The Tea Potty (pt 8: Players & Takers)

(A BALLSY  HISS-STORY OF THE “BAGGERS” AND OTHER LOONY TUNE MOVEMENTS)

(Pt. 8 PLAYERS & TAKERS)

The Movement Manipulators (usually for their own benefit.)

Each of the following could fill a post of their own, but this “4-part series” has already blossomed into 8 and is heading into 9. Therefore, I’m just going to do minor thumbnails with links to more info. (Plus, to be completely honest, after all the research I’ve put in and learning what I’ve learned, I’m sick to death of these assholes.)

Sheldon Adelson

Since “Citizens United” basically set campaign financial reform back a few decades (quite a few), if a billionaire likes you, you’re a major candidate for President. (I just don’t quite understand why paid commercials are considered “free speech”!)

Meet Newt’s billionaire: Sheldon Adelson. Shelly is Chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which include, among others, the Venetian and the Sands Expo & Convention Center. Vegas pays well (if you own the dice), and if you’re Sheldon Adelson, it pays VERY well. ($21,900,000,000 just since January, 2009)

Shelly is pro-Israel and anti union. He once told his company’s Vice-President of Legal & Governmental Affairs “Old Democrats were with the union and I wanted to break the back of the union, consequently I had to break the back of the Democrats

Newt was a perfect fit in both those categories. (Fire union janitors and hire kids & solid support of Israeli hawks as just a couple of examples.)

Plus, they have a relationship that goes waaaaay back to 1995. Shelly probably figured that as 8th richest person in the U.S., he could afford his own President.

Since Newter lost the primaries (even after giving them his pandering best), Shelly has switched to Willard. As of the middle of June, Shelly said he was going to spend at least $71,000,000 on the election.

(Btw, even George “Duh” Bush called him “some crazy Jewish billionaire”)

 

Roger Ailes

If you’ve ever wondered what ails Faux Noise, you’re looking at him.

Roger Ailes got his big start in the 1968 Nixon campaign. (Why am I not surprised about that?)

Working as Nixon’s “executive producer for television”, Ailes manufactured a series of fake news events, then paid TV stations to run them as if they were real news. (Seems like ol’ Rog has been into fake news long before FOX.)

Fired by Nixon after the election, he later was put in charge of the newsroom for Television News Incorporated. TVN was a pet project of Joseph Coors, the archconservative beer baron. (Loved his beer, hated his politics.)

The business plan was to provide news clips that stations could use as their own for a small percentage of normal production costs. Once the stations were hooked on the discounted clips, according to its President, TVN would “gradually, subtly, slowly” inject “our philosophy in the news.” Btw, the network’s motto was “Fair & Balanced”. (Ring a bell?)

There was just one problem. TVN made the mistake of hiring professional journalists who revolted over such crap. One news director who quit said the network was a “propaganda machine.” Of course those that didn’t quit in protest, were summarily fired and replaced. (Roger learned never to make the mistake of hiring real news people again.)

I could (and probably will) do a whole post on Ailes, but right now, I just wanted to lowlight a bit of the origin of Roger and the “Fox Philosophy”. If you want more, you can check it out here.

 

Dick Armey

Richard Keith “Lil’ Dick” Armey is a Republican, a former Congressman from Texas (In the “Bush League” years, they called it “Tex”. The other half was in D.C.)* and a former House Majority Leader. *(I know. That was an old joke. But then, so am I.)

What he isn’t former, (although, he says he is) is a lobbyist. Yes, he left (or was pushed out of?) DLA Piper in ’09 after FreedomWorks made him an embarrassment to the lobbying firm. (And, believe me, it takes a hell of a lot to embarrass a lobbying firm.)

 

Btw, while he was Senior Advisor at Piper, Lil’ Dick promoted the interests of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), an Iranian Marxist organization aligned with Saddam Hussein that the State Department and the European Union have branded a terrorist group.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the actions MEK had a hand in include:

  • The killings of U.S. military personnel & civilians working on defense projects in Tehran in the 1970’s;
  • The 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran;
  • Saddam’ suppression of the 1991 Iraqi Shiite & Kurdish uprisings.

(You know, it’s a bit strange, but I haven’t heard Michelle Bachman or Allen West calling for an investigation of Lil’ Dick and his Marxist buddies. I guess if a Republican does it, it’s ok.)

After leaving Piper, instead of lobbying by wining and dining leaches……I mean politicians (nah, I was right the first time), he organized local Town Hall disruptions over “ObamaCare” on behalf of some of his former(?) clients. (And why is it dubbed “ObamaCare” when it really should be dubbed “RomneyCare”? It’s almost the spitting image of the plan Romney got passed in Massachusetts.)

