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Travis Rowley: Froma Harrop - Suicide Pilot

Saturday, August 20, 2011


“Blame the Tea Party?! Geez!...If it wasn’t for the Tea Party, they would have passed the debt ceiling thumbs-up. We would have been rated Triple-B!” – Rick Santelli, CNBC

One of the Left’s latest attempts at marginalizing the very people who walloped Democrats in 2010 – and are poised to do so again in 2012 – was made by Projo columnist Froma Harrop, who furiously lashed out at Tea Party Republicans in one of her recent columns. Most notably, Harrop referred to Tea Partiers as “terrorists” for not capitulating to Democrats during July’s showdown over the national debt. According to Harrop, “Tea Party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the U.S. – threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want.”

Harrop’s angry rant even included a chiding of President Obama for his inability to utilize the “bully pulpit” against these “destructive children” – this “group of ignoramuses.” Froma’s frustration was so intense that she even called upon other Democrats to challenge Obama in the 2012 primaries. (No, Democrats haven’t retracted their pleas for more “civil dialogue” yet. And, no, the media has yet to begin discussing the “deep divide” within the Democratic Party. Don’t hold your breath either.)

Harrop began her column by explaining, “In the last half century, Congress has raised the debt ceiling 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democrats. The votes were cast without drama because the idea of this country defaulting on its debts was unthinkable.” It is at this moment that Harrop begins her misguided tour. The votes she speaks of “were cast without drama” not for the reason she cites, but because cowardly politicians found it less damaging to their political careers to simply borrow money and slip into unnoticed debt, rather than be bothered with potentially career-ruinous squabbles over tax hikes, spending cuts, and an encroaching debt crisis.

Rhode Islanders, before everyone else, should recognize this as a familiar political narrative.

Similar to the situation in Central Falls and Rhode Island as a whole, the day of reckoning draws near for the United States. According to Timothy Geithner, Obama’s own Treasury Secretary, in less than ten years the combined spending obligations of Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and the servicing of the national debt will make up over 90 percent of the entire federal budget.

The party is over. But Democrats haven’t noticed that the music stopped.

Liberal Elites

John Adams once warned, “One way to destroy a nation is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
Not that Democrats give a damn. Liberals are still approaching the debt issue in the same manner that they have approached Rhode Island’s unfunded pension systems for the past several decades – with thoughtless disregard; determined to saddle the American economy with evermore monetary obligations. And to increase the likelihood of an economic doomsday, Senator John Kerry (D) even instructed the media not to offer “equal time” to the Tea Party’s opposing views, because they don’t “deserve the same credit as a legitimate idea.” (Like borrowing a few trillion dollars more.)

Kerry isn’t the only liberal elite intolerant of dissent. Harrop argued on the Dan Yorke Show that whenever debt ceiling increases are proffered, they “should just be approved and go on to the next thing.” According to Harrop, this is a subject that “should be beyond discussion.” This is not an issue “over which reasonable people may disagree.”

`Tea Party Republicans Get It Right

It was no surprise to Tea Party Republicans when – despite a debt ceiling agreement being reached – the S&P still decided to downgrade U.S. Treasury bonds from AAA status to AA+. As the Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby wrote, “In explaining its downgrade, S&P did not call for…higher taxes. Instead it said that the debt deal ‘fell well short’ of the deficit reductions needed, that it provided only ‘modest savings’ in discretionary spending, and that Congress was unwilling to curb Medicare and other entitlements, which is the ‘key to long-term fiscal sustainability.’ That sounds an awful lot like what the Tea Party has been saying.”

Tea Party Republicans offered proposals that would also have solved the debt issue, but they were promptly rejected by Democrats. Yet, liberals are out there blaming the bond downgrade on the Tea Party by pointing out that S&P also made their decision based on a weakening of “the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions.” Washington gridlock rides along a two-way street. But Democrats don’t see it that way because they think they have a monopoly on “legitimate ideas.” (Like borrowing a few trillion dollars more.)

Contrary to what Harrop wants people to believe, Tea Party Republicans were never threatening to “blow up the economy” if they didn’t achieve the deep spending cuts that they were elected to fight for. Tea Party Republicans were well aware of the thoughts of another rash Washington elitist, Alan Greenspan: “The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.”

If Democrats didn’t get their latest loan, they would have either been forced to prioritize federal spending (good), or they would have simply printed all the dollars they needed to fund wasteful federal bureaucracies and programs (bad). During the entire ordeal, Democrats were pretending to be unaware of their own foolishness.

In the end, however, Democrats got what they wanted. And by forcing yet another raise to the debt ceiling, Democrats have actually accelerated America toward the debt wall.

You know who else refused to stop before hitting a wall? Mohammed Atta.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans, and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.


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Hey Travis, you like to mention "unfunded pensions" "liberals" , but your own father and his Trooper buddies are part of the problem. Imagine, hundreds of State Troopers who are receiving major pensions and never paid a dime into it. Denounce those pensions and maybe people other than chris o will agree with you!

