Category Archives: republican
As you know, if I see or read something that makes so much sense that I have to share it – I will. This comes from Keith Olberman on MSNBC’s Countdown. It is about the Tea Party and its agenda for America. Please read it, think about it, and check the facts contained within it – then decide for yourself if the Tea Party is something that you truly feel is good for this country. Don’t decide solely because of this Special Comment from Mr. Olberman, but look around and educate yourself from the myriad of reports and analysis that draw the same conclusions. These are important times my friends…get smarter. I now yield the remainder of my time and my blog to Mr. Olberman. Read the rest of this entry
The GOP’s Purity Pledge
Sixteen years after the Contract With America comes its bastard child—the Pledge to America, an attempt by the party establishment to rein in the Tea Party and reassure us the elders are still in charge.
The Republican Party is at it again, nicking its own thumb with a keen pen-knife and offering up a Boy Scout promise to be good—improbably, paradigmatically good.
Sixteen years ago, we got a Contract With America, legalistic window-dressing for a promise to take ideological positions that were at bellicose odds with the first Clinton administration. It was, to be sure, an invigorating promise, but the execution of the promise was an unforgettable, obstructive disaster: The GOP, which became the Gingrich Obstructionist Party, was hoist with its own pseudo-contractual petard. Not to “shut down” government would have been in breach of contract, so they shut government down, and paid a price from which the party has not fully recovered.
This is a pledge designed to reassure us that we are back to Republican business as usual, to reassure us that the Republican Party elders are still in charge, even as Tea Party philistines clamor angrily at the hedgerow.
Now, 16 years later, we have the bastard child of that Contract With America, dubbed, with a timorous desire to soften any unpleasantness of echo from 1994, the Pledge to America. From a Republican perspective, the blousy new name is a bad idea strategically, and rhetorically: It encourages one to ask why the Republican Party has fought shy of reprising the Contract theme. Are they embarrassed by their Gingrichist past? Are they eager to keep in purdah the calamitously degenerated former House speaker, now a mere (and unsavory) shadow of the revolutionary he was in his heyday 16 years ago? Are they afraid to revive echoes from their last, full-frontal, but ultimately backfiring, assault on a wobbly first-term president?
More broadly, one has to wonder whether this whole Pledge business is an attempt by the Republican Party establishment to impose hasty order on its rightward, Tea Party flank, which has threatened to pull the GOP into uncharted populist territory—territory that many independents might find daunting, and off-putting. By setting up a Pledge—a checklist, in effect, of what is or isn’t Republican—the GOP must hope to quiet the discontent among those who bucked the party line and voted (in the primaries) for the likes of Christine O’Donnell. The party is saying to its purists, in effect, that it has a Purity Test.
Much more amusing, for sure, and possibly quite deadly, would have been a Republican campaign that accused the Democrats of taking out a Contract on America, designed to kill off the country’s entrepreneurial spirit domestically, not to mention any sense of American exceptionalism abroad. Maybe that will come once the Pledge has been unveiled.
But the GOP is profoundly spooked by the ascent of the Tea Party and wants to ensure that no one will ever mistake Republicans for a rabble unfit to govern. So the party has decreed that it’s time for a message that has been approved… by the party—by John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, et al.—a manifesto that bears a Republican National Committee imprimatur.
This is a pledge designed to reassure us that we are back to Republican business as usual, to reassure us that the Republican Party elders are still in charge, even as Tea Party philistines clamor angrily at the hedgerow. The rebels, we are now assured, have been domesticated by institutional reason and good sense. The Tea Party wanted a Declaration of War. What it has got is a Pledge. The natural order has reasserted itself.
Tunku Varadarajan is a national affairs correspondent and writer at large for The Daily Beast. He is also the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a professor at NYU’s Stern Business School. He is a former assistant managing editor at The Wall Street Journal. (Follow him on Twitter here.)
PANAMA CITY — A Congressional candidate told local high school and middle school students Tuesday that Islam’s plan is to destroy the American way of life.
“I’m totally against it. If I had my way, it would pretty much be over my dead body,” said Ron McNeil, a candidate for the U.S. House District 2 seat, who was referring to a controversial plan to build an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. “That religion is against everything America stands for. If we have to let them build it, make them build it nine stories underground, so we can walk above it as citizens and Christians.”
Some people in the audience applauded McNeil’s response. However, one student appeared up-set and asked McNeil what gave him or the federal government the right to tell an American that they can’t build an institution.
“This religion’s plan is to destroy our way of life,” McNeil said.
The student responded by saying he did not feel it was a Christian’s place to determine whether Islam is right or wrong.
“It’s our place as Christians to stand up for the word of God and what the Bible says,” McNeil replied.
Dianne Berryhill, an independent candidate for the Congressional seat now held by Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, also weighed in on the proposed mosque.
“If we were under Muslim law, you girls wouldn’t be sitting here showing any kind of skin. You would be in hot burqas and … you wouldn’t be sitting in school,” she said.
No other candidate weighed in on the controversy during the debate.
The comments came during a forum at North Bay Haven Charter Academy hosted by WJHG News Channel 7. The debate was organized with the help of Tim Kitts, the chief education officer for Bay Haven Schools, but students in all the local high schools, with the exception of New-point Bay, asked the questions.
“The whole idea is that we want children to become informed, knowledgeable citizens,” Kitts said. “They should first know what they believe and why they believe it, and then they can cast their vote.”
Among the other candidates at the forum were Pat Sabiston and Joe Wayne Walker, who are in the running for the School Board District 1 seat, and the three candidates, Jim Barr, Steve Moss and Donna Allen, running for the District 5 school board seat.
Sabiston, who currently holds the District 1 seat, discussed a national model for in-school suspension as a way to discipline students in school and a change in the procedure for purchase orders to save money. Walker expressed the importance of giving children opportunities, even if they don’t want to go to college.
Allen, a longtime school board member, said she found it imperative that school board members be accessible to students and visit schools. Barr, like Allen, finds accountability to students important. Moss addressed the importance of proper nutrition in school lunches, explaining that food has an effect on energy levels, so nutritional food potentially could lead to higher test scores.
In the District 2 Congressional race, McNeil is running against Steve Southerland and David Scholl in the Republican primary. Eddie Hendry and Barbara F. Olschner, both of whom also are running for the District 2 GOP nomination, did not attend. Paul McKain, an independent candidate, and Democrats Boyd and state Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, are also in the running. Boyd and Lawson did not attend. Berryhill is running as an independent.
The Congressional candidates in attendance Tuesday all said they were conservative constitutionalists, and each talked about the importance of self-reliance.
“We can’t depend on the government, but we can depend on ourselves,” Scholl said.
The last candidates to debate were four of the five candidates for the District 4 county commissioner seat: Guy Tunnell, Bill Busch, Dan Estes and Derrell Day. Cathy McClellan did not at-tend.
The candidates discussed their plans to improve tourism and the economy. Several of the candidates said the free market would be the best system to make these improvements, and the government should not get in the way. The topic of legalized gambling in Florida and the possibility of building a casino in the area came up. Although a casino could raise much-needed tax revenue, Day said caution must be taken.
“I’m not really interested in new ways to spend money,” Day said. “Every time we get a lot of tax revenue, we tend to waste it, so we have to be very careful.”
Estes said the ideal thing to do with the extra tax revenue is start paying off debt.
After the debate, Lewis and Kitts talked about the quality of the questions.
“What I got from the candidates is that they have not had questions that have been this thought out,” Kitts said.
One student, who posed several questions, commented on the candidate’s performance.
“A few of the candidates beat around the bush,” said Stuart Hilton, a student at Mosley High School. “For the general questions, like regarding property taxes, they did answer the question. That’s politicians for you.”
The primary election is Aug. 24, although early voting already is under way.
See, I’ve discovered, through the course of just asking around, that many folks don’t realize that they’re taxed at different levels. Many think that if they make over a certain amount of money, all of their money is taxed at that rate. That’s why you heard all that talk about taxes being a disincentive to making more money, which is obviously nuts and was meant to confuse the average taxpayer who doesn’t understand how our system works.
