Tea Party

Tea Party Debt Commission booted from Senate hearing room

Our friends at FreedomWorks had hoped yesterday to release the findings of the Tea Party Debt Commission at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington. Despite being sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Senate Democrats shut down the event, forcing them move to nearby Hillsdale College.

Congress has not passed a budget — one of its most basic functions — in 933 days, including two years of overwhelming Democratic Party majorities in both chambers while also controlling the presidency. FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe and Sen. Lee were understandably frustrated by the actions of Senate Democrats, but were undeterred (as you can see in the video above).

In a statement from FreedomWorks, Kibbe said:

“The Senate hasn’t been able to pass a budget resolution three years running. They have been unable to do their job, and now the Rules Committee is trying to prevent the American people from doing it for them,” said Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks

Is drug testing welfare applicants a good idea?

A federal judge has recently blocked Florida’s new program to test welfare recipients for drugs:

Judge Mary Scriven’s ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father who sought the benefits while finishing his college degree, but refused to take the test.

The judge said there was a good chance plaintiff Luis Lebron would succeed in his challenge to the law based on the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. The drug test can reveal a host of private medical facts about the individual, Scriven wrote, adding that she found it “troubling” that the drug tests are not kept confidential like medical records. The results can also be shared with law enforcement officers and a drug abuse hotline.

“This potential interception of positive drug tests by law enforcement implicates a `far more substantial’ invasion of privacy than in ordinary civil drug testing cases,” Scriven said.

While allowing extensive access to medical records is certainly questionable and poses a privacy risk to patients, I see no inherent constitutional issue with requiring a drug test for voluntary welfare benefits. The intent is certainly honorable; we want to ensure that taxpayer funded welfare checks are not being used for recreation. The practice is popular among conservatives and tea party folk alike, but it distracts from the much larger issues and instead seeks to implement a solution on a subordinate level.

Crony Capitalism Is Phony Capitalism

That little gem is from a new page on Facebook, called “Crony Capitalism is Phony Capitalism.” Now, you may be wondering why I posted this. I mean yes, it’s kinda cute (c’mon, this is the postmodern 21st century, zombies and Cthulhu are automatically cute), short, pithy, and expresses a libertarian message, even if it generalizes it. A lot. But a 30-second video from a Facebook page? Really?

The reason I did so is because I feel this is the Number #1 message we need to be getting out there (well, that and how feeling up women at airports is just wrong.) Back in college, when I argued about government intervention in the marketplace, “corporatism” and “crony capitalism” were just not mentioned. It was an important discovery for me when I found these terms, because previously I had been just trying to defend capitalism, no adjectives. It was difficult, because everyone associated large businesses ripping them off with the capitalist system, and they just could not understand how government so heavily involved itself in the market, but that system was not what we libertarians were espousing. Oh, how useful these new terms were! How sharp were their blades in cutting away the web of lies! How deep were their inkwells in writing the new papers blogs on liberty and the free market!

So, what’s the point of Occupy Wall Street?

As the Occupy Wall Street movement faces eviction from their humble abode smack dab in the middle of the city that never sleeps, it has truly been a beast of a different feather.  Even should the eviction happen, I suspect they’re just find somewhere else to be.  But what exactly is the Occupy Wall Street movement?

The real answer is that no one really knows.  A list of demands took to the web, but it was quickly discounted by many as “unofficial” when non-supporters began lambasting those very demands, and there in lies the genius of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

When the Tea Party first coalesced, despite its leaderless nature there were very real goals.  There were some universal ideas that spread throughout the Tea Party, and the Tea Party acknowledged it.  The Tea Party was anti-bailouts for one, and it was against tax increases as well.  It stood for some very real thing that anyone who was at a Tea Party as a participant – and not just as a spectator or rabble rouser – was likely to believe.

However, Occupy Wall Street has a built in defense mechanism.  When someone lists a demand as “Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment,” and opponents jump on it, Occupy Wall Street supporters can say, “Oh no!  That’s not a demand.  There aren’t any demands!”

You see, without any demands, they don’t actually have to do anything.  They don’t have to work towards any goals, because they don’t have them.  They are protesting, but no one seems to know what they actually want, and that amorphous nature allows them to adapt to any situation.  All they have to say is that they are representing “the 99%” and to soldier on.

First they’re Hobbits, now they’re…Zombies?

I’ve seen a lot of tasteless things in my life. Donald Trump, for instance. Former Rep. Alan Grayson’s remarks about, well, everything. Christian pastors blaming 9/11 and earthquakes on “teh gayz.” (And, for that matter, the entire Westboro Baptist Church.) The Socialist Weasel.

And then, there is this. A so-called “game” entitled Tea Party Zombies Must Die.

TeaPartyZombies

Ahem: WHOOBOY.

I really can’t look at it myself, so I just read the Kotaku blog post on it and got my information from there. I’ll admit it, I’m shameless. I listened to the Scorpions when Hurricane Irene battered my apartment building. But this is just a whole `nother bag of snakes.

Clearly, somebody wasn’t paying attention when President Obama, the Democratic Party, and the entire left-wing chattersphere went on and on about “civility” and the “new tone” (granted, I don’t think many of them were paying attention either, especially Obama) that we all needed to share. And now somebody is making a video game that explicitly targets conservative leaders.

Of Hobbits and Acid-Tongued Democrats

On January 8th of this year, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was one of nineteen people shot, six fatally, by crazed gunman Jared Loughner. For nearly a week the national press and Democrats excoriated the TEA Party in general, and Sarah Palin in particular, for creating the environment that nurtured this horrifying act of political terrorism. President Obama, apparently in another example of leading from behind, eventually called for “more civility in our public discourse”, and admonished us to refrain from “lay[ing] the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happened to think differently than we do”.

