Friday, April 30, 2010

A New ObamaCare Horror Story

Businesses will have to file 1099 forms with both the IRS and send them to the company that provided the services or sold the product for every expenditure that exceeds $600. If you react to this sentence the way my wife, who has run a small business did, you are saying, “that can’t be right, 1099s are only for contract employees.” Well forget everything you thought you knew about 1099 forms, because Obama’s health care law has changed it. In practical terms, here is what the new law means. Joe’s Plumbing prints up 100 color presentations at FedEx Kinko’s for a trade show in New Orleans, where they are staying at a Holiday Inn for six days. At a minimum, Joe’s Plumbing will have to contact FedEx Kinko’s, the airline, Holiday Inn, the rental car company, and the organization sponsoring the trade show and get taxpayer identification numbers from them so they can comply with this tax law. The company will then have to send out 1099 forms to each of these vendors and dozens, hundreds or thousands more vendors, depending upon the size of the company, thus adding significant compliance costs to every business in America. Everyone from a company’s accountant, to building supplier, to carpet cleaner to janitorial service will be trading 1099 forms. Yes, that’s right, trading 1099 forms, because at the same time, Joe’s Plumbing will also be receiving 1099 forms from every one of their business customers who spent more than $600 with them over the course of the year, which they will be required to keep and reconcile against their books...more

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Army Preps for Tea Party 'Terrorists'

This week, I was contacted by a number of civilian and military personnel (enlisted and officer ranks) who expressed concern about a military exercise scenario proposed for Ft. Knox, the U.S. Bullion Depository. (For the record, I called Ft. Knox security for an official comment and received the standard reply: "We are not authorized to discuss this exercise.") As with most such exercises, the Ft. Knox scenario outline occurred in stages, as if real time intelligence was being provided at various intervals. The first intel advisory I received was issued on Friday, 23 April 2010, and identifies the terrorist threat adversaries as "Local Militia Groups / Anti-Government Protesters / TEA Party." You read that right: "TEA Party"! The military officers and enlisted personnel with whom I spoke are all dedicated uniformed Patriots who are loyal, first and foremost, to their oath toTheir concerns about this exercise mirrored my own. As one put it, the scenario "misrepresents freedom loving Americans as drunken, violent racists -- the opponents of Obama's policies have been made the enemy of the U.S. Army." "support and defend" our Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." They were equally concerned that it appears the command staff at Ft. Knox had signed off on this exercise, noting, "it has been issued and owned by field grade officers who lead our battalions and brigades," which is to say many Lieutenant Colonels saw this order before it was implemented...more

Media still clueless about Tea Parties

To hear the media tell it, the Tea Party movement is one of the most mysterious forces ever to surface in national life. Since February 2009, when CNBC's Rick Santelli urged his listeners to dump unfunded derivatives into Lake Michigan to protest the developing culture of bailouts, they have been nothing but open about their fears of insolvency, their discomfort with increasing size of the government and their terror of deficits. The media listen closely to all these objections, and decide they must mean something else. They say they fear debt, and the media insist that they must fear Hispanics (why they hate Marco Rubio), that they fear blacks (why they hate Thomas Sowell), that they fear strong women (why they want Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin to be sent back to the kitchen in chains). Much as the Republican win in the 1994 midterms was dismissed as a "tantrum" by the late Peter Jennings, Tea Partiers are described as being driven by inchoate anger, but the spin on their nature has tended to change. First, they were described as an ignorant rabble, much as the Washington Post had once pegged evangelicals. Then polls showed that they were a rabble that was better off and better informed than the public in general, and they became a selfish and privileged rabble: a privileged rabble parading as populists...more

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Government Releases New Numbers on Obamacare Showing Costs Will Skyrocket

Here's the video report from Fox News.

Did Obama Adm. Hide Cost Report Before Health Care Vote?

The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama's health care "reform" law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius's staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken. "The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote," says an HHS source. "Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think." The analysis, performed by Medicare's Office of the Actuary, which in the past has been identified as a "nonpolitical" office, set off alarm bells when submitted. "We know a copy was sent to the White House via their legislative affairs staff," says the HHS staffer, "and there were a number of meetings here almost right after the analysis was submitted to the secretary's office. Everyone went into lockdown, and people here were too scared to go public with the report." In the end, the report was released several weeks after the vote -- the review by the secretary's office reportedly took less than three days -- and bore a note that the analysis was not the official position of the Obama administration. American Spectator

Last Binge Of A Condemned Congress

Having nothing to lose as they tumble toward November's electoral cliff, Democrats have gone into legislative overdrive. With the hangman ready, the condemned are ordering the whole menu. The way things look right now, 2010 could go down in history as one of the biggest reversals of political power ever — with even "safe" seats in big trouble. Take Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the powerful pork-wielding House Appropriations Committee, who has held his seat since before man walked on the moon. He looks like a dead duck against a Republican challenge from a current county district attorney and MTV "Real World" alumnus named Sean Duffy — who wasn't even born when Obey took office. "It's not a lifetime appointment," Duffy told the New York Times for a story on the numerous vulnerable Democrats who were once unbeatable. But like Thelma and Louise when they knew the jig was up, the Democratic Congress has decided it might as well put the pedal to the metal and go over the precipice with a crash and a bang. Unfortunately, they've got an already pummeled economy in the back seat with them...more

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Officials return 'Crash the Tea Party' teacher to classroom

Beaverton School District officials returned teacher Jason Levin to the classroom while they continue to investigate whether he inappropriately used school time or property to work on his "Crash the Tea Party" website. Levin, who has been on leave since April 15, resumed teaching technology classes at Conestoga Middle School this morning, spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler said. "He's not a danger to students and we have not found that he's been sharing his political views with students," Wheeler said. Levin created the website, which encouraged people to infiltrate the tea party to discredit their movement. Tea party crashers should use misspelled protest signs, make wild claims during interviews or other actions that would damage public opinion of the party, the website encouraged. It has since been disabled...more

