Eric Cantor lost his primary? Pigs are flying. The deed was done by a first time candidate, an economics professor who pretty much ran on immigration (he’s not for it). He had lottsa support from . . . wait for it . . . the Tea Party. (Actually, he may not be ‘of’ them, but was popular with them for what it’s worth.)
An amateur took down the (presumed) next Speaker of the House. Holy hobby
Tea Party hero “Joe the Plumber” (name’s not really Joe and he never was a plumber) has a new job. At Chrysler. Which could hire him because they didn’t go out of business in 2009 after, you know, that socialist ‘rescue package’ from the Feds saved their baby bottoms. Also, it’s a union shop – Joe is now a member of the UAW.
“In order to work for Chrysler, you are required to join the Union, in this case UAW. There’s no choice – it’s a union shop – the employees voted to have it that way and in America that’s the way it is,” he wrote.
Can’t wait till Neil Cavuto has him back on the program at FOX.
Just had an email from Brian, Canadian citizen – he admires the US in many ways, but has always been puzzled by our odd attitudes on medical care. Now he is also worried:
we’ll be in FL by Nov. 17th. for another VT season…people in this country and our contacts in the UK are flabbergasted by the way your govt. is doing such damage to itself and its economy…big investors here such as our multi-billion dollar pension plans are starting to shy away from the US markets due to the volatility screwing up all their actuarial tables…how can such a small group of racist tea partiers take over so dramatically?
And so it goes . . .
Ezra Klein today in his Wonkblog:
Robert Costa is the National Review’s Washington editor and one of the best-sourced reporters among House Republicans. Like many others, I’ve relied on his reporting in recent days about how House Republicans are strategizing around the government shutdown. But it left me with some questions, particularly around Speaker John Boehner’s strategy. We spoke by phone this afternoon, and a lightly edited transcript follows.
I found the interview informative. Here’s a small outtake:
EK: But why isn’t it [a clean resolution or a “CR”] an option? A few dozen unhappy members is an annoyance, but how is it a threat? Wouldn’t Boehner be better off just facing them down and then moving on with his speakership?
RC: So there are 30 to 40 true hardliners. But there’s another group of maybe 50 to 60 members who are very much pressured by the hardliners. So he may have the votes on paper. But he’d create chaos. It’d be like fiscal cliff level chaos. You could make the argument that if he brought a clean CR to the floor he might have 100-plus with him on the idea. But could they stand firm when pressured by the 30 or 40 hardliners and the outside groups?
Rep. Steve King . . . did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape [and] signaled he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
In any personal way? Open to discussion?
Prediction: Romney will rue the day . . .
Posted in abortion, Congress critters, feminism, Government, History, Politics, religion, Tea Party
Tagged abortion, christian right, Politics, religion, Steven King, tea party, The Scarlett Letter, Todd Akin, women
I was wrong. I thought Romney would bypass Ryan. He’s from Congress – a body with an 11% approval rate. He voted with Bush on Medicare D. His budget is unpopular. He’s aligned with the Tea Party. He’s a Randian.
HIs appeal is narrow, but he will energize a segment of the Republican electorate with a pretty good record of getting the vote out.
Ryan closed his speech with ‘We will be America’s comeback team’. Good line, very good line. If they’re tuned in, that phrase should become central to the campaign from now on.
Posted in 2012 Elections, Congress critters, language, Politics, Romney
Tagged Ayn Rand, economy, elections, Paul Ryan, Politics, Romney, tea party, Veep pick
Okay. Choosing Palin was bold. Her Convention acceptance speech, to tens of thousands of Republicans who had never even heard of her, was a knockout. I watched it live and was stunned. She was hot. The faithful fell in love, the media as one dropped to their knees and thanked their respective deities. There was rejoicing in the land.
For a while. And then the cringe began inside the McCain campaign, and it spread. It spread.
Fast forward to 2012 convention time. Now, depending on where you sit in the Republican party (fringe? insurgent? terrified establishment-type?), Palin is poison or the savior.
Last week, reporting was that Palin would be granted B-list status at the convention and the campaign was dearly hoping she wouldn’t come at all. There was even talk – frivolous probably – that she’d have a shadow convention just to ‘stick it to them’ and feed the beast.
