Posts tagged "us politics"

The Tea Party Woes

The Tea Party movement has been the media story of this election but are they the real reason for the Democrats woes?

With Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell as figureheads for your movement you’re never going to struggle for column inches in the national media. Indeed, if Kanye West decided to join, the Tea Party movement could boast having America’s most inflamatory orators on board.

With all these news stories circulating, it still remains to be seen how much influence the Tea Partiers have had on the coming mid-term elections, even if it’s quite obvious that the Democrats are going to receive a kicking. The problem of the Tea Party movement for the Democrats has not been the ground swell of opposition supposedly against them but instead how much they have allowed it to command the US media and the national discussion.

Obama's economic troubles

Last September I was in DC when the Tea Party held its first march on Washington, DC. The headline-grabbing slogans calling Obama a socialist, or in some cases much worse, were a troubling sight but talking and listening to the members of the crowd who had travelled to the capital it quickly became apparent that the signs were more a product of Fox News’ dominance in the market than the USA fostering a lot of bigots. That march in September 2009 was full of scared, hurt and angry people who didn’t know what was in store for them. The world had changed around them and blue collar workers no longer knew their place in a world of emerging markets like China, Brazil and India. Sadly ignorance borne from a lack of neutral facts coming from the USA’s biggest news channel and that detestable human trait of railing against what is alien to oneself in times of need is what most politico’s in DC saw that weekend and dismissed the rally as a vent of anger that would dissipate.

That dissipation never happened. The Tea Party movement has had effect in the political world by ridding the Republican party of the more liberal conservatives, with the election of “true conservative” Republican candidates in the primaries. The America outside the insulated political class had spoken and left its media arm amplifying the concern to epic proportions. According to the media, the great hope of President Obama was beginning to cave and, depending to your world view, America was about to take it’s country back or the yokels from Deliverance were about to take a trip to Washington.

The fear of many Americans

With the Tea Party’s boot stomping through the political landscape, everyone has gotten muddy. Campaigns have been vicious. News investigations have been seedy and shallow. Political advertisements have been aggresive. Slogans have replaced policy. As a result, the Democrats have lost focus on the tasks they said they’d complete after Obama was sworn in as the 44th president. Too many times they have tried to defend themselves against media stories and rumours rather than listen and talk to the people they way they did on their way to winning the presidency.

For example, President Obama had strong support from the Hispanic community in 2008, an under-represented group in the US, after telling them that immigration reform was a priority. However, his party have been guilty of allowing too many Tea Party slogans to set the news agenda on the economy, overshadowing this discussion that in the long and medium term could benefit deficit reduction. In a YouGov poll, 31% approve of his handling of immigration, while 57% disapprove. It’s a trend that’s repeated across most public interest sectors. The Tea Party has had little to say about what they’d specifically do on anything due to the media’s agenda forcing Democrats to be defensive rather than confront the Tea Party head on. This is why the main political opponent to the Democrats this election has been the news outlets rather than the Republicans.

The Tea Party has undoubtedly re-energised a Republican party that looked dead in the water less than two years ago but their power and influence has been overblown by a hysterical media industry. The Democrats will not suffer because of the Tea Party’s grand plans for the nation being more popular; they will suffer because they spent too long listening to the news rather than the people. This has been the election between the TV pundits, not the politics.

The liberal agenda?


trove:

So here it is, President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, which was released by the White House this morning. Will it be enough to silence the “birthers” who claim the president wasn’t born in the United States? » Follow all things Obama with the Barack Obama channel from Trove, the new personalized news engine from The Washington Post Co.

I mean, he probably could have shown this four years ago and got this all over with, but the fact that he has to produce it to people? Depressing.

trove:

So here it is, President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, which was released by the White House this morning. Will it be enough to silence the “birthers” who claim the president wasn’t born in the United States?

 » Follow all things Obama with the Barack Obama channel from Trove, the new personalized news engine from The Washington Post Co.

I mean, he probably could have shown this four years ago and got this all over with, but the fact that he has to produce it to people? Depressing.


theeconomist:

Daily chart: who spends the most on the military? America’s defence spending, at nearly $700 billion a year, is bigger than that of the next 17 countries combined.

Jeepers.

theeconomist:

Daily chart: who spends the most on the military? America’s defence spending, at nearly $700 billion a year, is bigger than that of the next 17 countries combined.

Jeepers.


thedailyfeed:

Bridgeport, Connecticut has the nation’s widest gap between the rich and poor, according to census data. The city’s richest 5% earn $685,000 while the bottom 20% make less than $15,000.

“If you’re looking for ground zero for the growth of inequality in the United States, Connecticut is the place,” Stephen Adair, professor of sociology at Central Connecticut State University, told The Daily.

What does that mean in practical terms? The top 20 percent in the Bridgeport area — which includes Fairfield County, one of the wealthiest areas in the United States — took home nearly 60 percent of its income, while the bottom 20 percent took home 2.5 percent of the region’s money. In this nexus of billion-dollar hedge funds and bombed-out housing projects, the top 5 percent raked in a mean income of $685,000, while the bottom 20 percent’s mean income totaled less than $15,000.

To put that in perspective, if the Bridgeport metro area were a country, it would rank 12th from the bottom in the world for economic equality — lower than Mexico, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe.

An interesting find in America, showing the case of the 99%


cheatsheet:

motherjones:

Hey, look! Congressional staffers turn out to be really good at predicting the behavior of stocks that their bosses legislate. Outside Capitol Hill, we might call that “insider trading.” Except US insider trading laws don’t apply to Congress.
Angry yet?

In this week’s issue of Newsweek: Congress is getting rich off Wall Street.

Mmmm

cheatsheet:

motherjones:

Hey, look! Congressional staffers turn out to be really good at predicting the behavior of stocks that their bosses legislate. Outside Capitol Hill, we might call that “insider trading.” Except US insider trading laws don’t apply to Congress.

Angry yet?

In this week’s issue of Newsweek: Congress is getting rich off Wall Street.

Mmmm


cheatsheet:


On Tuesday afternoon, Tasha Glasgow, an intermittently homeless 30-year-old mother of two, walked out the front door of the foreclosed Brooklyn house that Occupy Wall Street activists had seized for her and marveled at the hundreds of people outside, cheering in the rain. Clusters of balloons and “Welcome Home” signs adorned the tiny front yard. Zuccotti Park veterans in hardhats decorated with anarchist symbols trooped in with cleaning supplies, beginning a multi-day renovation. Someone hooked up a generator, lighting up Glasgow’s new Christmas tree. Several city councilmen stood on the porch with housewarming gifts.

Michelle Goldberg reports on the latest shift in the Occupy movement: Occupy Our Homes.

cheatsheet:

On Tuesday afternoon, Tasha Glasgow, an intermittently homeless 30-year-old mother of two, walked out the front door of the foreclosed Brooklyn house that Occupy Wall Street activists had seized for her and marveled at the hundreds of people outside, cheering in the rain. Clusters of balloons and “Welcome Home” signs adorned the tiny front yard. Zuccotti Park veterans in hardhats decorated with anarchist symbols trooped in with cleaning supplies, beginning a multi-day renovation. Someone hooked up a generator, lighting up Glasgow’s new Christmas tree. Several city councilmen stood on the porch with housewarming gifts.

Michelle Goldberg reports on the latest shift in the Occupy movement: Occupy Our Homes.


Wonklife: President Obama as an alien

cheatsheet:

President Obama Awes A Deaf Supporter With Sign Language

Kinda tearing up at this…

A rare humble moment in politics.


Verizon order: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily