Republican Presidential Candidates Houses: Bad Taste Past the Boundaries

            New Orleans               Republicans, Democrats, or whatever, when something is way, way over the line, it should be roundly understood as out of bounds.  A piece in the New York Times Home and Garden section this week by Kate Zernike called “The Houses of the Hopefuls” was appalling on any number of levels.

Having Glen Beck and other haters give people my home address and phone number is, admittedly, part of why I am fairly easily offended that there are simply no standards at the Times or anywhere else it would seem over about the privacy of public figures, and the Times would at least like to pretend that it is a place that sets such standards.  Past privacy though, was there no editorial or journalistic judgment that would restrain them from publishing pictures and descriptions of the candidates houses in the interest of public safety and some sense of a basic human right to safety, even if they are so bold, arrogant, or principled to put themselves forward for public office.

On those grounds alone the piece was offensive from its first premise that somehow we (citizens and voyeurs?) have a “right” to peek through the windows of their houses and stalk them on the blocks where they live in order to “get to know them better.”  God, how ridiculous is all of that?

But, then if readers tried to get through the piece, you would quickly be able to discover why Republican candidates of all stripes and persuasions have no problems with the “call and response” from their base about the smug elitism and sensibilities of what former Vice President Spiro Agnew once famously called the “nattering nabobs” of the East Coast corridor.  The article without apology seems to see its mission as making fun of the candidates and their families, parading forward one rock throwing, self-promoting designer after another willing to take a crack at the taste and sensibilities of these candidates and their private spaces.  The article was snide and “bitchy.”  In this case bad taste was truly in the eyes of the beholder, because virtually the entire article reeked of bad taste compounded by terrible judgment.

The reporter and the Times think they are in a position to take potshots at the taste of the candidates because they are so old-fashioned, traditional, and tend towards the “colonial” in housing styles.  Duh?  Quelle shock!   When George McGovern ran for President as a peace candidate against the sitting Democratic President Lyndon Johnson over the issue of the Vietnam War, he clearly stated a universal political law when he said, “those that would be most radical, must remember to appear most conservative,” as he explained his on wardrobe and lifestyle in the post-sixties environment.

Here’s the perfect example from the article.  I’m no friend of Michelle Bachmann, but once one gets past that and wraps one’s mind around the fact that a large family overflowing with adopted and other children that makes its money through public and social services can possibly afford a house with a $750,000 price tag, why is it not in fact admirable that she and her husband bought a house that was part of a charity construction design and build project?   To me it seems commendable in fact, though it rates no comment from the Times other than earning her a couple of body shots from a so-called professional whining about the design and line of the roof, as if Michelle and her gang were the architects and up there hammering away on the beams and shingles.

It never gets better after that, expect that the reporter and her buddies do seem to believe that you get more if you are richer so they had some faint praise for Romney and Huntsman as the zillionaires of the crew.

The Times Public Editor and anyone with an iota of routine manners and slight common sense should recoil and protest this unseemly and unsafe invasion of privacy and ad hominem attack (and that goes for Michelle Bachman , too!).

As always, let’s hope for a better new year!

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Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government Admits Boo-boo on “Days of Rage”

Wall Street Protest
Wall Street Protest

New Orleans        I admit that I check the Google alerts everyday to see how the alternative universe is doing where this other “wade rathke” lives, who is often unrecognizable to me.  The most recent episode in his “life,” was some kind of “days of rage” planned for Wall Street, which was quite the buzz on Glenn Beck’s “news” website, Blaze.com.  On the right they took all of this fantasy so seriously that I actually had to turndown interview requests from various Fox News outlets wanting to know more details on what I was supposedly planning for this unknown event.  Most often I was linked to Stephen Lerner, my colleague from the SEIU years, who was attracting some of the right wing love out there.
I guess the “days” happened this last weekend with not 20,000 but perhaps 1000 folks in some part in New York City, none of which is surprising.  In NYC more than a 1000 folks would gather for almost anything.  The real shock was to read Andrew Brietbart’s Big Government report where they conceded that all of the reports of Lerner and “Rathke’s” wild and revolutionary doings here were in fact “unfounded,” and to add a cherry on top, they even zinged Beck and Blaze for the fabulous fiction.

andrew-breitbart

#OccupyWallSt: Just a Saturday Stroll Through the Park…
by LaborUnionReport
It was supposed to be this:

Day-of-RageOn the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.
Instead, as they say about the best laid plans, it was something entirely different. It was, frankly, a stroll through a park—Zuccotti Park, in lower Manhattan, to be exact.
A Non-Union Non-Event

Over the summer, on the heels of Arab Spring, an anti-capitalist group called adbusters established a campaign to occupy Wall Street, beginning on September 17th. Whether coincidental or not, September 17th also happened to be Constitution Day. While there had been some unfounded unfounded speculation a few weeks ago that the SEIU’s Stephen Lerner and ACORN founder Wade Rathke were behind the OccupyWallSt movement, there were never any signs that the Marxist-Anarchist protesters had any formal union backing—nor has there been anything posted on union websites about the occupation of Wall St.
This morning, protestors did, however, call for “revolution”.

