Posts Tagged Washington DC

Spouses of the furloughed, to Congress: Take my husband — please. – The Washington Post

Spouses of the furloughed, to Congress: Take them back — please.


By Monica Hesse, Published: October 8

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post – Jeff Gates, who is furloughed from his Smithsonian museum job, asked his wife, Susie Krasnican, to make a sign for him to wear on the Metro when he went to work the four hours before the partial government shutdown occurred last Tuesday. Now, a week later, she has made her own sign.


On Monday morning, Susie Krasnican of Silver Spring walked in on her husband, on the floor, goo-gooing at the cat. “He was using the new toy that our cat is completely fixated on” and making vacant cooing noises that she hadn’t heard since their teenage children were infants.“It’s hard to be sure,” Krasnican says, assessing her husband’s sudden feline communing. “But I feel that the furlough had to have contributed in some way.”


She told him — and here her husband, Jeff Gates, a Smithsonian employee, joyfully remembers the exact wording — she told him: Pre-shutdown, “you used to be so intellectual.”

Nationwide, 800,000 federal employees were affected by the government shutdown, worrying about jobs, back pay, a sense of purpose. Consider the collateral damage: This means there are approximately 800,000 spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, roommates or otherwise affected parties who have spent the past week worrying about furloughed loved ones. Whether they’re all right. Whether they’re watching all of the TiVo’d “Homeland” alone, when they are supposed to wait until tonight. What, exactly, they’re doing.

Congress, take my spouse back. Please.

“He’s taken pretty much all of the CDs off of the shelves,” E.L. Farris, an author in Northern Virginia, says of her husband, a lawyer who is among the shut down. She is chronicling the experience on her blog.

The moving of the CDs is part of a grand plot to arrange them by genre, then alphabetically, then by subgenre. “It’s becoming a very complicated plan,” Farris says. And it is accompanied by a parallel effort to organize their books according to the Dewey Decimal System.

Then there is “his whole escape plan,” she continues. Which is: After nine years of meaning to, Farris’s husband is compiling a first-class disaster preparedness kit. “He can finally find the time to get to Costco,” she explains. And so water bottles are piled in the basement. “You know those crank-up radios? We apparently need to get another one of those. And batteries. We have enough of those to light up the whole town.”

He is growing, she says, a furlough beard.

The furlough beard, that scourge of the furlough spouse. As the shutdown continues, the hair grows on the faces of housebound government employees around the country. It has become a movement, with a name: “Shaveless Shutdown continues to day 7,” a furloughed employee writes on Twitter. “If this doesn’t end soon, my wife may divorce me.”

The furloughed, according to their spouses, are sometimes not changing out of their pajamas until noon. They are eating all of the cereal or buying weird things for the house.

Some also are becoming industrious: finally cleaning out the storage room, picking up the kids from school, baking furlough desserts. Were it not for the uncertainty of it — the vagueness of when this will end, and whether back pay will come through before the next mortgage payment is due — it could be a lovely thing to have a furloughed spouse at home.

“It feels like an endless weekend,” says Krasnican, an artist who works from home. In good ways and bad. Her husband has been able to explore hobbies and pick up day-to-day slack around the house, but the ambiguity of the shutdown’s duration prevents him from tackling longer-term projects.


And then, of course, he’s talking to the cat.

“You’re not normally together as a couple during the day,” says Rob Maher, boyfriend to a furloughed government contractor. Romantic couples are typically sequestered away from each other for nine to 12 hours every day, locked in cubicles or home offices, free to engage in their daily routines without judgment.

Maher, for example, is a comedian; he works nights and then sleeps until 10 or 11 in the morning. His girlfriend, a government contractor, normally is out of the house by 6 a.m. Due to this schedule, their household has acquired a certain rhythm. Maher is typically in charge of housecleaning. But now that his girlfriend is home because of the shutdown, the natural order of the house has been disrupted. She also has begun cleaning. This is causing guilt and confusion. “If she’s cleaning in front of me, wait, does this mean that I should also be cleaning?” Maher asks. “Or did I not do a good enough job cleaning?”

And when he’s on Twitter, doing promotional stuff for his job, does she think he’s slacking off? Does she realize this is part of his work? “She’s at home, stressed about her future, and how am I helping? I’m making snarky comments online.”

