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Excerpt: "The Australian treasurer, Wayne Swan, in an unusually blunt criticism of US politics weeks before the presidential election, said 'cranks and crazies' had taken over the Republicans and posed the biggest threat to the world's largest economy."

Jim Griffin (C) listens as James Manship reads from the U.S. Constitution during a Tea Party Patriots rally on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. (photo: Ron Lamkey/Getty Images North America)
Jim Griffin (C) listens as James Manship reads from the U.S. Constitution during a Tea Party Patriots rally on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. (photo: Ron Lamkey/Getty Images North America)

'Cranks and Crazies' Have Taken Over Republicans, Says Australian Minister

By Reuters

20 September 12



Wayne Swan, the Australian treasurer, says greatest threat to US economy is the 'cranks and crazies' in the Republican party.

he Australian treasurer, Wayne Swan, in an unusually blunt criticism of US politics weeks before the presidential election, said "cranks and crazies" had taken over the Republicans and posed the biggest threat to the world's largest economy.

Swan, one of few world leaders able to boast his country had avoided recession during the global financial crisis, also labelled the Tea Party wing of the Republicans as "extreme".

"Let's be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world's biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican party," Swan said in a speech to a conference in Sydney.

The Republican party's position on the US budget had led a year ago to the deadlock in negotiations, Swan said, to prevent the looming "fiscal cliff" – nearly $600bn in planned spending cuts and tax hikes that will bite early next year.

Congress had been debating whether to increase the US borrowing ceiling but the Republicans would not budge.

"Despite President Obama's goodwill and strong efforts, the national interest was held hostage by the rise of the extreme Tea Party wing of the Republican party," he said.

Australian politicians rarely launch such blunt criticism of their counterparts in the US, a key strategic ally.

Swan, named by banking magazine Euromoney as its finance minister of the year in 2011 and treasurer of a centre-left government, also called on the US Congress to resolve an agreement on the budget to support growth in the short term.

With the US presidential campaign entering its final weeks, the spending cuts and tax rises will kick in unless Obama and Congress reach a deficit-reduction deal.

Democrats want to make up the shortfall by increasing taxes on wealthy Americans, while Republicans favour spending cuts. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+220 # pernsey 2012-09-21 16:40
Really our main objective to stop this crazy right wing nonsense would be to shut down Fox news or make them accountable to report the real news instead of this nut job fantasy view that the Fox news sheeple seem to soak in and believe. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

Im glad other countries are speaking out, Im sure Fox will just say its the liberal media...there is the real news and Fox Bullshit mountain, as Jon Stewart aptly refers to Fox news. There is so little liberal media, everything the crazies think is liberal media, is mainly the news that include those pesky facts they seem to hate so much.

Two thumbs up for Austrailia for calling it the way they see it.
+85 # brux 2012-09-21 22:37
I have thought the FAIRNESS DOCTRINE was the way to go with that. When the nuts who listen to this Republican nonsense then IMMEDIATELY have to listen to someone else with a rational opposing viewpoint they suddenly realize what dupes they are ... and it helps stabilize the country.

That's exactly why the Republicans worked so hard to get rid of it.

And for what ... percentage-wise a little more money - they sell out their country.
+18 # jmcg 2012-09-23 06:20
I agree, but you have to also recognize that part of the problem is the "no opinion is more valid than the other" reporting that led us to the point that the Fairness Doctrine really had no further meaning. News outlets stopped actually reporting facts and now only report opinions - with those opinions that are either factually wrong or have no supporting basis in fact being given the same weight as those based on what has been descibed as "the reality based community".

When one of the major political parties in this country makes no effort to hide their opinion that "reality is what we say it is" and "we aren't going to let fact checkers run this campaign" and aren't called on it, that's when we have a serious problem.
+26 # maverita 2012-09-21 23:42
It is good to hear his point of view. but Australia has its own far right -- Isn't it a bit ironic that Fox, Wall Street Journal, New York Post ++ are owned by Australian ultra-conservat ive Rupert Murdoch.
+28 # mim 2012-09-22 09:25
Who took out American citizenship because it was to his financial advantage.

Good riddance to John Howard, but as far as I know Australia is not as far gone as we are. And since we're further gone than Australia, all I can say is thank you, Wayne Swan.
+72 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-09-22 08:08
Murdoch decided a year ago to abort his attempt to launch Sun TV in Canada over the refusal by that country to rescind a law they have that makes it illegal to blatantly lie on air.

This tells me two things:

(1) Murdoch knows full well that his "news" network is in the business of peddling horse manure and laws for public sanity can curtain the BS.

(2) How about we push for such a law?

...But then of course for such a law to be voted, we need lawmakers that can be elected by we the people and not just by them the plutocrats.