But that was before Ted Cruz, who is going to be the next Senator from Texas. Cruz is a new kind of Tea Party Republican: informed, capable, well-educated, attractive, terrific speaker – a credible candidate, a serious person.
So even though Romney’s people would despair at the idea of being forced to give Palin a prime speaking slot, it’s not as easy a decision as it was last week.
The conventional wisdom has been that Romney chooses Portman, Paultenty or possibly Ryan. (I’ve called it Portman.) Ryan could excite the base, but that would put the Ryan budget front and center and give Obama a really juicy bit to run against.
So what to do? The Palin decision must be made and a veep must be chosen. Might there be a way to have one over-shadow the other?
What if they brought in a shinier toy? What about out-McCain’ing McCain? Is there be a stealth candidate, a better-than-Palin, who could electrify the race?
Wouldn’t that be fun?
Meet Ted Cruz. The new Marco Rubio, but smarter. He’s a Harvard educated Tea Partier and once clerked for William Rehnquist. Slightly contradictory but hardly insubstantial credentials.
The story is at Politico; here’s some commentary from Think Progress, which is not enthusiastic:
. . . his considerable intellect is rivaled by his very poor judgment. Here are just five of the most revealing windows into Cruz’ Tea Party worldview:
1) Believes George Soros Leads A UN conspiracy To Eliminate Golf: . . . Cruz lays the blame for this global anti-golf conspiracy at the feet of a well-known Tea Party boogieman — “The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros.”
2) Wants To Gut Social Security: In an interview with the Texas Tribune Cruz labeled Social Security a “ponzi scheme” and outlined a three-step plan to gut this essential program. (And, surprise!, he wants to privatize it.)
3) Wants To Party Like It’s 1829: The Constitution provides that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land,” and thus cannot be nullified by rogue state lawmakers. Cruz, however, co-authored an unconstitutional proposal claiming two or more states could simply ignore the Constitution’s command and nullify the Affordable Care Act so long as they work together. . . Cruz falsely claimed that states do not need to meet these Constitutional requirements to undermine laws they don’t like.
4) Is An Islamophobe: . . . claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in this country.
5) Campaigned On How He Helped Texas Kill A Mexican: “Cruz fought all the way to the Supreme Court” after “the UN and World Court overruled a Texas jury’s verdict to execute an illegal alien.”. . . the case Cruz won had nothing to do with whether Texas had the authority . . . it concerned whether Texas could defy a treaty requiring it to inform foreign nationals who are arrested of their right “to request assistance from the consul of his own state.” Even North Korea honored this treaty that Cruz fought to undermine.
So, more good fun ahead.
The Sunlight Foundation has published a (seriously wonky) report that measures the grade levels at which our congress critters speak. Their study covers 1996 to this 112th Congress, in both the House and Senate. It’s getting a bit of notice around the buhlogospheric-system and deservedly so. Fascinating stuff.
They say that congressional speech has dropped a full grade level in that period, with Tea Party freshman accounting for much of the most recent decline. (Which Senator speaks at the lowest grade level? Can you guess? Rand Paul bitches!)
The whole thing is here and there are a few interesting sidebars on their blog as well. I don’t think it’s at all clear from the study (I did say it’s wonky) if the change has any significant effect on clarity or successful communication, which after all, is the point of language. But even if utility is unaffected . . .
This grabbed my attention.
Today’s Congress speaks at about a 10.6 grade level, down from 11.5 in 2005. By comparison, the U.S. Constitution is written at a 17.8 grade level, the Federalist Papers at a 17.1 grade level, and the Declaration of Independence at a 15.1 grade level. . . .
Posted in Blogsphere, Congress critters, education, Government, History, language, Meet the 112th!, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged congress, education, language, literacy, Politics, tea party
So the Tea Party and Dick Armey and Karl Rove and all the Koch money and the poor souls who think they’re well served by being ground troops for this crowd did it, they got rid of Lugar. He just wasn’t pure enough.