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Real Republican Civil War

Let's talk Republican "civil war." Not the one the media is hawking, that pits supposed tea party fanatics like Mr. Rubio against supposed "moderates" like Mr. Crist. The Republican Party is split. But the real divide is between reformers like Mr. Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who are running on principles and tough issues, and a GOP old guard that still finds it politically expedient to duck or demagogue issues. As Republicans look for a way out of the wilderness, this is the rift that matters. And it's the divide playing out in Florida, even if that's not the press's preferred narrative. In conventional-wisdom world, Mr. Rubio is the darling of an angry grass roots, surging at the expense of the postpartisan Mr. Crist. And woe betide the GOP, goes the storyline. It is courting disaster, repeating its mistake in New York 23, nominating radicals who can't win elections...more

Loony left mistakes Tea Partiers for terrorists

...Hence Bill Clinton energetically on the stump, summoning all his elder-statesman dignity (please, no giggling) in the cause of comparing Tea Partiers to the late Timothy McVeigh. Oh, c'mon, they've got everything in common. The Tea Partiers want to reduce the size of government, and so did McVeigh - McVeigh through the use of fertilizer bombs, the Tea Partiers through control of federal spending. But these are mere nuanced differences of means, not ends. Also, both "Tim" and "tea" are three-letter words beginning with T. Picture him upon your knee, just Tea for Tim and Tim for Tea, you're for him and he's for thee, completely interchangeable. Will it work? For a long time, Tea Partiers were racists. Everybody knows that when you say, "I'm becoming very concerned about unsustainable levels of federal spending," that's old Jim Crow code for "Let's get up a lynching party and teach that uppity Negro a lesson." Frank Rich of the New York Times attempted to diversify the Tea Party racism into homophobia by arguing that Obamacare opponents were uncomfortable with Rep. Barney Frank's sexuality. I yield to no one in my discomfort with Barney Frank's sexuality, but, with the best will in the world, I find it hard to blame it for more than the first 4 trillion or 5 trillion dollars of federal overspending. Eschewing such cheap slurs, Time's Joe Klein said opposition to President Obama was "seditious" because nothing says sedition like citing the U.S. Constitution and quoting Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately for Mr. Klein, thanks to "educator" William Ayers' education reforms, nobody knows what "seditious" means anymore...more

Kelsey Grammer Launching Tea Party TV

Jon Voight may be more outspoken, but for years Kelsey Grammer has been one of Hollywood's most prominent conservatives. Now, Grammer has taken his activism to its logical conclusion: This summer, he's backing the launch of The RightNetwork, an on-demand television channel catering to, in his words, "Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and world-view." The RightNetwork's rollout hasn't been without controversy. A press release from RightNetwork, which suggested that Comcast was a partner in the project, has since been taken down, and the broadcast giant has sternly denied any involvement (although it may still decide to carry the channel). In addition to churning out and retracting press releases, the network is plugging three original shows: Right To Laugh, which features conservative stand-up comedians (sample joke: "I think it's wrong to kill a fetus. Teenagers I'm not so sure about."); Politics & Poker, which is exactly what it sounds like; and Running, a documentary-style program that shadows a handful of first-time conservative congressional candidates (like Ari David, a comedian from Malibu who tells us he's running to take the seat "currently infested by Henry Waxman"). Judging by the trailer, Running may be the network's most compelling offering; it's a lot like the Real World, except most of the show's cast will never actually make it to the House...more

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

America's Constitutionalist Revolt

So much is being written in the mainstream media about who the tea partiers are, but very little is being recorded about what these folks are actually saying. We know that this is a decentralized grassroots movement, with many different voices hailing from many different towns across the country. But the tea-party message comes together in the "Contract From America," the product of an online vote orchestrated by Ryan Hecker, a Houston tea-party activist and national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. With nearly 500,000 votes recorded in less than two months, this Contract forms a blueprint of tea-party policy goals and beliefs. Of the top-10 planks in the Contract, the No. 1 issue is protect the Constitution. That's followed by reject cap-and-trade, demand a balanced budget and enact fundamental tax reform. And then comes number five: Restore fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government in Washington. Note that two of the top-five priorities of the tea partiers mention the Constitution. Filling out the Contract, the bottom-five planks are end runaway government spending; defund, repeal and replace government-run health care; pass an all-of-the-above energy policy; stop the pork; and stop the tax hikes...more

A warning to the tea partiers

We were taught that the magnolia blossom, probably the most beautiful in the plant kingdom, stays beautiful only as long as you do nothing but look at it. If you touch it, it blackens and dies! I think tea parties do, too. Born strong a year ago and now reportedly stronger than either of the two major parties, the tea-party movement defies coherent journalistic attempts to sum it all up. Writing about the tea-party movement is like trying to nail a custard pie to the side of a barn. Like the Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome, the power of the tea parties is bound up with their un-touchability. Pollsters tell us the tea parties are more admired than the major parties. But if the tea partiers ever start behaving like a major party, they'll go the way of the magnolia blossom. The standard political movement starts with a leader and a message and then outreach; once upon a time, letters, then doorbells, then telephones, now computers and eventually rallies; small and then, the founders hope, larger and larger. That's called "top down." This tea-party phenomenon came upon us like Iceland's cloud of volcanic ash. It's strictly from the bottom up, from deep down inside the boiling American soul; up, up and away. There's no "tea party-line." If the question is, "Who's in charge here?" the tea party's present strength lies in the answer, "Nobody!" Or, at least, different unfamiliar names in different places. It's so long since we've seen a real grass root we've forgotten what it looks like...more

