Archive for the ‘Talking Points’ Category

Preparing for the Tea Party Revolution – What you can do

April 14, 2009

“Remember, Remember the Fifteenth of April.”

No, it just doesn’t quite work as well, which is ultimately the story of the Tea Party Revolution.   Smoke and mirrors and idiots that don’t quite know why they are mad will be taking to the streets in disappointing numbers to protest tomorrow.

The problem is that none of them know what the hell they are yelling about.  But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for now and go into a little history.

You will not see this tomorrow.  You will see overweight white people.

You will not see this tomorrow. You will see overweight white people.

Why the Tea Party Revolution?

There isn’t really a good answer for this one.  The original Boston Tea Party occurred on December 16, 1773 in opposition to a 10% additional duty on tea imported into the United States.  Sam Adams, of delicious beer fame, organized a mass dumping of 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor.  The key motto during the Boston Tea Party was “No taxation without representation.”  Colonists were pissed that they did not have any representation in Britain and could not have an impact on legislation.

Fast forward to now.   The Republican party is damn close to irrelevancy and is becoming more and more fringe.  They lost seats in 2006, 2008, and will more than likely lose additional seats in 2010 if the latest polls from Gallup (left-leaning) and Rasmussen (right-leaning) are considered.

Tomorrow, when thousands of people wake up and take to the streets for the Tea Party Revolution, every single one of them has three representatives in Congress.  This is not the Boston Tea Party.  Every single one of the people tomorrow are represented by two democratically-elected Senators and a Representative.  If they are unhappy with the way things are going in their district/state, they can vote that person to the curb.  Hell, if it is the people’s will, then people like Ron Paul could have been elected to the presidency in 2008 and we could have cut all kinds of taxes.

But that isn’t what the people want.

The Tea Party Credo

If you sign up to attend one of the Tea Party events, you will be asked to print out two documents to share with people who see the protest.  One is an elected officials checklist (what does your Rep, Senator, etc. think about a variety of issues) and the other is 12 American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity.

Because the checklist can vary (and it’s really easy for Republican representatives to say what they want when they don’t have any power to set the budget/agenda), let’s look at the “Solutions” handout.

Whosoever has the gold, shall make the rules.

Whosoever has the gold, shall make the rules.

12 American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity

  1. Payroll Tax Stimulus. With a temporary new tax credit to offset 50% of the payroll tax, every small business would have more money, and all Americans would take home more of what they earn.
  2. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief. Reduce the marginal tax rate of 25% down to 15%, in effect establishing a flat-rate tax of 15% for close to 9 out of 10 American workers.
  3. Reduce the Business Tax Rate. Match Ireland’s rate of 12.5% to keep more jobs in America.
  4. Homeowner’s Assistance. Provide tax credit incentives to responsible home buyers so they can keep their homes.
  5. Control Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget. This begins with eliminating Congressional earmarks and wasteful pork-barrel spending.
  6. No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud. Require state governments to adopt anti-fraud and anti-theft policies before giving them more money.
  7. More American Energy Now. Explore for more American oil and gas and invest in affordable energy for the future, including clean coal, ethanol, nuclear power and renewable fuels.
  8. Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains. Match China, Singapore and many other competitors. More investment in America means more jobs in America.
  9. Protect the Rights of American Workers. We must protect a worker’s right to decide by secret ballot whether to join a union, and a worker’s right to negotiate freely. Forced unionism will kill jobs at a time when we can’t afford to lose them.
  10. Replace Sarbanes-Oxley. This failed law is crippling entrepreneurial startups. Replace it with affordable rules that help create jobs, not destroy them.
  11. Abolish the Death Tax. Americans should work for their families, not for Washington.
  12. Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure. This includes a new, expanded electric power grid and a 21st century air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees and airlines billions of dollars per year.

