Category Archives: Tea Party

Pickle relish and ketchup on my Deep State, Please?

Mother nature woke me at 4AM. The “Deep State” prevented me from going back into a deep sleep. Before I launch into my thoughts about national paranoia I’ll start with local paranoia.

I often mentioned the slogan I jokingly suggest should be our school board’s operating principle: “Just because you’re paranoid DOESN’T mean that someone isn’t out to get you!”

Just this morning I sent out an email containing this sentiment:

“The only antidote I know for this paranoia is sunshine. Put things out in the open where you can see them and you can shrug them off. If you can’t see them they become like that poisonous creature hiding in a tree stump in the Star trek movie about the castoffs marooned on a dying plant. They had to put their hands in the stump and risk a painful death.”

The “Deep State” strikes me as an invention of the real “Deep State.” The so called Deep State is not the bureaucrats and press foisting socialized medicine on a hardy, uncorrupted people. It’s the folks who don’t want to pay for socialized medicine or other civic obligations like pollution control.

The chief obstacle to getting this accomplished is our Constitution which guarantees a free press the much hated irritant of the power hungry except when they themselves use it. In Russia or China the author of “Dark Money”, Jane Mayer, would have been shot or disappeared by now. In America her biggest worry would be disinterest not death.

Before the School Board campaign and researching China got in the way I managed to get about half way through the book. It details the remnants of the John Birch Society which have rekindled into a much more potent semi-secret cabal led by the deep pockets of two of the Koch brothers. Their tentacles are everywhere – Congress, the Federal Courts, all state legislatures through ALEC, reapportionment, voter suppression, freedom to work laws, campaign finance, undermining of Federal regulation, the Trump Administration, the Tea Party and Fox News. You can’t fault Charles Koch for not putting his money where his heart is – corporate supremacy through regulatory inaction. You might argue that most of the billions he’s spent on this re engineering the American polity came from putting the public at risk by skimping on public spiritedness.

My take on the Republicans hysterics about a liberal Deep State is to think of it as Fake mongering. It has all the resonance of the grade school taunt: “I know you are but what am I?”

Maybe the real problem is overpopulation and its unruly offspring disappointed expectations of the young but the Free Press is under assault all over the world – Russia, Turkey, China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and now the United States. Our all-too-real President lies daily about “Fake News” until its obvious truth emerges. Then his lackey’s call it a “nothing burger.”

I’ll take my nothing burger with plenty of ketchup and pickle relish, thank you.

Condescension in politics

I’ve mentioned to others that Hillary Clinton’s “deporables” comment was a catastrophic mistake.

The great irony of the Trump election is that blue collar workers who once voted in a mighty Democratic bloc now vote for the Republicans who are trying to tamp down Social Security, National Health Insurance and a dozen other protections that make the Koch Brothers think America is becoming socialist.

I was a Republican and a socialism supporter for years when my Mr. Russ, my high school social studies teacher told me in 1968 that America has a mixed economy – a little socialism and little free enterprise.

Back to the “deplorables.”

Here’s an important NY Times think piece that explains what Democrats must do, and do fast, before the Republicans use their former voters to cement in the Koch ideal.

And here in Duluth I’ve seen plenty of condescension from Red Plan supporters who ignored the uneven financial burden it placed on poorer voters who shouldered an unfair share of our shiny new schools. Many local elitists can’t wait to get rid of Art Johnston who keeps reminding them of the bone-headed financial planning that went into the plan which has hollowed out the teachers we need to teach our children.

Many of them stood on the sidelines cheering as he was called a racist, a bully, with a conflict of interest. All lies by my reckoning and made by folks some of whom were everything that they accused Art of being.

I don’t particularly want to conflate national politics with local politics but if the shoe fits…………..

Dish washing brings second thoughts on the funny thing

There is one other possibility regarding Trump’s ultimatum to House Republicans that I ruled out a little too quickly. I thought that the Tea Partier’s testosterone wouldn’t let the ersatz Republican President, Donald Trump, steam roll them. As I washed dishes some suds cleared from my head. The tea partiers may cave. Thumbing their nose at Trump may do them more damage than going along with him…..with their voters.

Of course, crippling health care would distress a lot of voters and drive them to the Democrats in 2018. I just hope Ruth Bader Ginsburg can hang in there until 2020.

On the day that President Trump will give his first speech to Congress…

… I was fixing old posts. One of them was this short post from JANUARY 23, 2012. Richard Nixon’s simple explanation for why America should have two political parties reaching for the center instead of the periphery demonstrates the wisdom he had and that he ignored in order to become President in 1968.

Today the Bernie Sander’s diehards are hoping to do to the Democratic Party what the Tea Party did to the Republican Party. Break it.

