Grover Norquist: Tax-Hating Terrorist

 
“Grover Norquist hated tax,
And hammered it with endless whacks.
When he saw what he had done,
He smiled ’cause it was such cheap fun.”
(and profitable, too!)

The economy is continuing to show increased signs of recovery.  People are actually spending more than they have for quite some time.  Consumer confidence is up, as are retail sales.  More consumer spending translates into more demand for products which translates into more jobs to make those products.  Considering all the positives, why is the stock market in a tumble at the beginning of the busiest consumer buying season of the year? (hint:  driving off a mountain)

If you follow such things as the stock market, you know that in the four years since Barack Obama was first elected president (in to the middle of the worst economic free-fall since the Great Depression), the stock market has doubled its value.  It has almost completely regained the losses caused by the housing and banking debacles of the Great Recession.  That recession was largely caused by the deregulation of the financial industry, which actually started during the Clinton administration but was then put on steroids by Bush and his republican-controlled congress.  Additionally, republicans also gave us two unfunded wars and an unfunded prescription drug program, as well as two huge unfunded tax cuts mostly for the very rich.  In other words, they loved free spending but not paying the bills.

Although oversimplified, all of this coupled with an extremely partisan atmosphere in Washington DC over the past two years produced the “fiscal cliff”, a term describing what happens on January 2, 2013,  if congress hasn’t agreed on a bi-partisan deficit-reduction plan.  That failure will automatically trigger $500 billion in both spending cuts and tax increases.  Part of the tax increase will be caused by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax cut.  The average American family might see an additional $2200 a year as a result.  It affect everyone including the middle class and the working poor.

Enter Grover Norquist, an extremely conservative right wing ideologue and very well paid  lobbyist who believes the less government, the better.  He is on record advocating that the US government should be shrunk by revenue starvation to the size it was before Teddy Roosevelt became the 26th president of the USA in 1901.  In fact, he has said that “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

In 1985, Norquist started Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), an organization initially intended to simply oppose tax increases and to reduce government.  It has actually grown into a very-well-funded conservative lobbying group that terrorizes elected republican officials and GOP candidates for office by blackmailing them into signing an inflexible pledge to never raise taxes or even tax revenues by any legislative action whatsoever for any reason under any circumstances.  Those who would resist this blackmail are threatened by ATR, which promises to throw massive amounts of negative publicity at them at election/re-election time if they refuse to sign the pledge.

ATR funds this political terrorist activity with financial donations from unnamed donors, many of whom are very wealthy businessmen and corporations and remain anonymous because ATR is legally a non-profit corporation and does not have to reveal its donors.  And even though president Obama won re-election on a platform that included raising tax rates on the wealthiest 2% of Americans who make $250,000 or more per year, Norquist doesn’t care.  He demands unyielding loyalty, or suffer the consequences.

Norquist and anyone else who chooses to honor this idiotic Norquist pledge over the next four weeks have a problem:  If they hold fast, a deficit reduction deal will not get done in congress.  These self-same anti-tax GOP idiots will then be directly responsible for the biggest single tax increase in the history of the USA on January 2, 2013.  Grover Norquist will have succeeded in scaring (terrorizing) enough members of congress to block a deal with democrats to raise tax requirements on only the wealthiest 2% of Americans, choosing instead to drive right over the fiscal cliff, causing the most massive tax increase on ALL Americans in history!!

So much for the pledge, huh?

Norquist’s tactics are really not much different from those used by the Taliban in isolated regions to get people to bow to their will.  The only difference is that Norquist uses money the way the Taliban uses guns and knives.

To their credit, some republican senators have recently blown off the pledge, stressing that the health of the USA is more important that Norquist’s lunatic manta.  In response, Norquist promises to retaliate against them.  But if history is any example, Norquist’s influence might have already peaked and just might be losing its grip.

Remember the 1980’s “Moral Majority“?

