. To most rank-and-file Democrats, the name Michael Moore stands for a set of progressive populist ideas: health care for all, workers' rights, opposition to Wall Street's stranglehold on Washington, closing down the wars of empire and bringing our troops home.

In 1984 and 1988, the Jesse Jackson campaigns showed what could be accomplished running a populist, issue-based, movement campaign in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. In 1984, Jackson got more than 3 million votes, a fifth of the total, and won 5 primaries and caucuses. In 1988, he got almost 7 million votes and won seven primaries and four caucuses; at one point, following his victory in the Michigan caucus, he was ahead in delegates.

Of course, the progressive Jackson campaigns had a particular starting point: their base in the African-American community. But a Michael Moore campaign would also have a starting point: his status as an international progressive populist rock star. The moment that Michael Moore says, "I am a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2012," it's a live proposition. And Moore would have tools for getting out his message - videos and the internet - that the Jackson campaign didn't have in 1988.

Like few American progressives of his prominence, Moore has the ability to connect with and mobilize working-class anger at Washington and Wall Street.

In the Jackson campaign, picket lines were campaign stops. That's the kind of campaigning that could be happening now. You get out the campaign message, but you also shine a spotlight on local struggles, nationalize them and magnify their power.

In Michael Moore's last movie, there was a long sequence about the struggle of the UE workers in Chicago. Those are the stories around the country that the Moore campaign for President would be telling to a national Democratic audience: Studs Terkel with a video camera and an RSS feed.

A Moore campaign for President announced today could be active in this Congressional election cycle: campaigning for progressive Democrats in the 2010 primaries, and thereby mobilizing the national progressive base in these contests, campaigning for progressive Democrats in the November election, building its national organization at the same time. A Moore campaign for President would compete for the endorsement of every organization of progressive Democrats, including Progressive Democrats of America, MoveOn, and Democracy for America. A Moore campaign would compete for the support of labor unions, which would put the Employee Free Choice Act and fair trade right back at the top of the national agenda. And a Moore campaign would work to build the base of the endorsing organizations.

If Obama's advisers knew for certain that they would face an effective progressive challenge in the 2012 primaries and caucuses, it's likely that they would start making different political choices immediately, because everything they fail to accomplish by spring 2012 would be on the table in the primaries and caucuses: health care for all, putting America back to work, ending the war in Afghanistan. Most analysts seem to think that there was a strong correlation between Obama's announcement of July 2011 as the beginning of U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and the 2012 election cycle; but an effective primary challenge would bring that calculation forward by six months. It's likely that if Obama's advisers knew they faced a spring 2012 deadline for showing that the war was ending, they would stop undermining Afghan efforts to start peace talks. A Moore campaign could save thousands of American and Afghan lives. In contesting Democratic primaries and caucuses against Michael Moore, Obama's advisers won't be able to prevail by deploying mere rhetoric, because now they're in power, and would have to answer for what they are actually doing.

In many ways, the stage is set perfectly. There will not be a crowded field; if career advancement is your goal, you generally don't run in a primary against a sitting President. When "the Democratic Party is in power" is the ideal time to mount a progressive Democratic challenge, because that's when the inability of Washington Democrats in thrall to Wall Street to deliver on progressive promises is thrown into sharp relief.

The Tea Party movement and the Massachusetts election are a warning. Populist anger is going to go somewhere. Team Obama will not be able to channel that anger so long as its economic team is a subsidiary of Wall Street. If we don't want a repeat of 1994 and a long return to Republican reaction, there must be an alternative voice that can reach the majority of Americans. A Michael Moore campaign could be that voice.  

And for Michael Moore, I think it's a logical next step. He may be near the limit of what he can accomplish politically by only making movies. It's time to make a new documentary: the documentary of a campaign to rally rank-and-file Democrats to take back America from Wall Street, Wal-mart and the military industry.

If you agree, join us on Facebook.

If Michael Moore Would Run for President

If Michael Moore would run for President in 2012, it could be a game-changer in American political life. For starters, it would likely shorten the war in Afghanistan by at least six months, and the American and Afghan lives that would be saved would alone justify the effort.

