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Nirek On July - 16 - 2014

Shutdown - Tea Party

Why is it that our roads and bridges are falling apart?  Why is there not any immigration law that works?

We can take them one at a time.

Why is it that our roads and bridges are falling apart?

First, there is a lot of federal money that is supposed to go to the States highway funds to repair roads and bridges.  The Tea Party controlled House has held up those monies.  Maybe if the people were to get out there and vote in November we could get the Tea Party voted out.  Maybe then we would be able to make some progress.

Why is there not any immigration law that works?

Again, the Tea Party is holding up the legislation needed to fix the immigration problem!  No progress has been made and no bills are voted on in the House !

Why is there no progress made by the veterans administration?

Once again, no Bill has come out of the House. The Tea Party controls the Speaker of the House. So no Bills will be voted on.

So who is to blame for the lack of progress? Who has cost us tax payers millions of dollars when they shut down the Government?

Hmmmm, lets discuss these and other problems. I blame the voters who voted for the “Tea Potty”! If I’m wrong, tell me. If you agree, let me know.

Written by Nirek

Proud progressive Vietnam Vet against WAR! Can't stomach chickenhawks.

72 Responses so far.

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  1. In THE LONG EMERGENCY, James Howard Kunstler writes about the escalating cost (and future shortages) of oil and how the continuing increase in the price of asphalt and other maintenance materials will lead to the deterioration of the highway system and its abandonment. To paraphrase, how many tractor trailers have to break an axle on a specific chunk of under maintained state or interstate highway before trucking companies decide it isn’t worth their time to travel there? Note that the Tea Party is at its strongest in the Old Confederacy, which was an economic basket case before the New Deal and then the arrival of the Federal highway system. It would be different if someone in government was hatching a plan B for replacing the highways. But the railroads have been allowed to fall apart as well. And bulk transport of goods by air isn’t viable owing to the economies of air travel or shipping being highly vulnerable to high fuel costs.

    I agree with Nirek. I understand the Tea Party. I don’t understand the people who vote for its candidates.

  2. NoManIsAnIsland says:

    It’s really an open and shut case, Nirek. There’s nothing complicated
    about it; you’ve cut right to the chase and gotten to the very sick heart of the matter.

    The multi-challenged dimbulbs of the “Tea Potty” really can’t help themselves and in that sense aren’t fully to blame for trying to sabotage
    the government and destroy democracy.

    But a good number of the voters who have given them power far beyond their actual numbers could and should know better, and I hold them fully responsible for our sad state of affairs.


    On other news : I get a copy of USA Today and FIRST HEADLINE: Rupert Murdoch offers 80 billion to buy Time Warner…..Hope the regulators deny this merge …….


    Meanwhile there is hope out there!

    Friend — Today, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight released their first Senate projections in weeks:

    The verdict? “If Democrats win all the states in which the polls now favor them…Democrats will hold on to a 51-to-49 seat majority in the next Senate.”

    That is absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! But here’s the bad part: They forecast NINE Senate races are tossups, putting Democrats in a “perilous position.” Karl Rove just targeted six must-win states with $20 million in revolting attacks — they’ll erase our lead if you don’t respond.

    Will you pitch in immediately to fight back against Republican attacks and STOP a Republican takeover?

  5. Kalima says:

    Hello Nirek. As much as I blame the TP and those who voted for them, I blame all the people who didn’t vote in 2010 because they thought they were more important than the rest of the population, didn’t get what they demanded in the first year and a half of Obama’s first term, and decided they would teach him a lesson by staying home.

    So what was that lesson? That only they count and that the rest of America can go to hell. As we turn our backs to those in need and think only about our own satisfaction, are we then not similar to the Party we profess to despise?

    The TP is an open sore, not voting has made it grow and become infected. It needs to be cut out, and the only way to do that is for everyone who is eligible to vote, to vote as if their life depended on it, because for many it already does, and for many more, it will in the future. Everyone should be helped to understand that their vote is important. Sometimes just a handful of votes can decide who goes or who stays.

    I still remember the happiness in the faces of the Iraqi voters leaving the polling stations proudly holding up their purple stained fingers, and although for us in the West that feeling is for the most part long gone, it’s when we allow ourselves to become jaded or start to believe that our vote doesn’t count, that horrors like the TP can happen.

    Complacency and purely selfish motives should play no part in the voting process, and those too lazy to vote obviously were not suffering in the way that many Americans still are.

