Is Anyone Else Frightened By Tea-Partiers in Congress?

Recently, I've come to the realization that it is inevitable we are going to have a few tea party "patriots" in Congress after the midterm elections tomorrow.  Whether it be the rabble-rousing 5 o'clock shadow known as Joe Miller in Alaska, or fundamentalist Floridian Marco Rubio, a candidate bearing the tea party dark mark will no doubt find themselves inside the hallowed halls of the Capitol building.

The regressive, and sometimes radical, views of candidates like Miller are what genuinely scares me a bit when discussing their potential to get elected into the major legislative body of our United States of America. Miller holds strictly conservative, and many times embarrassing, views on homosexuality.  He came under fire earlier in October when it was leaked that he had an anti-gay activist on his campaign's payroll. 

According to Miller's campaign disclosure forms, Miller has paid Terry Moffitt of High Point, North Carolina, $2500 for consulting services. Moffitt is not known as a political consultant. But he is a man of many interests. He's been a dean at a Christian high school (where hetaught creationism), and he has traveled around the world to promote Christianity. (He refers to himself as the "Christian Indiana Jones.")

Moffitt's Family Policy Network runs a project called "Hope for Homosexuals"  that encourages "practicing homosexuals to 'come out' of that destructive lifestyle, and to 'come home' to the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ…While the homosexuals celebrate their perversions, they are confronted with the truth that there is hope for deliverance in Jesus Christ."

Source: Mother Jones

And then you have people like John Raese, who is currently running on the Republican ballot in West Virginia for Senate.  Raese believes we don't need public education, and therefore is in favor of abolishing the Department of Education.  This is a horrible and preposterous idea, and for a state like West Virginia it would be detrimental to the entire education system.  West Virginia would fall even further down the education ladder.  What would happen to the children who receive free and reduced lunches at schools that are publicly funded? Raese's plan is a "voucher" system with many private and charter schools being instituted.  Nobody knows where the money will come from.  The kids who can't afford it will, I suppose, not attend school.

Raese is also in favor of getting rid of the minimum-wage, Department of Energy, and would rather make money than create jobs.  Class act. 

Are these really the kind of people we need in Congress?  No, but unfortunately some of them may be on their way to Washington.

 

Ouch!

But a great way to get eyeballs, lol.

Why didn't anyone tell me that Sen. Murkowski was a climate champion?

Tuesday's Republican primary in Alaska may still be undecided, (currently incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski trails her tea-party challenger Joe Miller by approximately 2,000 votes) but that hasn't stopped anti-environment pundits from speculating that if Murkowski loses, it will be because of her support for climate legislation. Now I follow the climate debate pretty closely, (even if it wasn't my job, as a political junkie I'd follow it nonetheless) and I just don't remember Murkowski being a climate champion. That isn't to say she's another James Inhofe in the Senate, but being open to negotiations on climate legislation does not make her the zealous supporter her opponent portrays her to be.

Fact is that Lisa Murkowski is far from an environmental champ. The League of Conservative Voters (LCV) gives her an 18% career rating, meaning that she votes the right way on less than one out of five environmental issues. And, more recently, she gave us environmentalists heartburn by leading an assault on the Clean Air Act - only one of the most successful environmental laws of all time.

Murkowski's effort to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's scientific finding that global warming threatens our health and welfare was bad, but at least she was polite enough to claim her attack "has nothing to do with the science of global warming." That's a far cry from her opponent, Joe Miller, whose campaign website says that "The science supporting manmade climate change is inconclusive." The last thing that Alaska needs is a climate denier representing it in the Senate. Even the late Ted Stevens, never an environmental champ himself, recognized that "Alaska is harder hit by global climate change than any place in the world."

To say this primary suggests that climate change is a political non-starter in Alaska shows a selective memory. Just two short years ago, Alaska elected a real climate champ, Mark Begich, to the Senate. Climate change was a top issue during Begich's campaign, when he called for an 80% reduction in carbon pollution by 2050 and adaption strategies to help Alaska deal with the effect of climate change. Since coming to the Senate, he has continued to work to advance clean energy and climate solutions, earning an 82% rating from LCV in his first year. Last August, he introduced a package of seven bills aimed to help Alaska prepare for the changes and challenges created by a warming planet. And, in June, he voted against Murkowski's Clean Air Act attack.