Repeal Citizens United. Now.
+13 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-09-22 08:39
I meant "curtail", not "curtain". My spell checker picked the wrong solution to my typo.
+44 # mim 2012-09-22 09:36
Canada has a truth-in-report ing law. We have a Fox-can-lie ruling.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:09
I do not even know fox news I have had fox on for repeats of Mash and House, see sports but I have never heard or seen any of their reports. I guess it is better for me as I wouldn't sleep well.
I also do not go to the cable networks of CBS etc...I haar or hear not of too many things or nothing on regular news. Papers around here are like something from the 1400's so I waste no money on seeing trees killed

I touch base with organizations I trust...still waiting to hear from a Marine Biology on Japanese sea and Asian Waters for radioactivity talk about a black out for year. But we have too many free presses, compiling of articles that I find no need to hear nothing from others.

Every time you waste words on FOX they become more of a Palin etc I think of them not.
+2 # David Starr 2012-09-22 14:25
@mim: That is more truthful than anything Fox can come up with in response. Fox can lie and we do know why, basically.
+11 # George D 2012-09-22 10:38
Every time there's discussion about limiting the freedom of the press, people get squeamish. It is a slippery slope but there are many laws that strike a compromise between the individual's needs/desires and the public good. I would argue that, based on the affect of propaganda, used as a weapon in all wars throughout time, the harm done by allowing lies to be told and transmitted over the airwaves, is far greater than any pornography we have ever passed laws to restrict.

I agree with you, Granny; So how do we make this happen? Do we start an "Occupy News Stations" movement? Do we write our Senators and people in Congress? You can bet that NO politician wants to be the first to introduce this type of legislation, unless there is a large wave of public sentiment asking/forcing them to go for it.

I feel so strongly about the need to control lies and disinformation that I would make a deal with conservatives. I would agree to outlaw the transmission of pornography, over the airwaves, if they would also agree to outlawing (with huge fines as punishment, leading to a revoking of their FCC license) the transmission of false statements (and "questions") from News and Political Commentary stations.

The reason I mention "questions" is because, it has become a tactic of propaganda agencies like FOX to have a tag line like "Did Obama Just Apologize to Al Queda? News at 11".

So, how do we get this started?
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:15
You can actually get some of the organizations like move on to help you start a petition. You can also start one on Petitions Site.
I would suggest CEH for questions on how to get citizens group together so that you can put a Resolution on Ballot to get Public Opinion.
If you could get enough citizen groups in one state to put a referendum on Ballot for Spring 2013 you could get some notice, sometimes that is what the circle has to do to start. Good Luck

We did it in Pa over 25 years ago about Soil Burners, a scam industry. People use this median all the time to get focus and some numbers. If it looks to be a popular vote, then you work with other Organizations and go State to State ... it will get noticed. It takes time, organzing, and learning the process. CEH is very good Lois Marie Gibbs was the Director and has been coordinating Grass Root Movement since the 70's Look her up....
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:05
Freedom of speech allows us to be here...I would not curtail it. You will never convince the stupid to get a life and learn to read.
They like to hate, gossip so they need to lie. They do so outside of Church so let them go, we are all big enough to know they have little knowledge. Remember all of us were raised on fairy tales, most of us learned to make out own...these people are still searching for the perfect people....After all look at the Rich and what they afford they do not understand that turned upside down we all have one thing in common
+2 # Syntara 2012-09-22 18:37
Such a law would make people accountable. If you are running for office, the last thing you want is to have to be accountable. It's all so despicable.
+20 # HowardMH 2012-09-22 09:48
Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time) raising some serious hell absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:17
Got to start with people and grassroot organizations. as I said you can work up to a referendum on a ballot by spring...that usually gets a buzz. Everyone wants to talk. Best thing is to get PR person who is good at not talking about what they want to know, instead talking to who you want to listen...mostly voters
+2 # jerryball 2012-09-22 12:56
Ironic that Australia would send their "Citizen Murdoch" to these shores to stir up the natives and drive them wildly shaking their spears on the world stage through wild tales from Fox. Not sure if we should appreciate the sad take on their citizen of Australia being the fault of "crazy Americans?"
+10 # natalierosen 2012-09-22 17:02
I could not agree with you more. Cranks who eschew intellect, put down intelligence and refuse to acknowledge FACTS and scholarship are the biggest threat to what is left of our democracy. It is couched in the fantasy of mythological sky god religious belief based on a book written 5000 years ago, the Bible as if man has learned nothing and no science since then. It is IDIOTIC. Scholars KNOW the contradictions in it and down right falsehoods and yet our government is held captive by these IDIOTS who want to teach "creationism" in schools setting our nation back thousands of years. It's just plain NUTS. Good book on it written by Susan Jacoby entitled "The Age of American Unreason."

