Tag Archives: Tea Party

The Tea Party’s Nikki Haley parties like it’s midnight in Paris

If, as the talking heads of Fox News like to insist, the nation’s national media are overwhelmingly liberal, why is it that they trumpet “rising stars” of the Tea Party, often based on little but good looks or a decent way with left-baiting speech-making, but ignore horrid, seemingly corrupt behavior that goes against everything the Tea Party supposedly believes in? After all, the Tea Party doesn’t profess to believe in giveaway crony capitalism, but an apparent master of pay-to-play, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has Tea Party support in his run for the presidency. Yes, the NY Times and LA Times have pointed out Perry’s astonishing habit of tossing large governmental benefits to his major campaign supporters, but it’s not something that’s gotten much notice elsewhere in a politico-mediasphere that’s absolutely desperate for Perry to last as a leading candidate and add some suspense to a set of GOP primaries that otherwise would amount to a Mitt Romney coronation ceremony.

On a similar note, the national press just fell all over itself gushing about Nikki Haley when she survived a barrage of mudslinging and won the South Carolina governorship last year. Which is fine. But isn’t it about time that Governor Haley got a little national press for the $127,000 (at least), week-long, state-funded junket she took to Paris in June? She billed the trip as an attempt to attract job-creating business to South Carolina, but the details, as recounted by The (Charleston) Post and Courier reporter Renee Dudley, are pretty damning:

Haley, who captured the governor’s office preaching fiscal restraint, spent the cash so she, her husband and the rest of the state’s contingent could stay in five-star hotels; sip cocktails at the Paris Ritz; dine on what an invitation touted as “delicious French cuisine” at a swanky rooftop restaurant; and rub elbows with the U.S. Ambassador to France at his official residence near the French presidential palace. The South Carolina group also threw a soiree at the Hotel de Talleyrand, a historic Parisian townhouse where they feted foreign employers in hopes they’d set up shop in South Carolina. The Department of Commerce billed the $25,000 event as a “networking opportunity for members of the South Carolina delegation.” “It was a great party,” Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in an interview last week.

After Dudley”s story, Haley classily referred to the young reporter as “that little girl” and then made a disingenuous half-apology, saying, according to The Post and Courier,  “The story painted a grossly inaccurate picture and was unprofessionally done, but my ‘little girl’ comment was inappropriate and I regret that. Everyone can have a bad day. I’ll forgive her bad story, if she’ll forgive my poor choice of words.”

This is good stuff, oh national newsmen and newswomen: sexism, ageism, and hypocrisy in one tidy package that a “little girl” has tied up for you with a nice pink ribbon. Why don’t you open it up?

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Seven ways to rebut Tea Party demagoguery

Amid the ridiculous Tea Party-inspired focus on the national debt and deficit at the very time the government should be spending more money to increase the pace of economic recovery, it’s nice to be able to offer a little fiscal sanity. Here it is, contained in a very readable Center for Economic Policy Research report titled, “7 Things You Need to Know About the National Debt, Deficits, and the Dollar.” Among the report’s seven bullet points are a couple that you ought to shove between the cheeks of your favorite debt-demagoging congressman at every opportunity: Social Security is not in significant financial trouble; the U.S. trade deficit is at the center of the country’s debt problems, which (although it sounds somehow unpatriotic) a weaker dollar would help solve; and the rate of increase in private sector health care costs is the primary driver of the Medicare and Medicaid funding problems that really do threaten America’s long-term financial vitality.  Yes, leaving Social Security alone and expanding Obamacare actually are significant parts of  a smart, fact-based approach to the long-term fiscal difficulties that the country faces and that ill-timed Tea Party austerity measures would only worsen.

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