Tea party movement is a delayed Bush backlash

Recall that Bush came into office promising to be a “different kind of conservative,” and one of his first legislative victories was the No Child Left Behind Act, sponsored by Teddy Kennedy. Throughout his presidency, Bush's “compassionate conservatism” surrendered — either rhetorically or substantively — to the assumptions of welfare-state liberalism, i.e. that your decency was best measured by your commitment to large, inefficient government programs. “When somebody hurts,” Bush insisted, “government has got to move.” Many conservatives disliked this whole mindset and the policies behind it, from comprehensive immigration reform to Medicare Part D. Many conservatives muted their objections, in part because they liked the man personally or approved of his stances on tax cuts, judges, abortion and the war on terror (we can see a similar dynamic with so many anti-war liberals who still support Obama). Conservatives didn't necessarily bite their tongues (remember the Harriet Miers and immigration fiascoes), but they did prioritize supporting Bush — often in the face of far nastier attacks than Obama has received — over ideological purity. Besides, where were conservatives supposed to go? Into the arms of John Kerry? The 2008 GOP primaries compounded conservative frustration...more

Liberal media's racial obsession obfuscates Tea Party's Libertarian appeal

If you are to believe a front page report in The New York Times that explores recent poll results, the dominant force in Tea Party rallies in opposition to government run health care and other spending schemes are racially insensitive white males according to poll results. But upon close examination, the polls do not entirely square with the incendiary image the Gray Lady and other liberal media organs are trying to sell at the expense of small government activists. Average Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party activists tend to be well-educated, financially independent and gainfully employed, the results show. Although the report attached to the New York Times/CBS poll fixates on demographics, the most detailed and insightful comments came in response to public policy questions that elicited an unmistakable libertarian viewpoint. For example, the poll shows that eight of 10 activists are primarily concerned with economic issues; a statistic that is more or less in sync with the sentiments of the public at large. Even as the Tea Party movement prides itself on decentralization and spontaneity, the poll demonstrates that activists are united around the idea of downsizing government...more

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington

Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ills, the survey found. The survey illustrates the ominous situation President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party face as they struggle to maintain their comfortable congressional majorities in this fall's elections. Midterm prospects are typically tough for the party in power. Add a toxic environment like this and lots of incumbent Democrats could be out of work. The survey found that just 22 percent of those questioned say they can trust Washington almost always or most of the time and just 19 percent say they are basically content with it. Nearly half say the government negatively effects their daily lives, a sentiment that's grown over the past dozen years. This anti-government feeling has driven the tea party movement, reflected in fierce protests this past week. Majorities in the survey call Washington too big and too powerful, and say it's interfering too much in state and local matters. The public is split over whether the government should be responsible for dealing with critical problems or scaled back to reduce its power, presumably in favor of personal responsibility...more

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Immigrant groups try to steal thunder from tea party

Immigrant-rights groups sought to tap some of the "tea party" thunder Thursday by using the anti-tax-and-spending movement's nationwide protests to argue illegal immigrants must be legalized because they are eager to pay their full taxes. But tea partiers, rallying on the day federal income-tax returns were due, didn't buy it. The collision between two of the big political movements in America is expected to escalate heading in to this year's midterm elections as both push the political parties from different directions...more

Oregon teacher, anti-Tea Party activist put on leave

An Oregon middle school teacher whose "Crash the Tea Party" Internet campaign drew national attention has been put on paid leave while school officials investigate whether he used school equipment or time to work on his website. Beaverton educators were deluged with e-mails and phone messages after Jason Levin's Web page went public earlier this week. On it, Levin encouraged people to infiltrate the Tea Party movement to discredit the conservative activists...more

The tea partyers: It's about liberty

As the left works overtime to underestimate, if not outright disparage, the import and impact of the growing tea party movement, some telling demographics have been revealed by the unlikeliest of sources -- The New York Times and CBS News. A poll sponsored by the traditionally liberal news organizations takes a baby step in debunking the talking points of "progressive" puppet-masters that tea partyers are lemming-like Cro-Magnons, necks painted red, who tuck sawed-off shotguns into their bib overall cut-offs. Truth be told, these modern-day Sons and Daughters of Liberty are wealthier than the general public and better educated. That is, they are industrious -- they actually work and pay taxes -- and know that tickling sensation at their knees is not someone getting fresh but the hands of Leviathan administering a continual fleecing through the hole torn in their pockets...more

Justice Breyer expects health challenge

Justice Stephen G. Breyer predicted Thursday that the Supreme Court will one day be forced to pass judgment on the constitutionality of President Obama's just-passed health care overhaul plan. Justice Breyer told a congressional panel that the massive health care law, like most major federal legislation, is a good candidate for high court review. Some 20 states, virtually all with Republican attorneys general, have already joined a suit seeking to challenge the law in federal court, arguing that its mandate that Americans get health insurance is unconstitutional. The White House and congressional Democrats insist the plan passes constitutional muster. Justice Breyer said the court's relatively light caseload in recent years will soon be a thing of the past, given the issues such as health care that may come before it...more

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tea party rebuts Fox

The Cincinnati tea party is disputing allegations by Fox News that the organization tried to profit off of an event featuring cable network host Sean Hannity. Fox pulled Hannity from a Tax Day protest on Thursday amidst reports that the tea party group was raising money off of Hannity’s planned appearance. But the tea party activists say they never had any intention of cashing in on Hannity’s plan to broadcast from the rally, and that it charged for admission only to help offset the cost of the event. “No member of the Cincinnati Tea Party has personally profited from any event,” said Justin Binik-Thomas, a spokesman for the group in a statement. “The cost of tickets was designed to offset the cost of the event — we did not make a profit.” The spokesman said that the event cost roughly $60,000 and that more than $4,000 worth of tickets were given away. Binik-Thomas also estimated that more than 13,000 hours were volunteered by tea party activists to plan and staff the event. Additionally, the Cincinnati tea party only found out that Hannity was leaving, the spokesman said, through local media reports...more

