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For 'Capitalism,' Moore Sells Short Politicians of All Denominations

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:35 AM
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For 'Capitalism,' Moore Sells Short Politicians of All Denominations

By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

PITTSBURGH -- Just when it looked as if conservatives might be cornering the market on angry populism, along comes Michael Moore. But that doesn't mean Democrats in Washington should rest easy. "Capitalism: A Love Story," the filmmaker provocateur's latest documentary, which he screened at the AFL-CIO convention here for the film's American premiere Monday night, piles some blame on prominent Dems, too.

"Capitalism," opening nationwide Oct. 2, manages to use just about everything lousy that's happened in the past year to build Moore's manifesto against ruthless free-market Reaganomics -- from foreclosures on prairie farmhouses to kids unjustly jailed in Pennsylvania to the plane crash in Buffalo. It's all wrapped up, literally, by the spectacle of Moore stretching police tape around the hallowed institutions of Wall Street.

The film is vintage Moore, and perhaps more: The hefty Michigander declared from the stage of a classic downtown theater here that it was a "culmination of all the films I've made." It is being released on the 20th anniversary of "Roger and Me," the takedown of General Motors that made Moore famous. The union audience in Pittsburgh was primed for the wide-ranging assault on Wall Street and all its emanations.

For history buffs, there's also a fascinating clip of President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivering the highly egalitarian conclusion to his final State of the Union address, when he lists the "second bill of rights" that every American deserves, including health care. The speech was thought to exist only in audio, until Moore's researchers dug up the film footage in a forgotten box in South Carolina.

So far, so anti-Republican.

But then things get interesting: In building his indictment against the ill-fated marriage of Wall Street and Washington, Moore zeroes in less on GOP string-pullers than he does on White House economic adviser Larry Summers, Clinton-era Treasury secretary Robert Rubin and Sen. Chris Dodd. Especially Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Moore gets an on-camera interview with the mortgage officer who handled the special VIP loans provided to Dodd and other big names, an issue that has dogged Dodd's reelection bid.

The film also maintains a delicate ambivalence about President Obama, casting him as a change agent and depicting joyous images of his victory last November, but also implying that Wall Street had showered money on Obama's campaign in an effort to buy him. The question of whether Wall Street succeeded in doing so is left more or less unanswered.

If Moore's scattershot artillery landed more squarely on the Democratic side than usual, the movie-house crowd -- a mix of union officials and local lefties -- did not seem to mind. The standing ovation for Moore at the film's end was nearly as long as the one given Obama on Tuesday at the convention itself. In fact, mixed in with effusive praise and thanks for the filmmaker in the fire-engine-red T-shirt and cap, the audience's questions for Moore betrayed a general frustration with the administration and congressional Democrats.

Several audience members asked what action they could take to push Democrats in power further left. Moore half-jokingly suggested the AFL-CIO declare a march on Washington to dwarf last weekend's conservative protest and said he'd take part.

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:46 AM
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1. If Michael Moore organizes an anti-Wall Street march on DC, I'll go
If I have to pack all four dogs in the car and drive myself, I'll go.

You have my word on it.

Tansy Gold
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Right here too, money.
I can easily do it because I have a sister in Silver Spring. Protests are a snap for me to attend.
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. And we have a dog friendly house with a fenced yard for y'all
We've got three dogs who get along with most other dogs. The two little nerds (a shih tzu and a lhasa) get bored with visitors and stay upstairs on the bed. They ignore people and dogs. The biggest problem would be the German Shepherd who will want to play but, if you can handle that, you'd be welcome to stay here with your dog and attend protests. We're in Rockville, a mile from the metro (red line).
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:50 AM
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2. Might cheese some centrists off, but there it is.
This doesn't mean we dislike the President or the people he picks. It means he was elected to reverse the disastrous course of empire and right the ship so it works for EVERYone, not just the affluent.

It was President Obama himself who once said "A nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous".

Wealth cannot continually keep getting rocketed to the top with scrapin's for the rest of us. Things HAVE to change, particularly in wages. You CANNOT keep laying off workers, offshoring jobs, not raising/stagnating wages, cutting benefits, shifting more risk onto us and think you're going to have a stronger economy. You CANNOT do it. And Repubs need to stop with this "tax cut" crapola; pretending a tax cut's going to give you a steady paycheck or a raise aint'a gonna make it so.

NOTHING is built from the TOP down. NOTHING. The rich make no sacrifice and care only about profits above people. It's time they swallowed some bitter pills and FAST, or we're all in deep shit.
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Amen to that!
Remember that when you hear the words "TAX CUTS" it means for the rich, and only them. What does it do somebody to have their taxes cut a few hundred dollars on an 80 grand per year salary? Nothing... the insurance companies just swallow that up at the rate they are raising premiums. The potential for rich and corporate tax contributions here are lost because they are allowed to just skip out of the country and take their money elsewhere. Yet if you or I wanted to do that, we'd be arrested! Reagan's theory of "trickle down" was a farce given the factor of human nature being a greedy one, and if you or I were allowed to do it, I'd run with it, yet the rich do it on a scale that is far more accelerated because the laws favor them. I know that wages have been actually going DOWN if you factor in inflation and the cost of living, but wages alone can't do it, there must be a hard yank on the "reverse" lever of this train if it's going to be balanced out.
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stuball111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:59 AM
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4. Moore is right
There has been a swing of the pendulum so far to the right since Reagan, and helped along somewhat by Clinton, that there needs to be and aggressive swing back to the left to even things out. The danger is that if this isn't done, we'll keep heading right, and as the right wing fears "socialism" we should fear fascism as a consequence of a pendulum with too much momentum to the right.

This is obvious from all the squawking we are seeing from the tea baggers. They were comfortable with the country on the right, and are trying desperately to keep it going that way, and the fact that there is a Black president angers them even more. I get the feeling that Moore is also right that Democrats are equally beholding to corporations, and are reluctant to piss them off, therefore they are pussyfooting around and padding the effort to balance things out by making a hard turn to the left.

The end result will be a demise for this country economically if the almighty dollar is allowed to roam free on a global scale. It's funny how a measly paper bill can hold so much power over all the military steel the US has. When the Chinese loan sharks come calling for a payout, you can bet they will have some of their own to back up their demands. But the fault lies in the fact that we let the corporate bastards take their business overseas to benefit from cheap labor, all in the quest for profits. It's gonna bite us in the ass REAL hard someday!
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. "squawking" just about captures it.
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. K&R
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