Jesse LaGreca Discusses the #OWS Movement on the Ed Schultz Show
Occupy Wall Street protester and blogger Jesse LaGreca, otherwise known as MinistryOfTruth at Daily KOS, spent some time on The Ed Schultz Show Friday evening discussing everything from the Occupy Wall Street movement, how it's growing and what's driving it, to Republicans and Fox News attacking the movement, to union busting, to the recall drive for Scott Walker in Wisconsin to the need to remove a few conserva-Dems from office.
LaGreca had a chance to make an appearance on This Week back in October. He did a great job here with Ed Schultz as well. Here's Jesse's recent post discussing his appearance on Ed's show and you can follow him on twitter at @JesseLaGreca.
Transcript below the fold.
SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to Jesse LaGreca, he`s an Occupy Wall Street protester and activist.
Jesse, I`ve wanted to meet you for a long time. You`re doing some great work. You`ve been on point since day one.
How big was yesterday? What does it mean?
JESSE LAGRECA: Yesterday was tremendous. We literally had people in all 50 states across the country stand up and say, enough is enough.
And when you look at the solutions that the Republican Party offered, it`s the same nonsense they`ve been showing on us for 30 years. Tax cuts for the rich. We just give the rich all the money they want, then they`ll finally feel secure and create jobs for us.
On the other hand, they`re busting unions, making it hard for us to put food on our family`s table, denying us health care, what is it, 40,000 people in America die every single year because of lack of health care, preventable diseases. It makes me laugh that the guys who literally fought to give corporations the right to freedom of speech want to deny Americans the right to protest in a public place.
You know, I think Sarah Palin needs a full time day job. She apparently has nothing else to talk about.
It`s not startling to me. These guys are paid to say what they say. They take large campaign donations. I`m not surprised they do the bank`s dirty work.
SCHULTZ: What do you think of Peter King, you know, in his depiction of the 99 percenters that are out protesting? I mean, he said pretty degrading and vile stuff. Your response.
LAGRECA: He`s done degrading stuff. The man lied us into the war in Iraq and he`s been yet to be held accountable for that. That created tremendous deficits which are now being used to as an excuse to destroy every program the Republican Party has voted against for the last 80 years.
SCHULTZ: And what do you make of the unions now saying that they`re going to organize, they`re going to go occupy Washington. You in on that?
LAGRECA: My father was a union carpenter. I absolutely stand with unions.
SCHULTZ: So, there really is no one group that`s really taken over this group, because there`s a lot of conversation early on about what are the 99 percenters. They don`t have a real focus. I want you to respond to that.
LAGRECA: To me, I think our message is so obvious that you really have to be willfully ignorant to ignore it. The majority of working class people are hurting right now, are out of touch bribed politicians are selling this agenda that only benefits the wealthiest 1 percent. How can we cut their taxes? How can we deregulate in their favor?
Oh, but you need something Mr. Working Class Guy? Oh, I`m sorry, you`re going to have to face cuts.
The Republicans only operate on one playbook, and that`s whatever Bank of America, or BP, or David Koch or whoever else is financing their campaigns wants them to talk about.
SCHULTZ: You know, a lot of the demands that are surfacing and I said this on the air the other night, parallel that with the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Now, whether that`s you intended or not, I don`t know. But -- I mean, we`re talking about the wealthy paying more, fair taxation, universal health care, supporting public education.
How do you see all this?
LAGRECA: Well, I mean, when I wrote that last night, I was really expressing my own opinions. At the same time, I`m happy that so many people share those values, because to me that`s the values that we`re talking about -- protecting our families, rebuilding our communities, investing in America.
At the same time, it`s frustrating that I find I`m kind of more Democratic than some Democrats are, that, you know, if we`re going to go to Congress and pressure Congress, we should not just ignore the Democrats there. Ben Nelson, Senator Ben Nelson, Senator Max Baucus, a bunch of worthless Blue Dogs who really don`t represent anybody else but the special interests. We should occupy their offices, too, because they`re not helping right now.
SCHULTZ: O`Reilly says it`s dead, he says it`s a good thing. Your response.
LAGRECA: So is Dr. George Tiller unfortunately. I think Bill O`Reilly hurt enough people with his words. And I think that it shows how out of touch he is to think that this populist uprising all across America -- well, if the Republicans can`t own it, I guess they have to destroy it. That`s their modus operandi.
SCHULTZ: I`ve been to Portland, I`ve been to Minneapolis, been to Madison, been to Toledo. I`ve been to Columbus. And I`ve been to Newton, Iowa, in the middle of the country. All within the last 60 days, all of the places I`ve been.
And I have asked people in every single city, does this movement, what they`re doing on Wall Street, do you relate to them? Emphatically, the people say, yes.
What`s that mean, what`s that mean to you?
LAGRECA: It means Occupy Wall Street represents a broad cross section of America from all walks of life. Students seeking higher education, people who are professional, who are still paying off their student loans, right down the line.
SCHULTZ: Do you think you had anything to do with the Senate Bill 5 going down in Ohio?
LAGRECA: Oh, certainly. I would say so. We`ve activated so many people for the first time who never engaged in politics or anything of that manner. It`s very viral.
SCHULTZ: What do you say to the people who say you`re a bunch of anarchists out there?
LAGRECA: I would suggest that they stop watching propaganda distributed by Rupert Murdoch`s international crimes syndicate.
SCHULTZ: Well, that`s a pretty good answer. Right to it.
And, of course, the recall of Governor Walker, which we`re going to talk more about in just a few moments, you think this movement is going to also have an effect on his recall?
LAGRECA: It absolutely should. You know, I got to visit Madison, myself, a week or two ago. I have friends out there. In my opinion, I think we should be putting pressure on all of the politicians who benefit only the wealthiest 1 percent to the detriment of everybody else in America.
So, Governor Scott Walker, Governor Rick Snyder -- I`m sorry, Rick Scott. Right down the line. Not just Republicans either. Some Democrats needs to be put on the unemployment line as well.
SCHULTZ: Well, you can throw Snyder`s name in there as well from Michigan. He`s pretty radical as well.
LAGRECA: What they`re doing is they`re repealing the 20th century. I keep telling people, I`m not against capitalism. I`m against crime. For these guys to talk about we`re the party of personal responsibility. And yet, when you ask them what they`ve done wrong in the last 10 years, they have nothing to ask for -- very hypocritical and I think they`re doing a disservice to their countrymen.
SCHULTZ: Jesse LaGreca, thanks for joining us tonight. Let`s do it again.