Michael Wolraich's picture

    Obama Scandals: The Quest for the Perfect "Gate"

    At last! Republicans have been awaiting this moment for five long years, the day that Obama finally gets his gate. You see, every two-term president has a defining scandal that renders him permanently villainous and/or ridiculous. By hallowed convention, the scandal must end with word "gate."

    Nixon started it with the gate to begin all gates, Watergate. Ronald Reagan followed up with Irangate. Bill Clinton enthralled us with Monicagate. George W. Bush gave us Plamegate.

    And now Obama has got his own gate...or rather his own gates. Since no single scandal is big enough bring him down, Republicans and pundits are eagerly gathering them up in a big stinking pile of nefariousness: IRSBenghAPgate!

    Every good gate has three critical components:

    1. Outrage - The public must be profoundly offended or at least grossed out by something the President did or knew about it
    2. Deceit - The President must have attempted to cover up the Outrage
    3. Symbolism - The Outrage and Deceit must encapsulate the President's character and administration

    For example, Republican staffers bugged the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel (Outrage), Nixon denied involvement (Deceit), and the scandal illustrated what many already suspected: Nixon was a schmuck (Symbolism).

    Similarly, the Iran-Contra affair revealed Reagan as a senile old warmonger. The Monica Lewinsky scandal confirmed the rumors that Clinton was narcissistic lech. Plamegate showed off the Bush administration's lawlessness, vindictiveness, and obsession with Saddam Hussein.

    IRSBenghAPgate is a little trickier. All three scandals are more or less outrageous, if not quite on the level Watergate. They seem to be light on deceit, but it's early yet. There is still time for an incriminating audio tape or semen stain to break the scandals open.

    IRSBenghAPgate's biggest challenge, however, is symbolism. The pundits and politicians are working overtime to spin the three disparate events into a great big presidency-killing megascandal that illustrates everything wrong with Obama and his administration. Specifically, these scandals are supposed to show that he's an out-of-touch, big-government wonk.

    "None of these messes would have happened under a president less obsessed with politics, less insulated within his own White House and less trusting of government as an institution," editorialized Politico.

    "[T]he controversies of recent days have reinforced fears of an overreaching government while calling into question Mr. Obama's ability to master his own presidency," adds the New York Times.

    The charges against Obama--aloofness, wonkiness, big-government-ness--do have legs. Accurate or not, they fit a picture of Obama's presidency that has evolved over the years.

    But the gates don't fit the charges.

    First, the State Department's handling of the Benghazi attack--before and after--was inept, but incompetence has never been Obama's weakness. His administration has little history of Benghazi-like screw-ups.

    Second, the IRS investigations of Tea Party groups do not suggest a government that has grown too big. Big government is inefficient, overbearing, and callous. That is not the problem here. The problem is that the investigations were politicized. Had they happened on George W. Bush's watch, the scandals would have fit right in with the news about his administration's political exploitation of the Washington bureaucracy. The Obama administration has been guilty of that before, but it is hardly a defining trait.

    Finally, the Associated Press subpoenas point to a paranoid administration that tramples over liberty in its obession with national security. Many liberals see the Obama administration this way, but the American public does not. On the contrary, conservatives have long attacked Obama for being weak on security and lax about leaks.

    A big enough scandal can change opinions. More people may eventually come to see Obama as bumbling or partisan or militant, but none of these particular scandals are nearly outrageous or deceitful enough to do the trick. Nor do they fit together in a way that presents a recognizable portrait of the President we think we know.

    Unless some damning new information comes out, these scandals will pass away before the next election. And contrary to media warnings, they won't do much to hamper an administration that frankly can't accomplish much anyway in Washington's toxic environment. If Obama's opponents really want to consign the rest of his presidency to history's dustheap, they will have to find a better gate.

    PS Might I suggest Deathpanelgate? Secret commissions that withhold healthcare for seniors would be the perfect gate to sink Obama's presidency.

    Michael Wolraich is the author of Blowing Smoke (Da Capo, 2010)



    It seems as if, for these to be scandals, you have to twist and search too hard for them and you have to ignore other, more compelling narratives.

    Benghazi, for example.  There was not enough security protecting the state department's delegation in Libya.  That, we know.  In hindsight, anyway.  But that's not a scandal, it's a procedural debate about what could have been done better.  Even that, though, is mitigated by the delegation's choice not to go with heavy security because they wanted easier, more fluid access to people in Libya.  Lost in all of this is that Ambassador Stephens and his team took a risk in service of a greater ideal.

    So then we get to the explanation to the American public.  Somehow that devolved into, was it terrorism, a demonstration or Al-Qaeda.  All of which is meaningless labeling.  It has no juice.  All the GOP has done is succeed in making the whole story confusing and, as a result fewer non-partisans are even paying attention.

    IRS-Gate:  Yes, it's bad that mid-level IRS employees can use political litmus tests to make people asking to act in a tax-exempt manner fill out more forms.  Honestly, midlevel government employees who have some enforcement powers and who are also responsible for making sure that rules are properly applied, probably do similar things throughout the government.  It's amazing that this is almost a bigger national issue than Stop & Frisk policing, which is totally racist and less justifiable than questioning an organization that protests all taxes about its request to never pay taxes.

    If the Republicans push this too hard, a lot of generally disinterested people are going to start asking, "how come these people with their Tea Party hobby don't have to pay taxes while I don't get an exemption for my hobbies at all?"

    AP Spying Gate: Problem here is that Republicans never care about this stuff when their side is doing it.  The other problem is that, from what I can tell, it all seems legal.  Now to me, that's an outrage.  I think that if the DOJ wants to go after reporters, it should do so in a straight forward manner, in court, so that we can have a loud public debate about ethical obligations and the reach of power.  Every.  Single.  Time.  I don't think it's fair or right for the DOJ to use a secret FISA court to pluck the phone records, turning what would have been a confrontation with the AP into a simple transaction with the phone company.

    But it's totally legal.  To me, the scandal is that it's legal.  But that's a whole other debate, isn't it?

    Benghazi is a joke that has caused even some Republicans to scratch their heads over the obsession. The other two are genuine scandals. The AP subpoena may be legal, but it's unethical.

    It's not the coverage of scandals themselves that bugs me but all the bullshit about the "new Obama narrative." I expect it from the Republicans, but some journalists' effort to combine unrelated recent events into a momentous condemnation of Obama's presidency is getting seriously stupid.


    AP is not just unethical, it's a good way to shut down a free press.

    "Sure, report on us, but we know who you're talking to." Feel the chill.

    Holder: "This is not hyperbole" ......it's sedition...... From now on, you must clear all news through our Dear leader's censorship board.  "All the news ....  fit permitted to be printed"

    The fact that a spy and an intelligence operation was put at risk in the leaked AP story were the likely triggers for the aggressive technique used. The US had to prove to the British that the matter was taken seriously. However, several legal expects have opined that the matter should have been done in a more open manner.

    Chuck Shumer and Lindsay Graham are re-submitting a "media shield" bill. It will be interesting to see if the bill makes it through Congress. It is actually unclear if the bill would have prevented the AP purge because it isn't clear what legal mechanism was used to obtain the phone records.