    The President didn’t fail these people, they failed him and the rest of America. That is truly shameful.

    Thank you for the post, Nirek.

    • Excellent points Kalima. What really galls me is that so many people think the mid-term elections are about the president. They clearly are not and for some of these spoiled children to withhold their votes in such crucial elections is beyond stupid.

      Nobody get everything they want from any president. When will more people begin to realize that the executive branch is not all powerful. They need to see just how important the House and Senate are to what bills get proposed, voted on and passed. This is not rocket science.

      What happened in 2010 is a direct result of the dumbing down of America. It’s a direct result of a near total lack of understanding of how our REPRESENTATIVE democracy works.

      I can only hope that those with hurt feelings have learned a valuable lesson from the results of their political tantrums.

      • NoManIsAnIsland says:

        You’re absolutely right, KT; and if enough voters stay home out of pique in the mid-terms this November, we’ll all pay for THEIR mistake!

    • NoManIsAnIsland says:

      Most eloquently said, Kalima. I just posted a comment to Nirek
      in which I agreed with him that those who elected “Tea Potty”
      cranks into office bear the biggest responsibility for the damage they’ve done, but I wasn’t thinking of the greater multitudes who didn’t vote AT ALL — and thus are even more to blame for what’s happening!

      I stand amended, if not corrected, and you made the case beautifully.


      Kalima you are so right.AND you DO know who were the first ones to propel a boycott of the November 2010 elections? Many, many progressives…..

    • Nirek says:

      Kalima, I have to agree. Staying home and not voting is just as bad as voting for the bad guys. Those who complain the loudest had better vote!

  6. Beatlex says:

    Good post Nirek,The dems have to go to the microphones and get this message out.They HAVE to avoid the R’s taking both houses

    • Nirek says:

      Beatlex, you’re correct. The “right” has the power of the microphone, and we could take that away even without an election. We just need to get out and speak the truth and point out the lies told by the “right” which is wrong!

  7. NWGuy says:

    Other than being able to vote these guys out (which will be hard considering the gerrymandering, voting restrictions, etc), I suspect that only way that things will change is when it affects them personally. When a bridge collapses or a road washes out and one of them or theirs is directly affected, only then expect to see some changes.

    Assigning blame doesn’t do a lot, sort like peeing in your pants in a dark suit, feels good for a while but nobody notices. Why is it that so many are so willing to vote against their own best interest? How is that mindset changed? Why are the downstream consequences of their actions, or lack there of, not seen or acknowledged by these folks? Why do these folks not see themselves as part of the greater US but only as a select part that is impervious to problems?

    The real challenge is to get people to recognize that there is only a us (as in US), not a us -- them.

  8. SueInCa says:


    I have read through the comments here and it is a combination of all of these things. You have an undercurrent that is bubbling up in this country that are not happy with the way things are going. They don’t like how years of working toward civil rights has led to a black man in their White House. The fact that he is a very intelligent black man is even more disturbing to them. Think about the candidates they have tried out, Herman Cain, Alan West and Ben Carson. Of the three, Carson is the only “intellectual” and he has outed himself as being against LGBT and poor people. He is supposed to be a Christian yet he used the National Prayer breakfast to lobby for lower taxes for the rich. He worked for a hospital, that in the past, has been accused of using Black people for experiments. Johns Hopkins was supposed to be a hospital that treated the poor and minorities first, the rich second. It’s history alone should have been reason for him to go somewhere else. He should have been aware of Henrietta Lacks but I would bet if you asked him, he would have no idea. He now has no compassion for the people who are in the same situation he was in growing up. These are the candidates they choose. To me, it is symbolism, nothing more.

    The Teas are angry people. They feel their country has been taken away from them. It does not matter if it is not true, they think it is. I have always marveled at how they, as voters, can look at their do-nothing congress and justify voting for them again. They are, as has been said over and over, tools of the Kochs and their rich fellow Americans. It is amazing to me these people cannot see how they are being used.

    • NoManIsAnIsland says:

      Sue, you’ve hit more than one nail on the head, and if we could knock some sense into the heads of people who think as you describe, they might stop voting against their interests, almost literally cutting their noses off to spite their faces.

      Even as a child in the 1940’s, long before Obama was even born, I realized how easy it was for divisive politicians — which then included as many racist southern Democrats as reactionary Republicans in the rest of the country — to win the angry hearts and minds of millions of lower middle class and poor whites by appealing to their unjustified sense of outrage and wounded pride.