Besides being a Who’s Who of failed John McCain campaign economic tactics, this list should be ridiculed for its complete lack of rational thought.  Most of the steps reduce taxes, yet step five brazenly maintains that they want to balance the budget.  How the hell are you supposed to balance the budget when you cut all of these taxes?

Pork spending is a small fraction of the budget in Washington and seven out of the ten biggest piggies this year were Republicans.  Many of these ideas sound like they will help the average worker, but this proposal really helps billionaires.  With no capital gains taxes, billionaires will have a heyday on Wall Street.   So why are they trying to help the rich, when the middle class is seeing record unemployment?

Who funds the Tea Party Revolution

Even though Fox News will have you believe that the Tea Party Revolution is a spontaneous reaction from “The People,” it really was started by FreedomWorks, the conservative version of MoveOn.  Along with Dick Armey, FreedomWorks is organizing and funding many of the larger Tea Parties.  In other words, protesters are going to be paid tomorrow to protest.   It has nothing to do with outrage over the bailouts (which should cause protests), it has everything to do with a bunch of billionaires that don’t want to pay higher taxes under Obama.

Dick Armey wishes he still had power.

Dick Armey wishes he still had power.

The FreedomWorks web page is a joke.  Any rational person that peruses it will find more lies than an OJ Simpson trial.  Armey says that Obama is going to cap all executive pay…which isn’t true at all.  Obama is capping how much money can go to executives that receive money from tax payers.  Do you want your federal income tax money going to buy a 12th home for some asshole AIG executive?  If Microsoft wants to pay their executives millions a year then I have no problem with that.  They haven’t accepted any bailout money at all.  Obama is saying the exact same thing.  That doesn’t stop the BS from flowing from Fox News and CNBC with comedic consistency.

What you can do

  1. Find a Tea Party near you.  You can find them by visiting the FreedomWorks website or by visiting www.taxdayteaparty.com
  2. Go to the Tea Party and take pictures of signs.  Count the number of protesters.
  3. Interview people participating in the Tea Party.  Ask them if they have heard of FreedomWorks.  Ask them who organized the party and attempt to speak with the person in charge.  If you are able to, ask them if they are being compensated for their work.
  4. Write up your impressions of the protest.  Whether positive or negative, we will give you a voice on Real Weird Politics.  You can comment with a link to your blog, youtube videos, or photos.
  5. Real Weird Politics will have stories all day tomorrow with impressions from demonstrations around the country.

We’re already ready with one delightful video from The Young Turks.  One protester at a Tea Party Revolution event started spouting off about how the Communists had infiltrated America in a plan hatched during the 1950s.  He wants you to take your kids out of college and stop paying your taxes.  A woman in the crowd thinks you should burn all your books.  Sounds like a great way to succeed!  Here is the video:

Have fun tomorrow!

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Talking Point: America is a republic, not a democracy

April 3, 2009

Where it started:

Where it was repeated: Glenn Beck has been yammering on and on about it quite a bit lately.  It is one of the featured videos on his 9-12 project website.  It’s pretty ironic that he has both the previous video as well as an article entitled “We Surround Them” on his site.  Which do you want Beck?  The rule of law or rule of the masses?

Why it’s stupid: Well, it’s pretty clear that we do have a Republic and not a Democracy.  It’s not like we have American Idol style courts in the United States where you call in to vote for whether or not Timothy McVeigh should have a seat on Old Sparky.   However, in Democratic Republic, it is necessary for the masses to be able to change the rules and laws of the Republic.

Imagine if a leader decided to impose Sharia law in the United States.  Enough checks and balances are in place that the masses (through representation in Congress) could overthrow that ruling.

Why they are doing it: Barack Obama is really popular right now.  Diehard Fox News viewers are going nuts because the people around them actually approve of this “Socialist/Marxist/Fascist/Communist.”  They have no other place to go than to the comfort of ancient law.