    The obvious effect on the AP is that sources will have to wonder if they can trust the AP to maintain confidentiality.

    Republicans have been looking for payback since Watergate took down one of their own.  Doubt they will stop until they have taken down two Democrats - one to get even and one to be ahead.

    Of course, it is the White House press corp's egos that are the real problem. They can turn 'gates' into nauseating personal obsessions that interfere with the only real justification for their own existence which is as an information channel between the White House and the rest of us.


    Dems do it too. I've done it. TPM was one long schadenfreude scandalfest during the Bush years. But much of this stuff is sillier, especially coming from the vaunted press corp.

    Not sure what you mean by "Dems do it too" since I basically said they started it, by which I mean the threat of impeachment, with Watergate.

    As for TPM being one long scandalfest during the Bush years: isn't that what muckrakers do? The muckraking aspect of TPM was always its least attractive to me. I seldom read the main site and assiduously avoided the Muckraker. I was strictly a Cafe reader but had all but given up on it even before Josh pulled the plug. I am just not very schadenfreudy. 

    And it is one thing for you and Josh and every other blogger trying to make a name for themselves to indulge in muckraking and personal obsessions but something quite different when those reporters privileged with WH press room credentials do it. From them I want what I think of as Joe Friday journalism, just the facts, and a whole lot more intelligence and way less ego than they presently display. Being stonewalled and/or played by the Press Secretary is to be expected, not a personal insult to get in a snit over.


    I guess it's the vindictiveness that bugs me. The original muckrakers were more or less non-partisan. They went after anyone in power. What you often get on the blogs is more like partisan porn. People become obsessed with the misconduct of the other party because they hate the other party, not because they particularly care about the misconduct. If the Benghazi attack had happened under Bush, Republicans would defending him to the hilt, and Democrats would be screaming about talking points.

    TPM is more balanced than most political blogs, but it certainly serves the partisan porn market. As I recall, I first started reading TPM because of "Bulgegate"--when Bush was accused of wearing a wire in his debate with Kerry.


    Correction: The debate wire scandal was " humpgate" Bulgegate was the widely held suspicion that the "mission accomplished " flightsuit was anatomically enhanced.

    "looking for payback since Watergate...one to get even and one to be ahead.'

    You could look at it that way, kinda like a football game.

    Or you could say it's rigid, uncompromising, scorched earth ideology.

    The right wing wants to get rid of, or immobilize, any liberal President. Nixon was a liberal. EPA, OSHA, Clean Air Act....etc. They had enough votes in the Senate to save him.

    The right wing detested Nixon, see: The Right Wing vs. Nixon, Time, Nixon... America's Last Liberal?, National Review, they just let the Democrats do the dirty work for them.

    I was actually thinking of those Republicans directly affected by Watergate: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove....  

    For them it was personal as well as political.

    The three you mention also happen to be be most certified purveyors of the scorched earth ideology of the right wing.

    TPM quoting Boehner:

    "Our system requires the bonds of trust between the American people and their government," Boehner told reporters. "And those bonds, once broken, are very hard to repair. Nothing dissolves the bonds between the people and their government like the arrogance of power here in Washington. And that's what the American people are seeing today from the administration. Remarkable arrogance.

    "This House will stop at nothing to get to the American people, the answers and the accountability that they expect,"

    The Republicans will keep this stuff up until Obama shows some real knock-down partisan fight. They are trampling all over him. We are watching 'bullying' of the President by the partisan hacks of the Republican Hall of Scoundrels. A bully won't stop till you fight back.

    Throw back hard, real accusations at the GOP Congress, they deserve it.

    For instance, the 'big deal' with the IRS is the fact that Congress has a crappy, nebulous 501 org. law. Why? It is meant to fudge the issue of who is throwing big money during election time so politicians can cover up who they get money from. That's not 'strengthening the bonds' of government trust. See 'The Real IRS Scandal', The New Yorker. -(...They were seeking approval to operate under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. This would require them to be “social welfare,” not political, operations. There are significant advantages to being a 501(c)(4). These groups don’t pay taxes; they don’t have to disclose their donors..)

    The 'big deal' with Benghazi is Congress cut the funds for State Dept. security.

    The 'big deal' with the AP is the lives of informants were put at risk and therefore Americans lives. Does the GOP want another 9/11? Pass the reporter protection law Obama pushed a couple years ago.

    If Obama doesn't stop pandering to, and cowering before, every two bit Republican charge, he will be cowering the next 3 years, which, unfortunately, seems the most likely scenario.

    the "big deal"  with the AP is the lives of informants were put at risk and therefore American lives.   Really? I wish that principle had been applied in Benghazi.

    If you believe Benghazi was bigger than Pearl Harbor, 9/11, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, I know where you are comin from!

    Not necessarily bigger, but having the same modus operendi....... In Pearl Harbor, America was suspicious of a pending Japanese attack, yet didn't prepare for it?  Did you believe, the US government was totally surprised, that someone could high-jack a plane and use it as a weapon, especially, after the CIA had already declared WAR on the Taliban, months before? We went to war and it preserved the oil? Would you have gone to war for oil?   I am surprised you didn't bring up the sinking of the Maine, an incident that led to war and the aquiring of land from Spain; the Philipines being one of the jewels stolen

    The real hope here (for the Republicans and for many in the media) is that three lame scandals somehow add up to one good one. I'm not sure that's true.

    And, none connected to the President.  That only works if the scandal is such that it's a joke for the president not to know (like Reagan and Iran/Contra where, if you accepted Reagan's plausible deniability, you also had to accept that he was either willfully or medically unfit).

    One of famous SNL skits turned that around with a vengeance, making the joke that Reagan was actually a secret genius masterminding everything (because that idea seemed laughable):


    Love the bit with the Girl Scout.

    That skit has been one of my favorites for years and years.

    Contrast the skit with the cross examination of former President Reagan at the Poindexter trial?


    Though the general public will probably not get very outraged about any of these individual "gates," and may not even show much interest, I'd be willing to bet that the cumulative effect of all the noise will add to the effect shown on this graph:

    (source of graph)

    And that will serve the main Republican cause (the Norquist thingie.)

    And some of those thus influenced will vote against Dems in 2014, when previously they had not. Combined with outraged wingnuts being inspired to get out and vote, that should help Congress swing further right.

    P.S. Throw in lots of inevitable confusion and discontent once Obamacare really starts kicking in. This is why another House vote on it is happening, to allow freshman to disassociate with it. Is also one reason why Obama has to scramble as the reputation of the I.R.S. sinks lower than usual...

    It appears the promises of transparency have been proven to be a lie. These scandals had to be uncovered; if not,  how long would the infringements on our rights had gone undetected?  Wikileaks was another in a series of lack of transparency and the uncovering of dead mens bones. Whistle blowers are hunted down. .... From my religous perspective, there is a scripture foretelling " everything hidden, will be revealed and everything secret, will be brought out into the open"  The Obama administration thought it could protect it's secrets and the things done in the dark.  Democrats can kiss the White house goodbye and they'll probably lose the midterms, so much for the hope of moving policies to the left. Great news for the Corporatists who will milk this scandal for all it's worth.

