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Rapping About a World at Risk

Michele Bachmann’s Handfull of Subpoenas

Michelle Bachmann recently advanced the idea that the new congress needs to go to Washington with a hand full of subpoenas to fully uncover and punish the criminal behavior of the Obama Administration.   Why does she want to do this?  Why does the Chairwoman of the Republican Tea Party Caucus think this is a good idea?

During President Clinton’s second term the GOP’s extreme partisanship led to impeachment proceedings and severely hampered the effectiveness of our government and its Chief Executive.  This distraction may have made some political hay for Republicans but crippled our Chief Executive’s ability to focus on and deal with the growing terror threat Al-Qaeda was preparing to launch against our country.  The GOP’s actions provided support, aid, cover and comfort to the terrorists and heightened our country’s vulnerability to attack.  Perhaps we should investigate their activities and motives for effectively becoming a Fifth Column for the Evil Doers?

Earlier in the year, Ms. Bachmann’s suggested to Chris Matthews that we should investigate the UnAmerican activities of congress and senate members to root out and expose those who hate America and are actively working for its destruction.  I’m not so sure about this; it may lead to the mass imprisonment of  the Republicans who obstructed President Clinton’s ability to perform his duties as Commander and Chief. With the GOP gone it would be impossible to form a consensus to effectively govern the nation so I’m kinda lukewarm on this one.  After all President Obama and the ruling democrats rely on the good will of the loyal opposition GOP party to show the country that democracy works and that we can all get along.

But because I don’t think Ms. Bachmann’s idea is a good one doesn’t make it bad. After all I’m coming from a pretty partisan place myself.  So in the spirit of consensus building I’m trying to understand why she would propose such a thing.  Though its a dangerous and scary place to visit, I have tried to get inside Ms. Bachmann’s mind to understand her reasoning why she thinks the congress should spend the next session investigating members for crimes against the republic.

I have comprised a list of 13 reasons as to why Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party may think this is a good idea for the country.  Please feel free to add your own.

1. Because its fun to shut the Federal Government down (ask Newt Gingrich)
2. It will heighten partisanship to levels yet unseen
3. Obstructionism is their preferred style of governance
4. Dissent is dangerous to a democracy
(America is long over due for another round of McCarthyism)
5. Enemy combatants sitting in congress must be imprisoned
6. It will demonstrate reactionary street cred
7. Sean Hannity thinks its a good idea
8. Rush Limbaugh thinks its a great idea
9. Glenn Beck tearfully pleads to show no quarter to “Wilsonian Reprobates”
10. Compromise/consensus forming is for sissies
11. Its how Michele Bachmann Mans Up and shows her pair
12. It plays well on Talk Radio and to the rabid dogs in the TP howling for fresh meat
13. 2012 GOP can say we did our best under trying circumstances now give us the White House and Senate. We’ll finish the job. Rove calls it the Coup de Grace campaign. A final silver bullet to the head of the democrats, democratic consensus and Federalism paid and financed by serious 527 money.

You Tube Video: Edvard Grieg, In the Hall of the Mountain King

Risk: consensus, governance, democracy

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November 13, 2010 Posted by | 9/11, Clinton, conservatism, democracy, democrats, Federalism, government, politics, republicans, Tea Party, terrorism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is This Treason?

Benedict Arnold’s Procession Wagon

Living my entire 52 years in New Jersey I am constantly reminded of our beloved state’s revolutionary heritage. Commemorative plaques and historical road markers are everywhere. New Jersey played a critical role in the American Revolution and almost every house that was around at the time has a plaque to attest that George Washington slept there. Old George slept around a lot in New Jersey. He couldn’t afford to linger long in anyone spot because the damn Redcoats were always close on his heels chasing him across the state. But it is heartening to know that so many of the long passed Jersey citizens supported the cause by giving the Continental Army’s General a bed for the night. Yes I am proud of my states contribution our country’s revolutionary cause. This pride continues to fuel my detest of the name and memory of Benedict Arnold. He was the guy who betrayed the confidence of General Washington by conspiring to deliver West Point into the hands of the British. For this dastardly deed Benedict Arnold’s name will forever more be synonymous with treason and traitor.

Treason is a pretty strong word. It conjures up depraved villains engaged in subterranean subterfuges employing Machiavellian machinations in unholy alliances with foreign subversives intent on bringing our great country to its knees. Lately the word traitor has been liberally bandied about by the likes of Ann Coulter and Michael Savage to describe anyone who’s vapid nationalism falls short of their fanatical obsessions. This summer Michele Bachmann the congresswomen from Minnesota gained some notoriety for stating that she believes that an anti American cabal exists in the legislative branch of our government. According to them treason is rampant and traitors in the guise of democrats, progressives and liberals are everywhere.