American anti intellectualism did not spring out of thin air and was not invented by the Tea Party as odious as they are. This country has a LONG history of stupid and of whom the Founders themselves were afraid!
+8 # Syntara 2012-09-22 18:35
What troubles me is the corruption allowed to run rampant in journalism anymore. When I took those courses in pursuit of my master's the idea was to be able to always back up your sources and provide empirical evidence. Now, even gossip passes for gospel truth. So frustrating, and people haven't caught up to the fact that reporting isn't necessarily reporting fact.
+139 # anntares 2012-09-21 21:47
The modern Tea Party is so 'crazy' they think the founding fathers in 1773's Tea Party demanded 'No taxation'... the actual call was for 'No taxation without representation! '
+40 # Erdajean 2012-09-22 00:37
ALL taxation facing working Americans today is "without representation. " Our Congress only represents big business -- which pays as little tax as Congress will demand from them -- nothing or next to nothing.
Meeting and corresponding with our so-called "representives" is the world's most futile exercise, bordering on outright scorn. WE pay their salaries, which they consider chicken feed compared to what they get from lobbyists.
If we don't get out of that trap -- whatever way we must -- we are pitiful history. And I am grateful to our truthful Australian friend for saying what our idiots in charge need to hear. They sure don't pay attention to us!
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:20
Taxes we pay on taxes to pay for Utility and others taxes is exactly what the forefathers warned us about...know what most Americans have said for over 50 years to me Nothing we can do about it but accept it and not say anything.....So where has that gotten us....
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:18
Number one Palin didn't even know the difference of who was who. Did not even know the job that was Paul Revere's So what do they know of the founding fathers or any enactment of Laws for the People?

They took the dime store book in a nutshell or Revolution for Dummies Class and had someone take the test for them.
+5 # Working Class 2012-09-23 13:06
Quoting anntares:
The modern Tea Party is so 'crazy' they think the founding fathers in 1773's Tea Party demanded 'No taxation'... the actual call was for 'No taxation without representation!'

What the actual Tea Party was about was the East India Company not having to pay the same "tax' on tea as everyone else when they brought it into the Colonies. The Brit Crown has exempted them from the tax/tariff. It was not chance that the East India Compnay's tea was the only tea dumped in the harbor that day. It was our first major protest against a large powerful transnational using its influence with government to get special treatment. Some things never change, unless of coarse people rise up and change them for their own good.
+45 # brux 2012-09-21 22:34
> Wayne Swan, the Australian treasurer, says greatest threat to US economy is the 'cranks and crazies' in the Republican party.

I cannot help but think that the world thought the same thing about the Nazis in Germany. Hitler was a crank and crazy ... until he started rolling into other countries and murdering people.
+5 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-09-22 08:37
While you are obviously right and while there is a fringe neo-nazi resurgence in the US, I would like to point out that the phenomena are very different:

As much as they want to kick out the latinos and despise the gays, the tea party does not advocate the final solution for any part of the US population and they are as a whole an unruly motley crew unlikely to march in lock steps any time soon.
The US is at the acme of its military power if not economic one, while Germany had been crunched by the worst instance of the great depression following the inept reparation treaty of Versailles after WWI.

Still your remark regarding how foreign countries look at the US stands somewhat.
Don't expect a Daladier or a Chamberlain any time soon, though.
+20 # reiverpacific 2012-09-22 09:34
Quoting Granny Weatherwax:
While you are obviously right and while there is a fringe neo-nazi resurgence in the US, I would like to point out that the phenomena are very different:

As much as they want to kick out the latinos and despise the gays, the tea party does not advocate the final solution for any part of the US population and they are as a whole an unruly motley crew unlikely to march in lock steps any time soon.
The US is at the acme of its military power if not economic one, while Germany had been crunched by the worst instance of the great depression following the inept reparation treaty of Versailles after WWI.

The R's "Ultimate solution" per Rove & Co. is a one-party state.
Don't forget that Hitler didn't instigate the murder of the Jews, Gypsies, Gays and "Others" until he had taken and consolidated power with his S.A., S.S., Gestapo, summary internments and executions to keep the population under the thumb, and a MASSIVE MILITARY BUILDUP for invasions. Sound familiar?
THEN came the death camps, human experiments and gas chambers' finale' sequence.
If you believe some conspiracy theorists, Haliburton has already started on some internment camps here -I have no personal evidence of that but that's what they did as a solution to Katrina: and now you have Arizon's "Border Industrial Complex".
It's not as far away as you think.
May I suggest that you read "The Nightmare Years" by William F. Shirer.
+2 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-09-22 11:06
The NSDAP rhetoric about population cleansing was explicit before the 1933 election.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:33
Population cleansing goes back to the Old Testament. Israel was pretty good at it themselves...ev il always follows up and behind us because it knows we are always tilting one way or the other.
Humans are easy pickings....
0 # reiverpacific 2012-09-24 20:56
Quoting Granny Weatherwax:
The NSDAP rhetoric about population cleansing was explicit before the 1933 election.

Right -but not instigated until control was consolidated and total, as I stated.
+6 # lexy677 2012-09-22 11:14
You are exactly right reiverpacific. The fact is the only people standing between America and a one party state are blacks and latinos and some white women who refuse to vote Republican under ANY circumstances. Left to the white male population we'd have a one party state by now.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:32
Thank you...people have this absurd notion that despots all come out killing. Most are brought up in fear.
I believe at one time their was a fair haired boy who listened to the wrong goes on here all the time.
+3 # brux 2012-09-22 10:45
You don't know what is in the TEA Party's mind or what they will do when they feel their own lives threatened or have power. Not seeing the potential pattern is the problem I was talking about.

