Want some whine with that tea?

In the wake of the ridiculous temper tantrum the “Tea Party Caucus” is creating in Congress, I decided to do some research and find out about this powerful caucus. What I found was rank hypocrisy and self-serving legislation at, gasp, taxpayer’s expense. I also found that we, collectively, are being held hostage by 60 people.

That’s right SIXTY. Out of the 242 elected Republicans in the House of Representatives the “Tea Party Caucus” is 60 strong. Less than ¼ of elected Republicans.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

What do they stand for, you may be asking.

Here is an excerpt from one of their odious websites uses this to explain their mission: “…individuals united by our core values derived from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill Of Rights as explained in the Federalist Papers…”

Or, as I see them, petulant children that don’t like that their country is changing and modernizing. They march in parades and hand out pamphlets of the Constitution as if they are the only ones who have read and understand it. Yeah, kind of all done with them. When they’re not busy marching and making stuff up, they stomp around Congress until their demands are met.

What, you ask, is their main demand?

Changing the Constitution.

Jaw-droppingly hypocritical don’t you think?

Let’s take a look at these individuals. I’ve highlighted the Freshman members; listed here in alphabetical order. For a full listing click here: Tea Party Caucus

Sandy Adams (FL-24): Sandy is busy making sure that the USA doesn’t get duped into destroying the Constitution by not using international law in ANY court decision. Also wants the rich to not have to pay more in taxes and supports deregulation.

Diane Black (TN-06): One of the Evangelical members and, funny enough, one who wants to amend the Constitution. Has she even read it? Her legislative claim to fame: close the loophole in the health care law that would allow some middle class Americans to qualify for Medicaid.

One of her aides was responsible for sending an email around depicting a collection of portraits of United States Presidents showing current President Barack Obama as a black frame with only eyeballs visible. How charming and how very, very Christian.

Bill Cassidy (LA-06): Hasn’t sponsored or co-sponsored any legislation. White bred generic tea party republican.

Jeff Duncan (SC-03): Boy does he have the stuff or what. Club for Growth just loves him! Plus, plum committee assignments. Wants to abolish all foreign aid (apparently because other countries are mean to us) and amend the Constitution. Why do they hate the Constitution so much? Also, wants to privatize much of what government does.

Blake Farenthold (TX-27): Got himself some good committees to sit on. He introduced legislation to require Federal agencies to show receipts and expenditures every two weeks on agency websites. Like that’s not going to be an enormous time suck. Honestly. The stupid it burns.

Stephen Lee Fincher (TN-08): This sums it up nicely: his company has received $8.9 million in farm subsidies over the past decade, mostly from the cotton program, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. He also received a $13,650 grant to help buy grain hauling and storage equipment from the state Department of Agriculture in 2009 as part of the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program.

Oh guess it’s not welfare if you’re not poor. His legislative works include this: To amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to extend the suspension of the limitation on the period for which certain borrowers are eligible for guaranteed assistance.

Vicky Hartzler (MO-04): Another Evangelical who’s protecting us from the gays.

Tim Huelskamp (KS-01): Endorsed by all the big guns: club for growth, mike huckabee, concerned women for America his biggest legislative contribution is making sure he keeps us safe from the gays and the unions. Also hates the Constitution.

Jeff Landry (LA-03): Ding, ding, ding, we have the winner. This is the guy who threw the Constitutional Amendment into the works. Why does he hate the Constitution? Oh, wait, seems as if Mr. Landry wants the government to make sure natural resources are cleaned up? Who’s going to pay for that Mr. Landry?

David McKinley (WV-01): Here we have the co-sponsor of Cut Cap and Trade. Plus he hates the EPA.

Mick Mulvaney (SC-05): He’s hard at work co-sponsoring legislation to make certain that the legislation already enacted is enacted again. Plus a Constitution hater. Plus, the gays. Oh, and abortion.

Rich Nugent (FL-05): Mike Huckabee thinks he’s a good guy! Busy on the “Legislation Already Enacted Committee.” Plus farm subsidies are good, clean air is bad.

Dennis Ross (FL-12): Hates the EPA and the Federal Government. Also hates the Constitution. Plus his website sucks.

Tim Walberg (MI-07) – Another Club for Growth boy. Climate change denier. That’s about it.

