Plinky asked, “Where do you fall on the political spectrum?”
That depends on where you’re standing. In Europe, I’d be considered conservative, apparently. In the U.S., I’m progressive, so I’m considered a flaming liberal.
I agree with the libertarians on some issues, like gun control (it means hitting what you aim at).
I also think that any decent society takes care of its people in far more ways than just having a strong military force. Universal health care (not insurance, CARE), strong consumer protections and consistent, fierce environmental protection are just a few of the things that need to come from the federal government without interference from any other entity — including state governments.
I live in Georgia, where there’s talk of the state government creating a panel to review every federal law and decide whether or not to allow that law to be effective in Georgia. That’s a violation of the U.S. Constitution, as I understand things, as federal law is supposed to supersede state law. Georgia’s state government is pretty free and easy about violating the Constitution, as evidenced by the state house recently passing a bill to post the ten commandments in every public building in the state (including every public school). There’s an excellent chance that the state senate will pass it, too, because anybody who votes against it will be in trouble with the conservatives in their districts.
Decent education is important, too, and it’s too important to be left up to states like Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. It isn’t possible to have an institutional education that’s as good as a home education, since most people leave the education of their children up to the government, it is especially important for the future of our country that the job be done right.
I was challenged in comments on a friend’s Facebook wall yesterday “provide us with a specific example of Tea Party hate ful (sic) speach and some thing good that President Obama has done for our country.” The commenters there also claimed that “THE TEA PARTY HAS NO REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS” and seemed to be under the impression that it is a grass roots movement, which is a claim friends of mine have also made. Rather than post this information in more than one place, I decided to make one post in my blog and refer to it in the future.
First, President Obama has accomplished plenty of things during his term. I started to make my own list, then decided that it’s foolish to reinvent the wheel. The most comprehensive list I’ve found is here: Accomplishments of President Obama. While some people may not think some of those things are accomplishments, I doubt there’s anyone who can argue with all of them. I’d add to the list the fact that Osama bin Laden is dead. That happened during Obama’s presidency. His people were able to keep a lid on the information about bin Laden’s whereabouts and the operation long enough to get that bastard. The fact that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the military is over is pretty damned important, too.
Those accomplishments look much better, too, when you realize two things:
- The IMF informed President Bush that they intended to audit the U.S. back in June 2008. Bush just put them off until the end of his term.
- While Obama is often blamed for the massive deficit, that’s inaccurate. The 2009 fiscal year began before Obama even took office, and the budget for that year was almost entirely determined by the Bush administration. There was an 88% increase in spending during the years of the Bush administration, compared to only a 7.4% increase during the Obama administration. That’s why Bush inherited a $128 billion surplus from Clinton’s last budget, and bequeathed a $1.4 trillion deficit to Obama.
I know perfectly well that the tea party (no caps) was originally billed as a grass roots movement about fiscal issues and against big government. Yes, gatherings to support Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign were called “tea parties,” and those issues were central to his campaign.
However, there was apparently no talk of a Tea Party (note the caps) during those gatherings, and after Obama was elected, the name was co-opted for anti-Obama rallies by Republican operatives, led by Dick Armey and mouthpiece Rick Santelli. Of course, if they’d said, “We’re organized by lobbyists for big business, because guys like Steve Forbes and the Koch brothers don’t want middle class people to have help paying their mortgages!” then middle class people wouldn’t have been as likely to get involved. So the fiction of a “grassroots movement” was carefully maintained.
Even for those who might not believe that FreedomWorks, the Koch brothers, etc. have always behind the Tea Party, it must be difficult to deny that “grassroots” certainly isn’t what the Tea Party is about now. Anyone who wants to argue about it has only to look at Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and and their Christian Dominionist views to know that. Of course, Perry also claimed in his book that Social Security is unconstitutional, despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1936, and Bachmann signed a pledge that claims that blacks were better off when they were slaves, so their credibility ratings are suffering, as far as I’m concerned. By the way — that pledge thing is pretty darned racist, to me, and the rest of Bachmann’s well-known history gaffes aren’t making things any better.