      By telling them that Blacks and other minorities were holding them down and keeping them back, for their not getting their “fair” share of the American social and economic pie, these politicians made them feel superior to the minorities but also stoked their unreasoning rage at them.

      It was nothing more than a calculated, immoral application of Julius Caesar’s principle of divide and conquer, and the Kochs and their fellow kleptocrats use it today — to manipulate the strings of the demagogic politicians of what I call “The Cracked Teapot Party” in Congress, as well as thoroughly dupe their very naive followers.

      Viewing the apparent paradox through this lens, it’s no longer amazing “these people cannot see how they are being used.”
      Not realizing they have the power of the vote to make things better for those of ALL races in the U.S., they think they will be better off by putting minorities down again. They get the “benefit” of feeling a false sense of superiority but fail to see they are also tricked into accepting the status quo of second class citizens for themselves while only increasing the wealth and power of the super rich!

      • Nirek says:

        NoMan, “The Cracked Teapot Party” fits well. I call them the Tea Potty, but like yours better.
        I remember the Southern Democrats from the fifties and their racist ways. Thank God we have made some progress on that front (not enough though).

        You and Sue have made points that I agree with, thanks.

        • NoManIsAnIsland says:

          Nirek, I’m glad you like The Cracked Teapot
          Party better; but the Tea Potty has its uses,
          too. It gives a graphic picture of people who
          behave like small children who haven’t
          learned yet to think, talk, or act like grownups. Some of them aren’t even ready
          for “big boy or girl” underwear, so to speak!

          You’re welcome for my ideas, and thank you
          not only for yours but also for starting a
          very interesting and important discussion.

    • Nirek says:

      Sue, I could not agree more. Yes, we all have to speak up and expose the Koch lies. We need to turn the Tea Potty around. One at a time if possible.

  9. monicaangela says:

    The Tea Party is a political movement that largely began in 2009 with protests that were sponsored both locally and nationally.

    In general the movement is considered conservative as well as libertarian, favoring decreased taxes as well as decreased spending by the government. So far the Tea Party has endorsed Republican candidates.

    Other hallmarks of the Tea Party movement include reducing the federal budget deficit as well as the national debt, and advocating the country’s adherence to the original interpretation of the U.S. Constitution with the belief that the judiciary should only uphold the law and not create new law.

    Various polls and surveys have yielded conflicting results on who the people are who lead and subscribe to the tenets of the Tea Party movement. It is generally agreed that the Tea Party movement constituency is predominantly white. Some polls say there are slightly more males than females while others say females are the majority, and in particular, mothers.

    Most of the Tea Party movement constituency is older than 45 and are married, and they tend to be generally more conservative than the general population and are most likely to be registered as Republicans and hold favorable views of the Republican party and negative views of the Democratic Party.

    Some prominent polls from respected sources (e.g., Bloomberg, Gallup) have said that nearly half of the members of the Tea Party movement are “born-again” Christians in contrast to an estimated 34% in the general population.

    An estimated 40% of the Tea Party constituency was said to be older than 55 with 79% being white, in contrast to about 23% of the general population being older than 55 and 75% being white.

    At this point there is no single “Tea Party.” The term is an umbrella descriptor that includes a wide array of people from those on the fringe of the political mainstream to independents, religious conservatives, and other groups.

    Most notable nationally in regards to their connection with the Tea Party Movement is former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin who was the first woman governor of Alaska from 2006 until she resigned in 2009.

    Also prominently associated with the Tea Party movement is Dick Armey (Richard Keith “Dick” Armey) who was a United States Representative from Texas (1985 to 2003) and also served as the House Majority Leader (1995 to 2003).


    Vive la révolution!

    There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of them, Rupert Murdoch, David Koch, and Charles Koch.

    Now we have to ask ourselves….What do these people want and why are they interested in trying to dominate the political system in this country. I don’t have to explain it to you, the news these days is full of their reasons and their attempts at controlling everything in this country. They are now, at this very time trying to infiltrate educational institutions all over the country. First with donations to colleges and universities with strings attached, and now today I learn that they in some states are even trying to dominate the curriculum in high schools, first donations, then stipulations as to what the students can be taught, who can teach them etc.

    We as citizens of this nation, if we care, should be working to rid this nation of the wealthy greedy who would turn this nation and every other nation they can influence into a carbon copy of what they feel would be the best environment for their consistent GREED.

    Want a slave planet? Just continue to follow these idiots and continue to allow them to get away with their shenigans with impunity and that is what we will eventually have.

