Tag Archives: tea party

A ‘Boycott Against the Free Market’

31 May

As I was reading a New York Times story on the the demonstrations held in Arizona today, both for and against the new immigration law, the follow passage struck me:

The later rally, at sundown, was organized by Tea Party groups from St. Louis and Dallas who said they decided to take the lead and support the state against a wave of boycotts protesting the law, some by cities like San Francisco and Seattle.

“We are doing this to crush any boycott against the free market,” said Tina Loudon, a Tea Party member from St. Louis who helped organize the rally. “Arizona has a sovereign right to enforce immigration laws on the books.”

So, the Tea Party organizes a rally in support of the new law. Which is fine.

But the way in which these groups have decided to help – by defending the state against boycotts – seems contrary to its principles.

The Tea Party says it is fighting for the free market, but what is a more free market expression than a boycott? In a free market system people get to vote with their wallets. The Tea Party seems to have a problem with this when the issue is immigration.

Yes, Arizona may pass the laws it wants, but other individuals and other states and government entities have no obligation to do business with the state -for whatever reason.

That’s what it really means to be free market.

The Daily Roundup

15 Apr

Elections for KU Student Senators was today. This may have been the most boring election ever. Really not a whole lot of drama. People were too responsible. But seriously, what am I going to write about if people aren’t being crazy?

Anyway, the major story is that KUnited (see that word play?) dominated the election, virtually sweeping the election. KUnited presidential candidates Michael Wade Smith and Megan Ritter won, with 66 percent of the vote.

KUnited won every seat in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and virtually every academic seat. Envision had a bit more luck in non-academic seats, winning all 10 senate seats reserved for graduate students. But that number’s a bit deceiving because only one KUnited member ran for a graduate student seat.

The Kansan has the full results here.

I’m still processing what the election results mean for KU; I will try to develop my thoughts into a column for The Kansan next week.

The director of the C.I.A. in 2005, Porter Goss, approved of the destruction of dozens of videotapes showing the C.I.A. torture of prisoners during interrogations, The New York Times reported today. It was The Times that first reported the existence of the tapes in 2007.

Fox News yanked host Sean Hannity from a tea party protest after it was learned he was going to headline the event. While I suppose this is a good thing, it’s also awful that things even got to this point.

Most importantly, though, it shows that Fox is not even an independent news organization (in the sense of being independent from what it covers). I’m willing to put up with an news organization that’s not objective – there’s great opinion journalism out there – but journalism absolutely MUST involve independence from the object of our reporting.

Otherwise we’re just PR hacks.

Twenty percent of Americans still believe Barack Obama was not born in the United States, according to a CBS News poll. Sigh.

Barack Obama is not a socialist, according to the Socialist Party in America.

The idea that the guy is a socialist is ridiculous. We’re so used to laissez-faire policies that we conflate liberal economic policy with socialist economic policy.

A meteor lit up the Midwestern sky last night, causing a fireball. CNN has the video.

That’s The Daily Roundup. Have a great evening.

The Daily Roundup

14 Apr

Members of the Tea Party are wealthier and more educated than the general public, a new survey released by The New York Times and CBS News states.

From The Times:

In some ways, Tea Party supporters look like the general public. For instance, despite their allusions to Revolutionary War-era tax protesters, most describe the amount they paid in taxes this year as “fair.” Most send their children to public schools, do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and, despite their push for smaller government, think that Social Security andMedicare are worth the cost. They are actually more likely than the general public to have returned their census forms, despite some conservative leaders urging a boycott.

Their fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular, is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich.

The Library of Congress will archive every tweet ever made, ever. More from the Library of Congress here.

The statistic that 47 percent of all American households don’t pay income tax has been swirling around recently as justification that Obama/government policies are designed to take from the rich to give to the poor.

Naturally, this argument is silliness. America has greater income inequality than most western nations. A very small number of people control a very large portion of the wealth. The majority of the tax burden is shouldered by wealthy Americans, it’s not exactly breaking news.

Economic columnist David Leonhardt picks apart the statistic and the claims surrounding it here, pointing out how tax rates have actually FALLEN for wealthy Americans, even as our debt has grown.

Jon Stewart on The Daily Show provides a more humorous take-down of the media’s presentation of the information here.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are getting ready for an old-fashioned newspaper throwdown. Should be fun.

Starbucks has a tool to help you calculate the environmental impact of your coffee consumption.

That’s The Daily Roundup. Have a great evening.