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The Tea Party Chronicles

Raising Cain

Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza is rolling in dough and rising in the polls. A new national survey of primary voters by the Wall Street Journal and  NBC News has the Hermanator in first place ahead of Mitt Romney and all the other Tea Party types. The question is whether working families will support Cain’s plan for a national sales tax to pay for lower taxes for bankers and billionaires? I don’t think so.

Don’t Know Much about History

The Tea Party takes its name from the Americans who dumped British tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation in 1773. The Tea Partyers profess great reverence for the founders but the Tea Party candidates are clueless about the founding of our nation.   Tuesday Rick Perry placed the American  Revolution in the 16th century  which would have given our founders  only a few years to get things rolling after Columbus came to town. Previously, Michele Bachmann described the founders as abolitionists, a portrayal which  would have  greatly surprised the hundreds of slaves owned by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. By the way, Representative Bachmann, the Boston Tea Party,  like the battles of Lexington and Concord, was in Massachusetts, not New Hampshire.

Greed is Good

Greed is good should be the motto for the Party of Tea, the party  formerly known as the GOP. Tuesday, Every POT member of the United States Senate opposed the president’s proposal to reduce payroll taxes and provide tax breaks for small businesses which hire people without jobs. Why did the POT spit the bit on the issue that Americans care  most about? Because Democrats would pay for the tax cuts  for working  families and small businesses by making millionaires and  billionaires  pay their fair share of taxes. Greed is good for the Tea Partyers  and  their billionaire buddies who bankroll their big budget campaigns. Because the POT blocks action in Washington on jobs, thousands of  Americans occupy Wall Street and streets across the country to protest  corporate greed. Will the numerical advantage that the 99 percent have  triumph over the money muscle of the 1 percent. Yes, it will.

ObamaCares

Time magazine released a new national survey yesterday that shows Barack Obama  beating all his POT challengers. The secret of the president’s success  is Obama’s caring. A clear majority (57 percent) of likely voters believe that Barack Obama cares  about the problems of people like themselves. It’s not surprising that Americans feel that the president  cares about them when the Party of Tea goes out of its way to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits for seniors but fights to the death to protect federal  tax freebies for bankers, billionaires, hedge fund managers, and corporate jet setters.

It’s about Time

The same Time magazine national survey indicates that two of  every three Americans believe the rich should pay more taxes. Which explains why more than half (54 percent) of the likely voters have a favorable opinion of the protesters against corporate greed while only one of four people (27 percent) have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party. The Tea Party has been replaced by the new kid on the  block. Far be it for me to give advice to Republicans but they better quickly take back their party from the extremists before voters dump the old GOP into the harbor with the Tea Party.

By: Brad Bannon, U. S. News and World Report, October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011 Posted by | Affordable Care Act, Banks, Capitalism, Class Warfare, Conservatives, Corporations, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Financial Institutions, Ideologues, Income Gap, Medicare, Middle East, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Wall Street | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regressive Politics: Why Herman Cain Scares Me

When Herman Cain said he was on the GOP panel of candidates  for the presidency for comic relief, I laughed, because I thought “this guy’s a  joke.”  But he isn’t. The polls show he  is gaining more and more acceptance and popularity among those on the right;  and, the facts show, this man is dangerous.

Let’s start with Mr. Cain’s racism. I believe he is a bigot.

From saying that a Muslim would have to go through certain   requirements to ensure he or she isn’t a terrorist to work for him, to  stating  that communities should be able to ban mosques from their  cities and towns, Cain has made several bigoted statements.

I am sure that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would  roll in  his grave listening to Mr. Cain’s remarks. And Mr. Cain forgets where   he came from. He grew up in the segregated, racist South. Has Mr. Cain  looked  in the mirror lately?

Or how about glancing at our Constitution? Dr. King  gave his life for to ensure the civil rights for all  Americans, Muslims included. And how about that First Amendment? You  remember that one,  something about religious freedom for all?! Hmmm.

Having a Muslim prove he isn’t a terrorist is as bigoted as  requiring a  black man (like Cain) prove he isn’t lazy, living on welfare, and   father to numerous children with different mothers. Both are disgusting   negative stereotypes and are not true.

Oh yes, I know, Mr. Cain apologized to the Muslim community;  like Mel  Gibson apologized to the Jewish community. An apology doesn’t change   one’s heart nor one’s prejudices.

And speaking of bigotry, how about toward his own community,  African-Americans?

His 9-9-9 plan makes me want to call 9-1-1!

This plan benefits the rich and places the tax burden on the  middle  and lower income families in America; the African-American community   would be hit especially hard.

Let’s look at a few of the problems with the 9-9-9 plan,  shall we?

  • Capital Gains: This  would ensure that a large portion of the rich’s  income would essentially go  untaxed. Middle and lower income families  do not have the resources to invest  and benefit from this tax break.
  • Cutting the federal budget by 70 percent: The federal government  is  one of the largest employers in the United States. How many people would   lose their jobs as a result of this?
  • Does the 9 percent apply to purchasing homes? Stocks? What  about businesses?
  • Where’s the math to prove that this would work?
  • When it comes to sales tax, this would amount to a tax  increase for the middle, lower, and poorer income levels in America.

