17 April 2009

Vocabulary In the News: Rising Tea Party Star

Adapted and abridged from the article Rick Perry: Tea party darling by Andy Barr of Politico.com

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” - 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution (15 December 1791)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a rising star among a new anti-tax “tea partyconstituency in the wake of his recent endorsement of a Texas state House resolution affirming the state’s sovereignty.

The resolution urges that “all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed.”

The Republican governor’s public embrace of that language — a thinly veiled reference toward the conditions set by the Obama administration’s financial stimulus package — and his efforts to reject some of the stimulus funds have made him popular among the big government opponents who attended Wednesday’s “tea party” events across the nation.

“I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union,” the governor said. “I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state.”

The governor spoke at three tea parties across Texas and had eight radio and television interviews scheduled for Wednesday. Perry also helped promote the tea parties in the days leading up to Tax Day by beating the drum on popular conservative radio shows.

“They’re sending Washington a message,” he said of protesters in Texas. “We’re an independent lot and we just assume Washington not be mortgaging our future.”

check-mark-graphic beat / bang the drum verbal expression to publically show your support for something or someone
check-mark-graphiccomply verb [intransitive] to obey a rule of law, or to do what someone asks you If you don’t comply you could face a penalty of £100.
check-mark-graphiccompulsory adjective something that is compulsory must be done because of a rule of law School uniform is no longer compulsory in many British schools.
check-mark-graphicconstituency noun [countable] a group of people with similar attitudes or interests who are likely to support a particular idea; the voters in a division of the country who elect a representative to a legislative assembly.
check-mark-graphicdirect verb [formal -transitive] to give someone instructions to do something Take the pills as directed by your doctor.
check-mark-graphicembrace noun [countable] a situation in which someone completely accepts something such as a new belief, idea, or way of life Her parents were surprised by her enthusiastic embrace of the world of work.
check-mark-graphicendorsement noun [countable] an occasion when someone gives official or public support to a particular person or thing The election result cans be seen as an endorsement of the government’s record.
check-mark-graphicfunding noun [uncountable] money that a government or organization provides for a specific purpose The government is still failing to provide adequate funding for research.
check-mark-graphicin the wake of something expression happening after an event or as a result of it An inquiry has been set up in the wake of the crash.
check-mark-graphicinterference noun [uncountable] the process of deliberately becoming involved in a situation and trying to influence the way that it develops, although you may have no right to do this They expressed resentment at outside interference in their domestic affairs.
check-mark-graphicletter and spirit of (the law) idiomatic expression [used together or separately] the strict and exact force of the language used in a statute (letter) while also doing what the authors of the law intended (spirit)
check-mark-graphiclot noun [count] a group or set of people or things
check-mark-graphicmortgage verb to make subject to a claim or risk; pledge against a doubtful outcome They mortgaged their political careers by taking an unpopular stand.
check-mark-graphicprohibit verb [transitive] to officially stop something from being done, especially by making it illegal Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the building.
check-mark-graphicrepeal verb [transitive] to state officially that a law no longer has legal authority and has ended The 1938 Act was repealed and replaced by the Inheritance Act of 1975.
check-mark-graphicrising star noun [countable] a person or thing that is growing quickly in popularity or importance in a particular field Barack Obama became a rising star in the Democrat Party with his speech to his party’s convention in 2004.
check-mark-graphicstimulus package noun [countable] a set of economic proposals or measures designed to boost or stimulate the economy
check-mark-graphicTax Day noun [American] common term for the day on which tax returns (statements about income taxes) are due to the federal government and state governments from U.S. citizens and other U.S. residents, usually on 15 April
check-mark-graphictea party noun [new popular term! -countable] This is demonstration and protest by those who believe that government spending is out of control, taxes are too high and the current administration and Congress are attacking the free-market system. The concept is based on the 1773 Boston Tea Party when patriots protesting British taxes on tea, threw crates of tea into Boston Harbor. The new concept was born in early 2009 when a CNBC reporter called for “tea party” protests to demonstrate against the new government budget.

check-mark-graphicveiled adjective a veiled threat, attack, or warning is not direct but easily understoon a veiled attack of the royal family - thinly veiled (= very easily understood) : a thinly veiled threat of retaliation

check-mark-graphicundue adjective [formal] not necessary or reasonable These minor improvements have caused undue expense and delay.
check-mark-graphicurge verb [transitive] to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take The UN has urged them to honor the peace treaty.

Other related links:

Office of the Texas Governor

YouTube video - Gov. Perry Backs Resolution Affirming Texas Sovereignty Under 10th Amendment

Tax Day Tea Party blog

Tea Bag Washington

France 24 - ‘Tea Party’ protests mark tax day

Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Shakowsky: Tea parties 'despicable'

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