This is just another case of anti-environment pundits not letting the facts get in the way of propagating their backward agenda. I'm interested to see how they'll change their tune if the absentee ballots put Murkowski in the lead. If she wins in the end, I wonder if they'll claim her victory was due to her steadfast support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Or maybe it'll be her support for offshore drilling?

The only thing I know is if she wins, they won't be crediting her position on climate.

No Joke: Levi Johnston to Run for Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska

Yes, the philandering deadbeat father of one, maybe more, former hockey player, high school dropout, serial liar and self-aggrandizing egotistical jerk that no one cares about is to run for Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska as part of a new television reality project being pitched by Stone and Company Entertainment, a Los Angeles based production company.

All the cockamamie details from Variety:

Johnston will run for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska -- yes, the same job that propelled Sarah Palin to governor of that state (and later, the vice presidential nomination) -- in a new reality project being pitched by Stone and Co.

"Loving Levi: The Road to the Mayor's Office" will center on Johnston's newfound fame as the baby daddy to Palin's grandson, Tripp.

Johnston will trade on that notoriety to make his run for Wasilla City Hall -- when he's not pursuing a career in Hollywood, of course.

Stone and Co. are already shooting the show's pilot and have started pitching the show to networks.

Johnston admitted that he wasn't thrilled at first about the mayoral campaign concept, which was pitched to him by Stone's Scott Stone and David Weintraub.

"But the more I think about it and look into it, I think there's a possibility we can make it happen," Johnston said of his political prospects. "It's something that I want to do."

Johnston already has a campaign manager, Tank Jones, to help him with the task. Wasilla's mayoral chair isn't actually up for election until 2012, but in the meantime, Jones said Johnston may look to run for city council.

Johnston's candidacy isn't as far-fetched as it sounds: Wasilla's current mayor, lawyer Verne E. Rupright, won the seat in 2008 with 466 votes -- less than 100 from his nearest competitor, who received 373.

If he wins, he promises to fulfill his duty as the town's mayor.

And should his candidacy prove successful in Wasilla, Jones said he's got Johnston's sights set next on the Alaska governor's race -- and it's not entirely clear whether he's kidding or not. (And if it again sounds too far-fetched, remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura were elected governor in much more populous states.)

Johnston, who describes himself as "half red-neck, half Hollywood," said he hoped the show would correct what he believes are misconceptions about him in the media.

"It's hard to figure me out," he said. "You've got to follow me around. I'm very different. I lead a crazy life. But it will basically be both worlds, my life in Hollywood and back home, the real country boy that I am."

That our politics is often a circus cannot be denied but there is no reason so purposefully to make a mockery of the political process either. According to the company's website, we are told that Scott Stone's company "reflects his values and programming vision." Mr. Stone, who is gay and raising two young sons with his partner, does a disservice to the nation by pushing an irresponsible limelight seeking narcissist who is clearly unqualified for public office in the name of entertainment. I'd love to hear what values are being reflected in the most inane idea for television programming I have ever heard of. David Weintraub, we are told, is a "leader in non scripted television production." They seem to have omitted the word farcical.

Here's an idea, let's send Levi Johnston to Afghanistan where just maybe he'll grow up. And while we are at it, let's send Messrs. Stone and Weintraub there as well. That's the non-scripted reality show that really requires our attention.

Big Coal Targets Alaskan Natives

If you'll indulge me a quick personal note, some of you may be interested to know that I'm now writing for a second national blog, Change.org. I'll be posting there about once per week on environmental issues in the mountain west and Midwest, and will put the links in Breaking Blue when they're politically relevant. My first post went up Sunday morning, and highlights the fight between a major coal company and a small Alaskan Native tribe.

Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. has obtained the initial permits to build a coal road along Alaska’s Moose Creek, a site sacred to the Chickaloon Tribe. If the project proceeds as planned and the permits are renewed for 2012, 200 trucks a day will haul coal along the road for as long as 20 years, polluting the river and erasing all gains made by the tribe’s $1 million salmon restoration project.

The tribe sees this as a direct attack on both their way of life and their freedom of religion... Yet while Big Coal shows off its best George Custer impression, some in the government seem to be looking the other way.

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