Joe Walsh (IL-08): Doesn’t like to pay child support (currently owes more than $100K in back support). Talks to the media a lot but no legislative history. ALEC loves him. Believes global warming is a hoax.

Allen West (FL-22) – Yes the lovable Allen West. He’s legislative record is a laundry list of lunacy. Including the popular tea party pastime of relegislating items that have already been voted and approved. No tax payer money wasted there. Abortion, health care… blah, blah, blah.

So there you have it. Your “Tea Party Patriots”! They hate government regulations and welfare, well unless it’s corporate welfare and then it’s a fight to the front of the line. They hate the gays and they’re on a mission from god to save “Traditional” marriage (you know the ones where 50% end in divorce).

They want to waste precious taxpayer  money relegislating legislation that already exists just to make sure we all know that they mean business. For example, HR 3, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This was legislated already in 1976 as the Hyde Amendment. Plus, they want to amend the Constitution. A lot (link to my blog about Failed Amendments). You know the one they’re sworn to uphold and protect.

They want to dismantle the Federal Government and they don’t care what happens because they are selfish, self –indulgent ideologues. Some of whom believe we are living in the end of days.

That’s right folks. End of Days. Like biblical revelations time. The apocalypse.

All the natural disasters this year that rational people attribute to climate change. Nope, Jesus is coming and boy is he pissed.

Those are the lunatics that are in charge in this country. In 2011.

Shit, maybe the Mayans are right after all.

Advertisements

A More Perfect Union

I was raised in a pro-union, democratic home. Dad was active in Boston politics and I held my first campaign sign while still in single digits. I was in middle school when I was allowed to work the local polling place, handing out information for our candidate. A friend was working for an opponent when I, jokingly, referred to him as a communist. Dad shut that down, hard.I learned a couple of important lessons that day. One, that friends can support different view points and still be friends. The second, and more important lesson, don’t make stuff up. Slinging mud was ok, just as long as it was factual. If you did your homework then you knew your opponents weak spots and you attacked that.

You went after policy not personality.

You had standards. Standards I use to this day.

My politics have evolved since my first campaign. I wouldn’t stand for the overt racism and homophobia that was part and parcel of Boston politics in the 70s and 80s and started calling it out whenever I saw it.

Dad struggled with his racism. Bless his Archie Bunker heart. By the time we lost him, he was a changed man; his daughters Debbie, Patty, and Tracey saw to that. The homophobia never bothered him since two of his brothers were gay.

I still follow Dad’s advice. I know my stuff and I can dismantle an argument using facts not rhetoric or the politics of the personal attack. That’s for dishonest people. People who can’t or won’t back up their arguments.

I’ve been annoyed with this ridiculous notion that liberals do not love this country and the Constitution. In the midst of this ridiculous debt-ceiling nonsense from the hard right including a renewed call for a balanced budget amendment, I decided to take a look at the history of failed Constitutional amendments.

The 19th Century had only three failed amendments, the most notable being The Christian Amendment, which was proposed in 1863. The amendment would have added acknowledgement of the Christian God in the Preamble to the Constitution. Similar amendments were proposed in 1874, 1896, and 1910.

The 20th Century brought us seven failed amendments although several of them had more than one iteration.

They include the Anti-Miscegenation Amendment of 1912; the Flag Desecration Amendment of 1968; the Common Property Amendment of the 1990’s; and the Death Penalty Abolition Amendment also in the 1990’s.

The 21st Century has been a hotbed of activity with eleven proposed Amendments ELEVEN. In ten years. All but one from the right. Amendments proposed ranged from school prayer; to protecting the reference of God in the pledge and the official motto; to the federal marriage amendment. The left hasn’t been quite as busy but they did propose abolishing the electoral college.

I was surprised by what I found in my walk down history lane.

I have to say, I’m getting a little irritated when I’m told to read the Constitution by people who clearly have so little respect for it that they are constantly trying to amend it to their narrow world view.

The Constitution belongs to everyone so slow your roll with all the amendment making. America has a rich and vibrant history, the Constitution is a strong document; it’s the framwork that makes this country great so stop trying to screw with it.

Capiche?

Job Creators

That’s the latest name for the wealthy.

Job Creators.

As if the rest of the country is waiting around for the 1% to get their act together and get on with the creating.

I don’t know any wealthy people. I imagine they are busy, creating jobs. Perhaps the jobs are shy and they have to coax them from the corner. Or, maybe they are growing them in the basement with a grow lamp.