A Lugar loss marks a sea change in both Indiana and Washington, where Lugar has long played the role of Republican wise man, a sober internationalist who could reach across the aisle to solve difficult problems.
In today’s political climate, however, Lugar’s bipartisan leanings were part of his undoing — and the defeat of the man Richard Nixon once called “America’s mayor” when he led Indianapolis will send chills down the spines of fellow GOP incumbents seeking reelection in states where a conservative insurrection is possible.
Posted in 2012 Elections, campaign finance, Civics, Congress critters, corporate power, History, partisanship, Politics, Right wing talk machine, talk radio, Tea Party
Tagged elections, news, partisanship, Politics, Richard Lugar, tea party
Frank alerted me to this. I just don’t know what to say.
From Kay this morning:
If my Irish father were still alive, he’d be bursting with pride in Irish President Michael D. Higgins. As am I – for both his sentiments and because he speaks in clear full sentences and doesn’t pause for applause, something that is absent in our country today. Our public political languages are now Bumpersticker and Gasbaggery. We have no orators.
I especially like his outrage at our moral failure regarding health care.
Posted in Civics, Glenn Beck, Government, health care, Media, Politics, Right wing talk machine, talk radio, Tea Party
Tagged Civics, history, Media, Politics, tea party
POSTED BY ORHAN
By Jonathan Larsen and Ken Olshansky, MSNBC TV
A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”
The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.
CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead. Continue reading
Posted in 2012 Elections, broken government, corporate power, From Orhan's Perch, Occupy Wall Street, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged Democrats, MSNBC, Occupy Wall Street, Republicans, tea party
Remember this guy? Such good times. Looks like the invitations have thinned out since over the years (via Wikipedia).
2009: In January , Wurzelbacher began work as a motivational speaker and commentator. His first assignment was to comment from Israel on the fighting between the Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas, focusing on the Israeli experience of the conflict. On February 26, Wurzelbacher spoke at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference), where he led a panel titled “conservatism 2.0”. On February 27, he spoke at the American Tea Party protest in Lafayette Park. In March, Wurzelbacher attended two conferences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, first speaking to the “Conservative Young Professionals of Milwaukee,” and then at the “Defending the American Dream Summit.” On April 15, he spoke at the Michigan Tax Day Tea Party in Lansing. On May 6, 2009, Wurzelbacher appeared at a campaign event on behalf of New Jersey Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Lonegan. In May 2009, Time magazine reported that Wurzelbacher was quitting the Republican Party. On September 19 he spoke at a Tea Party protest at Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee.
2010: In February Wurzelbacher attended a political event for Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer. Speaking to a reporter afterwards, Wurzelbacher said that “McCain was trying to use [him]”, and accused McCain of having “really screwed [Wurzelbacher’s] life up”.
2011: In Wisconsin, in February, he spoke at a counter-demonstration, during protests against governor Scott_Walker.Walker’s attempts to abolish collective bargaining rights of some public employees.
I’ll bet every single Maricopa County AZ taxpayer is just thrilled with how old Sheriff J0e spends his time (and their money).
Infamous Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio . . . announced a five-person “Cold Case Posse” that will delve into the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate. The posse follows a request by the Surprise, Arizona Tea Party, who. . . believe that the long-form birth certificate released by President Obama in April – which put the issue to rest for pretty much everyone – could be a forgery . . . “If a complaint is legitimate, I don’t dump it into the wastebasket,” Arpaio said.
Go get ’em Joe.
Am I the only one choking on the word ‘Republican’ these days? Eisenhower was a Republican. Nixon and Reagan were Republicans. Gerry Ford was a Republican. George H.W. Bush was a Republican. Not one of them – not one (ummm, maybe Nixon) – would have stood for the truly degenerate behavior of the audiences at the two recent debates. In the first one, when Brian Williams asked Perry if he had any hesitations signing death orders for 234 people, the audience erupted with gleeful applause as soon as Williams said 234. I posted the video here and said that it broke my heart.
Duane at The Erstwhile Conservative (a fine writer by the way) tells us today:
Patti Davis, the daughter of conservatism’s number one icon, said she remembered the first time her father, governor of California, had to order a state execution:
“He and a minister went into a room, got down on their knees and prayed.”