Try finding them now.  🙂

Sex, CIA Spooks, & GI Joe (John, actually :) )

Just when some people thought it was safe to turn their full attention to congress’s efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff…

…and just when they thought that congress would turn its full attention to avoiding the fiscal cliff…

….and just when they thought they could relax, free from the long bitter presidential campaign and its non-stop mega-money political ads….

….and just when they thought that they could chuckle over those losing Romney voters who have now started secession petitions in all 50 states and the democratic counter-petitions advocating that anyone signing the secession petitions be deported from the USA (which is, one must admit, a great counter 🙂  )…

…We get a full-blown, high-level, national security and military sex-laden scandal:  The new James Bond movie “Skyfall” !  🙂

Of course, James Bond is a British hero, not an American one.  The USA was not about to be outdone by Her Majesty’s Secret Service or the British military intelligence service MI-5.

Nope.  It turned around and threw up a full-blown, high-government-level, CIA-spook laden, military generals infested, erotically titillating sex scandal involving the following:

David Petreaus, former US Army General and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ;

Paula Broadwell,  an attractive former US Army major and present day journalist who had sex and an affair with Petreaus;

Jill Kelley, a friend of Petreaus and attractive socialite with a twin sister, who does volunteer work for the US military and allegedly received emails from an allegedly jealous Paula Broadwell; and

John Allen, a four-star US Marine Corp general who is commander of all western forces in Afghanistan, and who allegedly “flirted” with Jill Kelly via email.

Piquing the public’s interest is the fact that all of these people are married, each with two daughters as it turns out.  Co-starring in this Oh-so-important-to-our-daily-lives dramatic epic is, of course, the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, tabloids everywhere, and the salivating public.  Seemingly absent from this story until recently was the White House and congress…except for GOP senator Eric Cantor, who allegedly knew about this well before the election…and never said a word about it.  Hmmmm…..

So take THAT, James Bond and the whole UK!!!!!

The list of stars above contains the entire basic storyline.  However, for the morbidly addicted, the  single second-to-second sordid details are HERE.

However, those details notwithstanding, the real issues are sex, evolution, science, humanity, physical anatomy, and the strange urge some have to imprint synthetic human ideas onto the natural physical world.  That’s a lot of words to say something very simple…and very true:

SEX IS THE ULTIMATE PHYSICAL PLEASURE AND FEELS GOOD DUE TO UNDENIABLE AND ULTIMATELY IRREPRESSIBLE HUMAN PHYSICAL EVOLUTION. 

For many thousands of years since the very beginning of quasi-civilization involving humans, there have been cultures, religions, dogmas, and even some medical efforts to suppress the natural biological human sexual drive.  It may well have started as an simple instinct similar to animal kingdom’s common reproductive instinct to prevent weaker group members from reproducing with the mates of the stronger members.  As humans evolved, so did their strategies for insuring their genes, and not those of some rival, would be passed along (though not in those terms, obviously  🙂   )

Then the concept of marriage solidified these practices, but to men’s benefit only, since they could have multiple wives.  Finally, polygamy was discarded in most of the world and the tipping point regarding artificial sexual repression was reached.

The fact that so many people have affairs, and so many others froth at the mouth over sexual scandals is testament to the built-up sexual repression coupled with the” frothers” inadequate prioritizing of what is critically important for survival.  The scandal-obsessed folks live vicariously through the “sexploitations” of others, while their learned belief system regarding the demonic evils of sex also demands punishment.  Oh, and they want to watch that punishment, too!

The GOP tried to inflict such punishment on Bill Clinton by impeaching him in 1998, for instance.  And of course, the religious right has a field day with these scandals.

There is a valid issue of betrayal of marriage vows, but that should only be between the people involved in the vow…and no one else.  When Bill Clinton got involved with Monica Lewinsky, the issue was personal and appropriately between Hillary Clinton and him, and not between him and the rest of the world.  But some people just had to make it their number one priority.  They prayed for hell and damnation to rain down on Bill Clinton.  And why?

Because they have no fulfilling life of their own, and therefore no one else should have one, either!

