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The “Tea Party” is destroying the Republicans!

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As much as I dislike the limits of the two-party system in the USA, it does have its benefits; it can grind extremist movements, both within the two major parties and outside them, to a halt, preventing them from gaining any power. We see clear evidence for that here [emphasis in these two articles below is mine]:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/pl_nm/us_usa_campaign_newyork

Democrat Kathy Hochul wins upstate New York race

By Neale Gulley Neale Gulley Wed May 25, 10:49 am ET

BUFFALO, New York (Reuters) – Democrat Kathy Hochul drew on voter discontent over Republican plans to revamp Medicare to score an upset win on Tuesday in a special election to represent a conservative upstate New York congressional district.

Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin in a three-way race that also included self-described Tea Party candidate Jack Davis. The outcome did not affect Republican control of the House of Representatives.

“Tonight the voters were willing to look beyond the political labels and vote for a person, and vote for message that they believe in,” Hochul told cheering supporters minutes after taking a phone call from Corwin, a state assemblywoman.

“We can balance the budget the right way, and not on the backs of our seniors,” said Hochul, the Erie County clerk. “We had the issues on our side.”

Once expected to be a Republican landslide, the special congressional election tightened in the final days, with a spotlight trained on the national debate over the budget deficit, spending and Medicare — the government-run healthcare program for the elderly.

<snip>

Corwin came under heavy attack from Hochul for backing a divisive budget plan put forth by Republicans in the House, and also saw Davis siphon away support.

National parties and outside groups poured money into the district, hoping to claim victory in the battle over cuts in spending and Medicare first proposed by House Republican Paul Ryan.

“Kathy Hochul’s victory tonight is a tribute to Democrats’ commitment to preserve and strengthen Medicare, create jobs, and grow our economy,” Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

“It sends a clear message that will echo nationwide: Republicans will be held accountable for their vote to end Medicare.”

Only two Democrats since World War Two have represented the heavily Republican 26th Congressional District, which covers a big area of western New York near Buffalo.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said in a statement that Corwin had to battle “two well-funded Democrats, including one masquerading under the Tea Party name.” The Tea Party is a conservative activist movement.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/05/democrat-wins-upset-victory-in-new-york-house-race.html

In a decisive victory Tuesday, Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, 47 percent to 43 percent, in a heavily GOP congressional district.

The House Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., became a focal point in the election as Corwin defended her support for it and Hochul, the Erie County clerk, played up her opposition to the plan’s unpopular restructuring of Medicare for those 55 and younger.

Jack Davis, a wealthy businessman who poured more than $2 million into his campaign, ran as a third party candidate on the Tea Party label and emerged with 9 percent of the vote. He had run as a Democrat in previous attempts at this House seat, and his presence in this special election certainly helped what should have been a slam dunk for Republicans become a competitive contest in the closing weeks of the campaign.

After spending the last two years on the defensive over the stimulus, health care and cap and trade, Democrats seem to have found an opening to play some offense using the Ryan budget, specifically its proposal to shift Medicare from a system where the government directly reimburses doctors to one where subsidies are provided to seniors and payments are made through private insurance companies.

To give you a sense of this Republican slice of New York: John McCain defeated President Obama in this district, 52 percent to 46 percent, in 2008. And despite Andrew Cuomo’s 63-33 statewide trouncing of Carl Paladino in the governor’s race last year, Paladino won here with more than 60 percent of the vote. Former Rep. Chris Lee won the district with 73 percent of the vote in 2010, just a couple of months before his infamous shirtless photo emerged, which led to his resignation and Tuesday’s special election.

Appearantly in New York, candidates can win elections with just a plurality of the vote, rather than an outright majority. It is most likely that Corwin would have won a majority in a runoff election. I wouldn’t be surprized if Republicans in New York try to change the election procedures later.

It should be noted that even if Davis was a Democrat years ago, he would have had to run with a lot of conservative positions to be competitive in such a conservative district. MANY Democrats are indeed like that, unfortunately. Therefore, I doubt that Hochul is a Progressive. Pete Sessions’ remarks are an insult to the general political climate in that area.