He also points to this from Reagan’s tombstone:
. . . there is purpose and worth to each and every life
(I think Reagan’s politics hurt this country. Deeply wounded us. But I’ve read his letters and know that he was also a man of personal grace and humility.)
Last night I recoiled in shame and horror when the debate audience topped the earlier cheering for executions. Here’s more from Duane on that subject:
Paul’s answer, which essentially was that such an unfortunate fellow [very ill with no insurance] should rely on volunteers and churches for his care, was drowned out by shouts of “Let him die!” from the Republican debate-watching crowd.
I’m reminded of former congressman Alan Grayson’s presentation on the House floor in 2009:
“If you get sick in America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly.”
Yeah, I remember that too.
Posted in 2012 Elections, Civics, health care, History, Politics, Rick Perry, Tea Party
Tagged 2012 elections, Alan Grayson, Capital punishment, GOP debate, health care, Politics, republican, Rick Perry, tea party
- We built this and it built the Southwest
Duane Graham has a very insightful post on the Obama Speech over at The Erstwhile Conservative (for those of you who don’t know him, he’s in Joplin and wrote very movingly of the devastation that city suffered from the tornadoes a few months back.)
He liked this part of Obama’s speech (and I agree – it had real power):
OBAMA: We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party. But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future — a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad — (applause) — launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges. (Applause.) And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.
Ask yourselves — where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?
How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip? What kind of country would this be if this chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do? (Applause.) How many Americans would have suffered as a result?
In his own voice, Duane adds:
Recently I heard a story about the eventual deterioration of important National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites, which provide stunningly accurate forecasts of major weather events. In its Tea Party-inspired wisdom, Congress has more than cut in half the funding for the maintenance and upgrading of those types of satellites.
What a small country we are becoming. We struggle to pay for weather satellites, for God’s sake.
A post and discussion downstream touches on the same subject. Here.
Posted in broken government, Civics, Congress critters, economy, Government, History, Meet the 112th!, Obama, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged congress, economy, infrastructure, NOAA, tea party
A Tea Partier at an Obama ‘town hall’ gathering, asked a question – out of turn! He may have had a confrontational tone but in fact was at most just being rude. So here’s the story in a national newspaper. (Video at the link is of the follow-up conversation between Obama and the Tea Party guy.) The headline read:
Obama clashes with Tea Party member
Come on guys; there is actual news out there.
Don’t tell the Tea Party caucus who, along with Grover Norquist and a cabal (yes, cabal) of soulless financiers who crave power and hate taxes, that when they dream of a balanced budget and call for a return to our ‘founding principles’, they only reveal ignorance of American history. In Salon, William Hogeland points out that The Founding Fathers would have hated the debt ceiling.
The Constitution came about precisely to enable a newly large government — a national one — to tax all Americans for the specific purpose of funding a large public debt. Neither Alexander Hamilton nor his mentor the financier Robert Morris made any bones about that purpose; James Madison was among their closest allies; and Edmund Randolph of Virginia opened the Constitutional Convention by charging the delegates to redress the country’s failure to fund — not pay off, fund — the public debt, by creating a national government.
Beginning during the War of Independence, and continuing throughout the 1780s, American nationalists committed themselves to a small class of upscale high financiers (largely identical with the American nationalists), who had bought bonds from the confederation Congress in hopes of earning regular, tax-free, 6 percent interest payments — not in the Congress’s crashing paper currency but in hard, cold metal or its equivalent, stable bills of exchange. Morris, Hamilton, Madison and others believed that swelling the debt to immense proportions would make a coherent nation out of 13 squabbling states and make that nation a player on the world economic stage. Their plan to do so depended partly on making military-officer pay a pension, thus turning the entire officer class into public bondholders — and giving Congress new power to tax all Americans to support that debt.
But they are certain of their righteousness (as defined by right-wing Christian Evangelicals and FOX News) and will fight on, financed by those whose allegiance is not to any nation, much less our own.
