Everything about the TeaParty is not only antithetical to its stated purpose, but soaked in irony. With his faux filibuster, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) displayed a level of conservative narcissism not seen since Family Ties, a sitcom which humorously portrayed a teenage Republican whose ambition rivaled the 1980’s Wall Street hero, Gordon Gekko. The Greed is Good concept was new and had yet to be associated with today’s massive income inequality whose seeds were sown during the 1980’s.
Social welfare, healthcare and workers’ rights were unpalatable to the Moral Majority and Reagan’s presidency marked the beginning of the end of the Middle Class. Unlike today’s society, where this economic group is almost an endangered species, we could poke fun at a selfishly capitalist conservative teen. In 2013, this would not only be unfunny, but offensive as well. Ted Cruz has embodied the worst traits of a group ruled by the id and unfettered by the superego. Millions of struggling Americans are facing Third World problems while TeaPartiers denounce them as lazy and undeserving. This is a party that believes it is ethical to take food out of poor children’s mouths while overcrowding ERs with millions of uninsured citizens. Often condoning religious dogma to supersede the teaching of science while denouncing equal rights legislation, the TeaParty is hell bent on returning to the Dark Ages. The fact this megalomaniac, Cruz is the head of this AstroTurf group shows just how insidious they are.
As impolite as it sounds, science-denying Teabaggers could aptly be called morons, but deeper analysis points to a new idea in governance: standing firmly on the principles of the oxymoron. The double entendre is the unintended consequence of Teaparty policies: gun safety, compassionate conservativism, Texas textbooks, and TeaParty intellectual. Ted and his fans are basically a group of “oxymorons” mismanaging government and holding the nation hostage. If the Founding Fathers represented the culmination of the Age of Enlightenment, this merry band of misanthropic malcontents are the denouement of democracy and the inception of anarchy. It’s funny how they claim to be patriots while being the most politically destructive force since slavery and the Confederacy in the mid-nineteenth century.
Statistics show states with looser gun laws are far more deadly when it comes to firearm fatalities. Thanks to the NRA and their perversion of the 2nd Amendment, sensible legislation is an impossibility. True to form, the Canadian-born Rafael Cruz has championed all things harmful and dangerous, as his A+ NRA rating demonstrates. After a staggering number of mass shootings, Cruz continues his crusade to eliminate the most minuscule regulations, failing to protect the most common victims of gun accidents, children. Naturally, the idea of guns marketed for children is not at all surprising for a man who raved about Ashton Kutcher and Duck Dynasty in his 21 hour faux filibuster. Cruz and his TeaParty terrorists have repeatedly legislated in favor of the death-machine manufacturers. Responsible gun ownership and safety is really just a way of justifying corporate profit over human lives.
The GOP and its insanely right wing TeaParty claim to be the party of “Christ.” The Golden Rule doesn’t apply to a Congress who voted to cut $4 billion per year from the very poor while granting millions in farm and oil subsidies. Conservatives have hijacked a New Testament quote stating “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (Thessalonians 3:10) to mean only those who work hard should eat, condemning children, the elderly and the handicapped. Jesus preached tolerance and charity, according to the scriptures. Selective charity is certainly not divine. Ted Cruz, whose father is a minister, legislates contrary to the teachings of his god. Ted idolizes the late Senator Jesse Helms who proposed eradicating the Equal Rights Amendment and was a huge racist. Cruz actually said, we need 100 like Jesse Helms in the Senate. Shameful.
Many of our public schools rely on textbooks printed, largely, in Texas. This would not be a problem if Texas legislators, especially those favored by the TeaParty, weren’t concerned with changing history and science. Not only have they sanitized history to rename the slave trade The Atlantic Triangular Trade, they also rename capitalism the free-enterprise system to mask the evils of a system based on exploitation of labor. Texas also has inserted the ridiculously unscientific theory of Creationism to supplant the teaching of evolution. The TeaParty is proud of religious mythology, so much so it is on a par with proven science. The idea of any educational tools originating in a state so rooted in convoluted logic is as ridiculous as the TeaParty deciding anything of importance.
When Cruz emerged on the national scene as a member of the 112th Congress, he was a rare find, an Ivy League-educated debate champion. Bragging about the Libertarian principles he so espouses, he has moved the party so far right, no possible compromise could ever be reached. Thanks to this intellectual we are literally minutes from the first government shutdown since 1995, a move denounced by many prominent members of his party. Taking the hard line, ‘if you fail to defund Obamacare we will not agree to any budget deal’, is not a popular stance among the more moderates like Rep Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rep Peter King (R-NY) who are willing to compromise with the occasional sane members of the GOP. Ted Cruz has a very unsavory reputation which leaves many unhappy with his techniques of intimidation to pass his extremist ideology. Senator John Cain referred to Cruz as a f@&kin dick which was the most endearing statement to emerge from McCain in quite some time.
Paralleling the infamous Joe McCarthy with Senator Cruz not just in political paranoia, but actual physical resemblance makes this guy even more appropriate as the leader of a political hate group disguised as anything but. So now, as I finish this article, the federal government is officially closed. This petulant toddler of a Senator has achieved a shameful milestone in TeaParty obstructionist history.
Update: October 17th, the government is open, Teabagger-incurred crisis averted but with a severe blemish. Teaparty-Americans were able to provide another oxymoron. They were protesting the closure of national monuments with the folks who closed the government, while donning Confederate flags. It almost makes your head spin.
The late Christopher Hitchens <a href=”http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2011/12/the-20-best-christopher-
s-quotes/”>condemned religious leaders for the antiquated practice of “faith healing. ” These people are hostile to medicine because it undermines their position of power and naturally they deny the effectiveness of vaccines. The fact anyone would dispute the medically PROVEN practice of administering vaccines in 2013 is preposterous and unfathomable. Yet, the Lone Star State has once again found a way to shirk logical thought and scientific progress thankseeeeff to this North Texas mega church. Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Newark Texas is the culprit of a Measles outbreak in Tarrant County. Officials in neighboring Oklahoma were on high alert for cases of this rarely seen disease since the mid 1970’s. The Christian homeschool movement has been a primary supporter of boycotting essential vaccines
As of today, there have been twenty confirmed cases of a disease which has been largely eradicated in the United States. In order to combat the outbreak, church officials have promised to thoroughly disinfect the church using a professional cleaning company. They have offered a vaccination opportunity, but unfortunately two months after the fact. Sadly, the church has been the most vocal proponent of the discredited theory that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism, but, between his (Copeland’s) advocacy of faith healing and his promotion of the vaccine-autism link on his online talk show, he’s not exactly urging his flock to get their recommended shots.
Looking into this ministry a bit further, I learned it was anything but a humble house of worship. Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) is an EMPIRE whose wealth is generated by tax-free donations diverted to finance a multitude of for-profit industries.
The assets, as reported by a CBS News investigation include: An 18,000 square foot lake-front home in Texas worth $6 million, a fleet of planes and a $20 million jet with a private runway strip just to name a few. The industries this Mega-Church controls are stunningly profitable as well. They include mining, oil drilling, real estate, ranching, livestock and an aviation company that includes Copeland Airport.
The aviation branch allows the family of preachers to spread their mistrust of science and bigotry worldwide. This also enables these vaccination opponents to bring back diseases from foreign lands and spread them among the faithful, who actually believe god can heal with just the right amount of financial contribution to the coffers of these charlatans.
Twenty cases is precisely twenty cases too many in this age of science and progress. When a Republican Senator like Chuck Grassley finds the tax-free machinations of this religiously-based empire unsavory, it should set a precedent for the eventual demise of any religious organization who dares to steal and dupe their members. The sheer number of investigations stemming from the misuse of donations should raise more red flags. The American public seems far too willing to grant tax exempt status to these church-empires without following the money.
The depths of depravity of most, if not all of these mega churches should be exposed more often than the Right Wing can conjure up their brand of IRS scandals. Simply overlooking this willful malevolence could easily create a pandemic in a nation that should leave this Stone Age thinking back where it belongs. Shunning science (vaccines) affects everyone, especially those of us who want no part of their brand of stupid. We have too many modern day problems to revitalize diseases of the past. The least KCM could do is pay their damned taxes and stay the hell away from practicing medicine.
As it is appearing with greater frequency, the commonly used term “gerrymandering” is an unusual practice indigenous but not exclusive to these United States. The odd practice of drawing voting districts in a random shape for a particular party’s advantage is named after Elbridge Gerry, a Massachusetts Governor and the fifth Vice President of the USA under President James Madison. He redrew his own district in the shape of a salamander,
so in 1812, the idea of gerrymandering was born. This is a legal way of redistricting which is used by both political parties in our country. Unfortunately, in most Republican implementations of gerrymandering, the motives are insidiously racist. No representative historically is unwilling to abdicate power, so the Republicans have gerrymandered their districts to maintain sovereignty over a changing demographic that should technically deem them unelectable. With Machiavellian strategizing, the GOP has continued to maintain control of the House of Representatives which is certainly not of, by and for the people.