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party Group Offers Refunds After Sean Hannity Cancellation

The Cincinnati Tea Party will offer refunds after Fox News host Sean Hannity pulled out of an appearance at its Tax Day rally — a cancellation that the group said has not been fully explained. "We've offered refunds. Although it was not our error, we felt it was the right thing to do for the attendees," Cincinnati Tea Party spokesman Justin Binik-Thomas told Binik-Thomas said more than 10,000 people turned out for Thursday's rally at the University of Cincinnati, which was going to be preceded by a book-signing by Hannity and followed by the taping of his show on campus. Biniki-Thomas said he was told Hannity had to return home to New York for a personal emergency after the book-signing was abruptly canceled. The network says it pulled Hannity over the event's admission fees. "Fox News never agreed to allow the Cincinnati Tea Party organizers to use Sean Hannity's television program to profit from broadcasting his show from the event," Bill Shine, the network's executive vice president of programming, told the Los Angeles Times Thursday. "When senior executives in New York were made aware of this, we changed our plans for tonight's show." The $5 fee was designed to offset the cost of the event, Binik-Thomas said, adding that as of Friday afternoon, he had not been given a concrete reason from Fox News for the cancellation...more

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Congress...You Betrayed Us: Billboard, Las Cruces, NM

Workers with Lamar Outdoor Advertising install a billboard Wednesday paid for by a group opposed to the health-care reform bill and what members say is government overspending. The billboard, off Interstate 10 near the Chaparral exit, will remain in place through November. (Sun-News photo by Norm Dettlaff)

Billboard decries health-care legislation
A group of residents is taking its message opposing federal health-care legislation to commuters. The group, calling itself Concerned Citizens of Las Cruces, has paid for a billboard to be installed near the Anthony-Chaparral exit off Interstate 10. The sign went up Wednesday. Las Crucen Sam DeArment said the idea originated after he and a friend received an e-mail about similar billboards in other parts of the country. He said they decided one way to try to influence this year's general election would be to install a billboard locally. So DeArment and Las Crucen Betty Russell began collecting donations, and, before long, they'd raised enough to produce the image and rent billboard space through Nov. 2, Russell said. In all, she said, about $5,700 was raised for the rental, mostly during March. The group, made up of about 40 to 50 people, explained its view in an e-mail: "We know that the national deficit is already unsustainable and will be paid for with significant and permanent new taxes," they wrote. "Our children and grandchildren will be paying for the big government that current politicians are creating."...more

The committee rejected my idea, which is below:

GOP operatives crash the tea party

Just days after the first widespread tea party demonstrators hit the streets a year ago Thursday, Joe Wierzbicki, a Republican political consultant with the Sacramento firm Russo Marsh + Rogers, made a proposal to his colleagues that he said could “give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force as the 2010 elections come into focus.” The proposal, obtained by POLITICO, was for a nationwide tea party bus tour, to be called the Tea Party Express, which over the past seven months has become among the most identifiable brands of the tea party movement. Buses emblazoned with the Tea Party Express logo have brought speakers and entertainers to rallies in dozens of small towns and big cities, including one in Boston on Wednesday that will feature former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Aided by campaign-style advance work and event planning, slick ads cut by Russo Marsh, impressive crowds and a savvy media operation, the political action committee run by Wierzbicki, Russo Marsh founder Sal Russo and a handful of other Republican operatives has also emerged as among the prolific fundraising vehicles under the tea party banner. Known as Our Country Deserves Better when it was founded during the 2008 election as a vehicle to oppose Barack Obama’s campaign for president, the PAC saw its fundraising more than quadruple after it took the Tea Party Express public in July, raising nearly $2.7 million in roughly the following six months, compared with less than $600,000 in the preceding six months, according to Federal Election Commission filings...more

Poll: Tea Party Activists Small But Passionate Group

Tea Party "activists," defined as those who have attended a rally or donated money to the movement, make up a small portion of the group, but they are even more pessimistic about the direction of the country, and more negative about President Obama, than Tea Partiers overall, a new CBS News/ New York Times poll shows. These activists make up 20 percent of Tea Party supporters and 4 percent of Americans overall. As many as 72 percent of Tea Party activists are angry about the way things are going in Washington, compared to 53 percent of Tea Party supporters. This group has an especially gloomy outlook on the economy; 62 percent of them say it is getting worse, and more than six in 10 say when it comes to the availability of good jobs for American workers, America's best years are behind us. More than half of Tea Party activists (55 percent) say the amount of income tax they have to pay this year is unfair. Among Tea Partiers as whole, 42 percent feel that way. Unlike Tea Partiers overall, these activists hold a net negative view of the Republican Party. Fewer than half - 44 percent - view the party favorably, while 50 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party. But the most active Tea Partiers hold especially favorable views of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, and 50 percent think Sarah Palin has the ability to be an effective president. Among Tea Partiers in general, just 40 percent think she has that ability. Twenty-four percent of Tea Partiers think violent action against the government could be justified, but that number rises to 32 percent among Tea Party activists. More than three in four Tea Party activists get their television political news from Fox News Channel. CBS

Tea Party Supporters: Who They Are and What They Believe

CBS News and the New York Times surveyed 1,580 adults, including 881 self-identified Tea Party supporters, to get a snapshot of the Tea Party movement. There is a lot of information to unpack; let's begin with the demographics. Eighteen percent of Americans identify as Tea Party supporters. The vast majority of them -- 89 percent -- are white. Just one percent is black. They tend to skew older: Three in four are 45 years old or older, including 29 percent who are 65 plus. They are also more likely to be men (59 percent) than women (41 percent). More than one in three (36 percent) hails from the South, far more than any other region. Twenty-five percent come from the West, 22 percent from the Midwest, and 18 percent from the northeast. They are better educated than most Americans: 37 percent are college graduates, compared to 25 percent of Americans overall. They also have a higher-than-average household income, with 56 percent making more than $50,000 per year. More than half (54 percent) identify as Republicans, and another 41 percent say they are independents. Just five percent call themselves Democrats, compared to 31 percent of adults nationwide. Nearly three in four describe themselves as conservative, and 39 percent call themselves very conservative. Sixty percent say they always or usually vote Republican. Forty percent say the United States needs a third party, while 52 percent say it does not. They are more likely than American adults overall to attend religious services weekly (38 percent do so) and to call themselves evangelical (39 percent). Sixty-one percent are Protestant, and another 22 percent are Catholic. More than half -- 58 percent -- keep a gun in the household. CBS