Posted in broken government, Civics, corporate power, economy, Government, History, Plutocrats, Politics, taxes, Tea Party
Tagged Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, government, Grover Norquist, national debt, Taxes, tea party
In the Wall Street Journal‘s editoriall this morning, we find much admiration for the debt deal (natch), much damning of damn liberals (it’s their job after all), and much admiration for the Tea Party success (political porn).
But there was also this little tidbit:
The same supposedly conservative Republicans and their talk radio minders may denounce this deal as a sellout, but we’ll be charitable and assume they’ve climbed so far out on the political ledge they don’t know how to climb back without admitting they were wrong.
Ventured into Limbaugh land in the car today, just in time to hear him launch into a passionate defense of the Tea Party die-hards.
“This is what the 2010 election was all about! Cutting spending, that was the deal!”
This stuff just writes itself.
UPDATE: In comments, Ojmo brings attention to David Frum, who listened to some of the same show. Here.
The Democratic Party is still trying to shake association with the student demonstrators, war protestors, flower children and the more radical leftists of the late 60’s and early 70’s. That ‘commie, hippie’ label comes from that long ago time – from events of 40 years ago.
I look at the Republican party today and wonder if they’ll pay a similar price for embracing the Tea Party, the birthers, the creationists and the rancid religious right. Could this be their 60’s? I wonder if indeed they’ll pay a price – and for how long.
In fact, I wonder if they’ll survive the 2012 elections. If the conservative electorate is splintered enough, Democrats could get to pick up the pieces at all levels.
Posted in 2012 Elections, Civics, elections, Government, History, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged Democratic Party, elections, partisanship, Politics, religious right, Republican Party, tea party
The combination of a growing (and splintered) libertarian movement (which sort of includes much of the Tea Party) with the ethnic and racial demographic shifts underway and we could be looking at a ‘tipping point’ for the survival of the Republican Party. Imagine what the political landscape would look like if that Party collapsed in the next five or so years. I think it’s possible.
There’s a great story in The National Journal that looks at how the demographic impact will be evident as soon as the 2012 election. It’s here.
Posted in elections, Government, Politics, race
Tagged 2012, demographic shift in the US, demographics, elections, National Journal, Politics, tea party, The Republican Party
Those little boys and girls walking into the hall with their parents won’t forget this. And as they get older, some of them may be receptive to the whisperings of the radicals. In case you can’t hear it, the crowd is yelling ‘Go home!”, “Mohammed was a terrorist”, “Get out of here” and a few other neighborly words.
Hang in for the local official at 1:27 – now that’s leadership!
Christine O’Donnell, newly anointed tea party star, when not running for the Senate (three times a charm!) has spent a good deal of her life lecturing others about the virtues of chastity and the horrors of sex before marriage. And masturbation is wrong. Also.
But maybe you didn’t know why she came to be so vocal about other people’s morals – it was because she had an evangelical awakening while in college where she was “drinking too much and having sex with guys with whom there wasn’t a strong emotional connection.”
Glad she got a little in when she was able. At least she’ll have the memories.
Look what Sarah Palin and the Tea Party have wrought in thier primary victories. (per Nate Silver)
Delaware is a blue state, and the electoral prospects of Mr. Castle and Ms. O’Donnell there are wildly divergent. Whereas Mr. Castle is nearly a 95 percent favorite against the Democratic nominee, Chris Coons, according to last week’s FiveThirtyEight forecasting model, Ms. O’Donnell would have just a 17 percent chance of winning a race against Mr. Coons.
Another interesting primary night.
From Ballooon Juice tonight:
I’m sure they will be no more extreme than they were 150 years ago. In the 1860 Election the Confederates were against:
Education. Ditto 2010
Federal Spending for infrastructure. Ditto 2010
Help for Free Labor and the working man. Ditto 2010
Federal efforts to reign in the oligarchs of the day. Ditto 2010
The idea that the Constitution guaranteed “personal Liberty”. Ditto 2010
And then as now the Confederate Party uses the memes, rhetoric, scare tactics, and talking points of white supremacy and fear of the ‘others’ to bring the low hanging rubes into their movement.
The Republican Party is dead. It is the Confederate Party now bitches. Get use to it.
Oh, and get ready to party like it’s 1860.