Michelle Bachmann (head of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus) worked for the IRS as a tax attorney before quitting to be a stay-at-home mom. So she’s never had a job that doesn’t come with a government paycheck, but she’s supposedly against big government? How very hypocritical. Bachmann’s husband runs a clinic that takes federal money to provide a form of therapy to “cure” homosexuality — therapy that isn’t approved by the American Psychological Association or the American Medical Association or, actually, any accrediting board. If anybody wants to truly cut out government waste, then paying for that sort of thing should be stopped right away, and psychologists who file for reimbursement for it should lose their licenses and be arrested for fraud. (Homosexuality was initially suggested for removal from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a disorder in 1973, and completely removed by 1986. Dr. Bachmann, if he actually is a psychologist, should know that.) Michelle’s remarks about homosexuality include such lovely bits as saying that it’s “of Satan.” Yes, that’s bigotry.
Steve King (R-Iowa, member of the Tea Party Caucus) has demonstrated bigotry in his attacks against Barack Obama before his election because of his middle name (Hussein) and the fact that his father was Muslim. He has also shown himself to be a racist by making claims that Obama favors blacks—without providing any substantiation, of course. His misogynist voting record speaks for itself.
Louie Gohmert (R-Texas, member of the Tea Party Caucus), is a birther (crazy enough right there), who equated homosexuality with bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia during a debate on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (video clip). He also made a stupidly racist remark when complaining about one particular bit of funding — the infamous “moo goo cat pan” joke that fell flat. (He’s got so much crazy that we could spend a lot of time talking about him. I imagine even the Tea Party would be happy to lose him altogether. Search on “terror babies” and you’ll see what I mean.)
One of King’s buddies in the Tea Party caucus, Phil Gingrey (R-Georgia), went to the Mexican border with King on a fact-finding mission, and put his racist foot in his mouth by claiming that his desire to end birthright citizenship isn’t motivated by xenophobia because, “if I had to choose from immigrants across the globe, my favorite alien would be our Hispanic and Latino residents coming from across the Southern border. On June 22, 2011, Dr. Gingrey, an OB-GYN, said: “Democrats like to picture us as pushing grandmother over the cliff or throwing someone under the bus. In either one of those scenarios, at least the senior has a chance to survive. But under this IPAB [Independent Payment Advisory Board] we described that the Democrats put in ‘Obamacare,’ where a bunch of bureaucrats decide whether you get care, such as continuing on dialysis or cancer chemotherapy, I guarantee you when you withdraw that the patient is going to die. It’s rationing.” He knew perfectly well that he was lying, but Republicans want to control the way the money is spent, rather than to permit a non-partisan board to control it and achieve any cost savings. You would think a fiscal conservative would be in favor of cost savings, but it doesn’t work that when political power is at stake.!
At the state level, we have Alabama state senator Scott Beason referring to blacks as “aborigines.” After opening a speech by saying that “illegal immigration will destroy a community” he closed it by advising his listeners to “empty the clip, and do what has to be done”.
David Barton hangs out with several Tea Party figures—Rick Perry is spending Labor Day weekend with the guy. He claims on his tax records that he is an expert on African-American history, but when questioned about the fact that he regularly addresses white supremacist groups (who adore him) he tried at one point to claim that he didn’t understand their leanings. One of his main claims is that Martin Luther King, Jr. made no significant contribution to the civil rights movement and that he and Thurgood Marshall should be removed from our history books. Newt Gingrich’s spokesman, Rick Tyler, said, “I think David Barton is one of the most knowledgeable teachers on American history.” (Interesting, as Gingrich is a former history professor himself, and Barton is only an “amateur historian.”) He’s popular with Bachmann, Beck, and Mike Huckabee, too.
Then there’s just about everything Glenn Beck says — the man is anti-semitic, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, you name it. He seems to adore comparing any little slight against himself or Fox News to the Holocaust. If his manicurist slips up an causes discomfort, she’s probably accused of being Mengele in disguise, or at least a descendant of his. He has stooped so low as to attack the president’s children and refer to the First Lady as the president’s “Baby Mama.” Anyone who cares to do so can find plenty of videos of him anywhere, but I refuse to link to them. I don’t think there are any clips in which he opens his mouth that aren’t offensive.
Matthew Vadum is a columnist who is extremely supportive of the Tea Party. He recently published an article claiming that “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American”, equating voter registration to giving the poor “burglary tools.”
By the way, if you haven’t seen all the signs carried at Tea Party rallies depicting the President as a monkey, or a witch doctor, or Hitler, then you haven’t been paying attention. There are plenty of places where I could find more, but I’ve had enough more than enough exposure to nastiness for one day.