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hoyer Admits: Tea Party Spurs Members To Consider Retiring

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters today that the Tea Party movement is making some members of Congress mull retirement. “Do I think the negative atmosphere that has been created by the Tea Party and by others certainly goes into the thinking of members? I think it does. I think you have to honestly point out that it does,” he told reporters Tuesday. Hoyer was responding to questions about Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak’s decision last week to retire rather than seek another term. Stupak had led a group of pro-life Democrats who opposed the health care bill through much of the debate, arguing that its anti-abortion provisions were too weak. Under heavy pressure from the White House and party leaders, Stupak struck a last-minute deal that secured enough votes for the bill to pass the House...more

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Get the government out of airport screening

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, governments across the world increased airport security, and rightly so. But in a hasty overreaction to that tragic day, Congress gave the job of screening passengers and baggage to a new federal agency: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). As a result, taxpayers pay for more than 48,000 airport security screeners and TSA has requested nearly $8.2 billion in funding for 2011. Creating the massive bureaucracy was a mistake. Even though the quality of airport screening was low before Sept. 11, it was not a failure of the "rent-a-guard" screeners that let those 19 terrorists board planes "armed" with box cutters. Those "weapons" were perfectly legal at the time. The real failure was one of policy, which didn't make use of passenger history and law enforcement information that should have flagged most of the terrorists as suspicious characters who warranted enhanced scrutiny. Following Sept. 11, most other countries increased their standards for airport security by letting each airport implement its own procedures under government supervision. In Europe, that led to nearly all major airports hiring certified private security firms to do their screening. Canada created a new federal agency to implement better screening but outsourced the actual screening. This kind of high-performance contracting permits better training and airport-specific flexibility (e.g., higher pay scales in Canada's jobs-rich oil patch) and it better matches screener numbers to changing travel patterns and airport passenger levels. In contrast, the system Congress and the George W. Bush administration created came with a massive conflict of interest: TSA serves as both the aviation-security regulator and the provider of key security. Who's watching the watchmen?...more

Scott Brown snubs Sarah Palin, bags Tea Party rally

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, whose stunning victory in January was fueled in part by Tea Party anger, has snubbed the fiery grassroots group and declined its invitation to join Sarah Palin Wednesday at a massive rally on Boston Common, the Herald has learned. Brown’s decision to skip the first big rally in Boston by the group whose members are credited with helping him win election has some experts saying he’s tossed the Tea Party overboard, as he prepares for re-election in 2012. “He wants to mainstream himself before the election,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. But Brown spokesman Felix Browne said the senator applauds the “energy and enthusiasm” Palin and the Tea Party bring to GOP politics. The Senate is in session and Brown can’t get away, Browne said. “He’ll be doing the job he was elected to do - serving the people of the commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Browne said. Sabato said it’s “possible” Brown can’t get away but noted senators do travel to their districts during the weeks-long stretches that the Senate is in session...more

New Fangs for the Conservative 'Beast'

The Heritage Foundation has been called "the beast" of all think tanks. Last week our beast added new fangs with the creation of a new advocacy organization. This institution—Heritage Action for America—will be able to spend money to push legislation we think the country needs without the obstacles faced by a nonprofit like the Heritage Foundation. Heritage Action, in other words, is poised to influence public policy debates in a way that no other institution in this country can. Heritage Action will not get involved in electoral politics, but it will use all the tools available in the American political system to ensure that congressmen face the same pressure to do the right thing as they face to do the politically expedient thing. Heritage Action will have the ability to create this pressure. There are 110 congressional districts in America with over 1,500 Heritage supporters apiece. Two-thirds of congressional districts in this country have over 1,000 Heritage members each. Now they will have an advocacy organization that can press Congress on their behalf. Heritage Action for America will guarantee that when a wavering congressman thinks of voting for higher taxes, increased regulation, or a weaker national defense, television ads in his home district will remind him that a vote for bigger government is a vote for less freedom...more

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crashing the ‘Crashing the Tea Party’ Meme.

I can’t speak for whether or not the ‘Crash the Tea Party’ thing referenced here is real, or just some dweeb on the West Coast who’s trying to sell t-shirts to liberal racists who don’t want to admit that they’re racists. Honestly, I could see either; one of the gratifying things about the Tea Party movement has been to see demonstrated that the Left’s vaunted prowess at organization and activism largely depends on having no standard for comparison. They’re really pretty lousy at this. That being said, the advice found here is pretty good: Plants have already happened, just not organized ones. Regardless, perhaps organizers (or attendees) need to have a few signs that say “Liberal Plant, not a REAL TeaPartier” and be on the lookout for these double-secret spies. When one is found, then pull out your signs and stand next to the plant. No violence or physical actions, just isolate and embarrass...more

