Wednesday November 16, 2011
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City officials from coast-to-coast have finally decided to live up to their responsibilities to enforce the law and have been evicting the Occupy (fill-in-the-blank) squatters from public spaces.
The District of Columbia has decided to allow the squatters to remain in McPherson Square Park because � well, maybe so the city won't have to mow the grass until next Spring.
I am not totally unsympathetic to the general theory of the demonstrators: The deck is stacked in favor of the people who have the lion's share of the chips because they already own the casino.
In the end, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement was a pale shadow (how's that for an oxymoron?) of the Arab Spring demonstrations.
Part of the problem for the OWS crowd was nobody paid much attention to them. I suppose people who actually work on Wall Street paid attention to people who were attempting to occupy it.
But Manhattan is a pretty big island and for most New Yorkers a bunch of rich kids from New Rochelle sleeping in tents and relieving themselves in garbage cans was not much of a reason to miss their morning bagel-and-a-schmear before they got to the office
The only actual action that made national news was the Oakland, California cell which shut down the Port of Oakland for a day or so. According to MSNBC.com the organizers wanted to "halt the flow of capital" into the port.
It was largely that kind of sophomore beer-pong-induced crypto-Marxist crap which caused the rest of use not to take them seriously.
The popular press was largely in favor of the OWS demonstrations because many of them have been trained in spewing crypto-Marxist crap since J-school.
Yesterday New York's Mayor Bloomberg decided two months was a long-enough demonstration and ordered the cops to clear the park where the OWSers have been camped. At least four journalists "were arrested, handcuffed and hauled onto police buses along with hundreds of protesters," according to the Wall Street Journal.
I love a happy ending, don't you?
However, the journalists "were released a few hours after they were detained," the WSJ reported.
There were several attempts at coming up with lists of specific demands like forgiving all student loans, but for many the concept of Occupy Wall Street was more important than precision in outcomes.
For those who like lists, they came up with such attainable goals as:
-- Open-source technology,
Doesn't have quite the emotional depth of "Death to the Tsar," but there you have it.
-- Ending all wars,
-- Eliminating discrimination and prejudice,
-- Reappropriating our business structures and culture, and
-- Putting people and our earth before profit.
Meanwhile back on planet Earth, there was a new poll showing that four candidates are basically tied for the lead in the run up to the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.
According to a poll by Bloomberg News, Herman Cain (20%) and Ron Paul (19%) led Mitt Romney (18%) and Newt Gingrich (17%) among Republican and Independent Iowans.
Bumping along the bottom were Rick Perry (7%), Michele Bachmann (5%), Rick Santorum (3%) and Jon Huntsman (1%).
The big questions inside the Beltway yesterday were how has Newt snuck up on everyone and can he sustain his lofty position?
The answer to the first question is: He has been doing this longer than the other candidates: Bachmann has a very brief history as a two-term Member of Congress; Rick Perry has discovered running nationally is riding a far different horse than running in Texas; and Herman Cain has found out that you have to actually know something about something besides fast food if you're going to be President.
I know Cain is first in the Bloomberg poll, but I will be more shocked than Captain Louis Renault finding out there was gambling in the back room of Rick's Caf�, if he comes in first 48 days from now.
If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times: Polls are not predictive. They only reflect what is generally going on during the time the questions were being asked.
It would not surprise me, however, if Ron Paul came in first. The Iowa Caucuses provide exactly the kind of political environment in which Dr. Paul can thrive. He's had four years to build lists and get neighbors talking to neighbors all across the state.
I'm not predicting it, but mark down today's date just to be safe.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to most of the OWS bullets above. Also, another very nice Autumnal Mullfoto from Alexandria, VA and a very cool Catchy Caption of the Day.
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