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Posts Tagged ‘TEA Party

America the Stupid!

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There is a growing movement among the Tea Party and the far right to impeach President Obama. Buzzfeed today wrote story about a book, published by World Net Daily which is a far right, conspiracy theory addicted website, that espouses all the reasons why Obama should be impeached.

A new book making the case for the impeachment of President Barack Obama is flying off the shelves, its author said, as the president’s reelection fails to entirely damp down the deep loathing of him on parts of the right.

Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office cites everything from the attack on the American consulate and CIA outpost in Benghazi — which it compares to the Iran Contra scandal in the Reagan years — to the way Obamacare was passed, which the authors say constitutes “taxation without representation.” The book, by WABC radio host Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott, an anti-Obama blogger, also includes American military action in Libya and the Transportation Security Administration’s passenger screenings as impeachable offenses.

The problem for this book and the conspiracy theorists is that all their claims are fallacious or just hypocritical…or far worse. On foreign policy, Obama has continued Bush policies outside of starting wars of choice as Bush did. On internal, domestic spying, Obama continued the policies of Bush’s Administration. On Executive signings, Obama has used that method far less that Bush did…and only within legal and SCOTUS demanded requirements or his legal powers at head of the Administration. On regulations, his record shows he’s enacted fewer regulations than the anti-regulation Bush Administration. On sticking to regulatory timelines, Obama is no more guilty than any other administration. For example, Dodd-Frank is nearly 2 years behind in setting most of its rules yet no one is complaining, but somehow the rules on ACA have to be met on time even when businesses have asked for clarifications and simplification and HHA acceded those requests.

Should I continue?

I hardly think is it necessary. There are lots of reasons why Americans of all flavor dislike Obama. Some are solid and some are idiotically specious. But to those asking for his impeachment, allow me to ask these questions:

1) Would you prefer President Biden? Remember that Biden is far more liberal than Obama. Compared to Biden, Obama is downright conservative. Moreover, Biden’s decades in the Senate would make him a much tougher negotiator. He could very well be an incarnation of LBJ.

2) If you hate the national security state, why do you continue to vote for legislators who voted for the Patriot Act and NDAA? Regardless of what you may think or wish, the President, regardless of party affiliation, must follow the legislation that Congress passes. You don’t like the national security laws, then stop voting for the Congressional legislators who enacted and continually approve of these laws.

3) The whole Bengazi uproar is idiotic. American embassies and consulates throughout the troubled Middle East and Northern Africa have been targets for over two decades. How many American embassies and consulates were targeted and bombed during the GW Bush and Clinton Administrations? The insanity of perverted jehadism will continue regardless of presidential political party affiliation until Arab nations say enough and use their own power, influence and money to end it.

4) If you hate Obama because of his skin color, doesn’t that say more about you than him? I spent many years as a White child and young adult living in the deep South where Racism reigned supreme. It was ugly, cruel, and wrong. God did not differentiate between peoples based on skin color; He differentiated between people based on the moral values of compassion, respect, consideration, thoughtfulness, and consideration. And still does, as Jesus said over and over again.

5) If you think Obama is some kind of hidden Black Panther racist, then why has he excoriated the Black community, and especially Black fathers, over and over again for not meeting their familial obligations and responsibilities while at the same time not saying a word about White guys who run away from their children and responsibilities?

There are a lot of other conspiracy theories I could debunk, but those who deliberately choose to believe them will never be convinced because they adamantly refuse to change their thinking. Reason, rationality, and logic play no part in their lives. Hate is all that matters, for whatever reason.

The last time the US went through this kind of political and social insanity was during the 1930s because people were scared, confused, and became targets of self-indulgent, ego-centric individuals and organizations that played on people’s fears for their own self interest. This time is worse because of the President’s skin color. But skin color is only…skin color. A physiological development, caused by the pigment melanin, as a result of genetic adaption to sunlight over multiple generations. For example, the onlu reason Northern Europeans have light skin color, blue eyes, narrow noses, and light colored hair is because less melanin was required genetically, over thousands of years, to withstand the sun’s rays.

As a result, skin color has less to do with intelligence than adaptation to climate. Given the same economic and social advantages, all races perform the same, as science has proved.

As a result of scientific and social conclusions, it becomes quite clear that the current hatred of Obama has less to do with his policies and more to do with who is he physically and politically. And those are not good enough reasons for impeachment.

