Imagining the Post-Occupy Social Movement

Imagining the “Post-Occupy Social Movement”

If one were to honestly assess Occupy’s current strengths and weaknesses as a movement, confusion must be the inevitable result. This is because Occupy is not one movement, but an umbrella term that encompasses several different groups that have varied aims, organizational structures, and gaping theoretical differences.

Occupy may not be dead, but its power as a powerful social movement has surely been splintered into a dozen or so mini-movements. For example, a good, broad definition of a social movement is a large group of people who collectively try to achieve certain agreed on goals.

A social movement without common goals does not move in one direction, but many; an organization without a common set of principles or agreed upon demands is not a “group,” but “groups.”

Consequently, Occupy’s various mini-movements move in different directions, towards different ends, using different means, while rarely coordinating with the other groups that are focused on their respective organization, growth, habits, and campaigns.

The result is that collective mass action large enough to change social policy – another key definition of a social movement – is rendered impossible.

Sadly, this was the state of the left prior to Occupy: different groups organized on an “issue based activism” basis, focusing on their own projects, disconnected from any common vision or collective action. Occupy was different precisely because it was massive, and that these various groups found connection under a single banner. But the banner has since been pulled in hundreds of directions until it tore.

Occupy came close to becoming a real social movement but didn’t cross the threshold. Although Occupy failed to evolve into a social movement, it has laid a foundation for one, through its successful mass education around highlighting the 1% vs. the 99% and experiments with organizing and its creation of a new layer of revolutionary activists. Occupy’s inability to grow into a mass social movement may have been inevitable, since the left’s disunity runs especially deep in the United States.

Occupy did, however, create additional barriers for itself to become a social power. Occupy was organizationally wedded to a lack of organization, preventing the enormous energy from being funneled into a social force, and thus spilling in every possible direction.

Enough Occupiers were against goal setting that no goals could be collectively pursued. The well meaning attempts to create direct democracy and inclusion – through general assemblies, consensus, spokescouncil structures, etc. – resulted in gridlock, inefficiency, and exclusion instead, since most working people found it impossible to attend the initial lengthy, daily meetings that seemed unable to push the movement forward.

Some will argue that Occupy is doing fine, and that working towards a multitude of goals will inevitably bring victory, since all paths lead toward the same end, though few Occupiers agree on what this end should be. Working class people, however, are only powerful when they are united in mass numbers and acting collectively on an ongoing basis – no social movement has achieved social change without this preliminary factor. Whereas Egypt and Tunisia steadily gained momentum, Occupy eventually lost it.

It is still possible that a faction within Occupy – and there are several – could regenerate Occupy as a whole by working towards goals with a mass appeal that unite Occupy in a campaign capable of re-inspiring and mobilizing the broader population. But lessons must be learned from Occupy’s experience. The key lesson – in this writer’s opinion – is that social movements are created when they base themselves on concrete issues/goals that the majority of the population is concerned with.

For example, in the Arab Spring the movement’s goal was specifically anti-dictator/pro-democracy; in Europe it is anti-austerity/pro social services; South America’s ongoing social movements were born fighting foreign economic domination, in the form of the austerity policies implemented by the IMF and World Bank.

In all these cases the majority of working people in these countries could relate or sympathize with the goals of the movement, which helped multiply the initial protests into what later became powerful social movements.

In the United States, the number one concern of most people today – says numerous polls – is jobs.

Occupy could demand that the federal government create millions of jobs, as was done in the 1930s, and pay for the program by taxing Wall Street as many in the Labor Movement have advocated.”

Accessible, affordable quality public education and government social services are other major concerns. Occupy could focus its energies on demanding that the rich and corporations are taxed so that teachers could be rehired and tuition at colleges and universities could be reduced.

In other words, Occupy could aim at increasing taxes on the 1 percent in order to meet the needs of the 99 percent. This would also reduce the growing inequality in wealth. But these issues were lost in a whole laundry list of other goals that, although important, only concerned a periphery of the population.

The movement that Occupy gives birth to will be born at a higher level, with unity of purpose and collective action. It will not simply protest corporate power but directly challenge this power and the political system tied to it by the combined power of working people.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (

Occupy Kensington is Born


It’s official: Despite very little advertising and competition from a beautiful rain-free evening, a dozen people gathered at a small park Saturday to launch a new chapter of the Occupy movement.

The event was organized by Eleanor Rodgers, a mom of two and doctor’s office receptionist, who wanted to find a vehicle to bring together longtime Kensington activists with new area residents with similar concerns, a merger that had already begun with the local movement to get the owners of Golden Farm to hand over unpaid backwages allegedly owed to workers of Golden Farm.

 “I thought, if only we could create a forum to bring these people together. And at the Golden Farm protests I realized: here is the opportunity,” she said.

The twelve people who came to yesterday evening’s meeting in a tiny park at the corner of Vanderbilt and E. 5th streets, were exactly the mix she was hoping for.

