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Today is the tenth anniversary of the day the country lost the great Paul Wellstone and Katrina vanden Heuvel has a tribute worth reading at the Washington Post.  

“It’s been ten years since we lost Paul Wellstone, a relentless champion, a true public servant and one of the very few social movement senators we’ve ever had. He was the first politician whose death made me weep. But in an era of craven compromises and bipartisan austerity, it seems almost unfair to call Paul Wellstone a politician at all.”

Read her entire article by clicking here.

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No, you’re not imagining things: more and more events really ARE springing up all over in which average people are coming together to highlight the absurdity of a nation in which one in ten people are jobless at the same time that corporate profits and CEO salaries are shooting through the roof.  

Tonight’s event: A candlelight vigil/press conference this evening in Raleigh to shine a spotlight on our state’s unemployed and underemployed workers.

When: Tonight, 6:15 – 7:15 pm

Where: Bicentennial Mall: 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC (across the street from the NC General Assembly)

In the days leading up to September 17th, a couple of friends in New York City mentioned something vague about a plan for social justice activists taking action in the city. I didn’t think much of it at the time, or even on the 17th and 18th—I just kept working hard on the issues most pressing here in North Carolina. Then, time passed, the action continued, the weekend came, the numbers in New York City’s financial district swelled, and I saw those videos of peaceful protesters being kettled and pepper-sprayed on a sidewalk September 24th.

At that moment, something changed for me.

I had just witnessed first-hand the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s September 6th arrests of undocumented students and their supporters at an “Undocumented and Unafraid” Rally. At that point, I realized OccupyWallStreet might be related to my life in North Carolina, and I needed to understand more. Read More

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Ezra Klein has an interesting take on the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon in yesterday’s WaPo that’s worth your time.

I liked the final paragraph:

“The organizers of Occupy Wall Street are fighting to upend the system. But what gives their movement the potential for power and potency is the masses who just want the system to work the way they were promised it would work. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans are really struggling. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans want a revolution. It’s that 99 percent of Americans sense that the fundamental bargain of our economy — work hard, play by the rules, get ahead — has been broken, and they want to see it restored.”

 

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One of the world’s smartest economists, Dean Baker has new book out. It’s called “The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.” You can read a summary and download the book for free by clicking here.

I have only begun to read it, but this seems to be the main thesis:

The political system and the “free market” are rigged (and increasingly so) to the advantage of the rich and powerful, but progressives continually make the mistake of accepting the right’s spin that this rigging is somehow “natural.”

This is from Baker’s website: Read More