The Constitution states that impeachment of a president can only occur because of “High crimes and misdemeanors.” Think about what that phrase means: murder, perversion of governmental, administrative powers for one’s own benefit, lying to Congress on matter of national importance, etc. None of these criteria have occurred under Obama, except perhaps the national security state which can equally be blamed on Congress and Chief Justice Roberts. Would you chose to impeach Roberts for appointing the FISA court justices who approved the warrentless wiretapping? Would you chose to impeach you local representative because he or she approved the Patriot Act or NDAA that allowed such actions to occur?

United States Americans have to clean up their act and start acting responsibly rather than politically. Tribalism destroys countries and societies. That may be why ancient Greeks developed a governing creed based on logic and not only the denial of emotions but the destruction of all emotions.

The far right and far left depend upon emotion over logic. As many problems exist with Stoicism, it still beats the kind of emotional irrationality that dominates today’s political conversation.

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Written by Valerie Curl

August 21, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Money, Power & The American Dream

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Hat tip to one of my Facebook friends, Bruce Bartlett who advised Presidents Reagan and GHW Bush on tax policy, including Reagan’s tax reform of ’86, for letting me know about this video documentary.

The first 20 minutes or so describe the lives and luxury of the uber wealthy. But don’t be deceived into thinking this video is a rant against the wealthy. It’s not.

This video is an expose on how politics and wealth intersect…and how that intersection affects middle and working income and poor families.

This hour-long video needs to be seen by every voter of conscience, from whatever party, before casting their votes. It shows quite clearly how our system is broken, why it’s broken and how beloved nation has begun to fail to live up to its potential. Neither party is spared judgement.

I urge everyone to put aside everything else and take the time to watch the entire video documentary and to think about our nation, her well-being, and all her people before the election.

The US is not, nor has it ever been, pre-Revolutionary France or Russia wherein a few very wealthy held all the power and opportunity while everyone else struggled to survive, thrive and paid all the national bills.

John Winthrop and his Massachusetts colonists created the first free schools because the colonists knew education was vital to economic health, demanded that everyone help those who suffered hardships because doing so was the message of Jesus, and required each family pay a income proportional tax so the colony could pay for its needs and wants. Winthrop believed that only through building a strong, cohesive, educated community could the colony become the shining city on the hill that Reagan and many other politicians have cited rhetorically.

As you can see in this documentary, Winthrop’s dream of a shining city – Jesus’ shining city – is not just under attack but is threatened with having its lights extinguished. Yes, the political system is broken because of money in politics and the wealth that can be made through the use of and manipulation of political power. But much worse is erosion of the traditional social values of social cohesion, caring for the poor, and education of which Winthrop spoke and this nation held for over 300 years.

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. – John F. Kennedy.”

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One of the best economics and political magazines on the market is The Economist. The reason for my belief is that the writers, while having a deeply intimate knowledge of a subject, are outsiders to the U.S political scene. They have no stake in the game and therefore can be honest about what they’re seeing.

So when I read this piece, I thought they might actually be onto something Americans should seriously look at to determine how they’re being manipulated by skilled politicos out to make a name – or a fortune – for themselves:

You’d think a party that attracts voters by calling Islam a backward, totalitarian ideology, openly using the term “rotten Moroccans”, and calling for banning the Koran would have some trouble accusing anybody else of a “hate-campaign”. But they’ve got gumption, they’re smart, and they know how this stuff works. When a far-right party talks about “rotten Moroccans”, they’ll vaguely alienate moderates, and they’ll create solid anger against them amongst people of Moroccan ancestry, who would never have voted for them anyway and who lack the political power to do much about them. On the other hand, they may provoke the Moroccans to call them “racists” or compare them to Nazis. That’s the reaction they’re looking for. Being compared to Nazis has an intense solidifying effect on their own voters; anyone who may have voted for them, or considered voting for them, now feels insulted and aggrieved, and no more moderate right-wing party can provide them with a satisfactory retaliation for what they consider the injustice of having been compared to a Nazi. The dynamic a party…wants to create is us-against-them; comparing them to Nazis helps them solidify that divide and anchor their membership.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking the above paragraph is all about the Tea Party. You’re wrong. It’s about the Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) in Denmark. But the correlation of actions between Tea Party tactics and the PVV are consistent.

