The tea party is is made up of puppets being run by an elite group to serve their needs and not the needs of the people
By: SayNoToTea, 5:50 PM GMT on August 31, 2011
USA Today: Tea party freshmen pushing legislation to help campaign donors
USA Today releases a "review of legislative and campaign records" that shows freshmen lawmakers "are pushing legislation that could benefit some of their most generous campaign contributors." For example:
Five months after taking office, Rep. Stephen Fincher, a cotton farmer from a mostly rural swath of Tennessee, introduced a bill to mandate swift federal approval of genetically modified crops for commercial sale. Fincher has received more campaign money from agribusiness than any other industry.
Here's another: Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) is pushing a bill to help the mining industry avoid EPA regulation:
In the first six months of this year, the mining industry has contributed more than $176,000 to McKinley's re-election effort — nearly double the amount he received from those interests in the two years leading up the 2010 election.
And let's not forget Rep. Sean "Strugglin' on $174k" Duffy (R-WI):
Duffy, who gets a significant portion of his campaign funds from financial services companies, is the lead sponsor of a measure that would dilute the powers of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Thanks to those lawmakers and others like them:
House freshmen collected $37.2 million during the first six months of the year, a 34.3% jump over the campaign money raised by new House lawmakers at the same point in the 2010 election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission data.
A third of the donations this year to House freshmen who have joined the Tea Party caucus came from political action committees, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
With priorities like this, is it any wonder that tea party ratings are now at an all-time low?
By: SayNoToTea, 3:46 PM GMT on August 30, 2011
This is scary!
Hurricane Irene a message from God, says Bachmann
August 31, 2011
Michele Bachmann. Photo: Reuters
WASHINGTON: Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told supporters God was sending a message to Washington politicians through the earthquake and hurricane that pummelled the US east coast this weekend, it was reported in the St Petersburg Times.
The hurricane killed more than 26 people, including at least two children.
While giving a speech about the merits of small government and Tea Party activism, Ms Bachmann said: ''I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein-in the spending.'
By: SayNoToTea, 4:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2011
McCain’s Daughter: Tea Party Movement is Racist
February 9, 2010
According to Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain, the Tea Party is chock full of racists. Once again appearing on the View, McCain slammed the Tea Party movement, said young people are “turned off” by its “innate racism,” and attacked Sarah Palin, the washed up former vice presidential candidate who was appointed to lead the hijacked Tea Party movement by the Republicans and the corporate media. Palin has called for attacking Iran and has put her support behind Texas governor Rick Perry.
McCain criticized Tom Tancredo, who called for a literacy test for voters during the $500 admission Tea Party fest in Nashville last week. Tancredo is a dyed-in-the-wool neocon Republican and a former member of the House of Representatives from Colorado’s 6th congressional district. He not only believes in undeclared wars that violate Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution, but also suggested in 2005 that it would be OK to wipe the Muslim holy city of Mecca off the map in response to al-Qaeda.
“People who would not even spell the word vote or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House… named Barack Hussein Obama,” Tancredo told the those gathered at the Republican Tea Party convention.
By: SayNoToTea, 3:25 PM GMT on August 25, 2011
Rick Scott just loves Florida’s seniors and kids-yeah right
By Natasha Dowdy Gordon
Originally posted 8/25/2011
Thanks to Governor Rick Scott and his Republican run state legislature, the state of Florida has refused to accept millions of dollars in federal funds intended for needy Floridians. While Rick Scott and his Republican cronies enjoy their subsidized healthcare plans, they turned down money for the disabled, the elderly who can’t afford medicine, and aid for dying children in need of end of life care from Hospice.
The refusal of this funding netted zero gains for the state of Florida as it did not save the state any money, but it did help to further the Republican and Tea Party agenda in the state, as it proved what Republicans in the state had been insisting all along, and that is, that they want absolutely nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Conservative leaders all over the country have issues with Obamacare. As many have stated that when given the chance, they will repeal it, but despite their open hatred of President Obama and Obamacare, lawmakers are still ready and willing to accept funding to help the needy in their states. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers, along with Rick Scott, have either refused to apply for, turned down, or have given back more than $50 million in funds which could have helped elderly people in the state of Florida remain in their homes during their final days and provide support to dying children.
There are a couple of twists to this story. Rick Scott, House Speaker Dean Cannon, and their Republican and Tea Party Posse are actually sending away money that they once wanted and had requested, that is until Republicans decided to wage a full and frontal attack on Obamacare, and it suddenly became a modern day variation of the Bubonic Plague. At some point, Florida legislators thought that their state could benefit from funds generated by Obama care. If that was not the case, why on earth did they request it in the first place?