“There were four older people who have lived in the neighborhood for 15 to 20 years—community-type people—and six people who were 30-and-under with no kids, who had done stuff with Occupy Wall Street,” she said.

“So it’s bringing together these two groups of people who have this political engagement but from different perspectives,” she said.

During the 90-minute meeting, the group identified some issues to work on, which included getting Golden Farm to pay the back-wages, the lack of open space—or even indoor community space—in Kensington (hence the Windsor Terrace location for the meeting), raising the minimum wage, getting the MTA to continue running the G-Train to Church Avenue (in 2013 it will terminate at Fort Hamilton Parkway), cuts in the city’s education budget, the overcrowded playgrounds and schools and inadequate funding for the city’s libraries.

Rodgers, a longtime socialist who hails from Ireland but has lived in Kensington for the past five years and in Windsor Terrace for four years before that, said she is thrilled to have an ongoing forum for like-minded Kensington residents.

Many area residents, she said, “they tend to go to Park Slope for lefty film screenings” and the like. “They don’t realize how many lefty people there are in our neighborhood.”


Occupy Kensington’s next meeting will take place on Monday, June 18 at E. 4th St. at 7 p.m. For more information contact Rodgers at or 347-403-3798.

Would a Latino running mate help GOP?

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Editor’s note: As President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney court the Latino vote, CNN takes an in-depth look at this complex and diverse community, what matters most to Latino voters, and how their vote will influence the November elections.

Washington (CNN) — At the Council on Foreign relations this week, Sen. Marco Rubio talked tough on the international hotspot of the day, Syria.

“It’s time to act now. I don’t want to score political points on this issue, I want to see it resolved,” Rubio told Time Magazine’s Rick Stengel, the event’s moderator.

Rubio says he doesn’t want to score political points, but like it or not — every move he makes these days is viewed through one prism: a potential vice presidential pick for Mitt Romney.

For many Republicans, Rubio is prime running mate material — a fresh-faced, telegenic tea party favorite from Florida, a key battleground state.

And he is, of course, Hispanic — a fast-growing ethnic group in the United States, a group Democrats dominated in presidential elections over the past four decades.

The impact of the ‘Latino vote’ beyond Texas

Battle for the Latino vote

Should Romney pick a Latino for VP?

Rubio awarded ‘fancy tequila bottle’

Counting on the Latino vote

In 2008, only 31% of Latinos voted for Sen. John McCain. Nearly 7 in 10 voted for then-Sen. Barack Obama.

The best a GOP presidential candidate has ever done with Hispanics was George W. Bush in 2004, and he got just 44% of the group’s vote.

A fair number of Republican strategists say that if Romney were to pick a Latino running mate, it could bridge the huge gap.

“Republicans need about 40% of the Hispanic vote to be competitive nationally,” said GOP strategist Leslie Sanchez. “To add a candidate who happens to be of Hispanic descent is incredibly important, not only because it shows the party can be inclusive, but open-minded Latino independent voters will really see this is a reason to take a second look at the Republican party.”

What Latinos want from candidates? Respect

How about Martinez or Sandoval?

Two other Hispanic Republicans who are generating VP buzz are New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Martinez is a gun-toting conservative and the first Latina governor in U.S. history, but she has actually clashed with fellow Hispanics in New Mexico because she wants to reverse a state law allowing illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses.

“Giving licenses to people who are here illegally is wrong and overwhelmingly unpopular,” Martinez has argued.

Sandoval is a budget-cutting, government-shrinking Republican, but he favors abortion rights, which could be a drawback as a GOP running mate. And though he’s Latino, he doesn’t speak Spanish.

Why older Latinos matter in election

Alberto Gonzales, the first Latino U.S. attorney general, says a Hispanic at the top of the ticket may help lure Latino voters, but not a No.2.

“I don’t think it would make that much of a difference,” Gonzales told CNN.

Alberto Gonzales: Economic policies will discourage Hispanics, not voter ID laws

Experience is key, Gonzales said. Rubio, Martinez and Sandoval all were elected to their posts a little more than 18 months ago.

“I think Governor Romney is better suited looking for someone to join him on the ticket who could be president on Day One,” Gonzales said.

Still, a Romney source points out to CNN that some states may be so close on Election Day that a Latino running mate could make the difference.

It’s not just states with well-known Latino populations like New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada that matter. Battleground states such as North Carolina and Virginia, where the Latino populations doubled in the past 10 years, could decide the next president.

One enormous challenge in picking a Latino running mate is that Hispanic-Americans are very diverse.

Rubio is Cuban-American. Martinez is Mexican-American. In the Latino community — each poses risks for potential culture clashes.

Two-thirds of Hispanics in the United States are of Mexican descent, and a much smaller percentage, about 4%, are Cuban.

“It’s very different. It’s coming from different countries, different languages. It doesn’t mean we’re going to be monolithic or vote together,” said Sanchez, the GOP strategist.