Re: the stress. On Tuesday afternoon, House Republican leaders began pushing for debt-limit negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said his party would be open to negotiations if the House passed measures to reopen the government. President Obama called on Congress to vote and end the shutdown “right now.”

After eight full days of shutdown, is an end in sight?

“I definitely have the ideal furlough husband at home,” says Amy Lupold Bair, a social media marketer whose policy-analyst husband has been dominating household chores for the entirety of the shutdown. He is picking out outfits for their fourth-grade daughter, preparing snacks, assisting with homework — tasks that usually fall to Bair, because she works from home. He is assembling items for Goodwill. The boxes of uncertain contents stacked in the garage? He is unpacking them.

The boxes have been there how long?

“Since always!” Bair says. Since the day they bought their house three years ago and stuck them there.

He is bringing coffee and doughnuts to the office staff at their church, for a midday pick-me-up. He has begun to eye the leaf-laden gutters.

“We’ve joked that I’ve needed staffing for a very long time,” Bair says, so it’s been nice to have him at home.

However, she admits. However. “I can sense that he’s starting to get restless.”

Maybe it is time to get back to work.

 Spouses of the furloughed, to Congress: Take my husband — please. – The Washington Post.

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Op-Ed Columnist – Joe Nocera’s Blog –

Joe Nocera - Just another Blogs site

September 18, 2013

The Gun Report: September 18, 2013

Whenever there’s a mass shooting in America, a press conference with police and hospital officials usually follows, in which we get updates on the suspects and the condition of the victims. But the one following Monday’s Washington Navy Yard shooting was different than most. In her remarks, Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, which treated three of the wounded, struck a surprisingly emotional note.

“I may see this every day…but there’s something wrong here, when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries—there’s something wrong. The only thing I can say is, we have to work together to get rid of it. I’d like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots…We just cannot have one more shooting with so many people killed. We’ve got to figure this out. We’ve got to be able to help each other.

“So I have to say, it’s a challenge to all of us—let’s get rid of this. This is not America. This is not Washington D.C. This is not good.”

In his essay in Salon in August, “What I Learned From Getting Shot,” journalist Brian Beutler noted that MedStar doctors “treat so many victims of violent crime that the government seeks them out to train military surgeons before they deploy into battle zones.”

Here is today’s report.

Jennifer Mascia

One person was killed and four people were injured in a shooting at a grocery store in Stockton, Calif., Tuesday night. The motive behind the shooting is unclear. No one is in custody and there is no suspect description.


An 8-year-old girl was wounded when a bullet entered her home through a window and hit her in the leg as she was sleeping in the Caddo Heights neighborhood of Shreveport, La., late Monday. Police are searching for the gunman.


A 9-year-old boy was shot in the stomach and wounded near Cherry Hill Park in Baltimore, Md., late Monday. Officers have taken someone into custody. No word yet on charges or a motive.


A boy said to be between the ages of 13 and 14 is dead after an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in north Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday. The victim was discovered by his mother. Officials say other family members were home at the time.

A 16-year-old girl was shot and wounded in northwest Harris County, Tex., Tuesday, and after telling police a couple of different stories, her 17-year-old brother confessed to the crime. “They were playing with the weapon, and not knowing the mechanics of the weapon, he accidentally shot her in the leg with a .45-caliber firearm,” said Sgt. Eric Batton said. The boy now faces a charge of filing a false police report, and officers are concerned about where he got the gun.


A 14-year-old boy, a 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were shot outside of Sexton High School in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday afternoon. At around the same time, a 15-year-old boy walked into a local hospital with a gunshot wound, possibly sustained in the same shooting. Police searched the neighborhood for suspects but no arrests have been made. They believe the victims were targeted.

A drive-by shooting injured a 17-year-old boy near Peoria High School inPeoria, Ill., Tuesday afternoon. The victim may be a student at a nearby school. The suspected shooter has been identified as 18-year-old Quantrey T. King; he was later taken into custody.

Journal Star

A 17-year-old boy was found shot in the hip and wounded during on a New Haven, Conn., street during an attempted robbery Tuesday night. He ran to a nearby house for help, and residents there called police. “It’s not safe,” a neighbor said. “There is no telling. You just do what you have to do.” Police are searching for two men.

New Haven Register

David Nguyen, 17, who had been reported missing by his mother Saturday, was found shot and killed in Denham Springs, La. Joel Orozco, 19, confessed to the murder. No word on a motive.