The US can regain its economic power if it can force through this austerity priority and starve those by not allowing then to have jobs, medical care, education or communication. This frees it from human rights worries.

The big things about the US has been our pragmatic use of psychological technology ... ie. Advertising, Marketing, PR and pay-ops. It is what this country is built on more and more, and we have slid slowly into it.

The thing is that instead of building and staffing big concentration camps it is much cheaper to just cut people off from the system and threaten them "in place".

You should look at your comment from a different aspect.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:36
Same with History and learn from it. But we do not we just get back on the rut track and follow it around and around...
we are all Morons....
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:30
There is no neo nazi resurgence....t here has been a growing national trend of resurgence of Nazi since the 60's First I remember was Hell's Angels thru all the 1% of that ilk, it has grown into College, HS. Middle School like drug lords do.
We hired Nazis to work in our labs. We embraced them not trial. KKK an aryan brotherhood...a cult of Nazi simpathizers.

No Nazis in America, that is like saying no Mafias in America, No Gangs in America This is the land of the Free and Opportunistic. We embrace Killing ask the Wolves, Buffalo, Gays, Free Clinics, anyone who is different. Puritans and Nazis are alive and well and breeding in America. Can;t you Smell that Smell, the Smell of Death around us?

In a gathering of ten people I would venture to guess 40% are Racists, Bigots
Where I live I would go as far a s 70% Pa has Phila the City of Brotherly Love, the State that wants to Frack You Back...
Pa and NJ are the most Racist States I have ever been in...compared to us the Soutn is humble.
+30 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-09-22 08:44
One parallel that can be drawn, though, is the overarching influence of big business on the Hill.
The guy who said "fascism should be called corporatism for it is the nexus of corporations and government" knew what he was talking about. He was Benito Mussolini.
+13 # mim 2012-09-22 09:18
Just because Hitler took over (by legal means) doesn't mean he wasn't a crank and a crazy. And if cranks and crazies could take over in Weimar Germany, who says they can't take over here.
+1 # brux 2012-09-22 10:33
My point was when faced with a serious threat calling them names doesn't help or make them go away.
+9 # reiverpacific 2012-09-22 11:23
Quoting brux:
My point was when faced with a serious threat calling them names doesn't help or make them go away.

Agreed but putting them in the correct context -especially in a nation as historically amnesiac and geographically pig-ignorant, nationalistical ly-inclined with as much military might as the US (but it's a tough task).
T "maverita", interestingly enough, Australia is governmentally, a fairly progressive-lef t country but Murdoch is very powerful which is reflected in the quality of much of the commercial TV (It's even worse that the US if you can believe it!) and some of the lower-end papers -but they do have some quality press too. And he doesn't have the access to the halls of power that he and "FIX" has here.
Just a snippet from several visits: I almost moved there permanently from Indonesia in the mid-eighties and still sometime wish I had.
All countries have right-wing crazies (Democracy is messy in allowing all viewpoints) but only in the US as a major power (and already in Israel) are they so close to occupying the seats of power and if the likes of the Rove-plague get their way, they'll be in there in spite of the desires of the people; then midnight will be upon us and the planet.
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-22 14:24
@#brux: In itself a valid point but we're mainly giving a response to thier own namecalling; Of course there is the idea of "two wrongs don't make a right." But one wrong doesn't either. The Repubs can qualify as being bullies, among other things. They have shown this combined with their regressive agenda. I understand that civil discourse to be necessary, but there cases where one has to stand up to a bully, verbally at the least, in this case.
+1 # brux 2012-09-22 23:45
> In itself a valid point but we're mainly giving a response to thier own namecalling;

Once the namecalling ... or violence for matter starts ... nuances like reasons and logic fly out the window ... i just think it's better to stick to the facts, vent when you need to, but productively without scaring the horses.
+1 # David Starr 2012-09-23 13:42
@brux: With the Repubs, it's been necessary to "vent" more than once. It's a shame we're not dealing just with "horses" here. But we're dealing with weasels, fanatics, and profiteers. Yeah, civil discourse would be preferable, and I'll use on the appropriate occassions, but when you have pretty much primitive name calling and not much else on other occasions, then there should be an appropriate response to it, and, yes, with facts, hopefully all the time. But opinions can be difficult to control. Especially when you have a side where they are more opinionated than factual. Stating facts: Yes. Appropriate opinions, or a combination of opinion and fact is too. You have a point about the potential for violence. But this not always 100% guaranteed. There is a limit, unfortunately, and there are times when "fire has to be fought with fire," but not provoking it.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:37
They are everytime we let some one in Office because of how they look...not on what they believe or think.

We are so easily bought off by a handsome face.
+5 # ericlipps 2012-09-22 11:41
Quoting brux:
> Wayne Swan, the Australian treasurer, says greatest threat to US economy is the 'cranks and crazies' in the Republican party.

