“The Weapons the United States Sells to Developing Nations”

Gun Slingers: Arm Sales Around the Globe

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“Imagine if the Tea Party was black”

Activist Tim Wise has an excellent mental exercise for teabaggers to conduct:

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama…

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally…

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

GOP “Bipartisanship”

Cartoon by Paul Berge

“[O]ld, white, male and Republican”

Jane Hamsher:

[T]he profile of the tea partiers is now almost identical to that of the Fox News demographic: old, white, male and Republican. There’s nothing independent about them. When Fox made a huge rebranding effort for the GOP last year and broadcast “all tea parties, all the time” they successfully harnessed the anti-AIG bailout anger and pointed it at Obama. Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks just ran the field operations in support of the Fox messaging machine, and they all worked in concert to hijack the tea parties from Ron Paul.

Whatever their origins, the tea parties quickly became a squadron of GOP apparachiks who have shown little independence or ability to organize themselves outside of corporate-funded efforts. If they truly are the “free thinking independents” they believe themselves to be, wouldn’t they be putting aside tribal and party differences and joining the AFL-CIO’s protest of Wall Street on April 29th? Or at the very least, trying to organize their own?

“[T]ools easily manipulated…”

Cenk Uygur explains why the teabaggers are a joke:

If you remember, the Tea Parties were originally formed to protest the bailouts. They were so mad at the Wall Street bankers who destroyed the economy and then took our hard earned money for their efforts.

So, they will take this opportunity, of course, to launch their own protest of Wall Street. They will protest the TARP money, the easy credit, the lack of regulation, the wild risk taking and the excessive bonuses paid with taxpayer money. They’re really going to take the fight to them.

Just kidding. They’re not going to do anything. They’re going to sit out this fight on financial reform and put absolutely no pressure on Wall Street at all. Because they are tools easily manipulated by right-wing organizations funded by corporate America.

(Emphasis added.)

Via FDL

“Goldman Sachs Emails: Firm Had ‘The Big Short’ As Economy Fell”

Goldman should change its name to “Sociopaths ‘R Us:”

As early as May 2007, as homeowners were being crushed under the weight of subprime mortgages, the most profitable firm on Wall Street had long taken out a form of insurance on those delinquencies.

[Goldman Sachs] made money on the upside — originating, securitizing and selling subprime mortgage-based securities to investors — and on the downside, thanks to the insurance…

“Investment banks such as Goldman Sachs were not simply market-makers, they were self-interested promoters of risky and complicated financial schemes that helped trigger the crisis,” Levin said. “They bundled toxic mortgages into complex financial instruments, got the credit rating agencies to label them as AAA securities, and sold them to investors, magnifying and spreading risk throughout the financial system, and all too often betting against the instruments they sold and profiting at the expense of their clients.”

Bill Maher Shreds the Teaparty Tantrum-Throwers

Teabaggers are utterly clueless:

“The problem with the tea party movement, besides their almost universal rejection of dentistry, is that they want money for nothing and chicks for free. They want a deregulated free market and their jobs to stay here in the US; they want guaranteed health coverage regardless of preexisting conditions without a big government mandate; they want to call themselves teabaggers and people to keep a straight face. And of course they want big tax cuts along with deficit reduction. I can’t even think of a suitable analogy for that disconnect—it’s like thinking getting a handjob will clean your garage.”