67-year-old Billy Sergent was shot in the chest and killed at a bus stop in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago, Ill., Tuesday morning. Police are talking to a person of interest, who sources say is 15 years old. Nearby residents aren’t sure why the victim was targeted, but one said, “The gangbangers come up and down here and practice shooting.”

Chicago Tribune

Michael Adam Woodby was shot and killed in Lutrell, Tenn., and his neighbor, 42-year-old Kevin Lee Waggoner, a Knox County school security officer, has been arrested for the crime. According to authorities, Waggoner and his son confronted Woodby over an unknown incident. Neighbors said the two families have been quarreling for months.

Brandon Williams, 31, died Tuesday morning, two days after being shot in the Avalon Park neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. No suspects are in custody and police are still investigating.

Chicago Tribune

A man was killed during a robbery at a Subway restaurant in southeastHouston, Tex., late Tuesday. Police said the victim was eating when the suspects turned their guns on him. Detectives said the suspects are teenagers, and less than $100 was taken from the restaurant.


A 21-year-old woman was shot and wounded in at an apartment in Renton, Wash., Tuesday night. Her 18-year-old boyfriend is the focus of the investigation, as there have been reports of domestic violence at the apartment in the past.

Emanuel Brown, 29, and Steven Anderson, 44, were shot during an argument outside a grocery store in Mount Dora, Fla., Tuesday. Police said they have a person of interest and were investigating a motive. No arrests have yet been made.

Orlando Sentinel

Two men were shot and wounded, one critically, in the Back Central neighborhood of Lowell, Mass., Tuesday night. Two men were led away from the scene in handcuffs but were later released.

Lowell Sun

Michael Babinski, 49, died after a possible accidental shooting at a gun range in Lyons, Mich., Tuesday afternoon. An officer found the victim on the first floor of the facility with a serious head wound.

Chicago Tribune

Paris Bennett, 21, died of a gunshot wound in Newport News, Va., Tuesday morning. Detectives are trying to determine what happened, as they have no suspect information or motive for the shooting.

Francisco Torres, 48, was shot multiple times and killed during an altercation outside a bar in Stanton, Calif., early Sunday. Investigators have identified a suspect, a man known simply as “Banda.”

Orange County Register

A man in his 20s was shot in the knee and wounded at an apartment complex in Jacksonville, Fla., early Tuesday. There are no suspects, and the police are soliciting tips.

A 21-year-old man showed up at an Erie, Pa., hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg Tuesday afternoon. The victim told police he was about to get into his car when he heard gunshots a block away. He felt his calf burning and realized he had been shot. He could not provide a description of the suspects.

Two men were wounded in a shooting in the Logan section of Philadelphia, Pa., Tuesday night. A 41-year-old man was shot in the right leg and a 24-year-old man was shot in the left foot shortly after 8 p.m. No arrests have been reported.

A man was shot in the head and wounded on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday afternoon. A preliminary investigation revealed the victim was involved in a physical altercation with another man, who produced a handgun and shot him. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.

According to Slate’s gun-death tracker, an estimated 8,255 people have died as a result of gun violence in America since the Newtown massacre on December 14, 2012.

 Op-Ed Columnist – Joe Nocera’s Blog –


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Welfare Can Pay More Than That Entry-Level Job –

Welfare Can Pay More Than That Entry-Level Job

A new study from a libertarian think tank calls for further restrictions on government assistance for low-income Americans.

By Matt Vasilogambros

August 20, 2013 | 12:06 p.m.

Carolina Fuentes and her daughter Katherine, 5, wait for an appointment at the county welfare office in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Welfare programs pay more than minimum wage in 35 states.

That’s according to a new study released this week by the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank. It’s an update from its 1995 study that examined the same issues.

Its conclusion this time around, accounting for the changes in the government’s 126 separate programs for low-income people, is that government aid can be more than the earnings from a regular, entry-level job. And the pay gap has increased in recent years, the study concludes.

Here are some of its numbers:

Not only do government-assistance programs for the unemployed pay more than minimum wage in 35 states, but they also pay more than a $15-an-hour job, according to the report. Hawaii has the “most generous benefit package,” following by the District of Columbia and Massachusetts.

In 11 states, these programs pay more annually than the average teacher after his or her first year on the job. In 39 states, it pays more than a starting salary of a secretary. And the comparisons continue.