Glenn Beck allegedly sued over 9/12 project

April 1, 2009

Early Wednesday morning, Glenn Beck allegedly received a phone call from the lawyers behind the 9/11 Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency relief during national disasters.  According to preliminary reports, Beck’s Project may require a name change or face legal consequences.

Glenn Beck is super serial.

Glenn Beck is super serial.

Beck recently started a movement called the 9/12 Project.  A melodramatic attempt to capitalize on the worst tragedy in American history, nearly 8 years after the fact.  The name 9/12 refers to the country’s feelings the day after 9/11 as well as 9 principles and 12 values that Beck believes will offend the least number of Fox-watchers while still causing enough criticism to raise his ratings.

The controversey originated when Beck decided to remove one of his 12 values from the organization’s leger.  After defending the bonuses AIG executives received in the last week, Beck made the decision that “Thrift” needed to be removed from his list of 12 values.

After Thrift was removed, the organization had no choice but to fall into the new name The 9/11 Project, creating a conflict with the non-profit.  “It’s Unamerican, what they are doing,” said a spokesperson for Beck. “Personal responsibility is one of our most important values.  These handouts they give, they don’t help anyone.”

Beck could not be reached for comment.  However, a tearful apology or a tearful tirade involving the 9/11 Project is expected on Thursday night’s show.

RWP Rating: Crazy!

Full Story: Median Matters

Senator Chris Dodd asked AIG executives for campaign contributions (full text of Cassano email)

March 31, 2009

Chris Dodd is going to have some explaining to do.  If you want to choose one person to blame the entire financial crisis on, then you would be an idiot.  But if you want to do it anyway, then choose Joseph Cassano, the douchebag AIG Financial Products chief executive that pushed the credit defaults swaps market right off a fucking cliff.   It seems Cassano left some pretty damning emails around after his firing from the insurance giant.  Emails that could ruin Senator Chris Dodd’s (D-CT) political career.

Chris Dodd could be fucked.

Chris Dodd could be fucked.

Dodd apparently reached out for political contributions from AIG executives during his 2008 presidential campaign.  The email from Cassano appears to show that Dodd asked AIG executives and their spouses to donate the maximum $2,100 to his campaign.  Beside from being a presidential candidate, the email also shows that Cassano was interested in Dodd’s position as the next chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

Previously it was known that Cassano donated to the Dodd campaign.  However, the email appears to show that Dodd was the one that instigated the donations.  It should also be noted that Cassano contributed to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

Let’s wait for some sort of confirmation before we believe everything the Washington Times writes.  But the story and the alleged email look to be authentic.  You can view it for yourself here.

The email doesn’t use catch phrases like “he’ll be a team player” or anything similar, but it implies it.  This might be too strong of a tactic to use against Dodd if they are looking to put a Republican in his seat in 2010.   I should clarify.  Dodd is not running for re-election, but damage to the Democratic party in Connecticut could transfer to the new Democratic candidate.   We’ll see where this crazy train takes us.  In any case, this will definitely be a Republican Talking Point today.

RWP Rating: Bizarre

FULL STORY: Washington Times

Jack’s Track: Commentary on the public education system, Obama bailouts, and what kittens REALLY taste like

March 30, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, I, Jack Run, would like to say first and foremost that it is a pleasure to be speaking to you right now. I would also like to thank one Joel Lightly for being so kind as to invite me to scream my opinions into your collective face as a contributor to Real Weird Politics. Thank you for your generosity, Mr. Lightly, and I hereby do solemnly swear to be an objective and abrasive cunt of a contributor that speaks my mind and abuses grammatical hyphenations.

Ah, but who am I? I am probably a Virgo, I imagine that I like long walks on the beach, I probably enjoy a good candle lit dinner, and I am most certainly not a “cat person”.

And now, down to brass tacks…

...because the first bailouts of the automotive industry set such a good precedent...

...because the first bailouts of the automotive industry set such a good precedent...