Some Latino politicians and strategists argue that Hispanics are a natural constituency for the GOP — not the Democratic party. Many Latino voters tend to be fiscally and socially conservative, they say.

‘Sleeping giant’ Latino vote yet to awaken

The need for outreach

Sanchez, like other Republican strategists, said the source of the decades-old GOP problem among Hispanic voters is that the party historically did little to no outreach.

That has changed in recent years, but the fight has hampered efforts over immigration reform, which many Hispanic voters perceive as anti-Latino.

Romney’s stance on illegal immigration during the GOP primary battle turned particularly strident, which Republican Latino strategists worry won’t exactly pull voters to the GOP.

While GOP Hispanics such as Gonzales and Sanchez disagree over whether a Latino running mate would really help Romney with Latino voters, they do agree it would be, when it comes to inclusiveness, an extremely important gesture. And it may help Republicans with Latinos in the long run.

“If Governor Romney makes a decision that one of the people you mentioned should be with him on the ticket, and if Governor Romney were to win in November, I mean there would be a great deal of pride in the Hispanic community in having that person being in that position,” said Gonzales.

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Crunch time for recall volunteers

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Aboard the ‘A Better Wisconsin’ bus tour (CNN) — To Oriannah Paul and many on the right, embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a hero who stood on principles and took the state out of the red and created a surplus.

To Lane Hall and many on the left, Walker is a man who should be removed from office for stripping collective bargaining rights and cutting education funding.

In March 2011, after weeks of bitter dispute highlighted by demonstrations inside the state Capitol, Walker and GOP allies in the Wisconsin State Legislature pushed through a bill to limit raises for public employees, except police and firefighters, to the rate of inflation. They also moved to bar unions from deducting dues from workers’ paychecks.

The past 16 months have been a nonstop slugfest, pitting neighbor against neighbor, and in some cases splitting families in half ideologically.

‘Where’s the civility?’

Oriannah Paul, founder of the Sheboygan Liberty Coalition, goes door knocking for Gov. Scott Walker.

Paul, a tea party follower and founder of the Sheboygan Liberty Coalition, glows when she talks about Scott Walker. People know she’s a fan when she drives by in her pickup truck with its magnetic “Scott Walker is my hero” bumper stickers. But when she talks about the nastiness of the race, fear transforms her expression.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Paul says of the negativity. “Where’s the civility? Why can’t we be amicable?”

Paul says her car — plastered with her Walker bumper stickers — has been keyed, and she’s even been hit in the head with a sign, all because of the recall race.

“It’s unfortunate that there has to be so much division,” she says.

Conservatives rally for Scott Walker

Wisconsin election takes toll on voters

Clinton stumps in WI recall election

A dog groomer as of a few years ago, Paul has only just recently gotten involved in politics. It started with a general dislike of President Barack Obama, and it’s coming to a head with this one race, a race she believes will carry over into the general election.

She’s organizing rallies and taking part in various door-knocking and phone bank efforts.

“We are facing one of the most critical elections in the history of this country. What happens here will determine what happens across the country.”

Tim Phillips is president of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group built around many of the same principles as the tea party. They’ve pumped more than $10 million into Wisconsin touting Walker’s policies. Phillips agrees there are larger implications at stake.

“It’s big for the people of Wisconsin and their economic future, but I think it’s even bigger nationally as well. I think every governor, every state legislator around the country is looking at Wisconsin, and they’re going, OK, if I got the courage to stand up and do what I think is right to get my state moving again … will someone have my back? And hopefully the answer is going to be, you bet.”

Americans for Prosperity launched its final effort in this campaign, a bus tour titled “A Better Wisconsin,” on Wednesday.

Paul was present at the Sheboygan stop.

The tour wraps up with a large rally hosted by the Racine chapter of the tea party and will not only include the AFP bus but the Tea Party Express bus as well. TPE launched a bus tour Saturday that wraps up on election day.

Democrats may not be planning any bus tours, but they did plan several rallies over the weekend. They’ve also been campaigning for Barrett in some rather unconventional ways.

‘This is a story … about Wisconsin’

Lane Hall has never described himself as a political activist but, on this issue, he said to himself he

Lane Hall is a 56-year-old English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Per Walker’s legislation — known as simply Act 10 — Hall’s benefits were cut by 8%. And while 8% may not sound as bad as others in the state have seen, Hall says the benefits package at UW-Milwaukee used to be the selling point at the school.

“It is seriously difficult now to both retain and attract quality people,” Hall said. “We are no longer competitive.”

Democratic group makes $100k Wisconsin push in final days

Hall has never described himself as a political activist but, on this issue, he said to himself he “can’t sit this one out.”

He wanted to come up with a way to make eye-catching campaign signs for the after-dark hours. He and his wife built their very first sign out of battery-powered LED lights and it said simply, “Recall Walker.”

A sign on an overpass calls for the recall of Gov. Scott Walker.