There’s a lot more on Lil’ Dick’s FreedomWorks adventures in “Tea Potty (pt. 6). (Just a click away.) I also recommend this WaPost column by Dana Milbank for an insight on the Lil’ Dick’s wing-nut view of history. (I swear to Zoroaster, these people must have slept through history class. Either that, or never attended in the first place.)

 

Eric Cantor

Eric Canter – “the brains(?) of the GOP”, seems to think of himself as an economist. However, he has no credentials as an economist. His educational background is in Poly Sci (B.A.); Law (J.D.) and Real Estate (M.S.).

He also seems to think that numbers are more important than people (particularly the numbers on U.S. currency).

Of course, they’re only more important when there’s a 50% African-American Democratic President. During the “Bush League Years” of prodigious spending (on and off the budget), He was (not so) strangely silent.

So, who is Ricky? What, or who does he stand for or against? Let’s take a look at his record:

  • Voted NO on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures. (Mar 2009)
  • Voted NO on regulating the sub-prime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)
  • Voted NO on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation. (Jul 2009)
  • Rated 100% by the US Chamber of Commerce, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)
  • Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted YES on deauthorizing “critical habitat” for endangered species. (Sep 2005)
  • Rated 0% by the League of Conservation Voters, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)

  • Voted NO on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Jan 2009)
  • Voted NO on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D. (Jan 2007)
  • Voted NO on giving mental health full equity with physical health. (Mar 2008)
  • Rated 0% by the American Public Health Association, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)

  • Voted NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)
  • Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
  • Rated 7% by the American Civil Liberties Union, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)

Oh yes, then there’s his stand that dirtiest of dirty words: “Taxes“!

  • Voted NO on extending AMT exemptions to avoid hitting middle-income. (Jun 2008)
  • Voted NO on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005)
  • Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax (“death tax”). (Apr 2001)
  • Reduce the capital gains tax . (Jan 2001)
  • Rated 0% by the Citizens for Tax Justice, indicating opposition to progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)

So, if who you are is how you vote, Ricky is a big business loving, environment hating, asshole who doesn’t give a rotten rat’s rectum about your rights as a citizen or addressing the nation’s real problems. He is however, very anti-tax and anti-regulation if you’re rich and powerful. (Otherwise – not so much!) And, while he claims to be against overbearing government, that evidently doesn’t extend to government snooping into your private life.

In other words, he’s a TEA BAGGER HERO! (aka scumbag)

 

Jim DeMint

  • “Jimmy dahMint” is a South Carolina Senator, and (Michelle Bachman’s delusions notwithstanding) congress’ preeminent bagger. He’s also a prime example of a throwback to early in the last century (if not earlier).

Here’s just a couple examples:

That’s what he’s said, but what’s a lot more important is what he’s done.

  • He filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care. (He doesn’t want you talking about things he doesn’t like.)
  • He voted “To prohibit the use of funds for the prosecution of enemy combatants in Article III courts of the United States.” In other words, he wants people detained but not tried for crimes against the U.S. (Seems to me the Constitution has a bit to say about that.)
  •  He opposed a measure aimed at hiring veterans, calling it a “trick” by the Obama administration and Democrats. The amendment granted employers tax breaks worth up to $9,600 for giving a veteran a job. (Btw, he was the only Senator to vote against the bill. Even his bagger buddies voted for it.)
  • He voted against an extension of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance benefits. (Seems he’s only anti-tax when it comes to the “big boys”.)
  • He blocked the confirmation of El Salvador’s Ambassador because she condemned homophobia. (She said something he didn’t care for. See above.)
  • He asked JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who’s company lost over $9 billion in the derivative market, to “guide” Congress in creating friendly banking regulations. (Dimon and his ilk were the people that brought on the recession in the first place. However,  Jimmy thinks that the inmates should set the rules for the asylum. Hmm.)
  • He voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (So much for baggers being for the working man (or woman.))

 

Foster Friess

If it wasn’t for the fact that he has so damn much money to throw around, Foster Friess would be listed in the upcoming “Clowns & Commodians” section. (Even his name sounds like a ice cream store or a Batman villain.)

As Sheldon Adelson was Newter’s billionaire, Frosty Freeze was Rick Santorum’s 1/2 billionaire. (He’s not quite in Shelly’s “Money League”.) Then, after Rick flamed out in the primaries, Frosty switched his money to Willard.

So who is this big buck bozo?

You might remember him from such “Blasts from the Past” as his “Bayer Asprin Birth Control Boogie” or his techno-rave ode to Obama: “I Hope His Teleprompters are Bullet-Proof.”