    I feel it's important to state that I don't agree with your take here at all. Just to make sure others don't misunderstand my point.

    Though it occurs to me I was talking about people who think like you do, among others. That is all. Not interested in debating, you're going to think what you're going to think.

    I don't see any correlation here, let alone causation.

    It seems plausible that scandals would erode people's faith in government, but the federal government has survived two centuries of political scandal, compared to which the recent tempests are distinctly teapot-ish.

    When all those scandals happened, the voters usually ended up "throwing the bums out."

    You don't think the constant drumbeat of Federal government scandals in the news is going to make swing voters and Independents who are susceptible to GOP small-Federal-government principles think it's time to vote out Dems? I think it's absurd to think it wouldn't. I.E., gave Obama and his party a chance,  seemed like a reasonable guy, but it ain't working, even he can't control the bureaucratic monster, got to take away what support he has in Congress, gridlock is good.

    That drum has been beating for 200+ years.  It has beat through every administration of every president we've ever had. So no, I don't think the fact that we've heard three minor beats over a couple weeks will have an appreciable effect on voters especially in a non-election year. 

    Nate Silver thinks I.R.S. Targeting of Conservative Groups Could Resonate in 2014 explaning:

    [....] Political scandals do not lend themselves especially well to data-driven analysis. But several years ago, I developed a series of five questions meant to determine whether a potential scandal “has legs.” Some of the questions have support in empirical literature, while others are more subjective. The exercise is modeled after Bill James’s “Keltner list,” a series of gut-check questions that were meant to test a baseball player’s suitability for the Hall of Fame.

    The questions, with some minor wording differences from their original versions, are posed below. My conclusion, as you’ll see, is that the I.R.S. story scores relatively high, meaning it could have a substantial political impact. [.....]

    When spy agencies are involved, you can never be sure of the truth. Here is a story discussing the interaction between US and UK spies regarding the outing of the spy. It suggests that future operations would be put at risk.

    Sorry,I don't find it scandalous that the IRS investigated some number of tea party-type organizations. If those TPers weren't doing anything wrong then that's what the investigations will show. They have no special right to be immune from the same sort of investigation that I myself have been through  three times.(during  one of which the pleasant, competent auditor found a deduction I'd missed and I got an unexpected refund)

    It would have been a "gate" if the IRS had falsely found the TPers guilty. But correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't heard of that charge having been substantiated.





    Did the President or White House direct the IRS to target Tea Party groups. Nixon directly had people targeted by the IRS. Isn't there a large difference in the current "scandal"?

    The focus should be on changing the law.501c groups should be excluded from making political ads. The focus in the AP phone purge should be on changing what it was legal for the DOJ to do in regards to getting information. We need a better media shield law. The focus in Benghazi needs to be tracking down the murderers and figuring out how to protect consulates in dangerous parts of the world.

    The Republicans will overplay their hand as they are doing in umbrella-gate. There will be short-term gain but long term loss for the GOP if they continue to stick to obstruction.

    You are absolutely correct rmrd, yet with the Republican House absolutely set on stopping any sane improvements to 501 laws or anything to do with better government, nothing will come of it all unless Obama takes off the gloves and hits back at GOP partisanship. Explaining in terse fashion how it hurts the government and therefore America.

    If the Administration instructed the IRS to audit those TPers ,it was wrong.

    If the IRS didn't audit them unasked, it was wrong.

    I see no reason that opposing the current president should provide the TPers with protection from the sort of scrutiny I've experienced myself.

    The term Tea Party immediately conjures up an organization with a political agenda. The press ignores that simple fact.

    Republicans believe Obama stole the last election by suppressing political advocacy by 503 organizations for which political advocacy is illegal.

    I thought ACORN turned the tide smiley

    Bobby Jindal (R-Gov La) says Obama has taken away the freedom of Republicans.

    To do or say whatever they want tax free at election time, and keep who pays for it all secret. That is supposed to create a trusted, accountable government according to the GOP.

    The job of the IRS is to collect money. And in fairness to those who pay fully to act in such a way as to encourage payment from citizens who might otherwise cheat-both so the government can enjoy the use of those funds per se and also pour encourager les autres.

    It stands to reason that it should concentrate its limited assets on those who  appear likely to cheat. And of those on those with high visibility so that catching them in cheating would serve as a lesson to others who are so inclined.

    Someone who basically resents the Government seems more likely to cheat than someone who approves of it.

    And if there are some groups who have recently appeared ,publicly stopping  some of them from cheating as soon as possible is a sensible way to warn the others.

    The tea partiers fit that description. If the IRS hadn't made an early effort to teach them that should pay, it would have been delinquent in its duties.

    Their animosity to the president that the rest of the country had chosen is no reason that they should be allowed to dodge their duty as tax paying citizens.

    End of story








      They aren't allowed to decide that conservatives are more likely to cheat and therefore should have special standards applied to them. The law is supposed to treat everyone equally.

    Is social welfare the first thing that comes to mind when you see a Tea Party label?  I tend to think of politics. Only 8 of 2800 applications were rejected last year There are documented cases of Democratic-leaning groups being denied 501c4 status. Is this a real scandal?

    As for the democratic-leaning groups being denied; it didn't say if they were too far left. A threat to corporations.  If so     THAT WOULD BE THE REAL SCANDAL......Led by a Bush appointee  "The war on terror" just expanded to "the war on Unacceptable Party's   Mission creep(s)

      The way I've heard it, they can engage in lobbying and still qualify for tax exempt status, provided they don't get involved in campaigning for any candidate. The IRS claims the Democratic groups were stumping for specific candidates, so if that is true, the law was followed. Some people may want to change the law.

    So you would not have scrutinized a group labeled Tea Party (Pick a state) and assumed it was a social welfare group?

    Yes, you're right, you're 100% right. But its hard for me to get upset about it when the whole 501 c 4 system is wrong imo. 501c 4's are not about getting a tax exemption, its about hiding your donors. I don't think there should be any dark money in politics, not for liberals or conservatives.

    The law and the theory is they are not to participate in political activities but the reality is most of them do. Its a legalized scam and I just can't bring myself to care if one group of scammers is treated unfairly.

    What we're talking about is making the truly awful 501c4 system work fairly, a system that undermines our democracy, when we should trash the whole god damn thing.

    I agree with your thoughts entirely about trashing it , but can you tell me what is "dark money" and why should I fear it?......  For myself; I didn't care, that the Unions might have gotten support from the mob. I am more concerned about who is getting a share of the booty and favored Tax status, after, the election.  Eliminate the Exemptions entirely.  No need to have the tax code, favor any group.  But the complete scrapping of the current system should be done over time, to allow for business decisions or real-estate decisions and the like; that have already been made under the old code.  How much money, would donors put in, if there was no financial reward, for doing so?