San Juan County 912 Project draws politically-charged crowd

The San Juan County 912 Project gives Farmington resident Ruby Cowgill and other ordinary people a political voice, she said. Cowgill attended many of the 912 meetings since it began almost a year ago. She has learned about the Constitution and local politics. She likes that fellow 912ers respectfully listen to her opinions. Nine stands for nine principles, including belief in God; 12 stands for a dozen values, including honesty, sincerity and hope. The group promotes itself as open to all political viewpoints, but local members acknowledge mostly conservatives occupy its ranks. The group has basic goals: get governments to follow the Constitution and promote fiscal responsibility and free markets, Lee said. Members oppose health care reform, cap-and-trade legislation and stimulus spending. The 912 Project is an educational organization that plans tea party rallies, said Tom Mullins, a San Juan County Republican candidate for the U.S. House who attends the meetings and rallies. "The common bond of all of these organizations is limiting the size of government and protecting the Constitution,'' Mullins said...more

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Who's afraid of a little Tea Party? Everyone, fortunately

Democratic officeholders should be afraid. Republican officeholders, too. For many a year now, officeholders of both major parties have worked hard to earn the distrust of ordinary Americans. It appears that they finally have succeeded. If only ordinary Americans hadn't been so inattentive. If only ordinary Americans hadn't been so trusting. If only ordinary Americans hadn't been so damnably nice, the country would be in a better position to manage its finances today. But when have Americans not tried to look for the good in every situation? When have we not been slow to recognize the need to deal with forces, foreign or domestic, aligning against our best interests? Better late than never, a lot of ordinary Americans are waking up to the sobering reality that there really is no one they can trust. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not government. Not corporations. And certainly not corporations in league with government. Hallelujah. The people who are angry today are more in tune with this nation's founders than ordinary Americans have been in decades...more

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tea Party Members Raise Flag On Own Pole

Members of the tea party in Connecticut raised the flag they've adopted as part of their movement even after police at the state Capitol said it could not fly over the building. The group wanted to raise the Gadsden flag and its "Don't Tread On Me" slogan atop its own flag pole near the Capitol during its rally Friday. State Capitol police approved Friday's flying of the Gadsden Flag atop the Capitol. Dating back to before the Revolutionary War, the flag is well known for its serpent and its warning of "Don't Tread on Me." However, on Thursday afternoon, the decision was reversed and the flag will not be flown. "The same way I don't think we should have a Democratic flag or a Republican flag on top of the Capitol, I don't think they should have a Green Party flag or a Working Families Party flag," said Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven. The group raised its adopted flag on a different flagpole on the south side of the building near Capitol Avenue. "This is not just a movement, this is the tea party nation. This is about that flag, which for 300 years has been a representation of the people who rule government, not government ruling the people," said Duffy Acevedo, who is currently running for the governor on the Republican ticket...more

America's Quiet Anger

It is the anger of millions of hard-working citizens who pay their bills, send in their income taxes, maintain their homes and repay their mortgage loans -- and see their government reward those who do not. It is the anger of small town and Middle American folks who have never been to Manhattan, who put their savings in a community bank and borrow from a local credit union, who watch Washington lawmakers and presidents of both parties hand billions in taxpayer bailouts to the reckless Wall Street titans who brought down the economy in 2008. It is the fury of the voiceless, the powerless, the ordinary nobodies of Flyover Country who are ridiculed, preached to, satirized and insulted by the Celebrity Loudmouths of the two Left Coasts, the Jon Stewarts and Keith Olbermanns, the Paul Krugmans and their ilk. It is the salted wound of the millions who see that ruling Democrats in Congress are not listening to them but are willfully ignoring public opinion and the verdict of recent elections in passing a huge new health care entitlement when the existing entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are already going broke. It is the frustrating helplessness of citizens who revere the Founding Fathers and the genius of the Constitution that they wrote, who actually believe the words of the Constitution mean what they say, not more and not less...more

Friday, April 9, 2010

Obama’s National Sales Tax

President Obama is vetting a new national sales tax (commonly referred to as a VAT) to extract more wealth from the private sector to sustain his insatiable hunger for more government spending. Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke have commenced a vetting strategy to convince Americans that they need to give more and more money to an every-expanding and bloated federal government. Congress needs to just say no to a VAT — and increased taxation — as part of any pitch by this Administration to balance the budget. Volker and Bernanke have used a two pronged strategy to vet the VAT. First is fear mongering. Bernanke argues that Americans need to choose between higher taxes or massive cuts in critical government programs. He mentioned Social Security, Medicare, Education and Defense as areas of government spending that would be targeted if we don’t raise taxes. This is a false choice. The federal government needs to reform entitlement programs, needs to root out waste fraud and abuse and should eliminate programs like the National Endowment for the Arts. The reason why elites in Washington would look to a VAT before increasing income taxes (and, believe me, higher income taxes are coming) is because not enough of the population even pays income taxes to make it worthwhile for the government to use the income tax structure to balance the budget...more

Newly Formed ‘Federation’ of Tea Party and Grassroots Groups Announced

In an effort to build its credibility and influence nationwide, the tea party movement on Thursday announced the formation of a "federation" of tea party groups. Mark Skoda, a member of the Memphis Tea Party, told a crowd of roughly 200 conservative activists gathered outside the state capitol that 21 factions of the movement will form the National Federation Tea Party. Skoda said the federation will act as a "rapid response" to "misinformation" allegedly put forth by the "mainstream media." The National Federation Tea Party includes groups like the Tea Party Express, which is currently on a 42-city bus tour across the country, as well as Tea Party Nation, ResistNet, Constitutional TEA Party and American Grassroots Coalition. But the conservative movement, which has prided itself on its refusal to formally merge with the Republican Party, refuted claims Thursday that the tea party seeks to form its own political party. "That would be political suicide," Mark Williams, chairman of Tea Party Express, told "America is a two party system and to create a third party is to reinvent the wheel. This federation was formed simply as a rapid response to put out brushfires in the mainstream media." "This is a not a single leadership formation," added Skoda. The federation also includes several conservative "affiliate groups" like Americans for Prosperity, American for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and Citizens United. FoxNews

Nearly Half of US Households Escape Fed Income Tax

Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it's simply somebody else's problem. About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization...more

Obama adviser Volcker says record deficits could lead to new VAT tax

White House adviser Paul Volcker said the United States may need to consider raising taxes to control deficits. He also said a European-style value-added tax could gain support. The former chairman of the Federal Reserve who is an outside adviser to President Barack Obama, said the value-added tax "was not as toxic an idea" as it has been in the past, according to a Reuters report. Volcker made the remarks at a New York Historical Society event Tuesday night. Volcker also suggested that a carbon or energy-related tax may become necessary to bring the budget back into check. Volcker acknowledged that the ideas weren't popular but that the outlook on entitlement spending and budget deficits were grim without some changes...more

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Can the Tea Party Movement Take the Next Step?

