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US 13.4 TRILLION DEBT

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Re: US 13.4 TRILLION DEBT

Post  Panda on Thu 12 Jan - 9:25

Jan 12, 3:12 AM EST


After encampment ends, NYC Occupiers become nomads



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NEW YORK (AP) -- It was only a few nights after the Occupy
protesters began sleeping in his church sanctuary when Pastor Bob
Brashears realized that his laptop was missing.
The
refugees from Manhattan's Zuccotti Park had found their way to his
cavernous Presbyterian church on a cold winter evening, hoping to stay
for a few nights, maybe longer. It was the latest stopover for the
nomadic group, which has been living in a rotating series of churches
since Mayor Michael Bloomberg shut down their camp in November.
"There
was a sense of shock and sadness that it had happened," said Brashears,
whose laptop will soon be replaced by Occupy organizers. "And there's a
common understanding that if there's one more theft in the church,
that's it."
This is what the Occupy encampment
has become: A band of homeless protesters with no place to go. Amid
accusations of drug use and sporadic theft, they've been sleeping on
church pews for weeks, consuming at least $20,000 of the funds that
Occupy Wall Street still has in its coffers. Their existence is being
hotly debated at Occupy meetings: Are these people truly "Occupiers" who
deserve free food and a roof over their heads?
"We
don't do this out of charity," said 34-year-old Ravi Ahmad, who works
for Columbia University and volunteers with Occupy in her spare time.
"We do this so that whoever wants to work in the movement can work in
the movement. This is a meritocracy."
But
money is draining rapidly from Occupy's various bank accounts, which
currently amount to about $344,000. Including church maintenance costs
and meals, living expenses are more than $2,000 per week.
"We are all aware that the NYPD destroyed the tent homes of many Occupiers in just one night," one Occupier recently wrote on http://www.nycga.net
, Occupy's General Assembly website for New York City. "However, where
were they living before Zuccotti Park? Are we paying for housing for
homeless people who may be relocated to City shelters?"
The
movement that denounces corporate greed and economic inequality has
been fighting to stay afloat in the city where it first began. Media
attention and donations have dropped off. And although protesters
regularly meet to plan demonstrations, recent marches have had none of
the spectacle that captivated New Yorkers and watchers worldwide.
On
Monday, the metal barricades surrounding Zuccotti Park were removed for
the first time since the November raid. But protesters still can't set
up tents to camp overnight - and they don't have a long-term solution to
the housing problem.
Their current home is
Brashears' West-Park Presbyterian Church, a stately 100-year-old house
of worship on the Upper West Side that badly needs renovation. Occupy
organizers see the cracks in the ceiling as an opportunity to repay the
favor by helping to fix the place up.
There are about 70 Occupiers staying there and another 30 or so at Park Slope United Methodist Church in Brooklyn.
"Everybody
tries to get along, make things work," said Donna Marinelli, 52, of New
Britain, Conn., who was sitting on the floor in a sleeping bag
alongside her cousin, David Monarca. "We were in the park in tents until
they raided us. We wanted to stay for the movement. We didn't want to
leave when we just got here."
During the
daylight hours, Marinelli attends Occupy events and volunteers at an
Occupy kitchen in Brooklyn. Nobody is allowed to stay in the church
during the day. At night, the place is patrolled by an Occupy security
team led by Marine Corps Sgt. Halo Showzah, a 27-year-old Iraq war
veteran from the Bronx.
"We walk around the
church with flashlights, making noise to wake these people up and making
sure they're good," he said. "No sex in the church, no drinking, no
smoking, no shooting, no sniffing."
The church
was quiet and cozy on Wednesday night as about two dozen people staked
out their respective corners of the room - some prefer the balcony,
others like to curl up by the door. Someone fiddled around on the piano
and sang a few songs as a cat watched from one of the pews. Showzah
wandered around and chatted with everyone, making jokes and doling out
advice to the piano singer.
The security
threat is very real here. At least 30 percent of the crowd is a mix of
chronically homeless, drug-addicted people, some of whom suffer from
"psychological issues," as several protesters put it delicately. Among
other rules, the pastor has demanded that the Occupiers station at least
one mental health expert "within easy reach" of the church every night.
Even
some of the church dwellers themselves are fed up with their fellow pew
mates. Chris Allen, 36, is working on a backup plan in case they get
kicked out.
"I feel people are messing up the
church and we're not gonna have it much longer, so I'm worried about
putting money in my pocket," said Allen, an unemployed construction
worker from Long Island who lives here with his wife. "Because when it
snows and I have nowhere to go, I'm not gonna be stuck on the streets
like everyone else for being idiots."
Who is
allowed to stay at the church is a source of contention and perpetual
infighting. If you're not on the official list kept by Occupy
organizers, you're not allowed inside. But it's unclear what
distinguishes the general populace from an Occupier.
One
night in December, police officers were called to the Church of St.
Paul and St. Andrew when people who weren't on the list came to the door
and refused to leave.
"I was turned away one
night in the cold and rain," said David Everitt-Carlson, a 55-year-old
unemployed former advertising executive who lived in a tee-pee at
Zuccotti Park. "And I slept at Grand Central Station. I found a place
behind a Christmas decoration."
About a month
ago, a telephone hotline was set up so that people could call and
request a spot at one of the churches. But space is limited. And each
church sojourn has an expiration date.
Some
churches willingly opened their doors to provide temporary shelter after
the police raid. None of them are equipped to house protesters forever.
"It's
a lot of wear and tear on the space," said Michael Ellick, a minister
at Judson Memorial Church, which housed protesters for several nights in
November. "We're broke, so we don't have a custodial staff. We can't be
a full-time housing unit."
During daylight
hours, some people migrate down to Occupy's atrium at 60 Wall St., while
others head off to hunt for jobs or disappear into the city. At night,
there are often counselors on hand for emotional support.
Typical
arguments are reminiscent of life at Zuccotti, which had its own share
of criminal activity. A frequent complaint, for example, involves a man
who apparently never takes showers.
"No
fistfights, no weapons involved," said Jeff Brewer, 34, an Occupy
organizer. "I believe there was a shampoo bottle that was thrown one
time."
Meals are donations from food pantries and leftovers dropped off by nearby restaurants.
The
debate over providing food and shelter for the church Occupiers plays
into a larger one that has divided New York's protesters ever since the
police raid. While some are determined to occupy another space somewhere
in the city, others say an encampment is unnecessary and, at its worst,
a burden.
The church dwellers believe they
are carrying the torch for the lost encampment - and that, someday, they
will form the foundation of a new one.
"We
really have been calling it the `occupiers army' that we are building,"
explained protester Jason Harris, a teacher from Massachusetts.
First,
though, they'll have to find a way to survive the winter. Brashears
hasn't yet decided whether he will allow the protesters to stay at
West-Park beyond next week. If they are truly dedicated to forming a
community - and not simply seeking shelter within the church's walls -
he'll be more willing to extend their unspoken lease.
"It's
a sort of sink or swim situation," he said. "I think, long-term, they
have to make a decision about what, exactly, their movement is about."
© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.










