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January 8, 2010
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Other Voices: Tea Party tastes like bad brew

Did you really think they just passed around a three-cornered hat?

Big corporations make contributions to Republican organizations like FreedomWorks, chaired by Dick Armey, who pour money and support into the bitter tea pot. What do the billionaire boys get out of their contributions? Less government and more freedom in big business equates to less regulation and bigger profit margins. The stock market has risen in recent months. Ask yourself why the unemployment rate is still high.

Why isn't the Tea Party Patriots movement outraged over the health insurance industry whose largest top 10 publicly traded companies had profits that collectively rose 428 percent between 2000 and 2007? How much do you pay for health insurance?

Why isn't the Tea Party indignant over the banking industry charging them skyrocketing interest on their credit cards? The bailed-out banks continue to pay bonuses and fund stockholders. Sure, they advertise those wonderful low-interest mortgage rates; but don't actually back it up with loans to the common man that would help stimulate the economy.

Why isn't the Tea Party even mildly concerned about executives from Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips who continue to make record profits each year ($123 billion in 2007), yet refuse to eliminate about $18 billion lumps of sugar in tax breaks?

What about the pirates at Goldman Sachs who took billions off-shore to the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes on profits, then lost it all? The investors with big money might afford to lose, but not the common man who lost the opportunity to borrow on that money to finance a small business or home loan.

So, why aren't these issues on the Tea Party agenda? Because big business sets the Tea Party agenda.

If the country does not move forward, it is not because of the lack of work on the part of

our president, but on the lack of cooperation and outright obstructionism from the right. Tea Party members want to take back the country from Americans who voted in the last election. They fear a common man who was elected president by the majority of Americans in a time of recession, loss and great need. I fear the power of billionaires who hide behind a curtain of lobbyists and pull the strings of politicians, news media, and well-meaning Americans with a closed fist full of dollars.

Recently, bank executives failed to show up at a White House meeting with the president. They cited fog. But, wait and see if Sarah Palin doesn't show up through fog, rain, or hail the size of polar bears to collect a bigger paycheck than a governor's salary for stirring the tea pot at rallies.

Patriots revolted against England in order to found their own country. They didn't instigate a civil conflict that further weakens the country and puts their own political motives before the our country's recovery.

I have seen depictions of our president as an African witch doctor, a black-faced minstrel and a monkey. I have heard him called a liar by a member of the House of Representatives. I have seen statesmen attempting to hold Town Hall Meetings on the health care bill being heckled, shouted down, and silenced by Tea Party members. These are not patriots.

If we want peace abroad, we must start with peace at home.

Cheryl Cook lives in Nevada City.

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The Union Updated Jan 8, 2010 10:24PM Published Jan 8, 2010 10:23PM Copyright 2010 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.