Those Damn Entitlement Programs

To be considered for the GOP nomination these days you have to preach about the evils of just about any entitlement program. It certainly wouldn’t pay to have any socialist tendencies with the tea party’s calling the shots in the GOP now would it?

So I guess it isn’t going to be all wine and roses for 2 of the tea party favorite sons/daughters as it is being reported that Minnesota crazy woman, and entitlement hater, Michele Bachmann has been at the front of the line when stimulus dollars were being handed out not to mention the government aid she and her husband have received over the years for their business interests.

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama’s stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled “fantasy economics.” Bachmann made two more of those requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution that she has suggested she would eliminate if she were in the White House.

Taken as a whole, the letters underscore what Bachmann’s critics describe as a glaring distance between her campaign oratory and her actual conduct as a lawmaker. Combined with previous revelations that Bachmann personally relied on a federally subsidized home loan while her husband’s business benefited from Medicaid payments, it appears that one of the Tea Party’s most cherished members has demonstrated that the government does, in fact, play a constructive role — at least in her life and district.

And then there is Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Fresh off his “Response” rally with some of his most hate filled fundamentalist friends we are learning that he apparently suffers from a slightly milder case of the same affliction that South Dakota’s own Kristi Noem suffers fromfarm subsidies.

Falling into line with the Tea Party rhetoric against “out-of-control” government spending, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is now supporting a move away from direct subsidies to the agriculture industry in favor of an incentives-driven model. But Perry himself has benefited from over $80,000 in farm subsidies over the years and publicly declared his support for farm subsidies when running for Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 1990.

Obviously coming from my political persuasion, benefiting from government programs like both Bachmann and Perry have is nothing to be ashamed of. Doing so and then preaching on how evil they are, on the other hand, certainly is.

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Fuzzy Math

The GOP claims they are all about cutting spending and creating jobs so isn’t it interesting that they decided to leave Washington for a month without passing a funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration. What you say is so interesting about that?

How does putting up to 74,000 workers on indefinite furlough and costing as much as $1 billion in lost tax revenue sound? How’s that for interesting? And what is even more interesting is one of the main reasons the GOP has refused to reach a funding deal (besides the GOP’s hatred of unions) revolves around a $200 million FAA program that subsidizes rural airports known as the Essential Air Service which readers here might remember I have touched on in the past.
Now I will not go into whether or not this program should continue as I discussed that in the linked to post above but isn’t it funny that Congress’s refusal to pass a bill because of its cost is actually costing us many times as much as the program that they are against?
That must be that new math I’ve heard so much about.
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Public Spokesperson Bristol Palin Paid 7 Times More Than Charity Actually Donated

Bristol Palin’s only claim to fame is for being Sarah Palin’s daughter and getting pregnant out of wedlock. But she apparently has inherited mamma bear Palin’s penchant for making boatloads of cash without much effort as a recent report shows was paid 7 times more than the non-profit teen pregnancy group she worked for actually dispersed.

In 2009, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol joined a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. Today, the Associated Press reported that the Candie’s Foundation released its 2009 tax information, revealing that Bristol was paid a salary of $262,500.

But a closer examination of the tax form by ThinkProgress shows that the group disbursed only $35,000 in grants to actual teen pregnancy health and counseling clinics: $25,000 to the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

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The Silence Is Deafening

A full 24 hours after the House voted to extend the spy on Americans portion of the Patriot Act, not one Republican blog in the state that I am aware of even mentioned the story in passing (or Dem blog that I can see). I just love the constant rhetoric from the Reich Wing on protecting our freedoms at all costs but when it comes down to actually doing so, silence.

So Ms Noem, how do you reconcile the fact that you along with 274 of your cohorts in the House have chosen to vote against the very principles you claim to hold so dear? Even worse, how does Michele Bachmann who just a few weeks ago decreed that her colleagues be able to cite the specific passage in the Constitution that validates any bill before the House, explain away her obvious hypocrisy?

Bueller, Bueller

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Irony Defined

Ok, so here we have a Catholic priest telling us that there is something wrong with those that have imaginary friends…Father Morris, Webster’s is calling to ask if they can use your picture under the definition of irony.