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Protesters to demonstrate outside US Courthouses

Post  Panda on Fri 20 Jan - 10:36

Jan 20, 3:09 AM EST


Protesters to demonstrate outside US courthouses
















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NEW YORK (AP) -- Protesters plan to "occupy" courthouses in
more than 100 cities across the U.S. on Friday to protest a landmark
U.S. Supreme Court decision that removed most limits on corporate and
labor spending in federal elections.
The
grassroots coalition, called Move to Amend, said the protest will kick
off petition drives to gain support for a constitutional amendment that
would overturn Citizens United v. FEC, a 2010 court ruling that allowed
private groups to spend huge amounts on political campaigns with few
restrictions. Occupy Wall Street activists are joining the protest.
"The
courts created the idea that the corporation is a person with
constitutional rights," said David Cobb, an Occupy the Courts organizer.
"It's the justification for the whole corporate takeover of our
government."
A last-minute court dispute left
the status of the protest in New York City unclear. A judge on Thursday
ruled that demonstrators do not have a First Amendment right to protest
in front of a Manhattan federal courthouse.
Protesters
had filed a lawsuit asking the judge to overturn the government's
rejection of their permit application. The permit had been denied on
grounds that the courthouse poses unique security concerns.
In light of the ruling, protesters did not announce whether the event would be moved to another location.
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Re: US 13.4 TRILLION DEBT

Post  Panda on Sun 29 Jan - 10:18

Hundreds Held As Occupy Protest Turns Violent




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Police arrest an Occupy protester in Oakland during
clashes on January 28


9:13am UK, Sunday January 29, 2012


Up to 300 people have been arrested in the US after an Occupy protest turned
violent.



Police rounded up demonstrators in Oakland, California, after demonstrators
broke into the City Hall and burned the American flag.


Oakland Police line up against Occupy protesters during
clashes yesterday



Officers fired tear gas and used flash grenades to disperse a crowd of up to
2,000 people after some demonstrators also threw rocks and bottles during the
chaos on Saturday.

It was the most turbulent day of protests since November, when Oakland police
forcefully dismantled an Occupy encampment.


Demonstrators face off against a wall of police during
Saturday's protests in Oakland



Mayor Jean Quan, who faced heavy criticism for the police action last autumn,
called on the Occupy movement to "stop using Oakland as its playground".

The international
Occupy Wall Street movement, which denounces corporate excess and economic
inequality, began in New York City in the autumn.


It spread to London in October, with protesters camping outside St Paul's
Cathedral.

Oakland, New York and Los Angeles were among the cities with the largest and
most vocal Occupy protests early on.

Authorities used force to move out hundreds of demonstrators who had set up
tent cities, and the protests have been largely dormant lately.

In Oakland, the police department was criticised for using force
to break up earlier protests.



A fire is sparked during the protests in Oakland



Among the critics was the mayor, who said she was not briefed on the
department's plans.

The demonstration comes after Occupy protesters said earlier this week that
they planned to move into a vacant building and turn it into a social centre and
political hub.

They also threatened to try to shut down the port, occupy the airport and
take over City Hall.

City administrator Deanna Santana said the city would not be "bullied by
threats of violence or illegal activity".

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US Adds $120 Billion In Debt Since Debt Ceiling Hike On Friday

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 2 Feb - 16:51

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/us-adds-120-billion-debt-debt-ceiling-hike-friday-310-billion-more-deck-next-two-months

Remember when the US hiked its debt ceiling on Friday courtesy of a formulaic 52 affirmative votes in the Senate, giving the Treasury $1.2 trillion in dry debt powder to attempt to grow the economy one more time according to the algorithmic fantasies of voodoo priests with pieces of Ivy League parchment on their walls? Well, two days later, the dry powder is less than $1.1 trillion. In other words, in the past two days, total US debt increased by $120 billion, along the lines of our expectations, as the Treasury filled up all the G-fund cash it had pillaged to continue issuing debt throughout the month of January even though it was formally above the debt ceiling. What is more concerning, is that as the chart below shows, the trendline of US debt since the beginning of 2011 is no longer a straight line, but has slowly transformed into a parabola, the very same word used as the root in such other infamous words as, for example, parabolic.

It gets worse: even according to the drastically, and very unrealistically, downward revised borrowing expectations of the Treasury released yesterday, the US will issue $444 billion in debt in this quarter. Today's number means that in February and March alone Tim Geithner will raise another $310 billion, which will send total debt to $15.7 trillion as of March 31. What is the final debt ceiling? Just under $16.4 trillion. So the US will have $700 billion in debt issuance capacity for the 7 months leading into the presidential election (and 9 until the end of the year).

Now naturally, if the debt ceiling becomes a sticking point at the election, Obama's chances of reelection plunge. Which makes us wonder - will Republicans grasp that the paradox of defeating Obama is precisely in giving him a carte blanche on all the stimulus programs he wants? Because if Congress approves another $200, 300 or even $400 billion in stimulus pork (the only thing better than one Solyndra? One thousand Solyndras!) the Treasury will drown in the need to raise hundreds of billions more, and will in fact hit the ceiling well in advance of the elections. As for the stimulus projects themselves, they will crash and burn just like all centrally planned endeavors, and actually results in a far worse outcome than if they had never been attempted. Because ironically, now that the entire world has passed the Rubicon, and unfortunately there really is no way of fixing anything, the only thing one can hope for is letting the status quo get on with doing what it does best, and leading the 100 year process of central planning to its sad and terminal conclusion, only after which can the "fresh start" reset occur. Ironically, the same thing is true with the farce that is the debt ceiling: the best way to finally get back to a fiscally prudent regime? Why go to town, of course.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"You can run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Run on for a long time, Sooner or later God'll cut you down." (Johnny Cash)

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Re: US 13.4 TRILLION DEBT

Post  Panda on Fri 3 Feb - 17:15

The jobless figures have decreased for the second month and Bernmanke has held back on more quantitive easing for now. This is a good indication that
Obamas policies are right and if it continues he could well win the November election with a more substantial majority.

This highlights the mess the EU is making and if they insist on a fiscal policy they must introducea central bank.

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Occupy Oakland Protest muted.

Post  Panda on Sun 5 Feb - 10:42

Occupy Oakland protest muted after last week's arrests



By the CNN Wire Staff
February 5, 2012 -- Updated 0921 GMT (1721 HKT)





STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Oakland's police chief warns the city will not tolerate repeat protests
  • Occupy Oakland committee vows 'militant action' against authorities
  • The demonstration follows mass arrests stemming from clashes with police





(CNN) -- A week after the mass arrests of Occupy
Oakland demonstrators following clashes with police, a more muted
protest played out Saturday in the northern California city.

Despite a call by a small faction of the Occupy Oakland group to
conduct "militant action" against authorities, there was no repeat of
last week's violence where protesters threw bottles and tossed pipes at
police, who responded with tear gas, smoke grenades and bean bag
bullets.

Authorities arrested more than 400 people in that incident.

The Occupy Oakland Tactical Action Committee called last week's
police response "police repression" and vowed to conduct "militant
action."

"If you identify as peaceful and are likely to interfere with the
actions of your fellow protesters in any way (including telling them to
stop performing a particular action, grappling, assaulting or holding
them for arrest), you may not want to attend this march," the committee
warned in a statement on its website.

