Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Short: The Tea Party complains about intimidation

"Do as I say, not as I do" could be a motto of the Tea Party. They want to run roughshod over the Republican Party and they don't want any pushback as they do so. The executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund complains how Tea Party candidates are now the targeted ones:
"It’s all meant to intimidate."
Poor baby! I didn't realize that when you scream "RINO!" and shut down government, that you're really just a two-year-old who must be coddled or your delicate feelings will be hurt. That same two-year-old (or maybe a different one) thinks he can simply order the establishment groups like the Chamber of Commerce to say out of the primaries. Sure, no money or support for establishment types in the primaries, while the Tea Party groups are free to campaign and spend as much as they want.

Maybe this person thinks his dream of a primary should just happen--a total capitulation to the Tea Party ideals. Wake up, kid. We're not in Kansas anymore. A primary is a contest of the fittest, just like the general election. Those are the cold, hard facts of politics. Get used to it.

Image: redicecreations.com

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Rich should be worried

The Rich is this country are doing well, unlike many of the rest of us. Many of us in the middle class suffer from lack of jobs, insecurity of future decent-paying jobs, and diminished prospects for us or our children. The working class has their prospects diminished too.

But it's the Rich who are moaning the loudest on some days. Perkins infamously wrote in the Wall Street Journal that he feared a Kristallnacht against the wealthy. To me, this seems like an overreaction and bitching about taxes going up on the wealthy, but those taxes still aren't terribly high. Romney paid only 14%, so a rise to 20% (the new capital gains rate) hardly seems like a major hardship.

I wish the Rich had more to worry about. The kings of financial firms should be sweating in non-country-club cells while federally appointed special masters hunt down and liquidate their assets. People are rightly pissed at the execs at Wall Street firms, GE and other huge companies that play the tax code like squash, energy giants like the Koch brothers, hedge fund managers and clients, and the foolish, spoiled rich like Sheldon Adelson who think they can buy elections.

People like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Apple execs, Oprah Winfrey, and George Lucas don't have anything to worry about. They created great things that we all enjoy, and got rich in an honest way. That's not true for the others. The GOP may have labeled them "job creators" but that's proved disgustingly hollow.

Americans aren't mobs, rebels, or robbers, yet some Rich are stupidly worried. The U.S. has never had a French Revolution-style uprising, much less one like the Russian Revolution. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, the poor continued to let the Rich be rich. Little Orphan Annie adored Daddy Warbucks instead of wanting to whack his head off, and that reflected the general population.

So why are the Rich so worried? I don't care. They have a lot more resources to slow or soften their fall than I do (as I have much more than the average American). If need be, I'll live on much less and I won't bellyache like these Rich.

We are all facing living with less. Why do the Rich think they have the brunt of it? Nothing could be further from the truth. So why the angst? In this column (and an earlier one) a leftish pundit tried to figure it out. This is what rang true to me:
It is that mix of insecurity, a sense of the brittleness of one's hold on wealth, power, privileges, combined with the reality of great wealth and power, that breeds a mix of aggressiveness and perceived embattlement. . .
But over the last few years (since 2008), I think there's been a pretty dramatic growth in what we'd call Tea Party politics in that set - extreme conservatism . . . the kind of feverish mindset in which you could write with a straight face that progressives might be building toward some sort of mass wealth confiscation or internment or even extermination.. . .
Image: bradblog.com

Extra. Wealth concentration is normal. No surprise that the powerful try to maintain their power.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

More character assassination from the GOP

We have a new talking point that is being widely adopted by the GOP. They are saying, in light of Obama declaring a few new programs created by executive order, that his is an "increasingly lawless presidency."
This talking point will work about as well as all the others, which means the conservatives can masturbate to it, but they will convince no one new. [Readers, I haven't suddenly gotten more lewd, it's just that I didn't censor myself this time.]

I'm surprised that's there's room for this president to become more lawless, considering that some opponents said back in 2009 that he was going to create his own private army.

Meanwhile, the rest of us sit back and yawn. Frankly, I don't know if Obama has acted more frequently beyond the scope of his powers or not. I do know that Congress has been more recalcitrant that ever in voting on his nominations, so I can't get too anxious about a few possibly illegal recess appointments as a huge affront to the Constitution and limits on executive power. After all, it's not like a few top level bureaucrats are equivalent to commissioning an actual private army.

The clearest overstepping of his powers occurred when Obama used military forces to aid the Libyan rebels. Congress gave no authorization at all--not because they were dead-set against the idea but because they were in a particular pissy mood and wouldn't vote for anything Obama wanted.  So rather than see the rebels languish, Obama ordered the military support in contravention of the War Powers Act. Congress may have been bratty enough to deny him authorization, but they weren't stupid enough to bring him up for impeachment when they were the ones who were acting like children.

If Congress, or particularly the House, won't start impeachment hearings against Obama over large scale use of military forces without authorization, then they probably won't do it over his new savings plan--that incredible bit of lawlessness.

But why do the conservatives start these new charges at regular intervals? Is it like the fashion industry where creating new styles drives sales which keeps the industry afloat? Are they truly oblivious to the effect on the rest of the country who are sick of this hype? Those are questions I love to force some conservatives to answer, preferably at gunpoint.

On second thought, this meme may shrivel within the week. The folks at HotAir care much more that Paul Ryan is trying to sneak in immigration reform than about yet more powers Obama is abusing. You just can't trust anyone.

Image: newscorpse.com