    Philosophy Bites is a large site with 216 installments available as podcasts at Itunes and presumably at their own page. I have listened to a couple of them. In this one on "Constitutions" the guest speaker/philosopher is John Gardner. He is Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Oxford and he writes on general jurisprudence, ethics, the philosophical foundations of tort law and criminal law, as well as on the philosophy of human rights. I recommend it to everyone but I thought of it here and expect that you may appreciate the thoughts given to the subject.


    Another from the same place that I found also interesting as well as currently very relevant to politics today is John Mikhail on Battery and Morality.

    A cheating conservative should,by law,  be treated the same as a cheating liberal. But that doesn't mean that , by law, in seeking offenders, the IRS is prohibited from investigating those  most likely to offend.

     Audits are not punishment , they are rational attempts to determine who deserves to be punished. The law might be "an ass" as Dr. Johnson said, but not so much of one that it prohibits the IRS from searching for offenders among those most likely to offend.

       Both law and my own conception of justice prohibit the IRS from making an arbitrary assumption that conservatives are more likely than others to cheat on their taxes and then auditing them for no other reason than that. Investigations need a better basis than that. Anyway, the whole thing was about applications for tax exempt status, not about people cheating on taxes.

    I have a hard time believing, our forefathers would have accepted the intrusion into everyones lifes, ie. their parpers and such, that is currently being done by the I.R.S. ...(Internal Rebellion Supression)  Our forefathers told us how to support the newly installed government. The government had a right to impose tariffs and duties but not question your right to associate or what your finances were or who you financed........  King George would have loved to have known, which American colonists were financially supporting the " Sons of Liberty"; American patriots, who are best known for the "Boston Tea Party"  the group was lso instrumental, in freeing the colonist from British rule.  They surely wouldnt have approved, of the Capitalist/Corporate governance being imposed upon us now, with the IRS being a too,l of this abusive group, whose open hostility, puts Capital ahead of labor.

    Organizations can be political and get tax exemption. They are called 527 organizations

    Still about control..... The Law as written by them; says Run your tax exempt requests, through the Internal Rebellion Suppressor agency and if they dont think you're a threat, you'll be approved? ... If they believe you may have some elements in your group, they disaprove of, they will investigate them and you further. "Who else are you associated with, show us your papers.  Give us names and addresses",........ Imagine King George's officers asking "It says here, you know men going by the names, Paul Revere and a Mr. Thomas Jefferson,  do you know of their where abouts, can you provide us as much information about them as you can?..  Do you know the names of those in Boston who threw the TEA overboard?".....  Who the hell said, we have to live under the rule of Corporatist/Capitalism instead of freedom. I want Social Security,  I want a safety net  all elements of the ideology of Socialism. Those other people, Coporatists/capitalist, hate the idea and they will do what ever necessary, to assure they maintain control. These same folks are fearful of the Tea Party, because they're very vocal in their rebellious attitude of the staus quo and the financial system they have set in place, for THEIR enrichment, not ours. 

    It seems that you think that corporations dumping unlimited amounts of cash into campaigns is okay.

    Does it surprise you that corporations play the rigged game well and are approved, by their friends at the IRS? No questions asked of them, because the Corporate/capitalist have friends in high places. It's the grass roots groups with names like  "Tea Party" or " Patriot"s they worry about and if you're willing to submit to their intrusion, well, then you will be given Tax exemptions too.......  as a reward for being loyal.  If your an accepted friend, the government of the Corporation will make the disloyal suckers pay the taxes. Support them and you get the money you spent to preserve their system of enrichment back into your pocket. You scratch their back, they scratch yours.......    If unlimited money, gets the IRS intrusion out of the lives of  Patriotic American workers I'm all for it. Buy all the airtime you want, only stupid, purposely uninformed fall for the BS anyways.......  Corporate Candidates are already preserved, protected  and others blocked by the "PERFECT GATE"   Example , during the debates; when pressed to answer the hard questions, the Corporate controlled media throws softballs, so you'll only get a Corporatist/capitalist lackey tool; who if elected will help maintain control by the corporations . All the money in the world spent and supposedly it gets down to one man one vote; but they only allow you candidates acceptable to them. If  by chance one happens to slip past, the electoral college will preserve the Corporations or Maybe SCOTUS will intervene; the same group that already said; money talks. Corporatism/Capitalism has all the bases covered.  Except one, Thank our forefathers for the Second Amendment  "The right of the people shall not be infringed"

    Do you not find it more than a little ironic and kind of sad that so many groups who fancy themselves tea parties register with the IRS at all?


    Probably the wise thing to do, if their intentions are to get intrusive government out of their personal lives and business. I suppose a candidate from any of these groups, would be disqualified from public office, because they are too private?

    Who else are you associated with, show us your papers.  Give us names and addresses",....

    I don't believe you can  cite examples of the IRS making such a demand. FWIW nothing like that occurred during my three IRS audits. The only Tea Party member who would need to fear an Audit would be  one who'd filed an incorrect return. 


    It was reported the IRS sent applicants seeking exemptions, so much paper work and yes it concerned who are and were associated with the group, asking about their internet usage and site. A very intrusive questionaire

    Basically what it boils down to is "profiling." Which I guess is a dirty word, but I find it highly interesting that the very people on the right who are horrified by THIS profiling, would sit quietly by and watch TSA profile, and only subject Muslims to additional scrutiny.

    What the IRS apparently did in this instance was devise a way of being more efficient way of doing their jobs, which, under normal circumstances would be applauded. It is only because right wingers were "targeted" that they are upset.

    Profiling and devising a more efficient means, to by-pass our right to privacy, by the Internal Rebellion Suppression team, along with the TSA,  is how the government stays in power. ....Tax corporations like Apple and leave the commoner folks alone.

    I enjoyed reading this take on the 'gates':


    Alan Abramowitz, the Emory University political scientist, has sent this note, urging the Washington pundit class to calm down:
    • "The current triple play of Benghazi, the IRS and now the Justice Department's seizure of journalists' phone records has the potential to be a political game changer for 2014.  It's hard to overstate the potential significance of the past week." -- Stuart Rothenberg
    No doubt Rothenberg is reflecting the new CW among the Washington punditocracy.  In my opinion, this is ridiculous.  Just the use of the term "game changer" should set off alarm bells.  How many "game changers" did we see during the 2012 campaign, not one of which turned out to be an actual game changer?  This is another example of what I like to call "whatever-just-happened-is-the-most-important-thing-that-has-ever-happened-until-the-next-thing-that-happens" journalism. (more)


    Thanks for the link. I've noticed that pundits often say "it's hard to overstate" as a prelude to gross overstatement.

    Or they may say "That may be so, "BUT"     Or is it with two t's?

    Are you in the camp of those that think Deathpanelgate could be on the horizon? Except, it's really not a secret.  More older Americans will accept Hospice,  palliative care, what other choice will they have?

    This is ALL much ado about nothing. Except that the press wants to sell whatever they're selling, and controversy does that, even when there is nothing there. It never ceases to amaze me how people there their knickers in a wad before they even know the whole story. Yeah, all 3 things sounded bad at first, but when the facts come out, it's small potatoes.

