Tea & Crackers, or Tea-Partying as Crackers

29 09 2010

. . .not to mention unchristian and unconstitutional.

Rolling Stone Magazine
October 15, 2010

Tea & Crackers:
How corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster

by Matt Taibbi
(Pinky-crooked cock of the snook to Rolfe Schmidt for the link.)

The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about . . .

So how does a group of billionaire businessmen and corporations get a bunch of broke Middle American white people to lobby for lower taxes for the rich and deregulation of Wall Street? That turns out to be easy.

. . . A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.

Belief in gods isn’t being served up for tea, but isn’t that the real issue as always? I’m a American southerner raised on the Christian Bible and church suppers rather than tea and crackers, and I remember a verse that explains both the economic crisis and our crisis of faith that America can overcome it:
Timothy 6:10.

Three out of 10 children in the nation’s capital were living in poverty last year, with the number of poor African American children rising at a breathtaking rate, according to census statistics released Tuesday.

Is there anything in anybody’s holy book condemning willful ignorance and useful idiocy? If there isn’t, there oughtta be.

Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are. . . they’re shockingly willing to believe . . .white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid.

. . .You look into the eyes of these people when you talk to them and they genuinely don’t see what the problem is. It’s no use explaining. . .

But if public education hasn’t COMPLETELY failed our nation, not this dramatically and dangerously at least, then surely even the earth-shatteringly stupid can grasp and employ the ecumenical ethic of “do unto others?” And if not, well, we Americans of any religion and no religion, of much and little intelligence, we’re all still okay as a people, yes? — we’re united by the unbreakable bonds of the golden-rule-enlightened Constitution we all respect and some revere:

We the People of the United States, in Order to

form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice,
insure domestic Tranquility,
provide for the common defence,
promote the general Welfare, and
secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

Or are we united, and do we respect the “common” and the “general” as much as our own private interest?

The Tea Party is many things at once, but one way or another, it almost always comes back to a campaign against that unsafe urban hellscape of godless liberalism we call our modern world. . . . ultimately about turning back the clock, returning America to the moment of her constitutional creation, when the federal bureaucracy was nonexistent and men were free to roam the Midwestern plains strip-mining coal and erecting office buildings without wheelchair access.

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8 responses

1 10 2010
JJ

Stark example of earth-shatteringly stupid tea party pandering as public education problem-solving:

1) blame individuals with “caveat emptor” but call it personal freedom
2) blame the public (government) and call it tyranny
3) absolve business and defend profits, call that freedom too and urge more privatization with less regulation in even catastrophic cases of failure
4) do all of the above while personally using big bucks from for-profit business to get enough individual votes to claim the right to represent the people’s interest in the public functions of government

EDUCATION WEEK
Debate Over For-Profit Colleges Turns Partisan
By Caralee Adams on September 30, 2010 2:46 PM

* Profit margins at the schools ranged from 16 percent to 37 percent, with the majority of revenue coming from the federal government.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that there appeared to be opposition to anything with a profit motive and that proprietary college provide flexible courses at night and online that were responsive to the job
market. . . .

McCain said the chairman of the committee had pointed out the abuses in the system “ad nause[u]m.”

Harkin said he never anticipated the hearings would devolve into partisan politics.

3 10 2010
JJ

Excerpt from The Very Useful Idiocy of Christine O’Donnell:

To prove the point, a head of the headless Tea Party Patriots vouched that “75 percent of the group’s funding comes from small donations, $20 or less.”

In fact, local chapters of Tea Party Patriots routinely received early training and support from FreedomWorks, the moneyed libertarian outfit run by the former Republican House majority leader and corporate lobbyist Dick Armey. FreedomWorks is itself a spinoff from Citizens for a Sound Economy, a pseudo-grassroots group whose links to the billionaire Koch brothers were traced by Jane Mayer in her blockbuster August exposé in The New Yorker. Last week the same Tea Party Patriots leader who bragged to the National Journal about all those small donations announced a $1 million gift from a man she would identify only as an entrepreneur. The donor’s hidden identity speaks even louder than the size of the check. As long as we don’t know who he is, we won’t know what orders he’s giving either.

Such deep-pocketed mystery benefactors — not O’Donnell, whose reported income for this year and last is $5,800 — are the real indicators of what’s going on under the broad Tea Party rubric. Big money rains down on the “bottom up” Tea Party insurgency through phantom front organizations (Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Job Security) that exploit legal loopholes to keep their sugar daddies’ names secret. Reporters at The Times and The Washington Post, among others, have lately made real strides in explaining how the game works. But we still don’t know the identities of most of those anonymous donors.

From what we do know, it’s clear that some Tea Party groups and candidates like Sharron Angle, Paul and O’Donnell are being financed directly or indirectly not just by the Kochs (who share the No. 5 spot on the new Forbes 400) but by a remarkable coterie of fellow billionaires, led by oil barons like Robert Rowling (Forbes No. 69) and Trevor Rees-Jones (No. 110). Even their largess may be dwarfed by Rupert Murdoch (No. 38) and his News Corporation, whose known cash contributions ($2 million to Republican and Republican-tilting campaign groups) are dwarfed by the avalanche of free promotion they provide Tea Party causes and personalities daily at Fox and The Wall Street Journal.

However much these corporate contributors may share the Tea Party minions’ antipathy toward President Obama, their economic interests hardly overlap. The rank and file Tea Partiers say they oppose government spending and deficits. The billionaires have no problem with federal spending as long as the pork is corporate pork. They, like most Republican leaders in 2008, supported the Bush administration’s Wall Street bailout. They also don’t mind deficits as long as they get their outsize cut of the red ink — $3.8 trillion worth if all the Bush tax cuts are made permanent.

But while these billionaires’ selfish interests are in conflict with the Tea Party’s agenda, they are in complete sync with the G.O.P.’s Washington leadership. The Republicans’ new “Pledge to America” promises the $3.8 trillion addition to the deficit and says nothing about serious budget cuts or governmental reforms that might remotely offset it. Surfing the Beltway talk shows last Sunday, you couldn’t find one without a G.O.P. politician adamantly refusing to specify a single program he might cut at, say, the Department of Education (Pell grants?) or the National Institutes of Health (cancer research?). And that’s just the small change.

Everyone knows that tax cuts for the G.O.P.’s wealthiest patrons must come out of Social Security and Medicare payments for everybody else.

They are acing it, these guys. Election Day is now only a month away. The demoralized Democrats are held hostage by the unemployment numbers. And along comes this marvelous gift out of nowhere, Christine O’Donnell, Tea Party everywoman, who just may be the final ingredient needed to camouflage a billionaires’ coup as a populist surge. By the time her fans discover that any post-election cuts in government spending will be billed to them, and not the Tea Party’s shadowy backers, she’ll surely be settling her own debts with fat paychecks from “Fox & Friends.”

6 10 2010
Nance Confer

A “disappointing friend” or a “deadly enemy.” That’s how Bill Maher described the choices in this coming election. He captured how I feel about what the Ds have been able to squeeze out of Congress so far and what we all have to consider if we vote for the Christine Os and other right-wingers out there. We have to overcome that disappointment and at least show up to vote. Once you get to the polling station, is there really any choice?

6 10 2010
COD

University of Phoenix is the largest for profit college around. John McCain represents Phoenix. But I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that he sees nothing wrong with diploma mills feeding at the public trough. After all, Republicans are anti government spending, so surely he would act if tax dollars were being wasted.

6 10 2010
JJ

Ri-i-ght.

6 10 2010
JJ

Religious people [too] must rally to restore sanity:

Of course, at the root of good comedy is uncomfortable truth. Sanity is sorely lacking in America, and fear seems to be growing as the prime mover in our debates.

6 10 2010
JJ

Journalist/businesswoman from the Philadelphia area using the pen name “Betsy Ross” to title her post with the song name:

The last 21 months of Democratic rule amount to a failed opportunity on the scale of Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs’ disastrous “Big Bang” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, not to mention Paul Bremer’s epic mismanagement of post-invasion Iraq.

. . .On the right, some Americans have fallen for the potent brew of bigotry and nouveau fascism the Tea Baggers imbibe. On the left, we’re just getting started, with the recent “One Nation Working Together” march in Washington and Daily Show Jon Stewart’s wild & woolly “Rally to Restore Sanity” coming up on October 30th.

We want leaders who will serve us and not the banks and the Chinese government, who will not debase our name and endanger us by promoting torture and reckless wars, and who will not compromise on healthcare, job creation, education, and the environment. If the Democrats can’t deliver on these pressing issues when they control all three houses, with an overwhelming mandate to act, I say to heck with them.

Don’t get me wrong. I still plan to vote – my father voted from his deathbed. In fact, writing this led me to check out just what Dick Gregory might be up to. On a hunger strike, actually. Yep, starting on September 10th, the rail-thin 78-year-old former comedian announced he would take in only fluids “until the real truth of what happened on the day [9/11] emerges and is publicly known.” Admirable maybe, but probably not presidential material.

Then again, for a fresh start, Jon Stewart might be just the ticket. Let’s see who the joke’s on this time.

Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday

26 10 2010

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