2PP005 – 22 April 2009

2pp_album_art_110x1101.jpgToday’s special days are a little more sobering than usual, but that changes when we go on to our next subject: Teabagging! Once we stop giggling, we talk about what we think is behind it all. It’s not all a liberal rant. That leads on to the Texas governor suggesting secession. We talk about the right’s pandering to the far right and the right’s sudden rediscovery of the First Amendment. After that, it’s a concrete example of a bailed-out bank doing a number on its customers. Comments on a variety of topics—including a voicemail message! The written comments let us expand on those subjects and discuss others—including one on which we disagree. Back in 2 weeks!

Please leave a comment, or you can send an email to arthur[at)2political.com or jason{at]2political.com, or you can ring the US-based 2Political Comment line on 206-426-0527.

Link for this episode:
Armenian Martyrs’ Day
Ramblin’ with Roger
Jason’s Blog
AmeriNZ Podcast
Arthur’s AmeriNZ blog

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5 Responses to 2PP005 – 22 April 2009

  1. Faethe says:

    Hi Arthur! Haven’t listened to 2 political this week but am in the process of getting it 🙂 Have you been following the torture prosecution or lack thereof or whatever is happening? Rachel Maddow is following this pretty closely. She has a former Bush attorney guy on that did offer a dissenting opinion regarding legality. He is saying that his memos were either ‘lost’ or made gone.

    If you don’t know who she is, she’s a gay political commentator who trends left.

    She has a video podcast you can download. I know you have a bandwidth cap to consider. It’s worth it 🙂

  2. Faethe says:

    I just listened to you an Jason’s podcast, and would like to say it’s really nice just to hear ordinary people’s opinions on things. I don’t follow a lot of blogs. Your blog combines two of the things I am really passionate about – moving to NZ and human rights 🙂

    The Ron Paul movement *did* have the anti abortion and ‘government intrusion’ crowd in it. However, it did have mostly young people who were alarmed by things like the patriot act and infringements on civil liberties. Ron Paul’s central message is that it is not in the purview of the government to legislate morality. He *did* pander to the anti abortion people and use them for support. He as a person is anti abortion. But he also explicitly said it was not his duty as President to impose that view on the nation.

    This really united persons like myself who also see where all this about gay marriage, abortion, and other really stupid topics have no business being a subject of political discourse. The other idea he had was to change language on all official documents to be gender neutral concerning ‘registered partnerships’ which should only be reported for tax purposes.

    This did appeal to the rightwingers, because he put the authority for marriage back into the churches. My church does marry gay persons (Episcopalian), regardless of legality. If some Baptist church doesn’t want to, well, they have that right. This was made quite clear to me by listening to Ron Paul’s communications – which is why I campaigned for him and was going to be a delegate to the RNC for him. The Ron Paul delegates (he did get a handful in different states) were shut out of the RNC by the way. Ron Paul held a seperate rally, but after that, he did drop out of the race as a candidate, and went back to doing his bit in Texas.

    My mom was a Vice President for her region of the National Organization for women in Miami. I have been indoctrinated with feminist propaganda for most of my life :p Although I have some fuss with them, they are clearly first in my heart and I could never betray my convictions to support a gender biased candidate who would use those beliefs to change government. His private beliefs as an individual are of no consequence to me. What he does with them are.

    So when the inequitable right stepped in, I left. But I still support the original movement – small government, and leaving regulation to the states.

    Which is where the 10th amendment people come in. In the south (as you can guess) there is a tremendous hard on for all things federally inspired. Long history, not just the civil war, but the inequalities since them. Florida is a one to one state, meaning we get back what we pay in. Federal involvement in programs down here almost always carries an acceptance of legislation that might not be in the states best interest. We are an agrarian state that survives off international tourism. The things we determine for ourselves are not what usually makes sense for Washington. Like Offshore drilling – that has a direct and permanent affect on our various economies. But that is just one issue.

    In other states that are less conservative (Florida is pretty much a punish your ass into prison if you ‘get out of line’ state and has it’s own host of inequalities), the recent moves out of Washington (not just Obama) have upset people. Medical Marijuana being the one that really annoys states like California, and Arizona.

    Additionally, something that might not be obvious is that the Fed has taken up everyone’s National Guard. We all need our guard – especially the Southern states. When we have storms, fires, meteorites and whatever crap drops out of the sky (often) we need our guard to put nonsense back together. No one in their right mind relies on the Fed (Fema) for anything. Florida does not. We have our own independent EMS systems that are the best on the planet. We sell our storm response tech all around the world. It’s an industry for us. Fema reimburses us for what we put out, but they do not provide immediate assistance unless they are requested to be here. NOLA could not happen here. We had our own NOLA with hurricane Andrew which was a complete fuck up. Since then, the state has enacted money and legislation to insure that that never happens again. Of all the states in the US, Florida can withstand a terror attack. Shit – we could be invaded and it wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem as the average hurricane is.

