Political Gum Hockey

Political Commentary and Humor

Herman Cain to Drop Out of Presidential Race

So far he hasn’t said so.  But he will.

I wrote a while back that Herman Cain could “Stick a Pizza Slice in it” because he was done.  That was based on his supreme lack of knowledge on the issues on which he was opining…er…trying to keep straight the talking points his handlers had inserted into his head.  And long before the string of 3 (or is it 4) women claimed Cain had “been inappropriate” with them when he was head of the restaurant lobbying group (and at least 1, or maybe 2, had settlements, which certainly suggests these women weren’t simply making this stuff up).

Oh, and now there is the woman claiming to have had a 13-year affair.

No, Cain was toast long before any of that stuff.  Since the initial revelations (but not including even this last one), Cain’s poll numbers have plummeted.  With the last one, i.e., the 13-year affair, I suspect his poll numbers would evaporate…given the whole holier-than-thou attitude of the tea party that elevated him to this ridiculous idea that he could actually be president.

So now it seems that now Herman Cain is “reassessing” his candidacy.  Huh? “Reassessing?”  No one admits to “reassessing” their candidacy publicly.  They might do it in private, but to admit it in public is like putting on a big sign that says “I’m toast.”

Which, of course, he is.  Even the conservative tea party fanatics that invented the fantasy of his candidacy are abandoning him.

Which could also be bad news for Mitt Romney.  And good news for Newt Gingrich.

November 29, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tea Party | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stick a Pizza Slice in it, Cain is done

In what will be looked back upon with irony, this was the week that signaled the end with the tea party’s love affair with their most recent “savior of the week.”  Herman Cain is done.

First there was the 9-9-9 fiasco at the Republican debate where we all realized that Citizen Cain had no clue what his 9-9-9 plan really was all about.  For him it was a cute bumper sticker phrase and nothing else.  I mean, no one really cares about these meaningless campaign popperies, do they?  It’s not like anyone actually believed 9-9-9 was a real plan that could even be proposed to Congress for passage.  It’s just a joke, right.  Surely you can’t hold that against Herman Cain.  Sure, it raises taxes on the poor and virtually eliminates taxes on the super-rich, but hey, we’ll just change the plan on the fly…yeah, that’s it, we’ll call it the 9-0-9 plan just for poor people…yeah, and marry Morgan Fairchild.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.


Then there was the revelation that Herman Cain did what the tea party so enjoys – he laid off thousands of Godfather Pizza workers and closed hundreds of stores, just so he could make more profit.  Yep, that’s the tea party ideal.

And how about electrifying the border fence between the US and Mexico so that those illegal aliens will fry themselves and save us the trouble of having to not actually secretly be hiring illegal aliens.  Oh, that’s just a joke folks.  You all have to get a sense of humor, I mean, if a potential future President of the United States can’t make a simple joke about murdering people, what else is there?

Oh, but then he decided that he would pull a Palin and say one thing while contradicting himself in the same breath.  Then blame everyone else for being confused.  Yep.  Only this time instead of screwing the poor he says he is Pro-Choice on abortion.  Or Pro-Life.  Or both.  Who knows what he said.  But the tea party sure didn’t like it.  Now they know that he isn’t on their side in the fight to ensure the rights of the individual to tell all women that they cannot do what they legally can choose to do, i.e., make a choice.  Hey, they’re women.  They need to listen to the men-folk, right?  Can’t have them getting all educated and making their own decisions and such.

Next up is Cain saying he would trade al Qaeda detainees from Gitmo for US soldiers, a la the recent release of hundreds of Palestinians for one Israeli soldier held for the last 5 years.  But then no, he wouldn’t ever do such a thing.  Or maybe.  What was the question again?  It seems things get moving a tad too quickly for Cain to keep up.  I mean, it’s difficult when you’re making stuff up as you go along, you know.

Then today Cain “The Self-Hermenator” shows that he has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of basic civics.  Yep, old Herman will sure sign that Constitutional Amendment banning abortions.  Huh?  Did he really say that?  Let’s go to the video tape – “”I feel that strongly about it. If we can get the necessary support and it comes to my desk I’ll sign it. That’s all I can do. I will sign it.”  Yep, he said it.  He actually said that as President he would “sign a Constitutional amendment.” He “will sign it.”  It’s all he can do.  WRONG.  This isn’t just a man who wants to run for President, this is a man that the tea party is head over heels in love with and thinks would be a fantastic President.  A man that has no clue that Constitutional Amendments don’t get signed by the President.