I cannot help but think that the world thought the same thing about the Nazis in Germany. Hitler was a crank and crazy ... until he started rolling into other countries and murdering people.

No, he was still a crank and crazy.

I don't think the Republicans are that far gone, but they sure seem headed in that direction.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:23
The he was ??? Normal?

I believe he probably started out over zealous listened to Rush Limbaugh of the time and Fox News and got paranoid. Then he saw others in his Country taking over the Stores, etc and decided he wanted change.
Could say he didn't like immigrants. He thought there should be one Church.

Hitler really sounds like every despot who ever we have them as Governors Wait til the Puritans start burning again...They will not stop
+17 # QDP 2012-09-21 22:41
He's right! The problems the US faces is not just the voting procedure here, antiquated, unreliable, (remember the chits?) and the process of elections with "bought" news commentaroes favoring the biased bi-partisanship , but frankly the insane system that supports this plutocratic oligarchy. The largest economy in the world run by religious fanatics, right wing zealots and billionaires with their massively funded private peeves.
This is how other foreign economies have to adjust and defend their positions? Reasonable people are scratching their heads.... With Wall Street dependent upon the private Fed Bank edict, telling us quantitative easing III, is timely- in other words, a baseless printing of more currency banking upon the lack of inflation due to lowered production GDP, a future tax (by the 'loan' address) and large banks unable to fail, where does this leave supply side economic principles of balance and demand?

HE's RIGHT! Soon enough, when a majority reckons enough is enough, we will not be followed, and that change is disasterous. Our weakness is that we cannot change our system anymore. Thanks Congress, you blatant, greedy cowards! USD $17.89 Trillion dollars in debt means even if every American paid 100% taxes for five years we would not even be able to reduce just the interest on this principal....
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:43
To put a spin on it...what if we aren't in debt...who would know .
It would be so easy to use Media, Politicians into making us believe we are, that Europe is crapping out. Yet are we or are we again being manipulated in the ever needed Dominance and Submission Game of Politics and Religion. The Risk Game is for all the Goods....Rememb er the Ten Commandments , the Laws we do not follow Thous Shalt no Covet, Thous Shalt not Kill....
Lying though, they left out lying...

If we are in debt...what are we gonna do about ain't gonna pay,
China and India are ready....will it matter?
+35 # ghostperson 2012-09-21 23:29
While Americans don't give a hoot about what "furiners" think about us, we can all hope that those whose synapses can still fire in the political classes of the GOP appreciate the significance of international opinion from cousin countries.

Our pols don't listen to us because we are leeches, victims and losers all-the-while our money bails them out of their gambling forays. Maybe international embarassment can at least dint their armor.

It won't dint the Tea Partiers because they want a pound of flesh from the odious, slithering liberals. Their hatred trumps reason and rationality.

My question is are all other GOP members of Congress as gutless, fearful and weak-spined as they seem? Where are their adults, their statesmen, their sages?

Phone home. Your houses are on fire.
+29 # ghostperson 2012-09-21 23:30
Forgot to add, Americans should send a thank you note to the Australian Minister of Treasury.
+32 # Joe Bob 2012-09-21 23:33
Well, sorry to say but it takes someone on the outside to call it like it is.
We say it but nobody listens.
The modern Tea Party is a Koch Bros. Funded scam. The people think their fortunes are going to be taken away by the government and are so afraid of the propaganda that they think they are on the right track.
+6 # mim 2012-09-22 09:29
Unfortunately, yes. That's why the Guardian, in the UK, is such a valuable resource.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:44
Sometimes yes and sometimes no
+30 # tahoevalleylines 2012-09-21 23:41
We attempted discussion with early founders of the "Tea Party Patriots" in Northern CA and were not so politely refused an honest hearing.

This was at the end of 2008, and the full effects of the financial breakdown were yet to be manifested. It was apparent the meltdown had not run its course, and 2009 would reveal worse news.

We approached the Tea Party with talking points on water and energy and transport infrastructure, but soon learned they had no appetite to talk about anything more substantial than ideological purity in candidates. "Let big business alone and things shall work out just fine"...

Tea Party efforts have been successful in one regard; the President has lost a lot of time & opportunities trying to run the United States Of America with an obstructionist Legislative Branch more interesting in breaking than building. History shall not look favorably on Mitch McConnell's meeting and subsequent mission dedicated to undermine any and all presidential efforts to get things done.