Herman Cain says on his website that he has top economists  and well  known people who back the 9-9-9 plan and can speak to its merit; yet  he  refuses to list them.

A vote for Herman Cain, in my opinion, is a vote for moving  backward.  Back before our civil rights laws, perhaps even before the  First  Amendment, as Mr. Cain has repeatedly dodged the question regarding  former  Gov. Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion being a cult or not  Christian.

The bottom line is, if you want to be commander in chief of  this  country, you need to be able to make decisions to benefit all of this   country: black, white and yes, Muslim. Oh, and Mr. Perry, that means  Mormons as  well.

By: Leslie Marshall, U. S. News and Woeld Report, October 12, 2011

October 13, 2011 Posted by | Bigotry, Class Warfare, Conservatives, Democracy, Elections, GOP, Ideologues, Republicans, Right Wing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Seach Of Human Liberty And Equality, The Constitution Is Inherently Progressive

Progressives disagree strongly with tea party views on government, taxation,  public spending, regulations and social welfare policies. But we credit the  movement for focusing public debate on our nation’s history, the Constitution  and the core beliefs that shape American life.

This conversation is long overdue — and too often dominated by narrow  interpretations of what makes America great.

Since our nation’s founding, progressives have drawn on the  Declaration of Independence’s inspirational values of human liberty and equality  in their own search for social justice and freedom. They take to heart the  constitutional promise that “We the People” are the ultimate source of political  power and legitimacy and that a strong national government is necessary to “establish justice, … provide for the common defense, promote the general  welfare and secure the blessings of liberty.”

Successive generations of progressives worked to turn these values into  practice and give meaning to the American dream, by creating full equality and  citizenship under law and expanding the right to vote. We sought to ensure that  our national government has the power and resources necessary to protect our  people, develop our economy and secure a better life for all Americans.

As progressives, we believe in using the ingenuity of the private sector and  the positive power of government to advance common purposes and increase freedom  and opportunity. This framework of mutually reinforcing public, private and  individual actions has served us well for more than two centuries. It is the  essence of the constitutional promise of a never-ending search for “a more  perfect union.”

Coupled with basic beliefs in fair play, openness, cooperation and human  dignity, it is this progressive vision that in the past century helped build the  strongest economy in history and allowed millions to move out of poverty and  into the middle class. It is the basis for American peace and prosperity as well  as greater global cooperation in the postwar era.

So why do conservatives continue to insist that progressives are opposed to  constitutional values and American traditions? Primarily because progressives  since the late 19th century rejected the conservative interpretation of the  Constitution as an unchangeable document that endorses laissez-faire capitalism  and prohibits government efforts to provide a better existence for all  Americans.

Progressives rightly charge that conservatives often mask social Darwinism  and a dog-eat-dog mentality in a cloak of liberty, ignoring the needs of the  least well-off and the nation as a whole.

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his 1944 address to Congress, “We  have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot  exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free  men.’ People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which  dictatorships are made.”

Yet according to modern conservative constitutional theory, the entire  Progressive, New Deal and Great Society eras were aberrations from American  norms. Conservatives label the strong measures taken in the 20th century to  protect all Americans and expand opportunity — workplace regulations, safe food  and drug laws, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, limits on work hours,  the progressive income tax, civil rights legislation, environmental laws,  increased public education and other social welfare provisions — as  illegitimate.

Leading conservatives, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, claim that Social Security  and Medicare are unconstitutional. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) even argues that  national child labor laws violate the Constitution.

They lash out at democratically enacted laws like the  Affordable Care Act and claim prudent regulations, including oversight of  polluters and Wall Street banks, violate the rights of business.

This is a profound misreading of U.S. history and a bizarre interpretation of  what makes America exceptional.

There are few Americans today who believe America was at its best before the  nation reined in the robber barons; created the weekend; banned child labor;  established national parks; expanded voting rights; provided assistance to the  sick, elderly and poor; and asked the wealthy to pay a small share of their  income for national purposes.

A nation committed to human freedom does not stand by idly while its citizens  suffer from economic deprivation or lack of opportunity. A great nation like  ours puts forth a helping hand to those in need. It offers assistance to those  seeking to turn their talents, dreams and ambitions into a meaningful and secure  life.

America’s greatest export is our democratic vision of government. Two  centuries ago, when our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to craft the  Constitution, government of the people, by the people and for the people was a  radical experiment.

Our original Constitution was not perfect. It wrote women and minorities out  and condoned an abhorrent system of slavery. But the story of America has also  been the story of a good nation, conceived in liberty and equality, eventually  welcoming every American into the arms of democracy, protecting their freedoms  and expanding their economic opportunities.

Today, entire continents follow America’s example. Americans are justifiably  proud for giving the world the gift of modern democracy and demonstrating how to  turn an abstract vision of democracy into reality.

The advancements we made collectively over the years to fulfill these  founding promises are essential to a progressive vision of the American idea.  The continued search for genuine freedom, equality and opportunity for all  people is a foundational goal that everyone — progressives and conservatives  alike — should cherish and protect.

By: John Podesta and John Halpin, Center For American Progress, Published in Politico, October 10, 2011

October 13, 2011 Posted by | Affordable Care Act, Class Warfare, Congress, Democrats, Equal Rights, GOP, Human Rights, Medicare, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Social Security, Teaparty | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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