    Jeez, if the House spent nearly as much time trying to put America back to work as they do trying to find something, ANYTHING to hang around Obama's neck, we'd be out of the great recession and back to prosperity. But "back to prosperity"  means having to admit that Obama was a pretty darn good President, and we can't have that, now can we?

    Pesronally I could care less about Obamas job, he has failed to do what is necessary to bring the jobs back to America; instead he'd rather keep telling us, they're not coming back.  Why is that? Is it because the Free traders own him just as the banker class does?  

    Gee, you're unhappy with Obama? Big surprise. Tell me this. What he could he possible have done alone? This is not a dictatorship and he has been thwarted at every turn by the Repubs who wanted to accomplish nothing but to deny Obama a 2nd term, and now that he's gotten that, they want to make sure he has no major accomplishments in his 2nd term.

    Had they worked with him, instead of against him, we would be much further along in our recovery.

    I haven't  seen you around for a while, but I wrote earlier about what he could have done. .....The Tea Party rank and file are against these Free trade agrements. The Unions are against these free trade agreements;.....  60+ % of Americans are against the Free trade agreements and they believe the ageements are bad for AMERICAN WORKERS ....... tell me Stilli ,  when have you ever heard Obama talk about reaching across the aisle, to the Tea Party, to come together with the Unions; to craft a bi-partisan bill, to put it on his desk and that he would sign it immediatly and bring jobs BACK to America....      Instead Obama tells us, the jobs will probably never return  ...Now I ask you Stilli ...Who the hell does Obama work for?...., if over 60+ percent,  favor, bringing the jobs back........ It's clear he works against the people..... Is it because he cares more, about being able to sell weapons systems around the world?  You have to have buyers and if they dont have the cash, maybe we could trade? FREE TRADE ?  Perhaps he wants to support Off- shore corporations, who want to trade us trinkets, for our wheat, corn and timber? It is sure clear to me and others  NO!!!!     Obama is not doing ALL HE CAN     to bring back American maufacturing and industrial jobs.      

    I guess I'm one of those who believe, whether we like it or not, it is a global economy, and the jobs that have gone overseas because companies want the cheap labor are NOT coming back.

    We have to find new jobs.

    60% want jobs to come back? Well 92% want universal background checks. We aren't going to get either one.

    This is America. Land of the free. Companies are free to conduct their business wherever they want. Are you going to take take away THEIR freedom?

    And the very idea that the tea party would work the with the President is laughable. As soon as he supports something they have wanted, they don't want it any more.

    Oh, and just because you haven't seen me, doesn't mean I haven't been around. I just haven't felt like fighting, so I read and snort. Sometimes I just can't keep my mouth shut. Like today.

    First off it's clear, you lack loyalty to American workers. but as for me I am an American First, I want to protect my immediate family; a  jealousy;  one you evidently can't appreciate. I suppose, I don't want my country to be anyones whore. Especially by those who don't love America as much as I do, but instead takes my bride to bed and robs me of my money.   ....... Stili says "We have to find more jobs"  What a profound statement Sherlock;  You can clean my toilet; it doesn't pay much though? Besides; American are not looking for just any job, we want the good paying jobs. Slaves had jobs to do......   When I listen to you and others tell me about the Freedom of companies, you remind me of those the abolitionist movement targeted. I suppose you believed it was okay for the Plantation owners should have the right to enslave employ and sell their slave goods, where ever they wanted........  I also believe the lack of understanding by many on the issue of corporate slavery,  is why a building collapsed in a "Company Free to go wherever and do whatever because that's their Freedom;  killing 1000 garment workers. I can visualize you're snorting over that thought too. 

    You claim stilli

    "clearly lacks loyalty to American workers".

    Tell me why you can never have a discussion without insulting another human being? Nothing in what Stilli wrote indicates she doesn't have loyalty to American workers, given she is an American worker. You need to learn to argue without always attacking the integrity of people around you.

    Resistance wants us all to bow to the power of the Tea Party or risk being thrown in the dustbin. Don't worry, they will be benign dictators like the Governor of Michigan.

    She may accept a global economy whether I/ WE like it or not, makes it very clear, she won't oppose the destruction of good jobs in America. Jobs Americans need to feed thmselves and their families. But the traitors amongst us care more for a foreign tribe/government  and they'll give another tribe our tribes sustenance. Maybe it is you talk of things, you know nothing  a very posible thing, many often do. Maybe you don't know the difference or the nuance of trade, the idea of selling your Nations excess goods, Vs  giving up your nations maufacturing and industrial capabilities? and the reulting impoverishing of your tribe.  Many who call themselves Americans haven't the slightest clue, what the British global economy did to our forefathers,their families and friends. So before you come here, acting like you know something, maybe you should study more about the Boston Harbor blockade and how our forefathers, prior to the war, WARNED both the TRUE Americans and the lovers of the Brits  "Anybody; found with British goods in their homes or places of business would feel the wrath from their AMERICAN neighbors who, understood where their loyalties lied . America is not the Worlds savior nor it's policeman  

    To further add in helping to recognize those who would settle for any kind of peace because whether we like it or not, it is what it is. The indigenous tribes in America are a great historical example for us today. They were self- sufficient for centuries up until the Europeans started coming into their lands, for commerce and trade opportunities; where upon the original tribes were forced onto reservations and instead of making their own blankets and providing for the things they needed to sustain their way of life. They were shoved off their lands and the Great Father would give them welfare and blankets; (Snark) Made in India, Vietnam or Bangladesh, forcing those  of the proud tribe of Americans to submit, whether they liked it or not.

    Interesting perspective. Me, I'm a Christian first. Nowhere in the Bible does it say Americans are my children, screw everyone else. For way too long the US, who has a fraction of the world's population, has consumed way more than our share of the world's resources. We have had a standard of living way beyond that of much of the rest of the world.

    Today, we have to come to terms with the fact that the rest of the world wants a standard of living closer to ours, and they have a right to it. I have no doubt that there are many people in the rest of the world who work just as hard, if not harder than us.

    The absolute arrogance of you to say that "Americans are not looking for just any job, we want the high paying ones." That is messed up.

    I am not happy about what corporations are doing. I detest that they look at labor as a commodity, and people are only important because they haven't found a way for machines to completely make man-power obsolete. I absolutely believe that American companies should have to pay taxes here, have the same safety standards in other countries as we do here, pay the same wages that we pay here...but I live in the real world, and I doubt it is going to happen in my lifetime. Our Supreme Court has said corporations are people, and they can do whatever the hell they want. We allow them to hide their money overseas, benefiting from BEING Americans, but not expecting them to act in America's best interests. So if you think I side with corporations, you are way off base.

    The whole system is messed up, but people like you and the other crazy-ass tea partiers are only going to make it worse with your "every man for himself" and "America is all that matters" attitudes.

    Jesus is a socialist. Jesus loves everyone in the world. He weeps when we have attitudes like yours.