The signs have only gotten more elaborate, and the Overpass Light Brigade, as they’re known because they display their signs on bridges after dark, has grown into a routine party. Hall said they’ll sometimes have as many as 60 people at their “bridge parties” on pedestrian overpasses.

“We started to realize that the power of it is really in the community of volunteers.”

State Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski said those on the left are banking on that same community to show up to vote on Tuesday. Some public polls have given a slight single-digit edge to Walker, but Zielinski says the Democratic base is far from giving up hope. In fact, he says, internal numbers show it’s dead even.

“We’re too close,” Zielinski said. “You’re not going to fight for something for 16 months and then give up in the last couple of days.”

Team Walker has seen a whole host of rock star Republicans in recent weeks — Govs. Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal — while Team Barrett only just Friday got some star power of its own in former President Bill Clinton. Zielinski said none of that will matter.

“We love our national friends, we think they’re great, but this is a a story right now about Wisconsin.”

Regardless of who wins on Tuesday, both sides say they hope the vitriol subsides after election day. But they aren’t all that optimistic.

Said Paul, the newly minted Sheboygan activist: “I think the dividedness is not going away anytime soon.”

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Opinion: Rubio’s deeds vs. words

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, right, was joined on the campaign trail Monday by GOP Sen. Marco Rubio.

Editor’s note: Charles Garcia, who has served in the administration of four presidents, of both parties, is the CEO of Garcia Trujillo, a business focused on the Hispanic market. He was named in the book “Hispanics in the USA: Making History” as one of 14 Hispanic role models for the nation. Follow him on Twitter: @charlespgarcia

(CNN) — How does Sen. Marco Rubio curry favor with Hispanic voters and at the same time burnish his tea party credentials?

Easy. By saying one thing and doing another.

On May 10, Rubio, a Florida Republican, attempted to reframe his Dream Act proposal to give special visas to children of undocumented workers if they attend college or serve in the military. He said, “But I would just say this is really not an immigration issue; it’s a humanitarian issue.” On that same day, he quietly submitted a bill that would severely threaten humanitarian assistance to nearly 4 million children living in poverty. These are U.S. citizens. But to Rubio they are guilty by association. Through no fault of their own their parents are undocumented workers.

Charles Garcia

Currently, a credit is available to undocumented workers who report their income to the IRS through the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number program, created in 1996, making them eligible for a Child Tax Credit. For many children, this payment ($1,000 per child) is the difference between abject poverty and the ability to survive.

The program is, in fact, the ultimate conservative brainchild. It’s not a handout; rather it’s a way to give working people the ability to subsist, and to keep their children off entitlement programs. It is the kind of program that Ronald Reagan championed in the 1980s as a dignified alternative to welfare for the working poor.

Rubio’s proposal – the Responsible Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Act of 2012 — would stiffen the filing requirements for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number applicants. This is being done, according to a Rubio spokesperson, in an attempt to “crack down on fraud at the expense of taxpayers.” The Center for American Progress characterizes Rubio’s contentions as overstated, and says the proposed bill will greatly harm innocent children who rely on the tax cuts for food on the table, school books and shelter.

There is nothing “humanitarian” about terminating assistance to nearly 4 million American children who depend on such support. And there is nothing humanitarian about his “DREAM Act without the dream,” a palliative offer of legality without a clear path to citizenship. Such a proposal is nothing more than crumbs thrown to Latinos, who Rubio apparently hopes aren’t paying attention.

Would Marco Rubio be a good VP pick?

Republican rising star: Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio blushes over VP slip

Lurking near the top of the list of running mates for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Rubio is seen by many in the GOP as the key to the Latino vote. Yet the heart of his GOP support comes from the anti-immigration extreme right, while an overwhelming majority of Hispanics support immigration reform. It can’t be easy for this son of a maid and a bus driver — both Cuban immigrants — to reconcile those contradictions.

Would a Latino running mate help Romney?

The hypocrisy of Rubio’s recent moves paints a vivid picture of the unbridled ambition of an individual who plays on the politics of resentment and fear at the expense of children. Imagine a patient in critical condition bleeding of multiple stab wounds. Rubio talks about putting a Band-Aid on the patient’s little finger, while silently stabbing him in the back.

In March I wrote that “Rubio Needs a ‘Nixon in China’ Moment,” insisting that the senator should use his conservative credentials to courageously break the logjam in immigration reform. I was at first encouraged to see him step into this debate, but unlike the rabidly anti-Communist Nixon, who traveled to China to promote détente, Rubio instead travels to key battleground states — Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, tea party turf — to peddle his autobiography.

It’s unfortunate that two of Rubio’s closest mentors, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen, who both support comprehensive immigration reform, can’t shake their protégé by the shoulders and set him straight.

Navarrette: What Latinos want from candidates? Respect

Perhaps they could suggest that he turn from promoting his own book to studying Robert Caro’s recently published “The Passage of Power,” the fourth installment of the biography of Lyndon Johnson. Caro depicts a scene the night before LBJ’s first major address as president, to a joint session of Congress, in which his closest advisers urged him not to make civil rights a central tenet of his presidency. They argued it would antagonize the conservative Southerners who controlled Congress, and threaten his presidency. Caro writes that one adviser “told him to his face that a president shouldn’t spend his time and power on lost causes, no matter how worthy those causes might be.”