To paraphrase George C. Scott's "PATTON": supposing Romney actually succeeds in lying & buying the election, we should actually feel sorry for the poor bastard- events at home and abroad are going to grab him by the nose and kick him in the ass...
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:46
One could hope it starts now
+3 # Syntara 2012-09-22 18:41
Either Karl Rove or Dick Cheney, I forget which, in defining political strategy has said: "If you have a problem you can't solve, make it bigger." That's exactly what they've done with their obstructionism, their voter suppression, and all the rest. They win by screwing things up so bad nobody has time to do anything but try to clean up the mess they made.
+17 # Cdesignpdx 2012-09-22 00:00
Those sane Australians–it' s no wonder Murdoch came to the shores of a country where resident PT Barnam declared something about a sucker born every minute? (Actually, that quote is from a huckster named Hull and his hoax the "Cardiff Giant." Either or both likely an ancestor of Karl Rove.)
+11 # epcraig 2012-09-22 00:09
Mr. Swan has noticed the Republicans nominated only the sanest of the cranks and crazies they could find to run.
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:47
Sanest???? Looks it is about cloning the look
+5 # dick 2012-09-22 02:16
"Shut down FAUX News"? Tsk, tsk. How undemocratic, and foolish. FAUX & talk radio crazies have weakened the GOP to the point where a mixed race novice could defeat the GOPers. All the Koch's money & all the Koch's minions can't put GOP together again. Women & Latinos alienated. Obama will probably be re-elected with Unemployment at 10% & Underemployment at another 15%. All thanks to FAUX & oxycontin "Rush"& cohorts.
+23 # WolfTotem 2012-09-22 02:54
First reaction: what right has HE to comment on US politics?

Answer: so far Wayne Swan has navigated the financial crisis successfully, BUT... the whole world lies downstream of America. THAT is the "exceptional" nature of American power. Others can't vote, but they and their economic policies ARE affected by how America votes.

Cranks and crazies in Washington don't endanger only Americans, they're a menace to the world.

And at this moment in time, irresponsibilit y in Washington poses an EXCEPTIONAL worldwide threat. That's what "American exceptionalism" is really about.

This calls for a responsible and well-informed US public - but we're light years from that, a great nation brainwashed more than the Soviets ever were, focused on dangerously wrong issues and blind to the real ones. The German High Command sent Lenin to Russia in a sealed train - and look what happened. Australia gifted Rupert Murdoch to the States - and look what's happening! Half America's FOXED.

TIME FOR EVERYONE TO STOP AND THINK BEFORE ACTING. Not after, when it will be too late. Today, shoot & think after means guaranteed SUICIDE.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:50
There is an exception of who they affect, Israel loves them allows them to make mockery of their traditions.
If the world were as smart as Australia to the threat than why are they kissing up to the slugs
+28 # DennisFletcher 2012-09-22 02:58
We have the Fox News rightwing supporters and the MSNBC leftwing supporters....I enjoy watching both but find Rachel Maddow, The Ed Show and the like on MSNBC closer to my understanding of the facts. Bravo for on independant national Finance Minister being not afraid to call a spade a f***ing shovel.
+12 # lexy677 2012-09-22 11:26
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz may be occasionally sensationalist, but Fox news is outright "in your face" lying propaganda directed at the "not so me bright" majority. This kind of "false equivalency" drives insane; "rightwing" "leftwing" "they all do it" etc., etc. Good grief!!! can't you tell a blatant attempt to propagandize you from an honest attempt to give you the facts? I am afraid you don't demonstrate sufficient contempt for "fox news". They are as dangerous and as "serious" as Cancer.
+29 # PABLO DIABLO 2012-09-22 03:13
So, if the church wants a voice, why not tax them?
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:54
If Corporations are People than why not Churches
+21 # Richard Miller 2012-09-22 06:15
Perhaps if more world leaders came out and told the American people similar truthful views, they just might start listening and throw the bums out in the next election process. Sorry, I just woke up and I think I must be dreaming.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:54
They suck up to all of them because they want our money
+23 # RMDC 2012-09-22 06:38
Yes, indeed, the republican party has been taken over by crazies. But it is not just the teaparty. Reagan was the first crazy to lead the republican party. He consulted astrologers in order to make decisions. He could not tell the difference between a movie and reality.

This is really serious. Hitler and his Nazia were crazies who took over a nation. Lots of Mein Kampf reads just like some of the rants of republicans, including Ryan and Romney.

But what have the democrats done. They have cowered down and theorized about "triangulation" -- how to be more republican than a republican. Clinton and Blair simply make the demorcat and labor parties the tools of the crazy republicans. Now Obama follows in Clinton's footsteps.

We need a president like this Aussie PM who will say in a state of the union address that these republicans are fucking crazy and he will not talk with them or cross the aisle to work with them. Obama is not that guy. He's a compromiser. He spent more time in the last 4 years reaching out to the crazies than he did supporting his base. Where was he in Wisconsin strikes, the Chicago teachers strikes, the OWS? He was trying to make friends with John Boner and Paul Ryan, that's where.

We need a president who knows that you can't work with crazies. You have to work around them.
+23 # Billy Bob 2012-09-22 07:09
Maybe in 2016 we'll come up with one. As for this election, you have exactly 3 minutes to come up with a viable 3rd party candidate who's polling high enough to prevent President Romney. If you can't, I'll still be voting for President Obama.

The last time I checked (yesterday) there still weren't any 3rd party candidates even registering as a blip on the electoral polls.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:56
Thank you We will hope that the sleeples get their butts working now not in 2015 as they always do
+20 # Billy Bob 2012-09-22 07:12
"Democrats want to make up the shortfall by increasing taxes on wealthy Americans, while Republicans favour spending cuts."