Anyone who reads this post can no longer say that they’ve never heard of anyone associated with Tea Party saying hateful things, or that they’re not aware of anything that President Obama has accomplished during his presidency.
Current Mood: Angry
Georgia Senate threatens dismantling of USA
They really did, by a vote of 43 – 1. On April 1, but it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke.
The resolution goes on to endorse the theory that states have the right to abridge constitutional freedoms of religion, press and speech. According to the resolution, it is up to the states to decide â€œhow far the licentiousness of speech and of the press may be abridged.â€
Finally, the resolution states that if Congress, the president or federal courts take any action that exceeds their constitutional powers, the Constitution is rendered null and void and the United States of America is officially disbanded. As an example, the resolution specifically states that if the federal government enacts â€œprohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition,â€ the country is disbanded.
You better believe that I’m writing to our state senator right away. Yes, this nonsense was slipped in on day 39 of the 40 day legislative session, but that is absolutely no excuse. Our representatives have no business voting for anything they haven’t thoroughly read, understood, and debated. That’s their job!
Yet another reason I don’t want to live in Georgia any more. I seriously think this is a backlash against our election of a black Democrat to the presidency. I’m looking at blue states now.
Posted by Cyn | Filed under News
Knoxville, Tennessee — An unemployed man accused of opening fire with a shotgun and killing two people at a Unitarian church apparently targeted the congregation out of hatred for its support of liberal social policies, police said Monday.
That makes a lot of sense. This whackjob is unhappy because he lost his job, gets a letter saying he’s losing his food stamps too, and instead of blaming the Republicans who have been in charge of the country for the past eight years, he trots off to the nearest UUA congregation and opens fire during a children’s performance.
Two people are dead, one because he gave his life in an attempt to save others. Five more are injured – no children, at least.
What did those people do to upset the homegrown terrorist?
The Unitarian-Universalist church promotes progressive social work, including advocacy of women and gay rights. The Knoxville congregation also has provided sanctuary for political refugees, fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its Web site.
Goodness. How upsetting. Obviously, they caused him to lose his trucking job. Yep. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Sam Harris’ views on religion make more sense every day.
Wag the Dog, anyone?
There have always existed three ways of keeping the people loving and loyal. One is to leave them alone, to trust them and not to interfere. This plan, however, has very seldom been practised, because the politicians regard the public as a cow to be milked, and something must be done to make it stand quiet.
So they try Plan Number Two, which consists in hypnotizing the public by means of shows, festivals, parades, prizes and many paid speeches, sermons and editorials, wherein and whereby the public is told how much is being done for it, and how fortunate it is in being protected and wisely cared for by its divinely appointed guardians. Then the band strikes up, the flags are waved, three passes are made, one to the right and two to the left; and we, being completely under the hypnosis, hurrah ourselves hoarse.
Plan Number Three is a very ancient one and is always held back to be used in case Number Two fails. It is for the benefit of the people who do not pass readily under hypnotic control. If there are too many of these, they have been known to pluck up courage and answer back to the speeches, sermons and editorials. Sometimes they refuse to hurrah when the bass-drum plays, in which case they have occasionally been arrested for contumacy and contravention by stocky men, in wide-awake hats, who lead the strenuous life. This Plan Number Three provides for an armed force that shall overawe, if necessary, all who are not hypnotized. The army is used for two purposesâ€”to coerce disturbers at home, and to get up a war at a distance, and thus distract attention from the troubles near at hand. Napoleon used to say that the only sure cure for internal dissension was a foreign war: this would draw the disturbers away, on the plea of patriotism, so they would win enough outside loot to satisfy them, or else they would all get killed, it really didn’t matter much; and as for loot, if it was taken from foreigners, there was no sin.
A careful analyst might here say that Plan Number Three is only a variation of Plan Number Twoâ€”the end being gained by hypnotic effects in either event, for the army is conscripted from the people to use against the people, just as you turn steam from a boiler into the fire-box to increase the draft. …
The passage is by Elbert Hubbard, from Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. XIV: Great Musicians, Chapter 8: “Ludwig van Beethoven”. I can’t honestly see what it has to do with Beethoven in particular, but perhaps that would become clear in context.