From that post:

In 1959, Vice-President Nixon, speaking to members of California’s Commonwealth Club, was asked if he’d like to see the parties undergo an ideological realignment, the sort that has since taken place, and he replied, “I think it would be a great tragedy . . . if we had our two major political parties divide on what we would call a conservative-liberal line.” He continued, “I think one of the attributes of our political system has been that we have avoided generally violent swings in Administrations from one extreme to the other. And the reason we have avoided that is that in both parties there has been room for a broad spectrum of opinion.” Therefore, “when your Administrations come to power, they will represent the whole people rather than just one segment of the people.”

Moderation = Conservatism

Amen, David Brooks:

First, let me describe what moderation is not. It is not just finding the midpoint between two opposing poles and opportunistically planting yourself there. Only people who know nothing about moderation think it means that.

Moderates start with a political vision, but they get it from history books, not philosophy books. That is, a moderate isn’t ultimately committed to an abstract idea. Instead, she has a deep reverence for the way people live in her country and the animating principle behind that way of life.

Its not “conservatives” who have purged moderates (RINOs) from the Republican Party. Its Radicals who have purged conservatives. And Mitt Romney owes them big time for overlooking his convenient recent apostasies in their mad rush to get Hussein out of the White House.

The only way a Republican can argue for a tax increase…

…is to spend the money preparing to fight Obama’s United Nation’s mercenaries when they come to take over America.

Here’s what you just heard in case you thought someone had slipped you some LSD. By the way. The guy is a Texas judge.

[Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN. Okay, what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst case scenario here. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. We’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington-Concord take up arms and get rid of the guy.
Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops” with the little blue beanies. I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. Okay. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say “you’re not coming in here”. “And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him, I said “you gonna back me” he said, “yeah, I’ll back you.”

I’m impressed. This may be the only way for a Republican to slip a tax past Grover Norquist.

More on that “tepid criticism” post

My Buddy didn’t like my take on the OWS critic. Just in case my other readers want a little more elaboration on my part here’s the last couple paragraphs of my emailed reply to my Buddy:

As for the “tepid criticism” comment, well that was my take. The critic was saying something like, these clueless idealists are stealing my public space and confusing it with their free speech rights. I agree with that criticism. But I regard that as more of an intellectual misdemeanor than a felony.

To me the major point of my post was that all these “mass movements” attract a lot of fringe types but that I choose to judge them on what appears to me to their the primary unifying spirit. To me the Tea Partiers are just as clueless as the OWS movement and a tad more spiteful. Because they are older I’m inclined to be a little less forgiving of their misdemeanors.

Frankly, I look at the Tea Party crowd as just the latest wave of Boomers pissing and moaning. They were probably the same crowd that protested against the War in Vietnam and I’ll bet a few of the folks I forced to step over me on their way to the college President’s office are out there waving Obama Banners that make him look like the latest actor to play Batman’s nemesis the Joker – you know the one with lipstick smeared all over his mouth. Hey, its all free speech even if it was handed out on a plate by Rush Limbaugh and Roger Ailes.

Better than pepper spray

I have no gripes about various city governments trying to gently push Occupy Whatever out of inconvenient locales. I think that Duluth has done well in this respect with the local Police bringing milk and cookies to the protesters. However, my previous comments on the movement as a whole were not appreciated by my buddy.

Its true I tried to unseat James Oberstar, twice in fact, but I see no connection between those campaigns and the Occupy protests over an unfair playing field:

Harry:

Unlike The Lincoln Democrat, I have no blog. However, I sent that “tepid criticism”, to Mayor Ness, who I think is reading and handling the situation well, although he worked for a Democrat whom you tried to unseat.

[my buddy keeping me honest]

Income tax history lesson

Damn RINO’s:

The income tax was dead. But the pressure to tax the incomes of the largely untaxed rich only increased, especially as the Progressive wing of the Republican Party grew in strength under Theodore Roosevelt. By the time of the administration of President William Howard Taft (1909-13) the pressure was becoming overwhelming. One representative suggested simply repassing the 1894 tax bill and daring the Supreme Court to overturn it a second time.

Read John Steele Gordon’s whole column in the WSJ.

Comparing Obama with FDR

Here’s a sample of an interesting analysis:

Obama took office at the cusp of a massive worldwide financial crisis that was bound to inflict severe damage on himself and his party. That he faced such difficult circumstances does not absolve him of blame for any failures. It sets the bar lower, but the bar still exists. How should we judge Obama against it? I would argue that both the legislative record of 2009-2010 and Obama’s personal popularity level exceed the expectation level — facing worse economic conditions than the last two Democratic presidents at a similar juncture, Obama is far more popular than Jimmy Carter and nearly as popular as Bill Clinton, and vastly more accomplished than both put together.

With an equally interesting poll from 1935 showing that 70 years ago Americans were just as clueless about the roll of government spending to create economic stimulus.