And so what if the USA drives off the fiscal cliff?  So what if the ice caps melt and Florida is gone?   Doesn’t matter.  The moralistic scandalizers demand their pound of flesh!  (pardon the pun!  🙂

Well…f they want a pound of flesh, let them pay for HBO and watch after 10pm for their flesh.

 

 

Obama, Boehner, and Driving Off the Cliff

Last week’s We, the PEOPLE!! predicted that president Obama would win the election with 290 electoral votes, and he won with 303 (or possibly even 332 electoral votes if Florida ever finishes counting their ballots).  Also predicted was that the democrats would gain  a few seats in congress.

Perhaps as significantly, some extremist republicans that have stuck their feet into their mouths regarding  rape, pregnancy, and women’s reproductive right are gone:  Todd Akin of Missouri, Joe Walsh of Illinois, and Richard Mourdock of Indiana.  Also possibly gone is Alan West of Florida, who likes to call his democratic colleagues in congress anti-American socialists. Gone, that is, if Florida ever finishes counting their ballots.

In the immediate aftermath of the election, the hatred and vitriol coming from some on the losing side have been burning up the social networks. For some reason, those folks seem to think that the world is ending, dictators around the world are all laughing, and all the unsubstantiated accusations against the president are actually absolutely true.  It might be necessary therapy for them, but it demonstrates a disgust and a lack of tolerance for the democratic process.

However, many of the more credible republican pundits are accepting the election results and are at least starting to talk seriously about the urgent need for the president and the republican-controlled house of representatives to work together to avoid the fiscal cliff, a.k.a. the Budget Control Act of 2011, that is looming on January 2nd, 2013 is not going to go away by itself.  If president Obama and speaker of the house John Boehner can’t reach a compromise to fix it, the ultimate damage to the economies of not only the USA, but Europe as well, will be enormous.  Predictions of another recession, a lowering of the USA’s already lowered credit rating, an significant increase in unemployment and other really bad events are being echoed by economists all across the political spectrum.  It would arguably be the worst self-inflicted harm to the country in history.

There is some reason for optimism:  After winning re-election last night, Obama stated in his victory speech that he would be calling Mitt Romney to talk about working together on ideas to help the economy.  Mitt Romney, in his concession speech last night, also called for bi-partisanship to solve these problems,  And today senate majority leader Harry Reid called for both sides to work together, that everything did not have to be a fight.

He’s absolutely right.  But it remains to be seen how the republican house will react.  John Boehner said that he wants both sides to work together to solve the problem, but he has also said repeatedly that he will not support increased taxes as part of a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Over the next month and a half, the lame-duck congress will be in Washington.  Sometimes lame-duck sessions produce a flurry of legislation, and sometimes they don’t.  It’s a good bet that they will NOT produce a permanent solution to prevent the USA from driving off the mountainside.  Instead, they might pass an stop-gap extension of the Budget Control Act implementation date from January 2nd to sometime down the road, possibly as much as six months.

It is crystal clear that Americans are sick and tired of the gridlock that has gripped congress since the GOP regained control of the house of representatives following the 2010 elections.  The fact that Obama won re-election last night should be a wake-up call to to the GOP that people did not want to give them even more power than they already have.  Notably, some of the stanchest Tea Party extremists lost elections last night, and that speaks volumes.  When that is coupled with the fact that the GOP did not do well with women, Latinos and other minorities, it screams for the republican party to take a long hard look at itself.  It remains to be seen if the GOP can actually bring itself back towards the center after having become so extremist-right over the past four years.  A significant move toward compromise in congress would be a good start.

Even if the GOP wants to compromise, there are still obstacles.  Power brokers in the GOP such as Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have been sabotaging the efforts of moderate republicans for quite a while.  They tend to operate under the radar with massive amounts of money while making up their own rules and “facts”.  The amount of influence they wield will make it difficult for the moderates to reassert themselves.

Karl Rove actually wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal predicting a Romney victory.  Evidently, he hoped to bamboozle low-information voters to vote for a perceived winner.  He blew it.

But  We, the PEOPLE!! nailed it.     🙂    🙂