"It is a militant action. It attracts anti-capitalists, anti-fascists
and other comrades of a revolutionary bent. It is not a march intended
for people who are not fully comfortable with diversity of tactics."

But Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan warned the city would not
tolerate a repeat and said officers would arrest anyone "who engages in
criminal activity or assaults against officers or community members."

"This type of destructive and aggressive behavior is not welcome in our city," Jordan said.

By nightfall Saturday, about 150 protesters -- many dressed in black
and some with their faces covered -- marched from a park outside
Oakland's City Hall to the police department. Police maintained a large
presence along the route.

Last week's mass arrests, described by Oakland police as the largest
in city history, came after protesters tried to take over a long-vacant
auditorium to use as its hub.

When police blocked the group, clashes ensued.

Occupy Oakland is part of a larger movement that began last year on New York's Wall Street and quickly spread across the globe.

While the protesters have highlighted a number of causes, the
overarching theme remained the same: populist anger over what activists
portray as an out-of-touch corporate, financial and political elite.

Oakland has been a flash point of the Occupy movement since October
when police used tear gas to break up demonstrators who refused to leave
downtown.

One demonstrator, an Iraq war veteran, suffered a skull fracture
after being hit with a police projectile, according to a veteran's
group. Police said they acted after the crowd threw paint and other
objects at officers.

The Oakland march Saturday followed a move hours earlier by U.S. Park
Police in Washington to close an Occupy DC camp at McPherson Square.

Park police in riot gear first entered at dawn Saturday, and said
they were not there to evict protesters, but to check for compliance
with "no camping" laws.

Still, at one point, there was a confrontation between protesters and riot police. At least eight people were arrested.

The move comes after a federal judge Tuesday rejected an Occupy DC
request to keep park police from enforcing a ban on camping in McPherson
park and nearby Freedom Plaza.

Living in a public park as a means of protest is not protected by the First Amendment, Judge James Boasberg ruled.


CNN's Maria P. White and Greg Morrison contributed to this report.

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Re: US 13.4 TRILLION DEBT

Post  Panda on Sat 18 Feb - 14:15

Judge Neil Ross’s courtroom had just come to order on Friday morning, and the first defendant of the day stood at a wooden table facing the bench.




Enlarge This ImageRobert Stolarik for The New York Times

So far, charges have been dismissed in 174 of the 686 cases stemming from a Brooklyn Bridge demonstration on Oct. 1.

Related


  • Times Topic:Occupy Movement (Occupy Wall Street)





A prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney’s office told the judge that the man, Casey Diebold, had been among about 700 people who walked onto the Brooklyn Bridge roadway on Oct. 1 as part of an Occupy Wall Street protest.
Then the prosecutor, Michele Bayer, told Judge Ross that the district attorney’s office wanted to dismiss the summons issued to Mr. Diebold.
“We cannot prove this defendant’s specific conduct or location on the bridge beyond a reasonable doubt,” Ms. Bayer said. “Therefore, the people are moving to dismiss this case.”
Mr. Diebold shook the hand of his lawyer, Paul Keefe, and left the building a free man.
This routine was repeated throughout the day, as Ms. Bayer asked the judge to dismiss cases against 13 other defendants as well. The judge acceded to all requests, ordering that arrest records for those defendants be sealed.
The march onto the Brooklyn Bridge and the resulting arrests marked one of the high-profile moments of the Occupy Wall Street protests, which had begun two weeks earlier. While many in the crowd that took to the roadway said later they felt as if officers had escorted them there, police officials vehemently disagreed and said the marchers had been warned not to proceed.
As the bridge cases have moved through the legal system, some defendants have pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and many have accepted an agreement whereby their charges will be dismissed if they are not arrested in the next six months.
But the district attorney’s office has also asked for outright dismissals. So far, 174 of the 686 cases in which charges were brought have resulted in dismissals. The percentage of dismissals is higher among people who were issued summonses, in a process akin to receiving a traffic ticket, compared with those who were issued desk appearance tickets, which defense lawyers said typically involved fingerprinting and photographing the recipient.
In the instances in which summonses were issued, there have been 155 dismissals out of 438 cases. Of the remaining cases, 250 defendants agreed to conditional dismissals and 33 cases have not yet been resolved.
Officials at the district attorney’s office said that prosecutors had individually investigated the case of every person arrested on the bridge and moved to dismiss those that were not supported by the available evidence. In some cases, officials said, police officers who did not have an arrest photograph of a defendant to refresh their recollections were unable to recognize those they had arrested. Officials said that at times, officers had reviewed police videotapes to help them recognize defendants.





A version of this article appeared in print on February 18, 2012, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Charges Are Dropped For 14 Demonstrators.












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Re: US 13.4 TRILLION DEBT

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