(via Friendly Atheist)

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Rhetoric Over Substance

I am personally skeptical over some of the reasoning being used to explain the massive shift in power after this year’s election. Many would have you believe that they voted the way they did because those in power didn’t do enough to fix the economy, to lower the debt, or to uphold the Constitution. I tend to think people were fed-up in general and the Democrats were they obvious scapegoat.

One reason I believe that finding a “scapegoat” had more to do with the election than anything else is Constitutional aspect of the anger coming from the right. They often complain that many of Obama’s policies go against the Constitution and should be repealed based on that fact alone (see our own Attorney General’s lawsuit over Obamacare). While the Constitutionality of many of these policies can and will be debated, other similarly Constitutionally challenged policies have remained pretty much undiscussed especially when it comes to the Patriot Act and more recently the changes made in FISA regulations.

These changes initiated during the Bush Administration and continued during Obama’s term have led to easing of the requirements related to government wiretapping activities often allowing wiretaps on US citizens to be performed without getting warrants first.

The furor over the breaching of our 4th Amendment rights all in the name of “protecting” us from terrorists has been strangely absent from most of the Tea Party folks, most of whom would have busted a blood vessel in anger if their 2nd Amendment rights were even remotely challenged. In Congress, the outrage over these changes was even less noticeable as evident by the ease in which it passed, except for one individual.

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold was one of only 16 Senators to vote against the 1st Amendment breaking Internet Decency Act of 1996 which was eventually struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Feingold was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act while also being one of the few to fight against giving immunity to the Telecom companies that participated in The Bush Administration’s illegal warrant-less wiretapping activities. From Wired:

Feingold and retiring Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticutt) attempted to filibuster a provision that provided legal immunity to telecoms that helped the Administration spy on Americans’ internet and phone use without warrants. That provision, along with expanded government surveillance powers, eventually passed in July 2008 with the support of then-Senator Barack Obama, who promised to revisit that law, but has not.

Sounds pretty pro-Constitution to me doesn’t it?

I have no doubt that many voted out of office yesterday deserved their fate and Feingold did have his issues as he often times aligned himself with the Obama Administration on fiscal issues which likely made him an easy target for defeat in this Democrat unfriendly environment. But if one claims to be truly worried about getting our country back in line with the Constitution, Russ Feingold was someone many would have thought should have been worth supporting.

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Joe Barton: Why People Despise Politics As Usual More Than Ever

Texas Congressman Joe Barton’s ridiculous apology to BP for being “forced” to set up a 20 billion dollar fund to help pay for some of the damages from the spill has been written about just about everywhere but when you watch this is there a more perfect example of why people are so fed up with bought and paid for politicians?

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Open Letter On Hypocrisy

I love finding examples of the hypocrisy in our political discussion mainly because they are so prevalent and easily found. In fact one of my many past blogging projects was called “Politics and Hypocrisy” so this open letter from American Dad written to Conservatives was right up my alley.

Hypocrisy

You can’t flip out — and threaten impeachment – when Dems use a parliamentary procedure (deem and pass) that you used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that’s centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.

You can’t vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it’s done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against, is especially ugly) —  114 of you (at last count) did just that — and it’s even worse when you secretly beg for more.

You can’t fight against your own ideas just because the Dem president endorses your proposal.

You can’t call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas.

Are they “unlawful enemy combatants” or are they “prisoners of war” at Gitmo? You can’t have it both ways.

You can’t carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.

You can’t refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Dems because they didn’t meet with you.

You can’t rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters. Repeatedly.

You can’t rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.

You can’t be for immigration reform, then against it .

You can’t enjoy socialized medicine while condemning it.

You can’t flip out when the black president puts his feet on the presidential desk when you were silent about white presidents doing the same.  Bush.  Ford.

You can’t complain that the president hasn’t closed Gitmo yet when you’ve campaigned to keep Gitmo open.

There is quite a bit more to be found in American Dad’s post but I am sure you get the idea.

(h/t Unreasonable Faith)

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