I really wonder if Tea Party members, with its “birther” and anti-immigration movements, really want to be perceived as America’s PVV? Or if like Geert Wilders, it’s national leaders aren’t out for themselves.

Again, for a far-right political movement, this stuff is pure gold. The sense of aggrievement felt by tea-party adherents and sympathisers at the accusation of racism is very similar to that felt by PVVers at any hint of a reference to Nazism. The involvement of government subsidies provides the hook one needs to turn this into a public issue. The fact that one executive* of the organisation says he thinks the tea-party movement is racist becomes the trigger not just for an offensive against an organisation unfriendly to hard-right ideology, but for a further solidification of the us-versus-them recruiting strategy. (“See? The liberal media thinks we’re racists.”)

*NOTE: The James O’Keefe (highly edited) video has been thoroughly discredited by none other than Blaze, the online news magazine of FOX News’ Glenn Beck.

Written by Valerie Curl

March 17, 2011 at 5:04 PM

And You Thought National Politics Was About the People

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ThinkProgress, a liberal news organization, reported on the newly confirmed GOP majority assumption of the House. What I’ve been wondering and concerned about ever since reading of the huge donations from corporate America, thanks to Citizens United, was if the newly elected GOP would be working for me or for their uber rich contributors. Guess I have my answer today.

Tea Party Billionaire David Koch Entertains Newly Elected Republicans On The First Day Of The New Congress

Today, as Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was sworn in as the Speaker of the House for the 112th Congress, ThinkProgress witnessed aBillionaire David Koch of Koch Enterprises group of Koch Industries lobbyists entering the Capitol along with members of Congress and their families. Tim Phillips, a former business partner to Jack Abramoff who now leads the Koch front group Americans for Prosperity, was with Nancy Pfotenhauer, a former corporate lobbyist for Koch Industries. ThinkProgress learned that David Koch, the polluter billionaire who has bankrolled groups organizing the Tea Parties and much of the modern conservative movement, was also in attendance in the Capitol for Boehner’s swearing-in event.

After the ceremony, David Koch walked up to Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) — a freshman Republican Koch helped to elect using his front group, Americans for Prosperity — and asked him to confirm that he will be attending a party that Koch is hosting for Republicans. Guinta said he would be at the party, which began at 5:00pm today.

Koch has been one of the most active players in Republican politics in the Obama era. His group Americans for Prosperity helped orchestrate much of the Tea Party movement; he funds many of the top conservative think tanks, like Heritage and the American Legislative Exchange Council; and, he also ran tens of millions of dollars in attack ads to elect the new Republican Congress. As ThinkProgress reported, Koch convened a secret meeting of top business leaders — mostly bankers, industrialists, and oil men — to meet with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Glenn Beck to plan the midterm election in June 2010.

ThinkProgress also spoke to Mr. Koch, and will post a video of the interview soon.

Written by Valerie Curl

January 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Learning from Charles Dickens….

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When Dickens wrote the Christmas Carol, Britain’s Parliament was dominated by faction that believed in an economic philosophy we now describe as “trickle down economics.” As far as I’ve been able to discern, the mid-1800s is the first time this economic philosophy was put into effect, more than a century before it was tried again during the Reagan administration.

It failed Britain’s working class as well as the many thousands of Irish who perished during the potato famine – just as it failed during Reagan and Bush 2.

Without a strong working class, the twin evils of ignorance and want are set loose upon the world, causing hunger, ignorance and want of basic necessities…and far too much misery for those who want to work and care for their families.

Most of us are far too young to remember conditions during and prior to the Great Depression. But the early scenes of Dickens “Christmas Carol” offer a brief glimpse into the conditions facing working class people, then and now. Do you remember poor houses? “Old folks homes” where seniors were warehoused and forgotten? Children removed from their poor families to be given away to families thousands of miles away, potentially as nothing more than indentured servants. Likely not. But conditions then were not pretty; they were far away from the United States we know today.

Is that the America to which we wish to return? An era of broken families, of hunger and want, of neglected and forgotten seniors?

Yet, much of the recent Tea Party/GOP rhetoric would have the U.S. return to that earlier, Dickens’ era.

Dickens was the probably the premier social commentator of his time, along with Jonathan Swift. However, this country appears to have forgotten the lessons of these early social commentators.