The former conservative senator from Texas retorted, “Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?” LBJ’s leadership and political genius in passing civil rights legislation brought a measure of justice for millions of people to whom justice had long been denied.

As Rubio abandons Hispanic families, he should ask himself: “What the hell is a Senate seat for?”

He sure doesn’t seem to know.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Charles Garcia.

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Obama’s campaign going to the dogs — and cats and chickens

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Rocco Giovani Meatball Capretto's owner Lisa Capretto says this picture of her dog is her effort at campaigning.Rocco Giovani Meatball Capretto’s owner Lisa Capretto says this picture of her dog is her effort at campaigning.

Mysty's owner, Denise Small, says she thinks her cat resembles Newt Gingrich.
Mysty’s owner, Denise Small, says she thinks her cat resembles Newt Gingrich.

Tina Gangidine says her pet lovebird, The Bird, H.R.H. (Her Royal Highness), is a political bird.Tina Gangidine says her pet lovebird, The Bird, H.R.H. (Her Royal Highness), is a “political bird.”




(CNN) — Tina Gangidine is so passionate about President Barack Obama, even her pet lovebird campaigned for him.

“I left the campaign sign by her cage, and whenever she would get out she would always hop right over to it and sit for long stretches staring at it,” said the retired middle school teacher from Ohio.

“I guess she was a political bird. Well, so is the rest of her family, so she came by it honestly.”

Gangidine campaigns in her swing state for the president pretty much nonstop, but she paused long enough to post a photo of the starry-eyed creature — known as The Bird, H.R.H. (Her Royal Highness) — on the Pet Lovers for Obama Facebook page.

It got more “likes” and thoughtful comments than almost anything else she’s ever posted, and that includes the Twitter feed and Facebook pages she runs for her neighborhood’s Obama campaign. Suddenly, she realized there was a lesson.

“When we are phone banking, we have to work really hard to get someone to pick up and talk with us,” Gangidine said. “People love their pets so they pay attention to this kind of thing, and it’s a really positive message for them to see from us.”

Obama outspends Romney online

Presidential pets have certainly played a role in politicking before. President Franklin D. Roosevelt often appeared in photos with Fala, his Scottish terrier. President George W. Bush sent holiday videos of his dog Barney every Christmas. President Bill Clinton’s cat, Socks, even had its own book.

But this virtual campaign by Obama for America to encourage people to “like” its Facebook page, post photos of their pets and recruit friends is taking the presidential love of pets to a whole new level. It seems to be working.

More than 16,500 people have “liked” the page so far. Hundreds of others have posted photos of their furry friends. A dog named Teddy Roosevelt abandoned his namesake’s political party to wear a navy Obama shirt. Baby, a gray cat, looks smart in a “Cats for Obama” collar. There’s even an unnamed chicken sporting an Obama bandana.

Such pet-specific merchandise is available on an accompanying Obama campaign site. There’s an “I Meow for Michelle” cat collar, a “2012 Barack’s best friend” dog collar with a matching leash, a Bo “I bark for Barack” car magnet, and many others. All purchases count as campaign donations.

Chicagoan Lisa Capretto posted a photo of her pit-bull mix Rocco sporting an Obama T-shirt and sitting patiently with human-sized Obama sunglasses perched on his wet nose.

“My brother works with the campaign, and he brought over a bunch of gear,” Capretto said. “Rocco is clearly such a tolerant and sweet dog.”

While Capretto and her husband have donated money to Obama’s re-election effort, the photo she submitted is the only real campaigning she plans to do.

“We are still enthusiastic about the president, but I’ll leave the grass-roots campaigning to my brother,” she said. “I do like this particular effort, though, and I thought the least I could do was lend my support by taking this ridiculous picture.”

There is no parallel pet-themed campaign for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. There is a Vets for Romney Facebook page, but that’s for the military — not the animal — kind of vet. A Dogs Against Romney Facebook page has racked up more than 55,000 “likes,” but it was created as a tongue-in-cheek response to the story of how Romney strapped a crate containing his Irish setter, Seamus, to the roof of his car during a road trip to Canada. The page is not sanctioned by any campaign.

“We’ve seen this for months. The Obama campaign would rather talk about anything under the sun, including dogs, if it means they can distract from the most important issue on the minds of every American — jobs and the economy,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said.

“Every minute team Obama talks about something other than jobs and the economy, they are attempting to hide Obama’s record from voters.”

The Obama campaign won’t comment on its digital strategy. But its attempt to engage with the pet set may now be aimed at many more voters.