But there’s more to Frosty than those gems. Let’s take a look:

  • He’s a passionate evangelical. (You know the type: The earth is 6,000 years old! Women should be subjugated by their husbands! Every word of the bible is absolutely true including those 15 mentions of dragons. (And, the talking snake, don’t forget the talking snake));
  • He’s an Islamophobic who did a 5 1/2 minute promo for the Clarion Fund’s Anti-islamic video “Obsession”. Frosty also puts his money where his mouth is.  He financially supports Islamophobic organizations such as David Horowitz’s Terrorism Awareness Project and Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy.
  • He thinks liberals are responsible for the 1999 Columbine shooting.
  • He thinks everyone should be intolerant. I shit you NOT! Just below is his 2007 commencement speech at Pepperdine University. (The intolerance bit is about halfway in the vid.)

 

Newt Gingrich

Ah yes! The Newter. This man has so much baggage, it would take a couple of boxcars to hold it all.

So, stay tuned sports fans, lotsa juicy tidbits coming up in a few paragraphs.

But first, a little history:

Way back in the neolithic past when I was growing up, we had two political parties in this country. They pandered to different constituencies, and of course they argued a lot (mostly for political benefit), but when push came to shove they usually compromised out a solution. (Although, a lot to the time, they just kicked the can down the road so someone else would have to pick it up.)

Underneath it all, they mostly got along with each other away from the podium and the reporters. Reagan and Tip O’Neill used to rag each other’s policies all day and then get together for drinks and bull-shooting sessions in the evening.

In the 90’s that changed. We entered the era of polarization that has culminated in our present situation. The catalyst? In my not-so-humble opinion: Newton Leroy Gingrich!

Newter (or Leroy, if you prefer) started off as a moderate Republican. He was Nelson Rockefeller’s southern regional director in ’68. But, Newter is a smart man. (Just ask him. He’ll tell you.) He’s smarter than the average bagger, but then again, so’s my dog. (And I don’t have a dog.) He was smart enough to know which way the political wind was blowing in his adopted state (Georgia.) and it wasn’t a moderate wind.

After a couple of failed attempts at office in ’74 & ’76, he was elected to congress in ’78. By ’89 he was elected minority whip, stating his intention to “build a much more aggressive, activist party.” Then he proceeded to do just that.

In 1990 Newter penned a memo entitled “Language, a Key Mechanism of Control” . The memo listed words he recommended Republicans use against Democrats and Democratic policies. Words like sick, disgrace, corruption, cheat, decay, failure, pathetic, destructive, radical, traitor, greed, lie, liberal, betray, unionized bureaucracy, permissive, bizarre and anti-family. GOPAC distributed it in 1996 to all Republican candidates so that they too could “be like Newt”. Doonsbury even did a strip on it that I wish I could show you (copyright laws and all that stuff). However, you can check it out here. (Btw, despite its name, GOPAC is not a Political Action Committee, it’s a 527 organization.)

I’m not going to comment on the 1994 Republican “Contract With America“, primarily because it wasn’t written by Newter, he just had some input.

Ok, maybe just a couple comments. Actually, one question and a comment;

QUESTION: Item #10 in the contract: “The Citizen Legislature Act”, called for term limits. Whatever happened with that once they got into power?

COMMENT: As to the rest of the “contract”? In 2000, the Cato Institute (soon to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) stated “the combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%.

In ’94, the Republicans got control of the House and Nuter……I mean Newter became speaker.

In ’95, Gingrich shut down the government. Not once, but twice. Clinton had refused to cut the budget in the way Republicans wanted and Gingrich threatened to refuse to raise the debt limit, causing the U.S. Treasury to suspend funding portions of the government to avoid putting the country in default. (Sound familiar?) Republican amendments would have also made it harder to issue health, safety and environmental regulations. (Another recurring theme.)

Or was that the real reason? While this was going on, Newter complained that, during a flight to and from Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in Israel, Clinton had not talked to him about the budget and (horror of horrors) Newter had been directed to leave the plane via the rear door. (Hmmm, sounds about right to me. That’s how bowel movements are supposed to work.)

In his tenure as speaker (1995-99) he set a record: 84 ethics charges leveled against him, culminating in being the first speaker disciplined for ethics violations. It cost him a $300,000 fine (out of his own pocket, not campaign funds.)

After surviving a Republican coup in ’97, Newter stepped down in January ’99. It wasn’t due to the fact that he had been dancing the “horizontal mambo” with Callista for five years (while still married to Marianne) at the same time he was trying to impeach Clinton over cum stains on a dress. (Whatever a Republican does is fine. It’s only Dems that will burn in Hell. Plus, the man slated to replace him (Bob Livingston) was also playing “wrap the weenie” with someone who was not his wife.)

No, what Newter did was far worse: Under his leadership, Republicans lost seats in ’98 in the worst midterm performance since 1934 by a party not holding the presidency. (It was also the Republicans in ’34)

But, speaking of scandals – lets.