Big Government then linked back to the Blaze below.
The alternative universe of the right is a scary, scary place though.  The original Blaze article may not have gone viral, but it did get traction.  More than 6000 righters had “liked” it and moved it to their Facebook walls.  The story had been tweeted 513 times and there were 739 comments most of which would have stripped paint off of cars.

And for all of the good work that Color of Change and others had done to get advertisers to boycott Beck during his Fox News time with Rupert Murdoch’s empire, it was disconcerting to see ads on the Blaze story from Orvis, where I’ve bought more than one fly rod and reel, and Green Mountain coffee promoting fair trade coffee, which will leave me head scratching a good part of the day.  What’s up with these guys?
US Who Is Behind the ‘US Day of Rage’ to ‘Occupy’ Wall Street this September 17th?

What, exactly, is a “US Day of Rage?” Well, on September 17th we may find out for certain, but until then, The Blaze is revealing what information does exist about this very nefarious-sounding campaign.

A US Day of Rage is the title given to a day of ostensibly “non-violent” civil disobedience orchestrated by a group of radicals — that reportedly include SEIU’s Stephen Lerner and ACORN founder Wade Rathke (who, coincidentally, formerly served as president of SEIU’s local New Orleans branch) — targeting Wall Street and U.S. capitalism. It’s worth noting that the title of the movement — if its intentions are indeed non-violent in nature — appears to contradict itself slightly.

But what is perhaps even more interesting than its title is who is allegedly behind the movement.

You may recall that back in March The Blaze exposed Lerner for stating his aspirations to destroy JP Morgan Chase and cause the collapse of the entire stock market.
Now, the US Day of Rage protests, staged by a collective of activist groups allegedly in conjunction with Lerner and Rathke, are planning the actual “occupation” of Wall Street September 17, complete with a tent city set smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan’s financial district.  Similar protests are purportedly set to take place across the nation — and even world — at the same time. Some Day of Rage organizers are even calling on activists to squat in Manhattan’s financial district for months at a time.
The Blaze’s report on Lerner, who serves on SEIU’s International Executive Board, caught the union agitator stating:

So, a bunch of us around the country are thinking about who would be a really good company to hate? We decided that would be JP Morgan Chase. …. And so we’re going to roll out over the next couple of months what will hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street. And so what we’re looking at is in the first week of May, we get enough people together – we’re starting now – to really have a week of action in New York with the goal of … I don’t want to go into any details because I don’t know which police agents are in the room, but the goal would be that we would roll out in New York the first week in May.

Then, like clockwork, some 400 activists brought Lerner’s dream to fruition and converged on JP Morgan Chase’s annual shareholders’ meeting in May — this time in Columbus, Ohio rather than New York. The group that staged this particular protest, the National People’s Action, reportedly confirmed it was there as part of its “Showdown in America” campaign against the big banks. Since the location of JP Morgan Chase’s meeting was surrounded by a moat, the activists, who likened themselves to Robin Hood, even brought a collapsible bridge to “storm the castle.”

It is also perhaps worth noting that in March, The Blaze reported Rathke and Lerner called for “days of rage in ten cities around JP Morgan Chase.” Rathke mentioned some of Lerner’s key assertions:

While labeling Lerner an ex-SEIU official who was signaling that unions and community organizations were “dead,” also reported hook-line-and-sinker that in May, according to Lerner, there would be days of rage in ten cities around JP Morgan Chase signally the beginning of the anti-banking jihad.

So it might add up now that Klein Online reported Rathke’s efforts are being organized by Lerner, who, as part of his planned protests, called for “a week of civil disobedience, direct action all over the city:”

The planned Sept. 17 day of rage seems to be the culmination of Rathke’s efforts.
Those efforts are being organized by Stephen Lerner, an SEIU board member who reportedly visited the Obama White House at least four times.

The aim, according to Lerner, is to “destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.”


“How do we bring down the stock market? How do we bring down their
lerner4bonuses? How do we interfere with their ability to, to be rich?” Lerner asked rhetorically in March.
So, it appears, Columbus could have been one of the ten U.S. cities en route to New York for the “big day.”

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