This is tea party America.  Sarah “Grizzly Momma” Palin.  Christine “I Am Not a Witch” O’Donnell.” Sharron “Second Amendment Solutions” Angle.  Donald “It’s Not a Wig” Trump.  Michele “I Raised 23 Kids” (oh, plus 5 of my own) Bachmann.  “Secession Rick” (but give me federal drought aid) Perry.  And now Herman “I’d Sign a Constitutional Amendment and am Pro/Anti-Choice and Raising Taxes on the Poor While Getting Rid of Taxes on the Rich” Cain.

Oh, and don’t forget Herman Cain is an anti-Muslim bigot whose only experience is to close businesses and lay off workers.

Thank you tea party.  Can I have my country back now?

October 23, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Tea Party | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Implosion of the Republican Candidates for President

The past few weeks have seen a remarkable implosion of the 2012 Republican candidates for President.  And it’s only October, still 3 months before the first (early) ballots are cast.

Not long ago Michele Bachmann was riding high on her win in the Iowa straw polls.  The straw poll, which actually hasn’t been a very good predictor of who wins the Iowa caucuses or the nomination, was for some reason seen as a watershed moment.  Bachmann wins! Bachmann rises to the top of the field!  Bachmann got less votes than she had paid for in tickets! Oh. Since then Bachmann’s fortunes have run down like an unsuspecting sucker at a curbside craps game.  In fact, “since then” was immediate, as in when Rick Perry declared his candidacy the very same day as the Iowa straw poll.  And since then her campaign manager has dumped her (and trashed her), her campaign is racking up debt, and now her New Hampshire campaign team has resigned en masse (or not, depending on who you ask).  Other campaign staffers haven’t been paid in at least a month.  So the tea party backing of Bachmann is back to back-stabbing and backward glances as Bachmann struggles desperately to keep her head above water.

Then there is Rick Perry himself.  He flashed onto the scene and immediately was elevated by the tea party crowd as their newest savior (claiming that he was their first choice all along, well, after all the others who said no).  Then Perry did something he regretted.  He showed up at a Republican debate.  Big mistake.  Perry’s performance was at best uneven.  And it was all downhill from there.  Half the time he seemed to barely there in ensuing debates.  And when he did say something it usually made him sound like he didn’t have the foggiest what he was saying.  Not the kind of performances that inspire the passion of the zealots on whom his candidacy must rely.  And so he sank from the top to somewhere in that middle where former top people go before they disappear into the ooze with the rest of the bottom feeders.  His most recent performance woke up the zealots, but showed that he could counter his lack of knowledge and debating adroitness with arrogance and pettiness.  Good one.

The latest to implode is Herman Cain.  What’s surprising is not that he is imploding but that the tea party had chosen him to inflate beyond all proportion in the first place.  Cain made a name for himself early in the debates by declaring that he is an anti-Muslim bigot.  Since then he has stolen a ridiculous catch-phrase (9-9-9) from a video game and even more ridiculously suggested that it was a serious attempt to fix the tax system.  Which he would do by raising taxes on the working poor and the middle class while virtually eliminating taxes on the very wealthiest.  That is exactly in line with what the tea party has pushed with nearly all of its hostage-taking tactics, so there is no surprise they love it. [It’s also in line with how he made Pizza Hut profitable – by closing half of its stores and laying off thousands of workers.]  Clearly a serious contender for the Presidency can’t have such a complete lack of awareness of his own silliness, but there it is every day.   And now he’s devolved into Palinesque incoherency where, as one conservative commentator and former Republican congressman put it, Cain is just making stuff up as he goes along.  Cain isn’t very able.

Which leaves who?  Mitt Romney, of course, who other than this last debate came off as being one of the few adults in the room (not counting the journalist moderators).  In the “adult” category you can add Jon Huntsman, but he seems way too reasonable for the tea party (not to mention his comedic timing is really really bad).  There is Newt Gingrich, who sort of sounds like an adult because he uses bigger words than the others, but also has a tendency to sound petulant.  There is Rick Santorum…oh, never mind.  There’s those two or three guys who are running that no one knows because they can’t garner enough support to even qualify for the debates (which is pretty sad given that Herman Cain is there and so is Jon Huntsman, who can’t seem to get much more than his immediate family to notice him).  And let’s not forget Ron Paul, who has a loyal following amongst the more libertarian folks who think the American government is some communist plot to steal all of our freedoms.