Earlier generations learned from their past: the Great Depression era programs saved many families – and seniors – from the prospects of workhouses, family destruction, and old folks warehouses.

I do not think the TEA/GOP know whereof they speak. And for that I am heartily ashamed.

Would a Divided Government, At This Time, Resolve Our Challenges?

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Sarah Palin - Jim DeMint, TEA Party leadersUnder normal economic conditions, I would agree that a divided Congress works best for the country as it modifies the extremes of both parties, thereby guaranteeing policies that work best of the populace and for business. However, we are not in normal economic conditions. Yes, the country needs a Congress in which the extremes of the majority is moderated by the minority. But right now, it appears that partisan politics is playing a larger role than is good for the country.

As a result of our “global competition deficit” which has been fostered by both parties,

-we have a tax system that requires a major overhaul to foster increased global competitiveness;

-a financial system that is still out of control and fails to understand its role in society and business;

– a health care system, regardless of the new ACA, that still eats up 17% of GDP, hampering business;

-$500 Billion/yr in tax payer subsidies to legacy highly profitable corporations and industry sectors at the expense of new businesses;

-a continuing decline of the manufacturing sector within the US which prohibits non-college graduates from obtaining jobs and participating in the growth of the economy;

-a decline in infrastructure that is not only physically dangerous but also greatly reduces global business competitiveness;

-an educational system that has been in decline (the US ranks lower than Kurdistan and something like 11th in innovation and R&D);

-an inequality of income between the top 1% and the vast majority of the middle class that makes the conditions prior to the French Revolution appear on par with now;

– and an inability to foster new businesses to meet the needs of the 21st Century and global climate change.

Gridlock will not solve these problems. Two years of Congress playing “Is it Constitutional?” or not will not put the American people back to work, increase tax revenues, rebuild the middle class, or solve our fiscal problems or global competitiveness. What most probably will occur, as a result of all the ideologically-speaking odd TEA party candidates being voted into office, is an accelerated stagnation of the economy and loss of global competition.

If Republican had put forth serious minded candidates, rather than ideological extremes, then I would have greater confidence in a divided government as a divided government often improves policy. In this particular case, I do not have that confidence, regardless of whether or not Obama wins in 2012…because Obama winning in 2012 is the least of my concerns.

My concern is our nation and our people in a world in which global competition can make or break an economy. I do not see, at present, Republicans being serious about this threat to our national economy.

Written by Valerie Curl

October 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Donald Duck meets Glenn Beck

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I know there are some people who will view this video and say, “Right on, Beck!,” while others will laugh at the satire. Which are you?

Off and on throughout the last 10 years or so of Glenn Beck’s rise from HLN (a CNN station) host to the Star of Fox News, my occasional viewing of his shows has seen his move from the right to the preposterous.

Excerpts from Washington Post political columnist Dana Milbank’s new book and the Mark Leibovich profile in the New York Times Magazine provide far better in depth profiles of Glenn Beck than I ever could.

Anyone with more than a smattering of historical knowledge and economics research understands that Beck’s analyses are full of critical thinking holes, incomplete information, and occasionally outright deceptions.

But, hey, he’s making millions each year playing the same “clown” he did on the radio in his earlier years. Unfortunately, he’s not learned to really study and read before opening his mouth. Each of his pronouncements, including his ideological views from discredited author, W. Cleon Skousen, is based on one single book authored by a single conservative author. Nothing more. No additonal reading. No more in depth study. Nothing but that one, single book.

That’s hardly good research for understanding a political thought or political era. For example, in attempting to understand the Elizabethan era, I must have read a dozen or more books, ranging from her biography to politics to Elizabethan society to both the eras before and after Elizabeth I. And, yet, I would no where near consider myself an expert on Elizabeth I.

In other words, you cannot understand politics and the economy without understanding viewpoints from all sides as well as the societial makeup of the era. There’s so much more to understanding an historical context than reading one book.

So, how can Beck consider himself an expert on any subject based on reading a single book on a subject?

As this Donald Duck cartoon illustrates, Beck, continuing his life long pattern, fools those who follow him to his own advantage…because he had no real answers and no real learning. He’s still the “clown.”

Written by Valerie Curl

October 3, 2010 at 6:19 PM

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