In the article Money For Teachers Could Go Elsewhere, published today March 30th by CBS, we learn that while Obama promised that nearly all of the $100 billion spent on education in his seizure-inducingly-horrid-and-hyper-costly-travesty-of-tax-payer-and-future-tax-payer-money-spending-monstrosity-of-a-stimulus-bill was designed to retain teachers, some states will be spending said money elsewhere. Like on playground equipment (awesome!). Or wallpaper (lame).  Or filling a budget gap (fiscal responsibility!).

The article covers a lot of ground, such as how some states plan to refuse their cut of the stimulus, how the money is an ever-expanding ball of many-strings-attached legalisms and bureaucracy, how Education Secretary Arne Duncan is trying to find a way to force these states to accept the money,  and how kittens actually taste more like baloney than chicken. Weird, I know.

But I digress…

As Obama said, the money is supposed to be spent on the teachers, not on playgrounds no matter how awesome,  not on paying off budget gaps no matter how fiscally responsible, and CERTAINLY not on lame-ass wallpaper. As a huge slice of the stimulus/bailout bill, this money is as one protesting teacher aptly scribed on a picket sign, a bailout.

Let’s just state the obvious ugly fact: despite the king-size spending, America’s public education system sucks. The children it produces are dumber than snot, and in similar fashion to the King of Pop’s face, all the money in the world doesn’t promise any form of improvement to a total fucking clusterfuck of this magnitude.

To clarify the above statement in plainest English, what I mean to say is that raising the pay or even in some cases continuing the salary of failing teachers in a failing system will change nothing other than the balance on the account of he-who-pays; that being YOU, fair tax payer.

Now I understand fully that teachers are people too, and that what I’m talking about here is JOBS – jobs that these teachers need in order to put bread on the table. But I also understand that the money that these “teachers” (yes, quotes – because if children are no smarter after being taught by said teachers, then are said teachers really teachers?) are paid comes directly out of the tax payer’s pockets. Do I think that it is fair that my siblings and my parents and my peers and all you other hardworking sons of bitches should pay these people’s salaries if they’re not actually doing their job? No.

Yes, I know I am over simplifying here, and I would be so bold as to say that kids these days are as dumb as they are due more so to the failed institution of parenting than to our educational system, but folks, let’s call it like we see it. If you want to keep your job or earn more cash, you gotta prove you’re worth it. You gotta show results.

I view the education bailouts in the same light as I view the bailouts of the auto companies – all these bailouts do is support failed institutions in their current failure-prone form. Go ahead, bail them out – but be prepared to bail them out again and again and again…

Picture yourself in a rowboat on the high seas with a hole in the bottom – if you don’t do the work necessary to plug up the hole, you’re never going to be able to stem the flow of water sinking your boat.

And no, kittens don’t REALLY taste like baloney. If I were to describe the taste, it would be something more along the flavor of narwhal…or justice.

That is all.

FULL STORY – Money For Teachers Could Go Elsewhere

Talking Points: Obama uses teleprompter, sun is center of solar system

March 25, 2009
Bitch please.

Bitch please.

Where it started: Breitbart.com

Where it was repeated: Picked up by Matt Drudge and was repeated again by Ed Henry of CNN, and many in the mainstream media.  Even made its way to the illustrious Real Weird Politics blog.

Why it’s goddamn stupid:  Was Obama supposed to memorize his opening remarks?  How about bring 3 x 5 index cards and look down at them during the whole speech?  Teleprompters have been used by Presidents forever.  It is a good thing.  You don’t want George W. Bush or some other dumbass confusing the Shi’a and Sunni and causing a global crisis.  Obama obviously wasn’t using it during the Q & A session.   This criticism defines petty.

What they should be saying instead: Attack the SUBSTANCE of the economic plan.  If you bitch about him “smiling too much” or “reading from a teleprompter” it’s a giant red flag to any rational individual that you’re trying to mold a clay statue out of horse shit.