What's less clear than the group's makeup is the role it will play in November's midterm elections and beyond. "The real test is whether it's an electoral phenomenon or a social-protest phenomenon," says Isaac Wood, an analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "They've been very successful at garnering headlines. What they need to do is prove they can garner votes." Yet to do so entails diving into a political process whose perversion has been an organizing principle for the Tea Party. "They are kind of anti-politics, not just anti-government," Wood says. "They don't seem to be enthusiastic about doing politics the same old way." Nevertheless, many Tea Party activists are ready to trade headline-generating protests and bus tours for the unglamorous banalities that make campaigns hum...more

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Black conservative tea party backers take heat

They've been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values. Now black conservatives are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement—and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of the nation's first black president. "I've been told I hate myself. I've been called an Uncle Tom. I've been told I'm a spook at the door," said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group of black conservatives who support free market principles and limited government. Johnson and other black conservatives say they were drawn to the tea party movement because of what they consider its commonsense fiscal values of controlled spending, less taxes and smaller government. The fact that they're black—or that most tea partyers are white—should have nothing to do with it, they say...more

Palin? Armey? Republican Or Dem? Leader Of Tea Party Is . . . No One!

On Feb. 27 last year, small numbers of middle-class taxpayers gathered in 50 American cities to protest President Obama's $786 billion stimulus bill, signed into law without the bother of reading it. And the Tea Party movement was born. Organized in less than a week by conservatives on Twitter, the Tea Party movement has grown from political novices into a driving force that is rapidly changing the American political landscape. The fact that no one person is guiding that force seems to encourage some people, and especially the media, to appoint one. After her speech at the Tea Party Nation convention in Nashville, there was great speculation from the national media about whether Sarah Palin would be the leader of the Tea Party movement. After all, Palin is a known conservative with grass-roots energy and support who is largely in lockstep with the values of the movement. Others have alluded to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey as the leader of, or spokesperson for, the Tea Party groups around the country. But neither Palin nor Armey, nor anyone else for that matter, will ever lead or control the Tea Party movement. That's because it's not one body, but many locally organized groups, led by local people — like me, along with two others on the Dallas Tea Party steering committee. Each of us holds a full-time job and volunteers our time to the Tea Party movement. And while all the Tea Party groups share a number of common values and goals, no one group speaks for the others...more

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Federal Government Jobs Far Outpace Private Sector Counterparts in Pay, Benefits

Recent statistics suggest the federal government is becoming an increasingly more attractive place to work than the private sector. Federal jobs outpay their private sector counterparts 83 percent of the time, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to federal data, a cook on the federal payroll will make roughly $15,000 more than one in the private sector. A public relations manager working for the U.S. government will out-earn his or her private sector counterpart by an average of more than $44,000. The disparities don't only show up in salaries, though. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, average health, pension and other benefits tally up to $40,785 per federal worker -- compared with just $9,882 per private worker...more


Tina Carson with the ATP says the opposition is once again trying to misdirect folks.

Here is the correct info from their website:

The Tax Day Rally will be between San Pedro Dr. NE and Wyoming Blvd. NE from 4pm – 7pm

Once again, our friends Don Davis and Phil Marquez from KIVA 1550 AM, will be broadcasting live from the Albuquerque Tea Party Tax Day Rally.

We would like to ask our supporters who attend the rally to bring a portable or headset radio so that you can be informed by KIVA of relevant information, so that you will know what is going on outside your immediate surroundings. Useful information they will broadcast will include traffic and parking instructions, attendance estimates, encouragement of peaceful protest and such. We believe we can bring the crowd together as one through the radio broadcast in a very positive way.

KIVA will again be doing “man-on-the-street ” broadcasts from the street. They will simply approach a random person and ask if they can talk with them on the radio. You could be asked on the air what brought you out to the rally! Last year, every time that supporters were asked to be on the air, KIVA received well-spoken, well-reasoned, passionate statements, no matter the age, sex or race of the person. It was an amazing experience which we, along with KIVA, very much look forward to repeating this year.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tea Party 48% Obama 44%

On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of those in the Political Class say their views are closer to the president. The Obama Administration has created a significantly larger government and political role in the economy. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Mainstream Americans say their views are closer to the Tea Party. Last week, Rasmussen Reports released data showing that 47% of voters felt closer to the views of Tea Party members than to Congress. Only 26% felt closer to Congress...more

Obamacare: The Side Effects

This TV ad, done by the folks at Heritage, uses the format we see so often. It kicks off their new project: Side Effects.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Amid harsh criticisms, 'tea party' slips into the mainstream

But political experts say that many such criticisms are near-sighted, if not outright inappropriate – and ultimately may miss the point. Indeed, polls suggest that tea party activists are not only more mainstream than many critics suggest, but that a majority of them are women (primarily mothers), not angry white men. What's more, the release this week of the top three planks of the "crowd-sourced" Contract From America project, to some activists, shows a maturation from sign-wielding protesters to a political reform movement grounded in ideas. The top three vote-getters among 360,000 respondents on the Contract From America website: Calling for an enumerated powers act to force lawmakers to check the constitionality of new laws; requiring a two-thirds majority in Congress for any tax hike; and a legislative backstop to prevent the EPA from "backdoor regulating." Moreover, polls show that the anger at big government exhibited by tea party protesters is shared by many, if not most, Americans. A Pew poll in early March found 71 percent of Americans "dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country today," while a CNN poll showed that 56 percent of Americans are more than just discontented with Washington. Instead, that majority of respondents agreed that the government is "so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens."...more

