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Archive for March 1st, 2010

Members of a Tea Party event attended by Republican Congressional candidate Ed Martin

Tea Partiers Call Obama A Marxist And A Dictator … Get Promoted On GOPer’s Site

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | March 1, 2010, 11:47AM

As the Republican Party becomes increasingly dominated by an implacably anti-Obama far-right fringe, it’s becoming difficult for even mainstream GOPers to avoid endorsing the loonier rhetoric of the Tea Party wing.

Consider Ed Martin, a former chief of staff to Missouri governor Matt Blunt, who’s mounted a strong bid to challenge Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) in the fall. This weekend, Martin campaigned at a Tea Party rally at the Arch in St. Louis, and his campaign posted photographs of the event on his official website. Most of the pictures are unremarkable. But a few show people expressing sentiments that — though perhaps not so unusual for a Tea Party event — might raise some eyebrows when they’re being promoted by a serious candidate for Congress.

In one photo, which you can see here, a man holds a sign captioned “Presidential Advisors.” Along with President Obama himself, the image depicts Josef Stalin, Karl Marx, Fidel Castro, and Mao. Next to the man, a woman holds another sign, which shows Obama speaking in front of an American flag — but the stars on the flag have been replaced by a Soviet-style hammer and sickle.

In the other photo — viewable here — an angry-looking woman holds a sign that condemns “Obama’s Marxist Way,” which is said to involve “dictatorship,” “suppression,” “disenfranchisement,” and, oddly, “sheep.” This is contrasted with the “American Way,” which is said to involve “God and the individual,” “personal humility and dignity,” “principles,” and other good things.

(The woman may be on to something in claiming that sheep don’t represent the American Way: According to U.N. figures, the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of cattle meat, but only the 18th-largest producer of sheep meat, behind such countries as Kazakhstan, Syria, Sudan, and Morocco.)

Martin is no fringe candidate. Politico reported recently that he started the year with nearly as much money as the incumbent Carnahan. It added that the respected analyst Charlie Cook recently moved the seat, once held by Dick Gephardt, from safely Democratic to “likely Democratic.”

Martin’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the he endorses the sentiments in the photos.

H/t Fired Up Missouri, which asks, “is this the ‘new normal’ for Republican candidates?”

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Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

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Republicans Setting Filibuster Record

STEVEN R. HURST | 03/ 1/10 02:03 PM | AP

WASHINGTON — The filibuster – tool of obstruction in the U.S. Senate – is alternately blamed and praised for wilting President Barack Obama’s ambitious agenda. Some even say it’s made the nation ungovernable.

Maybe, maybe not. Obama’s term still has three years to run.

More certain, however: Opposition Republicans are using the delaying tactic at a record-setting pace.

“The numbers are astonishing in this Congress,” says Jim Riddlesperger, political science professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

The filibuster, using seemingly endless debate to block legislative action, has become entrenched like a dandelion tap root in the midst of the shrill partisanship gripping Washington.

But the filibuster is nothing new. Its use dates to the mists of Senate history, but until the civil rights era, it was rarely used.

A tactic unique to the Senate, the filibuster means a simple majority guarantees nothing when it comes to passing laws.

“The rules of the Senate are designed to give muscle to the minority,” said Senate historian Donald Ritchie.

With the Senate now made up of 100 members, two for each of the 50 states, an opposition filibuster can only be broken with 60 votes – a three-fifths majority.

MORE HERE

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By Missy Beattie, Counterpunch, Feb. 26 – 28, 2010

A little more than a year after her son Casey was murdered in Iraq by the US Military Industrial Complex, Cindy Sheehan took a stand in Crawford to challenge the cowering George Bush who hid behind security at his ranch. The Peace Mom sat in a ditch under the searing Texas sun and asked the question heard round the world, “For what noble cause?” I remember this well. My nephew Chase was also murdered by war that same weekend.

George Bush never answered Sheehan. If he’d had the balls, he’d have faced Sheehan and said, “For power, empower, Empire.”

Continues >>

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By Ted Snider, ZNet, Feb 26, 2010

Did Hillary Clinton seriously just accuse Iran of heading toward becoming a dictatorship? This accusation is one of two made in the past couple of weeks against Iran that totally defy history.

The U.S. has never minded Iran being a dictatorship. On the contrary, given the choice between an uncooperative democracy and a cooperative dictatorship in Iran, the U.S. chose dictatorship.

This story of intrigue and spies begins not in America, but in Britain. Through its Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), Britain totally controlled Iranian oil in the first half of the twentieth century. The AIOC held exclusive rights to extract, refine, ship and sell Iranian oil. And though they did pay Iran a small amount for these rights, the AIOC made ten times what it paid Iran. Hardly fair. At least, it hardly seemed fair to the impoverished Iranians.

Continues >>

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Jim Bunning Impasse Puts Federal Employees Out Of Work

JOAN LOWY | 03/ 1/10 10:34 AM | AP

WASHINGTON — Two thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay on Monday, and the Obama administration said they have a Kentucky senator to blame for it.

Federal reimbursements to states for highway programs will also be halted, the Transportation Department said in a statement late Sunday. The reimbursements amount to about $190 million a day, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The furloughs and freeze on payments were the result of a decision last week by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning to block passage of legislation that would have extended federal highway and transit programs, the department said. Those programs expired at midnight Sunday.

The extension of transportation programs was part of a larger package of government programs that also expired Sunday, including unemployment benefits for about 400,000 Americans.

Bunning objected to the $10 billion measure, saying it would add to the budget deficit. He didn’t respond to a request Monday for comment.

The impasse has provided the administration with an opening to excoriate Republicans for allowing popular programs to run out, even if only for a short time.

“As American families are struggling in tough economic times, I am keenly disappointed that political games are putting a stop to important construction projects around the country,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

MORE HERE

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