In total, the federal government spends $668.2 billion on these programs annually, while states give out another $284 billion, the report finds.

Cato’s conclusion? Well, the study tries to prove what the institute and other conservatives and libertarians have argued for years:

If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening welfare work requirements, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work.

By making it harder to qualify for these programs and adding more eligibility requirements from the updated 1996 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families law, states can help bridge this gap, the study says.

And raising the minimum wage, as President Obama has suggested, is a nonstarter, according to the institute, which argues it raises unemployment for the lowest-skilled workers.

In the U.S., more than 100 million people get some sort of welfare assistance from the federal government, according to a 2012 report from the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard. That number does not include those who only receive Social Security or Medicare.

Cutting off benefits could have a deep impact on those families, many of which are minority or immigrant households. Welfare benefits are also capped after a certain amount of time, which obviously doesn’t go for minimum wage.

Food stamps, housing, medical, and other government-assistance programs are often discussed by these groups and have been the target of budget cuts from congressional Republicans. In the House-passed farm bill last month, food stamps were left completely out in order to help its passage. The Democratic-controlled Senate is not likely to pass that bill.

 Welfare Can Pay More Than That Entry-Level Job –


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Free Wood Post – After Oil Is Discovered Under Sesame Street, Mitt Romney Calls For As Much Funding As Needed


After Oil Is Discovered Under Sesame Street, Mitt Romney Calls For As Much Funding As Needed

October 3, 2012

By Sarah Wood

"Oil" "Sesame" "Street" "Romney" "funding" "Obama" "Free" "Wood" "Post"

In a startling discovery, in the midst of cleaning out his trash can Oscar the Grouch dug a little too deep and to his delight became covered in crude oil. “It just started spewing up everywhere. I was covered in the stuff… filthy, it was awesome. I didn’t want to tell anyone, but I figured I should let someone know what I found. I found a passerby who told me it was oil, and I thought, golly this could save Sesame Street.”

Later in the day Oscar told Big Bird who quickly phoned Washington DC letting them know of the natural petroleum reserve discovered beneath 123 Sesame Street. President Obama wants to make sure the dignity and quality of life on the famous street is preserved and protected, while Republicans couldn’t phone their oil buddies fast enough to get first dibs.

When news of the oil discovery reached Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney he stated, “well that’s just fantastic. We should get in there right away. This is American oil and there’s nothing better than that. We should call in the big dogs, those best in the business to drill, and help them get that oil out of the ground for American consumption.”  When asked if he was in favor of the government subsidizing the oil project he said, “Of course! There’s no time to lose. We need to get what we can get when we can get it.”  When asked if this could be considered picking winners and losers he said, “there are no winners and losers with oil, only winners. Sesame Street may have saved the day.” When approached with his comments about shutting Sesame Street down to save pennies within the national budget Romney replied, “that was then, this is now. We need to pump as much money as needed into Sesame Street to benefit the nation as a whole. Domestic oil is what we need, and domestic oil is what they have.” 

Options are still being weighed within the oil industry, the federal government, and the local government surrounding Sesame Street. As soon as a decision is made, Free Wood Post will be first on the scene to give you details of the deal as they are laid out.

 Free Wood Post.


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Congress Raises Livestock Minimum Wage To $6.50 Per Hour | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

Congress Raises Livestock Minimum Wage To $6.50 Per Hour

JULY 3, 2012  

WASHINGTON—In response to mounting pressures from domesticated farm animals, Congress voted Monday to raise the minimum wage for livestock to $6.50 an hour. “A lot of these animals are on their hooves all day pulling 10-hour shifts down at the slaughterhouse,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who co-sponsored the first livestock minimum-wage increase since 1993. “This bill ensures sheep, goats, chickens, and cows a fair wage, and will allow them to continue putting corn and oats in the trough. The costs of barns, pens, and pastureland have increased—why shouldn’t their paychecks?” President Obama said he would sign the bill even though it did not include the tougher regulations he had pushed for to discourage gender-based discrimination in the farmyard.

 Congress Raises Livestock Minimum Wage To $6.50 Per Hour | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

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D.C. mayor visiting China to tap investors – The Washington Post

D.C. mayor visiting China to tap investors

Ricky Carioti/WASHINGTON POST – In recent months, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and administration officials have had several meetings about possibly funding a streetcar system.