Comment #1 by Katy Crain on 2011 08 20

Froma Harrop is a worn out liberal who needs to retire. Attacking the tea party people is so typical of the tax and spend crowd. Harrop and other liberals would have you believe that "all is well" stuff and keep on spending. The tea party people have stuck their foot out and tripped up the process and made everyone aware that this country is in trouble. We can't keep spending more than we take in. Perhaps Froma likes financing 42 cents on every dollar spent in this country - I don't.
Perhaps Froma should consider moving to Russia and peddle her liberal agenda there.

Comment #2 by Lance Chappell on 2011 08 20

Hey Katy Crackpot,
No new material yet??? His dad's pension is irrelevant. Get a life or at least some new material. You're like a very bad comic.

Comment #3 by Max Diesel on 2011 08 20

@katy crain...what the hell are you talking about? "Denounce" those pensions???????/ THe people who are fighting the unions in this state aren't "denouncing" their pensions. For YEARS, they've just been saying that we need pension REFORM...that the liability was "unfunded" and that if something isn't done, then the entire state will look like central falls. People like you and Harrop will keep making these stupid arguments until the entire state collapses...And i've never heard rowly say anything different....

Comment #4 by Jared D on 2011 08 20

Not only is Rowley's father irrelevant, Katy (and all other union hacks) have it completely backwards---what most reformers (Tea Party, Republicans, etc) believe needs to happen is some sort of pension cuts. Therefore, Rowley is actually being self-sacrificial (something the unions can't fathom). He's actually fighting for the state to cut his father's pension.

Has ROwley ever implied that the State Police aren't "part of the problem"---

Comment #5 by Drew M on 2011 08 20

This Katy Crain character could not make Rowley's point any better. Just like Froma Harrop, she will "DENOUNCE" anyone who brings up the fact that the state is going bankrupt. She'll tell the voters that Tea Party and Republicans are hypocrites, selfish, greedy- whatever it takes - to make sure that problems aren't solved. This is what the democrats/unions have done in RI for years. Now look at us!! And Froma Harrop is playing the same game on the national level. Terrorists!? Give me a break.

Comment #6 by Tom R. on 2011 08 20

it's hard to believe that you actually believe this bullshit!

Comment #7 by ken fish on 2011 08 20

Thank you Ken! I'm just baiting the hook! Works every time with these young republicans.

Comment #8 by Travis Yowley on 2011 08 20

Another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:

Let's say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your home, and you have sewage up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do……raise the ceilings, or pump out the sewerage?

Your choice.

Comment #9 by Mark D on 2011 08 20

Good one, Mark D. The answer is to pump the sewage out, obviously. Cut, Cut, Cut!! (Katy Crain would let the sewage spill out and flood the entire neighborhood while distracting everyone by screaming about state police pensions)

Comment #10 by Tom R. on 2011 08 20

Katy Crain fired all Providence school teachers in order to get control of the teacher contract, but Angel Taverass gave in and played the hero!

Comment #11 by Travis Yowley on 2011 08 20

Thank you Travis Great information.
It is amazing how angry and myopic liberals can be,as well as intolerant of any one else's beliefs,especially the Tea Party.
We are not going away.

Comment #12 by Shoshana Feinstein on 2011 08 21

We seem to be getting under Comrade Froma's skin. Check out her Op-ed today (Sunday). After all the big words and tortured argument, she seems to be saying "screw you" to anybody who does not follow the liberal party line.

Comment #13 by Michael Trenn on 2011 08 21

Froma Grow Up ! Stay in your sandbox and stop throwing sand in ours. Get a life Froma your foolish anger will hurt no one but yourself .
There s LIFE beyond POLITICS.

Comment #14 by Shoshana Feinstein on 2011 08 21

Another shameless rant.
Reagan & Shrub are the two biggest free-lunchers in US history.

Comment #15 by Real Clear on 2011 08 21

Harrop talks tough in vain effort to conceal her lack of facts. In manner of a typical leftist, she seems devoid of original thought. Like lenin's useful idiots, they tromp around in lockstep and repeat on cue the same slogans, 'teapartiers are terrorists', as if reading from some poopsheet script written by the Soviet He-Women Men Haters' Klub.

Do they think this still fools us? Why?

Let's take a trip down memory lane to ca. 2001, when Ms. Harrop commendably wrote an editorial about Lifespan of RI, the corporation which took over the former RI Hospital in what some saw as a cynical effort to profit from Hillary Care. Ms. Harrop rightly noted that questionable characters with ties to unsavory groups were involved with Lifespan. She reported that after Lifespan absorbed Visiting Nurses of RI, VNA RI subsequently noticed its multi-million dollar endowment was missing.

During this time, perhaps in effort to compensate for declining fortunes the result of Hillarycare's demise, Lifespan was getting cozy with wealthy senior citizens who were in their eighties and nineties and of declining judgement, in effort to convince them to surrender family assets protected by Living Trusts, to Lifespan.

To squelch objections from family members and preclude legal consequences from these questionable practices, Lifespan apparently hired Providence lawyer Girard R. Visconti to threaten concerned family members with 'restraining orders, criminal charges, and civil suits' if they objected to this apparent theft of family assets.