The final and perhaps the most despicable twist in this whole story is the fact that not all of the money authorized by Obamacare was turned away, as $2 million was accepted to promote abstinence programs. While terminally ill children are in need of Hospice care, Rick Scott and friends have decided that while they absolutely refuse to provide them or their families comfort, they will, however, help to ensure that they are still virgins when they get to the promised land.
State representative Mike Horner and House Speaker Cannon said that it was okay to accept the abstinence money because it came from a rider to the bill, and not Obamacare itself. In so far as legal rang lings go, riders and letters of understanding are indeed parts of whatever agreement, contract, or legislation that they are attached to.
It is a very sad state of affairs when politics takes precedence over taking care of the disabled, the elderly and terminally ill children. Currently Florida has the largest populations of uninsured and elderly in the country.
By: SayNoToTea, 1:58 PM GMT on August 24, 2011
• If you believe in doing something about those pesky "socialist programs" but complain you haven't received a Social Security raise for the last few years, you might be a TEA BAGGER.
• If you believe Obama shouldn't ride in that Secret Service-bought, Canadian-made bus and believe American bus manufacturers use only 100 percent USA-made parts, you might be a TEA BAGGER.
• If you believe "corporations are people too," but shouldn't pay any federal income taxes like the rest of us working stiffs, you might be a TEA BAGGER.
• If you believe the tea party isn't simply the Republicans with a new name, you might be a TEA BAGGER.
• If you believe the Fox News columnists who get their articles printed on these blogs aren't making money off of you with all those books, shirts and trinkets they peddle, you might be a TEA BAGGER.
• If you have the one-party, imperialist view that only you, the tea party and the Republicans are right about everything and the rest of us are always wrong, you might be a TEA BAGGER.
By: SayNoToTea, 12:52 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
An Aside: Ones ability to cut and paste does not merit political expert status.
Tea Party ‘Terrorists’ Hate Name-Calling, Except When They Do It
Jon Ponder | Aug. 17, 2011
As he shook hands on a rope line during his tour of the upper Midwest, Pres. Obama was accosted by a pair of tea partyists, who berated him because they did not like being called “economic terrorists” during the debt ceiling debacle that their representatives in Congress engineered last month.
Rather than confronting them — “We’ll stop calling you economic terrorists when you stop taking the U.S. economy hostage,” he might have said — the president was much more polite, of course. Via David Weigel, here’s a transcript of the exchange:
TEA BAGGER 1: When you’re talking about civility, how is your vice president calling us terrorists…
OBAMA: Sir, sir…
TEA BAGGER 1: I would like to understand that!
OBAMA: Okay, I will explain right now. He did not call you guys terrorists.
TEA BAGGER 1: He said we were acting like terrorists. Hostage-takers.
OBAMA: No. What he said was that for us to be willing to take the economy to the brink was irresponsible. And it was.
This first tea bagger was referring to an exchange between Vice Pres. Joe Biden and Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, while the debt-ceiling negotiations were taking place:
“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”
Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists.”
He said it because it was true.
Here’s a transcript of the second tea bagger’s exchange with the president:
TEA BAGGER 2: It’s the second person in your administration to call the right-wing people terrorists! Janet Napolitano did it first! She said the right-wing extremists should be watched out for.
OBAMA: But that’s true. Timothy McVeigh should be. You wouldn’t disagree with that!
TEA BAGGER 2: You do realize that 90 percent of the domestic terrorist attacks are done by left-wing environmental terrorists, and not people like me?
Weigel fact checks:
This is a very well-phrased response to Obama. It’s also bunk. In April 2009, Eli Lake broke the news that the Department of Homeland Security had commissioned a report on the threat of “right-wing extremism.” Napolitano confirmed that she’d been briefed on it, and claimed it was “one in an ongoing series of assessments” about potential violence. She quickly ate crow and met with the American Legion to sooth nerves over the report’s lines about returning veterans being targets for extremist recruiters. More than two years later, looking at that event and saying Napolitano “said the right-wing extremists should be watched out for” — with the implication that she, Napolitano, was trashing Tea Partiers — is a stretch. The “90 percent” number is made up, but so are most political numbers, so we’ll give our mystery woman a pass.
These exchanges are reminiscent of the spring of 2010, at around the time the tea party mob phenomenon was entering its second year, when tea partyists found that they had simply had enough of the name-calling.
Not name-calling when they did it, of course. They saw nothing wrong then with calling the president of the United States a fascist, Nazi, Muslim, socialist dictator, and still see nothing wrong with it now, 15 months later.
No, what they objected to was being called “tea baggers.” In fact, Republican Party boss Grover Norquist even suggested that being called a “tea bagger” was as bad as the epithet “nigger” — a comparison that is offensive in itself and could only have been dreamt up by an overly entitled white male conservative.