In any case, it is clear that the “Tea Party” has become a laughingstock that is ruining the power and credibility of the Republican Party. The biggest mistake Republicans like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and others made was to try to draw these dissenters into the Republican camp. Likewise, the Tea Party leaders should have rejected the Republicans and instead drew millions of people into the membership of the Libertarian Party, which would then overthrow the Republican Party to become the Democrats’ main opposition. Because that didn’t happen, there will be no real change in government over the next decade or so. A great opportunity for long-term reform was destroyed by the desire for short term political convinience.

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Laci Green, your warning is too little, too late!

Laci Green is a YouTube personality that is known for two things: At first she was mainly interested in proclaiming and defending her atheism (she was raised a Mormon and rebelled against that religion in her teens). Later, she turned to discussing sexuality and dedicated herself to making “sex positive” videos in which she offers advice and suggestions on how to improve your sex life. But she does have her limits.

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Lying outright in a prayer to God!

I sometimes wonder why more and more people in the USA don’t convert to atheism, seeing what religious bigots do when allowed to run riot. If I were God, I would have struck down this one, Bradlee Dean, immediately for his opening prayer at the Minnesota State legislature. He said:

“I know this is a non-denominational prayer in this Chamber and it’s not about the Baptists and it’s not about the Catholics alone or the Lutherans or the Wesleyans. Or the Presbyterians the evangelicals or any other denomination but rather the head of the denomination and his name is Jesus. As every President up until 2008 has acknowledged. And we pray it. In Jesus’ name.” [Emphasis mine]

See for yourself!

In short, this was a swipe at Barack Obama, implying that he isn’t a Christian. Since it is common knowledge that Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ, that preacher just told a bald-faced lie while saying a prayer to God. And in my judgement, that makes him a blasphemer.

Even the Republican Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Kurt Zellers, was offended, and he stated that Dean would be banned from ever appearing there again.

Jesus said even the Torah is not the Word of God

I am neither a Jew nor a Christian, but I find it ironic that many Christians insist that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, considering that Jesus did not teach that and indeed seemed to indicate that fallible MEN made some parts of it.

Matthew 19:3-9

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

   4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

This passage strikes at the very heart of fundamentalist dogma, that the entire Bible from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse of Revelation, was revealed by God and has absolute authority over men. Of course, if you are an Orthodox Jew, you would naturally take offense at anyone overturning a law of the Torah. But often Christian sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses also fall prey to excessive legalism, which Jesus denied! If certain laws in the Torah were made by Moses, not God, why not allow for the possibility that other passages, even in the New Testament, were also made by men for a specific time and people, not by God for all peoples and all times? How can we tell?

We can’t, which is why Biblical authority is a concept we need to discard.

Osama Bin Ladin is no more.

After nearly ten years of hysteria over what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 (9-11), we finally killed the terrorist leader who was behind it. Some thoughts on that:

  1. We were fighting a war on Al-Quida, which is not a nation state. Wars normally end when an enemy nation’s capital is conquered and its leadership is captured or killed. But Al-Quida has no capital and anyone could rise to be its leader in the future. Even Bin Ladin’s death will not end the War on Terrorism; it will only end when the American people stand up and DEMAND that their government end it. That should start happening NOW!
  2. Bush Jr could have gotten Bin Ladin six or seven years earlier if he had not diverted resources from the campaigns in Afghanistan to fighting Iraq over claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction that turned out to be total falsehoods.
  3. Indeed, the simple fact that the dictatorships of both Tunisia and Egypt were brought down by popular revolts means that attempts to overthrow a government from the outside is illegitimate if that government is not even at war with other states. The Iraq War that started in 2003 was a criminal act of  aggression by the United States. If any other nation had pulled such a stunt against a weaker rival, it would have been seen from the start as opportunistic imperialism. Why should America be given a free pass to be so hypocritical?
  4. We still have dozens of prisoners at Gitmo. Those that have not been charged with any crimes should be released immediately and sent back to their home countries. There is no excuse for holding such people without scheduling trials for them all. That is simply not the American way.