    People like you are bankrupting the Country. No one say's you can't be a Christian first;, so pack up your belongings as did Abraham and Sarah, leaving a life of comfort; going to another land they had never known. You could be just like the apostles and the disciples, who obeyed their teacher and Lord who said; GO to all the nations and spread the word, doing good works whereever YOU go and by doing so, you show that it is YOU that puts the Kingdom FIRST.  ...YOU personally and not the Nation...... Christians don't have a Nation and the World is Satans. The Nations belong to Caesars. The laws governing the land are Caesars. When did Jesus give you the land and the right to make laws ....   YOU... DO NOT have the right to violate Caesars immigration laws..... If YOU want to take care of your BROTHERs  that is your choice. Take up your collection plates. open YOUR PURSE.....but keep your hands out of everyone elses purse.  Jesus told the rich man, what he needed to do, to get into the Kingdom of the Heavens.  "Sell all your belongings and follow him..., You claim to be such a fine Christian as you question my attitude, so I would expect if your such a fine Christian, who have already sold everything? YOU've packed your bags and you are going to where the poor live. Where the illegals are coming from? .  But YOU do not have the right....  to force everyone else, to disobey the law, or to bankrupt the Nation, as you spend other peoples money collected by taxes, who are not Christians. just because  YOU feel it makes you comfortable. Get out of your comfort Zone, move and dont let the door hit you..... PS when did Jesus tell you, all so called Christians, are your brothers or other members of organized religion are your brothers, or those who hate GOD are your brothers .....  Especially when they are grieving the Holy spirit with their works, in opposition to the Most High and to the appointed King; yet you want to support them with not only your own sustenance but everyone elses too?......  The scripture aptly applies, when so called Christians, bragging about their Christian character with their attitude.... Saying "Lord Lord, did we not do many powerful works in your name? and the Lord said to them "get away from me you workers of lawlessness,  I dont even know you."  

    If you had accurate knowledge, you would know, JESUS does not love everyone in the world. He loves those, who do the the will of his God, his father. . He hates those who oppose GOD.  He loves those who repent and appreciates the Ransom Sacrifice. Maybe you recall, There are many people on the wide and spacious road, leading to death. There are folks who would impale him, if he were able to be captured but they cannot, so instead, the wicked one with the help of dupes, attacks the fleshy true brothers of Christ.   Get beyond the elementary things that belong to babes  take in the solid food that belongs to mature Christians  ..such as ...."Jesus loves me, yes I know, because the Bible, tells me so "  NO IT DOESN'T....  Accurate knowledge will tell you that.

    That would mean Pope Francis is an "immature" Christian on understanding the "ransom sacrifice." Okey dokey, you're the grown-up expert Christian theologian, he's the naive babe....

    Are you tying to high-jack Michaels post? Or set a trap?  ..........To set the record straight, the way you posed your question and link was very disengenuous intended to ridicule . Aren't you so clever, trouble maker ? ......... Teaching you or many others, the TRUTH, is like asking to be taught by a teacher of Calculus and you haven't mastered elementary arithmetic. Okey... Dokey. ....WHY would I put faith, in anything Pope Francis say's, knowing the history of his so- called Christian church?   Up until recently, not only a church, filled with some of the most detestable actions by men on Earth, supposed to be Holy, acceptable to God and his son, as his representative on earth ...    Not including the Inquisition, the signing of agreements with dictators who murdered innocent people and the rampant pedophila and cover up, at the Highest levels.... Yeah right.... their theologians kept that faith clean and pure with teachings of truths?  ...  I am reminded of the knowledge I have learned through the years, "GET OUT HER MY PEOPLE, if you don't want to share in her sins" why would I listen and support her, if I am told to get out of her ..... The scriptures  point out "If the blind are being led by the blind, they will both fall into the pit" the Churches theologians are blind guides, they cant even save themselves or protect the congregation from pedoplia,  why should anyone listen to them?  Is the Pope really better qualified to teach others because he's a good person? Teach others what? ...Get out of her and don't support her clergy class. It should be clear why the pope is reaching out, it's because the membership/supporters of the church are leaving.  

    Stili says "We have to find more jobs" What a profound statement Sherlock; You can clean my toilet; it doesn't pay much though?

    Of course, cleaning toilets, the job you clearly don't want to do, falls under the category of jobs that many immigrants are doing. (Hiding in your arguments is a valid point, which I will address elsewhere on this post. It's too bad your point is buried by so much vitriol.)

    "The jobs you clearly don't want to do?.... It's too bad you often shoot off your mouth, before knowing all the facts, I clean toilets and its doesn't pay that well. Of course you would find it beneath YOU, as you do other American workers  by suggesting everyone should hire an immigrant to do the job, instead of Americans. .... ......Obama's job plan; would include; you could clean mine and I could clean yours and we'd both have a jobs, As I wrote earlier SLAVES had JOBS . Other than to than to attack me, through mischaracterizations,...... Cleaning toilets is evidently a job someone with your perceived highness, wouldn't want to do.  

    I didn't bring up cleaning toilets as a job that's probably undesirable — you did.

    And your point is?.... I was talking about the return to America, of GOOD PAYING JOBS. I am reminded of Vince Foster who wrote about people, who delight in ruining peoples reputations, WITH LIES and inuendos.

    A song that provides me with some relief when I find myself in a circular argument like the one you're in is "Going In Circles" by the Friends of Distinction. It soothes the nerves.  I use "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy when someone forgets they actually introduced a given topic. The songs soothe the soul.

    Yeah, I should know better than to have an argument with Resistance. Arguing against someone who sees logical inconsistencies as a virtue is akin to Sisyphus pushing that boulder up the hill…


    As for the President working with Tea Party members. I doubt it. You need to get your facts straight....... Obama tried to deal with the Coporate/ Capitalist Republicans because they are birds of a feather, but when House Speaker Boehner took Obamas offer back to the entirety of the members, the Tea Party members said NO WAY, as is their right of your so called FREEDOM. . Of course the corporatists/capitalist would like to pigeon hole the TEA Party out of existence, so they can do their dirty deeds to the American workers unopposed. The Tea Party figured out, Boehner would sell them out. Boehner went into the negotiations believing he could bring everyone along; he thought wrong. As does the President sells out those on his left. The Corporatist/Capitalist republicans doesn't like the Tea party, because they can't get them to heel......... Obama has no problem though, he just ignores his base, because where else can they go? the Tea party has power, because they exercise it, the left is neutered.

    The tea party movement is an embarrassment to the country. They are bullies who do not believe in majority rule. They use their bully tactics to obstruct, tear down, and cause pain. They are selfish, loud, obnoxious, and wrap themselves in the flag to try to cover the fact they are, at their core, rotten and un-American.

    I don't know what they would have done if a white male democrat had been elected instead of Obama. I think they would have reacted to Hilary the same way they've reacted to Obama. They are largely racist, anti-women and totally disgusting.

    And somehow, in their ignorance, they have become shills for the uber-wealthy, siding with the haves against the have-nots.

    They want to pick and choose the parts of the Constitution they admire, just as they do the Bible. They rewrite history to fit what they want to believe. With all the damage they have done to the country as a minority, fringe fungus, I fear what will happen if they ever DO actually take over. We'll become a third world country with dirt roads, starving people living out in the open, with women barefoot and pregnant. And the uber-wealthy don't care. They'll just go somewhere else.