As a part of its general online ad blitz, Obama for America created an ad in which the candidate himself never appears. Instead, under the title “Join Pet Lovers for Obama,” is a lone photo of the president’s dog, Bo. None of the popular online animal sites like,, or say they’ve received the ad, but the ad has run on several general news sites, which reach a broader audience.

“They are clearly wide-casting with this ad and are looking for places where they can persuade swing voters and independents and women with this,” said Drew Westen, an Emory University psychology professor and author of “The Political Brain,” a book about the role of emotion in deciding elections.

“It’s a nice, neutral message. Who doesn’t like a dog?”

Kate Kaye, senior editor for ClickZ, a trade publication that covers the digital advertising industry, thinks the dog ads are a strategic attempt to cultivate a certain type of voter.

“Maybe Obama’s staff thinks people who are sentimental about their animals are more likely to be interested in more liberal issues,” Kaye said. “As the campaign builds up its data on who views these ads, they can go back later and specifically target that reader with whatever their next appropriate issue ad is.”

Denise Small, a volunteer with the Humane Society of Western Montana, submitted a photo of her 16-year-old Persian cat Mysty wearing an Obama bandana to Pet Lovers for Obama. She thinks the pet campaign lends the president credibility.

“It helps him seem so genuine,” she said. “For me, as someone who is passionate about animals, how genuine someone is as a human is most important to me in a politician. I think he reflects my values, and it is clear he is a passionate advocate for human rights and for low-income people. I don’t see that from the other side.”

The Facebook page also has kept Small engaged with the Obama campaign. She visits it regularly to click through and comment on other people’s pictures. Gangidine, who put her lovebird’s photo on the page, also continues to visit the site. She thinks it resonates with voters who appreciate seeing something positive when so much else about the campaign — especially advertising — is negative.

“Something like this reaches everyday people,” she said, “and we’re going to need every one of them to get out there.”

The campaign volunteer says she would happily post other photos of her Obama-curious bird if it would help her candidate, but unfortunately, The Bird H.R.H died recently.

“She went to sleep when I was at a Democratic organizing meeting, of all things,” Gangidine said. Not all is lost though. Gangidine is considering putting a tiny Obama scarf on her son’s rescue hamster, Stinky.

“Although I’d have to take the picture superfast,” she said. “He is a hamster, after all. It’s likely he’d eat it. And that message might not seem as supportive.”

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Obama outspends Romney on online ads

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Both campaigns have spent millions on Internet ads. Mitt Romney's tend to feature images of the candidate with messages like Ready to Lead, while President Obama's stand in stark contrast with images of the first lady, the first family or even their dog, Bo.Both campaigns have spent millions on Internet ads. Mitt Romney’s tend to feature images of the candidate with messages like “Ready to Lead,” while President Obama’s stand in stark contrast with images of the first lady, the first family or even their dog, Bo.

In the first few months of 2012, Obama's campaign bought nearly $16.4 million worth of online ads after spending almost $2.2 million last year. Romney's campaign has spent $7.8 million for online ads this year, in addition to the $500,000 it spent in the first few months of 2012, Obama’s campaign bought nearly $16.4 million worth of online ads after spending almost $2.2 million last year. Romney’s campaign has spent $7.8 million for online ads this year, in addition to the $500,000 it spent in 2011.

Both campaigns have spent millions on TV ads. The Obama campaign spent nearly $13.3 million from January 19 to May 22, while the Romney campaign spent more than $15 million from November 22 to May 22, according to Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ad spending.Both campaigns have spent millions on TV ads. The Obama campaign spent nearly $13.3 million from January 19 to May 22, while the Romney campaign spent more than $15 million from November 22 to May 22, according to Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ad spending.

Romney's campaign poured nearly $6 million into TV ad spending in Florida this year, with more than 9,000 airings. In Ohio, the campaign spent more than $1.3 million on nearly 2,800 airings.Romney’s campaign poured nearly $6 million into TV ad spending in Florida this year, with more than 9,000 airings. In Ohio, the campaign spent more than $1.3 million on nearly 2,800 airings.

The Obama campaign has also spent heavily in Florida and Ohio, putting about $2.7 million into TV advertising into each state.The Obama campaign has also spent heavily in Florida and Ohio, putting about $2.7 million into TV advertising into each state.






(CNN) — President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is spending record amounts of money for online advertising and more than twice as much as his Republican rival, a CNN analysis of campaign finance data shows.

In the first few months of 2012, Obama’s campaign bought nearly $16.4 million worth of online ads after spending almost $2.2 million last year — even though he didn’t face a Democratic challenger. That means he is on pace to spend a record amount on digital ads, according to ad spending experts.

The campaign for Mitt Romney, who survived a heated primary race to become the presumptive Republican nominee, spent $7.8 million for online ads this year, in addition to the $500,000 it spent in 2011. The numbers are compiled by the Federal Elections Commission from reports by the campaigns.

Zac Moffat, digital director for Romney’s campaign, predicted online ad spending would pick up for both camps as the general election contest kicks into high gear.

“We plan to do a ton more now that the primaries are over,” he said. The Obama campaign won’t comment on its digital strategy.