This is a fight that’s been near and dear to Roberts’ heart since he was an attorney for the Ronald Reagan Administration. In 1982, Roberts led the fight against the VRA’s Section 2, which prohibits denial of voting rights “on account of race or color.” In the case of Shelby County, a largely white suburb of Birmingham, the number of instances between 1975 and 2007 where election laws were judged to have discriminated on the basis of race occurred 20 times. But I suppose with the election of President Obama, Roberts and his cohorts are purporting the myth that racism is no longer a problem in the areas which Section 5 was designed to protect.
But how does gerrymandering work to the advantage of Republicans and how is it relevant to this latest SCOTUS battle? In North Carolina,where the two-party House vote was 51 percent Democratic, 49 percent Republican, the average simulated delegation was seven Democrats and six Republicans. The actual outcome? Four Democrats, nine Republicans — a split that occurred in less than 1 percent of simulations. If districts were drawn fairly, this lopsided discrepancy would hardly ever occur.
Gerrymandering is a major form of disenfranchisement. In the seven states where Republicans redrew the districts, 16.7 million votes were cast for Republicans and 16.4 million votes were cast for Democrats. This elected 73 Republicans and 34 Democrats, not exactly proportional.
Why would Shelby County object to federal oversight? If they don’t plan on reinstating unfair registration requirements, poll taxes, literacy tests and the like, why would it matter if your electoral processes are supervised by the Federal Government? These folks have and always will be proponents of States’ Rights. States’ Rights is code for we are going to allow discriminatory disenfranchisement to proceed unchecked in our jurisdiction and we’d like you all to butt out.
The best example of racially motivated redistricting was evident in the Texas redistricting after the 2010 census. For the first time, the Republican state is populated by a majority of minority residents. However, the final tally redrew Texas to now have 25 congressional districts that lean Republican and 11 that lean Democratic. A representative government is the antithesis of Rick Perry’s racially motivated voting map.
Most of the areas on the map are in the south, but there are a few northern rural areas included, as historically, violations of Section 5 were common. All the evidence we need for determining the necessity of Section 5 was very evident this past election in the voter suppression attempts in Florida and Ohio that were thwarted by federal intervention. The GOP must be stopped because democracy isn’t waiting in line for several hours just to vote. This was a big problem in 2012 where voters in districts heavily favoring minority voters waited as long as nine hours just to cast their ballots.
In a shocking but not uncharacteristic display of racial callousness, extreme right wing Justice Antonin Scalia claimed the Voting Rights Act is a “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” which explains why he found a landmark law preventing race discrimination in voting to be suspicious. Simply by derogatorily using the term “entitlement,” conservatives show the disdain they have for allowing ALL citizens of any color, creed or gender to exercise simple rights which Americans have fought so hard to attain.
This plan may very well backfire on Republicans where Teaparty hard liners dominate the party’s agenda and prevent any candidate with sane and moderate views to win on a national scale. A recent example is Richard Mourdock of Indiana who was the Teaparty’s choice to replace Senator Dick Lugar. However, his insane fundamentalist opinions on rape allowed Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, to win in a Republican-dominated district. By gerrymandering themselves into an ultra-far right platform while the rest of society at large seems to be evolving towards a Progressive agenda, they will eventually redistrict themselves into obsolescence. If SCOTUS acts responsibly and rules against Shelby County, Alabama, it may help drive another nail into the GOP coffin. If the Court decides in favor of a racist, regressive Voting Rights Act violation, things will get very messy for both sides. Those who fought bravely to protect the sacred right of voting (which is not an entitlement), like Representative John Lewis, will not back down from this fight. Whether the GOP likes it or not, progress can not be stopped entirely, but they sure as hell can slow it down which seems to be their only advantage in a battle they are destined to lose.
As if the recent Jets developments aren’t enough for this holier than though media whore…. Tebow actually ASKED to do a sermon in Texas. Do you think for the good it will do for needy people? No. For the glory he wishes to focus upon himself. Tebow Sermon on Easter