Of course, it was tea partyists themselves who first used the term “tea bagging.” On Feb. 12, 2009 — just 22 days after Obama was sworn in — a tea party group launched a website called “Tea Bag Congress” at the web address teabagcongress.com.
In those early days, tea partyists often showed up at their rallies with tea bags stapled to their hats — but that was before they learned that “tea bagging” also referred to a sex act and popular prank among frat boys.
It’s important to remember that, while roughly 20 percent of voters says they support the tea party phenomenon — a ratio eerily similar to the percentage of Americans who supported both George Bush and Richard Nixon when both presidents left office — just 4 percent of voters say they show up for the mob rallies or donate to the cause.
This is a tiny cabal of bullies, and the only way to deal with them is to stand up to them, as Standard & Poor’s did when they downgraded the credit rating of the United States because members of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress repeatedly claimed that defaulting on the debt ceiling would have no effect whatsoever.
Like all bullies, what these tea baggers can’t tolerate is being stood up to by the targets of their abuse. It’s time that our national leaders, especially establishment Republicans, started pushing back against the hostage-takers, political extortionists and, yes, economic terrorists who have commandeered Washington politics.
By: SayNoToTea, 10:34 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
I am serious about trying to make some noise and stir the pot. Rick Perry and Michele Bachman get worse every day but are in the lead so the others follow.
Murdoch's own lawyers both internal and outside counsel have now turned against him and his son. Encourage people to get involved and light a fire under Obama not to compromise. We elected him to lead.
After watching the so-called first Republican debate the other night in Iowa, I wanted to imitate Peter Finch in Network and open my window and scream that "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"
My only alternative is to announce today that I am running for President and creating a new party to combat the people who pretend to be all about freedom but who are the very ones threatening our freedoms.
My party's called the No Bullshit Party and like Grover Norquist with his "no new taxes pledge," I am asking anyone who joins our party to sign a pledge to accept "no more bullshit" in politics.
In the interest of the No Bullshit Pledge, I am asking Roger Ailes to rename Fox News Channel to Fox Bullshit Channel.
Here's some easy-to-spot bullshit to get us started: Rupert Murdoch's employees hacking phones in the UK, and Murdoch denying any knowledge. Who created that cultural climate if not he?
All the bullshit talk about the deficit. We need sound fiscal policy, but not by hijacking the debt rating of the United States and holding it hostage.
Also, when you won't raise taxes on those who can not only afford them, but who end up paying less than the poor folks, you gut your income stream. We all know what happens when you spend more than you bring in. Just ask Main Street Americans who've suffered through the the financial community's rape of America these past three years.
Clinton did not raise the debt limit once in his eight years in office. He left us a balanced budget and a surplus. While the Republicans messiah, Ronald Reagan raised it 11 times! Like a bull in a China shop, Bush jr. put us in two wars that we cannot win and that have cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives. Yeah, you break it, you bought it, but we should have learned our lessons in Vietnam about not being able to win an insurgency war far from home.
And if that is too far back in our collective memories, how about learning from the Russian failure after nine years of trying to win a war in Afghanistan. What is it? Our turn.
We were not at war with anyone during the Clinton years. The War on Drugs is bullshit of the highest order. It's less successful than Prohibition, which was repealed. We have spent over a trillion dollars, not including the cost of 74% of our over two million prisoners are in jail for non-violent drug related offenses.
The 'War on Drugs' isn't even reducing traffic congestion. I'd pay for that.
It costs us over $50,000 per year to incarcerate someone, while we spend only about $8,500 per year average per student nationally.
Oh, and "Just say 'NO'" to drugs, as well as cautions against premarital sex have almost no effect. While my thirteen year old daughter is not having sex or doing drugs, the word "NO" with no honest explanation is like a red cape to a bull.
Especially when the bull knows that the person saying NO probably got high whenever they could afford it, and still did well enough to send the kids to private school.
It's bullshit that so many of us didn't protest or push our elected representatives when Clinton's presidency was diminished and marginalized by a blow job. Would you elect someone stupid enough to admit it? Presidents lie as a matter of course. Some worse than others. Blow jobs are high on the list of getting, but on the list of lying, not so much.
Some of our bullshit representatives allowed a fringe group to spend $41,000,000 on the Whitewater investigation with the result that Susan McDougal was jailed for contempt of court.
Now, we spend federal money trying Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens for reportedly lying about steroids when in fact they were not banned at that time of their supposed use.
What did the Feds, who shouldn't have been looking into this in the first place, think these guys were going to say:
"Yeah, I did it. Would you like some?"Why aren't we using those investigating dollars checking on how banks and credit card companies are ripping us off on a daily basis.