The word treason has now curiously surfaced again to describe the Republican Senators who are opposing government financial assistance to save US auto manufacturers. The Big Three auto makers, Chrysler, GM and Ford; desperately need a capital infusion to remain solvent. Southern states are home to foreign automakers. They located down south because these states offered generous tax incentives and the availability of cheap non-union labor. These Southern Senators have vigorously opposed the aid package insisting that the Big Three need more fiscal discipline. They point to the generous wage scales and benefit programs the UAW workers at the Big Three receive. To some observers it appears that these Senators are more intent on protecting the foreign auto companies located within their states. They seem willing to sacrifice millions of jobs and the manufacturing infrastructure of the United States. The southern based foreign owned manufacturers are a more important constituency for these Senators then their Big Three competitors. This is a striking example of the economic and political contradictions that globalization creates for nation states.

In and of itself I don’t believe that the southern Senators political position is evidence of treason. The accusation of treason is pretty serious stuff. I am disposed to accept the southern Senators protestations that their opposition to the Big Three aid package is based on firm ideological commitment to letting the free markets do its work. If a capitalist enterprise cannot sustain itself it deserves to fail. After all, they claim that fiscal responsibility is a true Republican virtue even if the evidence of record budget deficits during the past 8 years of the Bush administration belies that claim. But the surfacing of the Action Alert Memo circulated to Senate Republican’s prior to the vote of the rescue package in congress raises some serious doubt about their true motives in opposing aid to the Big Three.

If it is authentic, the memo advises Republicans to block the Big Three aid package as a weapon to bust the UAW to weaken their Democratic Party rivals. Gone are their concerns for free market capitalism. In its place is the attack politics that the Republican Party have perfected to cram their conservative agenda down America’s throat. We witnessed the hollow pronouncements of The Country Firsters during this years presidential election. Their patriotic posturing and love of country claims offered the country no vision or alternatives to the existing Bush agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy, continuation of aggressive foreign policy, pro business anti-labor industrial policy, social welfare cuts and an expansion of the culture war on all fronts. The Republican privatization practices of using tax receipts to enrich parasitic private sector profiteering was a center piece to their program. The Republican legislative agenda funded the creation of the private mercenary army Blackwater and a myriad collection of other service providers to address elections, education, prisons and homeland security.

Is it treason to create and fund corporate entities to serve and administer government functions that are corrupt, wasteful, ineffective and whose primary allegiance is to shareholders? Probably not, but using taxpayer money to finance a mercenary army whose primary allegiance is to its shareholders probably comes pretty close.

Since the Reagan Administration this conservative agenda has resulted in the dismantling of our manufacturing base and a corresponding erosion of union jobs. In 1980 20% of the workforce was engaged in manufacturing. Today the number of manufacturing jobs is less the 10%. Our free marketeers engaged in a concerted program to outsource our industries to lower cost ares of the globe to improve returns on capital allocations to the private benefit of shareholders. Billionaire Micheal Milken plundered the “rust belt” states by closing down outdated factories in need of retooling and moved them overseas. By doing so he enriched the shareholders of the companies, his investors and the national economy of the country where the factory relocated. Unfortunately the economy of the town and state where the factory moved from didn’t fare to well. Workers saw their quality of life deteriorate due to lower wages and the social and cultural decay that accompany a deteriorating economy. State and local governments also took hits in tax revenue and had to pony up extra dough to pay for unemployment benefits and expanded social services that economically depressed areas require.

When you do this to enough towns and states, pretty soon it has a negative effect on the nation. Is that treason? Probably not, but a concerted policy to enrich yourself by helping a foreign country benefit at the expense of yours gets pretty close to the definition of treason.

To fill the economic vacuum caused by the closure of our factories we built a service economy based on the unbridled expansion of our banking industry and the availability of cheap credit. This lead to speculative bubbles in the equity, real estate market and credit markets. These bubbles spawned a perverse credit culture that mortgaged our future and transferred enormous wealth to well heeled investors and speculators. Much of the wealth has been transferred to the sovereign wealth funds of foreign nation states. They now hold the mortgage on our country’s future. Benedict Arnold sold the plans to invade West Point for a Generals Commission in the British Army and the sum of 10,000 Pound Sterling. Vulture capitalists aided and abetted by an accommodating conservative political agenda and willing politicians plundered and exported Americas prized assets in allegiance only to their own self interest and economic benefit.