In any event, the graph via Wash Post…
And a little more about where this came from:
A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year — and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation’s millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday.New data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31 billion in tax breaks under the GOP plan in 2011, for an average tax cut per household of about $100,000.
Does everybody now understand how big of a giveaway this is to the wealthiest 2%?
Were the rich hurting in the 90s when the tax rate was 39.6%?
Can we all agree that people making between $200 and $500K can take a $400 hit?
And to those who make over $500K, well, you still don’t have to pay Social Security tax on hardly ANY of your income. And since many of the super rich derive their income from investments, which is taxed at 15% since it’s considered long term capital gains, you’re still gaming the system effectively.
Yes, rich people…you’re still rich and you still win.
Meanwhile, teachers, firefighters and cops don’t deserve to keep their jobs according to Republicans, but they want to give $10 billion more to people who are so wealthy that few of us will ever understand what it is to be in that company?
With the official formation of a congressional Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann has thrust an existential question before House Republican leaders: Are you in or are you out?
Indiana’s Mike Pence, chairman of the Republican Conference, was adamant. “You betcha,” he said, deploying a Minnesota catch phrase.
But Minority Leader John Boehner won’t have his name on the caucus list.
And Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor and his chief deputy, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California — known as “Young Guns” for the GOP — are undecided.
Minnesota’s Bachmann, a favorite of the tea party movement, earned approval from the Democratic leadership for her caucus late last week. It came as a bit of a surprise to her leadership, whom she didn’t forewarn before formally applying to create the caucus.
“It was something we were doing on our own,” Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok said. “Ultimately, we just pulled the trigger.”
Indeed, the tea party movement is a loaded political weapon for Republicans heading into the midterm elections.
Until now, they have had the luxury of enjoying the benefits of tea party enthusiasm without having to actually declare membership. But now that Bachmann has brought the tea party inside the Capitol, House Republican leaders and rank-and-file members may have to choose whether to join the institutionalized movement.
It’s easy to see why some Republicans may be hesitant, even as the tea party, itself, fights over the sentiments expressed by the movement’s most extreme elements.
The Tea Party Federation expelled its most prominent faction, the Tea Party Express, after a spokesman wrote a racially charged letter framed as a satirical jab at Ben Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The Tea Party Express fired back, with a spokesman calling the decision “arrogant and preposterous.”
“If there are some tendencies in the outside movement that you don’t want to be associated with, this could be a risky step,” said Celia Carroll, a political science professor at Hampden-Sydney College who has done academic research on congressional caucuses.
Joining caucuses is somewhat of a ritual in the House, where niche groups like the Sportsmen’s Caucus or the Armenian Caucus are supposed to give lawmakers a chance to build their political identity and promote their own ideas and those of allies outside Congress. The Senate is less relevant in the caucus debate: There is only one officially recognized caucus, the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.
“I think caucuses represent an opportunity for members to get together and to share ideas, and my hope is that this Tea Party Caucus would do the same and also would be an avenue for bringing some of the energy and enthusiasm and the focus that I’ve seen from the national march on Washington, where I spoke on 9/12, [and] traveling around Indiana and a little around the country, deeper into the well of Congress,” Pence said.
Pence is widely viewed as a potential candidate for statewide, or perhaps national office, and he has built on his connection to the movement, which could be politically beneficial in the future.
But the question is not as clear-cut for other Republican leaders.
Cantor’s office declined to entertain a question about whether the No. 2 GOP House member would join the Tea Party Caucus. A spokesman said he was on a plane nearly all day and could not be reached.
The uncertainty in the House GOP leadership underscores the risk — and reward — of identifying with a movement that electrifies the conservative base, yet may turn off moderate Republicans and political independents with controversial slogans and billboards perceived by many to be racist or insensitive to religious minorities.
Republican leaders certainly have been capitalizing on tea party anger at a Democratic-controlled establishment, watching with glee as Democratic health care town halls were disrupted by tea party demonstrators last fall. In fact, Boehner led the charge of Republican lawmakers down the Capitol steps late last year, addressing the crowd before Bachmann did. He also spoke at rallies in Orlando, Fla., and Ohio and attended one in Bakersfield, Calif., with McCarthy.
But when it comes to joining the caucus, the Ohio Republican fell back on a long-standing promise not to join such groups.
“As a personal policy, Boehner is not a member of any caucus other than the House Republican Conference,” spokesman Michael Steele said in a statement to POLITICO.
There’s an advantage to watching the fire from a safe distance, Carroll said.
“It’s brilliant politically to take advantage of this anti-Democratic, to a large extent, movement without being seen as orchestrating it,” she said.
But Bachmann’s formation of the new caucus has made her a force to be reckoned with inside the Republican Conference; indeed, at last fall’s tea party march on Capitol Hill, demonstrators yelled out, “Palin/Bachmann 2012.” Partially as a result of Bachmann’s — and Sarah Palin’s — star power, nearly a quarter of Americans believe the tea party “will become a viable third party in American politics,” according to a POLITICO poll released Monday.
Bachmann’s office said it hasn’t worked out many of the details of how the caucus will operate and interact with the tea party movement outside Congress. The group’s first step will be to find members to put tea party “principles into practice,” Dziok said. Its first meeting will be Wednesday.
Lawmakers and aides said there’s room for both the Tea Party Caucus and the conservative Republican Study Committee, whose members quite likely would provide a pool for Bachmann’s group.
Pence, a former chairman of the RSC, said he hasn’t spoken to Bachmann about what the group will do, but he welcomes the voice.
“I think iron sharpens iron,” he said.
In response to this Tea Bagger billboard, a Tea Bagger leader, said:
“That’s just a waste of money, time, resources and it’s not going to further our cause,” said Shelby Blakely, a leaders of the Tea Party Patriots, a national group. “It’s not going to help our cause. It’s going to make people think that the tea party is full of a bunch of right-wing fringe people, and that’s not true.”
The Tea Party is NOT “a bunch of right-wing fringe people?” WHAT WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?!?!?!
(PAUSE FOR DEEP BREATH)
If that is a fact (which it isn’t) then the Tea Party has a worse advertising group than the Democrats- and that is saying something.
Let’s break that quote down. It says that the Tea Party is not:
2) fringe people
Let’s look at each assertion separately:
Let’s take a look at the Tea Bagger Party and their views vs. Republican views (source from HERE) and maybe we will see that they are not right wing in their views at all (* NOTE: NOT HOLDING BREATH HERE) :
When asked what they considered “extremely serious threats” to the country’s future wellbeing, tea partiers cited the exact same things as run-of-the-mill Republicans. Shocker, right? Both groups overwhelmingly pointed to federal debt (61 percent of tea partiers, 55 percent of GOPers), Big Government (49 percent, 43 percent), health care costs (41 percent, 37 percent), and “terrorism” (51 percent, 51 percent) as the biggest threats to American prosperity. And in the category of unimportant threats, both groups dismiss the environment/global warming and discrimination against minorities. Here’s a good breakdown from Gallup:
“Yeah Matt what about the “FRINGE PEOPLE” part of that quote..but what about that, huh? So what they are conservative, but they aren’t extremists are they. You haven’t shown anything to support that HAVE YOU SMARTY PANTS?”
I hear your cry and well, since you asked for it…
So media coverage of the tea party is overblown? Maybe they’re not such a novel group after all? That’s the message gleaned by the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent:
The Tea Party movement gets a disproportionate share of media attention because of all the funny costumes, Hitler references, and fantasizing about armed revolution…
…and that doesn’t sound like “ fringe people” to you? What does then?
Maybe this Tea Party platform outline taken from http://www.teapartyplatform.us/Welcome.html will illustrate the “fringeness” of the Tea Party belief system:
Get government out of our lives and eliminate social security and medicare now!
As strict constructionists we believe the Constitution should be amended to protect life and prohibit all abortions, without exception.
Speaking of the Constitution, we believe citizenship should be denied to children of non-citizens born in the U.S. even though the 14th Amendment, says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.” Common sense tells us they didn’t really mean all persons born in the United States. Did they?
Put God back in the schools and let curricula tell the truth – that evolution is just a theory, like the theory of gravity. Freedom of religion for all Christians. Jews might be ok too.
Appoint a special prosecutor to thoroughly investigate the probable foreign birth of Barack Hussein Obama.
On libertarian principles, private restaurants and other businesses should not be forced to serve minorities. Though we abhor discrimination and if there is a minority out there who wants to join us they are welcome!
Protect the 2nd Amendment rights of people who are on the terrorist no-fly list!
I seriously doubt you will find many “non-tea party” Republicans who will agree to this platform. At least, in public.
So there, RIGHT- WING FRINGE PEOPLE you are!
WHAT??? YOU NEED MORE PROOF???
This nugget is gleaned from The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (found here.) Please note the last sentence of this paragraph:
Eight-in-ten Tea Party Republicans are closely following news about local candidates and campaigns, just half of Republicans who have no opinion about the Tea Party say the same. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) Tea Party Republicans are absolutely certain they will vote, compared with 68% of Republicans with no opinion about the Tea Party. Roughly two-thirds (65%) of Tea Party Republicans say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than usual; about half (49%) of Republicans with no opinion of the Tea Party say the same. On all three measures, Republicans with no opinion of the Tea Party movement share more in common with Democratic voters than with Tea Party Republican voters.
According to the article, You Tea Party wackos are ALL ABOUT SOME VOTING, way more so than Reps and Dems, (which is cool) but you have less in common with other CONSERVATIVES than the LIBERALS do!
SO, SIMPLY PUT THE DEMOCRATS (YOU KNOW THE SOCIALISTS, MARXISTS, ETC. ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN BILLBOARD) HAVE MORE IN COMMON WITH YOUR ALLIES THAN YOU DO.
YOU ARE “RIGHT- WING FRINGE PEOPLE.”
I rest my case.
Before you read this article please note WHO proposed the amendments and what how the vote turned out to pass these amendments…I think a lot of people in this country need to look behind the curtain.
Senate Ends Taxpayer-Funded Bank Bailouts
by: Patricia Murphy
The Senate made two significant changes to the Wall Street reform bill Wednesday, including a ban on using taxpayer money to salvage failing financial institutions.
The amendments followed a breakthrough in negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders.
The first amendment came from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who proposed banning federal funds from being used to bail out large financial institutions. Boxer called her amendment “an ironclad assurance that if a failing Wall Street firm is liquidated, the cost of that liquidation must come either from selling off the firm’s assets or from assessments of big Wall Street firms.” The Senate passed it 96 to 1, with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) objecting.
Next up was a joint amendment from Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) prescribing an orderly disposal of firms deemed “too big to fail.” Their measure would give the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) the power to seize and liquidate large financial firms if their failure would pose a risk to the U.S. economy.
The last-minute compromise hammered out between Dodd and Shelby came after Republicans refused for days to go along with Dodd’s original idea. He proposed creating a $50 billion bailout fund, paid for by banks, to use in case liquidation of large firms becomes necessary. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the proposal a “permanent bailout fund,” while Maine Republican Susan Collins warned that institutions engaged in risky behavior would have a government safety net.
The Senate passed the Shelby-Dodd measure, 93 to 5.
The near-unanimous votes came after weeks of partisan bickering by senators in both parties, with each side accusing the other of working to help Wall Street at the expense of small businesses and taxpayers.
Republicans argued that under the Dodd plan, any business that extends credit to its customers could be subject to the measure’s regulations. On Tuesday, McConnell warned it would give the federal government regulatory authority over businesses that are not financial institutions. “It has an extraordinarily broad reach at the moment, that could go right down to an orthodontist in middle America providing credit for a family having their child’s teeth straightened,” McConnell said.
But Democrats maintained that it would apply only to firms that make extending credit a core business.
At a press conference Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid alleged that any Republican objection to the overall reform bill is meant to protect Wall Street.
“Republicans are having difficulty determining how they’re going to continue making love to Wall Street,” Reid said. “It’s obvious they don’t want to put any decent restrictions on what Wall Street has done or is doing.”
With two roll call votes down, and more than 90 amendments still pending, Dodd predicted Wednesday that debate on financial reform will last at least through the end of next week.