On occasion, in seeming effort to misuse police resources against innocent citizens, Visconti was said to call police and falsely claim he was the victim of family members who in fact merely asked him routine questions about apparenent undue influence exerted against their elderly relatives.

Visconti's wife, presently a Judge, was then a magistrate known for expertise in 'Restraining Orders and Collection Lawsuits'. Curiously, those who questioned Visconti's possibly unlawful efforts on behalf of Lifespan soon found themselves defending their good names and liberty against malicious 'Restraining Orders' and 'Collection Lawsuits' possibly instigated by Visconti to cover his conduct and protect Lifespan's covetous executives.

Family members of elderly persons who handed millions to Lifespan, noted that Lifespan ignored their routine questions and instead lied, falsely stating the family members 'gave their permission' to surrender their assets to Lifespan, even as they were kept busy defending malicious lawsuits brought with blatantly false evidence - lies - seemingly by Visconti, who acted on behalf of Lifespan.

Some family members as well discovered that Visconti, in order to secure Lifespan's ill gotten fortunes, apparently conducted sub rosa smear campaigns to destroy their credibility and perhaps secure their false arrest, so that Courts and investigative authorities would ignore their concerns. This he did by surreptitiously writing letters to officials and agencies which falsely portayed concerned family members as a Public Enemy Number One, perhaps in effort to 'get them shot on sight' as some forensic examiners astutely observed. Of course, he made sure to bill the elderly mark for his letters written against their own children, and sent them copies to reinforce the coecive 'brainwashing', all so that Lifespan could get more money.

Misusing Courts by filing malicious lawuits based upon lies against innocent citizens in effort to silence their objections is known as Judicial Terrorism, as Ms. Harrop is fully well aware.

Ms. Harrop to her credit wrote an editorial which outlined these questionable if not outright illegal practices, yet when her ProJo editor refused to run it in print and deleted it from online editions, she capitulated.

Where was her oh-so-very 'democratic' concern for the elderly, and their families whose rights were violated by this supposed 'big evil corporaration' of the sort against which democrats always inveigle, eh?

Or are some corporations 'more equal than others', as socialists see things?

Fortunately, other papers and readers saw and preserved Ms. Harrop's online editorial before ProJo stuffed it down the Orwellian Memory Hole, in proof that Truth, as does murder, outs - always.

Ms Harrop has reduced herself to bleating out frenzied, pious, false accusations that 'teapartiers are terrorists'? Good. Let's hope she keeps it up. The more they repeat their scripted slogans in manner of mindless socialist lemmings on parade in Red Square, the more citizens clearly see them as false.

The leftist media is now in the long overdue process of destoying itself by falsely accusing good Americans, in feckless effort to conceal the fact that for one hundred years, the pressniks have relentlessly ignored truth and instead pimped marxism.

As far as going to Russia, as one reader suggested Ms. Harrop should do, having suffered seven decades of hell on earth under socialism, Russia doesn't want anything to do with those who exercise faith in socialism.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasota Key, Florida
[email protected]
22 August, 2011

"Maybe if he somehow discredited him first - a favorite tactic. Destroy the reputation of an innocent victim first - indeed make him appear to be a criminal - then seize him at his most vulnerable. It was far easier to do than most people thought and by the time it was all figured out, it was too late - it wouldn't matter."
- "Stone Cold"
c. 2008, David Baldacci

Comment #16 by paul zecchino on 2011 08 22

Disclaimer! I'm a fiscal conservative. However this active and aggressive Republican rhetoric that mistakenly conflates incommensurable ideas, standpoints, histories and movements is completely absurd. I strongly suggest that we all go back and take a look at the respective definitions of "communism", "socialism", "Marxism" and "democracy" and "straw man argument". Especially if we are purportedly dealing in "TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT IT AND OH GOD LIBERALS FED MY TAXES TO THE CRIMSON TEACHER KGB".

Comment #17 by Depa Slatter on 2011 08 23

So you agree or disagree with Rowley's point about Harrop's column?

Comment #18 by Max Diesel on 2011 08 23

Froma Harrop would say that the passenger in a car has no right to grab the wheel and turn toward safety when the driver is heading directly over a cliff. The spending is out of control. A little rudeness could save the passenger and the driver. Harrop knows this herself, hoping for a primary challenger for Obama. Good piece.

Comment #19 by Michael Gardiner on 2011 08 24

FINALLY. Someone who speaks common sense and not relentless politico harangue.
Thank you Michael.
Great analogy ,we ARE grabbing the wheel away.

Comment #20 by Shoshana Feinstein on 2011 08 24

Great Article! The Tea Party and other conservative groups are simply people who are fed up with what is going on in America. The far left is made up of individuals who are living off the system that we are paying for. No one begrudges individuals who are truly handicapped and need assistance, or union employees who are just trying to earn a living. It is about the individuals who abuse the system. The individuals who lead the unions.

Too much greed from the far left has lead to this. How long did you think the citizens would keep their head in the sand,while our state and country are being destroyed.

The lefts answer? Instead of meeting the issues head-on, they chose to vilify the Tea Party and all conservatives.

Keep up the good work Travis!

Comment #21 by guy smily on 2011 08 25

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