Is this treason?

You Tube Video: My Country Tis of Thee

Risk: labor unions, industrial policy, recession, privatization

December 12, 2008 Posted by | business, economics, politics, unions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winning the War, Losing the Peace

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9

The head of the not at all EIB Network and chief reactionary shill Rush Limbaugh raised his hands to his mouth to shout that General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama was due to race. As in General Powell’s decision to endorse Mr. Obama was purely due to the fact that they shared an African American lineage.

This is not acceptable. Nor can the excuse be made that it is getting late in the game and you have to pull out all stops to win the election. There is no defense for this blatant racism. It cannot be dismissed as an example of rising electoral rhetoric sprouted in the heat of a close campaign. That includes the self anointed Dittohead and Chief as well.

I would like to remind all Republican’s, conservatives and supporters of this racist tripe that the manner in which you conduct the war will determine the quality of peace that is won after the conflict ends. The Bloviator and Chief of the EIB Dittoheads is only too content to rip open and gnash away at this country’s racial wound that never seems to completely heal. The Bloviator and Chief sees it as a great opportunity to proclaim his self constructed version of reality. Incredibly enough this ugly man wears his racist proclamation like a conservative medal of honor. In the Bloviator and Chief’s fictive mind it’s real conservative street cred worn only by real American Patriots. This ugly man who proudly wears his racism on his puffed up chest believes himself to be a true profile in courage. Daring to speak the truth, the all knowing and seeing Bloviator and Chief knows what motivates and lurks in the mind of General Powell. I would love to see the Bloviator and Chief stand next to General Powell. The Bloviator and Chief’s imaginary medals of conservative honor and his titanic ego would immediately be rightsized in the presence of General Powell’s real humility, courage and life of service to our country.

The Bloviator and Chief’s racism states that African American’s do not have the capability to make a decision based on a rational and objective examination of the facts. It would seem that in the Bloviator and Chief’s conservative cosmology, people of color are incapable of observing a candidate and evaluating their programs and their vision for America. More disturbing is the Bloviator and Chief’s inability to conceive that people of color have a set of values to make electoral decisions. Its a difficult truth the Bloviator and Chief can’t understand. Thankfully all people are not Dittoheads, some people use their own mind to evaluate and make informed political decisions. The Bloviator and Chief finds it hard to believe and can’t understand that all people don’t share his world view. After all how many people make $25 mm a year to sprout propaganda and condemn people who don’t agree with you? How many people get to make a living by proclaiming their uber patriotism and love for our democratic republic yet take every opportunity to undermine and subvert our need to engage in a nonpartisan conversation to protect a crumbling consensus?

That brings us to Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann who claims she was tricked by the fast talking liberal media mongrel Chris Matthews into calling for an investigation into members of congress to determine if they truly love America.

I can only imagine what the line of questions would consist of to make this assessment. Would you ask members how often they polish their American Flag lapel pin? Would you ask if they get goose bumps every time the National Anthem is played before watching a Timberwolves basketball game on TV? Would you ask if they unknowingly associated with people with funny sounding names like Muhammad or Hussein? Or have they ever read the Quran?

If they failed the test do we send these Anti-Americans to reeducation camps? Perhaps we should lock them away in some offshore gulag to spend the rest of their unrepentant Un-American lives rotting away under the supervision of torturous jailers? Will this satiate Ms. Bachmann’s thirst for failing a patriotic litmus test?

America went through this ugly episode with uber patriot tail-gunner Joe McCarthy. Thank God the liberal media hero Edward R. Murrow brought the light of much needed transparency on McCarthyism and its threat to democracy and democratic ideals. Unfortunately the world is just as dangerous today as it was at the dawn of the Cold War. America’s best defense against our enemies is a strong participatory democracy. A national consensus is an absolute necessity as our country takes its next step in this dangerous world.

This extraordinary election has surfaced the best and worst aspects of a democracy. The demonization of constituent groups and people based on their ideas, race, location and desires does a disservice to our country and is our enemies greatest weapon in undermining our democratic republic.

Our greatest President Abraham Lincoln quoting the bible stated that a house divided cannot stand. Creating division and fanning animosity may win the election but will not insure a lasting peace and a common path for this country to tread.

Music Video: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Risk: democray, elections, consensus, republicanism

October 21, 2008 Posted by | elections, folk, media, politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment