Lots of little tidbits this morning for your amusement and edification:
– Remember the guy or guys who claimed to have broke into Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s facilities and nabbed copies of Mitt Romney’s pre-2010 tax returns — and want $1 million to either publish or not publish? Larry Flynt’s essentially daring them to put up or shut up:
Flynt is taking out full-page ads in this Sunday’s edition of The Washington Post and Tuesday’s USA Today that promises “up to $1 million” for the dirt on Romney’s “unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts and business partnerships.” (But before you go calling the Hustler hotline, be aware that Flynt will need “documented evidence of your claims.”)
– Remember how Jon Husted, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State, arrogantly fired, harassed, or blew off anyone he could who dared backtalk him on his determination to enact the vote-suppression measure of curtailing early voting for most Ohioans? Well, the Federal judge he tried to ignore just gave him the mother of all smackdowns — and Husted backed down: “After previously trying to restrict early voting, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) today reversed course on his decision to block county boards of elections from setting their own early voting hours in the days leading up to the November election.”
– Speaking of smackdowns: Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, Real Man. Check it out.
– To slightly redo a comment I made over at TBogg’s shop: The Occupy movement has done a few good things in the year it’s existed. When its loosely-knit members have deigned to, say, work with unions like SEIU and local groups (like ISAIAH in Minnesota), various local chapters have worked to highlight the foreclosure crisis and in the process have saved many persons from losing their homes, or at least got them far better terms than originally set on evictions.
Furthermore, the very fact that the Occupy movement existed was enough to shift the conversation away from All Deficit Fearmongering All The Time and carve out a little space for asking “Why the fuck are we letting billionaire assholes like Pete ‘Concord Coalition’ Peterson, a sworn enemy of Social Security since before his stint in Nixon’s cabinet, trick us into trashing what’s left of the New Deal just to keep him from paying taxes when by rights he should be paying what he would have paid as a rich guy under Eisenhower?”
It’s true that even people who are sympathetic to its aims are often more than a little frustrated with its fixation on process (something I suspect came from its libertarian wing), but even its experiments with direct democracy are useful; we get to see what is and isn’t possible in terms of direct democracy in the Age of Twitter and Facebook.
The more intelligent and practical members will take what they have learned and apply it effectively elsewhere. These are people who, a little over a year ago, were generally either apolitical or disillusioned to the point of non-participation. Now, they’re participating — many of them with increasing effectiveness as time goes by.