Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

How to defeat Obama in 2012: rig the election

September 19, 2011

It’s looking iffy whether the Republicans can prevent President Obama’s reelection with a Tea Party-approved candidate. So let’s change the rules.

First, change the way electoral votes are tallied. Nebraska and Pennsylvania are headed this way. In Nebraska electoral votes are awarded congressional district-by-district. Obama carried Omaha in 2008, so earned one of Nebraska’s five votes. Nebraska appears headed for a winner-take-all system that would deny Obama that one vote.

Pennsylvania is a bigger deal. Obama carried the state in 2008, and its 21 electoral votes under winner-take-all rules. It is headed for a district-by district award—yes, the system Nebraska is abandoning—under which Obama would have only gotten 11 of Pennsylvania’s 21 votes in 2008.

So we could see a Republican gain of 10 votes in Pennsylvania and one in Nebraska—enough to swing a close election. But Republicans can improve the odds a lot more by making it harder for students, minorities, and low income people to vote at all.

To this end Republican-controlled state legislatures in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin are moving to trim early voting days. Early voters are disproportionally Democrat.

If that’s still not enough to insure a Republican victory, legislators in 20 states are considering tighter ID requirements, including requiring a government-issued photo ID. Guess who don’t have photo IDs: lots of students, minorities, (more…)

Warren Buffett calls for fair—that is, higher—taxes on the super-rich

August 15, 2011

The battle in Congress over America’s budget problem is both practical and ideological. People on the left argue that the budget can never be brought under control without a blend of tax hikes on the rich and spending cuts. On the right tea-party-fueled passions oppose any tax increase on the grounds that the rich are already paying more than their fair share and, moreover, that raising their taxes will stifle job creation.

Into this battle rides Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest person with assets of $50 billion. In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, headlined “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” Buffett demolishes both arguments against higher taxes for the super-rich.

First he explains how under-taxed the wealthy are: his tax rate of 17.4 % of taxable income is the lowest of the twenty people in his office, including his secretary. And that’s not uncommon for the super-rich. His summary:

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.

And as far as the argument that higher taxes will slow down investment by the super-rich in new jobs, America’s most successful investor puts it this way:

People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. (more…)

Obama won the debt-ceiling battle, so Dems, quit whining and smile

August 4, 2011

The only people happy about the battle over the debt ceiling are the pundits, because it gives them an audience and an opportunity to display their insights. Oh, and people close to the President, because they know he won.

Months ago, when John Boehner and Mitch McConnell were assuring everybody that whatever happened they wouldn’t allow the nation to default, President Obama stated his position: he wanted a clean extension that would carry the country past the 2012 election. He didn’t ask for a tax increase on zillionaires, or a deficit reduction—these should be tackled aside from the debt ceiling increase, which after all is only needed to allow the United States to pay its obligations, every dollar of which had been authorized by the Congress.

But Boehner and McConnell couldn’t control their members, especially the Tea Party members who wanted to use the debt ceiling as a bludgeon to smash government. The ceiling had been raised without controversy dozens of times before under Presidents and Congresses of both parties. The Republican threat was a repudiation of ethics, duty, and the Constitution. Still, the threat came.

In the end, and just in the nick of time, the President got what he had asked for: a clean bill that simply raised the limit enough to carry the country past the 2012 election.

You could be confused by the words about a super-committee to identify trillions in savings, or about triggers to force cuts. Here are the facts: (more…)

Joe Walsh (R-IL) challenges the world’s record for hypocrisy in the debt limit debate

July 29, 2011

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) yields to no one in his determination not to saddle future generations with government debt. This is from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.

“I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.

Walsh starts the video by saying, “President Obama, quit lying. Have you no shame, sir? In three short years, you’ve bankrupted this country.”

Walsh joins the ranks of family values politicians who have no family values.

Tea Party rejects racism, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has “better things to do”

July 19, 2010

The Tea Party is a loosely organized group of people who favor generally conservative causes—lower taxes, smaller government, gun rights, and more immigration enforcement. But the party has attracted people to its rallies carrying signs comparing Obama to Hitler and telling him to “Go back to Kenya.” And members have spat epithets of faggot and nigger at congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

As a result the NAACP passed a resolution last week calling on Tea Party leaders “to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.” (Several of those signs are shown here.) Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams, asked to tell racists “you’re not welcome” in the tea party, replied, “Racists have their own movement. It’s called the NAACP.”

Not satisfied to let things stand, Williams posted on his web site a letter supposedly written to Lincoln by “colored people” protesting emancipation and praising slavery.

While Williams defended his letter as satire, he has used ugly racial language regularly, especially in opposition to the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. He derided Mohammed as “the terrorist monkey god,” and called Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who backs building the mosque, a “Jewish Uncle Tom who would have turned rat on Anne Frank.” President Obama was an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug.” (more…)

Palin was the best part of the Tea Party convention, the audience the worst

February 14, 2010

Sarah Palin gave a rousing speech at the Tea Party convention, raking and mocking President Obama with zingers like “How’s that hope-y, change-y stuff workin’ out for ya?” The crowd enthused, having paid $350 to hear the speech live, and the left’s commentators tut-tutted over Palin’s writing notes on her hand to help her remember her key points. All in good fun.

But there was a truly ugly side of the convention. Tea Partiers can no longer pass off the birthers as a tiny group of nuts that aren’t representative of true Tea Partiers. Not after the crowd’s wild enthusiasm for Tom Tancredo’s keynote speech. Ex-congressman Tancredo (R-CO) explained that “Barack Hussein Obama” was only elected because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote.” [Wild cheers]

“People who could not even spell the word ‘vote’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House.” [More wild cheers]

I’m not sure who he was referring to. Perhaps it was Latinos and African-Americans who couldn’t have voted had there been a literacy test—like in the good old days when blacks were turned away from polls all over the South, no matter how literate they were, because the point of the tests was to turn them away.

I’m pretty sure, however, what the crowd was cheering. It was that Obama voters were others, a different species, not even entitled to be part of the American system. The crowd responded to hate speech with cheers.

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