Democrats finally heeded their leader’s advice, although it is uncertain whether that resulted from an epiphany that such inflammatory rhetoric was producing more of the division they claimed to deplore, or because they’d lost the moral high ground when it was discovered that the shooter, supposedly driven to his murderous rampage by seeing target symbols on a map of political districts, was actually a liberal, anti-Christian pot-smoker who hated George Bush.

The civility truce was short-lived however, and soon liberal Democrats went right back to ascribing the worst possible motives to their political enemies, simply for holding opposing policy positions. This last week or so, though, has seen liberal vitriol march back into full attack mode. The TEA Party and conservative Republicans have been repeatedly called “terrorists” by the mainstream press and prominent Democrats.

Herman Cain Plays The Race Card

Remember the 2008 campaign (and afterward) when several of Obama’s opponents were called racist for criticizing him? Remember the conservative backlash against liberals playing the race card? Fast forward to the 2012 campaign and we are once again seeing the same filthy, immature racialism. Only this time it’s coming from a conservative – tea party darling Herman Cain.

I came across this story from ThinkProgress and was immediately skeptical as I am a frequent viewer of The Daily Show and consider myself to be a huge fan of Jon Stewart. I have never once even considered that Jon Stewart harbors any sense of racism. However, keeping an open mind and not wanting to cast a hasty judgement, I decided to hunt down the clip of Stewart’s show in question to see just what it was that Herman Cain was referencing. Perhaps Stewart has said something that Cain merely took out of context. To my surprise, the segment was from a show which I had already seen. The issue of race did not so much as pass through my mind upon my initial viewing that episode, and I did not detect the slightest hint of it the second time.

Here’s what Herman Cain had to say:

CNN’s debate was about as entertaining as watching grass grow

If you were able to sit through the entire debate, I think you deserve an award. Seriously, that was rough. There wasn’t much in the way of substantive answers. And outside of Rep. Ron Paul, who is focusing his message on monetary policy and non-interventionist foreign policy, no one really seemed to want to separate themselves from the pack last night. There was a lot of agreement and no fireworks.

CNN’s John King, who served as the debate’s moderator, did a terrible job. He spent most of the evening utting “uh huh” behind the answers given by each question. Just before commercial breaks he asked candidates if they preferred “Conan or Leno,” “Elvis or Johnny Cash” and “Coke or Pepsi.” CNN will be hosting a Tea Party debate on September 12th, let’s hope they workout the kinks between now and then.

Michele Bachmann: Even though she contradicted herself on a couple of occasions - for example, saying that she wouldn’t interfere with state marriage laws, but yet supports a Federal Marriage Amendment; Bachmann, who used the debate as an opportunity to announce her candidacy, actually came across fairly well as far as communicating her message. I’d say she was in top three debate “winners.” By the way, Bachmann’s House seat seems to be up in the air. If she’s actively running for president, she can’t run for re-election. However, she has until June 2012 to make a decision.

It must be something in the water

I recently attended an anti-big Government spending and taxing rally “put-on” sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots of Northern California. I thought it was being held at the capitol, amongst the cool tree shaded grounds, for maximum political effect, but unfortunately the powers that be had herded the capons to a sun baked stretch of the state fairgrounds. Where anyone who wasn’t a Tea Party member wouldn’t even know there was a tea party being held in Sacramento. It has been suggested that the real reason for the unfortunate location was the fact that the enormously profitable gigantic vendor tent wouldn’t have fit in front of the Capitol.

Upon attempting to display my sign which read on one side, “THE DOG ATE THE $38 BILLION ‘BUDGET CUT’” and on the other side, “HOUSE REPUBLICANS (RINOS) NO BALLS, NO BONER”, I was approached by the thought police in the form of a little red-shirted moron who informed me that I would have to shield the “Balls” side of the sign from view because we didn’t want to “give the press any excuse to attack us”. Apparently the moron didn’t realize that the statist press already hates the tea party, considers us the enemy, and that no amount of groveling will ever satisfy them, only our complete disappearance from the political scene. (Note: Should the temptation arise to agree with the red shirted surrender monkey, I would suggest consulting Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary or Webster’s Third New International Dictionary so as to avoid having to pull one’s foot out of one’s mouth.)

Manifesto of a Right-Wing Extremist

Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, was exposed this week for engaging in a coordinated effort to paint Republicans, and especially those with ties to the TEA Party movement, as “extremists”. Speaking to fellow Senate Democrats (and not realizing that the media had already been connected in on the conference call), Schumer explained that he “always use[s] the word extreme”, because “that is what the caucus instructed me to use this week”. This intentional attempt at character assassination comes because House Speaker Boehner is getting pressure from freshmen Republicans and the conservative base to do something more than offer lip service to fiscal responsibility.

Indeed, the problem is not that Republicans are too extreme. The problem is that they are not extreme enough; the $61 billion in budget cuts, from a $3.78 trillion dollar budget which increases the deficit by about a trillion and a half dollars, is little more than a rounding error. Much deeper cuts to spending are necessary if we are to get our fiscal house in order, and Republicans had better show some spine and get serious if they expect to keep the support of conservatives and the majority of independents come November 2012.

To be sure though, any Republican with an ounce of intelligence and awareness knew these attacks would come. After all, this is an administration who refuses to acknowledge the radical Islamic roots of the terrorist attacks on American soil over the last few years, yet whose Department of Homeland Security two years ago published a report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”. Obama himself has repeatedly refers to his political opposition as being extreme and dangerous.


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