By Tim Craig, Published: June 22

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray leaves Saturday for a week-long trip to China to try to secure billions of dollars for investment in city development projects, including potential financing of the proposed 37-mile streetcar network. 


In his first overseas trip as mayor, Gray (D) is looking to build on what he sees as China’s growing interest in the nation’s capital, as that country’s wealthy investors look to park large amounts of money in U.S. real estate.

Gray, who will be accompanied by some of the District’s biggest names in construction, is counting on Chinese investment to accelerate the redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront, McMillan Reservoir, the former Walter Reed Hospital campus, the O Street Market and the grounds of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast Washington.

The trip, which includes the opening of the city’s first permanent overseas office, comes as Gray is in talks with Chinese financiers about funding the city’s planned $1.5 billion streetcar network.

“It’s where it’s happening,” Gray said of China. “What China has done internally for itself is pretty phenomenal. . . . And we are a tremendously low-risk investment.”

Gray’s trip comes at a delicate time for the District government, after Kwame R. Brown’s resignation as D.C. Council chairman and in the midst of a continuing federal investigation into the mayor’s 2010 campaign. In recent days, there has been speculation that Gray also could be forced to leave office early because of the federal probe.

But in an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, Gray said there is “no truth” to rumors that he might resign this summer.

“No truth to that, unless something’s going on in my head that I don’t know about,” Gray said. “I came to do certain things, and I am focused on those things.”

The District continues to add an estimated 1,000 residents per month and attract new investment, despite the controversy and scandal in the John A. Wilson Building. But shovel-ready residential and retail projects outstrip available domestic funding, causing developers and D.C. officials to look overseas for an infusion of cash and credit.

Last year, the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar invested more than $700 million to break ground on City Center DC, a downtown neighborhood being created on the site of the former D.C. Convention Center.

On Thursday, Gray toured the project with Qatari officials, including Ambassador Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi. Gray said Qatari officials also expressed interest in financing a hotel on the site.

Gray said the District’s success in securing a cash deal for the City Center project has helped focus efforts to attract more investment from China, which is experiencing a boom in personal wealth.

“When Qatar decided to invest in City Center, that was really a wake-up call, not just to the District but to large-scale development teams looking to expand their scope in looking for equity,” said Jose Sousa, a spokesman for the deputy mayor for planning and economic development.

Administration officials note that China, unlike Qatar, does not have a state sovereign wealth fund. Instead, the District will try to persuade Chinese banks and individuals to invest more cash in the city.

Officials expect to announce next week that several Chinese entrepreneurs will be investing as much as $40 million in the second phase of the O Street Market, a 1 million-square-foot mixed-use retail and residential project in Shaw. In exchange, the 80 investors will receive EB-5 visas to move to the United States, officials said. Gray said he hopes to persuade more foreign business executives to take advantage of the federal immigration program by investing in the District.

 “Worldwide, Washington, D.C., is seen as one of the premier investment locations,” said Richard Lake, a delegation member and president of Roadside Development, which is overseeing the O Street project. “A lot of money is in flight away from risk and looking for safe harbor, and Washington is pretty stable.”

But Gray’s planned meeting with officials from the Export-Import Bank of China could one day prove to have the most far-reaching consequences for the District.

In recent months, Gray and administration officials have had several meetings with officials from the bank in the District about possibly funding the streetcar system.

Gray said that the talks are preliminary but that he senses that the bank might be interested in funding all or part of the project in exchange for collecting ridership profits. Without foreign investment, Gray said, it would take two decades for the District to complete the project, because the city is nearing its debt cap.

“There are a lot of details that would have to be worked out,” Gray said. “But there is certainly interest in the streetcar system.”

When asked about a potential for congressional or public backlash about so much Chinese investment in the District, Gray said, “They are already heavily invested in America.”

“They are not heavily invested in the District of Columbia,” he said. “We are expanding our own horizons here and maybe moving some projects along more quickly.”

 D.C. mayor visiting China to tap investors – The Washington Post.

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Free Wood Post – House Calls for Additional Troops to Fight War on Women

House Calls for Additional Troops to Fight War on Women

June 21, 2012

By Molly Schoemann

"House" "War on Women" "Troops"

This week the House approved a measure to allocate additional troops to fight the war on women.