So we have the tea party running the Republican show these days and latching onto every incompetent nutjob they can find to be – in  succession, – “The One.”  And each and every “The One” sprints to the front of the pack only to be run over by the pack as they flame out and drop into the mud of their own creation.  Then there are the also-rans that run also, but nowhere fast.  And then there are the serious candidates.  Right now the closest thing to a serious candidate the Republican party can muster is “the next guy in line,” Mitt Romney.  And the tea party (rightly) hates him.  Romney epitomizes everything the tea party says they hate about government – the slick establishment politician, the “say anything to get elected” candidate, the “compromiser,” and OMG, he’s not the “right kind” of Christian.

So will the tea party prove themselves to be hypocrites and vote for Romney knowing that Romney would actually not do any of the things the tea party wants him to do?  Or would they “stick to their principles” and make sure Romney doesn’t get the Republican nomination.  After all, Romney is “one of them establishment” politicians and “not one of us.”

October 22, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ronald Reagan Tells Tea Party They are Wrong

You read that right.  The man who started the conservative movement and who all conservatives look to for inspiration and with adulation – Ronald Reagan – agrees with President Obama.

This is what Ronald Reagan said:

“We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share….In practice, they [the tax loopholes] made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing while a bus driver was paying 10% of his salary.  And that’s crazy.”

Today the tea party has been fighting to expand those tax loopholes that allow the richest 1% to not pay their fair share.  The tea party is fighting to expand those tax loopholes that allow the most profitable corporations to avoid paying taxes.  At the same time, the tea party is fighting to increase the debt, fighting to increase the taxes on the working poor and middle class, and fighting against any tax breaks for small and medium sized businesses.

The tea party is effectively owned and operated by the Koch brothers lobbying machine for the benefit of the super-rich 1% and the most profitable big corporations.  They are living in a fantasyland that could take America down with it.

The tea party is so hypocritical that they wear Ronald Reagan’s legacy proudly on their puffed up chests while cynically spitting on his values.  Reagan would not even be allowed into today’s tea party Republicans.

And that is a travesty.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Ronald Reagan, Tea Party | , , , , | Leave a comment

The tea party tries to violate the Constitutional rights of the poor and minorities with Voter ID laws

The Republican party, led by the nose by the ideological tea party members that took over many state legislatures last year, has been intentionally and deliberately trying to violate the Constitutional right to vote of the poor and minorities through the introduction of Voter ID laws.  The Republican party’s intent is to put so many obstacles in the path of the poor and minorities – much like the poll taxes and literacy tests of the past – that it substantially reduces the number of poor and minorities that vote. Why? Because the poor and minorities tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. With so many tea party extremists getting into state-level offices last year, they immediately started trying to force through laws that – like the old racist laws of the past designed to limit the African-American vote – are intended to make it difficult for the poor and minorities to vote.

This is an intentional attempt by the tea party to violate the Constitutional rights of the poor and minorities.

This is no wild conspiracy theory.  This is widely reported, intensely substantiated, and has been occurring for decades. And now with the tea party holding the Republican party and the rest of the country hostage in order to give more tax cuts to the richest 1% (while trying to increase taxes on the working poor and middle class) and open up more tax loopholes that allow the richest corporations to avoid taxes and send more jobs overseas (while trying to block any attempts to give tax breaks to small and medium sized companies who hire American workers), these intentional attempts to violate the Constitutional rights of the poor and minorities have increased.

The tea party Republicans doesn’t come out and say this directly, of course.  They claim that these voter ID laws are needed to combat rampant voter fraud.  That there are substantial invalid votes being counted as valid.

Poppycock.  There is no such thing.  The occurrences of voter fraud (i.e., invalid votes being counted as valid) is virtually non-existent. So there is no need for the development of onerous obstacles to voting..  In fact, these Voter ID laws will cause the non-counting of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of valid votes for every one invalid vote it prevents. Read here for more about how Voter ID discriminates against the old and the poor and the minority.

So why are the Republicans doing this? Because the poor and minorities overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. So if the Republicans can institute laws that make it disproportionately more difficult for the poor and minorities to vote, then they will effectively reduce the number of votes to Democratic candidates.  This is, of course, the real goal of “Voter ID.” It is to disenfranchise the poor and the old and minorities and reduce the number of potential Democratic voters.

That is the one and only reason for these laws. Not to ensure against voter fraud, but to commit voter fraud and effectively violate the Constitutional rights of the poor and minorities.

We’re back to the days that led to the Civil Rights Act. Which many in the tea party should be amended to allow people to discriminate against African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, gays, Muslims (and other non-Christians), and anyone else that the tea party doesn’t deem to be “the right kind of Americans.”