    • Nirek says:

      Monica, Bernie Sanders is saying the same thing and he has a big audience. He is also trying to get legislation to get the money out of politics. I hope he can but have doubts that we will ever get there. “Money” is not speech but it talks to the rich.

      So GREED is the problem ! How do we control greed?

      • monicaangela says:

        Bernie Sanders is one of my favorite Senators, I sure hope he runs for President in 2016, win lose or draw, I believe he would help to make the democratic primary what it should be.

        First we begin at home, as with anything else you have to start with yourself. As consumers we hold a lot of power, as organized consumers we hold even more power. If the citizens of this nation would get together and learn to fight back by boycotting the products the greedy sell, we could at least eliminate some of the power the greedy have. Remove their influence from our public places, schools, churches, etc. Greed has been in the world, probably since inception, so there are many examples of how people have fought back against it. Nothing has truly eliminated it, but those who have fought back, have often won their fight.

        As long as we continue as consumers to invest in those that we know are GREEDY and CORRUPT, as long as we continue to allow them to buy access to our government and the politicians we send to Washington D.C. who are supposed to serve us ALL rather than these special interest, as long as we allow them to control the media in this nation we can expect nothing better.

        • Monica, I like Sanders too, but he’ll never even get the nomination. He’s an avowed socialist, and in America today, as always, socialism is a dirty word.

          I have no problem with socialism myself, as long as it is mixed with wisely regulated capitalism. America has at least 75 agencies, programs, that are socialist in nature. We need these elements.

          Unfortunately, too many Americans associate socialism with communism. Democratic socialism is far from communism, but you can’t tell the morons this. They just cover their ears and sing out loud, la, la, la, la, la.

    • I like the phrase “slave planet.” That is exactly what these RW fanatics want. The sad/laughable thing about poor and working class conservatives is that they think they will be among the masters of such a slave planet.

      • monicaangela says:

        Through manipulation using prejudices, they have been brainwashed into believing that. I believe every one of them should have access to and should be shown a video of or have to read the article from Salon that Kesmarn posted further down this thread titled: I was poor, but a GOP die-hard: How I finally left the politics of shame.

  10. Hey Nirek. The questions you ask should have simple answers, but they do not, in my opinion.

    The TP leaders, in alliance with the fanatical GOP, are very good at manipulating their base. Their base chooses very poor sources of information about what is really going on in America, which is worse than having no information at all.

    The RW media, the minions of the GOPTP constantly play on the emotions of their audience. They use a combination of faux patriotism, bedrock Christian beliefs, and fear mongering. Fear mongering is the most effective weapon in their manipulating arsenal. They instill fear about “liberals,” wanting to destroy religion, they instill fear about a “foreigner,” president destroying their beloved country. They instill fear about a “socialist/Marxist” president who wants to destroy capitalism and make everybody dependent on a tyrannical government. It’s fear, doom and gloom, 24/7 from the RW media. There is also a not so subtle racist element in all of this.

    As far as the leaders of the GOPTP, all they care about is regaining power. They don’t care about our roads and bridges, they don’t care about veterans, they don’t care about poor people, and they don’t even care about the environment. It’s all about power and money with these soulless pricks.

  11. AdLib says:

    Nirek, if we’re blaming the Tea Party for sabotaging our democracy, as we should, we must blame even more the Koch Brothers and their cronies who contrived and funded this organization for hatred of government that’s led by a black man.

    Without the Kochs and their Freedom Works arm, there would. Ever have been a Tea Party, just the same independent racist nut jobs howling against minorities and the rights of anyone who doesn’t share their race, religion and gender.

    Sue’s article began with a thumbnail of the book, Christian Nation, which portrayed a RW coup of America. In reality, the Kochs and other plutocrats have used the Tea Party to accomplish their coup of Congress.

    Take the wealthy out of the position of supporting the Tea Party and it falls apart. This is a traitorous scheme hatched by them to control our government and it has worked. That’s an issue that Dems need to take on, the corruption of our democracy (by ALEC and Repub Govs and legislatures as well).

    It is in existential issue for our democracy.

    • NoManIsAnIsland says:

      AdLib, so many nails have been hit on the head in this thread I
      think there must be a national run on nails and hammers — and you’ve just hit another very big nail.