Moffat said that while TV ads are like hitting voters over the head with a hammer, Internet ads are more like using a scalpel.

Obama’s campaign going to the dogs — and cats and chickens

When it comes to reaching specific voters, Moffat said, “you can be a lot more precise with your message online.” Plus, compared with broadcast, online ads are cheaper and easier to track.

“We can show the value of a particular message right away by seeing who clicks through or who spends time with a particular message,” he said. “We can immediately demonstrate its value, and we have hard numbers to show a person’s engagement.”

In theory, such targeted ads can help the candidates better engage with the key voters they need in what’s sure to be a close election: the elusive swing state independents, the coveted Hispanic groups, the Catholics who vacillate between Republicans and Democrats. The campaigns buy ad space on sites such as elNuevo to reach Latino groups, to find the Catholics who could vote either way, and look for independents on general news sites such as CNN or e-mail sites such as Yahoo!

“They can find where these coveted voters specifically are online and get their message to them,” said Kate Kaye, senior editor for ClickZ, a trade publication that covers the digital advertising industry, and author of “Campaign ’08: A Turning Point for Digital Media.

“It’s a major advantage.”

Moffat also noted that Romney’s campaign, like Obama’s, has posted multiple videos to Hulu and YouTube to reach people who don’t watch TV much. There’s another strong advantage to online video ads: You generally can’t fast -forward through them like you can if you use a DVR to watch TV.

Both campaigns have already spent millions on TV ads. The Obama campaign spent nearly $13.3 million from January 19 to May 22, while the Romney campaign spent more than $15 million from November 22 to May 22, according to Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ad spending.

Online, the Romney campaign has spent much of its early money on Google search terms. Type in “George Romney,” Mitt’s father, and an ad for his son appears on the top of the page. “Mayor Booker” pulls up a “Stand With Cory Booker” ad from the Republican National Committee criticizing Obama.

The Obama campaign is doing the same on Google, but ad buys for both sides may change as the political debate shifts. When “Buffet Rule” was a hot topic a few weeks back, a Google search turned up a link to That ad has since disappeared now that the term is no longer in the news.

Romney’s online campaign seems pretty traditional so far. Type Romney’s name into, a visual ad search site, and 20 ads appear, most with a simple message such as “Stand with Mitt,” “Ready to Lead” or “Vote for Mitt.” In many of the ads, the candidate stands alone smiling confidently, looking off into the distance.

Prove Mitt’s not a unicorn, group says in satirizing ‘birthers’

“What he is trying to do here is essentially show Romney is the strong leader, implying that Obama is the weaker leader,” said Drew Westen, an Emory University psychology professor who wrote “The Political Brain,” a book about the role of emotion in deciding elections.

For now, Romney’s ads are most likely to show up online where readers may be sympathetic to his message, or on sites that would catch the attention of voters in a particular primary state.

According to a CNN analysis of Nielsen Online AdRelevance, which tracks online ad spending, Romney’s campaign made its largest online ad purchase — some $32,000 — on The site had more than 5 million Romney ad impressions between January and April. His ads also ran on local news sites such as in South Carolina and in Florida.

By comparison, Obama’s campaign spent the most at, paying more than $1 million for ads that have appeared on the site more than 238 million times. His ads also pop up regularly on general news sites such as CNN and The New York Times. They also turn up in some unexpected places —, and

The images in the 145 Obama online ads that surface on stand in stark contrast to Romney’s. Most feature first lady Michelle Obama or the president’s entire family. There’s even one that features their dog, Bo. The messages encourage people to “Enter to win dinner with Barack” or “Wish Michelle a Happy Mother’s Day” by clicking the ad.

“It makes a lot of sense to put Michelle front and center,” Emory’s Westen said. “She is so much more popular than the president is at this point. It makes him likable to be associated with her. I think Romney should be doing more of this, because his wife seems quite likable in a very different way. It will be key for Romney to share who he is in a real way with voters so they can feel some connection.”

Borrell Associates, which tracks ad spending, predicts online ad purchases will make up about 1.5% of the candidates’ overall campaign ad budgets. While that may not sound like much, Borrell said it would be $159 million more than in 2008 — a sevenfold increase. And it’s likely that as technology improves, that number will grow.

“What TV and radio used to do exclusively is now something, with the improved technology, that online ads can do very well,” Kaye said. “So you can be sure to see a lot more political presence online in the very near future.”

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Rothschild heiresss marriage to Goldsmith scion is over, after she falls for a rapper called Jay E

reply to post by PutAQuarterIn

Looks like the super rich still make ugly too. Yikes, she kind of reminds of one of them walking sticks with a really gnarley head on it. Somebody
would probably say “you would tap that thing for the millions it would bring” and I would say “them millions don’t mean a thing, I’d damn well
have to have a real fling with something that don’t hurt my eyes like that thing.”

Let’s do a rap song, maybe one of us can splash at least a good lookin’ heiress LOL

Cheers – Dave

Beware These Scams!

