In recent years, the Boston Tea Party has been associated with a right-wing movement that supports policies favoring powerful corporations and…
Cold Case Posse, coming next fall on CBS!
Well, Sheriff Joe Arpaio went and did it. He’s using taxpayer’s dollars to investigate a settled question, and it’s difficult to argue racism is not playing a part. From ThinkProgress:
The lawman is… willing to use official resources to pursue the bogus conspiracy theory. As birther website WorldNetDaily gleefully reported:
Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told WND he has assigned a five-member “Cold Case Posse” to investigate the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
The decision, he says, is simply a matter of doing his duty.
Arpaio’s investigation comes in response to a complaint filed by the Surprise, Arizona Tea Party, which alleges that Obama may be using a forged birth certificate…
The Cold Case Posse is an officially-sponsored all-volunteer group of people with skills and backgrounds that make them qualified to investigate cases. The group has been inactive in recent months due to “budgetary limitations within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office,” but apparently a wild goose chase looking into the veracity of the president’s birth certificate is an appropriate use of funds.
Arpaio is, of course, claiming that politics did not come into play regarding his decision. He’s just doing his duty. So why does he consider it his duty to cater to the Tea Party versus not misappropriating taxpayer dollars? Turns out there’s a lot Arpaio considers his duty that’s outside the bounds of common sense. Here’s a short list:
- Shredding documents in a civil rights lawsuit, resulting in payment of $94,000 to plaintiff’s attorneys
- Racially profiling people, with the resulting lawsuit costing $200,000+
- Using political clout to order the arrests of journalists
- Violating the civil rights of inmates and refusing to cooperate with court orders and the DOJ on the matter (and yes, he was sued again over this)
- Advocating for the deployment of US troops into Mexico
- Blasting inmates with Christmas carols, even though he’s been sued six times over this
- Advocating for checking “dirty” immigrants “like fruits and vegetables” because they “bring in diseases”
- Expanding a “citizen posse” program into allowing armed citizens to hunt down undocumented immigrants, and allowing Neo-Nazis “to have his back”
- Profiling people based on “clothing, speech, certain conduct”
- Misspending $99.5 million on “immigration patrols” and on pursuing opponents of his policies
- Misspending $50 million on training trips for deputies to Disneyland and fishing resorts, plus spying on political opponents via his ‘anti-corruption’ unit
Tea Partiers cheer the deaths of the uninsured. This is after they cheered executions and booed Ron Paul for his claim that not all Muslims are responsible for 9/11.
If this doesn’t show the true character of the Tea Party, nothing will.
When one attendee suggested that the House push for impeachment proceedings against President Obama to obstruct the president from pushing his agenda, Burgess was receptive.
“It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up,” Burgess said. “No question about that.”
When asked about the comment later, Burgess said he wasn’t sure whether the proper charges to bring up articles of impeachment against Obama were there, but he didn’t rule out pursuing such a course.
“We need to tie things up,” Burgess said. “The longer we allow the damage to continue unchecked, the worse things are going to be for us.”
I’m a Republican. Always have been. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation and limited government. But as I look back at the weeks of rancor leading up to Sunday night’s last-minute budget deal, I see some things I don’t believe in:
Forcing the United States to the verge of default.
Shrugging off the needs and concerns of millions of unemployed.
Protecting every single loophole, giveaway and boondoggle in the tax code as a matter of fundamental conservative principle.
Massive government budget cuts in the midst of the worst recession since World War II.
For Tea Party Founding Fathers chairman William Temple, a reinstatement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and keeping women out of combat roles would also be acceptable (to raise the debt limit).
Temple is 100% opposed to raising the debt ceiling, and said that how members vote on the issue will be the sole item on the tea party scorecard when it comes to rating candidates in 2012. Vote for the increase, you get a zero. Vote against it, you get a 100. Apparently it’s that simple.
But even Temple said he understood a compromise might be coming. So he offered a long list of things the Republicans could do that would lead the “tea party movement as a whole” to “possibly forgive Boehner and the House Republicans a small bump in the debt limit.”
On the list was keeping the front lines of America’s wars as free of openly gay people and women of any sexual leaning as possible.
Temple said that “if the House Armed Services Committee and the Pentagon slow down on injecting open homosexuality and females into forward combat roles,” tea partiers might be able to put up with their new Republican House voting to ensure American government services are paid for with more borrowed cash.
The American people, the world’s financial markets and the pundit classes remain perplexed by the Republican Party’s dangerous brinkmanship. Why would they risk financial armageddon? What is the practical gain to be had from such irresponsible behavior? Is this a ploy to undermine the Democrats before the 2012 election?
Observers remain befuddled because they have failed to connect the dots between the Republican Party’s intransigent stubbornness and a populist brand of conservatism where the world of facts has been made secondary to the intoxication of faith.
Consider the following: faith is based upon a belief in that which cannot be proved or demonstrated by normal means. Faith is also immune and separate from tests of empirical proof. Not to be overlooked, the contemporary Republican Party is home to the Religious Right. Consequently, the primacy of “faith” as the decision rule in political decision-making is both a perfect and logical fit for conservative populism.
When coupled with conservatives’ penchant for authoritarianism, their adherence to simple moral scripts, and a either/or binary world view, the allures of faith mated with fiction are irresistible to the Republican Party. Thus, the idea that politics should serve the common good for all is truncated and superseded by the pursuit of a common good that is only for the faithful, the few and the ideologically pure.
In all, the Republican Party is possessed by a spirit of willful denial: aided and abetted by the right-wing media, Conservatives can bend the world to their wishes; reality is subject to their fantasies; any belief, however specious, is made true because they want it to be so. This is a pathology that extends both to the debt ceiling debate and the broader assault by conservatives on the country’s social safety net. Both are examples of a frightening pseudo religion called Free Market Fundamentalism—a faith based on a set of assumptions that are immune to interrogation, challenge or the collective weight of reality.
Myth Number One: The crisis over the debt ceiling is an artificial panic. There will be no serious consequences if the United States does not resolve this issue by August 2, 2011. In fact, President Obama and the Democrats are trying to scare the American people into thinking that a calamity will occur if the United States chooses to selectively pay its bills. Alternatively, the United States Treasury has more than enough revenue to push the debt ceiling issue down the road to a future date.
While Tea Party darlings such as Congressman Allen West are saying this is “much ado about nothing,”a failure to resolve the debt ceiling crisis would be an unprecedented event in American history. A range of non-partisan organizations, financial giants such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and even the Chinese government are warning the Obama administration that if the United States were to default on its debts a global financial crisis would ensue. Moreover, a myriad of government agencies would be closed and a shock wave would ripple out to all corners of the U.S. economy.
Myth Number Two: Supply side, trickle-down economics are always the solution to America’s financial woes.
In reality, there is little to no proof that tax cuts have ever paid for themselves. In almost all cases, they are a drain on revenue. As demonstrated by the Bush and Obama years, the latter’s continuing of the former’s policies have resulted in a net loss to the federal budget. Tax cuts for the richest Americans have not been broadly stimulating. Moreover, they played a role in causing (and deepening) America’s current fiscal crisis.
Myth Number Three: Unions hurt the economy, take away jobs from American workers and impede economic growth. The way out of the Great Recession is to complete the destruction of the public sector workforce through a final demolition of unionized labor and the elimination of minimum wage laws.
The truth is a different matter. Historically, strong unions were responsible for the growth of the American middle-class. As seen across the advanced economies of the world, there is a direct correlation between unionized labor, a high standard of living and wages that allow for a healthy level of long-term consumer spending and economic growth. Minimum wage laws, as well as other income supports, positively stimulate the U.S. economy.
Myth Number Four: “Job creators” are being punished by Obama’s tax policies and any increase in taxes to resolve the debt crisis will further extend the Great Recession.
The corporations and financier class (who ostensibly create jobs) have long benefited from some of the lowest effective tax rates in the world. Both have grossly and disproportionately gained from a financial bailout that has increased their profits and earnings to record rates, all the while new hiring remains stagnant. Coupled with this troubling phenomenon, the last three decades have witnessed the rise of neo-liberal economic policies that have exported American jobs while generating record corporate profits. There seems to be little if any connection between the policies that have enabled the corporateocracy’s growth, and the overall financial health of the average American worker, who is struggling with record levels of unemployment, a mortgage crisis of historic proportions, crippling debt, and a diminished standard of living.
Myth Number Five: An increase in taxes on the wealthiest Americans is “class warfare” and proof of President Obama’s “socialist” policies.
The United States exhibits a severe and unequal level of wealth and income distribution: the top 1 percent of the population holds at least 20 percent of the wealth. Adding insult to injury, the very top 1 percent of Americans earns an average of $27 million a year per person, while the bottom 99 percent of Americans earns an average of $31,000 a year. The average salary of a corporate CEOis now at least 500 times more than the average worker.
In a progressive tax system those who earn the most income should pay higher taxes. However, in the United States the effective tax rate on the wealthiest Americans has decreased over the last 30 years, while middle-class Americans have seen relative tax burdens increase as a percentage of their respective incomes.
Yes, there is a class war in the United States. But it is being waged against the middle and working classes, where for the last 40 years the minimum wage has effectively decreased when controlled for inflation, and earnings have gone down when controlled for inflation—all in an era when highly favorable tax policies have encouraged unprecedented economic growth for the richest Americans. In a post-Citizens United era when corporations can donate unlimited monies to influence elections, these radical levels of economic inequality will only worsen.
The debt ceiling crisis has revealed the noxious hold that a politics of faith—one that is immune from reason and fact—has on the contemporary Republican Party. In practice, politics ought to be based on compromise. Because faith supersedes reason for conservatives in the Age of Obama, compromise is made difficult…if not impossible. As revealed by the debt ceiling crisis, the Tea Party GOP’s need for ideological purity is the fuel for a dangerous holy war where the target is the economy of the United States, and the American people are collateral damage.
Not sure why this should be a shock to anyone. It’s Larry Craig Syndrome: The more someone is against something the more likely they themselves have a problem with/or practice that something.
At a tea party rally, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said his faction needs to push forward a balanced budget amendment and other measures “… in order to save our country from a Congress that for decades has been burying our children and our grandchildren, both born and unborn, under a mountain of debt.”
But according to recently released disclosure forms, Lee and others in his caucus have some significant personal debt of their own.
The documents — annual personal financial disclosure forms that were released in June — show that Lee had amassed at least $15,000 in credit card debt and had a $50,000 line of credit at a Utah bank as of late last year.
He’s not alone. Republican Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas had at least $15,000 of debt accumulated on an American Express card, according to the forms. Griffin, who won his seat with tea party support, has recently said Washington has “a spending addiction.”
Rep. Kevin Yoder, a freshman Republican from Kansas, said in a recent press release, “Washington needs to cut up the credit cards.” But Yoder’s own form shows he amassed at least $15,000 in what’s called a “revolving charge account” with Citigroup.
The worst is Joe Walsh (no, not Wichita’s favorite Guitarist son) but the Congressman from Ill.
The Sun-Times first reported Wednesday evening that Walsh’s ex-wife, Laura, filed papers in December in Cook County Circuit Court alleging that Walsh owes $117,437 in child support for their three children. The couple was married for 15 years before Laura Walsh filed for divorce in 2002. The news story cited court records in which Laura Walsh alleged that Walsh had the money to travel to Mexico and Italy, and was able to make his campaign a $35,000 loan.
Walsh still has GOP support despite increasing pressure and protests from his constituents
If that’s not bad enough during an interview with Chris Matthews, Walsh said this about his opposition to raising the debt ceiling:
“I won’t place one more dollar of debt on the backs of my kids”
I don’t think it’s calling somebody a name if they fit the definition of it. Then I think it’s fact. So if you look up “Deadbeat scumbag” in the dictionary you get a picture of Joe Walsh.
My basic point is that this is a crisis that we have manufactured out of whole cloth. We have created a circumstance in which the world doubts our credibility, rating agencies are thinking of downgrading our debt and the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency could be jeopardized.
Please understand that none of these things are happening because the United States is running deficits. There was no indication - by any metric - that the United States was having difficulty borrowing money one month ago. In fact, the world has been lending money to the United States more cheaply than ever before.
We face downgrades and investor panic not because of our deficits but because we are behaving like deadbeats, refusing to pay our bills, pouting while the bill collector waits at the door.
We do have a large deficit and debt and we do need to get it under control. That the Tea Party has raised awareness about this is admirable. And I agree with their view that the current set of entitlements - Medicare especially - have to be reformed dramatically to get our fiscal house in order. But that is not an excuse to endanger the good standing of the United States.
First you pay the bills and then you figure out how to change your spending habits.
The tragedy here is that the damage may already have been done.
I’ve let a lot slide from you. You can mess with the democratic process (see what’s going on in Wisconsin), show a disdain for intelligence, recklessly misuse history and basic Christian theology. Show up with guns at rally’s and accuse the president on high treason. I’ve put up with your racist Health Care posters, you’re racist fake Indian garb. But today, you crossed the line.
Yes, Manatees (or Sea Cows). You messed with the wrong herbivorous marine mammal.
Edna Mattos gets the rare dishonor of being singled out for awfulness on this blog; I try to keep things civil here. I might have let you saying that this is part of a New World Order conspiracy to give the UN land rights slide. But saying that it’s against he Bible? Protecting Manatees is against the Bible?
Leviticus 25:23-24 - The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land. (NIV)
- Job 12:7-10 - But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. (NIV)
- Isaiah 43:20-21 - The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. (NIV)
- Isaiah 11:9 - They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (NIV)
- Revelation 11:18 - The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great — and for destroying those who destroy the earth. (NIV)
What Bible are you reading in which protecting not only the least of God’s creatures, but the cutest, is against God’s plan?