      The Koch brothers, the Sheldon Adelsons, and their super-rich
      fascist brethren sit like bloated spiders at the center of a
      vast web of treason and moral, as well as ideological,
      korruption. Through the sticky strands of ALEC, the Cracked Tea Party, and other treasonous organizations this korporatist kabal of kleptocrats poses as great an existential threat to our nation as the British crown did at our revolutionary birth.

      Their hypocritical protestations notwithstanding, unadulterated
      greed is what motivates this modern fifth column of right-wing, reactionary Republican traitors to unite in a konspiracy aimed
      at the very heart of our democracy.

      Like the traitors to the Spanish republic of the 1930’s, for
      whom the fifth column was named, the fascist Koch brothers
      try to hide many of their nefarious activities, such as their
      support of ALEC and the Cracked Tea Party. But unlike the
      Spanish fifth column — who pretended to be loyal to the legal government of Spain — the Kochs and their fellow konspirators
      are open in their support of the most reactionary and dangerous right-wing Republican demagogues on the political scene.

      And it’s here, AdLib, they’ve made the mistake that should undo them and break their death grip on what’s left of our democracy.

      Not only Dems, but all other moderates, liberals, and progressives of every party or no party at all must awake from their torpor and call out the Kochs and their Kriminal Korps for the fascist traitors they are. They must be exposed as the kreators and puppet masters of ALEC, the Cracked Tea Party and other subversive organizations.

      If we aren’t willing to stand up NOW and risk dying on our
      feet, at least metaphorically, we will surely end up living on our knees as the Kochs and their followers in the fascist fifth column turn America into Amerika.

    • Nirek says:

      Ad, I can’t argue with you when you are correct.

    • SueInCa says:

      I think that is what scares me about the Religious Right. Just like the Kochs, they are amassing great fortunes in their churches and organizations primarily because they have a tax free status and the status applies to everything they do. With so much money they are able to build mega churches with all kids of activities. Coffee shops, McDonalds and other distractions are in these “churches” and they are there to entice people. In individual sizes, they have eclipsed the Catholic churches in their areas. When you can reach and influence that many people, it is easy to manipulate and even to get them to go against everything they know is right. In the sense of these mega churches, religion and it’s trappings is the opiate of the masses who attend.

      So there really is a threat from both sides of that coin. I can honestly say, I wish I had woken up sooner.

    • monicaangela says:

      In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one’s sovereign or nation. A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitor. IMHO the Koch brothers and those who bankroll the tea party are traitors and are committing treason against the government and the people of this nation.

      • Monica, I actually think our current House of Representatives is a traitorous body.

        When they publicly claimed in 2008 that they will do everything in their power to see president Obama fail, what else could that be if not traitorous?

        When they obstruct every bill that would further this nation along, what else can that be called, if not traitorous?

        This is NOT how a representative democracy is supposed to work.

  12. Pete Geller says:

    Great article Nirek. Even without the tea potty issues our political system is broken. We need to get the money out of politics and set term limits. Until this happens corporations will continue to rule and ‘we the people’ will be doomed….

  13. Helloise says:

    Great subject, Nirek. I no longer think of the TP’s as a party, but a virus and one that has spread from the carriers to the host body, the GOP, which in turn has had an exclusively negative effect on the legislature and ultimately the entire country, even those who imagine otherwise. Worse, they are so delusional, not about their power that unfortunately exists, but their understanding of the issues and the repercussions of their infantile postures, that they actually imagine they are independent and not lackeys for interest groups and individuals who could care less about the country or them.

    To me, there is nothing more depressing than watching one of their representatives offer up a stew of delusional assumptions, conspiracy nonsense, simplistic slogans and hubris, as if there was an inkling of comprehension of whatever issue they’re mangling, nonetheless anything resembling a solution to a problem.

    It reminds me of sitting in a classroom and watching some entitled, self congratulatory ignoramus present a mommy-made science project with breaks for applause. That metaphor comes to mind, because it’s possible to draw a straight line that goes directly from a TP talking point to its funding source. There’s a great piece on Alternet today connecting the opposition to the immigration bill with the private prison industry that not coincidentally elected Jan Brewer. Climate change denial, funded by the Kochs and other big time polluters. Highway bill, thank private contractors who don’t want the feds getting in the way of their intention to bilk states with sympathetic governors.

    From top to bottom, the tea party represents how far it is possible to go by appealing to the worst instincts of humanity.

  14. kevinbr38 says:

    You are absolutely correct,
    The fault lies with those who voted these treasonous traitors into office.
    The question now is, will they have the common sense to vote them out?

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