I’m sure they’ll be a big announcement when the jobs are ready.

Funny thing, I always thought I knew job creators. But since I don’t know any wealthy people, I must be mistaken.

I wonder what I should call the shop owner that opens a store and hires two sales people?

I wonder what I should call the artists/artisans that have a gallery where they have people do stuff for them for money?

I wonder what I should call the owner of the dance studio that tripled in size in the last five years and added loads of new instructors?

I wonder what I call the architect that brings on a new graduate to help with small projects?

I used to call them friends and neighbors.

I used to call them the middle class.

I used to call them the future.

I know one thing, I can’t call them job creators.

They’re not wealthy enough for that.

Church of Me

I’m not a religious girl. Never have been. Oh sure, I was a church-goer at one point but that’s cause I was a kid and I didn’t have a choice.

My parents weren’t particularly religious. Dad was raised Catholic but the only time I saw him in church someone was either getting married or buried. Mom was raised Protestant – Congregationalist to be exact. She was only slightly more religious than Dad. She took us to church every Sunday for a while. I think some of the older sisters were actually confirmed but I don’t ever remember making the jump from Sunday School to upstairs (that’s where the actual churching took place).

I went back to church several years ago. I started attending a local church just as it was being rocked by a semi-scandal and that was enough for me. My feelings about religion confirmed again. I guess you could say the thing that bothers me most about religion is people.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the comfort and solace that people find in religion and it’s trappings: community, camaraderie, kinship. I have a good many friends that are religious and their faith informs their actions and rises them up. I’m not talking about them. No, I’m happy that they have found a place of fellowship and trust. A place that gives them joy.

Good people, leading good lives. They act as beacons of tolerance, of acceptance, of love.

Not them. No.

I’m talking about the lunatics.

Those that use religion as a weapon.

Those that use religion to justify hate.

Those that use religion to carry out murder.

Those that use religion to carry out social justice.

The intolerant.

The superior.

The god warriors

Those who claim to know what God wants and who he favors.

Ah, no you don’t.

Cause if the hate and vitriol spewed is coming directly from God or Jesus or Yahweh or Mohammed then they can all, collectively, bite my shiny metal ass. Cause they all suck. Hard.

The Jesus that I studied. Yeah him. He was tolerance and love. He was a bit of a hard-ass on some things but the overall message that I got: love and tolerance; helping and sharing; open hearts and minds.

I live a good and decent life. I’m fair and honest. I don’t lie or steal. I don’t take credit for things I haven’t done. I don’t hurt people. I help strangers and friends.

I could, very easily, not be that way. It’s in me. I know it is.

But it is not the me I choose to be. I need no higher power to inform my actions; only me. I have to live in me and if I choose another path, I’ll still have to live with myself and I can be kind of bitch. So yeah. I’m good with who I’ve chosen to be. I answer to me.

Those people. They are not religious. They are evil.

The worst kind of evil. Evil that disguises itself as righteousness. But evil nonetheless.

And they’re giving religion a bad name.

Christian’s are bearing the brunt of my wrath since that’s my history. It’s what I was born into and semi-raised in. Make no mistake I have no tolerance for their counter parts in Judaism or Islam either.

Entitled

You’re goddamn right I’m entitled.

Know why?

Stuff doesn’t get built without me. Kids don’t get educated without me. Patients don’t get care without me.

This country doesn’t exist.

Without me.

That’s right. I said it.

Nothing gets done without me.

Me.

I am the middle class.

I’m more important than the wealthy that this Congress is hell bent on protecting.

Because of the recession I’m more lower middle than middle middle but I’ve been poorer than this before and things will bounce back (I hope). I have the important things: health, family, a warm puppy.

What I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around is this ridiculous idea that by raising taxes on the wealthy we kill the economy. Ten years ago the Bush administration cut taxes on the wealthy; the so-called “job creators”.

What happened?

Did the economy expand and lift all boats? Did the middle class experience job security and prosperity?

Ah, no.

In fact, more jobs were lost by the middle class than in any other time in our history. Wealth has concentrated at the top and the middle class started to die. It’s almost done.

So what have we learned?

Tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs or stimulate economic growth.

So why are we still having a debate about this?

Following World War II we had a tremendous boom in this country. More people owning homes and automobiles. More kids being sent to college. More security and more prosperity.

Know what else we had?