Oh, that's right: the banks and financial institutions are sitting on all that money, not loaning it, not helping to create jobs, not getting America going again. Short term gain, maybe, but they're eroding their own foundations and the foreclosed homes will soon come crashing down.
I have credit cards with a 12% interest rate and cards with a 29% interest rate. The rates get raised if you are even one day late after paying on time - and in full - for thirty years. The credit card companies charge the highest rates to those that can least afford it.
The tax code is bullshit. Let's have a flat tax. 17% for all individuals and corporations, no deductions, no exceptions. People who earn less than $40,000 per year pay nothing. In the spirit of compromise, I'll even go as high as 18%. Then it's ice cream for everyone.Full disclosure, I am a registered Democrat who has voted for Republicans on occasion.
The first President Bush knew how to wage war correctly. He put together a coalition of 20 countries, had a defined goal to get Iraq out of Kuwait, and destroy the Iraqi army.
He explained why he didn't want to go to Baghdad and take out Saddam, but his son must have been getting high that day. Hmm.
Maybe the 'War on Drugs' isn't such a bad idea. Nah. Like most sons, GWB just didn't like listening to daddy. By the way, I supported that war (my first) and co-executive produced with producer David Foster a TV special and song supporting our troops.
I supported it so much I had all three of my wives (2 exes) in that video. It's bullshit in this day and age that Jane Fonda gets dropped from QVC for her political beliefs. She was right about the Vietnam war where 54,000 Americans gave their lives, only to have the last flight out be in a helicopter on top of our embassy. We still pay the price for that war with many of the returning soldiers maimed and not able to adjust to the return.
It is happening again. It's bullshit that our schools and educational programs are so poor across the board that we can't compete in the 21st century world economy.
Another reason to pay some taxes. I want to see our schools revamped from top to bottom. And by that I don't mean the Texas school board taking Thomas Jefferson out of history books because they don't like his opinions.
Here are some excerpts from the NO BULLSHIT Party platform. There will be more to come, and it will be easy to understand so that even the people who have been convinced to vote against their own interests can see how they have been conned and lied to.
I am a capitalist who is outraged that Exxon pays no taxes and gets a subsidy from the government.
If you want less government then keep the lawmakers out of the bedroom and out of women's reproductive rights. Let's keep male circumcision off the ballot box and in the family where it belongs. I'm hopeful about the latter since the initiate was cut from the ballot in San Francisco.
During World War Two, a German said - and I paraphrase: When they came for the Communists, I was not a Communist so I said nothing. When they came for the Socialists I was not a Socialist so I said nothing. I was not a unionist, a Jew or a Catholic so I said nothing.
When they came for me there was no one left to say anything. Conservative and Liberal are labels we are given to divide us. Let's just be Americans and remind the Governor Perry's of the world that we are not a "Christian" nation and the founding fathers were very clear about the separation of Church and State. Even JFK knew that.
I am an American who believes in equality for all in both education and opportunity. I believe in a fair and transparent tax system. I believe in shooting drunk drivers who kill while driving, when it's their second offense.
I believe in releasing non-violent offenders from jail so that they can live in halfway houses and work to fix our infrastructure. Let's pay them a living wage so that they contribute to society instead of being a drain.
I would like to show the idiots in the Republican debate what being a real American means. Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush the elder knew. The current crop of debaters would have them turning over in their graves - not that I wish Bush I an early end. Maybe he can still talk some sense into those idiots.
By: SayNoToTea, 5:43 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
Poll: Tea party less popular than Muslims, atheists
By Laura Donovan - The Daily Caller
Gene Simmons declares Rick Perry the next president
Florida GOP: Bachmann’s decision to skip straw poll a ‘bad move’
Taylor Swift’s dress has an on-stage mind of its own
Christine O’Donnell: Would Piers Morgan ask Obama about masturbation?
Britain’s criminal utopia
Who’s really destroying the Republican Party?
Being a tea party member is no cup of tea.
According to a recent New York Times/CBS survey, tea party members are less popular than atheists, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, and 21 other groups. The movement has lost 20 percent of its supporters and gained 40 percent more opponents, according to the poll. Another NYT/CBS poll published earlier this month revealed that the tea party’s unfavorable rating had increased 29 percent since April.
According to the Times, the tea party is catching up to the Christian Right’s low popularity. Times writers David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam present possible justifications for this, stating that the tea party’s mixing of politics and religion simply doesn’t appeal to the majority of Americans. Citing Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s “lengthy prayers at campaign stops,” the story claims pro-tea party folks are becoming “increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans.”
