Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ted Cruz ALEC and Blazing Saddles Diplomacy

After watching Ted Cruz, the junior Senator from Texas and Tea Party favorite spend 21 hours blathering in a pointless fake filibuster against a House Bill he supports, I had a flashback to Blazing Saddles.  The only thing more ridiculous than Cruz’ inane filibuster threats were the idiots who supported this Quixotic effort, and tried to make it sound like something brilliant and worthwhile, like Fox News.

Fox News originally stood with the sane element of the Republican Party that Cruz’ effort was pointless because it didn’t accomplish anything and tied up the business of the American people.  But after being whipped into submission by their financial backers, Fox’s anchors began trying to convince their viewers that Cruz was a genius who was now the true leader in the Senate.

The bill that Cruz was trying to delay would temporarily fund government functions for the next two and a half months but would de-fund the Affordable Care Act.  Cruz was just laying the tracks for the crazy train to come, the debate on raising the debt ceiling.

The debt ceiling needs to be raised for the U.S. Treasury to pay for debts incurred from legislation already passed by congress.  Economists of all political persuasions have warned that a failure to raise the debt ceiling by the Treasury’s deadline of Oct. 17 could be catastrophic.
The Republican Party is splintered between the partially sane faction and the totally insane faction, the Tea Party. 

After the Supreme Court ruling in Citizen’s United, ALEC members such as the billionaire Koch Brothers can now buy seats in congress for politicians like Cruz who will advance their agenda to destroy America.     

The ALEC funded politicians in the Republican party have now raised the ante for America and whether or not we are good for our IOU’s.  Behind closed doors, House Republican leaders bowing to the Tea Party laid out their most recent demands for a debt-ceiling increase.

Their demands now include a one-year delay of the health care law, fast-track authority to overhaul the tax code, construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, offshore oil and gas production, more permitting of energy exploration on federal lands, a rollback of regulations on coal ash, blocking new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on greenhouse gas production, eliminating a $23 billion fund to ensure the orderly dissolution of failed major banks, eliminating mandatory contributions to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, limits on medical malpractice lawsuits and an increase in means testing for Medicare, among other provisions.

To understand what it would mean to America if these Tea Party demands were met, one need only look at Detroit.  

According to “The Black Agenda Reportby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley:
If one picture is worth 1,000 words, then the pile of petroleum coke, petcoke, which sits along the Detroit River tells quite a story. Beginning in November 2012, the Koch Carbon Company began dumping the petcoke, which is a byproduct of tar sands oil production and also a cheap fuel. Koch Carbon is owned by those Kochs, Charles and David, the incredibly wealthy right wing industrialists who play a very public role in bringing union busting Right to Work laws, Stand Your Ground, and other horrors to state legislatures across the country.
The petcoke originates from tar sands oil in Alberta, Canada; it is later refined by Marathon Petroleum and then purchased by the Koch Company. Petcoke has been called the dirtiest of dirty fuels because it emits more carbon dioxide than coal and contains more metal and sulfur. As a byproduct it costs nothing to produce yet can be sold at a high profit. Without seeking permits, with no public notification whatever, Koch Carbon began dumping the petcoke last year and it isn’t hard to figure out why Detroit was chosen as the location.
Detroit as a sovereign public entity no longer exists. It is completely powerless, having been taken over by the “lords of capital” personified in this case by emergency manager Kevyn Orr. There is quite literally no one in Detroit’s government with the power to stand up to the Kochs, Orr, or to anyone else who can do the city harm.

This is the Koch Brothers and their Tea Party politicians America.  Is this the America you want?

By Patricia Baeten

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