Archive for category Tea Bag Party
I post this as a classic example of how the right-wing has hacks the most blunt, vulnerable minds.
John Edwin Jackson
Would you believe this: A movement rises to strip free speech from corporate America, to take the right to speak from PACs and churches and businesses and any other group that is an “artificial entity.”
They would take away free speech — one of the most basic of all human rights — and they would do this right here in America.
The startling thing, to me, is that the movement is winning in so many ways. The startling thing, to me, is that I run into so many people who agree with them. The startling thing, to me, is that while this issue has hardly caught the public’s eye, when it has, people are buying in with it.
The startling thing, to me, is that (if I’ve been told correctly) Montana’s voters have passed legislation calling on leaders to push for a constitutional amendment stripping free speech from corporate America. A citizen’s initiative also passed in Colorado, but it called only for corporate campaigning limits, not actually stripping free speech altogether from corporations. California is considering putting an initiative on the ballot. Voters in about 175 local entities have passed initiatives calling for amending the Constitution, and the governing bodies, themselves, of about 350 local entities have passed measures pushing for a constitutional amendment.
Read the rest of this entry »
Delving further into Tom Allen’s Dangerous Convictions, Winning Progressive points out four specific examples of how conservatives principles have led to disastrous real world policy consequences:
- The Iraq War
- Health care
- Climate Change
Consider the area of tax policy – conservative principles say “tax cuts pay for themselves” despite significant real world evidence that’s not the case. Read the rest of this entry »
The setting for “Les Misérables” is Occupy Paris – in the 1800s. The heroes of the musical are the 99 percent – idealistic but poor students, orphans, the unemployed and hungry, exploited workers railing against abuses by the obscenely wealthy. The villain of the musical is Javert, a policeman dedicated to crushing a revolt by working Parisians. As a mediocre musical, the show has broken box office records. Now director Tobe Hooper has made the long-awaited film. But the whole “Les Mis” phenomenon has had zero political resonance. I think it’s because the protagonist doesn’t know whose side he’s on.
Marshall Fine summarizes the plot, such as it is:
The story – distilled from Victor Hugo’s five-section, 1,200-plus-page historical novel (full disclosure: Never read it, don’t intend to) – focuses on Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), about to be released from prison after serving 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. On his way out of prison, his jailer, Javert (Russell Crowe), warns Valjean that he will be dogging him, just waiting for him to violate his parole so he can send Valjean back to the clink.
Instead, Valjean disappears, popping up a dozen years later as the rich owner of a factory and mayor of a small town; these kind of story twists were so much easier in the days before mass media. But he’s still looking in his rearview mirror for Javert. So he’s understandably distracted when his factory foreman sexually harasses and then fires a poor single mother named Fantine (Anne Hathaway). Her life goes so far off the tracks that she’s become a dying, tubercular prostitute when her path next crosses Valjean’s – whose guilt at Fantine’s fate leads to his vow at her deathbed to find and take care of her daughter, Cosette.
Valjean stays one step ahead of Javert, even as Cosette grows from a tot into Amanda Seyfried, who later falls in love with a student revolutionary named Marius (Eddie Redmayne). Marius is involved with an uprising against the return of the French monarchy in 1832 (not to be confused with the French revolution of 1789, which most people assume this work is about). On the barricades, as the students hold off the government forces, Valjean finally confronts Javert for the final time.
The short-lived Paris Uprising of June 5-6 1832 (aka the June Rebellion) was motivated by a reactionary move to replace King Charles X, deposed in 1830, with another king supported by an unrepresentative government. France at the time was suffering a severe economic crisis, and in 1832 the poor neighborhoods of Paris were ravaged by a cholera epidemic. Troops were called in, the insurrectionists were surrounded in the center of the city, and the uprising was defeated.
The problem I have with Jean Valjean is not that he becomes rich, but that he seems resigned to the various injustices meted out to him by the misguided Javert. For Valjean, nothing is political; it’s all personal. Then at the end he saves Javert’s life, which leads Javert (this guy is seriously screwed up) to commit suicide. Valjean only goes to the barricades to save the life of Marius, not to uphold democracy. He is indifferent to the uprising itself and everything else that’s going on in France.
Perhaps worst of all is a commenter on a blog that said the fictional Valjean was a hero because he “was a Taker who decided to become a Maker.” As if we could all just wake up one day and decide to join the 1 Percent if we wanted to. Valjean got the money to start his factory by robbing a church.
No, the true message of Victor Hugo’s story is captured in this quote from another novelist, Anatole France (Inspector Javert would not see the irony):
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”
It’s like House Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal: Every American can get a tax cut on their first $1 million in income. What could be more fair?
Via Think Progress:
Cloaking his predilection for the rich as concern for the less fortunate, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) argued Wednesday that raising taxes on the wealthy would primarily hurt the poor.
…“The reason we worry about raising taxes on anyone – even raising taxes on the rich,” Lee argued, is “that will hit the poorest among us the hardest.” Lest listeners get the wrong idea, the Utah Senator insisted, “it’s not that we’re looking out for the rich.”
No, of course not. The fact that trickle-down economic theory has never worked doesn’t mean that Republicans can’t keep pretending that it does!
The Congressional Research Service has documented what we know already: giving tax breaks to the rich helps concentrate wealth at the top, but it does not boost the economy.
The Tea – not a real – Party, is dead.
Rest in agony.
When the conservatives started buying french wine and champagne to pour down the gutters after France had the nerve to say there where no WMDs in Iraq, i assumed the children had taken over the GOP. Did it occur to any of them that after you buy the stuff, it doesn’t really matter what you do with it? I mean they got the cash, does it matter how you waste it? (by the way, how did that turn out? Find those weapons did you? Proved those frenchie frogs wrong did you? Anyone apologize for “freedom fries”? No, I thought not) When the lunatic right started calling themselves “teabaggers” I started to suspect that we didn’t have any adults left in conservative politics. When they started marching around with tea-bags stapled to their hats I really did think it was too late.
When Mitt started the campaign with things like driving in circles and honking the bus horn at Obama rallies, well let’s just say my opinion of his level of class was confirmed. Watching GOP members censor women for daring to speak out about abortion (as if that is an issue women are allowed to have an opinion on! Ha!) and later for using the (gasp!) word “vagina” (I do declare get my fainting couch!) was almost anticlimactic. Watching the GOP campaign and pretend to govern is a bit like watching third graders try to run a country. Backwards third graders. The girls have cooties, the boys spend all their time proving a manhood they don’t have, normal English terms are off limits and I suspect the height of sophistication is fart jokes.
But even given that history, even if those are your peers, some people manage to stand out from the crowd as the most immature of the children.
Behold, dead beat dad, offender of war veterans, and all around class act, Joe Walsh.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the party of Lincoln. Who, if we could wrap him in copper and mount him in a ring of magnets, could single handedly solve our power problems, due to the unbelievable speed with which he is currently spinning his grave…
Shorter Orrin Hatch: please let me be a factually challenged tea bagger!
“Look, we all know that Planned Parenthood does 400,000 abortions a year or more, and yet that’s supported by the federal government. They claim that money isn’t, uh, they don’t use federal funds, well, about 95 percent of all they do, from what I understand, is abortion.”
Facts: your words have no relation to them.