“Yet it is precisely this infusion of religion into politics that most Americans increasingly oppose,” the authors wrote. “While over the last five years Americans have become slightly more conservative economically, they have swung even further in opposition to mingling religion and politics. It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity.”
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/18/poll-tea-party-l ess-popular-than-muslims-atheists/#ixzz1VP4cqqfj
By: SayNoToTea, 4:23 PM GMT on August 13, 2011
The Tea Party's modest proposal
Editor's Note: Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, is co-founder of a leading economics blog, The Baseline Scenario, a professor at MIT Sloan, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and co-author, with James Kwak, of 13 Bankers. For more from Simon Johnson, visit Project Syndicate's website, or check it out on Facebook and Twitter.
By Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate
America’s Tea Party has a simple fiscal message: the United States is broke. This is factually incorrect – US government securities remain one of the safest investments in the world – but the claim serves the purpose of dramatizing the federal budget and creating a great deal of hysteria around America’s current debt levels. This then produces the fervent belief that government spending must be cut radically, and now.
There are legitimate fiscal issues that demand serious discussion, including how to control growth in health-care spending and how best to structure tax reform. But the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party cares more about small government than anything else: its members insist, above all, that federal tax revenue never be permitted to exceed 18% of GDP. Their historical antecedent is America’s anti-revenue Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, not the original anti-British, pro-representation Boston Tea Party in 1773.
Most importantly, their tactics have proven massively destructive of wealth in the US. Since the prolonged showdown over the budget began earlier this year, the stock market has lost about 20% of its value (roughly $10 trillion). In effect, the Tea Party is working hard to reduce publicly funded social benefits – including pensions and Medicare – even as its methods dramatically reduce the value of private wealth now and in the future.
Part of the Tea Party’s founding myth, of course, is that smaller government will lead to faster growth and greater prosperity for all. Never mind that the eye-popping growth projections in Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan, for example, are utterly implausible; these projections matter politically, because, without them, the full sting of Ryan’s proposed Medicare cuts would be readily apparent.
Standard & Poor’s has received some justified criticism for the analysis behind its recent decision to downgrade US government debt; after all, there was little economic news that could explain the move’s timing. But S&P’s assessment of the political situation is on target: by creating a dysfunctional paralysis at the heart of government, the Tea Party has shown that it is willing to impose dramatic costs on the broader economy and to ensure significantly slower growth.
Confrontation and brinkmanship have become the new watchwords of American politics, even when the US government’s legal ability to pay its debts is on the line, owing to the Tea Party’s ideological rigidity. And the tone of political debate, not surprisingly, has become much nastier.
By signing a pledge not to raise taxes, Tea Party representatives have credibly committed themselves not to acquiesce in any middle-of-the-road compromise. If they break this pledge, presumably they will face defeat in the next round of Republican Party primaries. So, while a budget deal would technically be easy to achieve, it looks politically impossible in the near term. Indeed, while Congress and the Republican Party have become less popular during 2011, support for the Tea Party has remained remarkably constant, at around 30% of the population. Its tactics thus appear politically sustainable, at least through the 2012 elections.
Perhaps the most damaging outcome of these tactics is to take countercyclical fiscal policy off the table completely. Regardless of what happens to the global economy in the weeks and months ahead, it is inconceivable that any kind of meaningful fiscal stimulus would get through the House of Representatives.
It remains to be seen whether the US Federal Reserve will also feel constrained by the political mood on Capitol Hill. Clearly, influential Tea Party supporters would strongly resist any attempt now by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to find unorthodox ways to run a more expansionary monetary policy.
And, as for protecting the financial system against disaster, the current majority on the House Financial Services Committee is clear – they favor use of the bankruptcy system when megabanks get into serious trouble. If the eurozone crisis continues to spiral out of control, the US should expect to see Lehman or near-Lehman-type collapses among exposed financial institutions.
The irony of the Tea Party revolt, of course, is that it undermines the private sector more than it reins in “big government.” The S&P downgrade resulted in a “flight to quality,” meaning that investors bought US government debt – thus increasing its price and lowering the rate that the federal government pays to borrow.
It was the value of the stock market that fell sharply – which makes sense, given that counter-cyclical policy is now severely constrained. The government part of the credit system has been strengthened, relatively speaking, by developments over the past few months. It is the private sector – where investment and entrepreneurial activity are needed to generate growth and employment – that has taken a beating.
Unless and until America’s private sector recovers, investment and job creation will continue to stagnate. But today’s atmosphere of fear and aggressive budget tactics are combining to undermine private-sector confidence and spending power.
As Jonathan Swift put it in 1727, “Party is the madness of many, for the gain of the few.”
By: SayNoToTea, 9:36 PM GMT on August 09, 2011
What does the following article show? American's are not as stupid as Tea party leaders think they are
Study: Tea party support down in wake of debt ceiling debate
Published: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 4:50 PM Updated: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 4:50 PM
By Star-Ledger Staff The Star-Ledger
Back in January, more than a quarter of American adults believed tea party members would have a positive effect in Congress — nearly 10 percent more than believed the tea party's effect would be negative. But the tide may be changing, according to a report released today by the Pew Research Center.
Citing a survey taken between August 4 and 7 — days after Congress' long-awaited, much-debated vote to raise the debt ceiling — the Pew report found that 7 percent more Americans now believe tea party supporters in Congress will have a negative effect than a positive effect.
The report's findings suggest the debt ceiling debacle may have eroded the tea party's support. The study found that independents and people who closely followed the debt ceiling issue were more likely to have negative feelings about the tea party.
By: SayNoToTea, 1:53 PM GMT on August 08, 2011
The last paragraph tells all.
Update on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 8:00AM by Geoff Holtzman
If the Dow Futures and the European and Asian markets are any indication — and they are — Wall Street is bracing for a really lousy opening this morning.
The European Central Bank intervened overnight to buy bonds from the wobbly governments in Italy and Spain, but the maneuver only managed to prove what smart money analysts had predicted all weekend: Investors’ biggest concern is Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the U.S. debt rating.
The global stock market rout continued in Europe where nearly midway through trading the aggregate Europe 600 index was down nearly 2%. The big three — London’s FTSE, Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris’s CAC-40 — were also down significantly.
Even after the ECB’s bond buying spree, Italy’s FTSE MIB and Portugal’s PSI were down, though Spain’s IBEX saw a slight rebound.
The Dow Futures were down more that 200 points.
The European markets tanked after the stock exchanges in Asia lost about 4% of their value and trading in the Tel Aviv market was automatically suspended yesterday after it sank.
Even the decision by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — the last-man standing from President Obama’s original economic team — did little to concern overseas about the U.S. economy. Geithner spared Obama a nearly impossible task of getting a replacement past partisan Republicans in a Senate confirmation process.
Since Friday, S&P Managing Director John Chambers continued to do damage control for his embattled credit rating service amid criticism from many circles, liberal and conservative, who charge the decision to lower the U.S. debt-rating was something between political chicanery and hypocrisy from an outfit with a lousy track record.
S&P cited the GOP for embracing the agenda pressed by its Tea Party wing for failing to reach a grand bargain that included tax revenues.
By: SayNoToTea, 8:47 PM GMT on August 06, 2011
Two Talking Points -
First, I am neither a Democrat, nor a liberal. I am a staunch moderate who despises the Tea Party. They say one thing while doing another, allow anyone and everyone to align with their name and then cry, "their really not Tea Partiers" when they are embarassed and their claim to be following in the footsteps of our forefathers would be laughable if it was not so far from the truth.
Second, Spathy, I thank you for having the respect to come in here and debate even while you and I will probably remain with differing views. I do though say this, the fact that neither anyone can or will answer your questions does not prove you right however. I'm no economist, I'm only a blogger. I can answer your questions though and will upon one condition, I feel it's not fair that you come here wanting answers when you do not first provide answers as to what you feel works. So when you take a position and tell us why cutting debt will stir the economy, I'll be obliged to respond.
I agree with Aaron Astor
A Moderate’s Manifesto
AARON ASTOR in At TMV.
Aug 6th, 2011
I have no idea if a math error is to explain S&P’s decision to downgrade the US government credit rating. And I’m quite aware of S&P’s dubious record in helping to create the very credit bubble that got us into this mess; remember those “AAA” bonds insured by credit default swaps?
But I think, as Ezra Klein argues, this downgrade is real and is justifiable.
So what is the rationale for this? Logan Penza accurately holds both sides accountable. The text of the report is clear enough that blame goes around everywhere.
But I think this is more than just an assignment of blame on our broken political process and unwillingness to deal with the debt crisis seriously. I see it as a manifesto for moderate politics of the sort that will get our fiscal house in order and grow the economy again.
The non-moderate way to look at the debt crisis is to focus on only one side of the politico-fiscal ledger. Liberals say there aren’t enough taxes and there is too much defense spending. Conservatives say there is too much entitlement spending and that tax increases on the rich will do virtually nothing to lower the debt (and will stifle private investment).
The moderate accepts the basic truth of both sides here
Entitlements have not only grown, but will expand enormously as Baby Boomers face retirement.
Defense spending, after falling during the Peace Dividend days of the 1990s, was ratcheted back up again in the post-9/11 era to fight two long, draining wars that serve little national interest.