Intro: This thread was inspired by a Southpark episode titles “Cash4Gold” and another thread I made
HERE . If you can see past all of Southpark’s fart humour there is often
times a deep underlying message they are trying to get across.

So, I have been scammed many times already in my lifetime through both people and companies. Averting a scam is the best feeling in the world, where
as, finding out you’ve been scam puts a little fire in your belly. I would like to share with you what to avoid

#1 Penny Auctioning

These websites require you to purchase “bids” to use in the auctions on their site. Most will not let you use real money… So, say you spend
USD60.00 to purchase 120 bids on a penny auction site. Everything on the site has value represented by actual money and the numbers are always
ridiculously low. Once you bid on something, whether you win it or not, you lose those bids. The people who own the site are privy to some very nasty
tricks. The really expensive items you see priced extremely low are probably not even owned by them. They simply freeze the auction at the last
second and add a bid to beat the highest bidder and never have to provide the item bidded on, but you will never see those bids again. Other less
expensive items they will let people win to better conceal the scam and keep it running.

#2 Cash4Gold

In the episode of Southpark I mentioned above, the boys try to find who is responsible for making Stans grandpa pay 6,000 dollars on a piece of
jewelry that they couldn’t even get more than 15 dollars for at a Cash4Gold place. To keep from spoiling I will not elaborate on the episode just the
part I am talking about. India produces the jewelry, ships it to the jewelry channel people, they sell it for way more than they are worth or anyone
can even get for it, the people who buy it give them as gifts, the people who got the gifts take them to Cash4Gold, Cash4Gold sends them to be
smelted, after being disassembled and smelted the gold and jewels go back to India for the process to be repeated (forgive my run-on but I found it
appropriate). You may think that it’s just a tv show but that is how this scam is running. They scam people out of their money and never really lose
anything out of doing it.

#3 Coin Buying Companies

If you go to sell your old coins be sure to do your research on how much silver or gold is actually in the coin. Did you know that Quarters and
Dimes dating 1964 and before contain 90% silver? They sure as heck don’t want you to know that because, you will be lucky if they offer you twice the
face value of the coin. If you let them know you have done your research and know how much silver is in the coins you are trying to sell, then they
will offer a much better deal to you. If not, take your coins and walk out, see if they don’t ask you to wait a second

#4 College textbooks

A new edition comes out almost every semester or year, which you have to purchase to take the classes. The new editions really do not have much
new context. They can simply add a few things, reword some stuff, and maybe a few new pictures but the basics were there from the beginning. Please
know that I agree with new editions after a few years have passed, but this just isn’t the case anymore. Each new edition will almost always cost
more than the last. If you are a college goer, try to find the books used or share a book with someone. You might not even need the book so ask your

#5 Cell phones (Extends to almost every product out there)

They come out with the newest, latest, greatest phone at least once a year and place it on a pedastal to make the previous version look obsolete.
In reality, the new functions and design of the phone aren’t even worth all the extra money they cost. They get people hooked on a brand with
commercials geared for different audience groups. The product doesn’t even have to be that great, but by flashing nice words and pictures of people
being happy, whether they are using said device or not, you will feel compelled to go out and get one. If it doesn’t appeal to you, then after seeing
most of your friends with the product, you will want to fit in with them and buy one yourself.

These are some basic scams that happen on a day-to-day basis. Why do I care if people are being scammed? Well I certainly won’t tell you how to spend
your money, but I will warn you so you may become aware and then decide. I did not link any references or sources because I encourage you to do your
own research. The examples I gave above are from experience so I am the reference/source. My goal is to save some people some money on stuff they
don’t really need because in this type of economy a few extra dollars goes a long way.

Conclusion: There are many, many different scams that go on without any legal intervention. Why? Most people don’t know they are being scammed or
just like to get screwed. It would take a huge group effort to take any of these scams down, boycott anyone? Anyway hope you enjoyed.

What would the world be like if America and her military ceased to exist at this moment?

reply to post by cavtrooper7

If was after WW2, some would be sucking on commie flavored lollipops,,if now,I could see chowmein on the menu.
Humans have always been at war.

We see how well Russia handled the Soviet union.
We see also many human rights issues in China,they have alot more problems than most think.
Then we got certain whacko religions also.
Horror in some African countries.
The list goes on.

I think the whole world is a sad place.

You think it would be better if North Korea took over as the “big boy on the block”.?
Or let islam take over?

If a big comet hit the mideast,Russia or China and wiped out everything,,,we would all fee pain, and not be jumping for joy.
Alot of nations have differences, but anyone with common scense don’t want every one dead in them who they despise,,but there are nut balls who

Either way,,atrocities would still happen and wars.

Look at religious wars,each side thinks their right and just.
Like a pro boxer,,someone is always wanting to knock you down and take your belt.

Sorry to go off a tad and float on your thread.

Sum it up,,there would still be tears in the world.


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