1. The "shortfall" is self-imposed.

2. Never trust a repug demanding spending cuts unless he is VERY specific about what cuts he'll be making.
+7 # mim 2012-09-22 09:34
Quoting RMDC:
We need a president like this Aussie PM who will say in a state of the union address ...

Julia Gillard said the same thing? Good for her.
0 # mim 2012-09-23 06:32
What I meant by saying that is that the prime minister of Australia is Julia Gillard.
0 # mim 2012-09-23 06:39
Who's we?
+3 # lexy677 2012-09-22 11:37
You are right Obama certainly let down his base, and that is why this election is even close. However Reagan was not the first crazy to lead the Republican party. The first crazy was Barry Goldwater, the darling of the "John Birch society; who famously said "extremism in the defense liberty is a virtue" or something to that effect. What nobody asked him at the time was, what his definition of "liberty" was. Reagan was one of his most ardent supporters.
-9 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 13:58
They have all been crazy.

I think the Dems have let us down and their President/VP so I want a new party. I am tired of the sleazes
+29 # walt 2012-09-22 07:02
Just look back to July and August 2011 as the Tea Party madmen tried to use the debt ceiling to damage President Obama. They clearly showed that they would have let the country default just to accomplish that goal. One good thing John Boehner did was read these crazies the riot act and stop them from their sabotage. Unfortunately, the USA's credit rating was lowered, the markets dropped and have not returned to where they were before all this. Check your IRA's and 401K's for proof.

This type insanity, along with signing Grover Norquist's pledge not to raise taxes, in my opinion, violates their oath of office to act on behalf on the people and the constitution. I say their actions were treasonous!
+6 # Syntara 2012-09-22 18:14
I agree. What kind of nut jobs will sign an oath put before them by a lobbyist who is supposed to be seeking favors of them? Yet here they are bowing to a lobbyist. And why? What kind of power does Norquist have over these nut jobs anyway? What, aside from no longer walking in lock step, will happen to them (other than being primaried, that is)? And if they're stealing elections anyway, so what if they're primaried? I do not get it and yet the Right is always calling the Left the Kool Aid drinkers.
+19 # John Escher 2012-09-22 07:56
Dear Ann, I understand that you feel the world is being unfair and excessively critical of your husband Mitt. This could be true due to some central stupidity of his of which you may not be aware. I mean, if a man is substantially stupid on huge issues like war and free enterprise UBER ALLES, it is only logical that thinking persons will find fault with smaller items as well.

You see, Ann, we need a president who on the war issue isn't hardass dumbass like George W. Bush or for that matter Barack Obama, and who understands that socialist and communist are not the same, and that, in fact, every government in the world, not just those in Scandinavia, reflects some balance between private and public enterprise.

I'm very sorry, Ann, to have to tell you what they wouldn't reveal in the hospital: Your husband Mitt Romney would implement a more extreme imbalance than world history has ever seen, a hundred per cent recipe for economic and social collapse.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 14:03
Dear Ann it is time you actually took your life serously and went back to school and learned to do thing for yourself, Perhaps get a job, go waitress in between classes.
Dear Ann, are those kids really his or were you virgin birth? I really cannot believe he allows you to think on your own, I know you cannot have one word on Religion due to that Cult he worships.
I wouldn't be surprised if you had no clue about where the money is. After all You according to Mormonism has not say. If those accounts are all off shore he didn't need your signature. So Ann you can try your hardest to lie to America but not all of us are so stupid as to believe a word you say.
By the Way, when Mittens pushes that button your kids will be in the Service Fighting for their Country alongside my grandchildren, won't they?
+8 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-09-22 08:02
"cranks and crazies": it worked for Germany in 1933, so why shouldn't it work for the USA now?
+5 # lexy677 2012-09-22 11:40
Because there are blacks and latinos who will stand in the way.
+4 # Regina 2012-09-22 12:08
And women, who know that every rape is legitimately vicious.
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 14:05
And perhap Asians, Africans and Muslims no less the rest of us
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 14:04
It worked for Rome, Israel before that we are just more evil.
+2 # James Smith 2012-09-22 09:01
Minister Swan is just now realizing this? Or maybe he finally received permission to state what everyone else in the world already knows. The USA is doomed as a nation and has become the laughing stock of the world.

The country is already owned by nations like the Chinese and Japanese. If either of these countries called in their debt, the USA would be unable to come anywhere near paying it. Fortunately, they haven't been able to combine forces. If they had, they would already have divided the country between them.