I’m not going to discuss his “oral activities” (and, I ain’t talkin’ speechifyin’). Even I have some standards (low as they may be)

Well…………maybe just one short quote: “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.'” – Anne Manning (who was also married at the time.);

Ok, got that out of my system. Let’s take a look at Newter and the Republican’s #2 favorite meme, FAMILY VALUES! (#1 is TOO MUCH TAXATION (of the wealthy.))

You’d think that Newter would be an expert on the subject. After all, he’s been married three times. (Jackie 1962-1981; Marianne 1981-2000; Callista 2000-????)

Newter was 19 when he married Jackie, his high school geometry teacher.

“We would have won in 1974 if we could have kept him out of the office, screwing her [a young volunteer] on the desk.” – Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler at the time;

“He walked out in the spring of 1980…. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said, “Daddy is downstairs. Could he come up?” When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from my surgery.” – Jackie

Of course, Newter had a perfectly logical explanation for his actions: “She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife. And besides, she has cancer.”

What he forgot to mention was that he was already banging Marianne and had been for quite some time.

The hospital visit wasn’t the end of it, either. Shortly after the cancer ward visit, Newter stopped paying alimony and child support. Jackie had to take him to court, and her Baptist church needed to take up a collection to buy food for his kids and prevent the utilities from being cut off.

His marriage to Marianne ended about the same. After Marianne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Newt got around to telling her about Callista. (It was probably about time. The two of them had been screwing for six years.) However, Newter didn’t ask for divorce this time. He asked her to have an “open marriage” where he could keep fucking both of them. (TAKE THAT, sanctity of marriage fans!)

Marianne refused, they divorced, and he married Callista (aka “The Botox Queen”).

Ok, that’s about it for the “fun scandals”. There’s a lot more dirt out there, but I’m running long as it is.

Of course, there were also lots of not-so-sexy scandals involving the Newter:

And finally, let me leave you with the words of the man himself: “It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.

 

David & Charles Koch

I’ve covered a bit of the Koch Bros and their connections to Americans For Prosperity and other astro-turf groups in Tea Potty (pt. 6) and I have a strong feeling I’m going to do an entire post on them in the near future. (Assholes with this much corrupting power deserve no less.)

However, since I’m already 400 words over my self-imposed limit for posts, for right now, I’m simply going to point you to two excellent posts: This one at newyorker.com and this one at politico.com.

Check them out. You’ll be glad you did. (And, probably a little frightened as well.)

 One last trivia note before I leave the Kochs: David actually ran for Vice President in 1980 on the Libertarian ticket. Got 921,128 votes (1.1%). After that he decided that buying elections was easier than running in them.

 

Ron & Rand Paul

Ron Paul:

Ron Paul is very smart! (Doctors tend to be that way.) He’s as smart as (or smarter than) the Newter. Plus, he has something the Newter never even dreamed of – PRINCIPLES.

Granted, a lot of those principles are extremely anarchic, but principles just the same. Plus, to be frank (or george or jim), I happen to agree with some of them. A couple of things that I agree on include:

  • THE WAR ON DRUGS: Ron is against it because it’s government involvement and he doesn’t like government involvement in hardly anything. I’m against it because it’s a total and well documented failure. (Let’s be honest. At this point it’s carried on strictly for perceived political benefit and the enrichment of the “Prisons for Profit” crowd.) There are ways to combat the “hard stuff”, but lying about pot and prosecuting users ain’t among them. It’s actually counter-productive because people, especially youth, know they’re lying about pot and can then assume that they’re also lying about the hard drugs.
  • MILITARY INVOLVEMENT: This one we both mainly agree on, except he may go a bit farther than I do. This country jumps into wars for business or political reasons way too often. Check out “Why Do We Have The Most Powerful Military In The World? (No, seriously. Why?)” for a lot more on that subject.

And then, there are his other stands that I don’t, or maybe just partially agree  with (usually for different reasons). WAY too many to list here and that’s not really the purpose of this bit. You can check out his votes and stands here.

I started off by commenting on his “smarts”.  While “the Ronster” didn’t win too many primaries outright (3 as of this writing), his followers have been pretty successful in winning an outsize percentage of convention delegates and taking over quite a few state party organizations while the public’s (and the press’s) attention was focused on the “winners”.

The bagger with his tri-corner hat covering up his tinfoil skullcap isn’t the face of the Republican party’s future, Ron Paul is.

Lots more on Paul, but you can google it yourself. This post is rubbing up against 4000 words.

Rand Paul:Nuff said!

Next (and last) adventure into the tea potty swamp: “Clowns & Commodians (and that’s not a mis-spelling!)

Stay classy! (One of us has to.)

Grouchy

 

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