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The one picture that tells you everything you need to know about America in 2011

Cops on overtime guarding the Merrill Lynch bull in lower Manhattan -- what a metaphor for everything that's wrong in this country!

You've heard of a sacred cow, right? Only in America do we have a sacred bull -- a bronze idol to the false gods of Merrill Lynch and assorted other bankster racketeers. It's arguably outrageous enough that there's an official monument to these rodeo clowns on one of the most famous streets in America (Broadway, just off of Wall Street), a place that was once known as "The Canyon of Heroes" where people who actually contributed to the betterment of America were honored with ticker-tape parades. But it's more outrageous that the taxpayers of New York City are being charged God knows how much in police overtime to "defend" this graven image of Wall Street avarice

Kind of like how two straight administrations -- one Republican and one Democratic -- have worked overtime to protect the banksters from any criminal penalties for their crimes.

Right now, a small band of protestors -- it was several hundred to as many as 1,000 people on Saturday, probably less than that now -- are camped out near the center of American finance, part of a fairly spontaneous, social-media organized protest ( #occupywallstreet , among other Twitter hashtags ) aimed at going all Tahrir Square on Lower Manhattan. I don't think I'm going out on a huge limb to predict that they won't succeed -- not this time, not yet. I know we're all in love with the power of Twitter and all that, but the truth is that the Tea Party was able to get big (big, but not huge) crowds for its earlier protests because it had a national TV network, Fox News, mainstream conservative pols like Rick Perry and billionaires like the Koch Brothers promoting it. A left-wing protest isn't going to have that, especially not with the cowardly scared chickens of the Democratic Party clucking their way to the 2012 slaughterhouse.

The good news/bad news is that there's a pool of about 25 million unemployed and under-employed Americans from which to draw potential Wall Street occupiers, and the worse things get (just wait until the Boehner-Obama austerity program kicks in), the more likely that you'll see an American Winter take the ball from the Arab Spring.

I'll be pulling for 'em.