    And THAT is being charitable.

    I guess I'm one of those who believe, whether we like it or not, it is a global economy, and the jobs that have gone overseas because companies want the cheap labor are NOT coming back.

    I disagree with a lot of Resistance writes here, especially when it comes to undocumented workers, but one thing I agree with is the problem that labor wages are under downward pressure, and companies taking advantage of undocumented workers and a lack of oversight overseas are major contributing factors. Those are two separate issues that require two mostly separate sets of solutions. The solutions I provide here are ones I doubt you'd find much to disagree with, unless it's to question their efficacy.

    First, companies taking advantage of undocumented workers is an easier problem to address. While we still have our current immigration policy, when Immigration Services finds that companies are employing undocumented workers, they should target their efforts at the companies that are hiring them and not on the workers themselves. Fines levied on those companies should increase 10-fold (or more) if they find that the undocumented workers are being paid less than minimum wage, are not having taxes withheld for them, are failing to be OSHA compliant, or are taking advantage in other documentable ways. We should provide voices to undocumented workers so that they can speak out against companies that take advantage of them instead of forcing them into the shadows.

    Second, as for companies taking advantage of lack of oversight overseas, this is a harder problem to address. They can legally pay employees less than minimum wage overseas, not to mention what they can do the environment and lack of care they may take for their employees' lives and health. Part of the solution is to help countries that lack good regulation to develop better regulation. Difficult to do, but will help not only the employees that our companies are taking advantage of, but all citizens in those countries. We could also pass laws here that any American company doing business overseas must meet certain minimum criteria with how they treat their employees. Such a solution would also require us to enforce excise taxes on goods made by non-American companies that are not meeting these criteria in a documented fashion.

    As I suggested earlier, and as your comment about 92% wanting universal background checks alludes to, the biggest problem is convincing Congress to act on any of these.

    There is nothing in what you say that I disagree with. The whole problem is that our Congress will not do what needs to be done.

    So, given that companies will do what companies do, and Congress will do nothing to rein them in, we are stuck with a lot of low paying jobs. And since apparently the Repubs have decided come hell or high water, we are on our own, it is up to us to create our own high paying jobs.

    Just saw Dylan Ratigan on Charlie Rose, and he is currently working on a project that that is doing that very thing.

    Yes the whole problem is our congress and its mostly the bullies, as you correctly called them, in the tea party in the house.

    But Obama and the democrats are losing on most of my top priority issues without a fight. With the tea party in control of the house Obama would still lose but I'd like to see him at least put up a meaningful fight that would make the issues clear.

    Ask people what their top issue is and they will say jobs and the economy. Ask people what Obama's top priority issue is in his second term and I doubt anyone will say jobs and the economy. Honestly, I doubt anyone could come up with any coherent answer at all.

    Its up to us to create our own high paying jobs? I'm sorry stillidealistic but that's as laughable as the idea that we're going to defund congress. As you said to r, "Seriously?"

    Ratigan is doing virtually nothing.


    The plan is to build a network of one-acre “farms” composed of hydroponic greenhouses. Each will create 10 jobs on the farm and 25 jobs elsewhere through the economy. The cost: $800,000 in more expensive areas in the northern part of the country, and $500,000–$600,000 in warmer parts of the country. Archipley has three greenhouses on his property outside San Diego. They hope to have sites up and running in Boston, San Antonio, Texas, and San Bernardino, California, by the end of 2013.

    By a very conservative estimate there are 12 million unemployed. If Ratigan's group achieve their hopes they will have created at most a couple of hundred jobs.

    Ratigan would have more effect if he was still doing this everyday on MSNBC



    If we don't do it ourselves, Ocean kitty, who is going to?  On his own, no Ratigan can't make a huge difference, but if there were thousands or millions of those types of projects, it would. At least he's doing something to get real food to people, instead of the fake stuff the corporations are trying to kill us with.

    The House will not allow government spending for jobs, and corporations don't seem to be willing. Obama can jump up and down and scream and holler, and it won't make a hill of beans worth of difference. He cannot MAKE Congress do anything. And neither could any other President, under these circumstances. I don't care who has been able to do it in the past, this is a different time with a different breed of opposition than we've had in the past.

    I'm open to suggestions - I just haven't heard anything that makes any sense to me.


    I'm open to suggestions - I just haven't heard anything that makes any sense to me.

    You know, that's exactly how I feel. I've even said those same words several times.

    We're facing a real crisis and no one seems to have a solution that makes sense to me. Its not just the persistent high unemployment. Its the loss of mid level wage jobs and their replacement by low wage jobs. Its the hollowing out of the middle class.


    Mid-wage jobs made up about 60% of the job losses during the recession. But those mid-wage jobs have made up just 22% of the jobs gained during the recovery. Low-wage jobs were 21%  of the job losses but were 58% of the job gains.

    This is not just about the recession, its been happening for years. The recession was just an explosion after years of a slow burn.

    "Those jobs aren't coming back" you posted, others here have said to me, I read in news sites every where. Ok, then what? What is going to stop this trend and turn it around? Are we to become a nation of many poor people, a few rich, with a hollowed out middle class? Is this the new reality?

    I'm open to suggestions - I just haven't heard anything that makes any sense to me.

    We'll just have to create our own high or mid paying jobs doesn't make sense to me. Its just not going to happen. Not for 12 million unemployed people and the additional tens of millions who have lost their mid level paying job and are stuck in low wage service jobs.

    I know the problem is not Obama's fault. I agree its the republicans in the house that hold the most blame. But I would like to see the democrats lose, as they inevitably will, while fighting, so that they make the issues clear. For example, every time a bridge collapses or a pipe line breaks I'd like to see a few democrats stand up and say over and over and over again, "Our infrastructure is falling apart. We have a bill in congress to repair and rebuild but the republicans will not pass it in any form at all. It would put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. But all the republicans want to do is lower taxes on the rich."

    The house voted to repeal Obamacare 38 times. How about the senate votes on a jobs bill 38 times?

    I'd like to see the democrats identified as the party of jobs and the economy. That's surely not how they are perceived now. Maybe that would put the democrats on the way to winning more seats in the house and the senate. The way we're going now there's a good chance we might lose the senate in 2014.


    I like the idea of the Senate voting on a jobs bill over and over and over...

    But I still think that until the House shifts back to Dem control we're screwed on the jobs front.

    When thinking about the possibility of creating our own jobs, that's what Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did, and look how many millionaires and billionaires and GREAT mid-range jobs they created. Surely there are many more technological advances to be made - more jobs of the future that we can't imagine right now. Fat lot of good that does those struggling right now, I know.

    Hopefully there will be a breakthrough before irreparable damage is done to the economic structure of the country and we completely lose the middle class.

    In fact, I'm kind of surprised that these people who believe government is the enemy have not done more to spur growth in the private sector, just to prove they do a better job than the government. I would be curious to know what the employment figures would be now, had we not lost so many public sector jobs...