The tea party is the Know Nothing party all over again.

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Republican, Tea Party, Voter ID | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dispelling Myths the Tea Party Tells Itself

Tea partiers like to convince themselves that they are morally superior to everyone else and the only true “right kind of” Americans.  All despite virtually none of what they argue against being true and none of what they say they are arguing for being true either in practice.  Here are some of the myths tea partiers tell each other, and the reality:

The tea party wants to eliminate excessive taxes

False.  The tea party only wants to eliminate taxes for the richest 1% and the biggest corporations. The tea party refused to continue the tax breaks for 98% of Americans unless the rich got their taxes reduced. The tea party wants to tax the working poor (because they all have refrigerators!) and the middle class in order to pay for tax cuts for the richest few. The tea party has refused tax breaks for small and medium sized companies while fighting to continue and even expand tax loopholes that allow the most profitable corporations to avoid paying taxes.

The tea party wants to eliminate the National Debt

False. The tea party has increased the national debt several times already. The latest was the tea party caused credit downgrade, which increased the interest rates the US has to pay on obligations already incurred during the Bush presidency.

The tea party wants to end deficit spending

False. The tea party turned down at least $3 Trillion in spending cuts, all because they wanted to increase the debt by extending temporary tax breaks the Republican party set to expire for the richest 1%.

The tea party wants to protect free markets

False. The tea party has consistently fought to protect subsidies and corporate welfare for the largest and most profitable corporations, even as they send jobs overseas and use tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes.

The tea party wants our Government to abide by the Constitution

False. The tea party has argued many times to repeal or make moot several Constitutional amendments. The tea party also believes that people should have a right to discriminate against others based on their color, in direct violation to both the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act.

The tea party wants the size of the Government reduced

False. The tea party has been more than happy to increase the size of government, as did Reagan, GW Bush, and other Republican Presidents. The Republican-controlled Congress and Presidency of the first 6 years of the 2000s passed several unfunded government mandates, started two wars, and increased government size.  The tea party argues to increase Defense spending despite well documented waste and abuse totaling hundreds of billions of dollars. The tea party also has called for additional Constitutional amendments that would usurp the powers given by the Constitution to Congress.

The tea party believes in the power of the American people

False. The tea party consistently demonstrates that they believe in the power of the richest 1% of Americans and the most profitable corporations. The tea party is constantly calling on the government to require the narrow views of “the right kind of Americans” to be forced on the rest of Americans. The tea party is constantly attacking the power of Americans to have the right to be free from bigotry.  And the tea party wants to repeal the 17th amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees the power of the American people to vote for their representatives in the Senate; the tea party wants to take that power of the people and give it to state lawmakers who are influenced by corporate campaign funding.

The tea party believes Citizens can set their own platform and agendas at a local level

False. The tea party has been quite vocal about setting their narrow agenda and platform to force all of us to conform to their view of what is “right.” The tea party takes its marching orders, was founded by, and is funded by the rich corporate Washington lobbyists.

The tea party wants to end entrenched political parties that are doing nothing but taking our money to keep power

False. The tea party is fighting to increase the wealth of the richest 1% (like the Koch brothers) and the most profitable corporations (like Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, etc). Everything that the tea party has done has been geared toward helping the wealthiest hide more of their money and forcing the middle class and the working poor to carry more of the burden.

Sorry, but facts and actions show what the tea party conservatives are all about. Not bumper sticker platitudes.

September 7, 2011 Posted by | Tea Party | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

And the Iowa Tea Party Republican Straw Poll Winner is…Barack Obama

Yes, Barack Obama won the Republican straw poll in Iowa tonight.  A stunning show of support for a sitting Democratic President in a Republican-only poll of various supporters of straws.


Technically, the straw poll was won by Michele Bachmann with 29% of the vote, with perennial candidate Ron Paul nipping at her high heels with 28% and Tim Pawlenty ensuring that he will not be taken as a serious candidate based on his 14% of the straw poll vote.  Ex-Pennsylvania something-or-other Rick Santorum got 10% and anti-Islam bigot Herman Cain came in with 9%.  Anyone else on the ballot really doesn’t matter.  Of course, only Romney and Perry matter anyway, but neither was there.

But in the end it was President Obama that won the poll.  Given that Iowa decided to cast all of their votes toward tea party people known for 1) factual inaccuracy, 2) bigotry, 3) extreme right wing social hypocrisy, and 4) more than a wee bit of early onset (figurative) insanity, things are looking up for Obama to get reelected.