Maybe the Japanese would take Hawaii and the west coast and the Chinese would have Florida and the east coast. They could leave what;s left to fight it out among themselves.
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-22 14:06
We owe India,,, do not forget However, our good buddies in Israel will pay our debt
+4 # wwway 2012-09-22 12:11
The Tea Party was created because the Republican Party wasn't moving fast enough for the rich. The cranks and crazies got impatient with the process of getting Democrats to move slowly to the right. Republicans thought they had Americans by the throat until they voted for Obama at which point their response was to commit to not working with our president and double down on the culture war. Americans lost their nerve in 2010 so Republicans saw that as an opportunity to go in for the kill. In 2012 Americans have a clear choice in choosing where this country will go. I also think that other countries have indicated that they cannot wait for America and are discussing and planning alternatives. Republicans squandared Foreign policy under Bush and currently forcing a squandering of opportunities to fix the financial crisis they caused.
+7 # fredboy 2012-09-22 13:46
Absolutely on target. Saw it begin in the '80s when the evangelical nut cases sandwiched God with the GOP. Now it's hate mongers, social deficients, and lots of glassy-eyed reactionary closet Birchers. And all of them hate their grandchildren.
+7 # NAVYVET 2012-09-22 16:16
Please--evangel icals include some really great people, our allies! Call them what they are: Fundamentalists . Those of us from the South recognized the Fundies on talk radio in the 60s ("Jail the hippies and protestors!"), blatting God's hate from TV pulpits, and in that awful 1964 Goldwater convention where women with Big Hair and fat men with cigars and Sot'n accents outdid each other in insulting anyone to the Left of Joe Goebbels. When they lost and lost big--that was when the craziness began, ALEC was formed, and the money started flowing in to support "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice!" That was when "defense of liberty" meant giving carte blanche to the crazies to stomp all over minorities, liberals, immigrants, kids, the elderly, poor women, and anyone else who deviated from their narrow whitebread nonsense!
+1 # Syntara 2012-09-22 18:08
Oh, you mean Reagan's Moral Majority? As if he was so moral having an affair with to-be wife Nancy. The hypocrisy just reeks. Actually, it was Nixon who initiated "the Southern Strategy" to bring southern evangelicals on board and ever since it seems the south has grabbed its guns and defended the 1%. Do 'people of faith' tend to have faith in intangible things wholesale? I have to wonder, as they don't seem to be able to see past the lies and are willing to martyr themselves in the interest of The Few. Sad.
+5 # David Starr 2012-09-22 14:17
Quoting: "...Australian treasurer, Wayne Swan, in an unusually blunt criticism of US politics weeks before the presidential election, said 'cranks and crazies' had taken over the Republicans..."

It's nice to know that this could be known worldwide. The Grossly Obese Party (GOP) needs to implode.
+1 # WolfTotem 2012-09-22 14:41
Comments compare what faces us to the Nazis' rise to power in 1933. That's not as farfetched as it may seem, especially to habitual GOP voters who don't realize how far their party has shifted to the right.
True, there's no Hitler here, and the would-be Veep possesses neither the talents nor the evil genius of a Goebbels; but just as, in normal times, the Nazis would have been no more than small-town nuisances, in normal times today's GOP leadership would have been... simply negligible.
German oligarchs saw Hitler as a tool - but he used them. Two things make Romney and his party uniquely dangerous: the fact that they really are the compliant tools of Big Money, and the extraordinary historical crisis we're now crossing.
For all the unfathomable evil that they represented and carried out, the Nazis did not directly threaten the survival of the human race or the planet. GOP's paymasters do. Driven by limitless blind greed, they plan to impose their imperial one-party State. At this critical moment in time, their outlook makes them potentially the greatest menace mankind has yet faced. Their first victims: the world's poor, and all our children, born and unborn.
+4 # NAVYVET 2012-09-22 16:04
There IS a Hitler. His name is Karl Rove. His Goebbels is SIR Rupert Murdoch, a foreigner.
0 # NAVYVET 2012-09-22 16:03
If they win, you can expect old friends to pull out of alliances, and leave us to skid down into the dismal swamp all alone (except for a few who are equally radical, like Netanyahu and the sheiks of Arabia).
+8 # Syntara 2012-09-22 18:00
I'm borrowing this from a post by Clarence Swinney elsewhere:


20 years, 3 Republican presidents

18 years, Republican Senate

12 years, Republican House-

6 years, Republican's had Total Control.

They took $600B budget to $3,500B
$1,000B Debt to $10,000B Debt

A budget surplus to a $1,400B Deficit--

Created only 99,0000 jobs per month compared to Carter + Clinton's 222,000 per month.

Initiated our involvement in 10 foreign conflicts—costi ng billions and loss of many thousands of lives

Smashed S&L Industry—Housin g Industry-Bankin g Industry from Local to Wall Street Control

Caused the Great Recession—50,00 0 plants were closed between 2000-2010--

Initiated unjust dumb invasions of two poor, unarmed nations to remove leadership and place ours in power creating animosity throughout the Muslim world.
+2 # Capn Canard 2012-09-23 19:26
well, it is nice that someone in power has decided to stand up to the crazies of the American Right Wing. Everyone here at RSN know they've gone off the deep end. The hate Obamacare because it was passed by Obama. And they hate that a nigga passed a law, a law they've would've embraced two years earlier. Hence being against Obamacare is crazy because it is a Republican idea. That is how intellectually lazy you have to be to be a American Republican in 2012.

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