    We have our own private emergency fund that all insurers pay into. When there is a hurricane, the fund dispurses, so there is immediate money on hand. We also have our own state property insurance. It’s a very complex system – unique in the world. And it’s all fucked up right now because most of that fund was invested in Triple AAA rated mortgage bonds the state was assured were safe. We had over 10 billion of our own money in that, and now it’s estimated value is about 5 billion. Regardless of what happens, the Fed was tasked with overseeing those agencies that issued the bonds, and they did not.

    Texas just had it’s ass handed to it in Hurricane Ike, and they have subsequently discovered the joys of relying on the Fed. Their national Guard, OUR national Guard in Florida is in Iraq. California’s national guard is gone, as well as all the border states guard. That same guard has now been tasked with patrolling the border with Mexico. There are simply not enough people to do that, or the money to pay them and then loose them to Iraq. This has really, really pissed off the Southern states. So perhaps that can give you some perspective on why Perry would make noises like that. He needs his guard for disasters, so does California. It’s not just whatever Obama does – it’s the whole system.

    States like Vermont who also have a secession movement are pissed off for other reasons. If the ‘National Family’ act thing would have passed the fed – the anti-gay marriage bill – the would conflict with their own definitions. Of all the states, Vermont has done much to get itself off the national power grid, so if they do split, they won’t get cut off. They were also violently opposed to the war in Iraq, sending out their resources and people. They even have a town that has issued a warrant for Dick Cheney so he can stand for war crimes. It’s a reflection of a larger sentiment concerning the central government dictating how states resources are allocated in times of what the fed determines are an emergency.

    The fair tax people want a system like what you have in New Zealand – a flat tax all across the board. Everyone would pay the tax on purchases. Food and other essentials (raw ingredients, medicines, etc) would be exempt. The poor, who purchase more and hence pay more tax, would get rebate checks each month to compensate for paying out more than their share.

    And that would be it. It would essentially be a VAT. And it would mean things get taxed once. If the item is resold, it can not be taxed again. And that would be it. This would also push the fed out of people’s wallets. A portion of the VAT woul be paid out to the fed, and that would be it. No payroll taxes – nothing. It is possible to do. The issue is that this would strip away most of the power of the Fed because it would have to wait to be paid by the states, not individuals. It places more power on to how the states bargain with the Fed.

    So that’s where you get the 10th amendment people.

    The gun people were worried that Pelosi was going to restart the weapons ban – not Obama. When you hear that ammunition is selling out, it’s not ALL ammunition. It’s ammunition specific to assault weapons. Now, that could happen. She did it before. But no reasonable person thinks Obama is going to ‘ban guns’. They do think he will likely be in office for more than one turn, and that Pelosi may try to reinstate the assault weapons ban.

    Lastly, I am in complete agreement with you about Cheney and Bush and Gonzales and whoever started that whole torture thing going standing before a judge. It MUST happen, or as you said, it will happen again. We can not have emperor Presidents. Cheney still scares the hell out of me. Never mind that he is contradicting himself by recommending further memos be released that state the ‘efficiency of torture’. The fucking argument is that torture is NOT something Americans resort to under any circumstances – effective or not.

    Good show 🙂 Type to you later,


  3. Archerr says:

    Like Jason, I got a letter from Bank of America raising my rate from 4% (yes, believe it or not) to 10% variable rate. That pissed me off so bad!! I’ve obviously been such a great customer that they lowered my rate several times over the 15 years I’ve had this card. They are punishing me for being a great customer. I have also canceled that credit card. They’re loss!

    Love the show!!!

  4. Roger Green says:

    Hi. Thanks for the link!

    I could make the case that the Census Bureau MIGHT have standing in the counting married gays issue, since they are being interfered with in producing a complete & accurate count, as the Constitution suggest the govt do. Not quite sure who they’d take action against. Congress?

    I DO make the case that some state such as Vermont probably DOES have standing because it is being denied getting correct demographic info. They might have to sue Census. Knowing Bureau people personally, I sense that some of them wouldn’t mind being “forced” to do what they in fact would prefer, getting the facts.

    They’re rather like librarians, now that I think of it.

  5. Jason says:

    Archerr this was from a story in the Post about credit cards:

    Bank of America spokeswoman Betty Riess says the bank looks at factors including “an individual’s performance with us as well as external credit risk indicators” in deciding whether to raise rates. Consumers could see higher rates if they pay late or go over their credit limit twice in 12 months, she notes.

    I don’t know about you but that certainly has never happened to me. Since I started using credit cards like 30 years ago, I’ve been late I think three times. I went over my limit once but that was the fault of the credit card company. They raised my limit but somehow it wasn’t posted correctly to the account.

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