Of course, the real Iowa caucuses aren’t for six months so there is a chance that things could change dramatically by then.  And then there is the New Hampshire primary, where people tend to be more Independent and less extreme.  Following that and another skewed right state of South Carolina (where walking the Appalachian trail and “we had sex” rumors have become the talk of the town).  And then the real states get to vote.  So perhaps the GOP will decide they want to win the election before then, but clearly they aren’t there yet.

Until the GOP decides whether they want to be the party of responsible adults (no signs of that yet) or the party of “I am not a witch” and Koch-funded “the poor should pay for tax breaks for the rich to hide more of  their money from taxation,” the country has a choice between President Obama or the nut house.

The jury is still out on which choice we will make.

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Barack Obama, Iowa straw poll | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is (Who are) Americans for Prosperity?

Someone said the following: “That’s from Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group.”

It struck me as so funny that the tea party seems to have missed the boat on why their benefactors are bene-non-facting them.

Yes, Americans for Prosperity is an advocacy group in that they advocate for the prosperity of the Koch brothers, billionaire owners of Koch Industries, a huge corporation specializing in the fossil fuel and deforestation industries.  Americans for Prosperity, like its cousin FreedomWorks run by former Republican majority leader turned super-lobbyist Dick Armey, was spun off from another free market lobbying group set up by the Koch brothers, Citizens for a Sound Economy.  [You have to love the irony of the fake names these guys come up with for their astroturf lobbying groups, since the only citizens involved in setting up all three of these groups were the two Koch brothers and other lobbyists, and the only “sound economy” they were concerned with was their own bank accounts.]

As noted, Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are Koch Industries lobbying front groups whose purpose is to ensure massive tax breaks for the richest 1% (including, of course, the two billionaire Koch brothers) and the most profitable mega-corporations (including, of course, the Koch Industries conglomerate).

Which is why these lobbying organizations use the tea party to support the interests of Koch Industries and the Koch brothers.  It explains why the tea party is funded and organized by these corporate lobbying organizations and other corporate lobbying organizations going under various astroturf “tea party” names like Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express and Tea Party Nation.  Which is why the tea party turned down trillions in spending cuts because it would have meant closing some corporate tax loopholes and tax breaks that allow the most profitable corporations and the richest 1% of Americans to avoid paying taxes on most of their income (and only 15% on most of the income they can’t hide from taxation altogether).  Which is why the tea party has been working so hard to shift even more of the burden of running this country onto the middle class (while giving more tax breaks to the very rich).  The very rich, by the way, that put next to nothing back into the local economy and who have been sending jobs overseas for the last few decades (usually with more tax breaks that they helped get put into the tax code).

Yes, Americans for Prosperity is definitely an advocacy organization.  They advocate for the shifting of even more riches into the pockets of the Koch family and their lobbyist front groups.

Just curious – does the tea party even care that they are being rubed into working against their own interests?

August 3, 2011 Posted by | Koch Industries, Lobbyists, Republican, Tea Party | , , , , | 4 Comments

Since the tea party wants a default, they should pay for it

It would seem appropriate that in the event of a tea party-caused default on the US obligations to first cut the “socialism” checks going out people in Texas, Oklahoma, and every tea party district in the country. After all, the tea party claims that government should not be providing these services anyway, so it would be hypocritical for them to demand them in their own backyards. Secondly, all stimulus package jobs that the tea party opposed (and then took credit for at election time) should be immediately stopped. All those funds can be redirected to the places where the legislators are not hypocritically demanding the end of programs while joyfully accepting the benefits of those programs.

It would also seem appropriate to eliminate the social program benefits off all legislators and their constituents who are holding the rest of America hostage in order to force the continuation of “temporary” tax breaks for the richest 1% and the keeping open of tax loopholes that allow the most profitable corporations in the country to avoid paying any taxes on most of their income (while shipping jobs overseas).

It would also seem appropriate for all those tea party Republicans, and the equally irresponsible Republicans that have kowtowed to the extortion of the tea party, to have to cover the increased cost of paying our debt due to the immediate increase in interest rate we have to pay due to the default they caused. They can begin by giving up the social welfare and infrastructure and education and environmental and health protection and all the other federally funded benefits they enjoy. They can then vote to have their states pick up the tab for all of the services that the federal government will no longer provide. This will give them an opportunity to demonstrate how they can make their state economies thrive with no tax income and no federal funding.

That only seems fair. The tea party is holding the country hostage yet again, so since they would have caused any default they should be more than willing to take responsibility for the economic destruction that they have again caused.

July 26, 2011 Posted by | Tea Party | , , | 1 Comment