The troops are expected to be deployed in areas of particular volatility within the borders of the United States, particularly those states that are currently in the process of passing legislation restricting abortion, which has reportedly sparked anger among female citizens.

Incensed by relentless budget cutbacks being made to Planned Parenthood across the country, women have also been holding vigorous demonstrations in city centers in recent weeks.  Lawmakers hope that the increased military presence will help male citizens to feel safe and in rightfully in control again.

Troops will also be sent to Washington DC, where they are expected to quash rebellion in the ranks of female representatives, some of whom have become, in the words of Senator John Kyl of Arizona, “mighty uppity, in recent months.”  Kyl noted that many female legislators appear to be under the impression that their representation in Congress was equal to that of men.

“They really need to get the message that this is not the case,” he told reporters.  “I’m just saying, there’s a reason they get paid less.  That’s not an accident.”

Republican Speaker John Boehner noted that while he strongly supported the authorization to add additional troops, he felt the legislation did not go far enough.

“This surge was long overdue,” he said during a press conference early this week.  “But we are concerned that many women won’t take the hint just from an increased presence of aggressive armed forces.  They need to understand definitively that this sort of insurrection is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Boehner added that if this current period of female unrest continues, “swift and decisive action,” would be taken by the United States government.  The speaker refused to comment when asked for details, although he did confirm, when pressed, that “every option is on the table.”

 Free Wood Post.

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Has the Media Given Up on Occupy Coverage? | Double Dip Politics


Quick, think of the last few times you’ve seen or heard about the Occupy Movements on national television. What did you come up with? Chances are, it was either the police raiding an encampment or a protestor being injured in some way by police clearing the encampments or crowds. It seems that the novelty of the movement has worn off, and the media has grown tired of reporting on a boring story. Some of the recent stories that have come out of the Occupy camps:

·         Protestors in Seattle, including an 84-year-old woman, are pepper sprayed by police – 16 Nov

·         Protestors at UC Davis pepper sprayed despite sitting quietly on the ground – 22 Nov

·         Occupy Wall Street kicked from their gathering place and their library was taken – 15 Nov

Those are some of the most recent, national stories coming from the Occupy Movement. For the most part, it appears to be an afterthought. Yes, there are some local stations and papers that are reporting on the movement as it continues to move and take shape. Yes, there are many blogs and websites tracking the events. This is about the national media.

In Baltimore, there is Occupy Baltimore. Hardly anything has been heard from them, even on the local news. In Washington DC, the news rarely talks about Occupy DC unless there’s a death or crime committed and reported that can be sensationalized. We barely hear anything from the other movements across the nation on our local news.

Granted, in California, the Sacramento Bee and SF Gate have both been providing coverage to the movement. The national media seems to be ignoring the story unless there is something to sensationalize.

The most recent story nationally covered? The Washington Post released a story online this morning looking at Occupy movements and how they missed their window. Thanks to the narrative of the Republican candidates, the majority of Americans think that big government is the problem, not big business. This has increased since the start of the Occupy movements. You can read the story HERE.

Other stories that have trickled through talk about the cold weather reducing the number of protestors in areas. Occupy Oakland was believed to have shrunk in size since the raids. The fewer numbers protesting the ports in the Bay Area showed people losing interest.

Meanwhile, these stories are just what big business, Republicans and the Tea Party want to hear. They want to hear that the media doesn’t care about the Occupy protestors. They want the movement to disappear, to let them have their stage back. They’ve learned a lesson from these events on how to sway the public. Perhaps the furor that had been released by the Occupy movement will influence politicians, but it’s highly unlikely. Money talks in politics. The Tea Party has it. Big Business has it. Occupy doesn’t have anywhere near the amount that these other groups do.

Yes, Occupy has brought some major problems to light. They have shined a light on all the games, the tricks, the facts. They forced the media to change their reporting for a few months. Sadly, it looks like the leash has been pulled on the reporters, that the big business print and broadcast media companies said no more. Unless it will sell a paper or get viewers to watch for ad revenue, there’s no point, in their eyes.

This isn’t to say that the movement has lost steam. This is not about the movement losing relevance or credibility. The movement isn’t dead. The message won’t go away. Even if it appears that the media’s interest has. The media reports what they’re told by their superiors, many of which are the same people being railed against by the Occupy Movements.

Even after the media dries up, even after people move from the streets to the internet, the movement will continue and grow. The message is true, the facts are supporting the protestors. Even if you won’t hear that on the national media stations.