Taxes, which were raised in the early 1990s by Bush I and Clinton, were irresponsibly lowered during the early Bush II years, contributing more to the debt than any other single item. Refusal of Republicans to raise them – and Democratic cowardice to press the point – is at the heart of the debate.
But Democrats – including moderate Democrats – must accept the fact that if the Bush tax cuts are going to be repealed, they must not be limited to the wealthy. In fact, most of the tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 went to those making less than $250,000 a year. Coupled with various child tax credits, the middle class ends up paying virtually nothing in Federal income taxes. Yes, there are other tax burdens the middle class must shoulder – payroll taxes, state and local taxes, etc. – but the virtual zeroing out of Federal income taxes from the middle class was every bit as irresponsible as cutting taxes on the wealthy. And, yes, any tax increase will negatively affect consumer spending and business investment. But the alternative is more delusion, making decisions far harder in the future.
Finally, there is the matter of our political system itself. One of the elements cited in the report is clear on this: “The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who was playing “brinksmanship” in the recent debt ceiling debate. The Tea Party, far from bringing sanity and solution to our national debt woes, has only made things worse. They have utterly refused any tax increases, which the report says is necessary to any solution, and have shown utter reckless disregard for global market considerations of short-term political action.
But the left, while far weaker in this debate than the Tea Party right, was able to hold its line on entitlements. And that is just as much a part of the problem. Social Security and Medicare were created at a time when life expectancies were much lower than today. The cuts and reforms don’t have to hit the folks coming into retirement right now. But for those in their late 40s and younger, there should be an expectation that retirement benefits (health care and Social Security) will not come into effect until at least the age of 67, if not 70. Those are the sorts of concessions the left must make, and they were as far from the recent debt deal as were responsible tax increases.
The answer to our debt woes will not come from the current crop of politicians in Washington. The right wing of the Republican Party is flagrantly irresponsible, both in method and in goal. The recent debate sapped much public support for the Tea Party; one can only hope that continues.
But Democrats – Obama especially – must give up the fiction that we can raise taxes on the wealthy alone. If Obama is going to be the transformational leader he promised in 2008, he has one more chance to deliver: call for a true grand bargain that raises taxes across the board and cuts spending across the board. Start with the Simpson-Bowles commission report if necessary. But stop shirking on this in hopes the Tea Party right will implode in a fit of arrogance and ignorance. Leadership is necessary to steer the course back to the center; inertia will not do it.
A grand bargain on tax increases would let ALL of Bush’s tax cuts expire, including those for the middle class. Anything short of this would be grossly insufficient.
On entitlement reform, the Republicans will have to give up their voucher fantasies – Medicare’s single payer is far more efficient and cheaper than what Paul Ryan offered – and then Democrats will have to accept real but incremental changes in the retirement age.
Ironically enough, both parties may agree on defense cuts, as there is little stomach left in either party for more military spending or adventures.
The big question, then, is the current economy itself. A major – perhaps THE major – driver of the deficit’s growth since Obama took office was not the stimulus bill. It was lost revenue in the recession. No debt measure will work if it doesn’t boost the economy.
Neither Keynesian nor supply-side solutions will work at this time. Nor can quantitative easing. All will aggravate the debt situation.
Sadly, the only answer is time. The business cycle must run its course. Housing prices must bottom out. Consumers must finish the de-leveraging process and pay off their personal debts.
But if we build in the other structural changes to the way we fund and benefit from our government – higher taxes and lower entitlement spending – then we can make the other kinds of private and public investments – including education and infrastructure – that will form the basis for real, long-term growth. There is no free lunch. But a modestly priced lunch – offered by moderates – may be the best deal for all Americans.
By: SayNoToTea, 2:50 PM GMT on August 05, 2011
The Ideological Crisis Of Western Capitalism
I’m with Joseph Stiglitz, plan speaking and writing Columbia Univ. economist. He makes sense of the putsch by right-wing economics that brought us to the brink of ruin in 2008–and threatens today the rational, pragmatic solution of dealing with the national debt.
“Output growth in the United States was not economically sustainable with so much of the US national income going to so few. Growth could continue through consumption financed by a mounting pile of debt, ” Stiglitz wrote last month. He meant the bias of free market ideology that made the rich richer and widened t he disparity with the poor.
Read that over– and you’ll get where we are. The right wing wants us to deal with the deficit by cutting programs– programs for the middle class and the poor– and without raising taxes on the rich. They (the right wing ideologues, the Tea Party adherents) “seek to repeal the basic laws of math and economics,” Stiglitz says in his pithy, but precise marking of our dilemma– which is fast becoming our economic tombstone.
Think hard about this absurdity.Right wing economists believe that austerity produces confidence and confidence produces growth, Stiglitz points out with hard-nosed irony.