A tax rate of 90% on the wealthy. NINETY PERCENT. And they stayed wealthy. They invested their profits back into their companies and everyone prospered. Everyone.

Know what the current tax rate is? 35%. Yup. 1/3 of what they paid historically.

And where does that leave the country?

In a huge recession.

Wealth hoarded by 1% of the population. Public education in disarry from years of deepening cuts. An infrastructure that is, quite literally, falling down. A high infant mortality rate and some of the most severe poverty in the industrialized world.

And I’m called entitled. You’re goddamn right I’m entitled.

I’m entitled to a living wage.

I’m entitled to not being bankrupted by a sudden catastrophic illness.

I’m entitled to expect that my children will receive a proper education in a public school that doesn’t suck.

This fight isn’t about legislating the poor into prosperity; it’s about not killing the middle class. It’s about being fucking fair. It’s time to reframe the argument. The bullshit arguments about welfare queens and crackheads are just that, bullshit.

This isn’t about middle versus the poor. It’s about them versus everyone else.

It’s about the middle class.

It’s about me.

It’s about fucking time.

They only call it class warfare when we fight back.

Modern Day Barbie

Comes with web savvy and an incredible collection of handbags

I love technology. Just about all of it really. But computers and the internet have to be my favorites. The internet is just made of win. On the internet I have a couple of favorite places, Facebook being my current number one. This blog is another. I’m also a HUGE fan of the dvr.

But this blog is about more than what I like.

This blog is a call to action! ACTION People!

I want something.

Two somethings, actually.

They’re simple things, the technology exists; all it needs is a movement. A demand. A full-blown temper tantrum if that’s what it takes. I’m prepared to do what needs doing. My only problem, and this kills me to say, is that if it’s only me ranting, no one will listen. We need a movement. A well-planned and organized movement. I, of course, will lead this movement since it was my idea and I am, after all, a spoiled brat.

Demand One

A LIKE button. For all things electronic (to start). All news stories, emails, blogs, blog posts, online retail items (especially bags), everything and anything. I find myself irritated and frustrated when I can’t register my appreciation for something because the LIKE button is not there. NOT THERE. Why is it not there?

Who do I see about this? I demand a LIKE button.

Demand Two

A rewind button. FOR EVERYTHING! Not just for the dvr. No. I want a rewind button for everything. Radio, check! Kids, check! Pat, check x infinity. It goes hand-in-hand with the pause and fast-forward buttons that I’ll be demanding next.

Who’s with me?

We the People! You’re doing it wrong…

 

Apparently, we should be taking our cues from North Korea and Afghanistan. At least according to the latest ridiculous re-post going around on Facebook. So much is wrong with this statement that I’m having a hard time articulating my thoughts since I’m shaking my damn head so freaking HARD! And I’m not even talking about the factual errors contained in the post.

“If you cross the N. Korean border illegally, you get 12 yrs. hard labor. If you cross the Afghanistan border illegally, you get shot. If you cross the U.S. border illegally you get a job, a driver’s license, food stamps, a place to live, health care, housing & child benefits, education, & tax free business for 7 yrs. No wonder we are a country in debt. Re-post if you agree ♥”

Perhaps someone can explain to me when, exactly, We the People decided we should look to third-world nations run by and for thugs (and I don’t mean Cheney) as a fucking beacon that should inform the policies of the USA? Seriously people, North Korea? Afghanistan? These are the countries that WE should be looking to? Are you FUCKING kidding me?

We are the shining beacon in the world. We set the standard that all others should aspire to! We are the land of opportunity. An example of all that can be accomplished when you choose the rule of law and not religion as the basis for a society.

We the People!

Not crazy Kim Jong Il.

We the People!

Not the freaking Taliban.

We the People!

The fucking People.

Of the United States.

As in America.

Yeah, remember that next time you think it could possibly be in the best interest of the world that We the People follow a backwater communist nut-job or a backwater religious patriarchy filled with zealots and religious intolerance.

You can fool yourself into thinking that it’s harmless. But it’s not. Actions have consequences. This kind of bullshit masquerading as Patriotism is dangerous. It relies on the inconsequential. It relies on repetition to propagate ugly, disgusting lies. It undermines democracy because it relies on fear and half-truths. It’s an abomination and it needs to be called out every time it shows up.

It is the antithesis of Patriotism.

Happy 4th!