Occupy Wall Street
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Jackson Browne is hardly alone in seizing the opportunity that lies in Occupation. The Occupy Wall Street movement, a font of outrage and resistance against big business, commercialism and the wealthy, has nearly from the beginning managed to attract elements of all those things.
An army of lobbyists, including former key staffers of prominent senators and members of Congress, has descended upon Washington with one goal in mind: a tax holiday for "offshore" profits of U.S. companies.
Mention New Mexican cuisine and mouths start watering. Giant breakfast burritos, plates of enchiladas, tacos and even cheeseburgers _ all laced with green chile or drenched in red.
Earlier this month, the left-wing magazine the Nation highlighted Joe Therrien as a symbol of the Occupy Wall Street movement. A New York City public-school drama teacher, Mr. Therrien was frustrated with the shortcomings of the school system. So he quit his job and "set off to the University of Connecticut to get a Master of Fine Arts degree in his passion - puppetry." Three years and $35,000 in student-loan debt later, Mr. Therrien returned home, only to find he couldn't land a full-time job. Apparently, a master's in puppetry doesn't provide the competitive edge in the marketplace he'd hoped for.
Well, that didn't take long. Early in October, staffers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History went through the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York's Zucotti Park collecting hand-made posters and other material to build up a record of the embryonic movement in case the protesters end up in the history books — and not just in jail for unlawful assembly and messing up public spaces.
The Obama administration has showered its allies at ACORN Housing with $729,849 so far this year despite powerful, newly unveiled evidence of corruption and massive accounting irregularities at the longtime affiliate of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).
A re Democrats about to buy a political pig in a poke? When it comes to the Oc- cupy Wall Street movement, some appear to be leaning that way. Aside from pro- found substantive differences with the conservative Tea Party, there also are ones entailing great political risk. When the Occupy Wall Street movement began recently, it must have seemed only fair to Democrats that a break finally was coming their way. Little has gone right for them since they seized Washington's big prizes in 2008. The economy remains poor, the federal deficit historically high, and their signature accomplishment, health care reform, remains unpopular. They suffered deep losses in the 2010 elections, and their candidate, who won with the largest popular-vote percentage of any Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, has approval ratings in the low 40s.
Wall Street "Occupiers" have had their encampments swept out of New York City's Zuccotti Park, public spaces in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and other cities around the country. The question is, what now? What just happened, and what can we look forward to?