    But, I believe in the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans. We've done it before, we can do it again. And really, we don't have many other options, at least not right now.

    If the people shut their purses and no longer funded Congress;  Corporations would be the only source of revenue for them..... Corporations that headquartered and did business in America, would be given special tax considerations. ....  All Americans should be outraged over this IRS scandal, ..... OUTRAGED I say; (Wink ,Wink )  We should call for the immediate elimination of the IRS, That would shut off the purse of individual tax payers, leading to the taxation of Corporations. Open your books Corporations or you cant do business in America. No more corporate loop holes, Congress wants all the money they can get.

    At least there are some constants in the world. I can always count on you for a good laugh.

    We're going to defund Congress? Seriously?

    What we need to do is do away with gerrymandering so we can start electing officials that truly represent the will of the people, instead of artificially creating districts that love electing flame-throwers who want nothing less than the destruction of the government.

    I wonder where this country would be today if, back in the days when we were actually building up this country, there had been a "tea party" hell bent on making sure we stuck with dirt roads, didn't want no stinkin' railroad, kept the slaves in the fields, and kept women from voting? Ahhhhh, the good ol' days.

    We just need to get the TEA Party on board and remind them of how the name 'tea party" came about...... In 1773 Britain passed the Tea Act  "An act to allow a drawback of the duties of customs.........  to export Tea, duty free". The original Tea Party was against tax cuts for wealthy corporations at the expense of the little guy"  ....  This was the tipping point, because it unduly favored a large corporation over the smaller business owners, This ACT led to the Boston Tea Party.... .. What's it going be Tea party members, live up to the namesake you have adopted or change your names, because they are misrepresenting one of Americas pivotal moments in history..... Convince them, that to TAX Corporations  relieves the little guy, the middle and upper class ..... There may be members of the Tea party. who know this, but they have no reason to jump ship, at this time, because where else can they go? ...... The Democratic leadership is not going to bite the corporate hand that feeds them and either are the Republicans..... Call them out, and see if they stutter in response.... Are you really a Tea party member in the sense of living the Truth of the cause or just liars who have usurped the sacredness of what our forefathers did?  As it is, many hate the modern day Tea Party for what it does politically, but what if the hatred of the Nation was focused towards the lie, they now live? They are not THE tea party, they only stole the name and they are liars. Wolves in sheep clothing for the religious amongst their group. Either way divide and conquer the group. Separate and divide those who are pure from those who have accepted the adulteraion, by the Koch brothers and their kind.   

    I can't even keep up with your logic. One minute you act like the tea party is the 2nd coming, the next they are liars. Hell yes, they are liars. And they're obstructionists and they live under the mis-guided perception that people should be on their own, and the government is practically unnecessary, and our enemy. (ie. make it small enough to drag into the bathtub and drown it!)

    I, on the other hand, think government has a very important roll. There are so many areas where we need to pool our resources for the good of the whole - roads, infrastructure, education, research and development, health care, police and fire services, national defense, social safety net, foreign aid, disasters, food safety...the list goes on and on.

    Are there abuses? Yes there are. And we need to focus more attention on that, making sure we are getting what we pay for. Fraud and waste are, unfortunately, rampant. And perhaps the penalties for that need to be more severe. For me, defrauding the government is akin to treason. As is the practice of buying/selling our government officials.

    The enemy of my enemy, ...I see the Tea Party as a tool, as an ally . Not just for the right, but for the left also. The Tea party (R)  agrees with the Unions (D) , Free trade hurts the American economy and the American workers, together we can protect America and bring back good paying jobs ......  I'm not saying to the guy in the fox hole next to me, get away from me, I disagree with your politics.   ...   We dont have to demonize them on every issue, We dont have to kiss them. We can appreciate their assistance. The enemy of my enemy, is my friend

    The problem is, you are aiding and abetting the tea party because you agree with them on one issue. They come with a slew of issues that are REALLY bad for the country, and when you give them an inch, they take a mile.

    You give Obama and the Democrats an inch and they think they're a ruler.......   If it moves Tax it, if it continues to move, regulate it, if it isnt moving, subsidize it ......  I learned from my own government, that forming an alliance on one issue benefits both. We armed the Mujahideen and together we kicked the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. We failed to nurture this new found alliance.

    While this is looking like an 'our gang' version of 'three stooges' run the country... it does help the republicans to continue to remain politicians and do 'nothing... wasting as much time and money as possible and doing whatever they can to drain the president and the democrats in congress of any positives.  It doesn't seem that there is a grown up any where that can stop this insanity.

    Fast forward to 2017...it will be interesting to see what happens when the HATED Obama is gone from the scene, regardless of who wins the White House. Will the House actually start working with a white male Dem? Will they work with a Dem woman? Will they work with a moderate Republican?

    Or are we stuck with these crazed America haters (disguised as patriots?) forever? It doesn't seem like deep red districts are in any hurry to get rid of the obstructionists and elect people who will actually try to get this country working again.

    I'm actually beginning to see how we could get back to feudal days, when all of us regular ol' folks are working for the wealthy landowners with moats around their castles...

    Surely these people don't actually BELIEVE that once they've destroyed the country as we know it, and COMPLETELY turned it over to the uber-wealthy, the uber-wealthy will suddenly grow a conscience and share their wealth with us?


    Cruz was very clear tat he did not trust the wingnuts in the House to be able to hold the line on the budget. If you look at the crazies running for office in Virginia, you can see that the GOP is not going out of its way to encourage moderates. The inmates are in charge of the GOP asylum for now.

    You say the inmates are in charge of the GOP,  The left should have been as vigorous, rather than being cut off at the knees. The left should have pimaried Obama and forced him to address the needs of the left..... Instead we were told "Oh No! We  can't have a contentious primary with it's debates on the issues, We'd lose". ...They were right.... we did lose. we lost the right to direct the counter offensive, Instead the Tea Party has been working the system, while we accept the "weakest link".

    Had the dems put up a really liberal candidate rather than left of center Obama, we would have President Romney. Just as a far right candidate would have a hard time winning a national election, so would a far left. There just aren't enough of either, which is probably a good thing. In the middle is where things get done, but preferably left of center rather than right.

    Yeah, in my perfect world, we'd be much further left than we are, but given a choice between left of center or right of center, I'll take left every time. That's reality. Not the fantasy land where you reside, dear Resistance.


    We'll never know if we could have gotten left of center. What I do know, is that we got  right of center because thats the candidate, the elites wanted us to have.

    We ARE left of center in today's reality. Yes, the center has shifted right, but that's because 9/11 derailed us, and then the wars, and then the great recession. And somehow, when the last rites were being read to the Repubs in 2008, they opted for the bizarre tactic of "just say no" and because there are so many Americans that HATE this President with an unprecedented hatred, they've gotten away with it, and the crazies have taken over. With, I might add, the help of the uber-wealthy who have somehow perpetrated the biggest case of Stockholm Syndrome in history - getting poor/middle class white people to carry their water.

    What an amazing country America has become. The land of minority rule. The home of the poor protecting the uber-wealthy.

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