Not at all. Austerity undermined growth… and confidence is undermined, and a downward spiral is set in motion.”
So it was over last weekend in Washington, D.C.– and so it is today on global stock markets. We are paying the price for abandoning the well-being of everyone, not only the super-rich.
A Few Asides:
To those that want to state these posts are not fit for a weather site, please refer to a simplistic definition of who Wunderground assigns the to: "Blogs for people who love weather and the outdoors."
This simple quote does not pertain to blog content but to whom these blogs were intended for. I verify this with the fact that when I make a blog entry I have to categorize it and one of the categories is indeed "Politics."
Also, I am the moderator of this blog. For those that want to try to usurp the intentions of this blog you must accept that you may be ridiculed for your attempts and/or censored.
By: SayNoToTea, 3:34 PM GMT on August 04, 2011
Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
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By Dana Milbank, Published: August 3
Who would’ve thought Allen West would go squishy?
During the Florida Republican’s successful campaign for the House, West became a tea party sensation with his speech urging supporters to take up arms against “a tyrannical government.”
(Harry Hamburg/Associated Press) - Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., greets tourists in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 29.
“If you’re here to stand up, to get your musket, to fetch your bayonet and to charge into the ranks, you are my brother and sister in this fight,” the retired Army officer shouted. “You need to leave here understanding one simple word. That word is: bayonet.”
But after less than seven months in Washington, Lt. Col. West has revised his battle plan. “You could do the front assault, like at Gallipoli or the Charge of the Light Brigade, but when you end up losing a whole lot of people,” he told an audience of college conservatives Wednesday, all you can do is “pat yourself on the back and say how valiantly we charged that hill, like Pickett’s Charge.” The smarter approach, he explained, would be for Republicans to outmaneuver Democrats, like they did in the debt-limit battle: “We checked and checkmated them.”
From a bayonet charge to a Washington chess match: Talk about going native. The African American conservative with the flattop can still talk like a militant, calling Democrats “socialists” and “the enemy.” But on his first big test, West joined the socialist enemy in the soft middle.
On the debt-limit legislation proposed by John Boehner, West skipped the conservative insurrection that humiliated the House speaker and brought down the bill. In fact, when GOP leaders rallied their caucus by playing a movie clip of two tough guys setting out to “hurt some people,” West joked that he would drive the getaway car.
Then, when congressional leaders and the White House worked out the debt-limit compromise, West wasn’t among the 66 House Republicans in opposition. Tea party leaders howled, but West called them schizophrenic, and he theatrically brushed their criticism off his shoulders.
“I called some of the tea party leaders,” he told his audience at the Young America’s Foundation conference on Wednesday. “They were all, ‘We’re mad at you,’ ” he said with a mock whine, then gave a who-cares shrug. “I asked them one simple question: If I had voted no, what would I have been voting for? And they couldn’t answer that.”
West sounded downright moderate as he explained his new reasonableness. “One of the things that I think conservatives have a problem with is what I call incrementalism,” he told the students. “We believe that when we run a marathon and we start at mile zero, we’re automatically supposed to be at 26.2, but I tell you there are miles in between. . . . What are those incremental steps that get us there?”
Tea party Republicans are rightly credited with bringing the nation to the brink of default, but as West’s softening shows, the number of true diehards may be small. There are enough to cause havoc in the House and to push policy to the right, but it’s worth noting that 174 of 240 House Republicans defied the tea party to support the debt compromise.
West, in his speech to the YAF, recalled his father saying that “an empty wagon makes a lot of noise,” which the lawmaker said means that “people who don’t have a lot between their heads run their mouths a lot.” After awkwardly greeting his hosts (“I take a hat tip off to you”), West made a great deal of noise.
He proclaimed that President Obama appears “incompetent.” He stood by his criticism of Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as “vile,” “despicable” and “not a lady.” He said Democrats are seeking to “enslave your conscience.” He opined: “The number one thing about socialist ideology is to nationalize production, and that’s exactly what you see happening.”
West’s image is built on martial imagery; the student introducing him recounted an episode in Iraq in which West fired his pistol near the head of a man he was interrogating. But by the end of the talk, West sounded less like an ideological warrior than a career politician explaining how Republicans could build majorities.
“My fear is that on our side we fail to understand that when Michelangelo was given a big piece of rock, the next day he did not have the David,” the congressman said. “You’ve got to chip away at this thing.”
West encouraged Republicans to “come up with a 70 to 75 percent plan,” because “if you sit around trying to come up with a 100 percent plan, while you’re doing that the enemy has already attacked you and run through you.”
Particularly if their bayonets are mounted.
The tea party is is made up of puppets being run by an elite group to serve their needs and not the needs of the people