 Has the Media Given Up on Occupy Coverage? | Double Dip Politics.

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The #Occupy Movement Needs To Converge On Washington With Specific Grievances – National Political Buzz |

Glenn Osrin's photo 

Glenn Osrin

October 30, 2011 


The Occupy Wall Street movement has accomplished a great deal in just over two months.  It has given voice to the simmering undercurrent of down-trodden disgust felt by Americans of every flavor, age, religion and social status.  No longer are the 99%er’s sitting on their hands in bars and coffee shops and unemployment lines reading about our economic problems, they are protesting in ever larger numbers, trying to do something about the gaping hole in the side of Titanic America’s spirit.

Indeed, what began as a small protest in Zuccati Park in New York’s financial district has spread like a wildfire accelerated by steroidal Red Bull. 

It’s given us call outs, shout outs, General Assemblies, communal living, pitched tents and curious celebrities and onlookers; and, it’s given the world the arrests by the New York Police on the Brooklyn Bridge, the infamous tear gas attack on four penned in women in downtown New York, and now even a critical injury to Iraq War Veteran Scott Olsen courtesy of the Oakland Police.

Yet what remains sorely lacking in this burgeoning movement is a cohesive message; the absence of which seems driven largely by the Occupy philosophy that the movement is of the People and should not be co-opted by formal leadership or political parties. 

More troubling still is that as the numbers of protests grow in cities and towns all across the U.S. and the world, they exist in a specific municipality or geographic region where the media may or may not cover their story; or, the reasons for protest differ markedly.

 Thus, the message doesn’t necessarily get to the right people, and the Occupy discontent continues to morph from anger at Wall Street to joblessness to political corruption to no jobs for college graduates, ad nauseum.

With winter fast approaching, the Occupy collective brain-trust needs to do two key things before the worst of Mother Nature buries them in snow and freezing temperatures and surely thins their ranks. 

First, a core leadership needs to emerge that can serve as the locus of control or brain trust of the movement, capable of harnessing the individual efforts of all of the groups and compelling them all to converge on the Mall in Washington, D.C. to make their points over  500,000 people strong.

Perhaps even take things a step further and coordinate a National Strike, using the power of social networking like Twitter and Facebook the way the Egyptian people did to mushroom their protests in Tahrir Square. 

Second, Occupy could take protests from big-city sit-ins to right outside the front doors of Congressional leadership in Washington, D.C. where they can’t be ignored or avoided by the elected officials not showing up for work or ducking into underground garages or back entrances.

If history has proven anything, it’s that the protests that ended the Viet Nam War or the marches that won civil rights would have accomplished less over a long period of time had they remained splintered in individual fiefdoms of disconnection.  One need simply imagine the majesty, spectacle, and power of half a million or more Occupiers showing up together from around the nation in Washington, D.C., digging in and not leaving until politicians on both sides acknowledge they exist and take up their cause.

That said, Occupy needs to accept that while the overall gist of the movement is that 1% of the people and corporations in this country hold all the cards financially and hold the rest of the 99%er’s hostage, each protest in every locale may have different specific goals and needs within that framework.

For example, Wisconsin may be all about protesting the GOP assault on unions while Florida might be all about protesting immigration reform.   Cleveland may want first-responders to be Priority One while Des Moines may demand a consortium of ethanol producers subsidize affordable energy initiatives in industries other than corn.

Even the Tea Party, for all their ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ bravado found a way to bring all the individual branches of the party together in a loosely defined amalgamation of purpose:  specifically, their core value agendas  hew not so coincidentally to the GOP side of the slate and by doing so the movement uses the party and the party uses the movement to mutual gain.

No one is saying that Occupy has to sell their souls to politicians on either side.   The fact of the matter is, while the movement has majority support of most Americans, support from major labor unions, the eyes of the media and the full attention of the American people, Occupy needs to rise to the challenge of the moment and pull it all together as one, fighting for the common purpose of us all.

It’s time for the movement to take it up a notch and mature from scintillating television and rapid fire social networking updates to a sustained and clear roadmap for change that everyone can believe and participate in.

Without that, Occupy runs a very real risk of losing momentum and being marginalized by bad weather and the splintered framework of directionless demands.

The #Occupy Movement Needs To Converge On Washington With Specific Grievances – National Political Buzz |

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