New poll on tea parties has surprises

Since December, The Winston Group has conducted telephone surveys of thousands of registered voters and just this week released an analysis of its findings: that 17 percent of registered voters consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement, and that they – like voters overall – are deeply concerned about the economy and jobs as we head toward the 2010 election. The conventional wisdom about the Tea Party has not yet settled on any one definitive portrayal of the movement, but the data tell a fascinating story – over four out of 10 self-identified Tea Party members aren’t Republican, and a third don’t consider themselves conservative. They tend to be older than the voters on the whole, tend to come from middle-income households, and are slightly more likely to be male than the overall electorate. But what truly sets the Tea Party apart from even Republicans or conservatives broadly is its commitment to economic conservatism. Tea Party members, like voters overall, are very focused on the economy and jobs; some 36 percent say it is their top issue. Yet while only 6 percent of voters overall say that the national deficit and spending are their top issues, that number spikes to 21 percent among Tea Party members. The Tea Party is a movement defined by its preference for fiscal restraint and low taxes...more

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Unicorns & Rainbows

I'm no particular fan of the NRSC, but did enjoy this video.

HT: John Madeira

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shocking Headline: Letterman Gives Tea Party Best Showcase Ever

Here's a headline I'm sure you never dreamed of seeing: "David Letterman Gives the Tea Party the Best Showcase it's Ever Had." So wrote Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker Wednesday about the previous evening's interview of Sandpoint, Idaho, Tea Party President Pam Stout on CBS's "Late Show." Tucker went on to call the segment "quietly remarkable" which seems an understatement not only given Letterman's nonconfrontational approach with Stout, but also because at one point, he even said there were "many things about this [Tea Party] movement that I admire". Tucker finished his piece noting, "[N]obody else is doing interviews with people like this on TV." Of course not, for the goal of the Obama-loving media is to depict Tea Partiers as racist, homophobic, dangers to society, and Stout is clearly none of that. As Ace wrote Wednesday: Not only did this woman clearly come to play-- she makes a great rational case for Tea Party politics -- but on a sub-rational level, well, she's Just Like You, isn't she? She never before was particularly political (Just Like You), she's just a normal, patriotic American woman (Just Like You), and she was embarrassed to have to nominate herself for the Tea Party group's presidency (Just Like You -- hey, we all hate public speaking, don't we?). [...] It's the fact that Tea Partiers, when allowed to present themselves on both a human and political level, will tend to acquit themselves rather well that keeps the media from doing this at more

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tea Party: A Brewing Movement

On a cold night in December 1773, some three years after passage of the Tea Act by the British Parliament, colonists were fed up with the British crown’s haughty disregard of their rights as Englishmen, and they dumped 342 chests of the iconic British beverage into Boston Harbor, becoming icons themselves. The protesters (estimates range from as few as 30 to as many as 130) refused finally to be placated by repeated promises of change and reform and, rather than wait for legislative response, they exercised the Lockean right of “self-defense” and boldly resisted the alienation of their God-given liberty. Modern Americans know something of that level of frustration. It’s been just over a year since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States and the Democratic Party assumed majority control of both houses of Congress. In that short time, there has emerged a vociferous band within the electorate who, like their tea-tossing forebears, feel they have been precluded from participating in the direction the ship of state will sail, and they have decided to protest the insupportable behavior of a government that habitually oversteps its constitutional boundaries. Fed up and fired up, they have chosen to exercise their constitutional prerogative of peaceful assembly, hence the Tea Party Movement. The disparate coterie of groups confederated, loosely, under a giant “Tea Party” umbrella, and they attracted devotees by the thousands. Scores of frustrated conservatives were drawn to the movement’s assimilation of the patois of 18th-century patriotism. They braved rain and rebuke and gathered in parking lots and municipal auditoriums to listen to speakers selected from the deepening pool of Tea Party celebrities zealously frothing the tea-tainted waters of more

Lobbyists Enjoy Windfall Despite Pledges to Rein In Special Interest Influence

Health care reform made the public mad, and it made lobbyists rich. Though President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to curb the influence of special interests, slap a leash on lobbyists and "put the interests of Main Street in front of K Street and Wall Street," the past year hasn't exactly live up to that standard. Special interest spending on Capitol Hill broke records in 2009, topping $3.47 billion. And almost half of the president's recess appointments last weekend were tied to or work for so-called special interests. Finance figures show those interests are giving huge sums to Democrats and Republicans alike -- but while the influence game is hardly the problem of one party, the legislative frenzy on Capitol Hill has only inflated it over the past year. The health care industry led the pack in terms of special interest spending, pumping out $266 million in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics...more

Tea Party Finds Its Motivation In Constitution

Over the past 14 months, our political debate has been transformed into an argument between the heirs of two fundamental schools of political thought, the Founders and the Progressives. The Founders stood for the expansion of liberty and the Progressives for the expansion of government. It's an argument that's been going on for a century but was largely dormant over the quarter-century of low-inflation economic growth after the Ronald Reagan tax cuts. It's been raised again by the expand-government policies of the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders. Those policies, thoroughly in line with the Progressive tradition, have been advanced by liberal elites in government, media, think tanks and academia. The opposition, roughly in line with the Founders tradition, has been led by the non-elites who spontaneously flocked to Tea Parties and town halls. Republican politicians have been scrambling to lead these protesters. The conservative rebellions of the late 1970s and middle 1990s were focused on taxes. The Tea Partyers are focusing on the expansion of government — and its threat to the independence of citizens...more