Gallup Poll [December, 1935]
Do you think it necessary at this time to balance the budget and start reducing the national debt?
70% Yes
30 No
Gallup Poll [May, 1936]
Are the acts of the present Administration helping or hindering recovery?
55% Helping
45 Hindering
Gallup Poll (AIPO) [November, 1936]
DO YOU THINK IT NECESSARY FOR THE NEW ADMINISTRATION TO BALANCE THE BUDGET?
65% YES
28 NO
7 NO ANSWER

As a side note. The Duluth Chamber of Commerce oohed and ahhed over the Red Plan’s stimulation of the local Duluth economy. I never denied that spending 300 million would stimulate our economy. I argued more along the lines that the spending was, in Republican terms, “re-distributive” since it took regressive property tax money from the retired and gave it to big companies and their well paid workers. Had the Red Plan come from income taxes its stimulative effect would have been just as powerful but it would not have fallen so heavily on the backs of the poor.

Hell freezes over

No not really. It will take the Democrats and the Republicans working out a sensible federal spending/taxing plan for that to happen.

My buddy sent me this. No sharp elbows here. We both apparently agree with this old Republican war horse.

Would you run for office now?

Oh, hell, no. Now it’s just sharp elbows, and instead of having a caucus where you sit down and say, “What are you going to do for your country?” you sit figuring out how to screw the other side.

You can’t trust the Wall Street Journal…

…since Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, bought it:

The Obama bashing post from me a little earlier today was based on the WSJ’s calculated manipulation of income data. I didn’t realize it was a WSJ graphic. It suggested that people earning between $200 and 500 grand made 1.4 trillion dollars annually. Actually the big earners were closer to 500 than 200 grand. Obama could raise a lot of money by hitting the quarter million dollar earners he’s aiming at.

My apologies Mr. President.

Where our deficits come from

The Hoosierpundit site , linked to in the previous post, ends with a graph showing how, under Obama, the federal deficit has trippled over the Bush years. That is an unfortunate spin. This graph, which projects our deficit into the future shows that of the four changes brought about during the Bush era which accelerated the deficit the one that does the most damage is the Bush tax cut (with no spending cuts to support it)

Remember this every time Congressman Boehner attempts to shift the blame onto the President.

Find out what Grant drinks and send it to my other commanders

My gadfly critic, Vic, thinks Blogger Andrew Sullivan is “tendentious.”

Here’s my reply to an email Vic sent me this morning in which one of Vic’s old law school classmates disses a Sullivan blog post I sent Vic.

Vic,

I’ve read Sullivan over the same period of time. I’m unimpressed with your classmates analysis. I’ve read much the same from other “conservatives.” What you sent me the other day is one of the reasons I find Sullivan worth reading. He doesn’t join one side of a cheering section and park his brains in the locker room as though all that was at stake was bragging rights for winning a sport’s contest.

The people who read his Daily Dish regularly and find flaws in his logic and evidence get quoted on the Dish and he owns up to his errors. Show me a true “conservative” voice who does the same. Until GOP leaders dissassociate themselves from the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Becks they cannot seriously lead us anywhere as a nation. There are a few new Republicans appearing on the edges who are untainted with the GOP’s partisan dip-shittery. Mitch Daniels, Gov. Christie, the ambassador from China who’s stepping down to make a run at the Presidency. They are the hope for the GOP’s future. FOX pundits are political pornographers and the pols who refuse to disavow them are video sluts.

I do admire some GOP old timers like former Senators Rudman and Simpson. You might find Alan Simpson’s comments today on NPR interesting: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/02/16/133801977/alan-simpson-cut-entitlements-defense-dont-touch-help-to-poor

Sure, Sullivan suffers from HIV but I’d paraphrase Lincoln when he commented on U.S. Grant’s alledged alcholism. If it [homosexuality] makes men like Sulivan think, then find out who he has sex with, and send them to the other pundits!”

Harry

Here’s what the law school classmate had to say:

On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 7:40 AM, Vic wrote:

From one of my law school classmates:

Sullivan is even more confusing for me than Arianna. Back in the 1990s he was basically a sensible person apart from the ‘gay’ situation. Someplace along the way BDS [Bush Derangement Syndrome] became even more serious for him than HIV and his world became more unreal. I can understand being critical of G.W. Bush and some of his policies but Sullivan totally ignored the obvious deficiencies in Obama.

L*****

Here’s the post in question in which Sullivan defends his previous castigation of Obama for his lousy budget plan but then defends Obama as our best hope for rationale fiscal discipline.

—– Original Message —–
From: Vic
To: L (the law school classmate)
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 1:33 AM
Subject: The Defense Of Obama’s Fiscal Cowardice – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/02/the-defense-of-obamas-fiscal-cowardice.html

Vic