If Moore announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination now, and followed up that announcement with a vigorous campaign focused on the struggles of rank-and-file Democrats, it would re-mobilize rank-and-file Democratic activists. It's possible that he might even win; but win or lose, the campaign could arrest and reverse the current rightward, pro-corporate trajectory of our national politics, which is the predictable consequence of the failure of Team Obama to deliver on its promises from 2008, which in turn was the predictable consequence of the doomed effort to try to serve two masters: Wall Street and Main Street.

Like few people with his political views, Michael Moore needs no introduction to the Democratic primary electorate. To most rank-and-file Democrats, the name Michael Moore stands for a set of progressive populist ideas: health care for all, workers' rights, opposition to Wall Street's stranglehold on Washington, closing down the wars of empire and bringing our troops home.

In 1984 and 1988, the Jesse Jackson campaigns showed what could be accomplished running a populist, issue-based, movement campaign in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. In 1984, Jackson got more than 3 million votes, a fifth of the total, and won 5 primaries and caucuses. In 1988, he got almost 7 million votes and won seven primaries and four caucuses; at one point, following his victory in the Michigan caucus, he was ahead in delegates.

Of course, the progressive Jackson campaigns had a particular starting point: their base in the African-American community. But a Michael Moore campaign would also have a starting point: his status as an international progressive populist rock star. The moment that Michael Moore says, "I am a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2012," it's a live proposition. And Moore would have tools for getting out his message - videos and the internet - that the Jackson campaign didn't have in 1988.

Like few American progressives of his prominence, Moore has the ability to connect with and mobilize working-class anger at Washington and Wall Street.

In the Jackson campaign, picket lines were campaign stops. That's the kind of campaigning that could be happening now. You get out the campaign message, but you also shine a spotlight on local struggles, nationalize them and magnify their power.

In Michael Moore's last movie, there was a long sequence about the struggle of the UE workers in Chicago. Those are the stories around the country that the Moore campaign for President would be telling to a national Democratic audience: Studs Terkel with a video camera and an RSS feed.

A Moore campaign for President announced today could be active in this Congressional election cycle: campaigning for progressive Democrats in the 2010 primaries, and thereby mobilizing the national progressive base in these contests, campaigning for progressive Democrats in the November election, building its national organization at the same time. A Moore campaign for President would compete for the endorsement of every organization of progressive Democrats, including Progressive Democrats of America, MoveOn, and Democracy for America. A Moore campaign would compete for the support of labor unions, which would put the Employee Free Choice Act and fair trade right back at the top of the national agenda. And a Moore campaign would work to build the base of the endorsing organizations.

If Obama's advisers knew for certain that they would face an effective progressive challenge in the 2012 primaries and caucuses, it's likely that they would start making different political choices immediately, because everything they fail to accomplish by spring 2012 would be on the table in the primaries and caucuses: health care for all, putting America back to work, ending the war in Afghanistan. Most analysts seem to think that there was a strong correlation between Obama's announcement of July 2011 as the beginning of U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and the 2012 election cycle; but an effective primary challenge would bring that calculation forward by six months. It's likely that if Obama's advisers knew they faced a spring 2012 deadline for showing that the war was ending, they would stop undermining Afghan efforts to start peace talks. A Moore campaign could save thousands of American and Afghan lives. In contesting Democratic primaries and caucuses against Michael Moore, Obama's advisers won't be able to prevail by deploying mere rhetoric, because now they're in power, and would have to answer for what they are actually doing.

In many ways, the stage is set perfectly. There will not be a crowded field; if career advancement is your goal, you generally don't run in a primary against a sitting President. When "the Democratic Party is in power" is the ideal time to mount a progressive Democratic challenge, because that's when the inability of Washington Democrats in thrall to Wall Street to deliver on progressive promises is thrown into sharp relief.

The Tea Party movement and the Massachusetts election are a warning. Populist anger is going to go somewhere. Team Obama will not be able to channel that anger so long as its economic team is a subsidiary of Wall Street. If we don't want a repeat of 1994 and a long return to Republican reaction, there must be an alternative voice that can reach the majority of Americans. A Michael Moore campaign could be that voice.  

And for Michael Moore, I think it's a logical next step. He may be near the limit of what he can accomplish politically by only making movies. It's time to make a new documentary: the documentary of a campaign to rally rank-and-file Democrats to take back America from Wall Street, Wal-mart and the military industry.

If you agree, join us on Facebook.

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